A Nikon D5200 Wishlist

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Whilst the Nikon D5100 is a superb entry-level camera, there is always room for improvement.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the file size should increase dramatically. Size seems to be everything at the moment and even though few of us could really tell the difference between a 16 MP file and, say the 22 MP file of the Canon 5D MKIII, the new Nikon D800 has blown the opposition away with its 36.3 MP sensor, and so we all expect more from the new cameras that are coming down the production line. The new Nikon D5200 should match the 24Mp chip in the D3200 at least.

The Nikon D5100 cameraThe Nikon D5200 should also be able to offer a quicker burst speed, perhaps doubling the current  4FPS. If that could be combined with an inbuilt motor for no AF-S lenses, and a faster shutter speed, up to 1/8000, the Nikon D5200 would become a pretty awesome action camera.

The tiltable monitor was a really useful innovation when it came out on the D5100. It is especially useful for shooting video. However we could hope the resolution will be improved. Movie makers might ask for improved AF tracking in live view and a higher frame rate – perhaps up to 50 or 60 FPS for better quality.

I have never had any problems with the speed of the AutoFocus, but I know that others have found it a bit slow in live view mode. Increasing the number of autofocus points from 11 would be useful too – the D7000 has 39, for example, and the new Nikon D800 has 51. The current ISO max of 25,600 is OK, but, again the D800 has shown the way be practically shooting in the pitch black. Being able to push up towards 102,400 would be splendid.

Although we can program a function button to give direct access to ISO control, perhaps the new camera will have a set button for it. And perhaps a Depth of Field preview button too. And whilst we are on functionality, the Effects modes could be positioned better within the menu options.

At the top of the camera, a full 100% frame viewfinder would be good and, although the pop up flash is satisfactory, it isn’t the greatest. Room for improvement here we think – and adding built-in wireless flash control would be a real plus too.

Finally both storage and power could be improved. Two SD memory card slots marks a camera out as Pro kit and the EN-EL14 rechargeable battery is the same used by  the D3100. It lasts for roughly 300 shots, which isn’t really enough these days.

So for a remarkably good camera like the D5100, I suppose there is room for improvement. After raising the bar with the impressive D3200 this year, Nikon have got a lot to live up to….

2 thoughts on “A Nikon D5200 Wishlist

  1. Camila

    a0a0 This review is from: I am a DSLR user and owner/past owner of many caaerms. My current pocket point and shoot/backup camera is a Canon Powershot SX210 IS. I bought the Nikon Coolpix S8200 mainly because of its backlit CMOS sensor (which is an improvement over the Canon’s). Since using the S8200, I have been very pleasantly surprised. First, the build quality appears to be solid, weighty and has a quality feel to it (although not too sure about the paint on the thumbwheel bound to be susceptible to wear and tear). Secondly, the handling is pleasant and assured, with a DSLR feel. Thirdly, the image quality is very good for a point and shoot. Noise, the dreaded noise is well controlled when light is good, but noticable in low-light situations. The biggest surprise to me is the way the camera takes pictures. It works entirely off auto or scenes, there is even an auto-scene setting which works like a dream. It automatically picks the scene settings, and the results are amazing; making taking pictures a breeze (because I no longer have to think about shutter speed, aperture, lighting etc ). There are no manual modes of any sort, and I can’t even revert to my sometimes obsessive desires to control every aspect of a camera! What a joy. I think Nikon has made a very good point and shoot’ camera, if you just allow the camera to its own devices, it’ll reward you with good pictures.

    Reply
  2. JBayston

    This comment was emailed to me, so I have placed it here under my name…..

    How about a magnesium alloy body, fully weather-sealed, waterproof,
    perhaps down to 10,000 feet, freeze-proof to -50°F, sledgehammer-proof
    (toddler-proof’d be nice!), also, preferably, bulletproof? :-)

    Seriously now, I believe you’re asking too much for a Nikon
    “entry-level” DSLR; many of the specs you wish for, especially
    megapixel count, increased burst rate, more autofocus points, DOF
    preview (although this would be helpful, admittedly) and built-in
    wireless flash control, are really rather needed by pros, certainly
    not the people whom the D5100 (and any 4-digit Nikon model) is being
    made for, both feature- and price-wise — they would tend to skyrocket
    the price of such a model, making it rather prohibitive for
    ex-point-and-shooters.

    An ISO control button and double SD memory card slots would be superb
    to have, but, personally, my biggest ever gripe with Nikon “consumer”
    models is the lack of a decent, Nikon-made, battery grip! It is
    essential, for many reasons:

    - Fancy dual ultra-high-speed card configurations and sophisticated
    vari-angle high-resolution live-views are power-hungry, especially
    together with the VR lenses and all the image post-capture processing
    (distortion/CA/vignette corrections, effects) and viewing — not to
    mention video as well…

    - Apart from providing a steadier hold, for both landscape and
    portrait orientations, a battery grip balances the camera weight when
    using a do-it-all mount-and-forget “travel” zoom lens (i.e. the 18-200
    or the new 18-300).

    - I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t have to fumble in
    windy/dusty/humid/salty conditions, in order to change the battery,
    while simultaneously trying to shelter the camera from harm!

    - If the batteries (main and/or spare) either got lost or one of them
    expired, standard and ubiquitous rechargeable AA batteries would save
    the day.

    - Motor bikes have no cigarette-lighter sockets! [How do I charge my
    batteries while on the road?]

    - 3rd parties are not Nikon! [And I'm not talking about quality,
    rather about switches and cables sticking out ... and in your face,
    eyes, nose...]

    Battery grip provided, the “entry-level” price tag would still be
    right, while the option of practically extending the capabilities of
    the camera, both handling- and energy-wise, would be an attractive
    consideration for many DSLR newcomers.

    The question is: could somebody possibly convince Nikon that Canon is
    doing the right thing, providing battery grips for all the Rebel/EOS
    xxxD/Kiss models?!

    I would also very much like to see the following features:

    1. An eye (face) proximity sensor above, below or to the right of the
    viewfinder, to switch the LCD off — to save valuable energy! [Why did
    Nikon ever abandon such a brilliant idea? This should be standard for
    all DSLR's by now!] While on that, an optional 3×3 grid display would
    be nice, or, preferably, a level gauge (these should also be standard
    on all DSLR’s by now!) — or both, a la Panasonic DMC-GX1.

    2. There has been much praise for the new vari-angle screen, as an
    improvement over the one of the D5000; that’s only because the
    implementation of the tilting screen of the previous model is lame,
    making its operation fiddly with the camera mounted on a tripod; to
    see what I mean, have a look at either

    Sony SLT a77 (scroll down at about 1/5 of the page from top)
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA77/AA77A.HTM

    or

    Olympus PEN E-PL5 (scroll down to the end of the 2nd third of the
    page from top)
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/olympus-epl5/olympus-epl5A.HTM

    The vari-angle screen may be eye-catching, but it’s unwieldy, sticking
    out of the side of the camera, effectively doubling it’s width –
    we’re not talking about a video camera here, but a Nikon DSLR (it
    should be elegant, and, with this screen, it just isn’t — not to
    mention the bad ergonomics!).

    Reply

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