Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5200 - what to buy

So which of these cameras should you buy? Forget the Nikon D7000 if you are going to buy a DX camera. What is the difference and when do you need to buy the D3200 and when do you need to buy the D5200.
A couple of days ago I wrote an article about this based on the rumors and there isn't much that has changed now that the Nikon D5200 has been introduced. 8/10 should still go for the Nikon D3200 as the extra features that are coming with the Nikon D5200 isn't that big of a deal for most Nikon shooters in this category. Let me run through the main reason why you might buy the Nikon D5200:
  • Autofocus: The D5200 has 39 points vs 11 points in the D3200. The autofocus system comes from the Nikon D7000. What this really means is that autofocus will be a lot better in the Nikon D5200 than the Nikon D3200. This should be the main reason why you might want to buy the Nikon D5200 over the Nikon D3200. Do you need it? Well it depends on what you are going to shoot. If it is slow moving subjects like landscape, family events and as a tourist camera you don't really need the better autofocus. If you are shooting fast moving action like children player some kind of sport, then you better go with the D5200.
  • Light metering: 2016 pixel sensor vs 420 pixel sensor. What this means is that it will in some situations give you a better light metering in the Nikon D5200 over the Nikon D3200. If you are going to shoot a lot in hard light conditions (large difference between light and dark) then you should go for the Nikon D5200
  • High speed: 5 fps in the Nikon D5200 vs 4 fps in the Nikon D3200. Not an important difference
  • Iso push: 25600 in the Nikon D5200 vs 12800 in the Nikon D3200. Yes you can take pictures where it is more dark, but it is much so not really a major difference
  • Flip screen in the Nikon D5200. Nice to have in a compact camera, but in a DSLR not really an important feature
  • Bracketing: This is an important feature for the advanced photographer, but most people wouldn't even notice that this feature isn't available in the D3200.
So all in all you have to think one or two of the above features is important to your shooting to choose the D5200 over the D3200. List price difference is 400 euro or 500 us dollar which is a lot just to have those extra features.

If I was going to buy my first DSLR or upgrade from a D40 or similar I would go for the D3200 and get to know what is like to shoot with DSLR.

What is missing here is for the more advanced DX shooters. They don't really have an option at the moment. They could go FX, but it is expensive and require that you do something with your lens collection. Otherwise I would wait. It can't be long before the D7000 also gets an upgrade to something similar with the D5200 just with more features. If you are a D200, D300 or similar user waiting for a D400 or similar you choices are either for the D7100 or go to full frame. I don't believe there will be a D400 DX version. 

Links to Nikon D5200 articles:

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