Nikon D5300 + 18-55mm VR II

With a feast of up­grades over the pre­ced­ing D5200, this was – and still is – a se­ri­ously good cam­era

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

We were never com­pletely sold on the D5200 and its rather lurid colour ren­di­tion, es­pe­cially in Vivid Pic­ture Con­trol mode. An­nounced less than a year later in Oc­to­ber 2013, the newer D5300 had a new im­age sen­sor with­out an op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter, a next-gen­er­a­tion EXPEED 4 im­age pro­ces­sor, the op­tion of 12-bit and 14-bit RAW colour depth, a higher-mag­ni­fi­ca­tion viewfinder, a greater na­tive sen­si­tiv­ity range and a big­ger, higher-res­o­lu­tion LCD screen. The D5300 is also bet­ter con­nected than its pre­de­ces­sor, adding built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. In­deed, the D5300 is the only cam­era in Nikon’s en­tire D-SLR line-up to have GPS built-in. A key at­trac­tion of the D5300 and pre­ced­ing D5XXX se­ries cam­eras is the vari-an­gle screen: full ar­tic­u­la­tion rather than just a tilt fa­cil­ity en­ables Live View and movie shoot­ing from any an­gle, and al­lows you to re­verse the screen for safe stor­age.

The num­ber of direct-ac­cess con­trol but­tons for set­tings like drive mode and ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion is sim­i­lar to that of the D3200 and D3300. How­ever, the D5300 has a menu of cus­tom func­tions that takes cam­era con­trol to a higher level.

Per­for­mance

Like the D3300’s me­ter­ing sys­tem, the D5300’s is ac­cu­rate and con­sis­tent, which in­spires con­fi­dence, while the aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is more up­mar­ket (see left) and per­forms very well. Im­age qual­ity is all but iden­ti­cal from the two cam­eras, but the greater re­fine­ment in spec­i­fi­ca­tions and han­dling make the D5300 a bet­ter buy.

The colour ac­cu­racy of this shot is a very close match to that of the D3300

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