The Nikon D5200 can be described as a camera for the intermediate learner. It is ranked in between the entry-level D3200 and the advanced D7100 in Nikon’s APS-C lineup. Although its features cannot be matched with those of its professional grade stablemates (such as the D7100), the D5200 certainly stands out as a powerful mid-level camera capable of capturing moments in the clarity they deserve.
D5200 Design and Controls
The D5200 features an articulated rear LCD screen with more physical controls than the D3200. The D5200 however is heavier than its predecessor the D5100 despite the fact that they look almost identical. This means that the D5200’s major upgrades are less on its design and more on its performance. It is fitted with a comfortable hand grip although handling it might be less than optimum if you have big hands.
The camera features a mode dial on its right hand shoulder and its buttons are neatly distributed on the back and on the top plate of the camera, much like the D5100. On the right hand side of the mode dial, a toggle-type switch sticks out. This switch is used to change the camera into the Live View mode, breaking the norm of the expected standalone button usually associated with this feature.
The D5200 however does not have a dedicated ISO button. Instead, a function button located next to the pop-up flash can instead be assigned to ISO. The user interface has also been greatly improved and is easier to read thanks to its dark appearance that makes the dials clearly visible. To cap it all off, the D5200 uses the same EN-EL14 battery and is compatible with all SD cards.
The 24MP DX format CMOS lens comes with an impressive 39-point auto focus system and a 2016 pixel RGB color-sensitive metering sensor, both of which are borrowed from the high end model, the D7000. Its well implemented Auto ISO feature is tied to the lens’ current focal length. The ISO range of the D5200 is an upgrade from the entry-level D3200.
The D5200 however still uses an anti-aliasing feature which reduces the quality slightly as compared to the more expensive D7100 model. This camera is capable of recording full HD 1920 x 1080 movies 60i (NTSC) and 50i (PAL). A new function is that the camera gives you the option of controlling the shutter speed and the ISO, although the aperture remains an option only in its more expensive models.
A major upgrade is its high end processor, the EXPEED-3 branded processor which improves the color reproduction and comes with enhanced noise reduction. Lastly, the D5200 is able to support Nikon’s WU-1a Wi-Fi unit that enables easy sharing when plugged into the camera’s accessory terminal.
This camera is perfect as an upgrade from entry-level cameras. It will not leave you breathless trying to use or drain your pockets completely but you will not have to worry about compromising the quality of your work just because you want to spend less. It is a perfect blend of power and simplicity as well.