Nikon D5200 Review

January 14, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |


The new Nikon D5200 is a solid upgrade of the previous D5100 model, with better auto-focus and metering systems, enhanced video options, slightly faster burst shooting, friendlier user interface and more resolution, although that all comes at a slight increase in price. D5100 owners won't find enough to tempt them to upgrade, but like its predecessor the D5200 still offers a compelling mix of excellent image quality, straight-forward handling and quick performance, all in a light and compact body.

In addition to the excellent 24 megapixel image sensor, the free-angle, tilting and folding LCD screen is the real highlight of the D5200, opening up lots of creative possibilities for both stills and video. Full 1080p HD footage is another fantastic feature on what is a relatively cheap DSLR, especially with the addition of 60i/50i modes, although full-time auto-focusing in Live View mode continues to be a painfully slow experience and not well-suited to fast-moving subjects. The Effects modes can be used to add a creative flair to your images, although the inability to manually control the camera's key settings means that applying the effect during image playback is often the better route to take.

The Nikon D5200 continues to successfully bridges the gap between the beginner-friendly approach of the D3200 and the more complex D7000. The D5200 still has a few minor handling issues, most notably the positioning of the Live View switch and the secondary controls on the rear, and it could also be seen as being neither simple enough for complete beginners or feature-rich enough for more experienced users. The lack of a dedicated ISO button will definitely irk some users though, only being accessible via the reprogrammable Fn button, something that both the previous D5000 and D5100 suffered from and which should really have been fixed by now. All in all, though, the D5200 delivers excellent still and moving pictures with the minimum of fuss in a lightweight package and is a serious rival to the Canon EOS 650D and the Sony A57.

The new Nikon D5200 may not reinvent the wheel in any way, but it is undoubtedly a great all-round DSLR that's well-suited to a lot of different users and experience levels, exactly what a mass-market camera should be, and judged on that criteria, the Nikon D5200 is once again a very worthy winner of our Highly Recommended award.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4