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Nikon D5300 review

New 24MP sensor and EXPEED 4 processing engine give better images

Our Verdict

A 24-million-pixel SLR with a 3.2-inch articulating screen, 39-point AF system and Wi-Fi connectivity is a good option for someone looking to take their photography more seriously. The control layout is simple, too, so you get to grips with the camera quickly.

For

  • New sensor
  • No anti-aliasing filter
  • High-res vari-angle screen
  • Wi-Fi built-in, EXPEED 4 processor

Against

  • Mainly on-screen control
  • No touch-screen
  • Special Effects JPEG only
Nikon D5300 review
Nikon D5300 review
Nikon D5300 review
Nikon D5300 review
Nikon D5300 review

Given that Nikon still leads the way for the SLR pixel count it is perhaps no surprise that it should stick with a 24-million pixel sensor for the D5300.

However, it hasn't used the same sensor as is in the D5200 (which still continues in the company line-up) or the Nikon D7100, as the D5300 uses a new 24.2-million pixel device without an optical low-pass filter.

We're increasingly seeing a move towards sensors without low-pass or anti-aliasing filters because they offer the potential to capture more detail - albeit at the risk of moiré patterning.

However, we haven't found moiré patterning to be a major issue in stills from other cameras such as the Nikon D7100, Nikon D800E and Ricoh GR that also don't have anti-aliasing filters over their sensors, so it seems likely that all should be well with the D5300 as well - especially bearing in mind that it has the same pixel count as the D7100.

Features

The majority of the D5300's specification is the same as the D5200's, but there are a few key changes in addition to the new sensor.

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Best Nikon cameras

Perhaps the most significant change from the D5200 is the switch to the new EXPEED 4 processing engine. This has given Nikon greater power to improve image quality and we are told that has most impact with noise control at the highest sensitivity settings.

Although it uses the same dedicated 2016-pixel RGB sensor to inform the Scene Recognition System for light metering and white balance assessment, according to Simon Iddon, Senior Product Manager at Nikon UK, the automatic white balance performance has been improved and colour processing is claimed to be better.

Nikon D5300 review

When we tested the D5200 we found that the automatic white balance system can make images shot in shade look a bit lifeless and under-saturated. We also found that the Landscape Picture Control mode over-enhances blues and greens so they look unnatural. It will be interesting to see if these points have been addressed by the changes.

Nikon D5300 review

While the D5200's native sensitivity range is ISO 100-6400, the D5300's has been pushed a stop further to ISO 100-12,800. This suggests that the EXPEED 4 engine enables a 1EV improvement in noise control. Interestingly, maximum expansion setting is the same at ISO 25,600.

Nikon is aiming the D5300 at photographers who want to be creative, and to support this it has added two new Creative Effect modes - HDR Painting and Toy Camera. This brings the total number of Effects modes to nine; there are also 16 scene modes and the usual collection of Picture Control options.

Nikon D5300 review

Nikon's Picture Control modes can be used whether you are shooting raw or JPEG images and the usual options of Standard, Neutral Vivia, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape are available. The contrast, sharpening, brightness, saturation and hue of the colour options can be adjusted for taste.

In addition, Nikon has encouraged shooting from creative angles by boosting the size of the vari-angle LCD screen to 3.2-inches and increasing its dot-count to 1,037,000.

Nikon D5300 review

Another key change for the D5300 is the addition of built-in Wi-Fi and GPS technology. The Wi-Fi connectivity allows the camera to transfer images wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet via Nikon's free Wireless Mobile Utility app (iOS and Android). From there, images can be shared on any of the usual social networking sites. The same app can also be used to trigger the shutter remotely.

Nikon D5300 review

Meanwhile the GPS system allows images to be tagged with the longitude, latitude and altitude of the shooting location. Nikon's ViewNX 2 software can be used to create travel maps which can be displayed on NIKON IMAGE SPACE, or any other social networking or photo-sharing website that supports GPS, such as Flickr.

The addition of Wi-Fi and GPS technology may have been the motivation for another change made with the D5300: a new battery, the EN-EL14a. Under CIPA testing conditions this battery has a 600-shot life, 100 more than the EN-EL14. Further good news is that the EN-EL14a is backwards compatible so it can be used in the D5200 and it will be phased in across Nikon cameras.

Nikon D5300 review

Nikon's dynamic range expanding D-Lighting mode has been around for a while now, but the D5300 debuts a new option in Retouch mode - Portrait Subject mode. When this is applied to a portrait image the skin tones are brightened but the background ambience is retained.

Nikon D5300 review

As usual, the D5300 is capable of shooting Full HD (1920x1080) movies, but the available frame rates has been expanded to include 60 and 50p as well as 30, 25 and 24p.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenNo
Effective Camera Resolution24.2 Megapixel
GPSYes
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Image StabilizationNo
ColourBlack
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, External Flash Shoe, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function, Face Detection
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Video FormatsMOV, H.264, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)480 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Maximum Image Resolution6000 x 4000
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution24.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedEN-EL14a / EN-EL14
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Height98 mm
Width125 mm
Depth76 mm
Autofocus Points51
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsPCM
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD5300
Product NameD5300 Digital SLR Camera
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA370AE
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nikon.co.uk
Marketing Information

Let your creativity soar with the intuitive D5300.

With built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, this impressive 24.2-megapixel DX-format camera lets you capture and share the magic of your world in incredible detail.

The Wi-Fi function connects the camera directly to a smart device, so you can share photos right after you've taken them. The GPS function adds location information to photos, making it easy to add your pictures to maps of the world and share your travel photography with others.

Thanks to the large vari-angle monitor, it's simple to shoot photos and movies from exciting new perspectives; and powerful low-light performance (extendable up to ISO 25,600) ensures clear shots in dark situations.

Battery Life600 Shot
Package Contents
  • D5300 Digital SLR Camera
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • DK-25 Rubber Eyecup
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (with Terminal Cover)
  • MH-24 Battery Charger
  • AN-DC3 Strap
  • UC-E17 USB Cable
  • EG-CP16 Audio/Video Cable
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • Software CD
  • Reference CD (Contains the Reference Manual)
Display Resolution1037 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone