Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

July 29, 2014 | Matt Grayson | |
thumbnail

Image Quality

All images were taken at the maximum resolution setting which produced images around 7.6Mb in size. There's a 16 megapixel setting that has a lower compression rating and will record images at around 3.72Mb. This could be useful if you're struggling for space, but runs the danger of losing fine detail in the pictures.

Noise

Looking past the over sharpening of the Nikon Coolpix S5300, the noise levels at low ISO are very good. We can't see any traces whatsoever and there's a nice amount of detail available throughout. If you were to view the pictures at full magnification, noise starts to become visible at ISO 400 with slight amounts of purple haze - on our test shot – in dark areas. The amount of available detail begins to drop as well. Despite this invasion, colour noise is kept at bay quite well. It can be easily missed until ISO 3200 when looking at the pictures at normal viewing size. At full magnification, detail has gone completely from the darker areas and edges break up from salt and pepper noise. In fact, ISO 800 is the turning point. That's the last setting where the edges are sharp and you can see some detail in dark areas. Still, a good performance from such a little camera with a tiny sensor and a low price.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso200.jpg
   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg
   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 has an 8x optical zoom which starts at a wide-angle 25mm and pushes through to 200mm in 35mm terms. Edge to edge sharpness is good with only a slight noticeable loss in quality.

25mm

200mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Sharpening

In-camera sharpening is very strong and we couldn't find a way to adjust it. Despite this, there were some areas where an additional boost of sharpening in an editing suite proves useful. We found it's trial and error and you may find it useful, then you may not.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

Nikon digital compact cameras have a very useful feature with the resolution. The 16 megapixel option has two settings for Fine and Normal compression. If you choose the Fine setting (16*) then more detail is retained when saving to memory card. This is great for those fine detail images, but it does use up more of your memory card storage space. A typical image in Fine has a file size of around 6.8Mb while the Normal setting has a file size of around 3.8Mb. There's a big difference there and on some pictures you can see a difference, so it's worth weighing up the pros and cons per picture.

High (100% Crop) Normal (100% Crop)
quality_high.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration is coped with very well with only a couple of instances where we found it. This was on a high contrast edge of white on black. Normally, it's only seen at the edges of a frame, but we did find it towards the centre of the frame also.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 has a close focus setting of 2cm. That's better than some other Nikon's that are only a few pounds less expensive than this. If you like taking pictures of flowers in the garden or local creepy crawly wildlife, then the extra investment would prove useful. Images are very sharp in the centre of the frame but there's not a massive sweet spot and image quality does begin to drop off at an early stage.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 works with an intelligent flash system that compliments and stabilises the light already available. It can bleach subjects if they're too close, but generally it's designed to make it look like it's not there. The camera suffers from vignetting at the wide-angle and full zoom settings which doesn't change with the flash firing.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (200mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (200mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

We didn't come across any red-eye while conducting our tests, so can't vouch for how good the red-eye reduction system is, but it's enabled in the flash menu on the back of the camera and uses a pre-flash system to close the pupil down and minimise red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Night

There are two night scene options when taking pictures at night. Although if you include the Auto setting, you could argue that there are three. In Night scene, you're faced with the option of shooting in Tripod or Hand-held mode. The one you choose is entirely dependent on whether you have somewhere to rest the camera such as a wall, table or, indeed, a tripod.  Choosing the Tripod mode wil put the camera into a lower ISO setting to enable a slower shutter speed. The Nikon Coolpix S5300 chose ISO 125 in our test shot while selecting ISO 1600 in the Hand-held mode. The image taken in Auto gave the same results as the Tripod setting.

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

night_auto.jpg night_auto1.jpg
   

Night Scene Handheld

Night Scene Handheld (100% Crop)

night_scene_handheld.jpg night_scene_handheld1.jpg
   

Night Scene Tripod

Night Scene Tripod (100% Crop)

night_scene_tripod.jpg night_scene_tripod1.jpg