Nikon D5200 review

A more affordable alternative to the D5300

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Given its high pixel count, we would expect the Nikon D5200 to be able to resolve plenty of detail, provided that image noise is controlled well. Happily Nikon's new DSLR doesn't disappoint in this respect.

Predictably the amount of detail that is recorded drops at the highest sensitivity settings, with a significant drop at the top native sensitivity setting (ISO 6400).

This is generally within acceptable limits, but we recommend reserving the expansion settings for emergencies and staying to ISO 3200 or below where possible.

Nikon D5200 review

Even at ISO 3200, the size at which some images can be used may be limited by the presence of slight banding in some of the darker mid-tones.

On the whole the Nikon D5200's 2016-pixel RGB Matrix metering system does an excellent job with most scenes, and it isn't easily tricked into under or over-exposure. In most cases it can be left to its own devices, but in extreme situations - so for example in snowy conditions - it may be necessary to dial in a little exposure compensation.

Nikon has had issues with some DSLR screens showing colours inaccurately, but we found that the Nikon D5200's screen consistently shows colours as they appear in the captured image. This makes it much easier to assess white balance.

Nikon D5200 review

On that subject, in the Standard Picture Control mode the Nikon D5200 generally delivers accurate and vibrant colours, but the automatic white balance system can make images shot in shade look a bit lifeless and under-saturated.

This is easily addressed by setting a custom white balance, which warms things up considerably - in some cases a bit too much.

We also find that the Landscape Picture Control mode over-enhances blues and greens so they look unnatural. The Monochrome mode, however, produces some nice results.

Nikon D5200 review

And, because the Picture Control modes can be used when shooting raw and JPEG images simultaneously, it's possible to produce a monochrome JPEG as well as a raw file with all the colour information.

With 39 phase detection AF points, the image frame is fairly well covered, but the outer edges are still beyond reach. However, we found the system very responsive, and subjects were brought quickly into focus even with the 18-55mm kit lens mounted on the camera.

Compared with the average compact system camera's, however, the contrast detection system available in the Nikon D5200's live view mode is slow. It's no different from most other DSLRs', but it can't be used with moving subjects, and live view remains best reserved for use with still subjects and when the camera is on a tripod.

Nikon D5200 review

We're a little surprised that Nikon hasn't made any changes to the special effects modes available on the Nikon D5200 via the mode dial. It's the same seven that are available on the Nikon D5100: Night Vision, Color Sketch, Miniature, Selective Colour, Silhouette, High Key and Low Key. These are still JPEG-only options for stills photography, unfortunately.

Such effects are a matter of personal taste, but we could give most of this selection a miss. The Miniature and Color Sketch effects are good fun, though.

The good news is that the new processing engine makes the Live View feed a little smoother than on the Nikon D5100 when these modes are selected, although there is sometimes still some lag.

Nikon D5200 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution24.1 Megapixel
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.1x
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function, Live View, External Flash Shoe, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)505 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size23.50 mm x 15.60 mm
Maximum Image Resolution6000 x 4000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height98 mm
Width129 mm
Depth78 mm
Focal Length18 mm to 55 mm (Lens 1)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD5200
Product NameD5200 Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio3:2
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA350K001
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Discover new perspectives with the inspirational D5200.

From breathtaking photos to smooth Full HD movies, this D-SLR can't wait to bring out your creative side.

The flexible vari-angle monitor empowers your vision with unique views. The 24.1-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor captures finely detailed images, and the advanced 39-point autofocus system is always on target. Nikon's amazingly accurate 2,016-pixel light metering sensor ensures exact exposures in even difficult lighting conditions.

You can render special effects for movies or stills in real time, and Nikon's wireless mobile adapter lets you send your creations straight to a compatible smart device for instant sharing.

Package Contents
  • D5200 Digital SLR Camera
  • 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR DX NIKKOR Lens
  • EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (with Terminal Cover)
  • MH-24 Battery Charger
  • AN-DC3 Strap
  • UC-E17 USB Cable
  • EG-CP16 Audio / Video Cable
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • DK-20 Rubber Eyecup
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • Software CD-ROM
  • User's Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year