Sunday 2 December 2012

Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D5200: What to buy?

These two cameras are at the moment almost at the same price, so a good question is which one should you buy? The new D5200 version which has gotten many features from the D7000 or the two year older D7000 with more advance features?

So why would you buy the newer D5200 model:
  • Newer 24 megapixel sensor. No one hasn't measured the sensor yet, but a good idea about the performance is to look at the performance of the D3200 vs the D7000. The D5200 sensor is at least as good as the D3200. Maybe a little bit better. If you look at the D3200 vs D7000 sensor they score almost the same at Dxomark. So I don't see any reason to buy the newer D5200 over the D7000 because of this.
  • Video has higher frame rate option. The video has the option to run 50 or 60 frames/second. For most this doesn't really make as an important advantage. As they don't need this feature.
  • Vari-angle monitor. If you previous have shoot a lot with point-and-shoot camera you might find this a important feature, as the Nikon D5200 is the only DSLR camera with this feature.
So why should you buy the older D7000 model:
  • If you have older (pre AF-S) lenses are you want to buy one of these used. Then you would want to go for the D7000 as this is the only model of these two that can autofocus with the lenses.
  • You have the double card slot option. With video and cheap memory this is a very nice extra feature to have, but you can live without it too.
  • Bigger and better viewfinder. The viewfinder (the one you look through when you take pictures) are better in the D7000. You have complete coverage over the picture you take compared to the D5200 where you loose very little around the edge. Most people wouldn't be able to see the difference. The magnification in the D7000 is closer to normal than in the D5200, so you get a better sense of the picture you take in the D7000.
  • You have some more high speed option. The D7000 you can take picture with 1/8000 second and with flash sync of 1/250. Most people don't need this and if you do you know it.
  • More bracketing options. In the D7000 you have both Active D-Lighting and flash bracketing. These can be an advantage if you take a lot of indoor pictures with flash, but it does require you to remember to switch it on and you can live with take a lot of pictures.
All in all there isn't much difference in the two cameras and you can't really say that one is better than the other. It really depends on what you find important. But in most cases I would advice to go for the D7000, who might be older, but have some really nice features that you someday might find useful. Remember that both models have the same autofocus engine and metering engine, which is some of the important features to consider when you buy a new DSLR camera.

Links to Nikon D5200 articles:

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Anonymous said...

I like your comparison,

however - you can't really speculate about the D5200 sensors capabilities or draw comparisons to the 3200 since this one is not a tweaked Sony sensor but a true baby of Nikon. we're still waiting for the first real life tests to show up though

And you're absolutely spot on about the swivel-screen, it is imho an important feature. e.g. if you're shooting vids all alone you can monitor yourself in front of the camera

Unknown said...

You are right I am making a big assumption, but if you look in the history of the sensors that Nikon has used in the past each one of them isn't that far from each other. Each get a incremental approvement (with taking the model range into consideration). Sensor is one part of the solution, but just as important is the software in the Exceed processor with Nikon really has an important edge over its competitors. I will update the article once test results comes from around the web