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REVIEW: Nikon D5200 + samples, Part 2 (Features and Menu)

Nikon D5200
Nikon D5200 has an APS-C sensor. This means your lens will have a 1.5x crop factor.

This series of long and detailed reviews comes in several parts.
You may click on the links below to read the full story:



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Features

The Nikon D5200 has an APS-C sensor (they call these sensors DX, whereas full frame sensors are called FX), which has a crop factor of 1.5x. You would have to multiply the focal length of your lens by 1.5 times. That's the actual focal length that you'd get.

Nikon D5200



One of the benefits with using Nikon cameras is the backward compatibility. Lenses from 50 years ago can be still be mounted on the newest camera bodies. This is one reason why vintage Nikkor lenses are still as valuable as gold today.

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples
I removed the mount of a non-AI lens and mounted it so you could see how the aperture lever works.



Nikon D5200 does not have a motorized body. This means that some old lenses will not autofocus when mounted to this body. The higher-end D7xxx series cameras have motorized bodies and your lenses can autofocus there. Going Manual won't hurt anyone, and it's been a pleasure doing it.

Nikon D5200



The viewfinder is one of the most important features in this camera since I rely on manual focus most of the time, while I would only switch to Live View for awkward angles or for shooting videos. The viewfinder pentamirror has 95% coverage with 0.78x magnification. It also has a diopter adjustment for those with near- or far-sightedness. I find that the viewfinder is too small and too dark to see small details especially when manually focusing.

Nikon D5200



That's where the swivel screen becomes handy and can be rotated at different angles for convenience. Now vlogging and taking selfies is so much easier when you see what's in the frame/screen. Changing aperture in Live View mode is so slow because you need to switch out and back to Live View just to see the changes on the screen.

Nikon D5200



The built-in microphone records in STEREO, but strangely (or maybe because of the placement of the holes) it sounds like mono during playback and you don't get the sense of space that stereo sound creates.

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples



One can plug in an external microphone for better sound recording. The only other slot (see image below) that I use under this flap is the GPS slot for the remote shutter control. There's one slot on the right side of the body for an SD card up to 32GB.

Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200



The Nikon D5200 is powered by an EN-EL14 battery with 1,050 mAh of power. It lasts around 4 or more hours with continuous use during an event but drains much faster when filming videos. Battery lasts about 30-45 minutes when shooting FHD videos. From experience, it's best to use the original because third party batteries drain fast and often give me errors.

Nikon D5200




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Settings Menu

The ISO ranges from 100-6400 and is extendable up to 25600. Nikon does a great job here becuase it manages to keep noise minimal up to a high ISO of 6400 even without the 'High ISO Noise Reduction' turned on.

Nikon D5200



White Balance and Picture Control are some of the factors that I frequently adjust before shooting. A custom white balance will help me get the correct color balance and it's not hard to do. For the Picture Control, I leave it on SD (Standard, with Sharpening adjusted down to 0) most of the time and switch to MC (Monochrome) for a vintage feel.

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples
Picture Control set to MC (Monochrome).

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples
Picture Control set to MC (Monochrome) with post processing,
adding more Cyan to the shadows.



HDR and Active D-Lighting are usually turned off, but they really come in handy in desperate situations.

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples
Even with a CPL, it's either the shade area is correct and the sky is overexposed,
or the sky is correct and the shade area is underexposed. This is when HDR + ADL comes in handy.




Long Exposure Noise Reduction and High ISO Noise Reduction can come in handy, but Nikon does a great job of making great noise-free images even with these turned off. The following images are examples of very long exposure at 5 minutes using ND400.

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples

A detailed review of the Nikon D5200 + samples



The Nikon D5200 has a built-in Interval Timer Shooting for doing time lapse, although an external remote shutter control can help save battery and the camera from heating up.




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Customize Fn Button

A physical button dedicated for specific functions would be better than digging through different Menus every time. Which is why the customizable Fn (function) button really comes handy for quickly changing my ISO. A second customizable Fn button would really be useful.




The options that I find useful for the Assign Fn Button are the ISO Sensitivity, White Balance, Auto Bracket, Active D-Lighting and HDR. In many situations, I need to quickly change ISO and sometimes HDR so a one button access to these commands is a real life saver. 




The other options are not really useful since I set them once and don't need to access them often (eg. Image Quality, AF Area Mode, +NEF). Based on my usage, Movie Settings, Manual Flash Power, and Multiple Exposure are the more useful options for assigning commands to the Fn Button. (Nikon... redesign/reprogram please?)

Why are these options even included here? There are already dedicated buttons for them. Rendundant...



I don't get it... why did they even bother to include Live View and AE/AF Lock in the customize Fn Button when there are already dedicated physical buttons? See the image below.

The Live View button is the lever beside the round Exposure Dial.
The AE/AF-L Button is the one beside the key icon.



Some of you may not be aware, but there's actually a hard reset to put all the settings back to factory default. Can you see the Menu and <i> buttons above the LCD (or beside the viewfinder)? You can see that they both have green dots beside them. Just press them together to make the hard reset.

Nikon D5200


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This series of long and detailed reviews comes in several parts.
You may click on the links below to read the full story:



========================================

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