Customer Reviews: Nikon D5200 24.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (Black)
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Color: Black|Style: Body Only|Configuration: Base|Change
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on January 20, 2013
This camera may be the best APS-C in its class so far. After Nikon's quality control issue with the full-frame D600 (sensor oil spot problem), Nikon may be able to win back its trust with this new release, again aimed at enthusiasts and amateur photographers. Being an amateur photographer for years and have invested quite a sum in Sony, Canon and Nikon bodies and lenses, I myself settled with Nikon in personal preference. I would say all three brands got its personality (good and bad), especially with Sony pushing the translucent mirror technology.

The D5200 is a step up from the D3200 as an entry to mid-level body. Very solid performance and thank god it does not suffer the fate of the D600. The D5200 produces extremely good quality images just like the D3200. Both the D3200 and D5200 share the 24MP sensor resolution, with the difference being the light sensitivity in high ISO situations. Both cameras are able to produce extremely well results in terms of photo quality. I am usually able to get better image results from the D3200 and D5200 compared with Sony's A65 and A77 in actual use. Sony somehow made the older A55 easier than the A65 and A77 at getting a clean and noise free shot (maybe due to sensor difference). So Nikon wins here, I would say the image quality of the D5200 is as good as the well acclaimed Canon 60D in most cases easily done (with the D5200 at a higher resolution). So the major difference of the D5200 compared with the D3200 is the focus sensor and exposure meter sensor. The D5200 borrows the technology from the bulkier D7000 and presents 39 AF points including 9 cross-type AF points for accuracy and a more precise exposure metering system (D3200 have 11 AF points, 1 cross-type). This is extremely useful in specific situations, such as shooting moving objects or in macro photography. The D3200 performed very well in everyday shooting, but with my 40mm and 60mm Nikon Micro lenses, the AF failed to accurately or effectively focus on very close subjects. The D5200 however is much better, the body focused efficiently on to desired subjects precisely. The focus speed is still mainly dependent on the lens.

The swing-out LCD screen is useful in some situations and video shooting, but proves less useful to me. And keep in mind when using live-view, the camera no longer uses the phase-detection AF sensors, but rather switches to use contrast AF, which utilizes your APS-C image sensor and the CPU (less accurate and slower AF in most cases).

The D5200 is not designed to be weatherproof, but it will survive a short time of mist and a few droplets. Anything more may just end up killing the camera. The battery life is very good for photos, will last you 1000+ shots on a single charge in most cases while not using live-view. However when you need it for a video project, consider carrying a few extra batteries with you or resort to an external power source.

If you are starting out in Nikon or just DSLR in general, buy the 18-55mm Kit, and add on the 55-200mm VR lens (you get $100 discount bundled). The Nikon 55-200mm DX VR is a VERY GOOD lens, you do not want to get it later since you may be paying the full price for a new one. The VR (Nikon's optical vibration reduction) of the 55-200mm will allow you to capture subjects/people at a good wanted distance with extremely well image quality and brilliant background defocus, opens many doors for quality and creativity. The Nikon 55-200mm DX VR is one of the best lenses I have used and also at a very affordable price.

The other kit lens offering of the D5200 is the 18-105mm kit. The 18-105mm is not very good and I'm not going to get too much into the details; it generally is not very good in terms of construction for a heavier lens and causes more barrel distortion.

For me, how the function buttons are positioned on the D5200 is a little awkward, but for others it may just be a matter of time to get used to. Compared with the D5100, the D5200 is quite a big step-up in terms of crucial internal hardware.
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on July 18, 2014
Purchased as refurbished. Basically looks and functions as new. 1515 shutter clicks, barely used. The price difference from new makes this a huge bargain camera for the budget minded. I purchased this as a back up body. With limited use at this point, this is a wonderful camera. It has the major advantage of being very light weight and big enough to get a hand on it. If you are hauling around a DSLR all day this is an important consideration. Especially if you carry an extra lens or two. Really gets important if you are caring an additional body to eliminate lens changes in dirty environments or fast moving situations. I chose this body over it's newer D5300 version because I have no need of GPS capabilities. If I need Wi Fi I can get that with an adaptor or a Wi Fi card. Both items cost far less than stepping up to the next model. Any other updates are not significant between the models (for my uses). The one thing I really find I use, and missed more than I would ever have guessed, is the articulated screen. High shots, low shots, shots using a smaller/lower/lightweight tripod, this adjustable screen is so incredibly convenient. Saves the back, keeps me out of the dirt for the most part, and helps visibility in bright lighting conditions. I really missed this when I upgraded to the D7100 from the D5100. The technical points of this camera are covered in multiple other reviews, so I will just say I am not disappointed in the images it captures, even when comparing to the D7100. I really wish the D5200 could use the older lenses, the ones that need the screw type AF system within the camera body (the D7100 can). This body uses only the AF-S lenses to auto focus. The older lenses will mount on this camera, but they will NOT autofocus. Nikon continues to develop nice AF-S lenses that work with this type camera, so this could be the only camera you will ever need.

Edit: I would also like to add the list of accessories I always get to complete a camera purchase. If you are new to DSLR photography this is function and protection for your investment:
1.A good multicoated UV filter. It saves your lens glass from accidental bumps, that bit of grit you miss and rub around when cleaning a random fingerprint and other crud. It also helps reduce haze. They should be on the lens from day one to protect that front element from an unforgiving environment (and the Baby's cake covered hands when you go in for the close-up first B-day!) I have twice been very thankful I took this advise myself. The lens survived, the filter did not. Was a cheap replacement (compared to a lost lens) and the photographic day was not ruined.
2. A good quality SD card. Or two. I like 32gb Sandisk Extreme 111. They are fast and I have not had one malfunction yet.
3.A spare battery. I have had good luck with fully decoded non-Nikon versions.
4. A case/bag for carrying and storage.
5. A screen saver for the LCD.
6. A proper lens cleaning kit.
There are a million other things you can use for your new hobby, but these 6 are really important to the health and well-being of your fine camera.
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on February 12, 2013
The D5200 has 24MP. 39 AF points 9 are cross type. While the Canon 6D only has 11 AF points and 1 cross type. The 6D is more than 2 times the cost and has 22MP. The Nikon D5200 has a rotating screen, picture control presets, aperture priority, shutter priority, P, and M modes. The D5200 has +/- 5 stops of exposure compensation, the 6D has 3!

The D5200 has a great burst rate of 5fps. ISO range from 100-25,600. Exspeed 3 processing power, face recognition, and full time AF with full HD video. What more could you ask for when buying a camera less than $900? I did a complete hands on review video for "Focus Camera" in NYC. I will be posting it to this review sometime later in the week when finished.

My thoughts are this camera is light, and while it is not as rugged as a 6D or D600 you get what you pay for. This camera provides great lowlight performance and stunning resolution that is higher than the $3400 5D mark II. Which is worth mentioning. Nikon has leaped ahead of the competition with their new line of cameras.

The auto focus on this camera while doing some street and urban photography is very quick and accurate. I had a blast using it as the weight is a very big plus because it can be more easily carried for longer periods of time. If you are in market for a great camera and you are not willing to spend $2k for the D600, there is nothing that will compete with this camera in terms of "Bang for Buck" with either of the brands for under $2k.

The only 3 things worth complaining about is you can't change aperture in Live View, however you can't do that in the D600 either. It isn't 100% viewfinder, which would be nice. Also the internal microphone is not that great but does have manual control. These 3 issues are not that big of a deal when considering what this camera does so well for its price range.

Great camera, amazing capabilities, worth every penny.

Video to Come later this week.

Corey Benoit
Faymus Media
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on February 13, 2013
I upgrade every 2 years or so and was close to buying the D7000 when this was announced. I owned the D5100 since it's release and have been very happy with it, but being a gadget guy I'm always looking to upgrade. As far as I was concerned the D7000 was buying old technology. I love the D5200's interface as it's much easier to navigate than the D5100 and the auto focus is much quicker and precise. The photo's are sharp and very accurate in color. I'm very happy with the D5200. Just for the 39-point AF system for smarter focusing and tracking of moving subjects (compared to the 11-point module on the D5100), a 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor (whereas the D5100 judged exposure based on just 420 pixels),the new Expeed 3 processor that permits up to five shots per second (versus the older camera's 4 fps)and the new easier to navigate interface makes it worth the price. Let me just add 1 more very big plus, the articulating screen, no other Nikon has it and it is a big plus. I've used it for shots over others heads and other creative angles that I could never get with a fixed screen.
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on June 17, 2013
Nikon has made some awfully good "Entry Level" Digital SLR cameras over the years. The most recent were the D3100 and The D5100. The main differences between the D3100 & D5100 was the D5100's articulating/brighter LCD and a bracketing feature. The D5100 is about 10% heavier and costs a bit more than the D3100. The D3200, the sucessor to the D3100, was released last year. However the D3200 was arguably a step backward introducing a much higher resolution sensor (24MP) but at the undesirable cost of additional noise at higher ISO settings.

The D5200 uses a 24MP sensor like the D3200 (although the sensors seem to be from different sources; the D5200 uses a Toshiba sensor while the D3200 uses a Sony sensor). This time fortunately, the high ISO performance has actually improved. The D5200 body is almost identical to the D5100 camera body including the articulating, high resolution LCD. The LCD screen now highlights settings for ISO sensitivity, Aperture size (F Stop setting) & Shutter speed making these settings very visible even at a glance. The LCD layout is much better (and different) than anything Nikon has previously used. Nikon does not include an LCD on the top of this camera (or on any of their smaller DSLRs) presumably due to physical surface area constraints.

The key improvement is image quality. High ISO performance is actually improved despite the 50% increase in megapixels. ISO 1600 is almost indistinguishable from ISO 200. ISO 3200 is very usable (but not really too far beyond that). Automatic White Balance for incandescent lighting, is still not great but has improved somewhat since the D5100 (but still not nearly as good as the older D5000); shooting raw is still really necessary to get the white balance right in artificial lighting (TIP: When shooting indoors, try "Sunny" instead of AWB). ISO settings can be incrementally increased between stops (ie ISO 2000) to help avoid using a higher than necessary ISO setting.

.JPGs are a little soft even after making in-camera adjustments; Shooting Raw and using Nikon's very good Image Editing software can enhance the photos quite a bit. The built in flash is not great; an external speedlight with bounce capabilities is really essential for properly exposed photographs (or alternatively not using a flash at all and shooting at a higher ISO/slower shutter speed). Like all modern DSLRs, 'live view' (LCD framing) can be used in lieu of the viewfinder. However if you regularly prefer Live View to an optical viewfinder, probably the SONY offerings or even a compact system camera (ie the Olympus PEN series) is a better choice.

The auto focus system on this (and almost every other Nikon SLR) is really, really good. Unlike the Canon SLRs (including some very expensive ones), the Nikon uses an independent infrared auto focus beam that focuses instantly on any fixed object under all lighting conditions (even total darkness). Try shooting in total darkness with any other camera series (except the 4th generation Olympus Pen) and the camera will simply refuse to auto-focus. The Nikon D5200 (and almost all Nikon SLR cameras) focuses under such conditions effortlessly.

This camera is expensive when compared to the current prices for the prior generation D5100 or D3100 which are both excellent cameras. Budget minded purchasers may want to give those cameras consideration or else wait for the inevitable price fall of the D5200.
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on October 22, 2014
I've wanted a DSLR for about 8 years now and never quite bit the bullet on making the investment. A year before I bought this camera, I researched all my options (to death). I compared specs, reviews, prices, and tested each camera out at the store... twice. My uncle is a professional photographer. And by professional, I mean the big leagues. He swears by Nikon. I've always been a Canon girl, personally. My first "real" camera was a Rebel SLR.

The big pull for me with Nikon was: you get more features for the same amount of money as the competing Canon line and the lenses are slightly less expensive. Lenses are everything. When purchasing a DSLR for the first time, people tend to get really picky about the camera and it's features. What they need to be looking at is what kind of lenses they'll want to purchase now and in the future. You can always upgrade the camera body. You're not going to want to throw away all the money you've invested in lenses, though.

As soon as I got my Nikon, I hit the ground running. My first test was at a wedding where I was the only photographer (yikes!). Although I used it mostly in automatic mode (I groan at mentioning this now), the photos turned out stunning. I've since learned how to use it in manual and take photos at all kinds of events and with many different subjects. The D5200 performs the best outdoors, in all types of lighting. It performs decently indoors, too. But, I would recommend getting a better flash if that is where you plan on using it the most.
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on July 10, 2013
I'm a beginner photographer and this is my first DSLR purchase. I had been playing around in full manual mode on a Canon G15 point and shoot before buying this so the transition was relatively easy. If you're having difficulty understanding what all of the numbers mean, the graphic display does a great job of graphically showing you what you're settings are. Another great feature for beginners is that if you don't know what a menu option does, you can hit a button and it will describe what the menu option does, differences between the settings, and which situations the settings would be optimal for.

You're probably reading this because you've looked at several entry-level DSLRs and are trying to figure out which you should purchase. I was deciding between this camera and the D3200. Why did I pick the D5200 over the D3200?

Firstly, the D3200 is not capable of doing autobracketed shots, however the D5200 is. You could manually bracket your shots, but it will take a lot longer and you run the risk of moving the camera or your tripod. With the D5200, I can take three autobracketed shots in less than one second. I do a lot of landscape photography so that is very handy!

Next, from other reviews I read and watched (feel free to correct me) it sounded like the D5200 had a little better low-light performance.

Lastly, I don't plan on purchasing another DSLR for at least a few years. The D5200 is basic enough that I can learn, but advanced enough so that I can grow. I wanted a camera that I'd be happy with for a while and this was a perfect buy. It has all the features I'll need for a while. I hope this helped.
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on August 4, 2013
Updated November 25, 2013

Professional camera reviewer Ken Rockwell suggests that the 5200 body for about $800 can do mostly everything the can be done by the D600 $2,000 body so why pay the difference for some extra dials and buttons? I followed his advice and bought the D5200 and will keep it, but if a good used D600 body were offered for sale for $1,000 I'd gladly swap. While I realize the camera can do a lot, the lack of easy control buttons and extra modes bugs me. It's a downsizing I know, but to have to hold down one button while activating another ... not intuitive after shooting for years with a larger more expensive D300. Example: somewhere along the line I was trying to adjust the aperture in A mode and apparently wound up sending the exposure compensator to +4.5, thus way over exposing my shots beyond any use. This would not have happened with the additional dials and buttons on the more professional Nikon series. (My dog was happy to fetch another ball for another test.)

The camera can indeed take great images. After resetting the exposure compensator to zero I shot images of my dog running back with a ball. In Aperture mode with aperture set at f4 the auto exposure system chose a 1/1,600 speed and the auto focus worked well; the resulting image was very sharp, even for the eyes of the dog and the marks on the tennis ball in his mouth.

As another reviewer noted, this camera's auto focus feature works with some, but not all, Nikon auto focus lenses. For example, it works with my AF-S 70-200 and 18-200 lenses, but not with a 50mm Nikon auto focus AF lens nor with a Tamron auto focus lens that I own. That's understandable and should not be a problem for people buying new lenses. Just be aware.

This might be a good starter camera for someone who thinks he or she might grow into doing more creative photography than normally done with a simple point and shoot camera.

The D5200 might also be a relatively inexpensive camera body for someone wanting to do fast moving sports photography; I've not tested the fast tracking feature, but it sounds great and the large number of megapixels should allow wider angle photos. I.e., rather than zoom in on a galloping horse and perhaps later discover the nose is missing, one could take a wider photo of the horse and background to be sure all of the horse is in the photo and then in editing crop out the unwanted parts and still have a high resolution image of the entire horse. To me that's a fairly significant advantage.

The D5200 seems to me a great technological achievement in a compact plastic size. On the other hand, for about $1,000 for the D5200 and a compatible lens, perhaps most consumers (particularly those who won't be wanting to use various lenses)could do as well with a lower cost, more pocket size camera, while photographers who are used to a larger size camera with controls we can use without looking may find themselves a bit frustrated.

It's a matter of fit between the buyer and the camera. Good luck and have fun.

Nov 25 2013 I just returned from a month long trip on a large sailboat crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Because weight and size were concerns in traveling, after debating I took only my D5200 with only my Nikon 18-200 VR lens.

This worked well! I used the weight saving to take my older larger laptop with my familiar LR and PS software; accessing the "cloud" was mostly not possible / practical and I was glad I'd made this choice.

I found the video mode surprisingly useful. When I was at the helm of the huge sailboat, the person to whom I passed my D5200 camera could not quickly use it to shoot photos, so I put it in video mode and handed it back to her. The video mode worked well in full automatic, allowing anyone who can point and shoot to create good memories. The built in microphone picked up some wind noise, but that's to be expected on the deck of a moving sailboat.

With days at sea, I began playing with the video and to push the limits. I tried videoing flying fish which sometimes skimmed above the waves, which proved too difficult for the camera's autofocusing(at least in my hands). However that was asking a lot - with the photographer sailing forward while also moving up and down from sideways swells, the background consisting entirely of waves in motion, and airborne fish briefly skimming in a different direction! In another unfair test, I got acceptable results: Others on the boat had created a slideshow on a laptop using contributed photos and were attempting to record music to match the images. I essentially had my D5200 look over their shoulders to video the laptop images while also capturing the music being played. I instead of a tripod I used a bunch of masking tape to tape my camera to a brass rail to keep it stable relative to the subject (both gently rolling sideways at the same rate). In this interior setting we would want the aperture to remain constant because only the music is changing. However, the images on the laptop screen varied in brightness and the D5200 dutifully reacted, causing some unnatural changes in the overall result. My unusual situation made clear why the camera must be in automatic aperture mode when producing video: to keep a relatively stable brightness for later viewers despite changing brightness when recording moving subjects.

In another strange situation, which no one else should attempt, I risked ruining the camera by shooting it directly at the sun with no filter protection. I did so during a solar eclipse and only during the few seconds when the entire sun was blocked, with only the corona and solar flares being visible. My images turned out to be better / more interesting than those taken by some scientists on board. Luck sometimes triumphs over skill.

In summary, the lightweight fairly compact D5200 can perform a variety of tasks.

Another person also got surprisingly good images with a $250? point and shoot camera: a Panasonic with a built in Leica lens which an on-board technical employee of Leica said was a quality lens.
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on March 8, 2015
I got this last January for recording video and taking photos of my family or scenery as I sometimes like to do. I've always wanted a DSLR and this has been a great start for me. I'll attach some photos so you can see the results for yourself.

Photos taken with the kit lenses specifically the f/3.5-5.6

My only complaint is that the kit lenses aren't very good, and I'd love to be able to get More background blur in my photos with manual focus on the aperture setting, I suppose that will have to wait till I can buy a new lens though.
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on February 18, 2013
As a professional Photographer I have Nikon equipment. This, latest edition, is my carry along camera so that I never am without a good camera capable of making exceptional images. The 24mp DX sensor is exceptional in such a compact camera. I really love the reticulating screen which allows me to compose interesting angles and particularily get low angle views without having to lie on the ground. I also really appreciate the exposure bracketing allowing me to easily create real HDR images.
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