Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

Last updated date: April 10, 2019

DWYM Score

8.2

Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

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We looked at the top Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Update as September 25, 2019:
Checkout The Best Nikon DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top nikon dslr cameras.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 78 expert reviews, the Nikon D5300 Digital SLR placed 7th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

The Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens is designed to awaken your creative passion. Find exciting new perspectives with an ultra-high resolution Vari-angle display that swivels to nearly any position. Capture your vision in lifelike brilliance with an exceptional 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, then share it instantly with the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter. Unleash the artist within.Shooting photos and videos is about more than capturing memories. A great camera brings your creative vision to life with striking clarity. The Nikon D5300 is exactly that type of camera—an exceptional HD-SLR designed to draw exciting new perspectives out of everyone who shoots it. Optimized for creativity, streamlined for flexibility, it'll awaken your passion and inspire some of the most spectacular photos and videos you've ever captured.Features: 24.2MP DX CMOS Sensor EXPEED 4 Image Processing Engine 3.2" 1,037k-Dot Vari-Angle LCD Monitor 39-Point Multi-CAM 4800DX AF SensorFull HD Video with Full-Time Servo AF Expandable ISO from 100-25600 5fps Continuous Shooting Rate Scene Recognition System Compatible with WU-1a Wireless Adapter Vari-angle Display, Built-in HDR, Special Effects and FiltersCreativity and flexibility were considered in every aspect of the D5300. It has a 1,037,000-dot Vari-angle display that lets you shoot from just about any position—hold the camera overhead for a view above a crowd, at ground level for an interesting close-up of a flower, or just enjoy easier video recording and self portraits. For shots that have both very dark and very bright areas, D5300 includes built-in HDR (high-dynamic range). It takes two shots at different exposures and blends them into one amazing image. And an exciting collection of built-in effects and filters opens new possibilities for expression: isolate a single color, explore black & white, posterize, miniaturize—the creative techniques pros spend years mastering are now conveniently at your

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7.8
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
945 user reviews

What experts liked

Many users love the swivel-out LCD display, which makes it easy to shoot from almost any angle. A superb camera with fun and practical "extras" like Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS.
- BestReviews
The D5300 is a very good upper-entry-level DSLR with a high-resolution sensor and solid video features.
- DP Review
October 17, 2013 | Full review
Excellent photo quality, a great feature set, and speedy performance put the Nikon D5300 ahead of the pack. It sports an improved body design with a slightly larger viewfinder and a bigger, higher-resolution LCD than its predecessor, bakes in Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, and incorporates a stereo microphone.
- CNET
March 5, 2014 | Full review
The D5300 looks to further expand the feature-set with the new addition of Wi-fi functionality, as well as a newly developed sensor and several other tweaks.
- Trusted Reviews
November 29, 2013 | Full review
The 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens that Nikon supplied feels fairly well-balanced on the Nikon D5300 and it fits into place with a reassuring mechanical click. It also adds the very important advantage of Vibration Reduction.
- Photography Blog
November 19, 2013 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Video mode runs down the battery quickly. Some users were not satisfied with the sound quality.
- BestReviews
Despite a still-strong feature set, many of our complaints with the D5200 still stand. There are some interface quirks that keep us from feeling that warm and fuzzy connection with the camera we'd like to feel, and a few things are still missing that the competition has locked in, like a touch screen.
- DP Review
October 17, 2013 | Full review
The default settings could be better and Live View is still really slow to use. Unfortunately, Live View autofocus is still frustratingly slow to use, and the wide-area AF (the default) is too big -- you end up with a lot of incorrectly focused shots. The AF also pulses while shooting video.
- CNET
March 5, 2014 | Full review
One noticeable oversight, and one that could really count against it, is that the screen is still lacking in touchscreen functionality. App performance is disappointing with Wi-Fi. Disappointing kit lens.
- Trusted Reviews
November 29, 2013 | Full review
Nikon bodies don't offer any form of in-camera image stabilisation, unlike similar models from Sony, Pentax and Olympus.
- Photography Blog
November 19, 2013 | Full review

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Overall Product Rankings

Nikon D850 Digital SLR

1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.6
Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

2. Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

3. Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

4. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D750 Digital SLR

5. Nikon D750 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

6. Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.5
Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

7. Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.2
Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

8. Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.0

An Overview On Nikon DSLR Cameras

It wasn’t too long ago that powerful cameras were prohibitively expensive and limited to professionals. The times and technology have certainly changed. Now, families tote DSLR cameras around on trips to the playground, and many consider them a travel necessity.

It makes sense, as companies like Nikon have honed professional-level technology so that beginners and aspiring photographers alike can take stunning photographs every day. Having a high-quality camera, like a Nikon DSLR, will make a significant difference in the photos that you take, no matter how incredible you might think the built-in camera on your phone is.

Think you can’t afford a digital camera? Think again. Even if you’re working within a budget, you can still take advantage of this top-notch technology, says Jay Soriano, a portrait photographer based in Las Vegas.

“If the budget is a bit smaller, go a generation older or the next model down,” Soriano suggests.

You’ll also want to factor in the intended use of your new camera, he says. Will you be focusing mostly on still photography, or is video important to you too?
DSLR cameras were made to capture impressive scenes, minute details and everything in between. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and was designed to mimic its predecessor, the single-lens reflex film camera. As such, the DSLR cameras have similar design features. The camera body is equipped with a viewfinder and a reflex mirror and connects with an interchangeable-lens system.

DSLR cameras come in a wide range of prices and features. If you want to take the most beautiful photographs, they are unparalleled in image-capturing technology. They boast the highest image quality, speed and user-friendly design. Similarly, they can match basically any type of photography you can dream up. A DSLR camera is generally the first step toward serious photography for many people. While there are reasonably priced models, any DSLR camera purchase will be an investment. As such, it’s important to understand the DSLR cameras available so you can select one that best fits your personal needs.

Nikon DSLRs are among the wide array of digital cameras available on the market today. Canon and Sony are competitive camera manufacturers. There are models suitable for beginners, professional photographers and everyone in between. DSLRs are the leading camera technology available today, and Nikon is often the camera of choice for professional photographers.

Unlike basic digital cameras, when buying a DSLR camera, you’ll likely purchase at least two parts. These two main components are the body and the lens. Generally, these pieces are sold separately, and there are specific lens options for each camera body. For beginners, you can purchase a kit that includes the body and one or more lenses as a package. Generally, these lenses are lower performance than those sold individually. The DSLR camera body contains a mirror that reflects the light onto an optical viewfinder that displays the image viewed through the lens.

It is with various lenses, not camera bodies, that you will notice the biggest difference in photos and capabilities. As such, one of the most important characteristics to think about is the system of lenses compatible with each camera body. While you may begin with one or two lenses, you will likely invest in more over time as your photography grows. Each camera body connects with a different system of lenses.

Even though Nikon is well-known as a top camera choice for professional photographers, there are plenty of beginner-friendly Nikon DSLR cameras too. These cameras, like the Nikon D3400 and D5500, are especially appealing because they have reasonable starting price points. They also have helpful automatic photography settings. That means you will have high image quality but less control over the camera settings. As such, these are aimed at beginners and could be frustrating for more advanced photographers. Armed with a variety of preset effects, you can rely on these and gradually learn how to handle a DSLR camera.

The value pick, the Nikon D3400, is an excellent first DSLR camera for beginners. It delivers solid image quality and shutter speed for its class at a good value. That means it is fast enough to capture kids and pets. For a step up in performance without a significant price increase, the D5500 offers upgrades across the board. This camera is one of the lightest Nikon DSLR cameras and features a more comfortable grip.

If you’re familiar with photography and want a bit more control and range in a Nikon DSLR, you may be ready for a higher priced and higher performance intermediate category camera. There are many intermediate options for aspiring photographers as well as professionals. If you’re looking for innovative technology, this is an exciting category.

For example, the Nikon D7200 offers upgraded features, such as the 51-point autofocus system and native range of ISO100-25,600.

The top pick Nikon D850 DSLR camera boasts many impressive features. It shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution, one of the highest resolutions on the market today. It also has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. By design, this camera outperforms others in low-light. Overall, it’s a powerful, professional camera that commands an equivalent price tag.

Within Nikon’s range of DSLRs, there’s a camera and a price point that’s perfect for every photography skill level. As the company innovates, the cameras are constantly improving, boasting more features and improved image quality at ever more reasonable prices.

The Nikon DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras generally incorporate an APS-C-sized sensor and polycarbonate construction. These two components help make them compact and lightweight. However, those new to DSLRs will notice they are heavier and more unwieldy than standard point and shoot.
  • Beginners should look for features like guide modes when buying their first DSLR. These entry-level DSLR cameras help teach new photographers about the controls and settings with the ultimate goal of understanding exactly how to produce specific types of imagery in mind.
  • DSLR cameras tend to have superb battery life because the optical viewfinder uses minimal power. Depending on the length of time you’re shooting, DSLR cameras can take thousands of photos on a single battery charge
  • DSLR cameras can range greatly in price. Nikon DSLR prices tend to be a bit higher than competitors because each level of camera includes enhanced performance features.
  • Be careful when changing lenses to not touch the mirror or sensor or get dust on the inner components. If anything does get on the sensor, some cameras include an auto-clean mode, or you can use specialty cloths to clean.
  • Some DSLRs have more rugged weather sealing. However, most require a separate housing to be waterproof and weatherproof. You should be careful in adverse weather conditions or wet or dusty areas to protect the sensitive camera.