Nikon D3300 vs. Nikon D5300 vs. Nikon D7100

There are similarities and subtle differences between the D3300, D5300 and D7100 in Nikon’s APS-C DSLR line-up, which makes choosing between them a tough decision. We take a closer look to find the right one for you

Nikon D3300 vs D5300 vs D7100 camera comparison

For those people who have set their sights on owning a Nikon DSLR, whether as a main camera or as a back-up body, there are no fewer than 18 models to choose from in Nikon's line-up.

Nikon D3300 front view

For the novice looking to buy his or her first DSLR, the Nikon D3300 comes highly recommended for the way it delivers an impressive specification at a price of around £500.

Nikon D5300 front view

Those who can stretch their budget by around £120 have the choice of the slightly more advanced Nikon D5300 - a model that looks virtually identical to the D3300 and shares the same 24.2-million-pixel resolution, but which benefits from a few more practical functions, such as built-in Wi-Fi.

Then there is the Nikon D7100. Sitting above the D5300 and costing around £840, the D7100 is the most advanced enthusiast, cropped-sensor model currently in Nikon's range.

Nikon D7100 front view

While all three models offer something different, based on the ability of the consumer they're aimed at, each also present its own questions. Does the D5300 make the better buy over the D3300? Will novices outgrow the D3300 too quickly? Is the £340 difference between the D3300 and D7100 justifiable?

Before subjecting the cameras to the full lab test to ascertain which offers the superior image quality with regard to detail, dynamic range and noise performance, it's important to outline the key differences.

Those unfamiliar with the Nikon system could be under the illusion that similarities between the three models are few and far between, but there are, in fact, a number of key crossover areas. We'll kick off by familiarising ourselves with the key functions before focusing our attention on build quality and handling.

Touching on performance, too, we'll analyse our lab results in an attempt to uncover which Nikon APS-C-format DSLR provides the best image quality and all-round performance for the best price.