Nikon D5300 vs D3200

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5300, which is considered to be an upper-entry level DSLR and the current entry-level D3200 (see our review). What does the higher-end D5300 bring to the table and what are the key differences between these models? Let’s take a closer look. Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5300 vs D3200 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5300 review.

Nikon D5300 vs D3200

A number of our readers have been sending us inquiries about differences between the D5300 and the current entry-level D3200 model to see if it is worth upgrading from the lower end model or not. Some still have older D3000 and D3100 models as well and are evaluating the D5300, so we’ve provided some recommendations below as well. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications:

Nikon D5300 vs D3200 Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D5300Nikon D3200
Sensor Resolution24.1 Million24.2 Million
AA FilterNoYes
Sensor TypeCMOSCMOS
Sensor Size23.5×15.6mm23.2×15.4mm
Sensor Pixel Size3.92µ3.85µ
Dust Reduction / Sensor CleaningYesYes
Image Size6,000 x 4,0006,016 x 4,000
Image ProcessorEXPEED 4EXPEED 3
Viewfinder TypePentamirrorPentamirror
Focus MotorNoNo
Viewfinder Coverage95%95%
Built-in FlashYesYes
Flash Sync Speed1/2001/200
Storage Media1x SD, SDHC, SDXC1x SD, SDHC, SDXC
Continuous Shooting Speed5 FPS4 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability100,000 cycles100,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor2,016-pixel RGB sensor420-pixel RGB sensor
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-12,800ISO 100-6,400
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 25,600ISO 12,800
Autofocus SystemMulti-CAM 4800DXMulti-CAM 1000DX
Focus Points39 AF points, 9 cross-type11 AF points, 1 cross-type
AF DetectionUp to f/5.6Up to f/5.6
Video CapabilityYesYes
Video OutputMOV, CompressedMOV, Compressed
Video Maximum Record Time20 min in 24p, 30 min in 30p20 min in 24p, 30 min in 30p
Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p, 25p, 24p
Audio RecordingBuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Articulating LCDYesNo
LCD Size3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution1,037,000 Dots921,000 dots
HDR SupportYesNo
Built-in GPSYesNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityBuilt-inEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1a
BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery ChargerMH-24 ChargerMH-24 Charger
Weather Sealed BodyNoNo
USB Version2.02.0
Weight (Body Only)480g with battery and memory card455g with battery and memory card
Dimensions125 x 98 x 76mm125 x 96 x 76.5mm
MSRP Price$799 (as introduced)$699 (as introduced)

Here are the main differences:

  1. Sensors: While the resolution is very similar, the sensors used on both cameras are different. The sensor on the D3200 is made by Nikon, while the sensor on the D5300 is made by Toshiba (same as on the D7100). The D5300 has no optical low pass filter, so it is capable of resolving more details than the D3200
  2. ISO: The native ISO range for the D5300 is 100-12800, with boost up to 25600. The D3200 has a smaller range at 100-6400, with 12800 boost max
  3. Image Processor: The D5300 has the latest EXPEED 4 processor, which allows for faster in-camera editing and recording of movies up to 60p in HD. The D3200 is limited to 30p
  4. Autofocus System: The D5300 has the same AF system as the Nikon D7000 with 39 AF points, while the D3200 has a very old AF system that only has 11 AF points
  5. Speed: The D5300 is slightly faster than the D3200 by 1 FPS (5 FPS vs 4 FPS)
  6. Metering: The D5300 has a more advanced 2016 pixel metering sensor, versus the lower-end 420 pixel sensor on the D3200
  7. LCD Screen: The D5300 has a large 3.2″ articulated screen, while the D3200 has a fixed 3″ screen with slightly less resolution
  8. Wi-Fi and GPS: The D5300 is the first Nikon DSLR to include Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities for things like remote camera control and geotagging of images. The D3200 has no such option and requires external tools
  9. Price: Being a lower-end model, the D3200 costs $100 cheaper than the D5300

The Nikon D5300 is definitely a solid upgrade to those considering moving up from the original D3000, D3100 and even D5000 and D5100 DSLRs. A lot of things have changed in the past few years and the D5300 is a very solid camera in terms of features and image quality. For existing D3200 owners, the D5300 offers a better autofocus system, more precise metering, a larger articulating LCD screen and Wi-Fi + GPS capabilities. For me personally, these differences are worth the upgrade, especially the Wi-Fi and GPS options, but if you do not particularly care about those, then you would probably be better off skipping another generation before considering to move up to an upper entry-level camera. And if you are stuck between choosing the D3200 or the D5300, my recommendation would be to buy the D5300. For only $100 difference, it has a lot more to offer in comparison.

Comments

  1. October 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Hi, Nasim:

    Thank you very much for your comparison.

    Is the subtitle wrong? Nikon D5200 vs D3200 Specification Comparison?

    Thanks,

    William

    • October 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      William, I apologize, I accidentally put D5200 instead of D5300 in the small title in the article. Fixed now :)

      Thank you!

  2. 2
    ) Ron Dewar
    October 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I’m confused, the D5200 has the Expeed 4 processor?

    Ron

    • October 17, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Ron, my bad – I fixed the smaller heading. It was supposed to say D5300 :)

  3. 5
    ) Ron Dewar
    October 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    :)

  4. 6
    ) Jeff Harshaw
    October 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for the comparison! Do you think the D5300 is a better option as an upgrade to the D3200 or do you believe the D7100 is?

    • October 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Jeff, the D7100 is a semi-pro camera with a lot more to offer, including a very advanced 51-point AF system. I would personally go for the D7100, unless you really want the built-in GPS + WiFi.

      • 13
        ) Jeff Harshaw
        October 20, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        Thanks Nasim! I’ve been leaning towards the D7100 already but the D5300 sounds like a real good camera body.

        The wildcard is the D610-do I stick with a DX or make the jump instead to the D610?

        • October 20, 2013 at 9:11 pm

          Jeff, FX is a big leap in image quality, viewfinder and features from the D3200. If autofocus is not critical for your photography, I would recommend the D610 over the D7100. I must warn you though – it is a big change and will require you to upgrade your lenses to full-frame.

          • 15
            ) Jeff Harshaw
            October 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

            Hi Nasim,

            That’s true and that is something I have to take into consideration. But even if I were to stay with a DX body like the D7100 wouldn’t I have still have to upgrade my lens kit from the kit lens 18-55 to either the Sigma 17-50 or the Nikkor 17-55 and upgrade my 55-200 to at least the Nikkor 70-200 F4 lenses? I can not afford the 80-400 so I was thinking of either going with the Sigma 120-400 or the 150-500 to shoot my wildlife stuff.

  5. 8
    ) Bruno
    October 18, 2013 at 1:32 am

    100$ of difference between the D3200 and D5300? Something is wrong here..

    At least where I am, the D3200 is amost 185€ cheaper than the D5200.. the D5300 will be more than double the price.

    • October 18, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Bruno, those are prices at launch and actually have been that way in the US for a while now…

      • 12
        ) Bruno
        October 18, 2013 at 11:26 am

        Ok..

        The D5300 will cost 929€ with the 18-55mm lens..Auch..

  6. 9
    ) Paddy
    October 18, 2013 at 2:42 am

    In my opinion, this article has to be proof read properly. Point 5. in main differences section is blank!! Falls way below the high quality reviews which have become the hallmark of this site.

    • October 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Paddy, thanks for letting me know. I did proofread it before publishing, but I guess I missed a slash in section 4, which automatically created a new section. I have just fixed that :)

  7. 16
    ) Rena
    January 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Hi, I am thinking of buying a Nikon for the better resolution as my cameras are both Lumix Fz200 &
    G1 interchangeable lens). I am looking for great bokeh effects for portraits and group shots. Need
    great autofocus, image stabalization. Would the 5300 or 3200 be the best choice? Neither have
    the image stabalization however, perhaps in the lenses?

  8. 17
    ) Araz Rustamov
    February 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Salam Aleykum Nazim,
    I am thankful for your effort and deep review of these two devices. I am thinking of buying D5300 for both video and photo experience. I would like to know what device can be compared to D5300
    Whether i like taking good quality videoes ( slow motion and sharp view in video ) and good quality
    Portrait photoes, landscapes.
    Thanks in advance.

  9. 18
    ) ken makarin
    May 24, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Nasim,

    Thanks for the article. I am working my way into freelance photography and currently have a Canon T3i. The more I move from “auto” modes to manual functions I’m increasingly becoming less happy with it. In your opinion is it worth it to go for the 5300 or start at the 3200? Thanks for your input.

    Ken

  10. 19
    ) Jasmin
    August 23, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Nice comparison, Nikon D5300 is a great camera but i think it is not good for beginners to DSLR technology and photography. that’s what i read in this post http://goo.gl/eq7LJo , Nikon D3200 introduce lot of people to DSLR world, but i think that NIkon D5300 can be a great upgrad for owners of Nikon D3200

  11. 20
    ) Donezeco paparazzi
    September 6, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Am a pro photographer frm Nigeria ur all wonderful, @ list when it come to world of photography u don’t clam to be the best, with ur contribution one or two person have learn sometn, i started frm Nikon D5000 to canon T3i to Canon 6d big frame were I’m now but i need backup camera now pls which one do i go d5300 or d3200 thanks

  12. 21
    ) Donezeco paparazzi
    September 6, 2014 at 1:52 am

    D3200 and d5300 which of them is the best pls

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