Customer Review

591 of 634 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid performance, good value, Nikon nails it again!, January 20, 2013
This review is from: Nikon D5200 24.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
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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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 54 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 20, 2013 4:24:04 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2013 5:31:17 PM PST
Nathan Trail says:
If one has the extra money, would you recommend the D7000 over the D5200 for every-day shooting, astrophotography, and travel? I am upgrading from the D3000 and have been patiently waiting for the release of the D5200 to see how its price compares to the D7000, to my surprise the D7000 is only $100 more than the D5200.

edit: How well does the D5200 preform in astrophotography?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2013 6:15:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2013 6:36:27 PM PST
Yano says:
They both have their advantages. The D7000 is larger, gives a better grip and is weather-proof; the D7000 also have an internal focus motor, allows AF with more lenses; extra control dial plus the top info display may prove helpful sometimes. The D5200 is smaller, includes newer sensor technology, and 24MP allows some images to be presented/printed larger with better details and better post-capture cropping/editing abilities. Oh and the D7000 have 2 SD card slots, not very useful to me. There are a few other minor advantages to the D7000 that everyday/travel photography will rarely be able to take advantage of.

Personally, I would still recommend the D7000 at the given price.

added: For astrophotography, there may be little bias between the two, the D5200's newer sensor may provide slightly better light sensitivity. I would say filters and lenses are much more of the deciding factors for shooting the night sky.

Posted on Jan 20, 2013 7:32:24 PM PST
avis9 says:
Can you please explain why you rated this camera 4 stars and not 5 stars?

Posted on Jan 22, 2013 7:34:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 22, 2013 7:35:04 PM PST
Tor Slettnes says:
I'm curious about your last sentence:
"Compared with the D5100, the D5200 is quite a big step-up in terms of crucial internal hardware."

This contradicts nearly everything I have read so far, incl. the D5200 Preview on The D5200 has
* a higher resolution (but slightly smaller) sensor
* AF system from the D7000 (39-point phase detection, vs. 11 points on the D5100)
* a _slightly_ updated image processing chip

Incremental upgrades to be sure, but crucial? Really?

As far as the sensor, it seems that 24MP may still be pushing it in terms of IQ for this size - you might actually get better dynamic range and low light performance with the larger pixel sizes in a 16MP sensor (D5100). (Some user comments/discussions on DPReviews seem to confirm this).

Also, note that the D3100 and the D5100 do NOT share sensor. The D5100 uses the same 16MP sensor as in the D7000 - slightly larger area and much better low light performance than the D3100.

Likewise, the D5200 does NOT share sensor with the D3200. Even the resolution is SLIGHTLY different. Presumably, a future upgrade to the D7000 might share sensor wth the D5200 - that's why I'm curious if you have any ACTUAL first hand knowledge about the D5200 IQ vs. the D5100.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 1:54:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 2:04:27 PM PST
Yano says:
You do realize Amazon don't pay me to write reviews, right? Like I said, I'm an enthusiast photographer, a hobby for me... Not like I make a living out of it... BUT, I am quite aware that the D5200 does not have the same sensor configuration as the D3200... (I know what you mean by the more light per "bigger" pixel concept with the lower resolution sensors, but at least I do not see my D5100 shots any better than the D5200 in low light or dynamic range). If you actually understood the English meaning of "crucial", I'd say I'm about right on the spot. I don't see what "contradicts"... But funny thing is, I actually have these camera bodies and have good sample photos taken by me. Do you? Or are you just reading specs off of all kinds of websites... Sorry mate, don't judge if you don't want to be judged. Just being realistic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 5:15:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 23, 2013 5:22:15 PM PST
am says:
Yano, if i may ask, did you ever used a D7000 by any chance? If yes could you comment on the sharpness difference between D7000 and this new D5200. When i say sharpness i mean SOOC sharpness, i would think this more entry level more point and shoot camera is "easier" to set up and shoot right away, compared to the much more MANUAL operated D7000. The reason why i ask is because i recently sold my D7000, but i am considering re-buying it or i might possibly get this D5200. I REALLY REALLY preffer the external buttons/functions of D7000 but i also really would LOVE to get my hands on a Wi Fi capability camera also, mostly this is one of the reasons why i will probably not be going back to the D7000, but i just MIGHT.

Another stupid question, does this or any other more entry level camera able to perform IN-CAMERA Custom White Balance??? Please let me know, thank you.

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 1:16:23 PM PST
Pard says:
Excellent review, I appreciate the detail you provided in a such a brief space. Here's an interesting question, I'm still using a D200, I use it in a studio 99% of the time for product photos for a website and I have a bunch of good Nikon lenses. It does a fine job, but I'd like a little more "headroom" when cropping and always looking for better contrast range. I really don't want to spend the money on the D600/800, do you think the D5200 would be a step up from the D200 or should I wait for the theoretical "D400" (D300 replacement)? Thanks.

Posted on Jan 29, 2013 6:29:39 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2013 7:11:52 AM PST
Avid Reader says:
I'm unclear on if you actually own a production model and if so, how long you shot with it before your review? Thanks!

Posted on Jan 30, 2013 8:15:49 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2013 8:19:55 PM PST
Gadgety says:
You said the 18-105 is not very good. I know some people like to complain about the plastic mount, but that's only because they read someone else complaining about it on the internet. Have you actually had a 18-105 break on you? Neither have I. For the target market of a D5200, the 18-105 is *plenty* sturdy. Not only that, but it takes sharper pictures than the 18-55 and has twice the reach. (See photozone or lenstip for MTF sharpness testing if you're skeptical of my claim of it being sharper than the 18-55). The barrel distortion can be easily corrected in-camera or in software. Choosing the in-camera option is just a one-time setting.

Kitting the D5200 with the 18-105 only adds two hundred bucks more to the cost compared to kitting it with the Fisher Price-like 18-55. To buy the 18-105 separately is four hundred bucks. 55mm is just not adequate reach as I think most people eventually discover.

Just had to put my 2 cents in here that the 18-105 is Nikon's best 18-xx(x) lens, and if you're considering this camera, spring the $200 for the 18-105. If you don't, you'll be paying loads more sooner than later when the meager 55mm reach frustrates you one too many times. And if you need telephoto, get the 70-300VR if you can afford it. If not, then the 55-200 is adequate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 6:58:42 AM PST
ALL dSLR cameras, even many point and shoot and super zoom cameras have in camera custom white balance.
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