The Nikon D5200 was a great camera that clearly established the benchmark of the mid-range DSLR\’s. Any successor would have a tough act to follow, but by removing the anti-aliasing filter, the D5300 is already off to a good start. Other improvements include a slightly bigger LCD screen with a better resolution and a better 60p/1080p movie mode (instead of 60i). But will all these improvements really lead to a better shooting experience?
The D5300 has the same build and ergonomics as its predecessor, but on careful inspection the differences come out. For starters the ˜drive mode\’ button is no longer at the top, but at the front on the left side. Also, the slightly larger LCD does feel quite nice to use, considering it is the same twisty-flippy one we saw on the D5200. Surprisingly, the D300 is slightly lighter than the D5200, but after using it extensively for over 2 weeks that difference wasn\’t noticeable at all. The 95% coverage viewfinder is also the same, though the sensor doesn\’t have an OLPF, which gives it more details in higher resolution, but one has to keep in mind the moirÃ© threat, which might ruin some images. It\’s the same technique that was successfully executed in the D7100 by Nikon and it works great for D5300 as well, especially with the 39AF points 9 of which are cross-type.The focusing speed with the 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 VR was pretty decent, thanks largely to the EXPEED 4 imaging processor. Continuous AF is also available in the burst shooting mode, where you can get a speed of about 5 fps for JPEG and 6 fps for RAW images. The only issue with these mid-range DSLR\’s I always have is the dependence of going back to the Menu screen to change certain settings. Unlike the bigger (and more expensive) D7100, you will need to keep going back to the familiar Menu screen to adjust the AF type, for example. Another point to note was that the D5300 doesn\’t have an internal autofocus motor of its own, so a user will have to be extra careful while choosing the lenses. But, from what we could test that did not seem to be any issue, as the APS-C sensor was able to capture high quality images in the most demanding conditions with both the lenses we tested it with.Even with the kit lens stopped down to its optimal aperture, the absence of the low pass filter hardly produced any negative effects. The dynamic range of colours, sharpness and detail even at the highest resolution was remarkable. Even in low light, the camera maintained its impressive showing with sharp details captured at ISO\’s as high as 12,800. Even at higher ISO\’s the image quality was better than the competition including Canon\’s EOS 700D. Video quality wasn\’t too bad either with the only feature lacking being a touchscreen LCD, which would\’ve really helped. The articulated screen does negate this in some form, but not that much. The captured videos were in H.264/MPEG-4 format with the option to use the mini HDMI port to record uncompressed videos. Lack of dual card slots is felt here, but the high speed SanDisk 64GB SDXC did a great job here.
For those who already own a Nikon D5200, the upgrade doesn\’t make sense unless you absolutely need to have the Wi-Fi and GPS functionality. For others who are looking to choose between some other DSLRs or mirorrless variants from other brands it may make more sense to invest the money in the D5300 which has excellent performance to price ratio, even at the current asking price. The King has found a worthy successor, with the intent to rule!
Wi-Fi & GPS
These are by far the biggest additions from the D5200 to the D5300, something that should\’ve been included in the original. Anyhow, the Wi-Fi bit worked quite well in our testing using an Android device, though wasn\’t as quick as we\’d like it to be.
The ports on the left side of the D5300 has pretty much the same connectivity options as most in this price range and size with a mini HDMI port, a mic-out port.
24.1MP DX format CMOS with no OLPF sensor
EXPEED 4 imaging processor
39 AF Points, 9 cross-type
Built-in TTL flash
3.2 Fully Articulated 1,037,000-dot LCD screen
Video capture at 1080p 60fps, H.264 MPEG-4
SD/SDHC/SDXC card support
Li-Ion EN-EL14 rechargable battery
Exhibit Rating: 4.5/5