Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Started Jun 13, 2013 | Discussions
trut_maluglist Regular Member • Posts: 303
Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200?  Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

Nikon D5100 Nikon D5200
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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,924
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

You can compare the two cameras yourself on the comparisons page of this website - but the headliner features are:

39 point AF system inherited from the D7000 vs. the 11 pt system that's been around since 2005

Much better video

24MP and better performance at very high ISO

highly customizable auto-ISO programming that takes effective FL into account in setting minimum shutter speeds, as well as being able to be biased higher or lower than this rule of thumb according to personal preference

A bit better sorted out user interface

Somewhat better handling and grip shape

In my opinion, the AF alone is worth the difference in price; to a videographer, the advancements in video mode are very welcome as well.  Some might argue that the 24MP sensor is a mixed bag as the D5100's sensor is a bit less prone to some forms of pattern noise in the very deepest shadows.  For most applications this is a distinction without a difference.

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Damnerd
Damnerd Senior Member • Posts: 2,076
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3499655#forum-post-51598748

compare the photos in this contest:  I think the biggest factor is the hand the camera is in, wish I was in the same league as some of these guys.

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Don M
Destiny aids and helps along those who recognize her, the blind she drags.

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OP trut_maluglist Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Damnerd wrote:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3499655#forum-post-51598748

compare the photos in this contest: I think the biggest factor is the hand the camera is in, wish I was in the same league as some of these guys.

Given the size the photos in that contest are displayed at, the camera probably doesn't make a difference.

Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,746
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

trut_maluglist wrote:

Damnerd wrote:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3499655#forum-post-51598748

compare the photos in this contest: I think the biggest factor is the hand the camera is in, wish I was in the same league as some of these guys.

Given the size the photos in that contest are displayed at, the camera probably doesn't make a difference.

Click on the photos and you can see them in a larger resolution.

IMO it really-really doesn't matter which camera you get, either would be fine.  If I were you I'd either go cheap and order the D5100 refurb'd from Adorama for $479 with the kit lens or if I was going new I'd go D5200 or even D7100.  I bought the D5100 refurb a few months back and it had something ridiculous like 4 shutter actuations.  I couldn't find a single scratch or blemish anywhere on the body or lens.  And for something like $6 I got a 1 year & 3 month warranty from Adorama.  I've been completely happy.  That said, I don't think I'd pay full price for a new D5100 when the D5200 is just a couple hundred more.

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Shunda77
Shunda77 Senior Member • Posts: 2,132
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
2

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

The days of dramatic increase in image quality between old and new models appear to either be over or at least slowed considerably, there is just not much difference here, in fact, the D5100 is arguably slightly better.

For someone on a budget this represents a very good opportunity to get excellent image quality without having to spend a fortune on a newer body, it also means better lenses can be purchased for less overall outlay.

In my opinion, the $200 you could save buying the D5100 would be far better invested in another lens than on a D5200 body.

zakkix Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d5200

SpenJam Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Had them both, D5200 Hands down... Why buy old technology if the new is better, look at DXO mark, D5200 bests even the D7100...Go go snapsort.com to view one of many web comparisons, better low noise, better dynamic range, better focus system, you'll kick yourself to go old....

Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,288
Price difference is $317 for a D5100 refurb

Cameta has D5100 refurbs for $379.95. They're indistinguishable from new in my experience and come with a 90 Nikon warranty and 1-year Cameta warranty. In case that alters your decision making

The Big One Veteran Member • Posts: 4,564
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
2

As everyone else says, the 5200 is better (although I quite like the sensor from the 5100/7000).  Whether it is worth the extra money is up to you... personally I would rather spend the $200+ on a flash or a lens (35/1.8 or 50/1.8).  IMHO one of those (used well) will do more for your photographs than faster AF or more pixels.

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KennyXL Contributing Member • Posts: 787
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

I owned both.  For pretty much everything except IQ, the D5200 was measurably better than the D5100.  For IQ, the D5100 was slightly better, but it probably wouldn't be noticeable in most applications.  If I had to buy one of the two again, I'd be hard-pressed to decide since IQ tends to be the most important consideration to me, but the D5200 is so much better than the D5100 in every other feature.  I'd probably buy a used D5100 since I already have a D800 that meets my other needs as far as features go.

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jquagga Contributing Member • Posts: 616
Re: Price difference is $317 for a D5100 refurb

Man, I was thinking about sending my D5100 in at some point for cleaning / servicing.  It might be cheaper to just buy a new one.

_sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,023
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

SpenJam wrote:

Had them both, D5200 Hands down... Why buy old technology if the new is better, look at DXO mark, D5200 bests even the D7100...Go go snapsort.com to view one of many web comparisons, better low noise, better dynamic range, better focus system, you'll kick yourself to go old....

You shouldn't blindly rely on DxOmark scores. The D5200 has slightly better resolution/sharpness (assuming you have top quality lenses and master the technique), but slightly less usable DR due to banding (if you are into lifting shadows and pseudo-HDR) - but most users won't really notice any serious difference.

JCB123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,274
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
1

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

I think that the two headline differences are the AF module and the image sensor.

The D5100 has the older 11 point AF module that it shared with the D90 and the D5200 uses the 39 point AF module from the D7000. This only really makes a big difference when you are shooting moving subjects using AF-C. The 39 point module is better than the older 11 point module. That's not to say that the older module was incapable though. If you are really into this type of shooting you really need the 51 point system found in the D300s or the D7100 (they are not exactly the same module).The 39 point module allows AF fine tuning which is handy for fast aperture lenses. This ability also adds a task that needs to be done at least once and routinely checked periodically.

The D5100 uses the excellent 16 MP sensor it shares with the D7000, while the D5200 has a newer 24MP sensor. The 16MP sensor provides a remarkable ability to pull shadows up in post that the higher res sensor cannot quite match. I think image quality is a close call. So I think the question is how much value is the extra resolution worth to you vs the ability to pull shadows. If you don't regularly make very large prints but occasionally need to pull shadows then the D5100 might actually be preferable.

I think I would go for a D5100 out of these two. If i was buying a camera for sports action I would save/spend the extra for a D300s or a D7100. Otherwise the D5100 AF is quite adequate. I do like the ability to print really large but I don't do this on a frequent basis and can make large prints from 16MP files with some uprezzing if needs must. The price difference could go towards a lens, flash, tripod etc. That just my opinion though.

Video. Never use it. Apparently the D5200 is better if that matters.

Regards

John

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GerardHaines Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

JCB123 wrote:

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

I think that the two headline differences are the AF module and the image sensor.

The D5100 has the older 11 point AF module that it shared with the D90 and the D5200 uses the 39 point AF module from the D7000. This only really makes a big difference when you are shooting moving subjects using AF-C. The 39 point module is better than the older 11 point module. That's not to say that the older module was incapable though. If you are really into this type of shooting you really need the 51 point system found in the D300s or the D7100 (they are not exactly the same module).The 39 point module allows AF fine tuning which is handy for fast aperture lenses. This ability also adds a task that needs to be done at least once and routinely checked periodically.

The D5100 uses the excellent 16 MP sensor it shares with the D7000, while the D5200 has a newer 24MP sensor. The 16MP sensor provides a remarkable ability to pull shadows up in post that the higher res sensor cannot quite match. I think image quality is a close call. So I think the question is how much value is the extra resolution worth to you vs the ability to pull shadows. If you don't regularly make very large prints but occasionally need to pull shadows then the D5100 might actually be preferable.

I think I would go for a D5100 out of these two. If i was buying a camera for sports action I would save/spend the extra for a D300s or a D7100. Otherwise the D5100 AF is quite adequate. I do like the ability to print really large but I don't do this on a frequent basis and can make large prints from 16MP files with some uprezzing if needs must. The price difference could go towards a lens, flash, tripod etc. That just my opinion though.

Video. Never use it. Apparently the D5200 is better if that matters.

Regards

John

I agree with everything here...just for clarificication, you cannot fine tune the D5200's 39-point AF.

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mivaldes New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

Newegg also has a D5100 refurb with the 18-55mm kit lens for 469-$50 rebate=419.99. Runs for the next couple of days.  From reading the review at www.bythom.com though, one of my concerns is that the buttons layout is so different from many of the other Nikon models.  I want a camera that will help me move up to the better cameras later.  Am I being silly worrying about this?

Should it concern us that there are so many 5100 refurbs? Where are all these cameras coming from?

Marcus

GerardHaines Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

mivaldes wrote:

Newegg also has a D5100 refurb with the 18-55mm kit lens for 469-$50 rebate=419.99. Runs for the next couple of days.  From reading the review at www.bythom.com though, one of my concerns is that the buttons layout is so different from many of the other Nikon models.  I want a camera that will help me move up to the better cameras later.  Am I being silly worrying about this?

Should it concern us that there are so many 5100 refurbs? Where are all these cameras coming from?

Marcus

Trade-ins?

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jhorse Senior Member • Posts: 2,726
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200
1

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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LJohnK2
LJohnK2 Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Nikon D5100 < D5200

I have 2- D5100 and although I love them, the D5200 has 3 things that I think make the cost difference worthwhile.

1) the new improved auto ISO settings

2) the viewfinder grid is back from the D5000

3) the additional cross AF points

The only drawback I see with D5200 and its a personal thing is the massive RAW file size.

Cheers;

LJohnK

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cmvsm Veteran Member • Posts: 4,717
Re: Nikon D5100 vs. D5200

trut_maluglist wrote:

What are the primary differences between the D5100 and the D5200? Are these differences enough to justify the ~$200 price difference?

For $200, get the new body. As others have said, the AF module alone is worth the difference.

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