Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera ReviewLast year, after being an Olympus Girl for all my adult life, I switched it up and bought a Nikon DSLR. Don’t get me wrong I have loved all my Olympus cameras and I still use my previous camera at work. But there were a few things that bugged me and I wont go into them here so much, but I have heard so many great reports and reviews on Nikon, so I thought when I went for a full DSLR I would go Nikon. Now I have owned various digital cameras before but never a DSLR.
I must admit, some of the tech talk I did not fully understand or comprehend, but I thought at the time for my money the D5200 was a great buy, I also thought it was more than it actually was. Now in my wheeling and dealing I managed to upgrade to the D5300 (which is a D5200 with Wi-Fi & GPS – I believe the current version is D5500) for the same price. I thought this was a great bargain, I got the Body and 18-55mm lens kit. I also bought a small bag and a UV Filter and a Macro Lens 50mm. Now the macro I think was my first mistake bought largely on impulse………don’t get me wrong it takes beautiful shots and goes to F1.8, but I wish now I had waited and got something like a 70mm or more, macro lens.
But the Macro lens was not the end of my issues. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my camera and at the time was the most I could afford, I just wish Nikon and some other advertising/marketing material were a bit more explanatory in their advertising of the specs and features of this model. I thought, mistakenly it was a full frame camera (although at the time I think I was still a little bit confused about WHAT full frame was and this is probably my error and not theirs). Now it was a while before I managed to get the camera off auto! I read books, the manual and played……….A LOT (I guess this is where the ugly comes in, a lot of trial and error, makes for a lot of really bad images! And a few good ones too). Also had a some help from other photographers I met on the WordPress. It’s when I started playing on manual, I began to realize the limitations of my beloved Nikon.
- It is NOT Full frame, but that is OK, I just zoom out a little, or stand back a bit. Joking, seriously I was a bit frustrated, but at the end of the day it takes beautiful photos, so I am happy.
- The D5300 has auto bracketing feature, I thought this meant if I set to auto bracketing it would take 3,5 or 7, shots on either side of the exposure level (depending on what I set it at) and then let me sort it all out in post – Wrong! It’s auto bracketing and auto editing………………..it does it all in the camera and then IT decides the best one. Not really what I had in mind. So when I want to do bracketing I would manually change the exposure setting myself, taken a pic, change again, take a pic, repeat. Guess what I have now given up on bracketing! Next camera.
- The 2 second delay on timer shoot. This is REALLY Frustrating, apparently it is a change Nikon made on THIS model I understand why they did it but it is DUMB!!!! Let me explain; So I am doing a shoot of Christmas lights and a I want to set a 2 second delay when I press the shutter release, first shot – great. Then the camera resets and If I want to shoot another with 2 second delay I have to reset the function. See my dilemma? Now all other shooting modes, single, continuous etc stay on until you turn them or the camera off, so why not the 2 second delay? Supposedly people were leaving it on delay and forgetting and then thinking the camera wasn’t working, or something like that – really?
- Remote issues, OK so I thought due the 2 second delay issue I will just get a remote shutter release, solve the problem right? I tried apps on my Smart Phone, had the same problem as above, first pic, great. Then I would have to reset everything for the next shot. OK So I bought a cheap Chinese cabled remote, guess what SAME PROBLEM!!! My bad, you get what you pay for, right? In frustration I bought the cabled remote trigger Nikon MADE for this model……………..OH YES!!! SAME BLOODY PROBLEM. I have taken it back to various camera stores and have been told, it’s not a fault but a function and I have to deal with it! Still incredibly frustrating.
- For Christmas my family bought me a new lens the Tamron 16-300mm lens, I was so excited and took lots and lots of photos, and then I started edited them all in post. Every single photos was blurry! What? How is that possible, I had auto focus on, I had VR on (when off tripod), I put my kit lens back on and take same shot with perfect clarity. I took the lens back and exchanged and upgraded to the Nikkor 18-200mm. We assume the Tamron lens must have had an issue, I know quite a few people with Tamron and they are all very happy, perhaps I should have swapped and tried another lens, but I must admit I am very happy with my Nikkor.
- Continuous shoot, needs to be quicker, not necessarily a fault of the camera, I knew what the speed was when I bought it, just wish now it was faster.
OK So I have spoken about it’s flaws, what about it’s virtues? Taking all of the above into consideration, I still love this camera. It is fairly light, it takes a beautiful photo, it is easy to use (for the most part)and it is durable (only 6 months old and it has already had a bit of a hard life). I can shoot on Auto with confidence that I will have an almost perfectly exposed shot (which is easily fixed in Post), or I can shoot manually. I like to shoot on Aperture Priority, or Shutter Priority (Depends on the shot). It has a great range of ISO and will take a good pic at really high ISO too. I can quickly change shoot functions, ISO and various other settings. I can set up Hot Functions keys as well. The LCD is nice and clear, big enough without being too big and it can be moved and swiveled into various positions to take shots at awkward angles…….however the auto focus and shutter speed is a little clunky on Live Mode (apparently this is a live mode issue, not necessarily a model issue).
So If I was to do it all again, would I buy the same model? Good question I suppose I could have paid the extra $400+ and gone up to D7100 range, but apart from the Dual card slots, I really could not see much difference. Would I have spent the extra $800+ and gone for the FX Full Frame camera…….believe me I looked at it, but at the time I just could not have justified the money. Would I go 3 times + the price and go full on like the D810? Looks and sounds very nice……….but it is a lot of money!
And then there is mirror-less, actually not as expensive as I thought, but I l know so very little about them. I do know some people who do use them and swear by them. I would love a simple explanation of the difference (in layman’s terms) and what it could do for my photography. On first glance it appears you can change lens on Cannon, but not Nikon?
So in answer, would I buy the same camera knowing what I know now? Yes, it was the best I could afford at the time, will I buy the same thing again if given that money was not the issue? NO! I would go full tilt and Full Frame FX, but that of course means swapping all my lenses as well. OH if wishes were currency – I would be a VERY rich woman!