Nikon D5300 + 18-55mm VR II
With a feast of upgrades over the preceding D5200, this was – and still is – a seriously good camera
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.
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