Nikon D5200 Review

 
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Nikon D5200 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slower than average speed for its class.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.5 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Shutdown

~0.1 second

How long it takes to turn off.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds *
after 40 L/F JPEGs

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.

2 seconds *
after 7 RAW frames
3 seconds *
after 5 RAW + L/F JPEG frames

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

The Nikon D5200's startup time was good for a consumer DSLR, and shutdown was nearly instantaneous. Buffer clearing times were good with a fast card, especially considering the 24-megapixel files, though buffer depths with RAW files were shallow.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~1.0 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.1 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was pretty fast for a consumer DSLR: Play to Record and displaying a captured L/F JPEG image were so fast they were difficult to measure, though switching from Record to Play immediately after capturing an image was about average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF (Center AF point)

0.302 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Nikkor AF-S 60mm f/2.8G Macro lens).

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF, Flash enabled

0.368 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, Auto Flash enabled.

Full Autofocus
Auto Area AF

0.386 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Continuous AF
0.292 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.298 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.088 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View mode

Full Autofocus
Live View
Single-servo AF

1.40 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Pre-focused
Live View

0.352 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon D5200's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was a little slower than average for a consumer DSLR. The D5200 required about 0.3 second for full AF using the center focus point. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to 0.37 second, with very little delay added for the metering preflash. Shutter lag increased to about 0.39 second in Auto-area AF mode. Continuous autofocus shutter lag was 0.29 second and Manual focus shutter lag wasn't much faster than full autofocus at almost 0.3 second, which is much slower than average. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped to 0.088 second which is about average for a consumer DSLR.

Full autofocus was much slower in Live View mode, as expected. The Nikon D5200 only offers contrast-detect AF in Live View, which took about 1.4 seconds to focus in our tests. (How fast the lens can adjust focus makes a big difference here.) Prefocused shutter lag was also slower in Live View mode, at about 0.35 second.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with most interchangeable lens cameras (on all platforms except NX, Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.47 second

Time per shot, averaged over 10 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.52 second

Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, 2 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.54 second

Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, 2 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(Yes with Flash)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.20 second (4.90 frames per second);
40+ frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 40 shots with no signs of slowing down.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.20 second (4.96 frames per second);
7 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 7 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.43 seconds (2.30 fps) when buffer is full.

Continuous mode
RAW + L/F
JPEG

0.20 second (4.94 frames per second);
5 frames total;
3 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 5 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.68 seconds (1.47 fps) when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

4.0 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as Advanced D-Lighting or NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were about average, at 0.47 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.52 second for RAW files, and 0.54 second for RAW + L/F JPEG frames.

Continuous mode speeds were slightly above average considering the class and resolution, ranging from 4.9 to almost 5 frames per second depending on the file type.

Buffer depth in continuous mode was excellent with JPEGs at over 40 L/F JPEG frames, though with RAW files buffer depths were a bit shallow at 7 RAW frames and 5 RAW+L/F JPEG frames.

The built-in flash took 4 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is a touch slow for an SLR.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

11,617 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds were quite fast.

Bottom line, the Nikon D5200's performance was generally good to a little below average in our tests. Startup and shutdown were good, as were single shot cycle-times and continuous mode performance. Autofocus speed however was slightly slower than average, and buffer depths with RAW files on the shallow side.

Battery

Battery Life
Below average battery life for a lithium-ion powered consumer SLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
500

The Nikon D5200 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life when using the optical viewfinder is below average even for a consumer DSLR. Nikon does not specify battery life for Live View mode, but it will certainly be a lot lower. We recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, or when using Live View a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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