Nikon D5200 Review

The Nikon D5200 is an excellent performer that provides an astonishing variety of features for a camera in its price range and category. Moreover, it is to be commended for the number of features it shares with its more expensive Nikon stablemates.

The Nikon D5200 has several impressive features, including a 24-megapixel sensor that is superior to the one found in the Nikon D7100 (which does not have an AA filter), a 39-point autofocus system, lens-dependent auto ISO implementation, and high ISO noise performance that is the best in its class.

Even though the screen on the Canon EOS T5i/700D is touch-enabled, we can’t help but wish the one on the Nikon D5200 could be articulated like it is on that model. The D5200 is the only recent model of Nikon DSLR to feature an articulated screen, which is beneficial for photographers shooting stills and videos.

See: Best Lenses for Nikon D5200 | Best Gimbal for Nikon D5200 | Best Flash for Nikon D5200 | Best Memory Cards for Nikon D5200

The Nikon D5200 has a respectable amount of external controls. Still, as expected on a camera of this level, more experienced users will have to navigate via the primary menu to fulfill their requirements. However, you can personalize the Fn button, and the camera’s I button gives you more direct access to 14 different shooting and camera settings.

If we were picky, we’d like to see even quicker access that does away with the need for a second confirmation click before you can alter a setting using this method. But, on the whole, the D5200 does an excellent job of balancing giving basic shooting features and not overwhelming consumers who are just starting with DSLR cameras.

Nikon D5200 Image Quality

The D5200 unquestionably shines in image quality, one of its most notable advantages. In addition, it can produce images with a resolution of 24 megapixels, which is outstanding in and of itself. Furthermore, raw files created by the camera display exceptional levels of detail at the camera’s native ISO setting. This is especially true if you are willing to upgrade either of the lenses included in the camera’s package to higher-quality optics.

The noise performance of the D5200 is the best that we’ve seen from a DSLR at this price range, and that’s saying a lot because we’ve tested a lot of DSLRs. In addition, reducing noise is quite efficient; its primary focus is on chroma noise, which helps to prevent unnecessary blurring of image details.

The auto white balance feature of the camera performs an excellent job of generating correct colors in almost all lighting circumstances except the most severe ones. In addition, the default JPEG settings of the camera provide images that are attractive to the eye and do not exhibit noticeable sharpening artifacts, as our research has shown.

We haven’t been able to find many issues with the JPEG output that the D5200 produces right out of the box, but as usual, you can adjust these settings to suit your preferences.

We found that the D5200’s files give sufficient leeway for sharpening changes, retention of highlight detail, and – at low ISOs – opening up shadow regions with no noise penalty. Users who require the most significant fact and dynamic range will be shooting in the Raw mode.

Nikon D5200 Handling

The D5200 handles in a manner comparable to its forerunner, the D5100. This is undoubtedly a positive development, as the previous product version met our complete satisfaction. Direct access control locations are provided for the essential shooting controls. In addition, a button labeled I give users access to a wider variety of settings without requiring them to navigate the primary menu.

The movable screen may be the essential elements of the camera regarding ergonomics and handling. In addition, an adjustable screen may be helpful in various situations, such as when shooting with the camera placed on a tripod, capturing a photo above your head or below waist level, or simply angling the screen away from glare when shooting in bright sunshine.

Nikon D5200 Performance

Because it has a high pixel count, we anticipate that the Nikon D5200 will be able to resolve a significant amount of detail, assuming that the noise in the image is effectively managed. Thankfully, the new DSLR from Nikon does not let anyone down in this regard.

The detail captured predictably decreases when the sensitivity is increased to its maximum levels, with a considerable decrease occurring when it is raised to its highest native setting (ISO 6400).

This is within the allowed range of limitations; nonetheless, we advise keeping the expansion settings in reserve for use in an emergency and maintaining an ISO setting of 3200 or below whenever it is practical.

Even at ISO 3200, the size at which some photographs may be utilized may be restricted due to some banding in some deeper mid-tones. This can happen even when the image is captured at a high-sensitivity setting.

The 2016-pixel RGB Matrix metering system included in the Nikon D5200 does a fantastic job with most scenarios, and it is not easily deceived into under or over-exposing the image.

In most instances, it may be left to its own devices, but in exceptional circumstances, such as when there is snow in the environment, it may be essential to dial in a little exposure compensation.

Although Nikon has experienced problems with some of their DSLR screens erroneously displaying colors, we discovered that the Nikon D5200 consistently shows colors as they appear in the image that was shot. As a result, white balance can be evaluated with much more ease, thanks to this.

About this topic, the Nikon D5200’s Standard Picture Control mode often produces photographs with accurate and vivid colors. However, the camera’s automated white balance system has the potential to cause pictures taken in the shadow to appear rather lifeless and undersaturated.

This may be readily remedied by establishing a custom white balance, which warms things up noticeably while doing so excessively in certain instances.

In addition, we discover that the Landscape Picture Control setting artificially boosts the blues and greens, making the colors appear unnatural. The monochrome option, on the other hand, generates some quite pleasing output.

Nikon D5200 Specs

Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Other resolutions4496 x 3000, 2992 x 2000
Image ratio w h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 3
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
ISOAuto, 100 – 6400 (25600 with boost)
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (5)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-area selective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View.
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points39
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD monitor
Live ViewYes (With contrast-detect AF, face detection, and subject tracking)
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.78× (0.52× 35mm equiv.)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modesProgrammed auto with flexible program (P)Shutter-priority (S)Aperture priority (A)Manual (M)
Scene modesAutoPortraitChildClose upright PortraitParty/indoor pet PortraitColor Sketch
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash Range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear-curtain
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingle frameContinuousSelf-timer2s Delayed remoteQuick-response remote, quiet shutter release
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, or 20 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes1920 x 1080, 60i (59.94 fields/s)/ 50i (50 fields/s), high/normal 1920 x 1080, 30 p (progressive)/25p/24p, high/normal
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Type C)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
Remote controlYes (Optional ML-L3 or WR-R10)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion EN-EL14 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)555 g (1.22 lb / 19.58 oz)
Dimensions129 x 98 x 78 mm (5.08 x 3.86 x 3.07″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesGP-1

Final Verdict

The D5200 is a capable performer that, from a functional aspect, is designed for novice DSLR users; nonetheless, it has many of the same specs with more costly enthusiast options. In addition, it has an articulated screen and video features that make it appealing to video shooters with a post-production process. Finally, it has outstanding image quality and exceptional performance at high ISO.

The D5200 is not as feature-packed as Sony’s SLT-series cameras, which include built-in GPS and sweep panorama capabilities. In addition, it does not have the touchscreen functionality of the Canon EOS T5i or the 700D. Nevertheless, Nikon has provided a deserving option consideration for those interested in traditional photographic fundamentals that are executed very well, even though the D5200 is somewhat standard compared to other cameras.

We find fault with certain limitations, such as the lack of aperture control when live View is engaged. Additionally, the combined stills and video live view implementation make accurate video output framing difficult in many different situations.

If users want to shoot in live view mode, they will have to be satisfied with slower autofocus performance than they would get from almost any mirrorless camera. In addition, upsampling artifacts are present in the 60i video output of the camera, which is another area in which we are disappointed.

Nikon D5200 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • excellent low ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files
  • Perfect default JPEG settings
  • Class-leading noise performance at high ISO sensitivities
Need Improvements
  • Soft video output at default settings
  • Slow AF in live view and video modes (compared to mirrorless APS-C cameras)
  • Relatively small image buffer limits burst capacity in Raw-enabled modes
  • No real-time aperture adjustment in Live View

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