Nikon D5300 Review

 
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Nikon D5300 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slower than average speed for its class.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.5 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Buffer clearing time

1 second *
after 20 L/F JPEGs

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.

3 seconds *
after 4 14-bit RAW frames
3 seconds *
after 4 14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG frames

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

The Nikon D5300's startup time was good for a consumer DSLR, and switching from Play to Record and taking a shot was also fast. Buffer clearing times were good with a fast card, especially considering the 24-megapixel files, though buffer depths with 14-bit RAW files were shallow.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF (Center AF point)

0.292 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8G Macro lens).

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF, Flash enabled

0.418 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, Auto Flash enabled.

Full Autofocus
Auto Area AF

0.424 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Manual focus
0.226 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.080 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View mode

Full Autofocus
Live View
Single-servo AF

1.33 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Pre-focused
Live View

0.418 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon D5300's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was a little slower than average for a consumer DSLR. The D5300 required about 0.29 second for full AF using the center focus point. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.42 second, reflecting the added delay caused by the metering preflash. Shutter lag increased to about 0.42 second in Auto-area AF mode which is a bit on the slow side for a DSLR. Manual focus shutter lag was faster than full autofocus at about 0.23 second, but that's still a touch slow for a DSLR. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped to 0.080 second which is about average for a consumer DSLR.

As expected, autofocus and shutter lag were much slower in Live View mode. The Nikon D5300 only offers contrast-detect AF in Live View, which took about 1.3 seconds to focus in our tests. (How fast the lens can adjust focus makes a big difference here.) Prefocused shutter lag was also slower but still reasonable in Live View mode, at about 0.42 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.58 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
14-bit RAW

0.60 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 3 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG

0.63 second

Time per shot, averaged over 8 shots, 3 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(Yes with Flash)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.20 second (4.99 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing down.

Continuous mode
12-bit RAW

0.20 second 5.07 frames per second);
8 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 8 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.28 second or 3.58fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
12-bit RAW + L/F
JPEG

0.20 second 5.05 frames per second);
6 frames total;
5 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 6 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.72 second or 1.39fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
14-bit RAW

0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
4 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 4 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.60 second or 1.67fps when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
14-bit RAW + L/F
JPEG

0.25 second (3.95 frames per second);
4 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 4 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.81 second or 1.23fps when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

4.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as Advanced D-Lighting or NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were about average for a consumer DSLR, at 0.58 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.60 second for 14-bit RAW files, and 0.63 second for 14-bit RAW + L/F JPEG frames.

Continuous mode speed when shooting best quality JPEGs was slightly above average considering the class and resolution, at almost 5 frames per second. When shooting 14-bit RAW files, frame rate dropped to just below 4 frames per second in our tests however Nikon says switching to 12-bit allows speeds similar to JPEGs (5fps). And indeed in our tests, the D5300 managed just over 5 fps when shooting 12-bit RAW or RAW+JPEG files.

Buffer depth in continuous mode was excellent with JPEGs at over 20 L/F JPEG frames with no signs of slowing (Nikon says up to 100 frames), though with 14-bit RAW files buffer depths were quite shallow at only 4 RAW frames or 4 RAW+L/F JPEG frames. Buffer capacity with 12-bit RAW files improved to 8 RAW frames and 6 RAW+L/F JPEG frames.

The built-in flash took 4.2 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is a touch slow for a DSLR.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

16,230 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer via USB 2.0, download speeds were very fast.

Bottom line, the Nikon D5300's performance was generally good to a little below average in our tests. Startup was good, as were single shot cycle-times, as well as JPEG and 12-bit RAW continuous mode performance. Autofocus speeds however were slightly slower than average, and burst performance with 14-bit RAW files was mediocre. Buffer depths with RAW files were shallow (particularly in 14-bit mode), but that's not unusual for its class.

Battery

Battery Life
About average battery life for a lithium-ion powered consumer DSLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
600

The Nikon D5300 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a dedicated charger. Battery life when using the optical viewfinder is about average for a consumer DSLR, though Nikon does not specify battery life for Live View mode, which will certainly be a lot lower. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, or when using Live View a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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