There are many things on my list for Christmas, but I’m most excited about is the Nikon D5200. It comes out in December (a few weeks), and I’m just so antsy. The reviews are raving and it’s apparently a huge step up from the D5100 and described as “the soul of the D7000 in a consumer-level body”.
This is exciting for me. I’ve been on the look out for a new camera. I currently shoot with a Nikon D80, which in 2006 was awesome. I can still take good photos and with the help of Lightroom 4 and PSE, I do a pretty good job of producing images that please. But at 10 megapixels and poor low light performance at 1000 ISO, I’m looking to struggle just a little less.
Things about the D80 that work for me were that the front and back command dials for aperture and shutter control. I can’t express to you enough how much I love both dials and how quickly they help me meter correctly. It is also pretty compact for a DSLR, it’s not as hefty as others at 20-22 grams in weight. It also has a good grip. The newer models have a funny square grip I can’t get comfortable with. the D80 contours better with my small hands.
So which way do I go? I tried out the D7000 (16 megapixels). I got it used at a local camera store. I was happy with it for the most part, but it was just heavy enough that it was a struggle to carry. I’m a small person. The grip was squarish and weird. My thumb began to hurt just holding it. It was like holding on to a half-gallon milk carton. The white balance was a struggle for me. Even on auto, it was really irking me that I wasn’t happy with what I was seeing on the screen. Then there was the placement of the live view lever. It was in the way of my thumb, so when I feel my way down with my thumb to the cursor to focus, I would accidentally activate it and it would open up the live view, which took a while to get back out of the way. By then, the moment would have passed, missing my shot. I returned it in 2 weeks.
I tried the Nikon D300s (12 megapixels but adored by those who use it). This was promising. Those quick functions in the top left made shooting SUPER fast. But the thing was a behemoth I thought the D7000 was hefty, the D300s was 1.5 times heavier than my D80. It took superb photos, good noise handling and functioned to my liking, but I just couldn’t get over that weight. And the grip was big enough for a much bigger-handed person. I had to travel my palm from front to back to operate both the front and back dials. I wasn’t going to kid myself. I returned it after a week.
So, what was I to do? My hubby told me about the the D3200. I looked at the D5100, but neither didn’t seem like those were good enough upgrades. I highly considered the D3200 which shot 24 megapixels, but it wouldn’t be able to operate the autofocus on my older lenses The D5100 was only 16 megapixels and after comparing price after price, I decided to stall and just wait. I almost considered going to Canon, but I’m not a fan of their functionality and I have 4 lenses, all Nikon.
Then, my husband said there was a rumor that a D5200 would come out. I wasn’t excited because I thought Nikon was doing some half-assed half step up from the D5100, but after looking at the tech specs and insider reviews, I think I’m sold.
Digital Photography Review