Nikon D5300 vs D5200 vs D7100 vs Canon T5i / 700D

January 24, 2014

Nikon D5300, D7100 and Canon T5i side by side banner

In this article I will compare the newly announced Nikon D5300 versus D5200 (the model being replaces), D7100 and Canon Rebel T5i (EOS 700D). The D5300 is an advanced entry-level SLR camera, which replaces the D5200 that was announced on November 6, 2012.  It brings some new enhancements over its predecessor.

The first thing that I want to talk about before we jump straight into our in-depth comparison is the differences between the D5300 and D5200. I’m sure that there are many photographers who want to know whether or not the D5300 is worth the extra ~$150 price difference. As of the time of writing the Nikon D5300 costs approximately $800 and the D5200 costs approximately $650.  Many novice photographers might be convinces to go with the cheaper option. I think that it’s wise to fully understand the differences between the two cameras before making a decision. After all, you don’t buy a DSLR camera everyday, and there might be some features that will convince you to invest more and get the more expensive model (and vice versa).

Nikon D5300 vs D5200 – The Differences

Nikon D5300 and D5200 size comparison

Nikon D5300 and D5200 size comparison side by side (click to view on camerasize.com)

Nikon added many new features to this new model that certainly make the D5300 a more attractive option compared to the Nikon D5200.  Here is a list of the differences between the D5200 and D5300:

  • Newly Developed Sensor with No low-pass Filter — A newly developed 24.2 MP DX sensor without an optical low-pass filter (D5200 has a 24.1 MP DX sensor with optical low-pass filter)
    The optical low-pass filter (anti-aliasing filter) is used to reduce the occurrence of moiré and false colors in photos. The removal of the OLPF increases the chance of moiré, but contribute to a sharper and more detailed image. The difference is not big as you might think, but it does help the camera to squeeze a bit more details out from the scene. Furthermore, next generation sensor, in almost all cases (although it depends on other parameters like pixel size), perform better than older-gen sensors
  • EXPEED 4 image processor — compared to EXPEED 3 on the D5200. The new processor optimized for faster performance, better noise reduction algorithms, improved WB and image color reproduction and tone
  • 12 or 14 bit NEF RAW compression— D5200 only offers 14 bit RAW
  • Larger viewfinder — D5300 features a 0.82x magnification viewfinder, compared to 0.78x of the D5200. They FOV is 95%, same on both cameras
  • New HDR painting (two framed different exposure) and Toy Camera effect modes
  • Native ISO 12800 — compared to ISO6400 on the D5200, both can climb up to ISO25600 in extended mode
  • 1080p60 video recording  — 60p (progressive frames) / 30p and 24p in full HD 1080 video recording — D5200 features 60i (interlaced frames, lower quality) /30p and 24p. So the D5300 gains 60p instead of 60i.
    You do have a 3.5mm mic input port on both cameras to connect and external microphone. Both cameras have built-in stereo mic at the top of the camera
  • More thumbnails images view on the screen  in calendar (4, 12, 80 vs 4, 9 , 72)
  • Built-in WiFi — not available on the D5200
  • Built-in GPS — not available on the D5200 (need to use the optional external GP-1 GPS receiver)
  • Slightly smaller and lighter but nothing significant
  • Longer battery life (600 vs 500 shots / CIPA) — the D5300 is compatible with both the EN-EL14a and the EN-EL14 (D5200 battery version)
  • Bigger and higher-resolution LCD — 3.2″ 1.04M-dot vari-angle vs 3″ 921K-dot vari-angle
  • Being offered in a new Gray color
  • Improved ergonomics with rubber on the left side and more room and rubber area for the thumb at the back

 

Both cameras have the same light metering sensor, same Nikon Multi-CAM 4800DX AF sensor with 39 AF points (9 cross-type), same shutter speed (3fps in’L’ mode and up to 5 fps in ‘H’ mode), same exposure compensation and bracketing.

No doubt that the D5300 improves where is should be improved and Nikon did a great job with the D5300. You get a new sensor (with no OLPF), image processor, larger viewfinder, 60p video recording, , WiFi + GPS, better battery life and better ergonomics.  This is a very noticeable update and this certainly makes the D5300 on of the more feature-rich entry-level DSLR cameras on the market right now. Nikon improved upon what needs and expected to be improved in order to create a DSLR camera that withstand the competition in both the DSLR and Mirrorless industries.

Although you won’t find any innovative features here, something that is lacked in the DSLR business from quite some time, you do get features that you could only dream of having a few years ago. The Nikon D5300 is really an impressive entry-level DSLR camera.

D5300 vs T5i / 700D vs D7100

Now that you understand the differences between the D5300 and the D5200, it’s time to see how the D5300 stand against two other popular DSLR cameras, the D7100 and Canon Rebel T5i / EOS 700D. The D7100 is a mid-range DSLR, whether the Canon T5i / 700D is the equivalent to the D5300 on the Canon’s camp.

As of the time of writing, the Canon Rebel T5i costs approx. $650 (body only), which is $150 less than the D5300. Lets not forget that the 700D / T5i was announced almost a year ago (as of the time of writing) on March 21, 2013.  The Nikon D7100 costs around $1150 (body only), which makes this camera the choice for enthusiast photographers who want and will take use of its advantages compare to the entry-level cameras offered by Nikon, including the D5300 among them.

I’m pretty sure that the main debate will take be with the D5300 and T5i / 700D. The D7100 might be an option for those of you who can afford buying it and those who find its features appealing for your personal shooting style and professional needs. If you are a novice photographer and it’s your first DSLR camera that you buy I recommend starting with either the D5300 or T5i and grow up from there. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to buy a lens or the kit offering (comes with one lens) that will push the price up. You might also prefer buying a second lens, even if you have the budget for the D7100. There are some amazing Nikkor lenses out there that will certainly help you in various shooting situations, where the camera can’t give you an answer for that. For example, you might consider buying an ultra wide-angle lens or a very fast prime lens to get that very smooth Bokeh effect and being able to shoot without a flash in low-light.

Whatever you consideration are, you should look at the whole package and make a smart buying decision — taking everything into account.

OK, now let’s take a look at the key differences between the three cameras..

Nikon D5300, D7100 and Canon T5i cameras side by side

Nikon D5300, D7100 and Canon T5i cameras side by side

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As you can see from the above comparison table, the Nikon D5300 has its cons and pros. It does feature a carbon-fibre reinforced body but lacks the stainless steel chassis as the Nikon D7100 and the T5i, nor it enjoys the weather-sealing capabilities of the D7100. It’s smaller and lighter, but does introduce improved ergonomic design over its predecessor, but probably will appeal less for advanced shooters who intend to use long and heavy telephoto lenses and mount an external flash. For this, a larger camera will provide better handling as it helps to better stabilize the weight of the camera against the heavy lens (e.g. 70-200mm f/2.8). Furthermore, the D5300 doesn’t have an official battery grip, although 3rd party offering does exist.

The D5300 features the latest EXPEED 4 image processor, which provide the camera the performance it needs for stills and video shooting.  Having 39-point AF system is certainly a welcomed feature, at least if you compare it to the T5i that only comes with 9 point AF system. Having said that, the 700D / T5i does have an Hybrid AF system, which means that the camera utilizes phase-detection and contrast detection advantages together for video recording and Live View. This will help promote more accurate and faster AF performance in those situations, and for those who don’t shoot video with manual focusing. I personally don’t like shooting videos with continuous AF and prefer doing it manually for smoother transitions and more professional results — rather than relying on the camera’s built-in AF to make the best choice.

Having 1080p60 is great, especially when you have a fully articulated LCD and 3.5mm mic connector. On the other hand, the D5300 lacks headphone jack which exists on the D7100, and if you don’t care about this feature, I personally found the D5300 to offer the best features for video recording overall, but I think that enthusiast videographers won’t skip the headphone jack feature, as it is important for monitoring the sound quality. The sound quality is not less important than the visuals when it comes to videos, especially if you don’t intend to override the original sound with a soundtrack of your own. For an entry-level camera,  Nikon was very generous in its video feature’s offering.

Nikon D5300 is also the only camera to offer both built-in GPS and WiFi solutions. This feature is important for novice photographers and those who are coming from point-and-shoot and mobile phone camera’s experiences. The built-in GPS will automatically geotag your photos with the location data where the image was shot. The built-in Wi-Fi will make it easier to transfer images to your smartphone and also gives you remote shooting control functionality over your camera. So for example, you can mount your camera on a tripod and see what the lens sees and control your camera settings, including the shutter release, from your phone using a dedicated app for Android or iOS devices.

The Canon Rebel T5i / EOS 700D seems like less attractive now that the D5300 is out. Among its advantages are stainless steel chassis, optional official battery grip, low-pass filter (if you see this as an advantage — less moire), larger pixels, higher maximum native ISO compared to the D7100, Hybrid AF system for Live View and video recording and Full articulated touchscreen display.

The Canon Rebel T5i sells for a very attractive price and will certainly appeal to buyers who don’t want to spend a lot on camera, and still want a camera that is capable of capturing high quality photos and have decent video features. The T5i certainly falls into this category, easily.

The think that many people are waiting for the Canon EOS 750D  Rebel T6i to come out, and now that the D5300 is overall a better camera feature-wise, many people might wait to see what Canon will come up next before making a decision. I am not the type of person who like to wait. When I want and need a camera I buy it — I don’t read rumors and predictions news to find out when a new model comes out. I don’t say that it’s not smart to do so, but the Nikon D5300 is already an excellent next-gen entry-level DSLR camera.

Image Quality Comparison

The Nikon D5300 is a great entry-level camera that comes with lots of useful features. The question that still remains is how good is its image quality and high ISO performance. Luckily imaging resouce has uploaded new Nikon D5300 sample images in its comparometer image quality comparison tool. This helps us get a good understanding about how good the Nikon D5300 image quality is and whether, if at all, the image quality has improved over the D5200 (the older model).

Here’s a summary of my observation.

  • The D5300 certainly produced sharper results, and the lack of OLPF helps to squeeze more fine details from the scene. It’s visible at 100% scale, but obviously hard to detect when scaling the image down
  • D5300 high ISO performance is 1 stop better than the D5200. A step above, but not a huge difference.
  • The D5300 high ISO performance is slightly better thab the D7100, and you can see that at ISO 6400, the D5300 is more resilient to chrome noise
  • The D5300 high ISO performance is very close to the T5i. The T5i as a smoother image with slightly less noise, but that’s due to more aggressive NR — at least when you look at images at ISO 1600 and above. The T5i has a visible advantage with clearer images, but the different is very minor and only visible when you compare the two images at 100% side by side. Both cameras result in very good high ISO performance
I would say that the D5300 definitely improved upon its predecessor the D5200 and its high ISO performance is also better than the D7100, but not by a large margin. The Canon Rebel T5i / EOS 700D takes the crown, but its high ISO performance is only a notch above the D5300.  This is probably due to the T5i larger pixels, but in conclusion, I don’t think that you can get wrong with either cameras. All perform very well at high ISO speeds up to ISO 3200, and the differences, at least in my opinion, don’t justify to get one camera over the other. It’s great however to see how good an entry-level camera can perform against a much more expensive model, the D7100.
The D7100 main strengths therefore are not related to its image quality, rather than the other advanced features that makes it unique in this category and better appeal to advanced photographers.

Before we move on to the conclusion, I want to share a video with you by ‘CameraRec Tobby’, which will summarize some of the cons and pros of the D5300.

 

Conclusion

If you read the article through you can see that Nikon introduced an excellent entry-level DSLR into the market, and a well worthy camera that can withstand future competition. The features and performance that you get with the D5300 were once belong to mid-range cameras, and it’s great to see an entry-level camera that offers such a great performance and a wide range of useful features.

The Built-in GPS and Wi-FI will certainly appeal to new comers and beginners, however some of you probably wish that this camera had a touchscreen as in the T5i.  The image quality and high ISO performance is excellent, and the AF sensor will certainly help out when shooting fast moving subjects.  The 1080p60 will give you smooth video recording playback, but the D5300 doesn’t have on-sensor phase detection sensors as in the Canon 700D, which means that the AF will be less accurate and a bit slower compared to an Hybrid AF sensor.

The D5300 is not weather sealed nor it uses magnesium alloy body, but it is more durable than the D5300 and feels good in the hands. It’s optical viewfinder is relatively small, but still offers a good view of the scene and very useful when shooting in bright daylight.

There is little to complain about the D5300. If you don’t need a top LCD, class leading AF performance, headphone jack,  high-speed sync (Auto FP Flash), weather sealing or built-in AF motor, the Nikon D5300 might be your best bet.

I think that  beginners and even advanced photographer will find the Nikon D5300 to be great for their needs.  A great all-around DSLR camera that improved a lot over its predecessor. If you are upgrading from the Nikon D5200, I think that you should look at the D7100 rather than the D5300.

If you want my opinion, I would pick up the D5300 if I didn’t have the budget for the D7100, and I would get the D5300 over the T5i without thinking twice. Have a different opinion? — post your opinion in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to share and LIKE our Facebook page.

 



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