PIX 2015
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User Interface

Although it has external controls for many common shooting settings, most work in conjunction with onscreen icons and menus. Nikon has redesigned the user interface of the D5200, adopting a more logical layout than that of its predecessor, the D5100. Both the 'classic' and 'graphic' displays have had a makeover, and are now split into two 'panels'. The top one shows the major exposure parameters and the AF system status, while the lower one displays an array of secondary settings in two rows .

The 'graphic' display now gives shutter speed, aperture and ISO equal billing, so you can keep track of all three at a glance. This is one of the more effective methods we've seen for visualizing the camera's key settings.

The three virtual dials in the 'graphic' interface are all animated, and 'turn' onscreen when you change a setting. As you can see, the iris closes down too. Turn the physical mode dial and the ISO display is temporarily replaced by a virtual mode dial. This neat touch lets you verify the mode change without having to look at the top of the camera.
You have a choice of three colour schemes for the display. And you can make separate selections for the Auto/Scene/Effects and PSAM modes (using graphic in PSAM and classic in Auto, for example).  

As with many DSLRs, the lower panel of the D5200's control display is interactive, allowing you to change settings without a trip to the main menu. You trigger this behavior by pressing the '[i]' button, which activates the double row of icons along the bottom of the screen.

Sadly, and unlike most of its rivals, the D5200 doesn't allow you to change the settings from the initial screen. Instead, after confirming which parameter you wish to change, you're then taken to a second screen where you actually select the desired setting. This rather under-uses the control dial, and makes changing settings slower than it needs to be.

The 'classic' display (shown below) presents all the key settings on the back of the camera, but with a simple numerical display of shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

'Classic' mode presents the same two rows of camera settings present in 'graphic' mode. And as in 'graphic' mode, you adjust the settings first by pressing the [i] button... ...which activates the panel, allowing you to navigate to the parameter you wish to change using the four way controller. To actually change a setting though, requires you to press the OK button and visit another screen, where you're presented with the available options.

File numbering sequence

One seemingly minor but genuinely annoying behavior of Nikon's lower-tier DSLRs like the D5200 and D3200 is that by default, both cameras are configured to reset the file number sequence each time you format your SD card. This results in several images with identical names, making it all too easy to overwrite existing images when uploading files to your computer. We're hard-pressed to imagine any situation in which having multiple images with the same name is advantageous. As such we recoomend enabling a continuous numbering sequence via the D5200's custom menu option (d:4) by setting this option to 'On'.

Live view displays

With only a single stills/movie live view mode, you're limited to the same four information screens regardless of whether you're preparing to shoot stills or capture video. You cycle through these screens by pressing the camera's 'info' button.

As you'll notice below, the preview for each view is in a stills-oriented 3:2 ratio. The only way to preview a 16:9 video framing is via the gray bars overlaid along the top and bottom of the screen area when you select the movie information view. Unfortunately, their low opacity makes these bars impossible to distinguish when shooting video of darker subjects or in low light conditions.

An 'information' view displays key camera settings. A grid view is available.
Here is the image-only view. The video indicator screen displays sound levels, recording time and quality setting. Gray bars along the top and bottom are the only indication of the 16:9 framing that will be captured. Sadly there are difficult to distinguish atop darker scenes.

With live view enabled and the camera set to manual exposure mode, you can control shutter speed and ISO, but not aperture. Adjustments made to shutter speed or ISO will result in the preview image becoming brighter or darker, reflecting the resulting exposure.

Auto ISO

The D5200 gains the same Auto ISO configuration options as Nikon's D4, D800 and D600 - making it the most sophisticated Auto ISO system on the market at present. The system can be set up in a number of ways, depending on whether it's camera shake or subject movement that you think is most likely to ruin your image.

You can either specify a minimum shutter speed, or allow the camera to select the value for you based on the lens in use. But, even with this 'Auto' option, you can fine-tune its behavior towards using faster or slower shutter speeds.

Minimum Shutter Speed

If you're more concerned with freezing subject movement (when shooting sports for instance), then you can specify a fixed minimum shutter speed that the Auto ISO system will always attempt to maintain. You might also appreciate the control this direct setting gives if you're shooting with a fixed-focal-length lens.


The Auto setting varies the minimum shutter speed in relation to the current focal length, which makes it ideal for avoiding camera shake (the effect of which is focal length dependent). If you find you're more or less able to keep the camera steady at the shutter speeds that 'Auto' uses, you can fine-tune its behavior to maintain faster or slower shutter speeds than its default.

Overall this gives plenty of control over the behavior of Auto ISO (you may find that just fine-tuning the Auto shutter speed setting gives you the results you're looking for). However, turning Auto ISO on and off, as well as adjusting any of the finer settings, is conducted by navigating to the 14th (of 18) menu item in the second tab of the main menu - rather than simply having 'Auto' as a selectable setting via the Fn button (when set to ISO) or through the interactive control panel.

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Total comments: 21
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...

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: 21