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Background: In the beginning of September 2013, I purchased my first camera from Henry’s Photography. While it was not an INSANE deal, I price matched a Costco advertisement for a Nikon bundle. Included in this bundle:

  • Nikon D5200 Body
  • Nikon D5200 Standard Kit Lens (18mm-55mm)
  • Nikon sling bag with 3 compartments
  • Nikon-WU Wireless Wi-Fi adapter
  • NIKKOR 55mm-300mm Zoom Lens
  • Two High Density Glass Filters, one for each lens
  • SanDisk 16gb 40mb/s high speed class 10 SD card

In total, everything came to $999.99, with taxes, $1130.00. Not too bad of a deal, though I would imagine there’s always going to be “a better deal” depending on how you look at it. In any case, this is what I bought and what I will be talking about in the rest of this post.

In general I have been impressed with my D5200 so far. It’s been about 7-8 months since I bought it, and I use it on a regular basis (about 3-4 times a week). The camera is lightweight, compact, and carries a number of features that let you play with photography. However, all these factors can go both ways, and sometimes I wish some of them were not a factor and I’ll explain what I mean below.

Personally, the weight of a camera is something to consider for sure. You don’t want to be lugging around a camera that weighs a ton, nor do you want a camera that feels like there’s nothing inside. I would say the D5200 is on the lighter side, and to me part of its design was focused on appealing to those that don’t want a heavier camera.

It’s smaller than my dad’s D90 (and maybe that’s because the D90 has its own focusing motor), but not too small in that it feels like a toy. You get a nice grip on the camera with just one hand, and you can take many shots without feeling like you have to use both hands. Overall, I would say it’s light, but has substance to it.

I admit that I haven’t played around with all of the features that come with the D5200. There are special effects you can use to produce a type of picture or change the colour in some way, but I guess because I’m focusing on understanding ISO, Aperture, and shutter-speed I haven’t looked at them.

The D5200 comes with a folding and reversible LCD screen, something that the lower version D3200 doesn’t have. This may not be much of a purchasing factor depending on your preferences, but I like it. The screen doesn’t get in the way when I’m looking through the viewfinder, and I don’t have to get any nose grease on the screen. I can also position the LCD in a direction that best suits the situation, like tilting it upwards or lifting it above my head for an overhead shot.

My overall impression of the camera is good. I like form-factor, I like the LCD swivel screen, and I like that it feels powerful but lightweight. I am impressed by Nikon’s production quality; it doesn’t feel cheap despite it having a plastic outer shell. I would definitely recommend it to someone just starting out in photography and wants a good mid-to-lower range SLR.