591 of 634 people found the following review helpful
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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