Nikon D5300 First Shots: Can Nikon’s new mid-level DSLR not only beat the D5200, but compete with the D7100?


posted Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM EST


In less than a year's time, the recently introduced Nikon D5300 has replaced the mid-level consumer D5200 DSLR. And while its upgrades may not be revolutionary, the new model stands as a compelling, affordable option for advanced amateurs who may be eyeing the higher-end, prosumer D7100 -- as well as an enticement for owners of Nikon's older models to take a step up. We just got the Nikon D5300 into the lab, and we've published our first batch of First Shots -- Still Life* test images -- for you to analyze closely.

The D5300's enhanced DX-format, 24-megapixel APS-C-type CMOS sensor was designed to maximize the camera's resolving power by omitting the optical low-pass filter (as Nikon did earlier this year with the D7100). If the D5300 can minimize moire and anti-aliasing as well as the D7100 did, forgoing the OLPF in a consumer-friendly DSLR could be the move that opens up a realm of incredible detail and sharpness to a mass audience. What's more, the D5300 incorporates Nikon's latest processor -- the EXPEED 4 -- which even the company's most recently announced full-frame prosumer DSLR, the D610, doesn't have. This next-generation imaging engine purports optimize the DSLR's detail-versus-noise output and enhance color accuracy, and its improved ISO sensitivity -- now ranging from 100 to 12,800 in standard mode -- could up the ante on low-light performance.

How do all these upgrades translate in terms of image quality?

Check out our Nikon D5300 First Shots for yourself. And be sure to pit these test images side-by-side with those from the D5200, D7100 -- or any other camera we've ever tested -- via our Comparometer image quality comparison tool.

For more information about the DSLR's new features and specs, read our first impressions Nikon D5300 review. In addition to image quality and performance enhancements, the camera also boasts built-in Wi-Fi functionality and GPS -- the first Nikon DSLR to do so -- as well as a more compact and lightweight design, and a 3-2-inch tilt-swivel LCD monitor that features a whopping 1,037K dots of resolution.

* Use our Still Life target images to look for detail (tone-on-tone, fine, highlights, shadows), as well as noise suppression, white balance, color accuracy and color shape retention.

Order your Nikon D5300 with trusted Imaging Resource affiliates Adorama or B&H now. The D5300 body runs about US$700, and kitted with a Nikon 18-140mm lens about $1,400.