Nikon D5300 – Video Review – best DSLR video quality on APS-C

February 14th, 2014

YU2A6156Well, the title says it all. In terms of video quality Nikon just brought the best APS-C sensor VDSLR to the market.
The video is sharp out of the box, yet it has a very nice organic look. Well done Nikon!

Now, before you all run to buy this camera, you must know that it is one of the most frustrating devices to work with. Where should I start….

1010025• Aperture:
If you are working with electronic lenses, there is no easy way to change aperture. You must change to photo mode in order to do so. True, it just takes the “click of a single button” yet it is very frustrating!!
(especially when the LCD screen turns blank leaving you without feedback). One possible workaround is to use manual focus lenses from Nikkor or third party companies.

• Audio:
This is one of the worst cameras I’ve ever tested when it comes to audio quality and audio functions.
The hiss is unbearable, there is manual control for audio levels but not while you are recording and worst of all there is no headphone jack for audio monitoring. Very frustrating!

IMG_343903• Focusing:
When pressing the “magnify” button you get some kind of a disturbing electronic magnification that results in a strobing screen. It is almost impossible to correctly focus on even slightly moving objects this way.

• Low light capability:
ISO 3200 proved to be too much for this camera, but at ISO 1000, which the video was mostly shot on, the quality is lovely.

Other then that all is good…. There’s no moire, no aliasing, just pure organic video with the capability to output a clean feed to an external recording device. One more plus point to note, this is Nikon’s first camera that can shoot 1080/50, 60p if wanted.

Camera settings for this review:
• 1080/25p
• Picture profile: NL
• No colour correction or sharpness was added during editing
• Audio was recorded externally. I’ve included 2 original audio files from the camera strongly relying on noise reduction. Wonder if you can spot them….
• All was shot on available light but the interviews. For that, one Cineroid L2C was used.

 

A big thank you to Maria and the wonderful people who agreed to participate in this video.
More info about Maria’s “Jodlerin2go” project can be found here.

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Recker ProductionAlexandria AbelJohnnie BehiriJames CroisdaleTonex Bass Recent comment authors
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Oliver Christoph Kochs
Oliver Christoph Kochs
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

For how long? One week ;-D

Mike Silverman
Mike Silverman
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

This is a very strange title, are you suggesting that of all the cameras in existence with an APS-C sensor this one is 100% the best? That’s a very hefty claim to make especially when the article talks about so many deficiencies of the camera

Steve MacDonald
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

There’s no difference between this image and that of the D5200. What you do gain with this model is a better LCD, and 1080p @60fps. Yep, the fact you can’t adjust the aperture in LV is ridiculous, and adding a fully manual lens will work, however, neither model will meter a fully manual lens, you’ll have to upgrade to the D7100 for that feature.

Daren Daniels
MemberMarch 22nd, 2015

“There’s no difference between this image and that of the D5200.”…FALSE! The D5200 has a well documented FPN (fixed pattern noise) issue that the D5300 does not. Under certain circumstances, a banding pattern can be detected in shadow areas on the D5200.

Edison
Edison
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

So nikon need Magic Lantern!no easy way to change apertureit is very frustrating!

Edison
Edison
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

I use D5200,no easy way to change aperture it is very frustrating!!So Nikon need Magic Lantern!

Steve MacDonald
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

There is an easy way of changing aperture, simply buy a manual lens. I have two Rokinon cine lens for my D5200 and that’s the work around. The only caveat to that is, like I stated above, the camera won’t meter those lenses, so, you have to have an eye for correct exposure. And that is just a matter of exposing a scene, taking a still of that scene, and looking at your histogram. You look at enough histograms, you’ll learn to nail your exposures.

George Kalogeris
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

I have several questions:
* Does auto-ISO works DURING recording ? (my D800 doesn’t)
* Does auto-ISO works in M mode? (my D800 doesn’t)
* Can it output 1080/25p to HDMI while writing 1080/25p to card ? (My D800 can’t)
* Does it have fine clear digital zoom that works smoothly ? (My A7 has)
* ability to turn off screen while outputting to HDMI ?
* Can I smoothly change the aperture during recording via HDMI with Fn and Pv buttons ?(like in D800)

Johnnie Behiri
Johnnie Behiri
GuestFebruary 14th, 2014

Hi Mike. The title was chosen very carefully, “best VIDEO QUALITY on APS-C”.

Thanks!

Johnnie

 Mathew Krane
Mathew Krane
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

The title should have been :
“Nikon D5300 – The first APS-C with no moiré and aliasing”

This is a miracle and the most important.
1080P @ 50/60fps is great too.

The aperture problem and the rest obviously spoils it all !

PS : would appreciate a video with more colors. Everything is yellowish here.

tomi bommi
tomi bommi
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

the best work i have seen from you over the years johnny!

Kurth Bousman
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

Great video. When will nikon realize they just need a simple eos m nik version with this sensor and they will sell a million. It appears the only solution to aperture is with auto lenses is to use a vnd. I notice all of your shots are shallow dof. If the d3300 , being alot cheaper, performs the same way, it will be a miracle. And apparently there’s a d2300 on the way as well. Where’s our nikon m ?

Steve MacDonald
MemberFebruary 14th, 2014

One other thing this camera does have the new Expeed 4 processor. There is a lot to like about this camera, as well as, dislike, but that’s par for the course with any of these DSLR cameras. WB with these models is kind of get it as close as you can and shoot, you don’t have the ability to dial in a specific Kelvin temp, yep, the D7100 does have K temp set. For video, the D7100 is worth a look, it has many features the D5200,D5300 just don’t have. As far as the video quality, they’re all about the same, with the D5200 & D5300 having a slightly sharper image.

Aranciaidraulica/Fausto Pacifici
Aranciaidraulica/Fausto Pacifici
GuestFebruary 15th, 2014

Hi Johnnie, I own this camera since December 2013 and I agree with all of your considerations.
By the way, very good video, well done!

Just few words regarding Aperture…
I’m a camera operator and my job is done almost exclusively with broadcast level shoulder cameras/camcorders or handheld camcorders with stepless rings for accurate aperture changing even while shooting..
But the point is: “stepless aperture changing”, a thing that has never been employed on photographic lenses, as far as I know.

As you said, the fact of not being able to change the aperture value in Live View mode could be a hassle, but we have to face the truth: these wondeful and cheap pieces of technology basically remain what they’ve been designed for, that is: still photos.

But there is a weird thing: ANOTHER way to change Aperture in Live View is… Changing Manual Movie Settings to OFF!!!
Obviously, this won’t let change the REAL mechanical iris aperture, and will leave the camera go its own way regarding exposure, no matter the mode used. Full Auto, in two words!

Another strange thing is about Focusing: Maybe you cannot test this camera anymore as I’ve read, but I think you’ve never tried to press the magnify button while being in AF-F mode, have you?
Strobing disappears, no other focusing mode allows to get rid of that boring strobe effect, but, you know, how can you set a precise and locked focus in Full-time Servo AF?
What a greeeat pity!!!

I hope that some simple firmware updates will solve these problems, but apart of this, Nikon D5300 remains a very, very interesting camera, talking about video capabilities too.
Last but not least: A very useful intervalometer is built-in! :-)

If you like, you may take a look at my videos with this HDSLR:
https://vimeo.com/83611065
https://vimeo.com/83927654
https://vimeo.com/84665657
https://vimeo.com/84924238
https://vimeo.com/85647799
Plus, a complete work with the Nikon D5300:
https://vimeo.com/85713411

Cheers,
Fausto, Italy.

Steve MacDonald
MemberFebruary 15th, 2014

The Rokinon Cine lenses I mentioned above are de-clicked, which means you can pull your aperture, just as you would a focus smoothly.

Tom Fox
Tom Fox
GuestFebruary 20th, 2014

The important thing is that the d5300 captured all those lovely smiles.

Nice vid.

Jon Wide
MemberFebruary 21st, 2014

Excellent work as always :-)

Are you planning on testing the Sony A6000, since it seems to have the same Nikon sensor?

 Zilvinas Zusinas
Zilvinas Zusinas
MemberFebruary 24th, 2014

Hi, Fausto.

Which exact camera settings are auto-controlled, when “Manual movie settings” is on OFF mode? Is the shutter speed variable in auto-exposure mode then? Or only ISO settings are changing during AE?

Thank you,
Zilvinas

 Zilvinas Zusinas
Zilvinas Zusinas
MemberFebruary 25th, 2014

Johnnie? :)

TextuallyActive
TextuallyActive
GuestFebruary 26th, 2014

Thanks for sharing the info and sweet video!

::::overhand chucks my Canon 70D into the trash bin::::::

jk

 Zilvinas Zusinas
Zilvinas Zusinas
MemberJuly 15th, 2014

Here is our music video, filmed with Nikon D5300 and D5200.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiQFFRe6lH4

Roger Martin
Roger Martin
Member10 days ago

Web site name says it all.
The reviewer was trying hard to fault the D5300.
Either they did not know how to set it up properly or it had pre production firmware, etc.
My D5300 gives me usable Stills and Video at 12800 ISO
What it and all DSLRs lack is really good AFF and continuous recording of more than 4GB at a time

yolo
yolo
GuestAugust 25th, 2014

As alternative the sony a6000 or sony a5100 use the exact same sensor at a fraction of the price with more video features like zebra, peaking, selectable autofocus speed for sports or cinematic, face recognition etc etc plus no issues with changing the aperture at any time, good audio, and on top of that you get a even better af system the the 70d, and iso up to 12 600 in video,all this for only 600\500$.

Matthew Orrey
Matthew Orrey
MemberDecember 1st, 2014

I read on another review that you can’t record 1080p to the SD card is that true? I’ve read that it reduces it down to 720p !

Daren Daniels
MemberMarch 22nd, 2015

Depending on the kind of video you’re shooting, the more you use auto settings as you shoot (I.e., auto focus) the more your project screams “VIDEO!!” to the viewer. Manual lenses are the best way to achieve a cinematic look to your video, regardless of what dslr you’re using, because it avoids that choppy servo focus look. Manual lenses also have the added benefit of being able to change aperture without leaving video mode with the D5200/D5300.

Daren Daniels
MemberMarch 22nd, 2015

I’m a bit late to the party, but I just wanted to say the video was great Mr. Behiri! Question – what did you use to record audio? Did you use a separate mic preamp? Did you record in camera or use a dual system, synching in post?

 Tonex Bass
Tonex Bass
MemberFebruary 22nd, 2016

I would like to know this as well.

Kelly Conlin
Kelly Conlin
MemberMay 7th, 2015

The Nikon D5500 has an excellent sensor for video, and is the upgrade for this camera. Check out a video I made showing off the dynamic range of the camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD6TltFPffc

Tom Gunst
MemberApril 11th, 2016

this is total bullshit! you can change aperture without changing modes? the sound is excellent.. one of the best on camera miss a dslr has. + This is one of the best cameras for a low budget to shoot in low light? WTF Who wrote this?

Umar Unaisin Khan
MemberApril 15th, 2016

Hi
Johnnie Behiri sir,
I have only one question.
Im a filmmaker, director, editer, and cinematographer. Now im using camera nikon d5500 .now my question. nikon d5300 or d5500 can making theater movie? This camera vide can support theater formet this only.
Thank you sir…
And your artical very use full and very thank full, because lot of people dont know nikon d5500 and d5300 features….
And thank you again sir…

 James Croisdale
James Croisdale
MemberFebruary 15th, 2017

I’ve written a blog about using the d5300 for video and you can find it here: https://hack2018.com/2015/03/13/nikon-d5300-for-video/
It covers the use of manual focus and aperture control, and manual lens usage. Hope you find it adds something to the mix! :-)

 Alexandria Abel
Alexandria Abel
MemberJuly 17th, 2017

Just discovering this article after battling with a D5300’s audio for about a month. Any resolution for coping with it?

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