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Nikon D5300

Est. $1000 (with kit lens)
Reviewed
February 2014
by ConsumerSearch
Nikon D5300

Pros
  • Wi-Fi and GPS built in
  • Enhanced video recording
  • Redesigned grip for comfort
Cons
  • Steep learning curve
  • Not water-resistant

Bottom line

The Nikon D5300 replaces the one-year-old D5200 (Est. $900 with kit lens) in Nikon's extensive range of DSLR cameras. The 5300 adds Wi-Fi and GPS functionality and enhanced video recording, and packs it into a smaller and lighter body. Continuing the excellent photo quality of the D5200, the Nikon D5300 is a well-reviewed advanced DSLR camera.

Ease of use

Handles very well. With numerous external controls to learn, the Nikon D5300 is not a camera for beginners. Reviewers are divided as to the usability of these buttons and dials: Some consider them "well-placed" while others describe them as being "scattered, seemingly almost randomly." Either way, they agree that there is quite a steep learning curve.

The grip of the Nikon D5300 has been redesigned from that of the D5200, with more surface area increasing the clearance between grip and lens. This makes it more comfortable for photographers with longish fingers or large hands to hold the camera, especially for extended periods. At 3.2 inches, the articulated LCD is slightly larger than the more standard 3-inch screen, but it's not a touch screen.

Performance

Natural color and great detail. The Nikon D5300 shares the 24 megapixel sensor of the D7100 (Est. $1,150 body only) , but reports say you need good lenses to make full use of this sensor. The ISO settings range from 100 to 25,600, with noise problems at the fastest settings of ISO 12,800 and 25,600. The image quality is very good and comparable to the D7100 model; detail is excellent and color is natural, and the RAW file output has a lot of detail. In tests, night photos were excellent and there was no red-eye when the flash was used to photograph people.

Durability

Sturdy and strong. The Nikon D5300 is a sturdy camera with a strong body. However, it's not water- or dust-resistant.

Features

Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The 24.2 megapixel Nikon D5300 is a step-up camera, and its features reflect this. The continuous shooting speed is a "just-OK" 5 fps, and you can shoot video in full HD 1080p. It has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS functionality, which is not offered by all competitors. It has a "very complete" feature set with nine Creative Effects for both still images and video, as well as 18 Scene modes. The D5300 comes in three colors: red, black and gray.

image
Nikon D7100 24.1 MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR (Body Only)
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from Amazon.com
New: $1,199.95 $946.95   
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Average Customer Review:  
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Nikon D5200 24.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $799.95 $596.95   
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Average Customer Review:  
Where To Buy
Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black)

 
Buy new: $1,299.95 $996.95   44 Used & new from $799.99

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Our Sources

1. DPReview.com

DPReview.com names the Nikon D5300 the best mid-level DSLR, primarily for bringing the great image quality of the D7100 down to a more accessible level, price-wise. The D5300 has the same size body as the entry-level D3200, but manages to fit in an articulated LCD.

Review: Nikon D5300, Shawn Barnett, Nov. 27, 2013

2. PhotographyBlog.com

The Nikon D5300 earns rave reviews at PhotographyBlog.com, garnering a Highly Recommended rating. Mark Goldstein says the D5300 offers "something genuinely different to the likes of the Canon EOS 650D, Pentax K-5 II and the Sony A65."

Review: Nikon D5300 Review, Mark Goldstein, Nov. 19, 2013

3. Imaging-Resource.com

Reviewers say the Nikon D5300 is a more affordable alternative to the higher-end D7100, yet will also tempt consumers to step up from the entry-level Nikon DSLR cameras. They highlight that the D5300 is the first Nikon camera with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS functionality.

Review: Nikon D5300 Review, Roger Slavens and Dave Etchells, Oct. 17, 2013

4. TechRadar.com

Angela Nicholson focuses on the technical aspects of the Nikon D5300, notably the EXPEED 4 processing engine. She says this has given Nikon the ability to improve image quality and reduce image noise at the highest settings. She also likes the two new Creative Effect modes -- HDR Painting and Toy Camera -- which bring the total effects to nine.

Review: Nikon D5300 Review, Angela Nicholson, Nov. 27, 2013

5. Reviewed.com

The Nikon D5300 is "a small, but intriguing step forward" from its only-a-year-old predecessor, the Nikon D5200. As an "advanced beginner" DSLR, the D5300 and its new, filter-free 24.2 megapixel sensor offers improved image quality.

Review: Nikon D5300 First Impressions Review, Kaitlyn Chantry, Oct. 24, 2013

6. CNET

Lori Grunin interestingly positions the Nikon D5300 as an entry-level DSLR, unlike other reviewers who consider it complex and full-featured enough to be a mid-level camera. She says the D5300's excellent photo quality, fast performance and great feature set make it a good choice as a general-purpose DSLR.

Review: Nikon D5300 Review, Lori Grunin, Dec. 6, 2013

7. Amazon.com

Amazon.com user reviewers are fond of their Nikon D5300 DSLR cameras. The few complaints posted are about the GPS, the button placement in the back of the camera body and the user interface.

Review: Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014

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