D5200 In 2019 still relevant and the lowest spec'd and lowest cost Nikon I'd recommend

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Chuck Yadmark
Chuck Yadmark Veteran Member • Posts: 4,403
D5200 In 2019 still relevant and the lowest spec'd and lowest cost Nikon I'd recommend

For those who don't know me, my weekend gig is professional-ish sports photographer.  For that I use a D4s and 2 D4's permanently after occasional attempts to use lesser resulted in some problem or other.

I've physically paid the price of carrying these (and earlier D1's,2's and 3's) and big lenses to the point where my right knee always hurts so I no longer carry these big cameras for general use, or taking photos of my kids sports and activities.

Between iPhone cameras which have gotten so very good and these professional level cameras there is a shrinking but still present space for a camera or 2 or 3.

After a dalliance with a Samsung NX system I've decided to consolidate with Nikon, primarily for battery and battery charging reasons, yes, perhaps not picking the best tools for the job but that's my hangup, I had gotten annoyed with so many different chargers and batteries.  I'm already stuck with 3 battery types the EN-EL14, 15 and 18.

For different reasons I've owned almost every Nikon SLR cheaper than 2000 dollars and have sold them off for either being too much or not enough for what I had in mind, again considering I have the D4's anchoring the high end.

Non-photographer people here and in my life ask -" what camera should I buy?"

If they aren't shooting action and have at least a little bit of money I generally recommend something like the Sony RX100 series.  I think people benefit from a larger sensor size even if they don't know anything about photography.

If they have their hearts set on an SLR, perhaps they intend to shoot kids sports, I'll point out one.  Many people won't buy used, understandable, and for them I'll point them to a D3400 kit. But my real answer is the D5200.  It has a whole lot going for it.  It has a nice 24MP sensor that hasn't been radically changed even through today in the D5600 AFAIK.  It has the very good CAM4800DX focus system, again current.  And it has full AF-P lens compatibility.

It is not hard to find a good used D5200 for under 200 dollars.  That is significantly less than a new D3400 and a much better shooter.  It and the D3300 are the cheapest cameras that have full AF-P compatibility.  Why they cost slightly less than the 3300 I don't know, maybe its the number 2 vs 3.   I scored one for 140 dollars on eBay for a cracked glass back which was a 10 dollar repair.

I find the D5200 to be completely competent at action photography.    I suppose in a complete emergency I could use one for my sports stuff, I couldn't really say that of the 3300.  FPS is 5, though only for a couple of seconds.  It has acceptable noise at 6400.

It has a smaller size versus a D7x00 let alone a D500 or Dxx0 camera that can make a difference to a lot of people.

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Ann Arbor, MI USA

 Chuck Yadmark's gear list:Chuck Yadmark's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon Df Nikon D4S Nikon D750 Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR +18 more
Nikon D5200
24 megapixels • 3 screen • APS-C sensor
Announced: Nov 6, 2012
Chuck Yadmark's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Nikon D5200
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