Nikon D5200

Mod cons and up­mar­ket fea­tures make the D5200 an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for the money

NPhoto - - Test Team -

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

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.

Build

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.

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