Nikon D5100 vs D5200

Which camera would you recommend?

  • D5100

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • D5200

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 66.7%

  • Total voters
Sep 16, 2012
i7 3770K @ 4.2 ghz
GTX 970
iMac, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Im looking to get a nice DSLR Camera. I fell in love with the D60 when my teacher lent it to me. Now I realize that is is about 5 years old and I have seen what others can do. I was able to try the D5100 and it seems pretty nice. Now I see that the D5200 was released a while ago and I need some help.

Is the D5200 worth the extra $200?

Let me know of the "Other" camera that you would recommend me getting. Also, I am open for suggestions of other brands, Nikon just stuck.
Feb 12, 2012
MSI Z77A-G45
GTX 660
MacBook Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro
Mobile Phone

choices choices. Is it worth the $200 price tag.... well, first of all the D5200 is a complete different camera from the D5100. The 24MP sensor is not the same as in the D3200 and has done very well in tests. The D5200 has also a very good autofocus system which is similar to the D7000 camera. Now there is very little wrong with that.

But in all cases, you should invest in really good "glass" as we call it, lenses. Do not expect much quality from a $99 lens Nikon packs in a 'kit'. You will have to invest more. Over the years I have swopped cameras more than lenses. After the 18-135 Nikon I 'upgraded' to the 18-105 with VR vibration reduction one. This is a very very sharp lens. The VR, shortly put, will give you one more stop on the F. Never mind what the subject and your intentions of a picture are, you really want it sharp! If that ain't there, it's a crap shoot at best.

Back to the cameras. In normal daylight pictures, you will hardly see differences in the pictures from one brand to another as a layman regarding 'any issues' in the picture. You have to blow the pics up so much to be able to see it. But, come night time, that's a whole different ball game. I came to appreciate the wide ISO range my current camera has (not a D5xxx series). Especially with a bit lesser light, you will notice how good your camera really is.
I don't think you will have worries in this department with the D5200. ISO 6400 shots look good so this gives you a long range of light conditions to shoot in.

What is also important is that you can set various items without going into the menus, and I change ISO settings a lot. So that is one thing to look out for in any camera and the D5200 doesn't disappoint either. You have to fiddle a bit in the menu to get the ISO to change via the FN button plus a wheel but it can be done. What more do you need...

The LCD: personally I don't see a need for it to be rotatable, as I always shoot via the ocular, but I check the picture ALWAYS after shooting it. it's good practice, and verifies and shows you were right or wrong. I rather have some buttons on the left of the display like mine has, but if you are fine without them as you don't know better you should be ok.

The best to me on the D5200 compared to the D5100 is the video part. It may still be lacking compared to Canon, but the D5200 is a giant step forward from the D5100 where making videos was just... impossible really. You still don't get what the D7000 can do, like changing the F while in LiveView. That is a choice Nikon made as to keep D7000 owners happy. There are more differences don't worry but to introduce this feature on the D5200 would have been bad. Especially the D600 users would have been extremely unhappy. But that said, in a lot of cases we don't need to change the setting. If you are serious about VDO then you probably shouldn't look at this camera. A-Mode is a bit confusing to say the least and you should probably use M-Mode all the time.
The video part is still not where I would like to have it.

Still, getting a 24MP sensor that quality wise is better than the D5100 16MP, the better video, higher number of pictures per second, better autofocus, option to put a stereo mic on it, wifi capability.... Do you really want to save $200 so bad that you later going to spend it anyway to upgrade the D5100?

I'd go for the D5200 when given the choice, purely on the specs. Now if you budget is tighter and you need some proper glass to go with it, you may opt for the D5100, get good glass and be happy too! If you get the high MP cameras, you can't simply screw on the older glass lenses Nikon made, it'll show as their manufacturing standard was not as high 20 years ago. They simply didn't need to have that kind of quality. so I am happy with the 12MP and some seriously good glass with F2.8 etc. But when you start doing that, the D5200 is not going to be a match, glass weighs a ton and the balance is all but good so you need a beefier camera on it. And for that you will have to drop a 0 from the numbers of the Nikon and start looking there. But having said that: I had an extremely good time learning on the D80. But it couldn't do anymore what i wanted it to do, and so I got a semi pro. I'm still learning today! No more preset modes... unforgiving but very rewarding when done right.

I would start to look at the package price and if with a lens like the 18-105 (always on) or even the 18-200 the price is right with the D5200 then go for it.
The D5200 will have a bit higher resale value later on if you want to upgrade.

Good luck... and welcome to Nikonmania.