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Nikon D5300 Review

February 2014 | By Allison Johnson, Barney Britton
Buy on GearShopFrom $746.95

 

 

Nikon's 'advanced beginner' DSLR, the D5300 takes the D5200's place between the entry-level D3200 and the enthusiast-targeted D7100 in the company's APS-C lineup. The D5300 offers a 24MP sensor (like its 24MP APS-C stablemates), an articulated rear LCD, and more physical controls than the D3200, but without the twin-dial interface and professional-grade AF system of the decidedly higher-market (and much more customizable) D7100.

Both visually and ergonomically the D5300 is a near-clone of its predecessor (it's fractionally lighter and a tiny bit smaller), but under the hood it is a stronger camera in a couple of important ways. The D5300's 24MP sensor lacks an anti-aliasing filter, which - consistent with our experiences testing the D7100 and D800E - gives it the edge in terms of resolution over the D5200. The difference is subtle (especially with a kit zoom attached), but it's always nice to see improvements to critical image quality potential, especially in mid-range models.

The D5300 also offers a beefed-up video mode, which is now capable of true 1080/60p HD video. This, plus the slightly widened (3.2" compared to 3") fully-articulated 1.04 million-dot LCD screen, should mean that the D5300 will be attractive to videographers as well as stills photographers. Easy to miss, but useful features include built-in Wi-Fi and GPS - both firsts for Nikon's DSLR lineup. Battery life gets a boost too: according to CIPA figures the D5300 offers an endurance of 600 shots, compared to 500 from the D5200. Remember, though, that this figure does not take features like Wi-Fi or GPS into account, and using them will shorten the amount of time you can spend shooting.

The Nikon D5300 can easily be classified as an iterative update, providing only a handful of features that weren't present in its D5200 predecessor. It speaks volumes about the D5200 that adding only a few more things amounts to an APS-C DSLR with 24 megapixels, no optical low pass filter, 1080/60p HD video recording, a fully articulated display and built-in Wi-Fi. In terms of on-paper specifications, the the D5300 looks 'fully loaded.'

The main feature we really wish it offered is a touchscreen LCD. We've come to appreciate being able to perform certain actions by touch on competing cameras, particularly things like exposure compensation and AF point placement in live view mode. We'd also like to see twin control dials - something Nikon has traditionally saved for its more expensive models, but some of its competitors offer at this price point.

Nikon D5300 key features

  • 24.1MP DX format CMOS sensor, without OLPF
  • EXPEED 4 processing
  • ISO 100-12,800 standard, up to 25,600 expanded
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 39-point AF system, 9 sensors cross-type
  • 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor
  • 1080p60 video recording, built-in stereo mic
  • 1.04M dot 3.2" vari-angle LCD monitor

Key specs compared to the Nikon D5200

The table below shows how the major specifications of the D5300 compare against the D5200. As you can see, Nikon has updated a couple of core specifications, but the differences aren't huge.

 
Nikon D5300
Nikon D5200
Sensor resolution (type) 24MP CMOS (no OLPF) 24MP CMOS
Autofocus System
39 AF points (9 cross-type)
ISO sensitivity
100-12,800 (H1 expansion up to 25,600 equiv)
100-6400 (H2 expansion up to 25,600 equiv)
Display size / resolution 3.2", 1.04M-dot vari-angle 3", 921k-dot vari-angle
Maximum framerate (DX mode)
5 fps
Movie Mode 1080 60p/30p 1080 60i/30p
Battery life (CIPA) 600 shots 500 shots
Dimensions 125 × 98 × 76 mm
(4.9 × 3.9 × 3.0 in)
129 x 98 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
Weight (without battery) 480 g (16.9 oz) 505 g (17.8 oz)

Compared to the Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Compared to its nearest competitor, Canon's EOS Rebel T5i, the Nikon D5300 offers a higher resolution sensor, more AF points, and the ability to shoot 1080/60p video (as opposed to 30p). It also includes built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The D5300 is slightly smaller than the Canon in all dimensions, and a little lighter.

The Nikon D5300 is slightly smaller than the Canon T5i (the larger kit zoom mounted on the Nikon in this shot makes that a little hard to appreciate) but has a slightly more substantial hand-grip which contributes greatly to its feeling of solidity in the hand. Whereas the Canon's control dial (for exposure adjustment) is on the top-plate, the D5300's dial can be found on the rear of the camera (see below).
From the rear, the D5300 and T5i are both dominated by their 3.2" articulating LCD screens, and you can see the D5300's control dial at the upper right of the body. Button placement isn't exactly the same, as you'd expect, but both are representative of the prevailing trends in modern enthusiast DSLR design. The most important difference, really, is that the T5i's rear screen is touch-sensitive.

The T5i does have a couple of tricks up its sleeve, though - while both cameras have 3.2", 1.04 million-dot LCD screens, the T5i's is touch-sensitive, which we've come to really appreciate, especially when working in movie mode and live view. The T5i also features a 'Hybrid' AF system, which allows for faster and more positive (less hesitant) AF in live view and movie mode, plus AF tracking.

  Nikon D5300 Canon Rebel T5i
Sensor resolution (type) 24MP CMOS (no OLPF) 18MP 'Hybrid CMOS'
Autofocus System 39 AF points (9 cross-type) 9 AF points (all cross-type)
ISO sensitivity 100-12800 (max 25,600 equiv) 100-12800 (max 25,600 equiv)
Display size / resolution 3.2", 1.04M-dot vari-angle 3.0", 921k-dot vari-angle (touch-sensitive)
Maximum framerate (DX mode)
5 fps
Movie Mode 1080 60p/30p 1080 30p
Battery life (CIPA) 600 shots 440 shots
Dimensions 125 × 98 × 76 mm
(49.2 × 3.9 × 3.0 in)
133 x 100 x 79 mm
(5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1in)
Weight (without battery) 480 g (16.9 oz) 580 g (20.4 oz)

Compared to the rest

The D5300 may look good in comparison with its predecessor and Canon's equivalent model, but there are other options worth considering, beyond the two big brands. In terms of DSLRs, Ricoh's Pentax K-50 offers twin control dials, a weather sealed body and a larger viewfinder. If you're willing to look at mirrorless models, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 offers twin dials, a touch-screen, built-in Wi-Fi and an electronic viewfinder, all in a package considerably smaller than the Nikon.

Panasonic, Fujifilm and Samsung also make competitive models for a similar price, so it's worth considering which capabilities you do and don't need, before committing to one of the big two.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 274
12
Don Kiyoti

Consumer grade camera, consumer grade lens, consumer grade photos - then why bother with a professional grade review? As pointed out by Richard Butler below, most folks who buy this camera will never buy another lens. My guess is they'll walk out of Best Buy with it after hearing "Nikons are good."

Given how glacially slow DPReview is at reviewing cameras, and given that there are other cameras waiting for a review that actually merit such a detailed review <cough-K-3-cough> I just don't understand spending so much time and effort on this kind of camera.

(Not that there's anything wrong with consumer grade by the way.)

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
KInfinity

I know what you are trying to say, but I disagree. To be constructive, I'll explain. I have a D5200 and 6 lenses. I'm an amateur hobbyist, and I love the D5XXX form factor and price.

FYI, I have friends with D3100's, D5100's and D7100's. I like the D7100 a lot. It has a big, high res screen, autofocus motor, better viewfinder and external flash control. I like that my D5200 has interval mode (time lapse) and support for IR remotes, which the D3100 does not. I also like that the money that I saved with the D5200 went towards lenses.

I like that this D5300 has a 3.2 screen, which is flippable. Sounds like a winner to me. In case your wondering, I can see my next SLR as a D600, so that I can use a 50mm prime and get as much photo real estate as I currently do with my 35mm prime.

Kevin

1 upvote
DebM

You stated, " I just don't understand spending so much time and effort on this kind of camera" .....because there are many of us who are new to dslr's who appreciate the advice and experience of others who are happy to share their experience and knowledge with us.
That's the reason for spending so much time on "this kind of camera". People new to slr photography (enthusiasts, aspiring photographers, what-have-you) deserve and need the attention JUST AS MUCH as a professional, if not more. This is part of the research, and if you don't need to read it, then why are you?
It would be better to just let us have a place to read what we need to read.

Your arrogance at " there are other cameras waiting for a review that actually merit such a detailed review <cough-K-3-cough>" is unfortunate and a turn-off to those of us who are newbies.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to put in your comments, us newbies appreciate it!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Avijit Ghosal

All those who are contemplating to buy a Nikon D5300 and want to shoot portraits, indoor, party locations mainly please use it with a 50-1.4 mm or 50-1.8 mm lens. Just go ahead and buy it. It's very very good. That's not to say that you can't use it for other locations such as mountains or desert, or sea. It's a fantastic product at its price

0 upvotes
Eric Glam

I've had the D5300 with Nikon 35mm f/1.8G lens for a few months now.
I agree with every word in this review.

The still & video quality is very good.
But the camera is so frustrating to use and handle, that it takes away the fun and joy of shooting photos. The lack of touch capability, the lack of real aperture control in LiveView, the sluggishness of the LCD when zooming to check focus, the complicated menu, the missing dial - all of these make the camera very hard to use.

One other thing that this review neglected to mention is the fact that the D5300 is almost useless with fast glass, when using the viewfinder. In this review they mainly used the kit lenses which go to f/3.5 max. My lens opens up to f/1.8, and let me tell you - the focus point is never where I intended it to be when I use the viewfinder, even stopped down to f/4.0.

0 upvotes
Eric Glam

Focus point is OK with the LCD screen (LiveView) - that's when the camera uses CDAF, slow as snails but works. With the viewfinder, it uses PDAF, which is faster of course, but completely misses the target I focus on. I even went to the store to replace the lens, thinking I might get a lens that better matches my camera, but to no avail. Focusing using the viewfinder still misses the target.

And Nikon chose to NOT include AF Fine-Tune with this model, so I'm stuck with a Nikon lens that can't focus properly with the D5300's viewfinder.
Also, Nikon included a faster processor in the D5300 than the D7100, yet they made it slower so it doesn't cannibalize the sales of its older brother. What the hell?

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach

You're just the latest victim of the 351.8. AF On, AFC 9points, menu a3 to off, that's the way to shoot a Nikon.

1 upvote
Eric Glam

Well, I can understand the selection of 9 points AF.
But why AF-C? I don't want the camera to continuously focus.

Also, in AF-C mode, the AF illuminator cannot be enabled (menu a3), and I do want to use it, otherwise the camera cannot auto-focus in dark environments.

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach

Eric, you need to use AF On to get the best out of just about any Nikon DSLR: The thumb controls when you focus. It takes a little practice. You cannot expect to shoot wafer-thin depth of field with any camera without a lot of practice any more than I could play "Steppin' Out" like Eric Clapton the first week I picked up a Les Paul.
http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/2010/11/05/nikon-af-on-technique/
The folks in the FX forum use AF On/ AFC to the tune of about 90% because it flat out works better for sports, BIFS, portraits, you name it.
Switch mode when you need the assist.

1 upvote
RyanBoston

The 35 1.8 can have those issues. It's not the camera.

1 upvote
f8BeThereToo

Eric, if you haven't used AF-ON then I think that you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it works. AF-ON combined with AF-C is used by many pro photographers because it gets the job done.

I'm a long-time pro who started out with film and manual focus lenses. I have always disliked the shutter release engaging auto focus. Frankly, I want a DSLR that operates more like a manual focus camera; using AF-ON gives me what I want. All I need the shutter release to do is turn on the camera meter and release the shutter. And using AF-ON replaces the clumsy AF-L button "feature", which is as counter-intuitive as camera controls get...

My main user-interface complaint with the D5300 and similar DXXXX bodies is the lack of a dedicated AF-ON button and the location of the user-mappable AE/AF-L button. It is simply not in the ideal location for my thumb while the AF-ON button is spot-on.

0 upvotes
select

I have this camera and I love it!
It produces such high quality images... for sure it's the best camera in this segment, but Nikon should advertise a lot more.
This camera destroy the Canon 650D/700D

6 upvotes
Gazeomon

Nikon destroys the Canon's. Does that make You feel better?
Long live photography.

9 upvotes
mimot13

A camera must be good not only with technical specs on paper but during shooting too..! Do you tried a Canon 700D or 70D ? Try and then tell me what you think about, still and video. Yes the D5300 could be a good camera but guys who own a 70D are also very happy with. Actually Canon is not destroyed at all.

2 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist

The test results do not show that the D5300 "destroys" the T5i. Only area where T5i lags just a bit behind is noise at high ISO but it's still not terrible.

0 upvotes
vagtanklan

The T5i lags pretty noticeably behind the D5300 in terms of dynamic range ... at any ISO.

9 upvotes
select

yes I use also (sometimes) a Canon 650D (is the same of 700D) and there's no comparison... D5300 is a way better in any sense...

0 upvotes
Gazeomon

Another predictable review of another boring middle of the road camera. What about the more exciting gear like Pentax K3 and their 'limited' lenses? 'Imaging Resource' is now my favourite review site.

16 upvotes
MikeF4Black

Gazeomon, please elaborate why the K-3 is so exciting? And if you already know that, what would a full review add?

2 upvotes
fakuryu

MikeF4Black, it is simply and currently the best APSC DSLR made that's why

7 upvotes
Gazeomon

MikeF4Black, You don't need me to elaborate. There are numerous credible reviews and YouTube clips out there. DPREVIEW has it's own 'review culture' which shows that interesting products do not necessarily get prominent review exposure on this site. It's the 'bread and butter' stuff from the big volume players which come first.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
pew pew

why no live preview of aperture changes in live view
Can´t i see the bokeh before i take a shot ?

1 upvote
Artifact

Bought d5300 to replace my old canon rebel XT. Sensor on this nikon is unbelievable. RAW is so good that I think I do not need to bracket anymore. ISO 3200 from this camera is more usable than ISO 400 from the old rebel.

7 upvotes
Eigenmeat

Hmm... DPR wrote:
"Autofocus with the 18-140mm is speedy and accurate enough for most purposes."

"Accurate enough for most purposes" does really inspire confidence. That also implies that you are unlikely to get the most of your lens. The PDAF will only be good enough if you don't look closely...

That is one thing that really keep me some current SLR. These PDAF sensors are simply not enough to keep out with high resolution main sensor. If I am not shooting action, I pick CDAF over PDAF any day.

2 upvotes
Zerixos

With a 140mm you probably have a aperture of 5.6, what might bring some problems in PD, they focus better with bigger apertures like 2.8. That being sad. CD will always work, because the mirror doesn’t have to be down. A lens like 18-140 isn’t for the purposes of fast focussing, so your lens also determents how quick your PDAF is. So picking up a new camera with a PDAF might also have a CDAF and you will have to invest in some better glass.

0 upvotes
RichRMA

Boring. Utilitarian. Did they put a metal weight in the bottom? I know how the N. American target market equates bulk with value.

2 upvotes
elt

The model upgrade or change from D5200 to D 5300 so quickly is confusing not to mention disappointing. When would D5400 come out? Probably within a few months.

1 upvote
Everlast66

Wouldn't be surprised if it comes out on Monday :)

2 upvotes
BorisAkunin

And the review will be done before that of the K-3 is published...

3 upvotes
RyanBoston

This is not made out of ordinary plastic.. No mention of the new Sereebo Carbon this is made out of. This is the first commercial product made with this stuff.

Looks like very impressive stuff.

7 upvotes
gartblaum

Yes, i wonder why Nikon is quiet about the new carbon fiber reinforced plastics. But it seems to have a better strength and durability.

2 upvotes
RichRMA

http://www.teijin.com/news/2013/ebd131017_13.html

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
newe

I'll get a one for $500. Have tons lenses. Including sigma. No lens snobbery on my end

0 upvotes
maxnimo

From the sample pics I saw, that nikon zoom lens belongs in a toy store. To use such a lens in a test simply destroys the credibility of this site.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler

The majority of our real-world images were indeed shot with the 18-140mm lens (though we also shot some with the 50mm F1.8 and 35mm F1.8 DX).

Given the vast majority (we've been told over 90%) of consumer-grade DSLR users never buy a second lens, it would seem pretty incredible if we'd used high-end glass and shown performance most users won't ever see.

Our formal tests are conducted with the 50mm F1.4G, which is exceedingly sharp at the apertures we use.

24 upvotes
maxnimo

I see your reasoning, but it's still beyond my comprehension how any hobby photographer would buy a relatively high-quality camera such as this and use it with such an awful lens.

0 upvotes
brycesteiner

There are a lot of soccer moms out there who believe they will get better pictures with having a bigger camera, albeit all set on auto.

4 upvotes
ishu

brycesteiner--a lot of the soccer moms are right. A D5300 or other DSLR will get them better pictures than their smartphones or compact cameras.

The AF and shutter response alone will help, never mind the optics. And a 55mm=80mm equiv. zoom is better than the 24-35mm equiv on the camera phones. Sure they could get even better pictures with additional know-how, or a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom. But if you've been on a soccer field, you ought to know that most any DSLR in auto mode will be a serious upgrade for most of the "soccer moms."

3 upvotes
brycesteiner

ishu - A nice compact camera with a good built in zoom in auto will probably take just as good of pictures as this.
I shoot lots of sports, including soccer, and one of the things I hear over and over is people want to know how I get the pictures I do.
They bought a nice nikon or canon because it has 20 MP and they believed it would make their pictures better. What some have told me is they got better pictures on their previous camera.
Why? I believe because the auto on nice compacts understands these want nice pictures but don't want to learn how to take them. Where auto on a DSLR just doesn't work as well. Sports mode helps, but still doesn't do the job. To get the best pictures it takes knowledge and experience. A good photographer can get good pics on anything. The opposite is also true.

0 upvotes
ishu

I don't think we disagree too much, to the extent it's a matter of degrees and not extremes. Since you shoot a lot, and since you recognize the value of technique, it's going to take a lot for the people who consult with you to "get the pictures you do."

FWIW, I was responding to the statement that
"soccer moms ... believe they will get better pictures with having a bigger camera." They may not get the pictures you do (or the ones in magazines, etc.), but I believe they will get better pictures than they do today, since most of the folks I see use smartphones and pocket cams. I've heard and seen folks get better pictures than their "smaller" cameras with a beginner DSLR.

Whether people are *happy* with the results is a wholly different matter. And buying a camera that someone else has doesn't guarantee the same result.

Most of my friends are just happy to accept my photos, since they didn't have to shoot and my one keeper is better than theirs.

1 upvote
brycesteiner

I don't think we disagree either. It's funny because I shoot with an E-M5 now. I used to shoot with a larger camera. I get comments from people saying, "Oh, you didn't bring your big camera this time." Inferring that I wasn't there to shoot professionally, because I had a small camera. Even though that is the camera I was using the whole time at football games they just didn't see what I was carrying.
Everybody wants to be a photographer, artist,musician, etc., but don't want to take the time and learn.

0 upvotes
David Hull

Approachable yet serious? Sounds like my cat :-)

13 upvotes
Zeisschen

With the a6000 news just prior to this, it's hard to believe both product pictures are made in the same year 2014. Compared to the modern Sony design this camera just looks like a cheap plastic tool from the 90s.

8 upvotes
kewlguy

this plastic cheap tool by Nikon has a lot more lenses to choose from. How many E mount Sony lenses are there? LOL, yeah the zeiss ones are good but mostly overpriced.

7 upvotes
Devendra

got raw?

1 upvote
Zeisschen

Zooms:
10-18 f4 Sony OSS
16-50 f3.5 Sony pancake zoom
16-70 f4 Sony OSS
18-55 f3.5 Sony OSS
18-105 f3.5 Sony PZ OSS
18-200 f3.5 Sony PZ OSS
18-200 f3.5 Sony OSS
18-200 f3.5 Tamron OSS
28-70 f3.5 Sony OSS
24-70 f4 Zeiss OSS
55-210 f3.5 Sony OSS
70-200 F4 Sony G OSS

Primes:
8.5 f2.8 Samyang Fish-eye
10mm f2.8 Samyang
12mm f2.8 Zeiss Touit
16mm f2.0 Samyang
16mm f2.8 Sony
19mm f2.8 Sigma
20mm f2.8 Sony Pancake
24mm f1.8 Zeiss
30mm f2.8 Sigma
30mm f3.5 Sony Macro
32mm f1.8 Zeiss Touit
35mm f1.8 Sony OSS
35mm f2.8 Zeiss
50mm f1.8 Sony OSS
50mm f2.8 Zeiss Macro
55mm 1.8 Zeiss
60mm f2.8 Sigma
300mm f6.3 Samyang

I'm sure you will find a lens on that list that you badly want but never will buy.
By the way I was talking about the looks, I didn't say the Nikon is a bad camera! But I believe it's the end of the DSLR era. Face it!

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
photo nuts

Zeisschen: end of DSLR era? Seriously? What planet do you live in?

You need to wake up and look at the worldwide sales numbers, or perhaps, just the N.American/European sales numbers. After all these years, mirrorless cameras still represent nothing but a niche market and Sony has yet to capture 20% share of the interchangeable lens camera market, a target they set for themselves when they acquired Minolta many years ago.

16 upvotes
waitformee

to Zeisschen, 1 like for your post.

Mirrorless today is no lack of lens. There are so many adaptors to choose from. I think it is only correct to say that more than 90% of the lenses in the world will fit an mirrorless camera or E Mount Camera.

3 upvotes
kewlguy

I stand corrected. Looks like plenty of lenses to choose from; many would not even be sharp on NEX-7, esp in the corners. Those focal lenghts are also mostly similar. To waitformee - LOL adapters? Yeah you could adapt anything, but I've used Fuji and A7 for a while, I wouldn't call shooting adapted lenses hassle-free! For assignments I'd still take my DSLRs.

1 upvote
pew pew

ups wrong reply.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jtan163

I think these days DSLRs and mirroless are niche.
Mainstram cameras are phones.

But I think though the DLSR is not dead, it's on the way out.
North Americans of course live in their own 1 mile per gallon, non metric world, chasing superlative numbers, bv but even there mirrorless will eventually exceed DSLR.

There really is no reason to flap a mirror for most use cases these days- though I'm sure you could make an excellent morse code system with olfd DLSR mechanisms.

2 upvotes
noirdesir

One thought I had is whether part of the reason mirrorless has such a small market share (and a non-rising one), is because Nikon and Canon do not offer much if anything at all in the APS-C (or 43) sensor size class in terms of mirrorless cameras. Generally it is thought the other way around (because mirrorless has a small share, Panasonic and Olympus has a small share), but what if the marketing, shelf-space, public awareness and image of Nikon and Canon is so large that most people looking for a larger (aka 'better) camera or an ILC in general decide to go to Canon or Nikon before thinking about mirrorless vs. DSLR?

0 upvotes
Zeisschen

@ photonuts

I live on planet earth. The US are lagging behind in most technology at around 5-20 years and bigger there will always be considered better. So yes, maybe the DSLR will have a long life there.

2 upvotes
SnapHappy32

*chen* implies you're German. I just visited Berlin - out of 100's of cameras on display only ONE - yes ONE - was sporting a M43. The rest were DSLRs or small compacts.

What are you talking about?

1 upvote
RyanBoston

I've had this camera since Christmas and love it. The workability in raw is incredible, especially with good glass. Amazing detail and colors! Pulling shadows is amazing.

I've had the D40, D60, D90, D5000, D5100, and T2i. The D5300 is my favorite out of them all and am amazed at the quality of the pics.

Slap a Sigma lens on the D5300 and be prepared to be amazed.

7 upvotes
Richard Murdey

You bought the D5000, D5100, D5200 *and* the D5300?

Nikon must love you.

11 upvotes
kewlguy

No it won't. He slapped a Sigma lens on the D5300...

10 upvotes
new boyz

No, he's got love from both Nikon and Sigma.

0 upvotes
AlpCns2

What Sigma lens, if I may be so bold to inquire?

2 upvotes
Boghero

Hopefully in field trials with sigma 18-35 1.8 ..

0 upvotes
kewlguy

Looking at the IQ daylight comparison with EOS 700D - why does the Canon have better accutance and/or micro contrast? better lens? D5300 image shows as if there is a haze.

1 upvote
MrWante

Probably because your monitor has bad calibration...

7 upvotes
kewlguy

Change from Jpg to raw, if you can't see it than you're blinded by your fanboyism. D5300 has no AA filter that's why I asked...

2 upvotes
kewlguy

Oops, change the RAW 700D to Nikon D7100 - the D5300 looks even softer!

0 upvotes
RyanBoston

Canon has more contrast and sharpness by default. You can change the settings in controls in both.

After owning a T2i for a year and always battling with color hue for the reds, missed focus, I will never touch a cheap Canon again. The only Canon I would consider is a 6D. The entry Canons are not that impressive to my likings.

0 upvotes
kewlguy

Ryan, I agree with you as I have 6Ds myself. I just wanted to see if the D5300 with AA filter could have the same IQ as D7100, but looking at the samples I wonder why it is softer than both 700D and D7100. Unless DPR used a different lens...

0 upvotes
RyanBoston

The D5300 doesn't have an AA filter. Im not sure what happened to their test neither.

0 upvotes
Boghero

Using much the swiveling display as a sump. It is irritating the shutter lag .. I wrote to Nikon ... I do not care to review the preview of the picture .. I just want more speed when shooting from awkward positions ..

0 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

The lack of in body AF motor is a real deal breaker for me.

5 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Maybe so, but I'm sure Nikon has done the math and figured out what percentage of users would ever use an old lens on this item and factored accordingly. There's always every other Nikon above the D5300 for you.

5 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

Or perhaps they did the math and realized that a beginner will not factor the future lenses they would buy? Most people only buy additional lenses after they get accustomed with a kit lens. They will be in for a surprise, when they have to buy a new lens or else it won't work.

In fact, I know people who bought a second hand lens only to find out that it doesn't work on their D3xxx or D5xxx and they had to buy a new one.

I think they did the math for their profit, not for the benefit of the users.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
BorisAkunin

Yeah, they've done the math and found that they can get the people who have older Nikon glass to spend more money this way...

Aren't proprietary standards great?

5 upvotes
calking

Oh please - get off it.
If someone buys a screw-based AF lens and sticks in on this camera thinking it will AF they're an idiot and didn't bother to read the manual. I SERIOSLY doubt the majority of D5300 buyers are out searching Craigslist for old screw-driven lenses.

You anti-corporate defenders of the poor general population need to get a clue.

18 upvotes
retartedcanuck

I sold all of my AF-D lenses three years ago. I knew then back then that AFS was the future. Where were you?

3 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Almost all the old D lenses don't cut the mustard on these new high res cameras, especially wide open.

2 upvotes
G1Houston

" Its single command dial feels a touch limiting for the camera, and one more function button would have gone a long way"

Yes, in particular, it is odd that the +/– function cannot be assigned to even this Fn button. This function is lost when the camera is in M-mode when the +/– button is used to control shutter speed. Thus if you also enable auto-ISO in M mode, you cannot fine tune the exposure, the way you can with other Nikon cameras with two dials.

Also, not clear from the review is whether it is easy to un-intentionally change the AF point when the camera is carried one-handed. Because the camera is narrower, the palm of your right hand rests on the 4-way control pad that moves the AF point, and this pad is not lockable. Hence it is very easy at least with earlier D5xxx cameras to move the AF points around without you knowing it until you raise the camera to "capture the moment."

1 upvote
Allison Johnson

In my experience this wasn't a problem. I tend to carry a DSLR over my shoulder or in my right hand, and I didn't find myself moving the AF point around accidentally. The directional buttons are very 'clicky' and a little stiff actually, so that might be helping.

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo

One rotary dial for exposure. It's OK to argue this is an entry-level camera (well, sorta), but so is the Pentax K-500 and it offers two dials. Is it that expensive to implement one simple rotary dial? Fiddling with buttons is a no-no when using M mode.

10 upvotes
Richard Butler

Which should:

a) Give an insight into how Nikon expects this camera to be used

b) Remind you of what is said in this review about there being more photographer-friendly cameras at this price point (K-50, E-M10, X-M1 simply being the first that spring to mind).

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
quezra

One dial is standard on mid-range DSLRs. Two dials is standard on mid-range mirrorless. Just saying.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

@quezra - is that DSLR/Mirrorless distinction only because it's only Canon, Nikon and Pentax still making DSLR?

Ignore whether the cameras have a mirror and suddenly Canon and Nikon are in a minority, not offering a second dial.

Look at it in terms of sales and yes, a huge majority of cameras sold at that price point only have a single dial (because of the degree to which Canon and Nikon dominate that part of the market).

So should we just accept the omission of that feature, just because people seem willing to, or should we make clear to would-be buyers that there are more photographer-friendly options, for the money?

4 upvotes
Ari Aikomus

Still no High Speed Sync support with external flash??

0 upvotes
new boyz

I think so. That feature is reserved for the higher model.

0 upvotes
MarkByland

It should run any assortment of Nikon-friendly radio triggers.

0 upvotes
jhelms

Correct, Ari - no HSS support, even if using a Nikon SB-800/900/910 on camera and even if using radio triggers that otherwise support HSS.

Exception to this is that the built in flash set to manual firing an SB set to 1/1 on SU4 mode, the external SB will sync up to 1/8000th.

0 upvotes
Horshack

Nikon includes Easter Eggs in the Live View implementation of every body. Either the refresh rate is too low (D700, D5300), or the clarity horrible (D800), or the Low Light performance is abysmal (D800), or you can't take another photo until the previous image has been completely written to the card (every Nikon body), or there is a 2 second initial lag when reaching to 100% magnification (D7100/D5200), or you can't change the aperture (every body below the flagship D4/D800), or there is no electronic first curtain shutter (every Nikon body). Happy Easter!

6 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Hmmm. Quite the tirade. The only thing I use Live View (D800e) for is to check focus, at which it works fine. Never would use LV to walk around focusing with it.

9 upvotes
CampbellPhotography

I use live view for framing video and focusing my MF primes. LCD viewfinders are fantastic as a manual focusing aid. It would be great if Nikon gave us additional focus aids like 15% box with 100% magnification or focus peaking.

4 upvotes
raincoat

Yeah, the delay's probably because you have a crappy slow card.

4 upvotes
Dré de Man

D800 originally showed exposure result in LV, so sometimes a dark image. A firware update adressed that. Refresh rate is quite ok imo. 100% view in LV is instantly, e.g. with the OK-button on D7100. You can continue shooting in LV (even continuous) before data is written to the card, you just have a black out on the monitor. Furthermore: aperture can be changed, but you have to switch LV on/off to do that; you get a LV monitor image with the aperture set at the time you switched LV on. This limitation is a consequence of the one motor aperture/shutter mechanism inherited from older cameras. Newer pro models with seperated motors don't have this limitation.
If you want a perfect LV camera however, you should buy a Nikon 1 e.g., a camera designed as such. If you want a DSLR with great image quality which focusses way faster than Nex7 etc. and even faster than a Nikon 1, and want to use it mainly as a DSLR, then you should buy this camera.

0 upvotes
historianx

Meh, sooooo underwhelmed...

6 upvotes
Dimit

Now,why on earth someone unsuspected would/should choose this dinosaur over nex7 or a6000 (mention those with the same price exactly)???...but then there always be idiots among us,same all story..

3 upvotes
armandino

Nikon system? But hey probably you do not much past your kit lens...

0 upvotes
inframan

Also there be newby idiots among us who are barely literate yet still throw around abusive comments. What is this place to you - team sports?

0 upvotes
justmeMN

In the USA and Europe, mirrorless cameras are so unpopular that only hipsters buy them - in order to be ironic. :-)

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Uh, let's see. Oh yeah, 'cause I'm broke and I want to put a really good kit lens or other moderately priced razor sharp zoom like the 16-85VR on it to be worthy of 24MP instead of the Sony garbage.

0 upvotes
John Roy

Are Nikon serious? "High" burst rate is 4.2fps for ... EIGHT frames? Goodbye sport photographers STILL waiting for a D400.

Now that new Sony a6000 with 11fps looks very tempting; no word yet on how big its buffer is though.

5 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Neither camera is aimed at the unbelievably huge sport photographer demographic.

26 upvotes
JamesVo

Yes but the sport/wildlife photographers that might like the 11 fps will be stymied when they try to buy fast long glass to mount on their new A6000

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Enough with the touch screen, touch screen, touch screen, oy veh!

Also modestly proposing an indefinite moratorium on Hogan's "iterative."

14 upvotes
CampbellPhotography

Not interested in a touch screen either.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Richard Butler

It needn't be a touch screen - twin dials and a sensibly navigable quick menu would do just as well. The point is that this is more awkward to change settings on than most of its rivals.

I don't really understand what leads you to ascribe the use of 'iterative' to Thom Hogan, though.

6 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Okay, maybe he swiped it from you :^)

1 upvote
erringtont

I was wondering when someone would point out the seeming obsession with touch screen in this review. Once or twice would have been enough.

0 upvotes
gerard boulanger

Excellent DR, very impressive having in mind the pixels density

0 upvotes
Gesture

$900 with a kit lens. WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.

7 upvotes
Richard Butler

'Way too expensive' in the sense of: 'exactly what Nikon and Canon usually asks for its best-selling models?'

8 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

I agree. I think they will end up dropping this price, this is not very competitive.

2 upvotes
calking

Interesting that those who say it's too expensive can't cite a competing model with matching specs at a lower price point.

3 upvotes
RyanBoston

True. Because there isn't.

0 upvotes
leonche64

Sony A65, Sony A77

3 upvotes
MarkByland

Will most likely have an in-store IR at any given time. It will hardly ever be at full MSRP.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
lovelos

Bought mine with Nikkor 18-55 mm here in Thailand dutyfree for appr. 800 US$ incl. 16 GB memorycard and bag.
I also added an extra Nikkor 55-300 mm telezoom for appr. 230 US$.

0 upvotes
Marty4650

Oh come on.... are we really going to compare list prices for brand new DSLRs to heavily discounted prices for two and three year old models?

Every DSLR gets discounted as it moves further into the product life cycle. And the D5300 will be no exception.

Maybe we should compare that A65 to a D5100 since they were both from 2011.

If you do that, then the D5100 is $429 with lens from Gearshop. And the Sony A65 is $599 with lens from Amazon.

0 upvotes
leonche64

Marty, the challenge was as follows: "Interesting that those who say it's too expensive can't cite a competing model with matching specs at a lower price point."
I did just that. Both the A65 and A77 are in current inventory. We are talking about buying a camera now. Not 3 years from now.

1 upvote
bobbarber

Comment: Looks nice. I shoot m43, but you need a DSLR once in a while. Currently I use the E-410. When it breaks, I'll pick up something like this. Nikon seems to be doing the best job in DSLRs.

Question: Will it autofocus my 50mm f1.8 AF Nikkor, or do I need to step up to the D700/7100 class of camera for that?

5 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

Why? What does this DSLR do that the latest m4/3s can't?

5 upvotes
bobbarber

mpgxsvcd

Nothing. m43 is great, and I'm not switching back. But I like a mirror in certain circumstances. I find my E-410, which has worse IQ than my G6, to be more enjoyable to shoot. Also, I have some Nikon legacy glass that I'd like to use, with autofocus.

Do you know if the lens I mentioned will focus with this camera?

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach

Shoot a high resolution picture for a lot less money.

7 upvotes
sixtiesphotographer

According to Nikon, only AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses can be used If you have the AF-D, then no, it won't.

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Digital-SLR-Cameras/1519/D5300.html

(go to Tech Specs and scroll down to Lens Compatibility)

No photo of the mount, but apparently it doesn't have the AF drive in the body.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

AF drive motors only appear at the D7X00 level, so you'll need to buy one of those or an AF-S 50mm F1.8G.

5 upvotes
bobbarber

Thank you, sixties and Richard.

0 upvotes
ezyernie

I have the 50mm af-s f/1.8g and it autofocuses fine. You need AF-s or equivalent motorized lenses.

0 upvotes
D1N0

So now I am going to be a bitch and ask for a Pentax K-50 and K-3 Review because this is not a serious camera but a gadget vehicle.

24 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic

Please, can we have no more “When will Pentax review come?” requests?
Isn’t it obvious that DPR has little to no interest in it, or perhaps no required expertise to do it. The relationship between Pentax and DPR is not a picture of a happy marriage, but so what? There are already many magnificent reviews on the web about latest Pentax cameras, by Imaging Resource, et al. done with due passion, expertise and enthusiasm.

Comment edited 46 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
Daedbird

I think its a valid remark concerning the K-3, although my hope is DPR is holding this up because it is waiting for a Flu Card.

The K-3 was announced one week before the D5300, and the same time as the Df. Having reviews of those cameras, and not the K-3 shows a bias towards one make over another. It doesn't matter if other places have reviews - DPR is one of the top sites for information about cameras. People look to this site, and might have no idea about what's out there. They go to the reviews page, and they look at the models to see what's good, and there is no Pentax......

5 upvotes
BorisAkunin

"DPR is one of the top sites for information about cameras."

Yes, it once was one of the top review sites too...

9 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

Well, they did take a year from the annoucement date to review K-5II. I would expect it to take quite a while, DPreview has never been very quick in releasing their reviews, at least for the cameras I was interested in.

As a result, I always used it only for evaluating used equipment.

2 upvotes
BarnET

They can cancel. the k50 since it's just an rebadged k30. Still very advanced model at that price. However the k3 does deserve some attention. It's the best specced DSLR with crop sensor on the market for gods sake.

Yet dpreview doesn't seem the give a f**k. How can they call themselves Photography journalists if they don't care about new photography gear.

Yet they keep spamming awards on from recycled canon bodies. Take reviews of bodies that do something new. Prioritize innovativity.

The canon g1x mkII looks promising. Try to get that one in fast. Don't waste minute on the T2i rebrand that was in the news.

6 upvotes
Underdog 3000

Maybe they noticed a flaw and knew a firmware update was immanent so they waited - no seriously.

0 upvotes
GarysInSoCal

The reason Pentax DSLR's are NOT on the quick review list is because Pentax will BE OUT OF BUSINESS IN TWO YEARS! Regardless of how much better YOU THINK the Pentax line is... bottom line time... their cameras ARE NOT SELLING! Pentax seriously SUCKS in both marketing and distribution. Same goes for Olympus DSLR's as they will ALSO be gone IN TWO YEARS or less. You heard it here first... ;)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Couscousdelight

Dear GaryInSoCal :
Ricoh photography branch makes profit, what about Sony, Oly, Panasonic, Samsung ?
You just don't know what you are talking about.

3 upvotes
BorisAkunin

Hoya nearly starved Pentax, Ricoh seems to be investing a lot more and they are ~2.5 times larger (by revenue) than Nikon and about half the size of Canon (which is more comparable in terms of product range).
Ricoh integrated their imaging devision into Pentax, so they're probably not planning on selling Pentax for parts...

4 upvotes
io_bg

When are we going to get real dynamic range tests? Comparing JPGs for DR is just ridiculous.

13 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth

And yet when presented ‘real’ dynamic-range tests – DxOMark style – people complain about those too. Truth is, they’re both useful to different people.

Keep in mind the majority of D5300s will never record even one raw file.

12 upvotes
Richard Butler

Trying to offer a photographically-relevant measure of DR is much harder than it sounds. We're working on it.

9 upvotes
Andy Crowe

@R Butler There always used to be a section in the reviews on RAW DR headroom tho, why don't you guys test that any more?

3 upvotes
io_bg

Mr Butler, that's some good news. I'm looking forward to seeing the new measurement system.

0 upvotes
Jurka

This camera has flash HSS sync mode or not, like 3000?

0 upvotes
Retzius
0 upvotes
Parappaman

A review? Seriously? That's wizardry.

Aren't we in the Digital Preview website?

What will be next, a photographer satisfied by the gear he owns?

10 upvotes
raztec

Seriously, why did you review this camera before the Pentax K30?

4 upvotes
frederic86

Oh no. Dpreview reviewed one camera before another! The audacity!

10 upvotes
raztec

Oops, meant the Pentax K3. The one voted best DSLR.

0 upvotes
Marty4650

Perhaps because Nikon will sell one thousand D5300 cameras for every single Pentax K3 sold?

Just a wild guess.

2 upvotes
Marty4650

A nice high end entry level DSLR just got quite a bit nicer. The D5300 seems to be packed with lots of value.

If you want this sort of thing, then Nikon has it for you.

5 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

I think it's a nice camera, but I wouldn't say it is a good value. Because it doesn't have an AF motor, you will have to buy new lenses, which are expensive. It is less feature packed (other than connectivity) than the Pentax K-50, which also comes at 2/3rds of the price. The IQ is just a bit better than in an E-M5, while being bigger and more expensive. It is also not all that much different from D5200 which is also a lot cheaper. This is not a camera I would recommend for someone looking for a good value, especially in the long term.

2 upvotes
calking

99% of consumers buying the Pentax K-50 and E-M5 "WILL" buy new lenses, so your argument about someone buying "expensive lenses" just because its a Nikon without a screw drive AF doesn't hold up. MOST people buying these cameras buy a kit lens or two and are done -- and that includes all other manufacturers too.

All prior models are cheaper than the new versions, regardless of make / model.

Nothing new or informative in your response.

3 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff

Pentax users actually use a ton of old lenses, ranging from FA, F all the way to 1960s Takumars. So this argument is extremely valid. But this is not the point. There are three separate arguments: lack of in-focus motor; the same image quality as a significantly cheaper pentax, bigger size than a cheaper camera with only a bit worse image quality (which reduces the attractivness of the new, smaller, kit lens). So nikon d5300 does not offer more than competition and costs a lot more for the body and either the same for the lenses (OM-D) or more (Pentax, Canon, Sony, because you get an option of buying older ones).

1 upvote
hoxton fives

Dear Dpreview Team!
You rated the canon 70D at the same image quality as the nikon d5300... surely that can't be right? generally I feel that you don't focus enough on image quality as that is surely the most important category?

3 upvotes
philo123

Yes, image quality IS important but if you're shooting sports, wildlife etc you are NOT going to get decent images without additional features/functions that higher end models give you. You have to buy a camera for your photographic needs.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Treading softly where Canon is concerned :^)

3 upvotes
Richard Butler

@Reilly Diefenbach - we don't tread softly for anyone (and the complaints about how heavily we tread always comes from camera owners, not manufacturers).

More to the point, we haven't given the 70D and D5300 the same scores for IQ.

4 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

Well, actually, you have given exactly the same image quality scores for both raw and jpg, if we're to go by the bar graphs in the two reviews, not to mention an 93% score with gold Award for the Canon vs 89/Silver for the Nikon. I don't think there's any doubt in anyone's mind the Nikon produces a superior picture. Not that I care, but someone else might who's making a choice.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Richard Butler

@Reilly Diefenbach - We're both talking about the 70D? I'm seeing the 70D get a fraction lower score for Raw IQ (though the D5300 has a higher Raw DR score, behind the scenes - I'm surprised that isn't making more of an impact).

JPEG IQ and low light performance both show the D5300 coming out a bit ahead, which seems about right, to me.

2 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach

@ R
Yes, I'm referring to the DPR review of the 70D.
Now, DXO gives the D5300 much more than a fraction, more like 18%, 83 to 68 overall sensor score, which the DPR bar graphs do not reflect. I think this D5300 is a really nice achievement. Best image quality under the magic spousally acceptable $1000 price point with the possible exception of the new a6000, all with a nice set of features. Power to the people.
Here's an interesting real world DPR shootout article proposal for you: Try all the competitive APSC cameras on tripods at sunrise or set with a 35mm prime at f5.6 with a row of trees somewhere in the middle distance using several different exposures. Then we'll see who's really good the goods for dynamic range, distant detail, shadow banding, etc. Seattle has more than a few prime locations.

1 upvote
calking

Reilly is asking for a Ken Rockwell review -- holy cow. What's next -- mouseover jpg comparisons?

DXO gives..... ummm.... I didn't know DPR relied on DXO results for scores.

2 upvotes
Markol

So let the awards-war begin!
(Remember, there are only 2 possible categories of DSLRs- silver or gold ;-))

0 upvotes
offertonhatter

I thought Nikon ones came in Black or dark red?
(Sorry could not resist) :-)

1 upvote
Total comments: 274
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