Review Nikon D5300 DSLR + GPS + Wifi

Nikon D5300 review, Nikon camera review, Nikon D3200
In December 2012, the Nikon D5200 hit the market. However, in October 2013, the Nikon D5300 had already been announced: another 24 megapixel Nikon DX-format D-SLR, a state-of-the-art camera with built-in Wi-Fi and gps and–as with the Nikon D7100–a sensor without a low-pass filter.
The omission of that filter leads in theory to a higher resolution and better signal-to-noise ratio at higher ISO values. And–in theory–leaving out that filter also increases the risk of moiré: a disturbing interference pattern with very fine, regular pattern.
The Nikon D5300 is general not chosen because there is something wrong with the image quality or the ease of use of the Nikon D5200. Those are top. The Nikon D5300 is chosen by photographers who are avid about the use of social media. The question we try to answer is, of course, whether you notice anything in practice with these theoretical advantages and disadvantages that we just mentioned.
Nikon D5300 review, Nikon camera review, Nikon D3200

Connectivity: “I AM SHARING MY VIEW”

Photos taken with the Nikon D5300 can be instantly shared via the built-in Wifi function, which connects the camera directly with a smartphone or tablet. It’s all pretty simple. First download the free software “Wireless Mobile Utility” on your smartphone, and you can get started. We’ll come back to this in more detail later.
The Nikon D5300 distinguishes itself from most modern SLRs by the built-in gps, which automatically stores the location where a picture was taken in the EXIF information (“geotagging”). That is not only useful for someone who uses social media: If you view a shot in Lightroom, and you don’t know anymore where it was taken, then you click on the gps coordinates and Google maps is opened to the location where the photo was taken. Don’t expect the location to appear exactly down to the meter. Our neighbors made more Nikon D5300 test shots than we did, if you believe the gps data. On the right, you’ll see a red cross on the place where we took five outdoor pictures with the D5300, and 5 labels from the gps information that was stored in the RAW files. Not perfect, but more than good enough for me.


The Research and Development Department had very little time between the appearance of the Nikon D5200 and the Nikon D5300 to make changes. So there are more similarities than differences. Both cameras fit comfortably in your hand and are quick and easy to operate. Still, there are quite a few differences between the D5300 and the D5200 to discover. The design of the Liveview lever at the top of the camera (1) changed. And there is a notch added next to the display (2), that lets you more simply unfold the rotating, flip-out display. For this, a few buttons on the back are moved a bit. Also, the i-button to the right of the eyepiece is slightly larger, making it less likely that you accidentally change the diopter setting of the viewfinder. 110661-61ea0eff-75a6-4f71-87fc-5eaed8df6496-d5300 gr back-original-1381929214
D5300v2 D5200
It’s a pity that image transport button, which on the Nikon D5200 is on the right of the PASM button, on the D5300 is removed in favor of the WiFi and GPS logos.

Nikon D5300 versus D5200

  • WiFi
  • Built-in GPS
  • The Nikon D5300 also has a sensor without a low-pass filter
  • A more modern processor (Expeed 4) to improve noise suppression, white balance and color reproduction
  • Thanks to the new processor, video at the highest framerates with 50p and 60p (instead of 50i and 60i) is possible.
  • Two new effects: Toy Camera and HDR Painting (in-camera effects are applied at chosen levels before pictures are placed on social media)
D5300 sensor unit

Nikon D5300 versus the competition

There are not many SLRs with a folding screen. The Panasonic GH3 is a compact system camera with a folding screen and a beautiful electronic viewfinder. The Olympus OM-DE M5 and OM-D E-M1 and the Sony SLT-A58 have a tilting, but not swivel screen. The optical viewfinder of the Nikon D5300 is smaller than a full-frame camera’s optical viewfinder or a high-end electronic viewfinder.
If the pivoting screen is not important for you, then the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D3200 are logical alternatives with 24 megapixel sensors that in terms of image quality give up practically nothing to the D5300.

Viewfinder, screen and menu

Nikon menus are traditionally long. Fortunately, you can get via the i-button directly to the most used settings without having to use the menu.

The viewfinder screen covers 95% of the image with a magnification of 82%. If you want a larger viewfinder on a Nikon DX camera, then you will have to wait until Nikon releases a DX camera with an electronic viewfinder. Within two years, that will come, I’d guess.

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Sharpness: resolution Nikon D5300

The Nikon D5300–just like the Nikon D7100–has a sensor without a low-pass filter. The omission of that filter leads in theory to a higher resolution, better signal-to-noise ratio at higher ISO values and increases the risk of moiré: a distracting interference pattern with very fine, regular patterns. In our resolution test, we photographed Siemens stars, which in the center have very intricate patterns that are sensitive to interference. In these shots, we found no more moiré than is visible in shots made with cameras that do have a low-pass filter on the sensor.
In terms of resolution, we see no difference between the Nikon D5300 and the Nikon D7100. As an illustration, you can see below a cutout from the test shot to the right, which we have enlarged to 200%. Any differences in sharpness are rather caused by subtle differences in the focus point, rather than by the resolution of the sensors.

Dynamic range Nikon D5300

A camera with a high dynamic range is a nice to have. Even in extreme situations in which the subjects are simultaneously in and light dark areas, you don’t have to be worry about overexposed highlights and underexposed shadow areas. For HDR photographers, a high usable dynamic range is important because it is precisely in HDR photography that there is much more visible noise in the shadows. In terms of dynamic range, the Nikon D5300 scores very high, better than many other cameras with a full frame sensor.
Below you can see to illustrate our measurement results for the dynamic range of a 100 ISO jpg file (standard picture style). With a total dynamic range of 10.9 stops and a usable dynamic range of 7.61 stops, the dynamic range of the Nikon D5300 is equal to that of the Nikon D7100, for which we previously measured a total dynamic range of 11 stops for a 100 ISO jpg file.

Noise Nikon D5300: DX vs FX

The Nikon D5300–also at the higher ISO settings–delivers beautiful, noise-free pictures. Even compared to cameras with a much larger full frame/FX sensor the Nikon D5300 doesn’t go nuts. Compared to the Nikon D800E–in terms of signal/noise ratio among the best cameras that we have tested to date-it saves about 1 stop. For a photograph taken at ISO 200 on a Nikon D5300, we measure about the same signal-to-noise ratio as an ISO 400 recording made on a Nikon D800E. With the naked eye, you need to look carefully to discover the differences. Below for illustration are two 100% partial enlargements of sample pictures made with the same test setup at 6400 ISO, which lets you compare the Nikon D5300 and the Nikon D800E.


Click on the picture below for a larger version.


Color reproduction Nikon D5300

The color reproduction and the white balance in daylight and when using the auto-white balance in both RAW and jpg files (neutral picture style) are certainly good. You can set the color reproduction by hand by choosing other image styles in the camera or for RAW files. In Lightroom, you can set up another camera calibration profile than “Adobe standard”. These other calibration profiles imitate the picture styles that you choose for jpg files in the camera.
In artificial light the Nikon D5300–like virtually all other cameras we have tested to date–shows a clearly visible orange color cast in our test shots, which is easy to correct to correct afterwards by adjusting the white balance manually.
Nikon D5300 color reproduction in daylight
Color reproduction in artificial light

Autofocus speed and precision

The auto focus is fast and reliable. Compared to other SLRs in the consumer segment from Nikon, we see no significant differences. Much naturally depends on the body/lens combination; there are few fixed-focal length bright lenses that perform better than a lower-brightness kit lens. The AF of the Nikon D5300 has more fields than the D3200, up to 39 instead of 11.

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Conclusion Nikon D5300 review

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Look in our list of tested cameras for specifications or a comparison of this performance with that of other cameras.



  • Very high image quality on all fronts
  • Very well suited for social media; lots of filters and editing possibilities; built-in gps and WiFi
  • Part of a broad system, lots of accessories and lenses are available
  • Handy pop-out screen
  • Fewer buttons than the Nikon D7100
  • No touch-screen
  • Optical viewfinder is smaller than optical viewfinders of full-size cameras and high-end electronic viewfinders
The Nikon D5300 is light, convenient and easy to operate. Compared to the (cheaper) Nikon D3200, the D5300 offers not only GPS and WiFi, but the D5300 also has a fold-out screen, bracketing and HDR capabilities, and more AF-fields.
Omitting a low-pass filter leads in theory to a higher signal-to-noise ratio at high ISO values, higher resolution and a greater risk of moiré. In practice, you won’t notice the difference. In terms of video performance, the Nikon D5300 is among the very best APS-C cameras. This camera is just as good as the D5200 Nikon or Nikon D7100. The Nikon D5300 differs from both other Nikons and most other modern SLRs-on connectivity. If you like photos of professional quality and you want to geotag, modify them in-camera and share them directly on social media, this camera makes that easy. In our test of the Nikon D5200, we mentioned that we found it regrettable that there was no Wi-Fi and GPS on it. Those downsides were quickly eliminated by Nikon.


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