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ISO Accuracy

The actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO is measured using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using a calibrated Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV (the margin of error given in the ISO specifications).

In our tests we found that measured ISOs from the Nikon D5200 matches the marked ISOs within 1/6 stop accuracy, meaning ISO 100 indicated = ISO 100 measured.

Noise and Noise Reduction (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Note: this page features our new interactive noise comparison widget. By default, we show you the default noise reduction settings of the camera tested, and three other models of the same class. You can select from all available NR options, and from other cameras. The 'tricolor' patches beneath the familiar gray/black/portrait images are taken from the same test chart, and show how noise impacts upon blue, green and red areas of a scene.

Compared to...

Here, we're looking at the D5200's noise performance compared to its predecessor the D5100 and two of its closest competitors, the Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i, and Sony SLT-A57.

Compared to its predecessor the D5100, the D5200 gives very similar levels of visual noise at its low and medium ISO settings, but above ISO 6400, the D5200's images are noticeably smoother. In terms of noise, there's not much to choose between the D5200 and its closest competitors the Canon Rebel T4i and Sony SLT-A57 but the higher pixel count of the D5200 does result in fractionally more detail at ISO 12,800 and 25,600.

Looking at the graph view, the D5100 and D5200 show similar noise levels up to ISO 3200. Based on the graph data alone, the Sony SLT-A57 shows impressive noise performance but it's important to note that this is due to very agressive noise reduction. You can see in the 'samples' view, especially at ISO 6400 and above, that the cost of this suppression is distinctly hazy output. Even with its noise reduction set to 'low' the A57's output is pretty mushy above ISO 3200.

ACR Raw noise (v 7.4, noise reduction set to zero)

Here we look at the Raw files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 7.4). Images are brightness matched and processed with all noise reduction options set to zero. Adobe does a degree of noise reduction even when the user-controlled NR is turned off.

The amount of NR applied 'under the hood' is not high, but it does vary by camera (Adobe is attempting to normalize output across different sensors), so inevitably we are still looking at a balance of noise and noise reduction, rather than pure noise levels. However, the use of the most popular third-party RAW converter is intended to give a photographically relevant result, rather than simply comparing sensor performance in an abstract manner.

In the Raw mode samples above, the differences between the D5200's image quality and that of the three other cameras selected here are much more subtle than the JPEG comparisons. Up to ISO 3200 there isn't much to choose between them from the point of view of critical image quality. The D5200's 24MP sensor gives more detail though, although the difference between the Nikon and Canon's T4i isn't as great as the 6MP disparity in pixel count might suggest. The Canon holds its own until ISO 12800, where noise swamps detail to the point where the 24MP D5200 just has the edge in terms of detail reproduction (but only just).

Up through ISO 1600, there is little in terms of detail retention to separate the D5200 from its peers. Beginning at ISO 3200, however, the D5200 sacrifices less detail to chroma noise than either the Sony SLT-A57 or Canon T4i. At the camera's extended ISO settings (12,800 and 25,600) the dropoff in detail becomes pronounced, with the maximum ISO sensitivity obscuring significant portions of the image sample.

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Total comments: 20

I currently have a Panasonic point and shoot camera and find that the kids are often blurry especially in low light, and also find that my outside shots are often either to bright or to dark. I've been thinking of getting a SLR for a few years now but want one that's automatic as Im usually taking pics of the kids and they generally move pretty quick, what would your recommendation be? D5200??

1 upvote
Michael 59

I love my 5200 and recommend it. The 3200 and 5100 are also very good cameras. Any one of the three would be a good one to get.


The 3xxx series cameras have fixed displays, the 5xxx cameras have pivoting displays, and more toys, bells and whistles. 3/51xx are 16MP, while the 3/52xx are 24MP. I have a 5200, and I love it...

1 upvote
Michael 59

I recently upgraded from a D5100 to the D5200. Even though I've only taken snapshots here and there, I think the cameras image quality is great. I also have a D3200 which I bought for the higher MP. The 3200 takes beautiful pictures in my opinion, but lacks the bells & whistles I've got used to with the 5100. Even though the image quality in the 5100 was great, I liked the higher MP's, better auto-focus system, faster processor, and misc. other tweaks in the 5200. I still have the 3200 as a backup. The way I see it, The D5200 is like having all the great features "plus some others" of the 3200 and 5100 rolled into one camera. If you can afford the D5200, I recommend you purchase one. Something worth checking into is refurbs. Nikon as well as others sell those at a nice discount and they are inspected and practically like a new one. That how I got the one I have.


This is one of the best cameras in the world!

1 upvote
mumbai architect

Hi I am an architect and need to shoot interiors and buildings. I have been seeing D800E as a choice for the camera on the net. I don't have the budget to buy D800...Will D5200 suffice if I go for additional wide angle.? Please advise.


it will be suffice. just buy a wide-lens and there you go


One question on wide angle lens. The Tokina DX 11-16 is a DX lens. Reading about its specs on DPR the same say 17-24 equivalent. Why ? I though this "factor" of 1.5 applied when you mounted a FX a lens on DX ?


Is this better than D5100? I have D3100 and am planning to upgrade... but I am confused between D5100, D3200 and D5200...

sophi loren

I was confused in between nikon D5200 and Nikon D3200 and at last I go with Nikon D5200 for its ultimate power and obviously the ability of great videoing. DPreview really helps me a lot in this case. Recently I read a review aabout Nikon D5200 best buy and the writer really explain lots of intersting facts about D5200 ad alos offer a great price deal there. I think that will help you guys.

Review Link:

Enjoy with your Nikon and I really proud for my D5200

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
sophi loren

I hope you will get help from that review :)

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Zac boy

Sophi loren How are you....?? I wanna ask you something...?


I don't get it, what is the actual dynamic range of this camera? Without the ADL it seems to be a pretty mediocre 10EV, with ADL extra high it's 13 EV. Is ADL actually extending the dynamic range of the captured information, or is it just some "clever" post-processing?

1 upvote

I have the same question!


Was torn between the extra physical controls of the D7100 and the tilting screen of the D5200 along with its lighter more ergonomic feel in hand. Image quality between the two seems similar. I opted for the D5200 and so far happy I went for it rather than the slighlty larger D7100. Thought I'd spend the cost difference in better lens quality. The D7100 screw drive would have focused by old film Nikkor lenses, but I thought it better to move to newer DX lenses with the amazing VR which didn't exist when I used film.

Only grip is I would prefer a second dial, but the tilt screen was worth the compromise. I don't bother using the ridiculously high 24mp image size, instead opting for 'medium' which is about 16mp which is more than enough. A very happy camper so far. After defecting from Nikon film SLRs to Fuji compact bridges a decade ago, now very pleased with the compact feel of the D5200 and the images it produces with ergonomic ease.


I am trying to decide between the Nikon D5200 and the Canon T5i (700D).
I am *totally* confused by the JPG/Noise/ISO data on this page.

DPReview gives higher ratings to the Nikon, both for image quality and for noise. But, when I see the data above, I see the exact opposite. I must be mis-reading the data. I am only interested in the JPEG data. I don't like to use RAW - just takes up way too much space on my harddisk....

From what I see above, the Canon image seems much crisper - much much less noise. Can someone explain why DPReview gives the nod to the Nikon??

When I downloaded the sample image for both cameras, I also think the Canon seems so much crisper and sharper. Why would someone think the Nikon picture is better? They must be seeing something I am missing.

Any insight would be appreciated....

1 upvote
Duncan Dimanche

big cloister of dead pixels visible in that last visible video sample…. in the center…argh


"particularly if you're prepared to move beyond either of the kit lenses to higher quality optics"

Which lens would provide better image quality providing a similar range like the 18-105?

Recommendations are welcome.


considering that You have plenty of pixels to crop from 24M, and pretty average performance of mentioned lenses on long end, I would rather use tamron's or sigma's 17-50s with 2.8 light. Both in proce range of about $300-$400. They will actually allow You to take benefit of such big number of pixels.



why is the D5200 better for sports than the D5300?

Total comments: 20