The D5100 sits just above the D3100 in Nikon's product lineup and as such, it combines its younger sibling's ease of use with a slightly more advanced feature set. The D5100's trump card, however, is it's advanced 16MP sensor - inherited from the D7000. Judged on its own merits the D5100 is a great camera, but we're concerned that an enthusiastic beginner might outgrow it faster than some of the competition.
The Nikon D5200 is a solid performer that delivers excellent image quality and impressive high ISO performance along with an articulated screen and a control interface appropriate for users stepping up to a DSLR.
The Nikon D5200 is a lot of camera for the money, and though it's aimed at advanced beginners in terms of image quality and capabilities, it's not too far removed from DSLRs geared for more serious photographers. Thanks to its 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3 processor -- which seems to be the same sensor-processor combo packed into the bigger, better, newer D7100 -- the D5200 offers more resolution in a mid-level camera than Nikon's ever offered before.
The D5200 is a solid upgrade to Nikon's upper entry level model and a real advance in a number of key areas. Its AF and metering systems were previously only available on the next model up the range - the D7000 and it has a brand new 24 Megapixel sensor that defies expectations where noise performance is concerned, delivering superior results to its main competitor, the Canon EOS Rebel T4i / 650D.
The new Nikon D5200 may not reinvent the wheel in any way, but it is undoubtedly a great all-round DSLR that's well-suited to a lot of different users and experience levels, exactly what a mass-market camera should be, and judged on that criteria, the Nikon D5200 is once again a very worthy winner of our Highly Recommended award.