Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

July 29, 2014 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Coolpix S5300 is a slim-line wi-fi enabled digital compact camera that also boasts a 16 megapixel CCD, 8x optical zoom and dynamic screen for easy use in direct sunlight. With these features and FullHD video and Hybrid VR, this could be the perfect camera for the budget conscious. Priced at around £135 / $180, the Nikon Coolpix S5300 comes in either plum or black.

Ease of Use

For those of you who prefer to use a camera that's easy on the eye then the Nikon Coolpix S5300 could be a strong contender. It mixes up sharp edges with a curvy, concave front. The 8x optical zoom sits fully inside the casing so there's no additional lumps, making the S5300 extremely pocketable. On the top of the camera, the power button is a slim affair that sits flush so you don't accidentally press it instead of pressing the shutter release. The latter rises out of the casing like a squat chimney with a very small zoom ring surrounding it.

The back of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 employs the standard layout of the large LCD screen sat to the right with all the function buttons situated to the right. At the top, a small thumb rest allows you to hold the camera one handed but has a direct video record button close by for candid £250 moments. Below this, the rest of the buttons are laid out in the typical positioning of a navigation pad with four buttons surrounding it. As well as moving you up, down, left and right the navigation pad acts as access buttons for various other functions such as flash options, macro mode, self-timer and exposure compensation.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Nikon Coolpix S5300
Front Rear

Should you want to employ the wifi feature of the Nikon Coolpix S5300, you do have to have a smart device close by such as a mobile telephone or tablet. The device must also have the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app installed. The app is available in the App Store on iOS as well as the Google Play store on Android. This does mean that the feature is fairly limited to whether you have a wifi enabled phone. Believe it or not, some people still don't.

Start up time from cold is either fast or slow, depending on whether you want to hear the simulated shutter noise as the Nikon Coolpix S5300 takes a picture. If you do, you'll be looking at speeds of 2.2sec to switch on, focus and take a picture. If not, you can enjoy incredibly speedy times of 1.3sec.

There are a couple of burst modes should you want to take pictures of action and not miss something. You have the choice of High and Low burst modes. In High burst mode, the camera will take around seven pictures in a one second period. These are at full size resolution so you don't lose image quality. In the Low burst speed, the camera plods along at a comparably tepid rate. It's still by no means slow, though. The S5300 managed to take 16 pictures in a ten second period which is around 1.6fps. That's pretty good for a low budget camera.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Nikon Coolpix S5300
Front Side

There are two menu systems on the Nikon Coolpix S5300. Press the green camera button and a small function menu will pop up on the right side of the screen. There are five options for putting the camera into various shooting modes such as Auto, Smart portrait, Digital effects, Scene modes and Intelligent scene. The latter will analyse the picture and select the appropriate scene to place the picture into. Depending on the mode will determine the amount of options available in the Main menu which is accessed via the Menu button at the bottom of the camera.

Press that and the Main menu covers the entire screen area. It's split into three sections. The first section splits the menu into four tabs to cover the primary functions of the Nikon Coolpix S5300; shooting, video, wifi and set-up. Select one of these and the centre section of the menu shows the various options available to you. The portion on the right is for any sub-menus that are accessed via the centre section. The Shooting section lets you change things like the resolution, ISO, AF area and white-balance. In the Video section, you can change the resolution, focusing mode, image stabiliser or wind noise reduction. The Wifi section helps you to find a wifi device, such as your smart phone while the Set-up changes less used features such as the Language, Welcome screen and Date & time.

The Main menu is cast in two shades of grey with light font on the darker grey and black on the light grey. A yellow band acts as a highlighter to display where you are in the menu system.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Nikon Coolpix S5300
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

You can view pictures you've already taken by pressing the blue arrow button. You can do this regardless of whether the Nikon Coolpix S5300 is on or off. The most recently taken photograph will be shown on the screen with very basic information about the photograph flashing on-screen for a few seconds before disappearing. Press the blue arrow again and a playback version of a Function menu pops up and it allows you to restructure the order of your pictures, such as Date or Favourites.

The main Playback menu simply removes the shooting and video sections and replaces them with one playback section. The Wifi and Set-up menu remains. In the Playback section, you can create a slide-show to view the pictures on the screen, protect individual images (they won't be protected from formatting, though), rotate the images, copy them and even add D-Lighting or put them through a Retouch system. If you decide to retouch your photograph, the camera deals with it all, you just have to decide the intensity of the action. The camera will then save another copy, so you have the original still.

Open the box of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 and it's split into two halves. The top half holds the warranty card and a Quick Start Guide. Below that, you'll find the camera, a lithium ion battery, charging unit, UK plug adapter, wrist strap and USB cable. The full manual is now available for download on the Nikon website along with a basic editing system, should you desire or need one. Nikon have began to do this recently in order to reduce the amount of packaging and CDs that are used. Holding the instructions on a PDF on a server is infinitely better than distributing a plastic disc with every camera.

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.


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)

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ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

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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.



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


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)

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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)

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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 (100% Crop)

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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)
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Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

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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)

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Night Scene Handheld

Night Scene Handheld (100% Crop)

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Night Scene Tripod

Night Scene Tripod (100% Crop)

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Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix S5300 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 30 second movie is 60.6Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Front of the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Front of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Side of the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Shooting Mode Menu

Nikon Coolpix S5300

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Main Menu


Nikon Coolpix S5300

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix S5300
Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Main Menu
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Main Menu
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Rear of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 / Main Menu
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Top of the Nikon Coolpix S5300
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Bottom of the Nikon Coolpix S5300
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Side of the Nikon Coolpix S5300
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Side of the Nikon Coolpix S5300
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Front of the Nikon Coolpix S5300
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Memory Card Slot
Nikon Coolpix S5300
Battery Compartment


As soon as we started shooting with the Nikon Coolpix S5300, we could see what the image quality was going to be like. The pictures look very over sharpened on the screen, but aren't as bad when viewed on a screen. Saying that, they are still sharper than we prefer, but this completely personal choice. The slim design is perfect for slipping into a pocket while not in use.

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 is a breeze to use with many features either close at hand or very easy to find. The menu systems are well laid out and intelligently compartmentalised for easier navigation. Adding wifi to a camera at this price will entice certain owners that may have looked elsewhere because the benefits of shooting on a camera rather than on your phone – in terms of image quality – are phenomenal. While sensors on a digital compact camera are very small (which is one reason they suffer from noise so much), they're still bigger than a smart phone. Sure there's extra steps needed to get your pictures onto social media, but the increase in detail, dynamic range, colour and sharpness should outweigh your impatience.

We think that the Nikon Coolpix S5300 would be ideal for photographers looking to take extended trips away from home. We've already noted the benefits of the charging unit that Nikon provide for the camera and how it reduces the amount of equipment you need to carry. Couple that with the long zoom range, FullHD video and wifi connection and you have a camera that will not only cope with the majority of situations it finds itself needing to record, but will record them in a suitably high definition.

On top of that, the Nikon Cooilpix S5300 is priced very reasonably to be an aggressive contender for other similarly priced models. If you find yourself in the market for a well priced digital camera with a good zoom and useful features for a travelling amateur photographer, then take a look at the Coolpix S5300 from Nikon.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Coolpix S5300.

Canon IXUS 150

The Canon IXUS 150 (also known as the PowerShot ELPH 140 IS) is a stylish and affordable point-and-shoot compact camera. Stand-out features include a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x wide-angle zoom image stabilized lens and a metal body. Read our in-depth Canon IXUS 150 review now...

Canon IXUS 155

The Canon IXUS 155 is a new stylish and affordable point-and-shoot compact camera. Stand-out features include a 20 megapixel sensor, 10x 24-240mm zoom lens, and a metal body, all for just £110. Read our in-depth Canon IXUS 155 review now...

Fujifilm FinePix T400

The Fujifilm FinePix T400 compact camera offers a 10x zoom, 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch LCD screen and 720p movies, all for a street price of just £70 / $90. Read our Fujifilm FinePix T400 review to find out if it's a genuine bargain or one to avoid...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9 is a brand new travel-zoom compact camera. The stylish Panasonic SZ9 offers 16 megapixels, a 10x zoom lens (25-250mm), 3 inch LCD screen, built-in wi-fi connectivity, 10fps burst shooting and 1080p HD movies. Read our expert Panasonic DMC-SZ9 review now...

Samsung WB30F

The Samsung WB30F is a new travel-zoom camera that won't break the bank. The WB30F offers a wide-angle 10x zoom lens, 16.2 megapixel sensor, 720p video recording, 3 inch LCD screen and built-in wi-fi. Read our in-depth Samsung WB30F review to find out if it's worth the modest asking price....

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60

Entry level cameras don't have to be big and ugly, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60 is a case in point. This stylish compact packs an 8x zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch screen and a wealth of beginner-friendly features into its svelte frame. Priced at around £150, read our Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX60 review to find out if its performance matches its good looks...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Coolpix S5300 from around the web. »

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 was announced in January 2014 and is a Wi-Fi enabled compact camera which also features a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and an 8x optical zoom lens. It is available in either plum or black and costs around £147.
Read the full review »


Effective pixels 16.0 million
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CMOS; approx. 16.76 million total pixels
Lens NIKKOR lens with 8x optical zoom
Focal length 4.5-36.0 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 25-200 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
F-number f/3.7-6.6
Lens construction 8 elements in 7 groups
Magnification Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 800 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction Lens shift (still pictures). Lens shift and electronic VR (movies)
Motion blur reduction Motion detection (still pictures)
Autofocus Contrast-detect AF
Focus range [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 1.5m (5 ft) to infinity. Macro mode: Approx. 2 cm (0.8 in.) to infinity (wide-angle position). (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens)
AF-area mode Face priority, manual with 99 focus areas, center, subject tracking, target finding AF
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 460k-dot, TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment
Frame coverage Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical (compared to actual picture)
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 99% horizontal and 99% vertical (compared to actual picture)
Media Internal memory (approx. 25 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
File system DCF, Exif 2.3, and DPOF compliant
Storage file formats Still pictures: JPEG. Sound files (Voice Memo): WAV. Movies: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: LPCM stereo)
Image size (pixels) 16M (High) [4608 x 3456(fine)]. 16M [4608 x 3456]. 8M [3264 x 2448]. 4M [2272 x 1704]. 2M [1600 x 1200]. VGA [640 x 480]. 16:9 [4608 x 2592]. 1:1 [3456 x 3456]
Shooting modes Scene auto selector, Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Easy panorama, Pet portrait), Special effects, Smart portrait, Auto
Release mode Single (default setting), Continuous H (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 9.4 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is about 7), Continuous L (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 2 fps and themaximum number of continuous shots is about 7), Pre-shooting cache (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 11 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is 5, including a maximum of two frames captured in the pre-shooting cache), Continuous H:120 fps (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 120 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is 50), Continuous H:60 fps (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 60 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is 25), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16
Movie - file format 1080/30p (default setting): 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/25p (default setting): 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/60i: 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/50i: 1920 x 1080/16:9, 720/30p: 1280 x 720/16:9, 720/25p: 1280 x 720/16:9, iFrame 720/30p: 1280 x 720/16:9, iFrame 720/25p: 1280 x 720/16:9, 480/30p: 640 x 480/4:3, 480/25p: 640 x 480/4:3, HS 480/4x: 640 x 480/4:3, HS 720/2x: 1280 x 720/16:9, HS 1080/0.5x: 1920 x 1080/16:9
ISO sensitivity ISO 125-1600. ISO 3200, 6400 (available when using Auto mode)
Exposure metering Matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure and exposure compensation (-2.0 - +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter type Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
Shutter speed 1/1500-1 s. 1/4000 s (maximum speed during high-speed continuous shooting). 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (-3 AV) selection
Aperture range 2 steps (f/3.7 and f/10.5 [W])
Self-timer Can be selected from 10 s and 2 s
Flash range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity Auto) [W]: 0.5-3.5 m (1 ft 8 in.-11 ft). [T]: 1.5-2.0 m (5 ft-6 ft 6 in.)
Flash control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
USB Hi-Speed USB equivalent
Data transfer protocol MTP, PTP
HDMI output Can be selected from Auto, 480p, 720p, and 1080i
I/O terminal Micro-USB connector, HDMI micro connector (Type D) (HDMI output)
Supported languages Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (included). AC Adapter EH-62G (available separately)
Charging time Approx. 1 h 50 min (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-71P and when no charge remains)
Battery life1 Approx. 180 shots when using EN-EL19
Movie recording (actual battery life for recording)2 Approx. 35 min (1080/30p) when using EN-EL19. Approx. 40 min (1080/25p) when using EN-EL19
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 96.9 x 58.0 x 20.9 mm (3.9 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 138 g (4.9 oz) (including battery and SD memory card)
Operating environment - temperature 0°C-40°C (32°F-104°F)
Operating environment - humidity 85% or less (no condensation)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards IEEE 802.11b/g/n (standard wireless LAN protocol)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) communications protocols IEEE 802.11b: DBPSK/DQPSK/CCK. IEEE 802.11g: OFDM. IEEE 802.11n: OFDM
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) range (line of sight) Approx. 10 m (11 yd)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) operating frequency 2412-2462 MHz (1-11 channels)
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) data rates (actual measured values) IEEE 802.11b: 5 Mbps. IEEE 802.11g: 20 Mbps. IEEE 802.11n: 20 Mbps
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) security WPA2
Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) access protocols Infrastructure
Supplied accessories Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19, Charging AC Adapter EH-71P, USB Cable UC-E21

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