Nikon D5200 dSLR Review

Review posted 08/15/2013

Quick Take
  • High image quality
  • Swiveling LCD helps get creative angles
  • Solid low-light performance
  • Fast and accurate auto focus
  • Customizable function buttons
  • Help system for beginners
  • Appealing special effects and filters
  • Very adjustable picture controls
  • HDR shooting mode
  • Optional wireless adapter
  • Only one control/thumb wheel
  • Burst modes could be faster
  • Built-in flash is weak
  • Wi-Fi and GPS not included (but optional)
  • Viewfinder could be bigger
Bottom Line
The D5200 is a powerful entry-level DSLR that's well tailored for the beginner, but won't sell more serious photographers short. High image quality, fast auto focus, and a swiveling TFT LCD are arguably the most attractive features - in particular the low noise in shots taken at high ISO settings. Lots of buttons and customizability puts a lot of power at your fingertips, though a second thumb wheel would sweeten the deal. Read more in our full conclusion.
In early January of this year, Nikon announced a new entry-level dSLR model at CES 2013, the D5200. Aimed at photographers looking to make the jump from point-and-shoot cameras, the D5200 offers an affordable option where users will find all the performance and manual image controls in high quality dSLRs, alongside the convenience and built-in artistic flourishes of many point-and-shoot or smart phone camera systems.

First, lets talk performance. The D5200 features a 24.1-megapixel DX-format (APS-C sized) CMOS image sensor mated to the EXPEED 3 image processor, which means terrific speed and noise free images in low light situations (even up to an ISO of 6400). The D5200's new 39-point Auto Focus system accurately tracks images through the frame for crisp still images in action oriented shots like sporting events, or continuous focus while shooting Full 1080p HD video at 30 (progressive) or 60 (interlaced) frames per second.

For those less comfortable with interchangeable lens camera systems, don't worry, Nikon's got you covered. Enter the Scene Recognition System, which instantly analyzes exposure, Auto Focus, and white balance settings to perfect color balance and sharpness no matter the scenario If you're a big fan of built-in camera effects, like those found on smart phone apps or an increasing number of point-and-shoot digicams, the D5200 has a few of these as well, designed to work on both stills and HD movie recording.

In addition to HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode, there are six customizable Nikon Picture Controls as well as in-camera special effects like Selective Color (highlight up to three colors while leaving the rest of the image in black & white), Color Sketch (creates a drawing from a photo), Miniature (replicates tilt-shift photography), and Night Vision.

Lastly, should you care about wireless connectivity, using an optional adapter, the D5200 will work with Nikon's Wireless Mobile Utility1 app (available for iOS and Android).

Nikon D5200 dSLR Features
  • 24.1 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch vari-angle LCD
  • EXPEED 3 image processor
  • Full 1080/30p HD Video Recording with stereo sound
  • ISO 100-6400
  • Scene Recognition System
  • 39-point AF (Auto Focus) System
  • In-Camera Special Effects
    • Selective Color
    • Color Sketch
    • Miniature
    • Night Vision
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Adjustable Nikon Picture Controls (video and stills)
  • Compatible with all NIKKOR DX-series lenses
  • Optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter

The Nikon D5200 is available in black, red or bronze, and the kit containing the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens will run you about $800 USD. Click our Buy button at the top of bottom of this page to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • D5200 Black Camera Body
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
  • EN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-24 Quick Charger
  • DK-20 Rubber Eyecup
  • UC-E17 USB Cable
  • EG-CP16 Audio Video Cable
  • AN-DC3 Camera Strap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • Nikon ViewNX 2 CD-ROM

Additional Product Views



Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.