Nikon D5300 Review: Best Features, Pros, and Cons

The Nikon D5300 offers excellent image quality with a vast array of new features and improvements, as well as stunning performance that knocks its predecessor, the powerful D5200, out of the park. This all-purpose DSLR is perfect for advanced photographers and beginners on a budget, so if you have been thinking about taking the plunge, you’ve come to the right place. Take a peek at our Nikon D5300 review for a more in-depth look at some of the camera’s best features, pros, and cons.

Nikon D5300 Specs

• 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor.
• EXPEED 4 Image Processor.
• ISO 100 – 12800, Extended to 100 – 25600.
• 3.2-inch 1,037k-Dot Rear Screen Vari-Angle LCD Monitor.
• Pentamirror Viewfinder with 95% Coverage and 0.82x Magnification.
• Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps.
• Continuous Shooting up to 5 fps.
• Multi-CAM 4800DX 39-Point AF Sensor.
• Active D-Lighting and In-Camera HDR.
• Built-In Flash and Stereo Microphone.
• No Optical Low-Pass Filter.
• Built-In Wi-Fi Functionality and GPS Connectivity.
• SD / SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards.
• Dimensions of 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0-inches.
• Weighs 16.9 ounces.

Nikon D5300 General Information

Nikon D5300 SLR camera

Image Source: Nikon

Body, Build, and Buttons

In this Nikon D5300 review, we’re going to fill you in on the most important details, such as the body and build, image quality, performance, and more. The first Nikon DSLR crafted with a monocoque build, the D5300 maintains a compact size despite its solid outer shell, which is constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer in place of the typical polycarbonate body.

The button and dial layout is of a standard DSLR design, making it easy for both beginners and more advanced users to start using right out of the box. The top plate features a shooting mode dial, allowing for the selection of Manual, Aperture- or Shutter-priority, or various Scene Effects modes. Next to the shutter button sits the exposure compensation button and an info (“i”) button. Pressing the info button reveals the camera’s main settings on the LCD monitor, allowing you to modify and interact with the onscreen options. Besides the nice-sized rubberized thumb rest and the few buttons on the D5300, it lacks an array of physical controls — some users will enjoy this lack, preferring digital versus physical controls, while others will equate fewer physical controls with less efficiency.

Display

The Nikon D5300 is equipped with a 3.2-inch 1,037k-Dot LCD Monitor. Thanks to the vari-angle screen, shooting in Live View is especially popular with users of this model. Hinged at the side instead of the bottom, the fully articulated monitor can be folded out from the left side when in use and then folded inwards for protection.

Nikon D5300 vari-angle screen

Image Source: Nikon

The monitor provides a crystal clear view that stops even the tiniest of details from being overlooked. Coated with an anti-glare film, the D5300’s screen can be used even under harsh sunlight. The 180-degree swivel that the vari-angle screen provides allows users to shoot from high, low, and front-facing angles with ease. Note that Live View can be toggled on and off with a spring-loaded switch on top of the body — this makes it easy to trigger while holding the camera with one hand.

If the LCD monitor isn’t your preference, the D5300 offers up a quality pentamirror viewfinder with 95-percent coverage and a magnification level of 0.82x, perfect for real-time monitoring and eye-level viewing.

Sensor, ISO Capabilities

With its 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor, the Nikon D5300 has the power to capture exquisite images and videos with stunning detail, color accuracy, and low-light sensitivity. This particular sensor’s design lacks an optical low-pass filter, which results in the greatest amount of sharpness. The incredible speed at which this camera operates is made possible by the processor, which allows for a full resolution continuous shooting rate of 5 frames per second.

The D5300’s low-light capabilities are impressive, providing a native maximum ISO of 12800 and an expandable ISO of up to 25600 — as the noise rises, the quality of the image maintains an excellent amount of clarity.
We must also note in this Nikon D5300 review that the autofocus operates on a 39-point system, along with nine cross-type sensors, which results in a quick focus. Various modes are available, including AF-A or AF-C, single-point AF, auto-area AF, dynamic-area AF, and 3D-tracking.

Video Capabilities

Finally, any Nikon D5300 review wouldn’t be complete without giving a nod to its incredible video functionality, as shown in this video test by Tom Goodey. The D5300 is capable of recording full HD 1920 x 1080p videos at 60, 30, 25, and 24 frames per second. Recording in HD 720p and SD 480p is also available in multiple frame rates. All movies utilize compression of the H.264/MPEG-4 video codec. While capturing movies, users can employ full-time autofocus with both subject-tracking and face-detection functionality for ensuring the maximum sharpness possible.

Other Features

Additional features include built-in Wi-Fi for seamless transfer and remote triggering and monitoring, as well as built-in GPS for geotagging images. A built-in pop-up flash is included with the D5300, working to capture the best images even in poor lighting. An input for a hot shoe is available, if desired. Further, if video recording is one of your main goals, the built-in stereo microphone is perfect for recording high-quality audio — or better yet, utilize the microphone input to attach an external microphone for even more control.

Nikon D5300 Price and Extras

The Nikon D5300 is priced at $596.95 for the body-only configuration. Two additional configurations are available: the body with an 18-55mm lens, priced at $696.95, and the body with an 18-140mm lens, priced at $896.95.

As a cheaper option, we suggest the Nikon D5200, priced at $459.99 for body and lens. And if you have an extra $100, there’s also the more advanced Nikon D5500.

Verdict

We hope that this Nikon D5300 review has given you a better handle on the ins and outs of this truly remarkable camera. With this particular model you get the best of both worlds — excellent image quality that easily matches some of the high-end DSLRs, such as the D7100, for an overall reasonable cost.

The D5300 is a versatile camera that delivers extensive video capabilities, along with the nice touches of built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and comes in a compact size that fits nicely in the hand. If you’re considering diving into the world of DSLR, check out the D5300, give it a test run, and let us know what you think.