Nikon D5200 vs D5100

In this article, I will show feature differences between the new Nikon D5200 the previous generation D5100 (see our Nikon D5100 Review). What does the updated D5200 bring to the table and what are the key differences? Let’s take a look! Please keep in mind that this Nikon D5200 vs D5100 comparison is purely based on specifications. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons will be provided in the upcoming Nikon D5200 review.

Nikon D5200 vs D5100

As I have already pointed out in my announcement article, the new D5200 seems to have more advanced features like the 39-point AF system and the 2,016-pixel RGB metering sensor from the popular D7000. The imaging sensor also got a huge resolution bump, going from 16.2 MP to 24.1 MP. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras stack up against each other in terms of specifications:

Nikon D5200 vs D5100 Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D5200Nikon D5100
Sensor Resolution24.1 Million16.2 Million
Sensor Size23.5×15.6mm23.6×15.6mm
Sensor Pixel Size3.92µ4.79µ
Dust Reduction / Sensor CleaningYesYes
Image Size6,000 x 4,0004,928 x 3,264
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3EXPEED 2
Viewfinder TypePentamirrorPentamirror
Focus MotorNoNo
Viewfinder Coverage95%95%
Built-in FlashYesYes
Flash Sync Speed1/2001/200
Storage Media1x SD1x SD
Continuous Shooting Speed5 FPS4 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability100,000 cycles100,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II420-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-6,400ISO 100-6,400
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 12,800-25,600ISO 12,800-25,600
Autofocus SystemMulti-CAM 4800DXMulti-CAM 1000
AF DetectionUp to f/5.6Up to f/5.6
Video CapabilityYesYes
Video OutputMOV, CompressedMOV, Compressed
Video Maximum Record Time20 min in 24p, 30 min in 30p20 min in 24p, 30 min in 30p
Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ 60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p1920×1080 (1080p) @ 30p, 25p, 24p
Audio RecordingBuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Articulating LCDYesYes
LCD Size3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution921,000 dots921,000 dots
HDR SupportYesYes
Built-in GPSNoNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1aEye-Fi Compatible
BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery ChargerMH-24 ChargerMH-24 Charger
Weather Sealed BodyNoNo
USB Version2.02.0
Weight (Body Only)555g with battery and memory card560g with battery and memory card
Dimensions129 x 98 x 78mm128 x 97 x 79mm
MSRP PriceN/A in US yet$799 (as introduced)

Is the D5200 worth the upgrade? Unless you need a faster camera for photographing your kids’ sports, I would not upgrade from the D5100. The Nikon D5100 is a solid camera and the quality of images it produces are superb. If the D5200 offers better dynamic range, landscape photographers might find the extra resolution to be a plus, but if it is pretty close, I would wait until the D5300 comes out in a year or two. If you have a D5000, however, then the D5200 would be a great DSLR to move up to. You get better image quality, much more resolution, better speed, better AF and metering, a bigger and higher resolution articulating screen, much better video features and more. The same goes for the D3100 and D3000 DSLRs – moving up to the D5200 would be worth the upgrade. But obviously, it all depends on the price of the D5200 when it is announced in the US in January of 2013.

And if you happen to own the D7000, then don’t even bother looking – the D5200 would be a downgrade, all things considered. Unless you crave the 1080p 60i movie mode…

I posted some image samples from the D5200 yesterday. Sample images from the D5100 can be found in the Nikon D5100 Review.


  1. 1) Nikhil
    November 8, 2012 at 2:55 am

    looks like the comparision sheet between a D40 & a D40X. More of a last ditch effort before they announce the next generation piece in the price range.

  2. 2) Steve Magness
    November 8, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I bought the D5100 around this time last year, pleased to hear it’s not worth upgrading just yet!

    • 2.1) Benny
      November 8, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Me too. :-)

      • November 9, 2012 at 7:53 am

        Me three :)

        I’m happy to hear that “The Nikon D5100 is a solid camera and the quality of images it produces are superb.” coming from such a pro like Nasim.. makes me love my camera even more :-)

        Thanks Nasim.. keep up the great work..

        • abat
          December 30, 2012 at 2:21 am

          mee too very happy with nasim announcement make me love my camera even more model are coming in.

        • Sanjay Sagar
          May 8, 2013 at 2:35 pm

          I myself using D5100 and I am quite happy with the performance and image quality of this camera.

  3. 3) Wakaas
    November 8, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Hi. I own D5100. Iam looking to upgrade. Should I go for D5200 or should it be D7000. Iam getting D7000 brand new body for 950$. And I guess price of D5200 body would also be around 950$.
    Your advice needed.

    • 3.1) Janne
      November 8, 2012 at 5:57 am

      If you want to develop as a photographer, I’d rather invest in new glass (perhaps a 2.8 zoom or 1.8/1.4 prime), or then go straight “up” to D7000 since it gives you more complete controls. D5100 -> D5200 is only a minor uprade IMO unless it has some specific features that you really need.

    • November 8, 2012 at 6:49 am

      Fully agree with Janne. Get better lenses instead of upgrading your camera body. If you want to move up, get a higher-end DSLR instead…

  4. 4) Kevin
    November 8, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I have a friend who has a d5000 and asked me if it was worth upgrading, what do you think?

    • November 8, 2012 at 6:52 am

      Kevin, it all depends on the price. If the D5200 is introduced at $799 like the D5100, then it will be worth it (or max in the $850-900 range). Otherwise, forget about the D5200 and move up to the D7000 instead.

  5. 5) Gary
    November 8, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Although I’m a great advocate of the “12.1mp is good enough for anything” club, It may be worth remembering that some agencies have a minium file size of 50mb, so upgrading to the 24mp region would be worthwhile.

  6. November 8, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Liked this article as the D7000 user….

  7. 7) Mohan
    November 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Hi Nasim,
    I bought the D5100 last week. I’m a little bit sad because of the announcement of D5200 just 1 week later(I wouldn’t have gone for D5200 because of the significant price difference, but I would have given it a thought).The biggest difference I see is the 2016 pixel RGB sensor compared to the 400 odd one on the D5100. Could you please tell me if this makes a significant difference in the image quality?

    • 7.1) Rahul
      November 10, 2012 at 2:30 am

      In real world terms, the 420 pixel metering of the D5000/D5100 isn’t significantly prone to getting the exposure wrong than the 2017 pixel unit of the D7000/D5200. The AF probably makes a more noticeable difference.

  8. 8) Marcelobtp
    November 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    As i saw in a video seems that 720p 60fps is possible.

  9. 9) UnkEnt
    November 15, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I am considering buying a DSLR for the first time, and was fixated on the D5100 but was waiting to see what D5200 could bring. Just as a background, I will be a beginner in DSLR photography, who knows the basic theory about capturing light on a sensor :-) and what manual controls can do, but haven’t have real life practice (I am using a Canon Powershot S95 at the moment).

    Now, seeing that the D5100 + 18-105 is available for € 599 at Amazon (Germany), and the D5200 + 18-105 is showing as € 1029 at the same site, I am seriously considering going for the D5100.

    Key parameters which I find different:
    – The AF system : livable in the D5100 I feel
    – The mega pixel bump: 16 MP is OK for me
    – New sensor + processor: Sure it could is better quality perhaps, but worth € 400 ?
    – Other improvements: 5 FPS (not so important for me), new drive button (not so important), …. (not so important) …

    So … my question to you: Do you think I’m on the right track ?? Is it really worth waiting for a few more months to have the price drop in D5200, because it is really much better ??


    • 9.1) Rahul
      November 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

      The D5200 has a newer, 39 point AF module with 9 cross sensors, perhaps the same as the D7000. That alone makes it significant upgrade over a D5100, however the price difference of 400euro is bit too high in my opinion. If you can wait, nothing like it, but I don’t know how much the price will drop, I expect not more than €200.

  10. 10) Harsha Swaroop
    November 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    I have been reading your site for almost a month. Got a good insight into photography. I am a newbie. I was using point and shoot camera for a while and have taken thousands of photograph’s. Faced problems in low light conditions. But have captures good images mainly outdoor’s in sun. I started looking for a better camera and to learn much more detail about photography and to capture much better images. I capture every possible event when my camera is with me. Infact I keep the camera mostly on auto scene recognition mode and capture as I need to go into the menu to change to other settings. I don’t want to miss the moments by diving into the details of the camera. A good moment might give in a good photograh. But now, I thought it might be better to go for a better camera. So, started looking in for DSLR’s.

    I cannot afford a D7000. So I was thinking of buying d5100(new) with 18-55mm lens and 50mm 1.8f lens. I have seen negative review’s of D5100 due to its lacking in buttons. But was confused on buying D90 with same lens kit as above(Refurbished). Even this was going above budget. So thought the predecessor i.e D80(Refurbished) would fill the need. Now I am confused which one to go for if its a DSLR.

    Also in flash you recomended SB 900 but that is not available but I see there is SB910 is available which is 546$ on Amazon is there a cheaper alternative.

    But also there are mirrorless camera’s the first one i went through was Fuji x100. It looked good and looked very much portable. But now I am seeing Sony Nex N5 is also a good one.

    My question

    Which one should I go for whether to go for a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera.

    If DSLR Nikon d5100/Nikon d80 with 18- 55mm + 50 mm

    If Mirrorless Sony Nex 5N.

    Usage: I travel visiting temples, Scenic places, Self photography, some indoor program’s(Low light).
    This will be my first heavy investment on camera.

    • 10.1) Rahul
      November 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

      I’m surprised you still get D80s. Skip the SB900/910 for now and pick the SB600/700 instead, use the saved money for better body/lens. The D5100 is a good camera, and if you’re not too keen on being able to quickly switch manual settings but rather capture the moment and let the camera do the hard work, the D5100 will do just fine. If you like/intend to exert more control over settings, then the D80/D90 are a better choice, though at the expense of the better sensor on the D5100 (and the flip screen, if it matters)

      There’s one thing about DSLRs – they are bulky (and expensive) enough that you won’t ever carry them around casually. DSLRs tend to get used on planned trips, for casual shooting you want something small enough to fit easily into a pocket.

      That said, even a MILC is not really pocketable once you have the lens on with usual kit zooms, and barely just with the pancake primes, although still much more easier to stow in a small bag than a DSLR. So you need to think ahead, how likely are you to lug a DSLR around all/most of the time ? So if you want a camera for casual, unplanned shooting, the MILCs are a better choice. But if most of the your photography is on planned trips, then a DSLR makes sense.

      • 10.1.1) Harsha Swaroop
        November 25, 2012 at 10:32 pm


        Thanks for the suggestions. I loo/ked in d5100 in a local store and its cool and I didn’t find it too difficult to handle. The motor in the lens is pretty fast. But If I want to buy lenses eg 50 mm its double the cost of the AF. D80 & d90 have an inbuilt motor. In long term without AF motor it might end up to a higher cost. D7000 would have been the best but Its not my piece of cake right now.

        Can you also comment a bit more on D80 as its one of the best offer below.

        There are three offers. Can you suggest.

        Used D90 with 18-55 mm lens for 520 $

        used D80 with 18-55 mm for 340$

        Refurbished D5100 with 18-55mm lens for 499 $

        Which one would be a best buy

        I also need a 50mm lens
        and a flash

        • Rahul
          November 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

          Between the D80 and D90, there’s mainly the sensor difference giving the D90 better ISO performance, live view and better LCD. If you’re not shooting much in low light and live view is something you don’t intend to use, the D80 leaves you more money for accessories. Live view is quite useful for macro and manual focus, so decide if you need it – the D80 doesn’t have live view. D5100 comes with the best sensor and flip screen which many find useful. Choose this, if low light shooting is significantly high up in priority.

          So :
          a) want/need high ISO performance and/or flip screen -> D5100
          b) want/need best viewfinder for manual focus , off camera flash control -> D80/D90
          c) can do without live view and high res LCD, save as much for lenses -> D80

          The AF 50mm f/1.8D is the cheapest Nikon lens, and while it is half the AF-S 50 f/1.8G price, the other AF vs AF-S lens prices aren’t that disproportionate since there are few direct replacements, other AF-D lenses aren’t exactly dirt cheap ; maximum advantage is for those who have older AI or AF lenses already, or if you can find used lenses cheap (since you’re in the US, I guess used lenses market is a lot bigger ).

          Flash : look for SB600 leftover units, else SB700. The SB400 is better than in-built one, but not very powerful. Also look for 3rd party flashes, Nissin di622/di466 and Metz 44 AF offer equivalent power flashguns at much lower prices.

  11. 11) Raj
    November 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Nisam, Firstly my thanks for your site and best wishes for your recovery.

    My passions are wildlife and birds. I travel and like to photograph old historical temples, churches and mosques.

    Im an amateur and looking at the Nikon 5100 / Canon T4i . I will be buying some accessories too .
    What camera will most suit me?

    • 11.1) Rahul
      November 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

      The Canon t4i has a better AF module, and has the in-built flash commander. Other than that, I think the D5100 is a better camera. If your friends/family already have any of the two systems, with whom you can swap lenses, then buy the same brand they have to make use of the common lens mount. Generally, people develop a preference for one system, usually centered around body feel/ergonomics, so spend some time playing with the cameras in your hands to get a good idea of which feels better in your hand.

      • 11.1.1) Raj
        November 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm

        Thanks Rahul, I’ll take your advice.
        Q: should I get the the 55-200mm f4-5.6 as my 2nd lens?

        • Rahul
          November 24, 2012 at 5:08 am

          Which system, Nikon also has a 55-300mm aside from 55-200, while Canon has a 55-250. Unless you already have used some telephoto lenses – either someone else’s DSLR or superzoom/bridge camera and know what focal lengths you need, I suggest you wait a while and use the camera with the kit lens or whichever 1st lens you get, before you buy other lenses, since that will tell you what kind of lenses you require.

          I had a superzoom before my DSLR, so I already knew I will need a long telephoto though it is less frequently used compared to wide-to-normal focal length, hence I bought the 55-300 early on with the camera. Then too, I find it a bit short at times, but lenses past 300mm get costly very quick.

  12. 12) Rohit
    November 20, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Hi Nasim – have got hooked to your site only recently- wealth of information for not just amateurs but also for self proclaimed stylists i guess :-) congrats and pls. keep up the guidance lamps ON for us !
    Ok here is a piece of advise that I’m looking for quite ernestly. I own a d40x and am seriously thinking to upgrade. Having used a dslr for years now and knowing the shortfalls of my camera/ lenses, I am already thinking of getting a faster lense with a new sensored body. So here are my queries :-
    a) should i go for d5200 (estimated launch price USD 1145/- only body) OR d7000 (USD 996/- body)
    b) what is your advise on Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lense….its half the price of same config for a nikkor !
    Shall look forward to your reply.
    Thanks:: Rohit

  13. 13) Rahul
    November 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

    D7000 anytime, if the body-only price is close to or cheaper than D5200. The D7000 sensor is very good, and it offers so much more – focus microadjust, faster shooting, bigger prism viewfinder, weather sealing, more lenses compatible, more manual controls.
    After using a D40, this class of body should be the obvious upgrade.

  14. 14) Nathan
    December 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hi, Nasim, before the D5200 was announced I was looking at the D5100 as a upgrade to my 3 year old D3000. Some aspects of the D5100 that made me choose it was it’s deeply discounted price of just $450 body only on Amazon, it’s video recording capabilities, and it’s 16.2 MP sensor. However with the announcement of the D5200 I am now torn between getting the D5200 over the D5100. I would like a have a new camera before I go to Paris and London at the beginning of March and would really like to have the D5200 but I just don’t know if the projected price of around $800 would be worth getting it over the $450 D5100. Should I go ahead and get the D5100 or wait until the D5200 comes out and hope that the price might be reduced before March? By the way, I wouldn’t be paying for the camera, my grandparents would as a late Christmas gift.

  15. 15) Jep
    December 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm


    I just want to ask nikon5200 is also good in terms of videography?
    i will buy nikon5200 for videography purpose.

    Thank you.

  16. December 18, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Ok.. thats interesting… BUT, the one thing that really matters, base-iso dynamic range and the shadow banding that Nikon developed sensors are famous for, well at least among proffessionals that lift shadows heavily.. ??

  17. 17) kris
    January 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    i’m planning to buy dslr and i’m a pure beginner no experience at all. I’m really confuse between d5100 and d5200 i’m just relying on what i read in the internet…please tell me which is better?actually i like d7000 but im worrying that its too heavy for me and to think that i’m a beginner i want an slr that is handy…please help me..I’ll be buying this sunday..Your reply will be really appriciated ,thanks in advance

    • 17.1) Val Evans
      January 9, 2013 at 6:43 am

      If I was just starting our fresh I would go with the Olympus OM-D EM-5 or the Panasonic GH-3 Micro Four-Thirds Systems. Hardly anyone can tell the difference between my EM-5 mirrorless camera images and my D800 images. I believe that there will be a paradigm shift and all of these mirror technology cameras will be obsolete. If you are new, go mirrorless IMO.

  18. 18) Val Evans
    January 9, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I sold off all my older gear (D70, D3100, D5100) and pre-ordered from B&H. I have a nice collection of about 9 FX lenses I would like to try on this camera, especially for video. Just can’t resist the 1080 60i video and new processor. I heard this camera uses a new and improved sensor from Toshiba. The D3100 and maybe the D5100 use a Nikon sensor, so this new upgraded Toshiba sensor could be a nice quality boost. Also, the new WR-10 RF Trigger looks great; hope this appears on pre-order soon.

  19. 19) Van
    January 9, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Curious to see how the new D5200 will perform during long, High ISO exposures, compared with the D5100 I now use with my refractor at prime focus to gather photons for astro images. The articulated LCD and live view are very handy for precision focus and for when the scope is pointed at crazy angles, and the camera body is fly-weight, too. It unbalances my scope less than some of my large eyepieces.

    Who will test it first, (of the three sites I visit) our wild friend over at Rockwell’s site, dp review or maybe the cats on this site – my favorite.

  20. January 17, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Why will someone buy D5200(with no built in motor) over D7000 when there is not much price difference..

    • 20.1) Gustmann52
      July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      1) Articulating LCD screen is great for descreet street photography
      2) Lighter weight
      3) Have no interest in non-AFS lenses (or if I ever use them will focus manually)

  21. 21) Clyde
    January 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I own the D5100 and it has focusing problems from time to time as other owners have commented (both D5100 and D7000. Has Nikon resolved the focusing issue? Your feedback is appreciated.

  22. January 24, 2013 at 6:55 am

    A great article where you compare the two cameras. As you I also would recommend that you skip a model number, but it is still a great new camera

  23. 23) Bob
    January 29, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Just a quick question about wether or not the D5100 has a bulb setting?

  24. 24) Motasem
    February 12, 2013 at 2:47 am


    I have been shooting with FujiFilm S200EXR for about 3 years … AND wishing to upgrade … I thought that Nikon D5200 cramps 24mp in the same sensor size as D5100 … that means smaller pixels so more noise … I loved the focus system of that D5200 … But, I think D5100 is better first DSLR option to me …
    However, Advices or more suggestions will be great …


  25. 25) Cathy
    February 24, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I currently own a Panasonic DMC-FZ40 and was thinking of upgrading to a DSLR. I basically want to photograph my pets without using the flash (as it makes their eyes glow). The location of all these shots would be indoors with very little natural light and of them moving quite a bit (cats). Knowing this, would you recommend the D5200? Do you have any tips on how to photograph pets indoors, including of them playing, without using the flash if at all possible?
    Thank you. :)

  26. March 2, 2013 at 3:25 am

    The Nikon D5200 has better AF metering system for sure. But about the image quality, DXO lab gives the D5200’s sensor quite high score but some people complained that the toshiba sensor in D5200 is not that good. I cannot see the difference in dynamic range or color depth between D5200 and D5100. But as I see in some sample picture of D5200, its high ISO performance is really good. I think the ISO performance of D5200 must be better than that of D5100 or D7000. Do you have any idea about this? Is D5200’s sensor as good as evaluated by DXO lab?

  27. 27) Bree Clark
    March 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    What if your an amateur photographer… which would be the best choice between the D5100 or the D5200? I’m leaning more towards buying the D5100, but maybe it would be better to start with the D5200 and spend a little more money. Any advice for a semi-poor, college student, trying to advance in one of her passions? Thanks!

  28. 28) Viktor
    March 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm


    I have almost the same question like all others. I’m complete beginner in this. I have no idea how to make good photography or manually change settings. But I would love to learn that. Now I’m about to buy DSLR. After reading little bit in past 2 days. Almost all are talking about d5100 d5200 d7000 and not so often about d3200. In my price range D5100 fits perfectly, also d3200 but not d5200 or d7000. If I really need d5200 or d7000 maybe I will give more money now but from what I can see for a beginner d5100 is perfect. I hope I’m right, if not please tell me. Also about lens I have no idea what is better but I can see that I can get d5100 within 3 packages:
    1) 18-55/3,5-5,6 VR (also posible without VR)
    2) 18-55/3,5-5,6 VR + 55-200/4,0-5,6 VR
    3) 18-105/3,5-5,6 VR
    I really have no idea that that VR means, and I dont know what is best option.
    I really need good advice because I was saving almost 1 year for this.


  29. 29) Avi
    April 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you for such wonderful advice.

    I am new to dslrs and know zero about this stuff. I want to buy my first dslr just to take pics of family and the kids.

    I am debating between 5100 and 5200. There is a $200 difference between them in price.

    What do you recommend in my situation. Shall I pull trigger and go the extra $200 or the 5100 is sufficient for me?

  30. 30) Bazil
    May 10, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Hi Nasim. I’m looking for a Dslr and i very confused and i don’t know that whether should i buy a nikon d5100 or nikon d5200. I’m a begginer and i cant upgrade it again and again so recommend me a dslr that dosnt need a upgrade.

  31. 31) Gokhan
    May 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I’m planning to upgrade my D40. The main motivation behind upgrading my camera is to improve the low light performance. I use old manual focus lenses most of the time. I will either buy a d5100 or a d5200. Are they similar in terms of their high ISO performances?

    • 31.1) Gustmann52
      July 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      I’m in the same boat (D40x). I think either 5100 or 5200 will be similar. Typically, a higher megapixel sensor will have more noise and perform worse at high ISO. However, as time goes by, sensors are improved. The 5200 has a higher megapixel sensor, but it is also a newer upgraded Toshiba sensor, so as far as I know they will perform similar, but I don’t have data to support this–just a guess. I have used D7000 and it performs well high ISO and it is the same exact sensor as 5200. I’m actually avoiding D7100 because it doesn’t perform significantly better than 5200/7000 at high ISO (and doesn’t have articulating screen).

  32. 32) Ankit
    June 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I m going to buy my first SLR 5100 or 5200??
    please Help me out

  33. 33) Vardhan
    August 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Nasim Sir

    Thanks a lot for your blogs. You are the best.
    I’ve learned photography from your blog for the past two years on my D3100 which I have sold now
    and am looking for an upgrade. I don’t have money for full frame but I can stretch my budget till USD 1100. I take a lot of portrait photographs of my children and have worked with a manual vivitar flash which I have sold as well. want to buy and external flash as well. Never shoot birds. I have nikon 50m 1.8 G and Nikon 55-300 VR lens.

    I’m reading various reviews since the past 7 days and am totally confused. These are the options available to me after discounts. Please guide me.

    Nikon D7100 body costs $1100 USD
    Nikon D7000 body with 18-100 costs 865 USD
    Nikon D5200 body with 18-55 costs 567 USD

    Should I buy nikon D7000/5200 and invest in lenses ? If yes which one should I buy ? Should I buy a 35 mm or a wide angle after saving some money in the next few years. Or should go for D7100 and save some money and purchase additional lenses whenever I have money.

    Please guide. I cannot thank you more !

    • 33.1) Ross
      September 5, 2013 at 1:01 am

      Vardhan, your choices are a little more than D5200 / D7000 now. You have the D7100 to consider also.

      Before anyone overreacts, let me beg you to read further before reaching for the reply button.

      The D5200 provides the SAME image quality as the new D7100 – there have been at least three pro reviews which all say the same thing. So, if you are looking for purely a great image quality, there is no choice, get hold of the D5200, which is what I did.

      Having said that, the build and controls of the D7100 (and D7000) are vastly superior, if you know how to use them, or are prepared to learn. The only thing I would add is that the D7000 is ‘only’ 16Mp with the other two bodies providing you with a clean 24Mp image.

      Remember also that the D5200 has now fallen in price from launch, and can be had very reasonably if you hunt around. More importantlly, the D5200 has the same exposure meter, and 39pt focus system, as was supplied on the now older D7000.

      It all depends on what kind of photographer you are or want to be. I shoot a lot of landscapes and don’t do a huge lot of action or social photography, and the D7100 is set up for just that kind of work, though, of course, the measured approach for still life / landscape etc can also be done on either camera.

      The D5200 offers 3D tracking focus mode, as well as the 9 / 11 / 39 or single point focus modes, so it can be turned to action and sports so it is down to you really, to try them out and make your own choice. Frankly, I would leave the D7000 in the shop now, it is already looking old by the standards of the other two (yes, in picture quality terms, not features). What did it for me, in choosing the D5200, was the tilt and flip out LCD screen, once you have used one, you don’t want to be without it.

      My conclusion for you then is, get the D5200 which already matches the D7100 in picture quality, outclasses the D7000 in resolution, and with the huge saving in the price difference – especially between it, and the D7100, leaves lots of money in your hands to invest in a great lens, because, you will need good glass with these 24Mp babies, that’s for sure.

      Good luck with whatever you decide to buy.


      • 33.1.1) Vardhan
        September 5, 2013 at 2:00 am


        It was very kind of you to take time out to share your thoughts which are very well articulated and helpful. Thanks a lot.

        I was taking great photographs with my Nikon D3100 and external flash and shouldn’t have sold that lovely camera. But I don’t regret the decision because I got the expected price for my camera. In the process of experimenting and learning from experts who are kind to share their learning I started with a manual Vivitar external flash and loved the outcome. As a result I was contemplating buying studio lights for portraits at home and at the same time buying a camera with the TTL system and the ability to control other flashes remotely from the camera. I managed with the lamp at home and the output was acceptable. After all I’m neither a professional photographer nor can afford such expensive products, but wanted to extract most out of my camera. When I got a good price for my Nikon D3100.

        I have never used the TTL system and don’t know how much value it will add to the image quality if I base by decision of purchasing a camera which has an inbuilt TTL system such as D7000. If I buy nikion D5200 what options will I have to explore TTL and wireless controlling flash from the camera.

        I loved D3100 and naturally appreciate the lightweight Nikon D5200 as well. That’s the reason I’m in two minds between Nikon 5200.

        Cheers !

        • Ross
          September 5, 2013 at 2:21 am

          Hi Vardhan

          You didn’t mention your ambition to experiement with wireless flash systems. I know that Nikon do not support it on the D5200 just like the other D5 x and D3 x products. If you must have this feature, I would have to say either get the D7100 or see if you can pick up a used D7000. I wouldn’t buy a new one with the state of play at the moment.

          Having said that, there are third party wireless flash suppliers, just like you can get battery grips for the D51 / 5200 etc. You may want to look at that option BEFORE commiting to a particular camera body. I know I would!


          • Vardhan
            September 5, 2013 at 3:42 am

            Thanks Ross, once again !

  34. 34) Kc Armada
    November 7, 2013 at 9:25 am

    So you’re saying that

    Nikon D5200 is only good because of 24MP w/c the ISO performance at night shots is perfect
    but when it comes to daylight shots
    Nikon D5100 and D5200 are equal?

  35. 35) Henry
    January 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I’m looking to upgrade from a Nikon 60D. I was thinking of the 5200. Your thoughts? I want to skill the 3200 and the 7100 is way more than I want to spend.

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