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Nikon D5300 Review

Nikon D5300 Review
Review / 07/24/2014
Author: Photoleet avatarPhotoleet
recommendations 1, rating 4






Time definitely “flies”! Despite the fact that almost a year has passed since the announcement of the D5200 model, premiere of the Nikon D5300 seems slightly premature… as it hasn’t been long since we saw the predecessor for the first time. It is obvious that the rapid tempo that has been present for quite some time in all domains of photo industry (and not only it), has made time pass by seemingly faster, so the change of generations appears to happen more often than it really does. Exposure of consumers to products that feature not-so-big improvements has created a conditioned reflex that causes very negative reactions to the frequent "splurge" of new models. Unlucky circumstances have automatically placed the Nikon D5300 into the group of uninventive “imitators” of previous generation, together with Canon’s the EOS 700D and Nikon’s the D610. Although all three cameras have some dominant common traits with the models they have replaced, the fact is that unlike the other two cameras, the Nikon D5300 definitely offers enough to be accepted slightly different and with due examination, without any prejudice.

We have already reproached the leading two manufacturers (Canon and Nikon) for pushing the patience of their followers too much and reheating old or at least not fresh enough technologies due to the lack of ideas. In light of the events on the photographic stage, where competition has never been stronger and combats are happening at several fronts simultaneously, a slightly indifferent business policy can be a double-edged-sword. While at one moment we see a demonstration of perseverance and immunity to the moves of minor companies, at the other all that can come back as a boomerang and overnight render the market share almost pathetic. Despite everything we have seen, Nikon decided to make transition between generations slightly less attractive, at least at first glance, and users, both prospective and current ones, received it with “sticks and stones”.

Of course, if the manufacturer did not give rise to such an attitude, we are sure there would be no discontent. Still, Nikon placed itself into the unfavorable position, by trying to introduce a change of generations as frequently as possible, and finally reaching a point where it hit a technological barrier, where progress, at least instantly, is not possible. The trend of increasing resolution has progressed in the last couple of years and it seems as if the 24 MP had been reached long before anyone could have even guessed it in the time that passed. If we disregard the top model, the Nikon D800(E), resolution is many times higher in the entry-level category too, and the reasons are, may someone like it or not, mainly related to marketing. Regardless that among all of us there are definitely those who will easily manage to materialize the advantage of mammoth files, there are more those who will, at least in this price range, pay more attention to the feeble JPEG and complete automatics. Was it possible to go for the improvement in other segments instead of this technological development? Definitely yes! On the other hand, we can’t blame only the Nikon company, that has never completely stood by its sensors in all phases of creation, in terms of this aspect of improvement, as not all depends on it. Using the latest generation sensors is an obligation Nikon didn’t have to take over, but it would in that way give up on not-so-small revenue generated in this class of cameras, regardless of the market. And, what is worse, in this way it would find itself lagging behind beyond recovery, something the company has already experienced in not so distant past.  If the whole issue around sensor was only up to Nikon, we could bet that the increase of resolution would be graduate. In this way, it is realistic to say that the culprit cannot be only the mentioned company. As every story has two sides, we cannot put aside the tremendous progress achieved in the area of dynamic range, to which Nikon gave a contribution by placing its products to the forefront, ahead of all others.

Now, when the tempo is already established, it is difficult to explain the occurrence of the new model, when the old one still has not reached maximal selling parameters, just as it would be difficult to explain why it is late, in case it has not been announced. There are many ambiguities, design teams seem to lack enthusiasm, and the market has never been harsher. Nikon was thus forced to bring some great changes with the D5300, whose implications to the industry will be greater that one might guess. An interesting start, we would say.





There might not be too many novelties, but we must admit that their number is still far beyond those tragicomic charts we could see with the Canon EOS 700D and the Nikon D610. Here, if anything, there is something to discuss about:


 Nikon D5300Nikon D5200
Announced October 17, 2013 November 6, 2012
Sensor 24 MP Toshiba CMOS, no AA filter, 3:2 aspect ratio;
APS-C 23.5 x 15.6mm (3.66 cm²)
Pixel density 6.58 MP/cm²;
Pixel size 3.91 µm
24 MP Toshiba CMOS, no AA filter, 3:2 aspect ratio;
APS-C 23.5 x 15.6mm (3.66/cm2)
Pixel density 6.58 MP/cm²;
Pixel size 3.91 µm
Formats RAW (NEF) and JPEG
Resolution RAW 6000 x 4000 (24MP)
Resolution JPEG 6000 x 4000 (24 MP); 4496 x 3000 (13.5 MP); 2992 x 2000 (6 MP)
FOV (crop factor) 1.5x

Nikon F with AF contacts; no motor in the body;

Total functionality with all AF-S and AF-I lenses; no AF on D lenses without motors

Kit Lens

AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR

AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR
ISO range 100 - 12800 in 1/3 EV increments,
extended - H1.0 (25600)
100 – 6400 in 1/3 EV increments,
extended - H1.0 (12800) and H2.0 (25600)
Processor Expeed 4 Expeed 3
A/D Convertor 14-bit
Color Space Adobe RGB, sRGB
In-body Stabilization N/A
Electronic Level System N/A
Dust Reduction Image Sensor Cleaning;
Airflow Control System
Off reference data (requires Capture NX2 commercial software)
AF System

Nikon Multi-CAM4800DX;

39 AF points, 9 cross-type;

Operational range -1 to +19 EV

AF Modes

Single-servo AF (AF-S);

Continuous-Servo AF (AF-C);

Auto AF (AF-A)

AF Methods Single Point, Dynamic Area-9, Dynamic Area-21, Dynamic Area-39, Auto Area, and 3D Tracking (39 points)
AF-Assist Internal flash strobe, external flashgun
AF Micro Adjustment N/A
Internal flash Yes; GN12 at ISO 100 (GN13 in Manual mode)
Wireless Flash Control N/A

Hot-Shoe, e-TTL compatible or manual flash;

Sync-speed 1/200; compensation -3 to +1 EV

Light Metering

2016-pixel RGB sensor;

operational range 0 to 20 EV

Light Metering Modes Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II;
Spot (~2.5% of the frame in relation to the selected AF point)
Min Shutter Speed 30 seconds, bulb
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s
Drive Modes Single; Continuous Low; Continuous High; Self-Timer; Delayed Remote; Quick-Response Remote; Quiet
Burst 5 fps (high-speed), 3 fps (low-speed)
Shutter 100,000 actuations
Buffer 6 RAW, 100 JPEG or 5 RAW+JPEG
Exposure Compensation -5 to +5 EV in 1/3 EV or 1/2 EV increments
Viewfinder Optical, pentamirror, 95% frame coverage; 0.82x magnification factor; eyepoint 18mm;
Type B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V fixed focusing screen
Optical, pentamirror, 95% frame coverage; 0.78x magnification factor; eyepoint 17.9mm;
Type B BriteView clear matte screen Mark V fixed focusing screen
Internal Processing Active D-Lighting; HDR; Developing RAW; Vignettes, chromatic aberrations and distorsions removal; intervalometer
Display Rotary 3“ TFT-LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio, 1,036,800 pixel resolution; preview rotates in accordance with the position Rotary 3“ TFT-LCD, 921,800 pixel resolution; preview rotates in accordance with the position
Live View

Yes, 100% coverage;

Image sensor metering

Live View AF

Single-Servo AF (AF-S) and Fulltime-SERVO AF (AF-F);

Face Priority; Normal Area; Wide Area


Yes, AVCHD/H.264;
1920 x 1080p progressive @24/25/30/50/60 fps;
1280 x 720p @50/60 fps;
640 x 480p @25/30 fps;

Linear PCM stereo audio

Yes, AVCHD/H.264;
1920 x 1080p @24/25/30 fps;
1920 x 1080 interlaced @50/60 fps;
1280 x 720p @50/60 fps;

640 x 480p @25/30 fps;

Linear PCM stereo audio

Remote Control Yes; wired MC-DC2 and wireless WR-1 or WR-R10 Yes; wired MC-DC2 and wireless WR-R10
Wi-Fi Yes; Remote control, tranfer of images and preview on Wi-Fi/DLNA and smartphone devices; Remote LV on Andoir/IOS and Windows systems; Print N/A;
(Optional, WU-1a)
GPS Yes; geotagging and logging the route N/A;
(Optional, GP-1 receiver)
Storage Secure Digital (SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I, EyeFi)
Interface Combined USB/AV-out; HDMI Type-C; 3.5mm microphone input; Accesory terminal
Weather and Dust Sealing N/A
Battery Nikon EN-EL14a, 7.2V, 1230mAh Nikon EN-EL14a, 7.4V, 1030mAh
Battery Endurance (CIPA) ~600 ~500
Grip N/A
Body Plastic body, reinforced with metal structure;
125 x 98 x 76 mm; 530 g;
black, gray and red
Plastic body, reinforced with metal structure;
129 x 98 x 78 mm; 555 g;
black, gray and red

Technical characteristics: Nikon D5300 in comparison to the D5200


Majority of subsystems on the D5300 is taken from the previous model, so the negative attitude toward improvements is not surprising. Nevertheless, if we disregard the sensor that is basically the same, the AF system that is completely copied from the predecessor, and a few more trifles, the D5300 still has something in its sleeves. The lack of the AA filter is important, but not the only novelty, and the first glance also reveals a wider ISO range. The Expeed 4 premieres exactly in this camera, and the significantly better video mode is a product of the new processor. The monitor finally has the aspect ratio as it should have, the autonomy is improved thanks to the revision of the battery, and the body is even slightly smaller than before. Still, the two most conspicuous differences regard the Wi-Fi and GPS module, for the first time integrated in a Nikon DSLR. More than enough material for a detailed analysis…




The Nikon D5300 is available in several variants, where accept for one of the two available kit lenses, you can choose color of the body, classic black, grey, or red. The content of the box is presented in the image below:


Nikon D5300, content of the basic “body only” package


The basic (body only) package aside from the body, accompanying cap of the bayonet and accessory shoe cover, contains also the EN-EL14a battery and the accompanying MH-24 charger, a plug adapter (instead of a power cable), a wide shoulder strap, viewfinder cap, a USB cable for connecting to a computer, an audio/video cable for connecting to an external display, a short and detailed printed User’s Manual, two CDs with Nikon ViewNX2 software for Windows and Mac OS, as well as an electronic manual. Aside from this basic package, there are versions with the well known AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens, as well as the new AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR.