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Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

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Now is the time to buy your Nikon D5200

Prices have flattened, the holidays are coming

Nikon D5200 digital camera with standard lensIf you haven’t bought your Nikon D5200 yet, then this is the perfect time to buy. The prices have stabilized and the camera stores fighting between themselves to get your money. Whilst the Nikon website is holding out for $800/£719.99 for a body and $900/£819.99 for the body and 18-55mm kit lens, (we don’t recommend getting the 18-105mm lens) you can get them for $700/£499 and $800/£571 respectively on the internet. Check out our prices below. We don’t think they are going to change much before the end of the summer. It is a great deal – the camera produces superb stills and videos and the 24mp chip is a cracker. Combined with the faster processor and the 39 focus points, you are getting a lot of camera for your money.

And if you have bought your D5200, why not try out our D5200 manual. It is full of tips and information to help you take great pictures and movies. It is only $10/£7 and we will update it for free. We are currently working on a video section which should be available shortly.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

In the meantime, please drop into our YouTube channel to catch up on some great advice and helpful videos. Recently we have put up a full review of the D5200 and also a video explaining the abbreviations on lenses made by Nikon Sigma and Tamron. Some more tips on night time photography are to follow. If you have any questions, that is probably the best place to contact us.

Using a Reversal Ring on your Nikon D5200

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Using a reverse ring with your D5200

 This is a  great way into to Macro photography

If you have ever wanted to dip your toe into macro photography, but were put off at the thought of having to buy an expensive lens, the reverse ring – or reversal ring – is for you. It is a simple, but very clever, bit of kit that lets you turn a standard lens into a makeshift macro lens. Basically, you attach the ring to the front of your lens and then turn the lens around and attach it to the camera via the ring. This reverses the optics and can make a macro lens out of any standard prime or zoom lens.

A key shot with a nikon d5200The great thing about the reverse ring is that it takes you back to very basic photography, because the reverse ring sits between your lens and your camera, there is no physical contact. That means that you lose all automation – no AutoFocus, no AutoAperture etc – you have to work it all out for yourself.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

Because the lens is reversed, the best focus setting to use – which allows you to get up close to your subject – is infinity. Likewise, if you are on a zoom lens, the best focal length to use is the widest. The closer you get to the subject the bigger it will appear in the frame. You will need to focus by moving the camera (or the subject). Also, you will have to manually set the aperture settings and shutter speed. This is a wonderful return to the trial and error photography that many of us will remember from your early photographic experiences. Of course, you still have the advantage of being able to immediately see the results in the viewing screen, rather than having the process, so you can make changes to lighting etc. straight away. I would always recommend using a tripod, as this removes one of the many variables you will be dealing with.

a reverse ring for a nikon d5200You can pick up a reverse (reversal) ring for a few dollars and they are a great way to try out macro. What’s more, going back to the very basics of photography for an afternoon is tremendous fun.

For more information about using a reverse ring with the Nikon D5200, click here

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The D5200 is getting cheaper

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Nikon D5200 prices drop

The best entry-level DSLR is getting more competitive

buy a Nikon D5200 front with screenThe Nikon D5200 only fully launched in January and already the prices in the UK are dropping, making this highly rated DSLR even more competitive. Nikon have really taken the entry-level category apart with their successive launches of the D3200, D5200 and, more recently, the D7100. Canon, their main rival have responded by launching the Rebel T5i (If you can work out the difference between the T4i and the T5i please let me, and the rest of the world, know).

When launched, the D5200 was selling at  priced at £650/$800 for the body and £720/$900 for the body and lens kit. In just a couple of months, the prices have dropped down to around £550 for a body in the UK which suggests that the prices in the USA will soon follow.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

However, I don’t think that they are going down because the camera isn’t selling well. After all, this DSLR has had some superb reviews, especially from the likes of DxOMark, who have rated it higher than the newer D7100 and only a few points short of the Nikon fully professional cameras. I think that the manufacturers are aggressively targeting the entry-level market because they see they enormous potential there. The technology available now to the amateur/enthusiast is so good that I think Nikon see this selection of DSLR cameras as the corner stone of future expansion. The file 24MP sensors produce such astonishing results, both for stills and for video, that it is doubtful that customers will be looking for anything better for a while. With Canon only offering 18MP in their T5i/T4i, Nikon believe that this advantage will work in their favor for a couple of years. This gives them the ideal opportunity to attract point-and-shooters who want to move up and also the disillusioned Canon user.

Nikon D1 digital cameraProfessional photographers have seen this sort of seismic shift before. When Nikon launched the F series of SLRs, they were the best cameras around as far as the Pros were concerned. Their dominance lasted until Canon brought out the revolutionary EOS system cameras in 1987. Professionals migrated en masse to Canon and your couldn’t give Nikon gear away. Finally Nikon caught up and released the D1 in 1999 and, again the Pro’s changed allegiance. But it took 12 years of hard work to make them think seriously about buying Nikon cameras again. I think Nikon are hoping for a similar shift in the enthusiast market. If they can attract the enthusiast with great quality and technology, they have a great chance of keeping them locked into their lenses and accessories (and why not? Their lenses are superb). That is the main reason why the Nikon D5200 prices are dropping….

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Nikon D5200 scenes test

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The Nikon D5200 Scene Modes

The Nikon D5200 has 16 pre-programmed scenes. Basically you decide which scene suits your needs best and then let the camera do the rest. The scene modes are: portrait; landscape; child; sports; close up (which have their own separate options on the Dial Mode); night portrait; night landscape; party/indoor; beach/snow; sunset; dusk/dawn; pet portrait; candlelight; blossom; autumn colors; food (which are all under the Scene mode on the Dial Mode).
The easiest way to explain the Scene Modes is to show how they effect a single shot. Here is a shot of a sign, using the 16 scene modes which are available from the Scene option on the Mode Dial. Everything was left to the camera to sort out and they were taken hand-held. The lens is a 12-24 f4 Nikkor AF-S G lens. Feel free to download the Hi Res images to examine them closely.

portrait scene, 1/400, f4, ISO 400

portrait scene, 1/400, f4, ISO 400

Portrait Mode: This Auto Mode can be used for taking portraits. The camera will prioritize skin tones. It will be shot will a shallow depth of field (wide aperture) to make the in-focus subject stand out more. The best lens for portraits is one between 85mm and 105mm.

Landscape scene mode 1/80, f8, iso 400

Landscape scene mode 1/80, f8, ISO 400

Landscape Mode: This Auto Mode slows down the shutter speed to give more depth of field and greater detail in your shots. Landscape mode will turn off the flash and so this mode should ideally be used with a tripod.The camera will try to boost greens and blues in the image and boosts the sharpness during processing. It tries to get down to the lowest ISO to give you maximum detail.

Child scene, 1/200, f5, ISO 400

Child scene, 1/200, f5, ISO 400

Child Mode: This Auto Mode is great for intimate lively snapshots. Consider it a combination of portrait mode and sports mode, if that makes sense. It will try to boost vivid colors.

Sport scene mode 1/1000, f4, ISO 640

Sport scene mode 1/1000, f4, ISO 640

Sports Mode: This Auto Mode switches the camera to a higher ISO and a fast shutter speed to capture the action. It also switches off the pop up flash. It will switch the focus mode to dynamic and widen the aperture. Be aware of noise, though, which can slip in to your images when you shoot at high ISO.

Close Up scene, 1/60, f8, ISO 160

Close Up scene, 1/60, f8, ISO 160

Close up Mode: As the name suggests this is ideal for close up photography though, a macro lens will give you more scope in this area. Again this should be used with a tripod. The camera will keep the aperture small, but try to maintain a high shutter speed. It will achieve this by using the flash or raising the ISO.

USA Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

UK Deals for the Nikon D5200 Here

Download our FREE D5200 Guide!

The following scenes are found in the SCENE MODE. You can navigate through them by using the command dial.

 

Night Portrait 1/500, f4, ISO 360.

Night Portrait 1/500, f4, ISO 360.

Night Portrait addresses the problem of photographing a subject in relative darkness. The usual result is an overexposed face with the background lost – and so no context. This mode slows the shutter speed to give you more background and less overexposure of the subject in the foreground.

 

Night Landscape 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Night Landscape 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Night Landscape addresses the problems of noise and flare that can effect a photo when taken at night, The noise is reduced and lights and signage (in cityscapes for example) are more realistically reproduced. The flash is switched off, so use a tripod.

Indoor Party scene, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Indoor Party scene, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Party/Indoor works to accurately reproduce the effects of indoor lighting.

Beach/Snow scene 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Beach/Snow scene 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Beach/Snow is designed to capture the highlights and brightness (which other modes might work to reduce) that you will find on sunny beaches, bright snow scenes and also still water shots.

Sunset scene 1/160, f6.3, ISO 200

Sunset scene 1/160, f6.3, ISO 200

As it sounds, Sunset is designed for those low-light conditions and those deep colors you get when the sun is low in the sky. The flash is switched off, so use a tripod.

Dusk/Dawn scene 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Dusk/Dawn scene 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

The Dusk/Dawn setting tries to hold onto those weak strands of light you get just after sunset or before dawn. Flash is off.

Pet Portrait scene, 1/1000, f4, ISO 800

Pet Portrait scene, 1/1000, f4, ISO 800

The Pet Portrait mode is a very fast scene for catching your pet in action. The flash is on for this, but the red-eye/ AF-assist is off, so that your pet isn’t spooked by it. Fast with Flash means less depth of field.

Candlelight Scene, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Candlelight Scene, 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Candlelight tries to tune into the light given off by a bright yellow flame. It turns the flash off.

Dusk/Dawn scene 1/125, f5.6, ISO 200

Blossom scene 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Blossom is for pictures of fields of flowers or trees full of cherry blossom. Flash is turned off and, whilst it has a fast shutter speed, it uses the aperture to keep the depth of field.

Autumn Colors, 1/100, f9, ISO 400

Autumn Colors, 1/100, f9, ISO 400

The Autumn Colors scene emphasizes the reds and yellows that are so dominant in autumnal scenes. Flash is off.

Food Scene, 1/60, f8, ISO 400

Food Scene, 1/60, f8, ISO 400

The Food scene emphasizes the vivid colors associated with bright, fresh food. The flash can be used with this scene. The shutter speed is slowed and the aperture is smaller to give a wider depth of field.

All these shots were taken within seconds of each other and their purpose is to show how the different scenes can affect the final images. I hope you will notice the variations between the scenes. For example the color saturation and depth of field in the Close up image, as opposed to the blue hue in the Candlelight shot or the shallow depth of field in the Portrait scene. The scene options offered a wide variety of shutter speeds, apertures and ISOs which combined to give quite different images. I think the point here is that these scenes are shortcuts, designed to help you take good pictures in certain circumstances. BUT that does not mean that they should be restricted to those circumstances. They allow the photographer who is not yet adept enough to work exclusively through manual mode a selection of different shooting choices that can enhance the experience.

Click here for more information on the Nikon D5200 Scene Modes

What Camera Could Possibly Rival the New Nikon D5200?

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The Nikon D5200 won’t be born into a vacuum. There is some serious competition out there….

When Nikon launch the D5200, they will be hoping that its stops the opposition in their tracks. But that is a very tall order these days. The speed of technological change means that today’s innovation is tomorrow’s ‘ so what?’. The Nikon D5200 can be expected to use the 24Mp sensor of its sibling the D3200, which will make it a class leader. The burst speed can also be expected to improve, perhaps to 8FPS, to give the action photographers something to smile about. And for those who want to push the boundaries in low light or still photography, A higher ISO setting and more focal points is a must. Video is a big selling point in this market and whilst the D5100 has an excellent Movie mode, the new Nikon would be expected to at least offer a greater range of frames per second and possibly an out channel for head phones to go with the the external mic socket. All these improvements might well put this digital SLR out ahead of it’s rivals, but there are still some superb cameras out there that need to be checked out before you decide to buy the D5200.

The Nikon D5100

nikon D5100 DSLR digital cameraWhen Nikon announced the D3200, they also confirmed that the D3100 would still be available and so it’s fair to assume that the D5100 will still be on offer for a while after the Nikon D5200 launch. It is also likely to be cheaper. The D5100 is a great camera, user friendly and with superb image quality, both stills and video. The articulated screen makes shooting at high or low angles so much easier and the external stereo Mic give good sound quality to add the HD video. The 16MP file, when combined with Nikon lenses, is really all most of us will need and the ISO span, which extends to 25,600 is splendid. It handles noise well and give tremendous image detail. 4FPS burst speed is a little slow, these days, but apart from that this camera is well worth the money. Price $520 / £420

 

The Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200 D-SLRThis camera, recently upgraded from the D3100, has made a huge impact, not least because of the 24 Megapixel sensor, which rivals cameras in more expensive classes. The image quality is excellent, as might be expected, and the external stereo Mic now allows the HD video Mode full rein. The decent ISO range (up to 6400) and versatile shutter speed makes this an impressive performer in low light. Only the burst speed seems a little slow at 4FPS. However, nobody can ignore this top quality camera that is currently leading the field. Price with lens $700 / £500

 

The Canon 650D/ Rebel T4i

Canon EOS 650DAnother recent launch, the 650D is a quality camera that shows that Canon take the entry-level market seriously. The 18MP sensor, which has also graced the more expensive EOS 7D, can produce immaculate imagery and with a 5FPS burst speed and ISO maximum of 25,600, the 650D/Rebel T4i makes a formidable adversary. Videographers will be enticed by the full Hd video options and stereo sound and the articulated touch screen takes it one step beyond the D5100. The contrast autofocus has been something of a success on the CSC cameras, and Canon take only a small risk in introducing here. It may look the same, but it is a big step up from the EOS 600D/ Rebel T3i. Price £700 / $850.

The Canon EOS 600D / Rebel T3i

Canon EOS 600DWhilst the 650D is stealing all the glory at the moment, the 600D/rebel T3i is still an excellent camera. Remember, we are talking about the beginner-level market. The 600D has some great functionality  and the same 18MP sensor as the 650D and is much more reasonably priced. Like the D5100, it has an articulated back screen and HD video modes with stereo sound. However the burst speed is on the slow side at 3.7 FPS and there are only 9 focus points. Despite now looking a little jaded, it is a great introduction to D-SLRs and the Canon brand. Price with lens $660 / £500

 

The Canon 1100/ Rebel T3

The Canon 1100/ Rebel T3 This is Canon’s offering for those who want to start right at the bottom of the D-SLR range. It is basic and beginner friendly, capable of taking good, if unexceptional, photos. Most decent compact cameras can equal the 12MP files that it can produce, though not necessarily to the same standard. The video option is only 720pp – which is still good enough for web use, but not HD. It offers an intuitive beginners on-screen guide and has a decent autofocus system. This probably wouldn’t tempt anyone away from the D5200, but it is a great price for someone who just wants to get started. Price £300 / $420

 

The Pentax K-30

PENTAX K-30 D-SLROf course the big two dominate the D-SLR classes, but for those who aren’t tied to either Nikon or Canon, it’s worth while looking at other manufacturers. The Pentax K-30 is an excellent camera that sits at the upper end of this class, both in price and functionality. It offers a 16 MegaPixel file size and, unusually, has 100% view through the viewfinder, which makes cropping much easier. 6 Frames per Second burst speed is pretty good, and the buffer has good capacity (allowing 30 frames per burst). The HD video is impressive and offers 24,25 or 30 FPS. Pentax also offer the option to power the camera with normal AA batteries which can be very useful. Designed for the outdorrs, it is made of toughened plastic and is completely weather-sealed. Price $670 / £600

 

The Pentax K-r

PENTAX K-r D-SLRThis is a much smaller and lighter camera than it’s sibling the K-30, but offers some excellent functionality for an entry-level D-SLR. It’s a tough little camera which offers a class-leading shutter speed of 1/6000 and can push ISO up to 25,600. This makes it a good performer on low light conditions and at freezing the action. However, the video function, whilst HD, shoots at 16:9 ratio, which can restrict your options and there is not external mic function, recording in-camera and in mono. There are some good modes for the novice and they are easy to follow in the camera. It can run on AA batteries. Price with lens £400/ $760

 The Sony Alpha 57

Sony Alpha 57

Whilst the D-SLR is a well established format, it isn’t the only one available. For those who want to take a walk on the wild-side there is the Sony range of SLTs. Instead of bouncing the light off a mirror, the SLT is semi-transparent and allows some of the light through. This effectively splits the light available between the sensor and the viewfinder/back screen. Although this sounds odd to the single reflex purists, the technology is well established in the Sony range and can produce pretty good image quality. The 16 Megapixel files in the Alpha 57 are fairly robust, though do seem to suffer slightly in low light and sometimes need some work. However, the A57 has a terrific burst speed of 10 frames per second – more with smaller files – and offers either 25 or 50 FPS when shooting Hd video. ISO of 16,00 and a very clever digital zoom function make A57 a very competent camera. Price £520 / $700

 

The Sony A37

Sony Alpha 37This recent launch aims to put Sony back on the beginner level map again. It is fairly basic, but has some innovative functionality. It also is a SLT camera and has a maximum ISO of 16,000. Burst speed can get up to 7FPS, though for full size frames, is set to 5.5FPS. The in-camera zoom function can double your lens length with hardly any quality loss. It has a useful tiltable screen and HD video. Price with lens $550 / £400