Nikon D5200 Review

Nikon D5200 Review


Nikon D5200 front.jpg

No matter what your ambitions or skill level are, this camera could arguably be an ideal option for many when it comes down to plonking the plastic on the counter or tapping the computer key to order offline. For many a budding photographer with ambitions a DSLR is the best game in town.

None of those pesky MILCs or compact digicams can satisfy the hunger!
Nikon D5200 LCD Front.jpg

Besides, it’s a Nikon. And the specs are damn fine.

Nikon D5200 LCD back.jpg

Nikon D5200 Features

True, the sensor is close to half the area of a 35mm full frame but, unless you’re going to indulge in heavy cropping or demand an enormous print output, the 23.5×15.6mm CMOS will work fine for many.

Besides, the maximum image size of 6000×4000 pixels can lead to a print of 51x34cm at 300 dpi.

Video in MPEG4 can be recorded at Full HD and 1920×1080 resolution.

With the help of the vari-angle screen I made some nice, controlled camera movies in shooting video, with the AF system tracking accurately throughout the moves. However, shoot a still and the video shuts down!


  • AF system: 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors.
  • Metering: the 2016 pixel RGB metering sensor provides data to the camera’s Scene Recognition System, which optimises exposure, autofocus and white balance immediately before the shutter is released.
  • Optical viewfinder.
  • 7.5cm (3-in) vari-angle LCD monitor has 921,000 pixel resolution which can be swung 180 degrees laterally and through a 90 degree vertical arc.
  • Compatible with Wireless Mobile Adaptor WU-1a.
  • Compatible with WR-R10 Wireless Remote transceiver and WR-T10 Wireless Remote transmitter to control key camera functions from a distance.
  • ISO range from 100 to 6400 with expansion to ISO 25,600.
  • Continuous shooting up to 5fps.
  • High dynamic range (HDR) using two images.
  • GPS compatible: records exact location when using the optional GP-1 unit.
  • 16 scene modes: night portrait, beach/snow, food etc.
  • Seven effects modes: night vision, colour sketch, miniature effect, high and low key etc.


Church interior.JPG

Figures and beach 2.JPG

Nikon D5200 Handling

First, an anecdote: I like to grab a new camera, manual unread, and get shooting as soon as I pull it out of the box. OK all clear, nice, crisp display of the camera status on the rear LCD, here’s the ISO setting, current aperture, auto white balance in play etc etc.

Look through the optical viewfinder, all clear and sharp. And I’ll bet you that this is the reason you’re reading this review and considering a DSLR!

Now, where’s Live View?

In my office’s subdued light it was hard to see at first: a small black lever hanging off the mode dial. And it works, summoning up the view on the LCD. And what a brilliant place to put it! I also found that you must be in Live View to record video.

Back to the walk around: as befits its price level there’s not a jungle of external controls to bewilder the newbie or the timid.

Left and near the top: menu button.

Right and on top: power/shutter button; mode dial (PASM, scene modes, effects, macro etc); info button; exposure compensation; video record; single/continuous shooting and of course the Live View lever.

Back off the top edge: information edit button which pilots you through the rear screen menu options; exposure and AF lock button.

Rear: the multi selector wheel navigates around the rear screen options; replay; memory card access lamp; trash; screen zoom.

Overall, the camera is quite compact for a DSLR and even with the review f3.5/18-55mm lens attached was not a big bundle to carry and handle. The prominent speed grip helps handling and most controls are close to an operative right forefinger. Sorry, southpaws!
BTW in Live View the four way jog dial at the rear moves the AF outline around the screen. A big help.

The screen menu layout is typically Nikon: clear and unmistakable without being a forest of text.

Nikon D5200 ISO Tests

Nikon D5200 ISO 100.JPG

Nikon D5200 ISO 400.JPG

Nikon D5200 ISO 800.JPG

Nikon D5200 ISO 1600.JPG

Nikon D5200 ISO 3200.JPG

Nikon D5200 ISO 6400.JPG

In my view, the D5200 performed very well all the way up to ISO 3200 and I could quite happily use ISO 6400 for certain subjects that could ‘live’ with increased noise and a drop in sharpness, such as city lights etc.

Nikon D5200 Review Verdict

Quality: excellent.
Why you would buy it: it’s a Nikon; well-priced DSLR; excellent video capture.
Why you wouldn’t: you don’t want a DSLR!

For a camera that I figure is very affordable for many people this has to be one of the best buys around: 24.1 megapixel capture, vari-angle screen; Full HD capture. Very appealing!

Nikon D5200 Specifications

Image Sensor: 23.5×15.6mm CMOS. 24.1 million effective pixels.
Metering: Matrix, centre-weighted, averaging and spot.
A/D processing: 14-bit.
Lens Mount: Nikon F.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1.5x.
Shutter Speed: Bulb, 30 to 1/4000 second. Flash X-sync: up to 1/200 sec.
Continuous Speed: up to 5fps.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 6000×400 to 2992×2000. Movies: 1920×1080 to 640×424.
Viewfinders: Eye level pentaprism and 7.5cm LCD (921,000 pixels).
File Formats: NEF (RAW), JPEG, NEF (RAW)+JPEG, MPEG4.
Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 6400. With expansion up to ISO 25,600.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini, DC input, external stereo mic, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adaptor.
Dimensions: 129x98x78 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 555 g (with battery).
Price: get a price on the Nikon D5200 (body only) or Nikon D5200 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens or Nikon D520018-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED NIKKOR Zoom Lens or Nikon D5200with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR and 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX NIKKOR Zoom Lenses + EN-EL14 Battery + 10pc Bundle 32GB Deluxe Accessory Kit.

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Nikon D5200
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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

Some Older Comments

  • Alexander September 12, 2013 10:12 pm

    Hi there, is anyone having the same problem in taking a picture with viewfinder and liveview on D5200?
    I found that mine in using liveview is more sharpen than using viewfinder. After several takes, the result taking picture using viewfinder are random focus. Any suggest or hint to solve it? Thanx.

  • Sriram July 10, 2013 05:33 am

    @ rupayan
    Go for 5200. Its worth more than $170 on comparison with 5100 in terms of quality output...

  • rupayan June 29, 2013 03:27 pm

    I am very much confused to buy nikon d5100 and d5200...5200 is $170 more than 5100...what should i buy..please help me...thnx in advance

  • Jennah June 14, 2013 08:17 pm

    Like everyone else here, I was also confused whether to get the D5200, D7000, or the D7000 but got the D5200 because of its price and features. Found a review at

  • Rodolfo May 18, 2013 11:03 pm

    I'm just wanted to know what camera should I buy? Its' very hard for me to decide. Which is best Canon D700 or Nikon D5200? Any suggestion please?

    Thank you readers,

  • Dale May 6, 2013 06:57 pm

    Comparing the image quality to my fellow photographers who own a Canon EOS 600D, 500D, and Nikon 5100, I can personally say that the Nikon D5200 outperforms these 3: Lower noise, less blur, good color, and superior 39 AF points. I highly recommend the Nikon D5200 even though I'm a begineer.

  • jeff goodwin April 21, 2013 09:03 pm

    Hi Puru, The d5200 is slightly better picture quality and of course you do get those 24.1 megapixels which is very handy if you are wanting to crop photographs, You'll have lots of quality left after the crop compared to the 16.1 megapixels of the D7000. Will the 24.1 megapixels mean poorer photographs on the APS-C size sensor? Not really, Nikon are very clever in keeping the ability to handle low light with the extra megapixels.
    The D5200 is not weather sealed, whereas the D7000 body is. The D7000 has focus motor in it's body whereas the D5200 does not. But that does not really matter as more and more lenses come with auto focus in lens (AFS) anyway. The D5200 comes with only one S.D. card slot whereas the D7000 has two. The d5200 has the same auto focus points as the D7000 but the D5200 has the new expeed 3 processor compared to the D7000's Expeed 2. All up and as an owner already of the D7000 and the d5100.... I am personally going for the D5200.

  • guliver April 6, 2013 06:24 pm

    how photographs can be seen here...

  • koim April 6, 2013 11:52 am

    choose canon 60d or nikon d5200 ??

  • jollyjocky March 22, 2013 08:46 pm

    the nikon d5100 is a good camera for anyone beginning their photographic advancement.

  • jollyjocky March 22, 2013 08:39 pm

    i am impressed with the d5100 though i cannot be without my nikon d90 this is and in my opinion remains one of the best dslr cameras i have owned,and i have used a few in my lifetime.

  • Subhadip Sarkar March 21, 2013 03:15 pm

    I think in low budget D5200 is best but Nikon D7100 will be best in all of Nikons.

  • Puru March 19, 2013 03:47 pm

    My Fundamental Question is :

    D7000 or D5200 ?

  • Barbara March 19, 2013 02:52 pm

    I just bought a Nikon D3200. Any comments on it? So far I like it alot. But I would love to hear others opinion on it.

  • Bob Bevan Smith March 18, 2013 06:29 pm

    When making statements like '... those pesky MIILCs ..." please say why. How does it stack up against the Panasonic G series for example. Is it just Nikon envy? or have you got a valid point?

  • PMF March 16, 2013 06:05 am

    Great camera, but I think I'll stick with my Nikon D40 for another year.

  • karri March 15, 2013 06:07 pm

    It's a great thing this model exists. I just bought D5100 for a bargain price cos they are trying to get rid of the old models :)

    If I would have unlimited amount of money I would buy this, seems like the best camera for macros cos of vari-angle screen. Then D4 for low light work ...

  • Gerard Haines March 15, 2013 04:28 am

    Personally, there's not enough to justify an upgrade from my D5100...if I was looking to upgrade, I'd get a D7100 or grab a firesale D7000. I think this would be considered a solid upgrade for D3100 users...then again, I'd recommend the D5100 with the deals going on right now.

  • Kevin Purcell March 15, 2013 01:49 am

    Is there a compelling reason to sell my D5100 and upgrade?

  • ccting March 15, 2013 01:44 am

    much better than D5100 !