Consumer SLR Camera Roundup (2014)
24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor | 5 fps continuous shooting | Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
What we like:
- High-res sensor
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Excellent build
What we don't like:
- 18-140mm lens is large and expensive
- Needs good lenses to make the most of the sensor
- No touchscreen
The D5300 is Nikon's step-up DSLR. with a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a high ISO of 25,600, 5 fps continuous shooting, and the ability to capture Full HD video at 60p. It also has Wi-Fi for easier image sharing and built-in GPS as well. Its lack of an anti-aliasing filter means it'll produce a little more detail than the D3300 and it's reasonable to expect the same image quality as the D7100. Like most cameras in this class the D5300 lacks a second exposure dial, which makes exposure adjustments easier in Enthusiast DSLRs/mirrorless cameras.
"Its very complete feature-set makes the Nikon D5300 a compelling offering"
Paired with a 18-140mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens, the Nikon D5300 is steeply priced at $1,399, or available body-only for $799. Outside the US, you may also find the camera offered with a less expensive 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR.
Image quality is about on par with the D7100, with which it presumably shares its 24MP, low-pass-filter-less sensor. Detail is excellent when used with a sharp lens, and color is good overall. Noise reduction is well-judged, delivering consistently good detail as ISO rises. Its Raw output offers a lot of detail and plenty of post-processing latitude, handy for rescuing high-contrast images.
The Nikon D5300 handles very well, with well-placed controls, despite its relatively small body. Its large, high-resolution 3.2-inch LCD articulates out to the left to facilitate off-angle shooting in live view mode. Unlike the D3200, the D5300's learning curve is a little steeper, as the camera has more options and a deep interface. After several years of relying on conspicuous external add-ons for Wi-Fi and GPS functionality, Nikon has finally built both into the D5300, making a considerable value-add if either of those features are important to you.
Its very complete feature-set makes the Nikon D5300 a compelling offering; however, in the USA at least, its lack of an inexpensive, reasonable-quality kit lens puts its initial purchase price quite close to the more capable D7100. Those who already have Nikon lenses, though, will find the D5300 a capable upgrade.