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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

It would be easy to dismiss the changes made with the D5300 as minor, but there is much more to a camera than its pixel count. And a processing engine is just as important as a sensor when it comes to image quality.

The new sensor design and the removal of the low-pass filter enables the D5300 to record more sharp detail than the D5200, and although there is more noise in some images, it is controlled well, especially at the highest sensitivity settings.

Thankfully, the banding that troubled higher sensitivity images from the D5200 seems to be a thing of the past and although they are a little noisier the D5300's images can be used at larger sizes.

While Nikon has introduced some modern technology in the form of Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS, it hasn't really embraced the design of the D5300 by giving it a fast, live view AF system or making the variangle screen touch-sensitive.

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The Nikon brand may be attractive to novice photographers, but many are likely to find the intuitive controls of a touch-screen-enabled compact system camera more attractive.

We liked

A pixel count of 24 million is more than enough for most photographers and we're happy that Nikon has stuck with this for the D5300, but taken steps to improve the quality of the sensor's output.

The addition of Wi-Fi connectivity is also good news because users are increasingly keen to share images quickly.

While GPS is a nice-to-have feature, it tends to be power-hungry and as a result few photographers tend to use it that often.

We disliked

The D5300 is aimed at those upgrading from a compact camera or who want to be more creative with their images.

Nikon regards it as an 'upper-entry-level' camera.

Lots of buttons and dials can be intimidating to relative newcomers to photography and Nikon uses an attractive Graphic User Interface (GUI) and menu system for most setting selections and adjustments. While this may suit some, it's not as quick to use as direct controls. We'd like to see a few more on the D5300 to make it faster for enthusiasts to use.

It would also be nice if Nikon would allow users to opt to use the self-timer for more than just one shot (or sequence of shots) at a time.

And it's a shame that Nikon hasn't improved the Effects and HDR mode to allow raw file recording. This would make these creative modes more attractive to experienced photographers who want a 'clean' file to work with post-capture.

Final verdict

Although the upgrades made to the D5200 by the D5300 are solid, they are unlikely to attract D5200 users to upgrade.

They may make the camera more attractive to photographers without a brand commitment, but they aren't especially forward-looking or novel. The variangle screen and Effect modes encourage the user to shoot in live view mode (and compose the image on screen), but the live view AF system's performance lags behind that of many compact system cameras, and the screen isn't touch-sensitive.

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

Enthusiast photographers, however, may find themselves torn between the articulating screen of the D5300 and the greater number of direct controls of the Nikon D7100.

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
Flash ModesAuto Flash, Flash OFF, Flash ON, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Red-eye Reduction, Flash Exposure Compensation
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