Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Started Jun 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
jhorse Veteran Member • Posts: 3,065
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Hi, let me add my three pence worth as a D5100 user and a very satisfied one at that. First, the 39 vs the 11 CAM AF unit, which is an improvement. I also use a D300s (the 51 AF unit) and while the latter is better in terms of lock on and tracking, the D5100 is very close and is no less accurate for static or slow moving subjects. I took the D5100 to a polo match recently and it locked onto horses at 25+ MPH heading in my direction without a problem.

D5100 on AF-C

Second, the 16MP sensor is a classic and the IQ is right up there with the best. Someone above says the IQ is comparable. However, where I think it scores, given the very comparable IQ, is in the size of data. My 16-20Mb RAW files are much larger than I need even for medium scale cropping. I do not know the average D5200 NEF file size, but consider that you would need more PC horsepower and storage space (cards and HD). Furthermore, I post regularly on my Smugmug site and even at 16MP I and struggle to reduce file sized to manageable proportions for web posting. For example, when I covert to JPEG and at the highest compression ratio my file sizes are still 0.5- 1.2Mb.

Finally, I have a 18-55 lens and a 16-85. I did some basic IQ trials and there was a very noticeable image quality uplift with the 16-85. All in all, I suspect between the two, but I cannot confirm as I have not used a D5200, I think the differences in lens quality, shooting technique and post processing skills are likely to have a bigger bearing on output IQ than any differences between the sensors alone. Whether the differences are worth $200 only you can say.

Hope that helps.

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