Nikon D5200 Announced: A D7000 Soul in a Consumer-Level Body

Nikon has just officially announced its new D5200, a mid-range DSLR geared towards consumers. The successor of the D5100, the D5200 shares a lot of guts in common with its sibling the D7000. It’s difference is that it’s geared towards less advanced photographers and has a body that reflects that.

The D5200 features a DX-format camera with a 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, an EXPEED 3 processor, 5fps continuous shooting, a 505g lightweight body, and an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 25600).

Compared to the Nikon D7000, the D5200 has the exact same autofocus system, metering sensor, and scene recognition system. The AF system features 39 points, 9 of which are cross-type sensors.

On the back of the camera is a 3-inch 921k-dot vari-angle LCD screen that flips, tilts, and turns, giving you flexibility in how you frame your shots.

Bring up the various screens on the LCD, and you’ll find a revamped user interface:

The D5200 can do wireless transmission to iOS and Android devices, but you’ll need an optional WU-1a wireless adapter. In addition to transferring data, you’ll also be able to control your camera remotely using the device. If you want a taste at what this feature is like, just check out what can be done with the Canon 6D and its built-in Wi-Fi.

On the video-recording side of things, the D5200 features Full HD 1080p recording (up to 60i/50i) with full-time servo autofocus that tracks subjects as you’re filming them. There’s also a built-in stereo mic and a built-in movie editor.

As with many entry-level DSLRs, the D5200 features a number of features geared toward casual shooters and consumers. There are a number of built-in effects modes (e.g. selective color, miniature, high/low key, night vision, silhouette), HDR mode, and 16 scene modes for getting your shots right without having to understand too much about photography.

The camera will be available in three different colors: black, red, and bronze:

So with so much shared with its older sibling, the Nikon D7000, what exactly does the lower-tiered D5200 miss out on? Well, the D5200 lacks weathersealing, has a smaller viewfinder (0.50x with 95% coverage instead of 0.62x and 100%), features 1 SD card slot instead of 2, is a bit slower in burst mode (5fps instead of 6fps), and has a slower maximum shutter speed (1/4000s instead of 1/8000s).

The D5200 will hit store shelves in December 2012 with price tags of £720 and €899 (~$1150) for the body only. Throw in an extra $150 or so and you’ll also receive a 18-55mm VR kit lens. The US price point hasn’t been revealed yet.

  • Peter Jamus Holme

    Man, that’s pretty damn impressive. I mean really, camera technology is still improving and becoming cheaper quite rapidly. Those specs top a lot of the features on the D3, a camera considered top of the line in it’s day.

  • SmartyPants

    Compared to the D7000, in addition to what you mentioned, you also lose a second control dial, the handy top panel LCD and (most likely) also the internal focus motor. Those are deal breakers in my opinion.

  • OmniMode

    Anyone trying to figure out what camera to buy these days has my sympathies…with all the models, you need to take a night school course just to figure out what to buy.

    Manufacturers seem to have lost touch with the idea that too much choice can be a bad thing. They need to reduce their model lines…cameras will be cheaper and the consumer’s choice will be easier.

  • Lorance

    I thi9nk the opposite. At this point, you could just walk in and pick out the latest model in your price-point from any manufacturer and walk way with a very capable piece and certainly something better than 3-5 years back. Pentax, Sony, Canon, Nikon, etc all have very capable and very nice bodies for all budgets. The only choice is what brand packaging do you prefer?

  • Jason

    I’d choose the Pentax K30 over this Nikon offering any day. Similar specs and better ergo, yet offers in body IS AND weather sealed. (Probably costs less too)

  • delayedflight

    It’s not aimed at people who want a second dial or a top panel lcd.

  • OmniMode

    Good point. There are no bad cameras anymore…they’ll all take a great shot even with a kit lens. But it sure takes some work sorting through all the different model’s features to figure out which one is best for you.

    (I recently had to go through this when I upgraded from my old XSi…it took about 2 weeks researching online, testing brands and models in the store, and lots of pixel peeping, before I decided which one would serve me best in my work. Lots of agonizing…APS or FF…what glass…and about a hundred other considerations. It was a challenge…especially since Canon announced the 6D and Nikon the D600 right in the middle of the process.) :D

  • Mike

    Moar megapickles!!!

  • Mansgame

    Without an Auto-focus motor, this is still more or less a toy.

  • David Portass

    hmm, while specs are impressive, the only reason I might buy one is if it has a built in intervalometer or usb connection for external intervalometer to do lower light timelapses with at events I shoot at with my main cameras, maybe video recording from a different angle to main camera. I was waiting on the D300s replacement but might just go for either a D800 or a second hand D3s now

  • anonymous

    my d5100 has built in intervalometer

  • David Portass

    I just need something that works better in lower light, at the moment i’m using my D300s (now on 170k actuations) to do event timelapses but they are mostly in exhibition halls so not brilliant lighting so it normally shoots at ISO 1600 or at a push 3200 but looks bad at 1/30 of a second so some blur still. If I can have something that does a reasonably clean and sharp ISO6400 when resized to 1920×1080 at f3.2-3.5 1/60 then I’ll be happier. I did consider getting a GoPro HD2 for this but the high iso quality I need it can’t really do but might be ok for daytime gigs music festivals

  • Zachary Larsen

    Compared to the D7000, I’m also guessing that it lacks a focusing motor. That’s a biggie for me, not that I’m considering one of these anyway.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Antonio Carrasco

    Cool story bro!

  • Pks

    Then which all did you consider and which did you buy

  • Pks

    It looks expensive for first time DSLR buyer, I am more incline to go for d5100 as its price will further drop

  • OmniMode

    I considered every DSLR from prosumer to pro, APS and FF sensor.
    I finally settled on a Canon 7D – it worked out to be the best balance of image quality, low noise performance, image size, weather sealing, magnesium body, lens options, fps, ergonomics, usability and price, for what I need.

    There were Nikons that also totally met my criterion…the only reason I chose the Canon was simple familiarity with the camera system and the knowledge of the characteristics of Canon lenses.

  • Darrin Silverman

    I think $1300 with the 18-55 is too expensive to make it a consumer model. You can buy the 5100 with lens for $600 and unless you are making huge photos you are not likely to notice the difference between 16 and 24mp. The video is not much of an improvment. They should have made in 1080 and 60p not 60i. My panasonic point and shoot ZS19 shoots at 1080 60p and cost $250. If they could bring the price point down to under $900 I would consider upgrading but not at $1300.

  • EG-Keith

    Would you mind telling us which Nikon totally met your criterion? I’m going through the same painful process, and I believe you could help me to decide. I would even consider your Canon, but I am used to Nikon, so I would prefer to stick with it.

  • Mark Lassman

    I read a comparison of the 5100 to the 5200 and the article stated that the 5200 DOES have a focusing motor that the 5100 did not have.