At CES 2013, we had the chance to play with the slightly-late-to-the-American-shore Nikon D5200. The camera was announced everywhere else in the world but for some odd reason or another, Nikon decided to only now tell us more about it.
As a previous owner of the D5100, I know that the D5200 still targets the consumer who wants to grow with their camera. So what do I think of the upgrade?
Specs pulled from the B&H Photo listing.
|Focus Type||Auto & Manual|
|Focus Mode||Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M) , Focus Lock AF Area Mode|
|Viewfinder Magnification||Approx. 0.78x|
|Diopter Adjustment||– 1.7 to +0.7 m|
|Display Screen||3″ Rear Screen Swivel LCD (921000)|
|Angle of View||170°|
|Self Timer||2 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 20 sec
Number of Shots: 1-9
|Date & Time Stamp||Yes|
|Connectivity||1/8″ Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), USB 2.0|
|Wi-Fi Capable (With Optional Transmitter)||Yes|
|Battery||1x EN-EL14 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.4VDC, 1030mAh|
32 to 104 °F (0 to 40 °C)
Humidity: 0 – 85%
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1″ / 129 x 98 x 78 mm|
|Weight||1.22 lb / 555 g|
The Nikon D5200 overall doesn’t have major design changes or variations from the D5100, but those that are present are noticeable for the most part. For example, the camera can come in Red, Brown or Black. The two former colors have a more glossy look vs the black matte finish; which I’m partial to.
One of the biggest changes is the placement of the stereo microphone towards the hot shoe. But otherwise, the camera is still the same. The mode dial is still there but now includes a new scene mode. The Live view switch is still right around the mode dial. Additionally, there is still the video record button, shutter release, drive button, exposure compensation, and the on/off switch.
The back of the camera still also has controls which are once again the same: and if you’re a Nikon user then you’ll appreciate that everything is where where you believe it should be.
The front left area of the camera is where other controls are. One can pop the flash from here, access their custom function (which I usually set to ISO), and release the lens here.
Also, the flip out screen looks sharper this time perhaps because of the new interface. Though this isn’t a touch screen, it looks like it ought to be. Additionally, this new display is seriously slick and I have to hand it to Nikon in saying that this is the slickest I’ve ever seen.
The D5200 felt right about on par with a Canon Rebel; which mean that it felt plasticky. However, we all know that Rebels can actually tolerate a lot fo abuse and before I sold it, my D5100 tolerated lots of abuse. Sadly though, the lens couldn’t keep up (I had the kit lens.)
The Nikon D5200 has 32 autofocus points with some of them being cross-types that can focus down to f8. The focusing seemed about on par with the D5100 in terms of speed, but it felt smarter and more accurate. Part of this may have to do with the fact that there are significantly more focusing points.
To be clear, we tested this in low light on the tradeshow floor: but it was a pre-production model.
Ease of Use
The D5200 was just as simple to use as the D5100 was; but at this point in the game I believe that the camera should have two control dials for exposure and to also give the camera some extended life so as to shut down any buyer’s remorse. It surely is capable of capturing some excellent images; and an easier interface that appeals more to advanced users could be much better.
We couldn’t stick a card in the camera, but we saw prints from the D5200. The images are sharp and very detailed; but we will need a review unit to make our final evaluations.
The D5200 feels like Nikon didn’t want to touch their award winning formula too much; and it was overall a very smart decision. However, it makes me wonder why they decided to release some really butt ugly colors like Red and Brown. If you can get over the exterior, the camera is quite a performer and totally destroys any other APS-C camera that the company has as of this publishing of this story.
Which begs the question: where is the D7000 and D300s successor?
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