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Nikon D5200 hands-on preview updated with menus, test data and samples

By dpreview staff on Feb 18, 2013 at 22:39 GMT
Buy on GearShopFrom $646.9514 deals

We've just added ten pages of content to our hands-on preview of the 24MP Nikon D5200, representing our progress so far towards the completion of a full review. As well as a complete breakdown of the options available in the camera's menu system we've added our full complement of studio tests, including resolution, noise and dynamic range, and a small gallery of 'real world' samples. Click the links below to go straight to our updated 16-page preview of Nikon's newest DSLR. 

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Comments

Total comments: 55
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 19, 2013)

That i-button menu looks conspicuously similar, in spirit, to Samsung's Fn- button menu (not to be confused with the iFn), only the Nikon menu has a bit more of a newbie appearance to it. This is not criticism or anything... what I am getting at, is that I would have thought the D5200 as a step up from the NX20, if only it had more manual control dials (physical ones, I mean).

With FF having more affordable offerings (ie:D600, 6D) and the increasing diversity of FF (ie: RX1), it looks like we may be onto a trend where in a not so distant future the affordable FF becomes the new midrange, displacing APSCs to the entry-level... and the d3200 (with it's deliberate omissions) and d5200's interface (physical dials and on screen) certainly lay testament to that.

I think that at this price level, the Fuji's control dials just may hold more appeal to the target market and at this price category than a model without dials and just menus.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Mar 2, 2013)

Is this a sign of things to come? d3200 at $400 and d5200 under $700 on the open market now. Not sure Nikon's dumbing down strategy is working out for it's dealer's who are now stuck with dumping devaluated inventory - I hope for them that they have price protection.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2013)

no sensor test / comparison should be based on ISO, which is not a reliable standard. the only standard we can have is exposure in lumen-second, or lux-second with sensor area for some old people.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
zkz5
By zkz5 (Feb 20, 2013)

Do you actually take pictures? Honest question.

0 upvotes
iFLAME
By iFLAME (Feb 19, 2013)

Thanks guys, was waiting for this one!

0 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (Feb 19, 2013)

On the test scenes, it's getting hard to tell the 18-24mp cameras apart now. It seems (if you look at certain effects) the lenses are now playing a larger role. Even then, you have in-body lens correction on some, for JPEG's anyway.

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Feb 19, 2013)

The photo samples are mostly great (the night shot simply superb), but that portrait of a young girl looks decidedly fishy - bluish tint all over. Didn't help with HDR either, evidently. Weird.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Feb 19, 2013)

Oh, I love that : "simple-to-use mirrorless mirrorless cameras," as it is very logical a mirrorless camera have to mirrorless, doesn't it?!

0 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (Feb 19, 2013)

wat?

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Feb 19, 2013)

Wait to see what the Sony A58 will offer.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Feb 19, 2013)

did you mean a59?
it amazes me how much they complexify a camera, to get rid of the mechanical flip-up mirror, using a 30% light-robbing prism, when they have the solution with mirrorless already.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Feb 20, 2013)

I amazes me that people say things when they clearly have no experience to draw from. Such is the internet.

0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

very nice, indeed, but in the hands, it reminds me bakelite Trabant (or very cheap Fujifilm bridge), not DSLR ... and price is like a good made DSLR :(

3 upvotes
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

Compare NIKON D5200 VS PENTAX K-5
snapsort.com/compare/Nikon-D5200-vs-Pentax_K-5

And build quality and material ...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

and it is good to think about the cost and next features of accessories such as light lenses etc.

0 upvotes
NiallM
By NiallM (Feb 19, 2013)

Yes i checked the snapsort link; the k-5 has the weather-sealing and shoots faster, brighter bigger vf etc.. but wow i'm impressed with how this measures up and in some cases beats the k-5 in performance. This camera with fast prime would be superb for first time DSLR owner shooting mostly indoor.

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Feb 19, 2013)

If it Auto focuses at all it is better than the K-5. What a piece of junk.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

The K5 is Pentax's top-of-the-line model. Why are you comparing the mid-range D5200 to the top Pentax model?

2 upvotes
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

Top line is 645D, K-5 IIs, here I wrote about price and what we would get of that. Pentax K-30 would be similar model, but dust and waterproof and cheaper.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

kff:

Why bring up the medium format 645D, that uses medium format lenses?

Also, right the body build quality of the D5200 is not up to that of the K5 or the K5II or the D7000. However that Toshiba sensor is very promising at ISOs beyond the K5II's capacity.

Often cheaper new dslr bodies are appealing in some fashion because they surpass the functions of older models. The buffer on the D5200 is too slow.

1 upvote
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

D5200 has a newer sensor, it is evolution. We can expect next innovation by Pentax Ricoh after their full merge, but FF desires of some users it will make propably slower Congratulation Nikon to D5200 and other models.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
kff
By kff (Feb 19, 2013)

The way innovation is to think about new computer unit. Example would be smartphones and minning its features. There are Systems composed by cheap camera modules with paraller connection to consolidation servers which have resolution in GPix . OK, for crowd of photographers is necessary a cheaper technolgies.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
iFLAME
By iFLAME (Feb 19, 2013)

You don't have to post links to such limited (and quite meaningless) comparisons to convey K5's superiority. It's a great piece of photographic equipment from what I understand with great sensor engineering, fabulous high-ISO perf and build quality but in the end all those simply don't matter! Nikon is a global brand and as such D5200 is a global DSLR with Nikon putting in lots of efforts and resources into marketing, servicing and maintaining that reputation across the globe. Can the same be said about Pentax products? Unfortunately not!

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

kff:

But why bring up the K5? It's not exactly something someone getting a D5200 would consider, without already owning Pentax lenses.

0 upvotes
jackpro
By jackpro (Feb 19, 2013)

Very good high iso result trounces canon big time nice

2 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (Feb 19, 2013)

If you mean that miniscule high ISO advantage actually amounts to "trouncing" ... then obviously our definitions deviate...

Its funny the way you're comparing a 2013 sensor to a 2009 one... Just considering the fact that they can actually compete against each other with the D5200 barely getting the better, speaks volumes about Canon's imaging prowess...

One would only notice these fractionally cleaner results at around ISO 12800... at which point you'd soon come to the realization that an APS-C camera, no matter how good, is not going to be providing you with an acceptable level of image quality ...

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Feb 19, 2013)

Canon lagging badly. Better than the Sony Nex7, too.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2013)

performance of the D5200 sensor is okay. inline with other cameras except Pentax and Olympus which look really good, I mean cheap, after cooking.

0 upvotes
gl2k
By gl2k (Feb 19, 2013)

By reading the posts of others I suspect that the concept of an entry-level camera is not fully understood. Prospective buyers have no clue about all the tech stuff but simply want a "good camera". It's then up to the salesman what he can talk the consumer into. I would guess that almost no entry level cam buyer has ever heard about RAW not to mention software like LR or NX.
I'd further guess that the kit lens is the only lens that ever touches this body.

0 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Feb 19, 2013)

Nice, but where's the D4 review?

3 upvotes
rhlpetrus
By rhlpetrus (Feb 19, 2013)

Very good high ISO IQ from this sensor, the RAW comparison engine shows how it's still controlling color when D5100 and the 650D are already out of comission.

1 upvote
Ibida Bab
By Ibida Bab (Feb 19, 2013)

My $200 Pentax X5 beats this thing hands down.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

Really now there's a $200 camera that shoots well at ISO 6400?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

What's the RAW IQ of the X5 like?

0 upvotes
vodanh1982
By vodanh1982 (Feb 19, 2013)

A 1/2.3" sensor has better IQ than an APS-C. Funny

0 upvotes
tipple
By tipple (Feb 18, 2013)

maybe it's just my eyesight but, why do so many of the sample pics look out of focus?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Feb 18, 2013)

THe 18-55mm kit zoom (with which I shot many of the pictures in the gallery) doesn't show the D5200's sensor at its best. There are a few pics taken on the 70-200mm F4 in there for reference, and the two portraits were taken using the new 85mm F1.8. Also our studio work is all shot with the 50mm F1.4 G.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

I think you may be looking at the Miniature Effect images, and not realizing that it's an in-camera filter effect where the D5200 blurs the top and bottom of the image frame.

Sure the 18-55 is doesn't have the same optical performance of the 70-200 f4 or 85 1.8G, but it gets somewhat of an underserved bad rap. Look at image #12 and #18, and many others, they are tack sharp. And certainly the Photozone and Lenstip MTF resolution tests from the 18-55 VR, it puts up extremely high resolution numbers. It doesn't have the best build quality, but it's a sharp lens, especially at 18mm.

http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/397-nikkor18553556vr?start=1

http://www.lenstip.com/225.4-Lens_review-Nikon_Nikkor_AF-S_DX_18-55_mm_f_3.5-5.6G_VR_Image_resolution.html

5 upvotes
Pat Cullinan Jr
By Pat Cullinan Jr (Feb 19, 2013)

Great post, Marike. Informative. Thank you.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2013)

I use a single copy of 50/1.4D on both Nikon and Canon cameras. I suggest you also use one lens as a local standard to test as many cameras that we can compare different cameras better.

0 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Feb 18, 2013)

One thing is for sure: This 24MP Toshiba sensor exhibits better hi-ISO characteristics than the Sony 24MP (Nex-7) and very close to the one of the D600 (FF!). It seems so that below-$800-class too is under Nikon's dominance.. And for IQ, let's wait for the better sample pictures with primes for a sound evaluation..

3 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Feb 18, 2013)

> It seems so that below-$800-class too is under Nikon's dominance

Could you quote some sales numbers to go with that?

1 upvote
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Feb 18, 2013)

From the IQ point of view.. not of sales figures..

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

It performs better than the NEX-7 at high ISOs, but nowhere near the D600, which gets around 1 1/3 EV better high ISO performance than the D5200. So got a great sensor, but let's not get carried away. It does extremely well in the context of APS-C cameras, but doesn't begin to equal the FF Nikons in low-light.

2 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Feb 19, 2013)

Not with the JPEGs, the Nikon is smearing details even at mid ISOs, at high ISOs the NEX7 is still better. In RAW, the NEX7 gets noiser faster, but hold significantly more detail than the D5200, but it should, it cost a lot more. The Nikon sensor seems pretty good over all, but I can't measure up at low ISOs to the shear resolving power of the NEX7 sensor. Different leagues.

0 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Feb 19, 2013)

That shows a weakness in the jpeg encoding, not the sensor. Comparing raw performance, this sensor seems fully the equal of the Sony. Some other sites think it is slightly better. Now we can hope Nikon updates the jpeg encoding. Can't imagine why it's so poor, other than this being a new sensor they have no experience with.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

marike6:

Sorry but I've shot raws with both the D600 and the D5200 and the D600 starts to show magenta and cyan banding in shadows at ISO 8000, while the D5200 doesn't and the D5200 remains perfectly useable through ISO 12800.

There's a lot to like about the D600, and I'd guess that it has better dynamic range than the D5200, but the D5200 beats the full frame D600 for high ISO work. And yep the lighting was exactly the same with both cameras.

Extraction done with ACR 7 in Photoshop CS6 for both cameras.

One problem with the D5200 is the buffer; it slows down after about 5 fast raws and then the shutter stops firing after about 8 quick raws total. Video also has lag problems, even with a very fast UH1 card.

NowHearThis:

What you're calling smearing at lower ISO raws is likely the not great kit lens with the Nikon. This Toshiba APSC sensor is competing with the Sony sensor in the RX1 and Nikon D600. Where the full frame sensor wins is dynamic range.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

@NowHearThis

I never shoot JPEG, and I don't use it to compare cameras sensor performance. JPEGs come down to sharpening and internal processing, not IQ/performance.

@HowaboutRAW

From DxOMark:

Sports (Low-Light ISO) Score

D5200 1284 ISO
D600 2980 ISO

As I said, the D600 is over 1 1/3 EV better than the D5200. The D600 has a much larger sensor that drinks light.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

marike6:

I pay attention the results of raws I've shot, not what DXO claims. I don't pay attention to Robert Parker's wine scoring either. Magenta and cyan banding in the shadows makes the D600 unuseable at ISO 12800. I'm quite sure of this point. If you can find one to try out it's a really easy problem to recreate.

As I said however: The dynamic range of the D600/RX1 appears to be a good bit better than that of the D5200. That's not a surprise, the better high ISO performance of the D5200 is a surprise though. (And no the A99 is not really useable above ISO 5000--so don't think I forgot that one.)

Don't get me wrong, except for the oil spots on sensor problem which Nikon won't really acknowledge, I think that the D600 is a better camera than the D5200 for reasons of dynamic range, prism viewfinder, and buffer capacity. However the D5200 is half the price and better at high ISOs. The D5200 is also less audible. So the hypothetical D500 has some catching up to do.

0 upvotes
mosswings
By mosswings (Feb 19, 2013)

@HowaboutRAW:

LESS audible? I didn't listen that closely to the D600, but the D5200 seems to have a fairly twangy report (aperture stop down spring) similar to the D90, whereas the D7000 and to my ears the D600 had a much more solid thunk and quieter Quiet mode. The D5200's Q mode doesn't really quiet much of anything down. Perhaps it's the faster mirror return mechanism of the D600 you hear...

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Feb 19, 2013)

@HowaboutRAW
DxOMark tests RAW sensor performance only. If you are getting cleaner files from the D5200 in RAW than you are from your D600, there is something wrong with your D600 or with your shooting technique. Toshiba improved S/NR relative to other APS-C sensors, they didn't defy the laws of physics and make the their DX sensor perform better than one of the best performing FX sensors ever created. To argue that the D5200 is superior at high ISOs than the D600 is simply nonsense.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Feb 19, 2013)

think we need a method with sound scientific basis to punish raw cooking.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 19, 2013)

If I'm not mistaken, DxO only measure those qualities that are dependent on stochastic (random) noise; they don't account for banding or other patterned noise. So even if D600 is superior to D5200 in those aspects of IQ that DxO does measure (and I'm sure that it is), it could still be true that the D600 shows banding that the D5200 does not.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

marike6

The problem with your claims:

The A77 has high ISO magenta and cyan banding problems, so does the Nikon D800, and then of course the D600. See the pattern: Those are all Sony sensors.

However Toshiba/Nikon avoided this problem in the D5200 at higher ISOs. Perhaps they sacrificed dynamic range.

I’m basing my claims on holding these cameras, shooting with them and then extracting raws. As best I can tell you have not used the cameras and are quoting a score number. (See point about Robert Parker.)

I already wrote: I don’t pay attention to DXO scoring. Don’t pay much attention to DXO’s raw extraction software either, lots of artifacts.

The nonSony sensors in the Nikon D4 and D3s easily better the D600 at high ISOs too (as would likely the sensor in the D700.)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Feb 19, 2013)

mosswings:

So you seem to be saying that the D5200 is quieter. Or that you didn't listen to the D600.

I've handled both side by side and the D600 is more audible.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 55