Nikon D5300 DSLR Review

Review posted 1/27/2014

Quick Take
  • Very good image quality versus other entry-level DSLRs
  • Improved performance speed versus predecessor
  • Anti-aliasing filter removed for clearer images
  • ISO settings up to 25,800 (equivalent)
  • Noise in photos is limited, even at mid- to high-range ISO settings
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS included
  • Stereo microphone for video recording
  • Both JPEG and RAW (NEF) formatting available
  • Sharp and bright 3.2-inch articulated LCD screen
  • Easy to use as a fully automatic camera, but contains plenty of advanced features too
  • No touchscreen feature with LCD
  • Battery drains quickly when using Live View mode
  • Camera's performance slows considerably in Live View mode
  • Autofocus sharpness is inconsistent when recording video
  • No eye sensor; viewfinder mode doesn't activate automatically when you raise D5300 to your eye
  • Limited to three resolution size options; could use more options, especially for sending photos over Wi-Fi
  • Price is at the high end of entry-level DSLRs
  • Wi-Fi is not as easy to use or as powerful as it could be
Bottom Line
The Nikon D5300 DSLR camera offers a very nice mixture of automatic and manual control shooting features, making this model a good first interchangeable lens camera. It offers fast image processing speeds when working in Viewfinder mode, and the camera's image quality is very good. A large articulated LCD and built-in Wi-Fi add to this camera's appeal. The D5300 has some performance issues when working in Live View mode, and its price is near the top of the entry-level DSLR market, which may limit the number of photographers who will consider this upgrade of the D5200. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
In late 2013, Nikon announced their latest D-series entry-level DSLR, the D5300. The D5300 is replacing the D5200 and boasts a whole slew of upgrades. This is not just a simple re-badging. The D5300 is the smallest D-series camera to date despite having a new grip that offers more surface area and a better hold than the D5200. The D5300 is also the first Nikon D-series camera to shoot Full HD video at 1080/60p, offer built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and to include the new EXPEED 4 processor, which improves low-light capabilities, shooting performance, and noise levels.

The D5300 also boasts a newly developed 24.2-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS image sensor with no OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter) for greater sharpness and detail when taking advantage of the camera's wide ISO range of 100 - 12,800. The D5300 also features Nikon's Scene Recognition System, which uses a 2,016-pixel RGB metering system to analyze shooting conditions and then adjust exposure, AF, and white balance levels for perfectly balanced photographs.

As the first Nikon DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, users will be able to connect the D5300 to a free app on iOS or Android smartphones. From there, it's easy to email photos or share them on various social networks like Facebook. GPS is great for geo-tagging, which allows social networking sites, mobile phones, and PC picture editors to keep track where you've taken all your photos.

Nikon D5300 Features
  • Newly developed 24.2-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) CMOS image sensor
    • no OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter)
  • EXPEED 4 image processor
  • 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD Display (1,037K dots)
  • Full HD 1080/60p Video Captures
    • Built-in Stereo
    • Improved full-time AF
  • 39-Point AF System
  • 5 Frames-Per-Second Burst Shooting
  • ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
  • Scene Recognition System
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS
  • Two new Special Effects modes
    • Toy Camera
    • HDR Painting
  • New Battery, EN-EL14A,
    • increased battery life up to 600 shots (the camera can also use the older EN-EL14 battery from previous models)
  • Compatible with NIKKOR lenses and accessories
  • Weighs only 16.9 oz

The Nikon D5300 is available in black, red, and gray. The $1,399.95 kit will include (1) D5300 body and (1) AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens. Click our Buy button to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • D5300 camera body
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR zoom lens (if purchased as a kit)
  • EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-24 Quick Charger
  • DK-25 Rubber Eyecup
  • EG-CP16 Audio Video Cable
  • AN-DC3 Strap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap
  • ViewNX 2

Additional Product Views

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.