Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Differences Between Nikon D5200 vs. D5100, D7000 and D90

The Nikon D5200 was officially announced in Europe and is expected to be announced in the US in January.  Here is a list of key differences between the D5200, D5100 and D7000.

UPDATE: DPReview preview here

First, here are the key differences between the D5200 and D5100 (we'll talk about the differences with the D7000 later).
  • SENSOR: The D5200 has a 24mp sensor, which many commentators believe is the same sensor as that of the D3200.  If so, expect the DXO scores to be similar, in which case, the D5100 (which has the same sensor as the D7000) would have slightly better high ISO.  D3200 DXO scoreD5100 DXO ScoreD7000 DXO scoreUPDATE: DPReview states that Nikon denies that the D5200 sensor is the same as that of the D3200.  We'll see.
  • Updated! AUTO ISO:  DPReview reports that the D5200 has the new, smarter Auto ISO (just like the D4, D800 and D600) that can take into account the focal length.  On the D600 I have found this incredibly useful, and for me it is a bona fide killer feature.
  • AUTOFOCUS: The D5200 has the same 39-point autofocus module as the D7000.  The D5100 has only 11 AF points.
  • METERING: The D5200 has the same 2016-pixel matrix metering as the D7000.  The D5100 uses the older 420-pixel matrix metering used in cameras such as the D90.
  • CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: The D5200 can shoot at 5 fps, whereas the D5100 shoots at up to 4 fps.
  • VIDEO:  The D5200 can shoot at 1080i/60fps or 1080p/30fps with a built-in stereo microphone.  The D5100 can shoot at up to 1080p/30fps and the built-in mic is mono.
  • WIRELESS SUPPORT:  The D5200 is compatible with the WU-1a wireless adapter, just like the D3200, and similar to the WU-1b for the D600 (reviewed here).  The WU-1a enables remote live view and wireless transmission of photos to your smartphone (for sharing on Facebook or Twitter, etc.).  The D5100 does not have support for the WU-1a or WU-1b.
  • The D5200 has a newer and arguably nicer graphical interface than the D5100.
  • The D5200 is available in black, red and bronze.  The D5100 comes only in black.
 As between the D5200 and D7000, the differences are similar to the differences between the D5100 and D7000:
    • Sensor: see above
    • The D7000 has AF Fine Tuning (Micro AF adjust).  The brochure for the D5200 makes no mention of such a feature and the D5200 is not expected to have it.
    • D5200 has only one command dial.  D7000 has two.
    • D5200 doesn't have direct access buttons for ISO, White balance or file quality (JPEG, RAW, etc.).  You need to go through the menus to change those settings.
    • D5200 has only one memory card slot.  D7000 has two (the second can be used as backup or overflow or for video).
    • 95% viewfinder vs. 100% viewfinder
    • 1/200 sync speed vs 1/250 or 1/320 sync speed
    • highest shutter speed: 1/4000 vs. 1/8000.
    • D5200 doesn't have a commander mode
    • D5200 can't do HSS.
    • D5200 has no built-in AF motor.  Some older lenses will not autofocus on the D5200 (although there may be focus confirmation through the electronic rangefinder).
    • 5fps vs. 6fps continuous shooting
    • 16 scene modes vs. 20 scene modes
  • These are the D5200's advantages over the D7000:
    • Smarter Auto ISO.
    • Support for WU-1a allows remote live view.
    • Swivel/tilt LCD screen.  Can be used for unusual angles or for self-portraits.
    • D5200 can do 1080p at 30fps or 1080i at 60fps.  D7000 can only do 1080p at 24fps.
You might also be comparing the D5200 to a used Nikon D90, or possibly switching from one.  Here are the differences:
  • D5200 has only one command dial.  D90 has two.
  • D5200 doesn't have direct access buttons for ISO, White balance or file quality (JPEG, RAW, etc.).  You need to go through the menus to change those settings.
  • D5200 doesn't have a popup commander mode.
  • D5200 can't do HSS.
  • D5200 has no built-in AF motor.  Some older lenses will not autofocus on the D5200 (although there may be focus confirmation through the electronic rangefinder).
Here are the D5200's advantages over the D90:
  • Smarter Auto ISO.
  • Sensor: The D90 has an older 12mp sensor.  The D5200's sensor is not only higher resolution (24mp) but is expected to have better high ISO performance and dynamic range.
  • Swivel/tilt screen.
  • Autofocus: 39 point vs. 11 point.
  • Metering: 2016pixel vs. 420pixel matrix.
  • Video: the D90 can only do 720p at 24fps.  Plus the D5200 has continuous autofocus in movie mode whereas the D90 does not.  The D5200 also has an external microphone jack whereas the D90 doesn't.
  • Live view autofocus: the D5200's live view autofocus is expected to be much better than the slow-as-molasses autofocus of the D90's live view.
  • 5fps vs. 4.5fps continuous shooting
  • 16 scene modes vs. 5 scene modes
  • Support for WU-1a wireless module.
Unknowns: the D5100 had the ability to take 2 shots and combine them as an HDR.  That feature is not mentioned in the D5200 brochure though it is likely to have it.  Another question is whether the D5200's auto ISO is the smarter type (just like the D4, D800 and D600) that can take into account the focal length.  That's a very useful feature if the D5200 has it (a killer feature in my opinion).  Another potentially useful feature IF present would the ability to specify whether exposure compensation affects flash exposure (just like the D4 and D600).  The D7000 and D90 do not have any of these features.
Pricing: The D5100 is currently being offered refurbished on ebay for as low as $400 (body only).  US Pricing for the D5200 has not yet been announced at the time of this writing.
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