D5300 and 18-140 lens- Sample Images & Thoughts

UPDATE: My Final Nikon D5300 Review is now published

I am editing "Very Early" out of the title. I have now had this camera for over a week- points below reflect my latest views

  • This camera is FAST- AF Servo easily captures a fast dog. Gone is the hesitation I saw in the D5200
  • The buffer is impressive, in fact the D7100 must be feeling a little inadequate- Using a SanDisk Extreme Card I can get 30 RAW shots in 10 seconds. The D7100 could only manage 23 with the same card!!! The D5200- 21 and to compare vs Canon- The Canon 70D gets 34. - Note with JPEGS the D7100 still has a faster FPS and can get in more shots but that doesn't matter in RAW as the D7100 very quickly fills the small buffer and slows down.
  • Auto mode produces VERY good images and flash exposure is excellent. The greenish tint is still present under some fluorescent light sources.
  • GPS is a mixed bag They offer a simple setup and a nice little track log option too. After using it for awhile I was very dissapointed at times when it took 10+ minutes to get a lock on location AND would lose location very quickly from one photo to another. Applying the A-GPS file provided on Nikon's website helps greatly and you risk draining your battery but you can turn GPS stand by to off which keeps a lock.  Overall I wish the system were a bit smarter, it seems you have a choice of missing GPS data when you let it sleep or draining the battery. I have a few examples where it didn't go to sleep and still missed marking photos with locations so more testing is needed here.
  • Wifi is painless to setup video functions are disabled when WIFI is ON and you can't even change camera settings - Basically it is a glorified remote(streams live view) that can download photos too.
  • 3.2" LCD Screen is gorgeous and looks good in bright sunlight - I wish it was touch sensitive, picking focusing points is a chore.
  • High ISO files(photos and video) are clean, very clean - a few sample images below - more coming soon.
  • Still quirky - shutter speed and aperture can change when you switch in and out of live view. In some modes you have control over aperture in live view - in others you don't. Manual movie mode needs to be on for exposure simulation to work and then you are limited to 1/30 of a second as your slowest shutter speed.

The 18-140 Lens is good - not an amazing improvement over the 18-105 but a nice balance of convenience and quality. Bought with a camera it offers good value. My Review of the Nikon 18-140 Lens.

  • 18-140 lens is convenient and quality is much improved over previous kit lenses - will have side by side vs 18-105 in a few weeks
  • 18-140 Focusing is similar to previous lenses on D5200/D7100, still not quiet or as smooth as an STM lens.

More info coming -

      • Is the buffer really larger? UPDATE- YES!!
      • How much sharper is the new sensor without the AA filter? Still testing. . .
      • How does 60fps look at 1080p compared to the max of 30fps on CanonSmooth - it may go without saying but the 1080p is a vast improvement over the 1080i offered by the Nikon D5200.
      • Is Moiré an issue?Early tests suggest not.
      • Bit rate of the files?About 40MBits/s

What else do you want to know about the Nikon D5300?

Buy the Nikon D5300 with 18-140 lens from B&H  - they have a $300 off deal that gets you the D5300 and the 18-140 for $1096

Your D5300 Questions from around the net- mostly My Instagram and Facebook

Q: How does it compare to the D5200?A: In terms of image quality they are VERY similar. I see in some images slightly sharper results, likely from the removal of the AA filter. At mid and low level ISOs differences are difficult to spot in many photos, higher ISOs the D5300 produces slightly better images.  (at this time I haven't taken any carefully controlled photos yet - My opinion may change) - I do notice the camera being a bit more responsive with a deeper buffer/more raw shots in a burst and of course it now offers built in WiFi and GPS.  Is it worth the upgrade over the D5200?  Only if you really want that built in WiFi and GPS.Q: Is it worth it to buy over the 700D/T5i (D5300 vs T5i(700D))?A: Depends - I still really like the all around performance of the Canon and as a learning tool the exposure simulation in live view on the T5i is fantastic but the D5300 produces better images and is a very feature rich camera with a good external control setup - nicely placed buttons. But without a touchscreen diving into the menu is a chore and picking a focus point on the D5300, after using the T5i and the 70D feels ridiculously slow.   Nikon still doesn't offer a silent lens for video and focusing isn't as smooth as it is on the T5i with an STM lens on.Q: How does it compare to the Canon 70D (70D vs D5300)A: This comparison isn't as fair as the D5300 vs T5i/700D. Despite the prices being close the D5300 is more entry level and the 70D is more professional level.  That said early tests do seem to show the D5300 having better image quality and of course GPS built in.    The 70D beats it on everything else - focusing system/speed, incredible live view/video focusing. Burst rate and buffer. Battery life, more robust WiFi with options to connect to a computer or hotspot (D5300 is limited to a phone or tablet running the Nikon wireless app)Q: How does it compare to the CanonD7100 (D7100 vs D5300)A: Similar to the vs the Canon 70D question - these cameras are in a separate classes except for image quality - so again image quality differences between these two seem very slight - the D5300 may squeak out a win in some photos but the D7100 offers performance! Dual card slots, serious focusing engine better battery life and more robust body.  If you are just looking for the best image quality D5300 is fine but if you need performance too the D7100 would be my pick.Q: I have heard that the D5300 GPS is not very good, can you elaborate?A: When I first glanced at the GPS section in the menu I was excited - not only could you tag photos but you could also record a track log in .log format which easily converts to a variety of formats that lets you see your path on a map.  And you had some control over the length of time between log points and it generally seemed like a robust system. You even have the ability to download AGPS data and use that to help the camera get a lock http://nikonimglib.com/agps2/index.html.en. I have since found that the camera's GPS can be very slow to get a location signal and quick to lose the signal, even when in clear view of the sky and even when it had a lock a few minutes earlier. At this moment it basically seems like Nikon used the weakest GPS chips on earth and I am disappointed.  I will try later with the AGPS data to see how much that helps. A few sample photos - mostly taken on auto mode.
Buy the Nikon D5300 with 18-140 lens from B&H  - they have a $300 off deal that gets you the D5300 and the 18-140 for $1096