Mod cons and upmarket features make the D5200 an attractive proposition for the money
This mid-range camera, launched towards the end for 2012, boasts some clever technical wizardry packed into a fairly compact and lightweight body. We’ve been running through the cameras in price order, and this is the first to include a relatively high-end 39-point autofocus system, complete with nine cross-type points that can resolve detail in both horizontal and vertical planes for extra accuracy. Similarly, the 3D Colour Matrix II metering system has a 2016-pixel sensor, instead of the 420-pixel module fitted to the D3100, D3200 and D90.
Around the back there’s a fully articulated three-inch, 921,000-pixel LCD screen. In Live View mode, it’s great for shooting from very high or low angles and around corners. The image sensor has a high 24.1-megapixel resolution, and is combined with a recentgeneration Expeed 3 processor. The continuous drive rate is also faster than in any of the less expensive cameras in the group, at five frames per second.
Unlike the D90, there’s no top-plate info LCD, nor an extended collection of direct access buttons for shooting adjustments. The D5200’s EN-EL 14 battery also has a relatively limited life of around 500 shots. The same battery is fitted to the D3200 and D3100, where it gives a longer life of about 540 and 550 shots respectively.
Performance is good, though the D5200’s colour accuracy scores are the worst in the group. We’ve sometimes experienced it giving cool colour rendition, and it can make greens in landscapes look lurid, especially when using the Vivid or Landscape Picture Controls. Some high-sensitivity images suffer from banding.
Pros… Articulated screen, 14-bit RAW colour depth, 39-point AF and an enhanced metering module.
Cons… Colour accuracy can be questionable. Fairly limited eightshot buffer capacity in RAW mode.
The D5200 feels solid and reasonably robust in the hand, yet it’s still fairly light in weight, tipping the scales at 555g, including the battery.