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:

Random posts:

13 comments:

Troggs said...

Very good article and analysis. It helped me a lot to decide which one to choose. Im an old fashion amateur photographer having a Nikon F3 35mm and a FM2. It was time for me to have my first DSLR camera, I really don't know how to use them and how it is to take shots using them.I was ready to buy Nikon D3200 when I read on net that Nikon D5200 is going to be released until the end of the year. So I felt a bit confused being in a delimma which one to chose to be my first DSLR.This analysis gave me all I want and cleared out all my queries thanks for that.I decided to choose Nikon D3200 as I am a beginner and giving 500€ more for some extra features that it's sure are not so important for me its a very good reason. The only thing that I will miss is the better light metering of D5200 , but anyway I can live without it....

Torben Christiansen said...

Hi Troggs

I am sure you will be happy and you can use the saved money for some great lenses for your D3200. Many to choose from. Depends on what you like to shoot. Only glad to help. Remember you can still use most of your lenses from your F3. They just don't autofocus

/Torben

Troggs said...

Hi Torben thanks for your reply and your help again. I ll buy it as a kit that has a 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR that for me is ok for the beginning and for what I want to shot. Later I’m thinking to buy a 35mm f/1.8G or a 50mm f/1.4D. But as you said I can use the lenses from my F3 (ok without AF) but I have a very good collection of them and even in this case they will be useful .

Torben Christiansen said...

Hi

The 50mm 1.4D is not going to autofocus on your new D3200 body. You should go for the 50mm 1.8g. My research (see the article on the right) has shown me that it is about as good as 50mm 1.4g. The kit lens is a good start.

/Torben

Troggs said...

Torben just a last question upon your previous reply (Btw i read you article about the lens that it is also very helpful) but I want to ask you that. You said actually that it is better in the future to choose a 50mm instead of 35mm. As this camera has Viewfinder Frame Coverage 95% isnt better to use a 35mm lens that actual will operates as a normal 50mm aprox speaking??Am I wrong or not ??

Torben Christiansen said...

Well the Viewfinder Frame Coverage has nothing to do with the actual lens length compared to your old film days. Viewfinder Frame Coverage has something to do with how much of the frame you can see in the viewfinder. So a frame coverage of 95% means you can't see the edge in the viewfinder, but it will be in the final image, but it is only a very small part as you got the 95% coverage.

What you have to consider is the crop faktor (1,5), where a 35mm really is a 52,5mm lens when mounted on a DX camera compared to your old film days. There are some lenses that are only designed to the DX format and will only work in DX mode in full frame (FX), where you wouldn't be able to use the full size of the FX camera. A lot of technical stuff. Hope it makes sense.

So to conclude if you buy the 35mm DX 1.8g it will work great on your D3200 and you will think of it as a 50mm lens. If you buy a 50mm lens you will think of it as a 75mm. The 35mm is specially design for DX cameras.

The advantages of using "normal" lenses on DX cameras are that you only are using the central part of the lens, which almost always is the sharpest part of the lens.

Unknown said...

Hi Torben, if D3200 and D5100 both has the same pricing, which one should I choose? In my local market, both cameras are priced exactly the same. I have checked several store here and yes they are exactly in the same price.

If you were me, which one will you choose? D3200 or D5100. D3200 offers newer processor and processing power.
For your information, I am a beginner. All of this time, I use Olympus 510uz for almost 6 years now. I used it mostly in manual to get used to the settings.
And I think now it's about time for me to get my 1st DSLR.

please kindly advise.

regards,
Gunawan Huang

Torben Christiansen said...

Hi

Thanks for your comment. The features are almost the same. The only thing that you will missing by choosing the D3200 over the D5100 is the bracketing function and the swipe lcd screen and instead you are getting a better sensor. If it was me I would choose the D3200. The 3 main things to consider is sensor, metering and autofocus. The last two are exactly the same in the two cameras.

/Torben

gaurang patel said...

Hi, Thanks for good analysis info. With D5200, will any Nikon lens work? I am looking in to buying 'Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR II Zoom Lens'. Any advice?

Thanks,
G

Torben Christiansen said...

Hi G

All lenses that are sold at the moment will work with the Nikon D5200, but the older non AF-S lenses will not autofocus with the body, so if you have a lot of these then you might want to look at the Nikon D7000. The Nikkor 18-200 VR II is a very nice walkaround lens, but you pay a little bit for having a large range as it will have some shortcomings compared to premium lenses. That said is a good combination for the Nikon D5200!

gaurang patel said...

Thanks for the advice. So, should I buy 2 separate ones like 18-55 and 55-200 instead of all in one but then I will have carry 2 instead of one!

Torben Christiansen said...

It really depends on how much image quality is worth for you. As you can see from my research of the lenses the 18-200 scores a 69%, where the 18-55 scores a 76% and the 55-200 scores a 79% (http://www.photospots.dk/p/nikon-af-s-dx-zoom-nikkor-17-55mm-f2.html)

Cadence Vaughan said...

What I'm actually contemplating before is whether to buy Canon T4I or 650D versus the Nikon D5200. After reading so many reviews, I decided to do with the D5200 and I never regretted that decision. -Cadence