Nikon D5200 review: Easy-to-use DSLR for ‘advanced beginners’ delivers hi-res image quality that even rivals the D7100


posted Friday, June 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM EDT

The Nikon D5200 is a lot of DSLR for the money, and though it's aimed at "advanced beginners" -- in terms of image quality and capabilities -- it's not too far removed from DSLRs geared for more serious photographers. Thanks to its 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 processor -- which seems to be the same sensor-processor combo packed into the bigger, better, newer D7100 -- the D5200 offers more resolution in a mid-level camera than Nikon's ever offered before.

The camera's clean, highly detailed images rivals those of direct competitors such as the Canon T5i, as well as full-blown enthusiast models such as its big brother, the D7100. (In fact, the only thing that appears to differentiate the image quality between the Nikon D5200 and the D7100 is the latter's lack of a low pass filter, a move that earns it some better fidelity at the risk of incurring moiré.) The D5200 also produces great images at high ISOs; you can even make an acceptable 4 x 6 print at ISO 12,800.

To be honest, we had a few quibbles with the camera, too, most notably its slightly slower-than-average AF system, lackluster collection of creative effects and time-consuming settings switching.

To see how the Nikon D5200 performed in the lab and out in the field, compare its image quality against competing models, browse a gallery of images taken with the DSLR, and much more, check out our full, in-depth Nikon D5200 review.