D5200 is second model in current Nikon DSLR lineup, just above D3200 and below the newly announced semi-pro D7100. In terms of features and especially size or ergonomics it is pretty much the same as both its predecessor the D5100 or the current base model D3200. Since I already published D3200 review and D5200 is rather similar camera, I will cover only the differences and overall user experience in this review.
Compared to its predecessor, the D5200 has a new 24 MP sensor, more advanced focus system with 39 AF points, 2016 pixel color sensitive metering sensor and stereo microphone for video recording. The Auto-ISO option is also upgraded and now allows automatic setting of minimum shutter speed based on the lens focal length – pretty important for zoom lens users. Movie aficionados will love the option of manual setting of shutter, aperture and ISO during movie recording. Everything else is practically the same as on D5100.
You probably do not need full frame. But you want it. It’s a dark object of your desires, the reason why you keep returning to review websites at 2 a.m. and drool over bokehlicious cat samples on Flickr… If you recognized yourself in previous description, you have probably suffered from GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) which can be fatal for your wallet and marriage peace. Luckily, I’m not married.
Nikon and I seem share a common belief in a thing called a second chance. A year ago Nikon 1 V1 hit the market as company’s first mirrorless offering. It took pictures, but that’s about it. It didn’t appeal to advanced users, and the not-so-advanced crowd also avoided it due to various reasons. Hence this autumn’s price reduction; it plummeted from insane $899 all the way down to around $299 in some stores. Low sale figures are not the only reason responsible for the price drop; shops had to get rid of the supplies before the all new V2 came out. And it’s good they have because the V2 is a completely different and quite desirable camera.
A long long time ago (in digital market terms) DSLR cameras were quite expensive. Well, at least more than most of the customers could or wanted to pay for. In those days only alternative for advanced amateurs on the budget or users in desire for higher image quality were so-called “prosumer” cameras. They still had small sensors, but paired to high quality optics in larger bodies with full manual controls. As soon as DSLR and (in the last few years) mirrorless cameras became affordable, prosumer cameras disappeared almost overnight. Why would anyone buy a product with worse image quality when you could get full size pro-looking DSLR to impress your friends instead?
I knew Nikon D4 is a fantastic camera before I got it for review. But so are many others and they do not cost as much as this one. So what is so special (expensive) about D4? Well, this one really works as advertised. Almost all other cameras on the market failed at one or more aspects of their performance. Sooner or later, they left me mumbling to myself something like: “…if it just focused better on this shot,had less noise on this pic or had better control layout I would have caught a perfect photo”. Well, Nikon D4 is the first camera that did absolutely everything I wanted it to, and left me mumbling to myself: “Shi*, I’m a lousy photographer”. If you have mastered a certain level of technical skills, D4 will very soon reveal all that’s bad in your artistic skills. It is that good.
Nikon and Canon are traditional companies nowadays; they stick to what they do best. While Sony and Olympus try to innovate with mirrorless and SLT camera designs, Nikon keeps most of its focus still in DSLR market, and that’s not a bad strategy. D3200 is a classic example of SLR camera, made to perform fast and responsive with optical viewfinder type of shooting. It has a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, large 3″ LCD and can record videos in Full-HD.
Nikon stirred a lot of dust introducing D800 and D800E models earlier this year. The main reason was massive jump in resolution: at 36 megapixels, D800 is highest resolution camera on the market (except medium format) and a huge shift since its predecessor – Nikon D700. D800E differs itself from regular D800 by lack of anti-aliasing filter. In practice, images will appear slightly sharper but with more chance to get moire effect. In every other aspect, both cameras are the same.
Its main rival is Canon EOS 5D Mark III, which I reviewed a few months ago and you can read about it here. Since the late Photokina fair there is also Sony A99 which with its SLT technology and few unique features is a beast of its kind.