PIX 2015
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Operation and controls

Top of camera controls

Most of the D5200's main shooting controls are arranged on the top plate. A mode dial provides acces to PASM and automated scene and effects modes. The on/off switch is concentric with the shutter button, with the exposure compensation and red movie record buttons immediately behind. The latter is inactive unless live view is enabled, which is done via the lever next to the mode dial.

Just behind the 'info' button - which toggles the rear LCD on and off - is the D5200's new drive mode button. With it you can choose from single, continuous (5 or 3 fps), self-timer, and infra-red remote release mode. Nikon's quiet mode (Q) is also available. When enabled, it delays the mirror return until you release the shutter button, and also disables operational beeps and the autofocus illuminator.

Next to the mode dial is a sprung lever which sets the camera to live view mode, allowing you to compose your shots on the rear screen rather than in the viewfinder, as well as record video.

Rear Controls

The back of the rather petite D5200 is dominated by its 3.0 inch articulated LCD screen, with buttons arranged around it. The Menu button is isolated on the top left shoulder, but all of the others are positioned for operation by the thumb of your shooting hand. The rear dial is used to change exposure settings in the PSAM modes. When holding down the +/- button behind the shutter release, turning the dial also allows you set exposure compensation or, in manual mode, the aperture value.

The '[i]' button to the right of the viewfinder 'activates' the rear screen, allowing you to change the two rows of onscreen settings below the virtual dials. The autoexposure/autofocus lock button (AE-L/AF-L) beside the rear dial is configurable. It can be set to lock either focus or exposure, or both together. It can also be configured as 'AF-ON' to permit focus acquisition independently from a shutter button press, a feature often used by action and wildlife shooters.

The playback button is placed at the upper right of the monitor, and below it is the four-way controller that's used to navigate menus and settings, with a central 'OK' button to confirm changes. The controller also moves the autofocus point around the frame when in Single-point AF mode, with a press of the OK button resetting the focus point to the centre of the frame.

Towards the bottom of the body are the magnification buttons, used to zoom in and out during live view and playback modes. The 'zoom out' button also doubles as a help ('?') key. Pressing it displays information about the currently-selected setting or menu item. Beneath the card indicator lamp is the camera's delete button.

Front Controls

The D5200 has just two controls on the front, above the lens release. The flash button has multiple functions, two of which will not be obvious to first-time Nikon users. A simple press releases the built-in flash. Yet hold it down while spinning the rear dial and you can set the flash mode. Hold it and the +/– button simultaneously while turning the rear dial and you can set flash exposure compensation.

The Fn button below it is customisable, and offers a range of settings, which are listed below:

D5200 Fn button options
 • Image quality/size
 • ISO sensitivity
 • White balance
 • Active D-Lighting
 • HDR (High dynamic range mode)
 • + NEF (RAW) mode
 • Auto Bracketing
 • AF-area mode
 • Live View
 • AE/AF lock
 • AE lock only
 • AE lock (Hold)
 • AF lock only
 • AF-ON

It's worth noting that the Fn button is the only direct way way of setting the White Balance or ISO (although you can also use the rear control screen). But with the D5200's improved Auto ISO program, this at least is something you can now plausibly leave to the camera most of the time. The last five options replicate those available on the AE-L button, so in principle you can use Fn as Autoexposure lock or AF-ON (although it's inconveniently-placed for this).

As on previous models, the Fn button's close proximity to the flash button, coupled with it's identical size and feel, means it's all-too-easy to find yourself inadvertently releasing the flash by mistake when attempting to engage the button by feel.

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Total comments: 22
Michael Stewart

I have owned my 5200 since early 2013. I am not at all disappointed. Images are bright and sharp with good shadow detail, although I do find that in summer shots it tends to over expose slightly which of course is easily cured by adjusting the +/- adjustment one stop. I particularly like the ability to adjust colour balance on screen, immediately after taking a shot. V useful under artificial light. Daylight 'A' white balance setting is more than adequate outdoors. Shots taken with high ISO 2 or 3000 seem indistinguishable from those at 200 ISO This is a great advance over my earlier D70s.

1 upvote

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...


D5200 has 39 focusing points, that made me a decision
D3200 & D5100 only offer 11
D5200 and D5100 offer an articulated screen display

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: 22