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As Nikon's 'advanced beginner' DSLR, the D5200 sits between the entry-level D3200 and the enthusiast-targeted D7100 in the company's most recent APS-C lineup. The D5200 offers 24MP resolution (like its APS-C stablemates), an articulated rear LCD and more physical controls than the D3200, but without the twin-dial interface and professional grade AF system of the decidedly higher market (and much more customizeable) D7100.
On the outside, the D5200 is virtually identical to its predecessor, the D5100, with external changes limited to a dedicated drive mode button on the D5200's top plate, stereo microphone grills atop the pentamirror - like on the Canon EOS 650D - and a slightly redesigned rear multi selector. The D5200's more significant upgrades lie 'under the hood'. Impressively, many of these are inherited from higher-end Nikon DSLRs, including a 39-point AF system with 9 cross-type sensors and ample frame coverage, and a 2016 pixel RGB color-sensitive metering sensor, both taken from the D7000. The D5200 borrows from the D7100 a well-implemented Auto ISO feature that is tied to the lens' current focal length.
Although the D5200 shares the same 24MP resolution as both the D3200 and D7100, the D5200 offers a higher extended ISO range compared to the D 320 - show phone - vs 12800) and faster continuous shooting (5 fps vs 4). And the D5200, unlike the D7100, continues to use an anti-aliasing (AA) filter, although as we demonstrated in a side by side comparison in our D7100 review, it gives up precious little in terms of detail to its more expensive big brother.
For video shooters, the D5200 can record Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies at up to 60i or 50i (when set to NTSC and PAL respectively), although this uses a central crop of the sensor area. More conventional 30p, 25p and 24p modes use the full width of the sensor. In manual mode you have the option to take limited control of both shutter speed and ISO, but not aperture. And a stereo sound meter lets you adjust the level of either the built-in or or external mic, such as the optional ME-1 stereo mics.
The D5200 gets a processing boost over its predecessor. Nikon touts its EXPEED 3-branded processor as offering higher speed, better color reproduction and improved noise reduction. The D5200 also has an updated, cleaner design to the on-screen user interface that presents more information in a more-logical layout. This is welcome on a small camera with relatively few external controls since much of the user interaction is, by necessity, via the rear screen (and lots of button pressing).
The D5200 also supports Nikon's WU-1a Wi-Fi unit, which plugs into the camera's accessory terminal and allows images to be transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet for uploading to social media. The device can also be used as a remote control for the camera, complete with Live View.
Nikon D5200 key features
24.1MP DX format CMOS sensor
EXPEED 3 processing
ISO 100 - show phone - standard, up to 25600 expanded
5 fps continuous shooting
39 point AF system, 9 sensors cross type
2016 pixel RGB metering sensor
1080p30 video recording, built-in stereo mic
921k dot 3" vari-angle LCD monitor, 170° viewing angle