Nikon D5200

The Nikon D5200, announced at the end of 2012, sits between the D3200 and D7100 in the Nikon DSLR range, and eclipses the opposition for resolution by including an impressive 24.1MP sensor. It even outdoes full-frame cameras like the Canon 5D MkIII. Megapixels aren’t everything of course, but that extra resolution can sometimes come in very handy, especially when cropping.

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

We found the D5200 to be relatively sharp at f/8, but wide-open it showed some softness in the corners. It also suffered far worse from chromatic aberration than the Sony 58. For JPEGs though, the D5200’s built-in lens correction software helps to fix lens distortion and aberrations.

The D5200 has an impressive autofocus system, boasting 39 AF points, which again competes with many pro-level models. This many AF points speeds up autofocus and makes tracking subjects more accurate.

The battery life, while shorter than the D5100’s, is reasonably good, boasting 500 images from a single charge. The maximum burst speed of 5fps isn’t particularly fast though, so the D5200 probably isn’t all that well suited to fast action photography. The 3in 921k-dot LCD screen is of a good quality, and flips out for self-portraits and shooting at difficult angles.

The D5200 shoots Full HD (1080p) video for 30fps and HD (720p) for 60fps, and has a built-in stereo mic and external mic input.


The D5200 feels comfortable and well-balanced, with an ergonomically-placed shutter button and on/off switch. The body has buttons for direct access to many of the most important settings, though other settings such as ISO can only be changed using the screen via the menu.

The new user interface on Nikon’s LCD is very well designed, with graphical representation of the exposure triangle to help less advanced users understand what they’re doing by changing certain settings.

The D5200 has a comfortable rubber coating on the grip, a rubberised thumb grip and a thumb dial. Overall, the build quality feels very good, and the flip-out screen allows for better handling in difficult shooting situations. The all-plastic kit lens doesn’t feel particularly expensive and is a little slow at focusing.

Key spec

  • Body price £249 (Secondhand price as of June 2016)
  • Effective resolution 24.1MP
  • Sensor type 23.5x15.6mm CMOS
  • Lens 18-55mm VR
  • ISO range 100-6400 (exp. to 25,600)
  • LCD 3in 921k-dot flip
  • Viewfinder Optical
  • Viewfinder coverage 95%
  • Shooting speed 5fps
  • AF points 39
  • Video Full HD (1080p)
  • Flash power GN12
  • Battery life 500 shots
  • Card type SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Body size (wxhxd) 129x98x78mm
  • Total weight 809g
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This review was first published in the July 2013 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.