The trusty D5100 and D7000 have held sway over Nikon's low-to-mid DSLR range for around 18 months now, but come December and there'll be a new option driving a wedge right between them. The D5200 will still fulfill the role of a lightweight "advanced beginner" model and physically it's the spitting image of the D5100, but at the same time it brings some fundamental and distinctly D7000-like photographic improvements to try to excuse its £720 (body-only) recommended retail price. (Update: that equates to around $1,150, but Nikon tells us that there's no official US pricing or arrival date at this time.)
The D5200 offers a 39-point AF system for smarter focusing and tracking of moving subjects (compared to the 11-point module on the D5100), a 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor (whereas the D5100 judged exposure based on just 420 pixels), and a new Expeed 3 processor that permits up to five shots per second (versus the older camera's 4 fps). There's also a brand new main image sensor: a DX-format chip that is the same size as the D5100's and yet somehow squeezes in 8 million more pixels, bringing the effective resolution to 24.1 megapixels. Need more convincing? The camera also has a slightly simpler-looking UI, a stereo internal mic, more choice of h.264 frame rates up to 60 frames per second (in 1080i), and compatibility with Nikon's admittedly flaky WU-1a wireless adapter. Check out our hands-on video after the break plus a review roundup in the next few weeks, and then, if you're still not appeased, don't sweat it: the D5100 and D7000 will continue to be sold for the forseeable, and both with ever-increasing discounts.
Nikon D5200 hands-on
Nikon D5200 publicity shots
Discover new perspectives with the inspiring Nikon D5200
Body only: £719.99 / €899.00
Body & 18-55mm VR lens: £819.99 / €1029.00
Sales start date: December 2012
London, UK, 6 November 2012: Nikon introduces the latest D-SLR to its mid-range DX-format line-up, the 24.1 megapixel Nikon D5200, designed to bring out your creative side. From beautiful still photos to smooth Full HD movies, this camera empowers your freedom of expression, letting you capture your own unique view of the world.
Simon Iddon, Product Manager DX Products at Nikon UK, says: "The Nikon D5200 is ideal for those who are passionate about photography and are keen to explore their creative potential."
He adds: "The versatile vari-angle screen is ideal for composing shots and for experimenting with the camera's superior features to enhance images and add an individual twist."
Breath-taking image quality
The third camera in its series, following the D5000 and the D5100, the Nikon D5200 offers a massive leap in image-quality. In addition to the 24.1-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor for finely detailed images, the new EXPEED 3 image processor provides high-speed operation and excellent, rich colour reproduction – as well as enhanced movie recording. The high ISO sensitivity (100-6400 which is extendable to 25600) delivers brilliant shots in dark or poorly lit environments as well as producing clear images of fast moving subjects.
The Nikon D5200 shares an AF system, metering sensor and scene recognition with the Nikon D7000 series, giving this camera a new level of performance and much enhanced image quality. The superior accuracy of the 39-point AF system and nine cross-type sensors delivers razor sharp images by focusing precisely on the subject you choose. Meanwhile, the 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor provides precise data to the camera's Scene Recognition System, which optimises exposure, autofocus and white balance immediately before the shutter is released.
Image creations from any angle
The Nikon D5200's versatile 7.5cm (3-in) vari-angle LCD monitor provides the ultimate freedom and flexibility to take beautiful shots and movies from virtually any position. You can flip, tilt or turn the swivel monitor to get really creative with your angles. In addition, the Nikon D5200 is an intelligently designed lightweight camera, with clear menus and superior ergonomics, making it a pleasure to maneuver and shoot with.
Wireless connectivity to share your creations
Wirelessly transmitting images from your camera to an Apple™ or Android™ smart device is possible by using the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. This means you can share images that you are proud of with friends via social networks and email for instant reactions. It is even possible to control your camera remotely from your smart device to help you take beautiful shots without disturbing your subjects.
Distinctive HD movies
Effortlessly alternate between shooting stills and Full HD movies with smooth (up to 60i/50i) recording at the flick of a switch. The camera's subject tracking of moving objects in three dimensions, with full time servo AF (AF-F), ensures focus of moving objects throughout filming. Adding to that, creating movies to be proud of can be achieved with in-movie editing and the camera's built-in stereo microphone.
Inspirational Effect and Scene modes
Be even more original with the Nikon D5200 Effects mode. A range of seven special effects: Selective Colour, Miniature, High and Low Key, Silhouette, Colour Sketch and Night Vision can be applied in real time to images and movies through Live View so you can see what your final creation will look like before you shoot it. In addition, in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) and D-lighting capture detailed images of high-contrast scenes, increasing creative possibilities. You can also select from 16 different Scene modes – they optimise the camera settings, such as shutter speed, ISO and aperture – to the situation you are shooting. It is great for a quick shot or if you are still learning about D-SLR photography.
• DX-format, 24.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor with EXPEED 3 for exceptional quality
• Vari-angle LCD monitor: View life at a unique angle with a high resolution, 7.5cm (3.0-in), 921k dot vari-angle screen
• Compatible with Wireless Mobile Adaptor WU-1a to transmit images from the camera to Apple™ or Android™ smart device and remote shooting
• High ISO (100-6400) extendable to 25600: keeps the detail with low noise in low-light situations
• Razor-sharp 39-point AF system with nine cross-type sensors in the center. Offers fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame
• 2,016 pixel RGB metering sensor delivers highly accurate metering for exact exposures and provides precise data to the camera's Scene Recognition System
• Scene Recognition System optimises exposure, autofocus and white balance immediately before the shutter is released
• Continuous shooting at 5fps: so you do not miss that fast-moving action shot
• High dynamic range (HDR): Gives detailed shots of high-contrast scenes by combining two shots taken within a single shutter release
• Active D-Lighting: Retains details in highlights and shadows for well-balanced images, even if the subject is moving
• D-Movie: Full (1080p) HD movies with smooth (up to 60i/50i) recording and a built-in stereo microphone
• D-Movie AF modes: Live View autofocus works when shooting movie clips, keeping subjects in sharp focus
• In-built stereo-microphone for improved sound quality
• Updated new generation GUI Design
• 16 Scene modes: Automatically adjusts camera settings, including Picture Controls and Active D-Lighting, for optimal results.
• Effects mode – seven effects including Selective Colour and Miniature, which can be applied in pre-shoot, for more creative movies and stills
• Compatible with WR-R10 Wireless Remote transceiver and WR-T10 Wireless Remote transmitter that let you control key camera functions from a distance
• GPS compatible: Records the exact location of the camera when a picture is taken by using the optional GP-1 unit
• NIKKOR lenses: take advantage of Nikon's legendary NIKKOR lenses and make the most of the camera's 24-megapixel resolution. Capture photos with vivid colour and striking contrast. Shoot movies with crisp detail or experiment with cinematic effects.
• Available in three colours: black, red and bronze
• Lightweight body (505g) with an intelligent design and superior ergonomics