The vari-angle screen and Effect modes encourage the user to shoot in live view mode (and compose the image on screen), but the live view AF system's performance lags behind that of many compact system cameras, and the screen isn't touch-sensitive.
However, a 24-million-pixel DSLR with a 3.2-inch articulating screen, 39-point AF system and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity is still a good option for someone looking to take their photography more seriously. The control layout is relatively simple, too, so you can find the settings that you want and get to grips with the camera quickly.
The direct update to the D5300, the D5500 is the first Nikon DSLR to get touchscreen control, plus there's also built-in Wi-Fi – but it's a pity GPS hasn't been carried over from the D5300, and live view autofocusing speed is no faster. There isn't much wrong with the D5500's 24.2-megapixel, non-anti-aliased sensor, though. It may be pinched from the older D5300, but it still delivers excellent image quality.
Read the full review: Nikon D5500
Canon EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 750D
Alternatively, take a look at the excellent Canon EOS Rebel T6i (known as the EOS 750D outside the US). The new 24.2MP sensor delivers stunning image quality with impressively low noise levels at high ISO sensitivities, as well as receiving built-in Wi-Fi with NFC pairing. There's also a handy vari-angle touchscreen. A very solid choice.
Read the full review: Canon EOS Rebel T6i / EOS 750D
If you're looking for something a bit more advanced, then next up the Nikon range is the D7100. An excellent performer with a wealth of features, but you will have to sacrifice a vari-angle screen.
Read the full review: Nikon D7100