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Nikon D5200 review

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Andrew - these urban nighttime glimpses of Berlin are always cool but I'd love to see a daylight or lit comparison of skin tones. I've always struggled with skin tones on my GH2s and would like to see how the D5200's color science compares to Panasonic's. This alone would steer me towards Nikon as capturing a flattering human image without jumping through hoops is of utmost importance to my work. Thanks - great intro to the camera.

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i just bought the gh3 and think the 5200 is dope. its a super cheap second body with different capabilities. it will expand my range.

 

i had been planning to get a second gh3 for 2 camera interviews, but this new piece seems like the perfect fit - at least for now. meanwhile, the gh3 will make for a great run and gun camera with weather sealing and the 12-35 ois.

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H.264 MOV ALL-I 72Mbit 1080/25p.

 

Could you try another low light comparison but recordin on 50Mbps IPB on the GH3? According to Shian's "Shootout of the End of the World" they encountered that the ALL-I mode was very noisy and the 50Mbps IPB was way better. Haven't searched for other sources on this, but could you check that out? Or at least compare those two recording modes against each other in your upcoming GH3 review?

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Interesting comparison Andrew! I'm going to be adding the D5200 as a suggested camera for my clients that want a fantastic image on a budget.

 

For those of you looking for a good daytime comparison video of the GH3 against the 5d Mark III should check out this video, mute the subtitles to see if you can guess which camera:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qLJ5Oc5adM

 

Can't wait for your GH3 article Andrew -- I've been waiting to pull the trigger until I found out what the GH2 master has to say!

 

My prediction is that you'll rate the the BMCC #1 and GH3 #2 as the cameras for indy filmmakers to buy this year!

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As an alternative to the BMCC i've been trying to find the cheapest option for Good Detail, Low Light, low Aliaising and Moire and Dynamic Range and it appears that we've found that in the Nikon D5200!  I can't express how happy I was to see the good news about the HDMI output being as good as it is.  That just makes it all the more enticing.

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Could you try another low light comparison but recordin on 50Mbps IPB on the GH3? According to Shian's "Shootout of the End of the World" they encountered that the ALL-I mode was very noisy and the 50Mbps IPB was way better. Haven't searched for other sources on this, but could you check that out? Or at least compare those two recording modes against each other in your upcoming GH3 review?

 

Yes, a few people have noticed that the 50mbps IPB results were better.

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Should we expect same color correction possibilities as BlackMagic CC ProRes via HDMI ?

Considering the better sensor we could say that D5200 via HD Shuttle could have quality level between Raw and ProRes  of BlackMagic Cinema Camera?

That would be way beyond any other DSLR, and almost matching BM for a fraction of the cost!

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Hi Andrew

I bought a D5200 and it is indeed phenomenal. But recently I discovered that when using it with my Ninja it only receives NTSC signal through HDMI (29.97 or 60i depending on the output setting) even when I have the camera set to PAL.

Does the Hyperdeck shuttle have this issue?

I tried all I could to get a PAL signal to the Ninja but looks like it needs a firmware update by Atomos.

 

Also what are your picture settings in standard...especially for sharpness?

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Could you try another low light comparison but recordin on 50Mbps IPB on the GH3? According to Shian's "Shootout of the End of the World" they encountered that the ALL-I mode was very noisy and the 50Mbps IPB was way better. Haven't searched for other sources on this, but could you check that out? Or at least compare those two recording modes against each other in your upcoming GH3 review?

 

@charlie_orozco: Yes Shian is correct.  50mbits is better but only in 60P mode.  24P 50mbits mode looks the same as the 24P 72mbit All-I mode.  And "better" meaning more pleasing noise grain, and for me easier to make a noise profile and remove the noise.  I have very good results up until ISO 3200.  Above that and 72mbit is better.

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Hi Andrew

I bought a D5200 and it is indeed phenomenal. But recently I discovered that when using it with my Ninja it only receives NTSC signal through HDMI (29.97 or 60i depending on the output setting) even when I have the camera set to PAL.

Does the Hyperdeck shuttle have this issue?

I tried all I could to get a PAL signal to the Ninja but looks like it needs a firmware update by Atomos.

 

Also what are your picture settings in standard...especially for sharpness?

 

Same issue for now. 29.97p progressive signal when set to 1080p. Not experimented much with it set to Auto or 1080i yet but the 24/25p seems elusive to me.

 

Could be a firmware thing on the HyperDeck / Ninja.

 

Find it strange that the camera, though set to PAL, would output a HDMI signal in NTSC. Maybe it is a firmware bug on the camera or some kind of compatibility issue.

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@charlie_orozco: Yes Shian is correct.  50mbits is better but only in 60P mode.  24P 50mbits mode looks the same as the 24P 72mbit All-I mode.  And "better" meaning more pleasing noise grain, and for me easier to make a noise profile and remove the noise.  I have very good results up until ISO 3200.  Above that and 72mbit is better.

 

I can vouch for that. 1080/60p at 50Mbit is cleaner than the ALL-I 24p mode. It could be that the much higher bitrate on a per frame basis is allowing the codec to store more noise in the original output.

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Same issue for now. 29.97p progressive signal when set to 1080p. Not experimented much with it set to Auto or 1080i yet but the 24/25p seems elusive to me.

 

Could be a firmware thing on the HyperDeck / Ninja.

 

Find it strange that the camera, though set to PAL, would output a HDMI signal in NTSC. Maybe it is a firmware bug on the camera or some kind of compatibility issue.

 

It wouldnt suprise me if it was a typical Nikon quirk. Ive emailed Atomos about it at least.

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gh3 got smashed right down.  funny thing is, I bet little to no real passion was put into the video mode on the nikon.  I imagine it was pure fluke, and a lack of software crippling.  whereas the gh3 had video given priority by its r+d guys it would seem.  I'm now looking at nikon with a lot more interest.

 

Agreed on the pure fluke.  I believe Andrew said it best when a new leader has stumbled ass backwards into pole position!

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You mention that you cannot use any other lenses with nikon cameras, except its own brand. But, aren't there adapters to connect canon glass to nikon cameras? Just like connecting canon lenses to gh2? 

I have manual aperture lenses, such as the Bower and Rokinon. Both canon mount. I use an adapter to mount them to my gh3. This D5200 looks interesting. I hope lenses do not become an obstacle.

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Can't you use Canon to Nikon adapters on Nikon cameras? I have all Bower and Rokinon lenses with canon mount. I use an adapter to mount them to my gh2. Is this possible with Nikon? I've never used Nikon before, but I'm liking the specs of this camera and I hope lenses do not become an obstacle. 

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Nope. Nikon glass or Leica R fit.

 

Happily the Nikon AI/S stuff is not expensive and is very nice indeed.

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Thanks for this quick test Andrew.

 

Concerning lenses:

 

I am using Nikon camera since 25 years and I am currently shooting on a D800 with many other brand  than Nikon lens:

- Contax Zeiss (usually YC = Yashica Contax mount) modified to F mount are working perfectly with no vignette and they focus up to infinity. The whole Focus range is perfectly accurate. Contax are expensive glass, but Yashica are very cheap.

- M42 lens such as Pentacon 50mm f1.8, 135mm f2.8 and 200f4. No vignette, and all goes to infinity, except the 50mm. There is 2 types of adapter, with or without corrective lens (for focus accuracy purpose). The second type is not good at all (soften the image too much).

- Not all M42 lens works. For example, Pentax M42 lenses are not doing well on Nikon.

- I am using also both Pentax 645, Pentax 67 and hasselblad lens which were all designed for Medium format camera (bigger size than FX). All those lenses are delivering an organic look, you can not achieve with modern Nikon glasses.

I am living and working in China, so it is easy for me to get bunch of adapter at cheap price.

 

I had a Canon 5D Mark3 for 4 months but I exchanged it agaisnt a D800 (even the 5D is much better build and deliver better pictures straight out of the camera) for one reason. There is no assistance to manually focus in the viewfinder when you shoot pictures. You always have to use liveview and zoom in it, With Nikon D800, you get a green dot in middle of 2 triangle in the bottom left of the viewfinder. When this dot  is  on, you are in focus.

This works with all lenses I mentioned here. No need electronic connection or whatever. This is a great feature.

 

Concerning Color rendition:

 

I am using both DSLR and ENG camera for my work and I never liked Sony feel on video (EX1, F900), I  always prefered Panasonic (HVX200, HPX500, HPX250).

Nikon is using Sony's Cmos on the D800 and the color are not "Nikon like" anymore. I had D100, D200, D700 before and they all matched with great pleasing result out of the box. D800 needs lost of post-processing to get something close to what I usually wnat to achieve.

D5200 is using another brand than Sony, and that might help to not get it wrong.

On another topic, I also always prefered GH1 colors than GH2's. Difficult to explain, but GH1 looks more natural and  organic to me. And I feel, that GH3 is not going to the right direction on that matter.

 

Concerning choice GH3 vs D5200.

 

I am shooting for my pleasure  and for my job with a GH1 and then GH2 since last 4  years. I never had to buy and set a magnifier on the screen  to use the camera efficiently. I am just using the electronic viewfinder with all its information in it. This preserve the interest of M43: being light, compact, instantaneous to use. D5200 only get an optical viewfinder and therefore you will need a rig and all the stuff around to be efficient with it, especially outdoor. Some people love rigs and do spend huge amount of money in it. I am trying to avoid it as much as possible.When i work with rented  5D for client who absolutely want it, I need all this stuff, one more reason for me to stick to the GH2 as soon as I have the freedom of choice.

 

Check what I had done with a GH2 (mix up with AF100) here for a paid job. I just build up a simple shoulder mount to get the viewfinder close to my eyes to be able to be free handed for focusing (without follow focus) while being stable.

Check this out: I used bunch of different lenses from Nikon AIS 1.2 or 1.4, voigtlander, Lumix, Hasselblad and Pentacon.

CrossPolo TVC Making OF

https://vimeo.com/43865929

You can also check this out:

La Deuche from Hell (english sub)

https://vimeo.com/57730500

FingerUp

https://vimeo.com/43454069

Sweet and Sour

https://vimeo.com/56455617

 

Sorry for this long post, but hope this will be useful to others.

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Thanks for this quick test Andrew.

 

Concerning lenses:

 

I am using Nikon camera since 25 years and I am currently shooting on a D800 with many other brand  than Nikon lens:

- Contax Zeiss (usually YC = Yashica Contax mount) modified to F mount are working perfectly with no vignette and they focus up to infinity. The whole Focus range is perfectly accurate. Contax are expensive glass, but Yashica are very cheap.

- M42 lens such as Pentacon 50mm f1.8, 135mm f2.8 and 200f4. No vignette, and all goes to infinity, except the 50mm. There is 2 types of adapter, with or without corrective lens (for focus accuracy purpose). The second type is not good at all (soften the image too much).

- Not all M42 lens works. For example, Pentax M42 lenses are not doing well on Nikon.

- I am using also both Pentax 645, Pentax 67 and hasselblad lens which were all designed for Medium format camera (bigger size than FX). All those lenses are delivering an organic look, you can not achieve with modern Nikon glasses.

I am living and working in China, so it is easy for me to get bunch of adapter at cheap price.

 

I had a Canon 5D Mark3 for 4 months but I exchanged it agaisnt a D800 (even the 5D is much better build and deliver better pictures straight out of the camera) for one reason. There is no assistance to manually focus in the viewfinder when you shoot pictures. You always have to use liveview and zoom in it, With Nikon D800, you get a green dot in middle of 2 triangle in the bottom left of the viewfinder. When this dot  is  on, you are in focus.

This works with all lenses I mentioned here. No need electronic connection or whatever. This is a great feature.

 

Great first post Sanka, welcome to the forum.

 

It is good to know some M42 lenses focus to infinity with the standard M42 to Nikon adapter. I'll get an adapter and try my range, as I have quite a lot of M42 glass including the Zeiss Flektagon 20mm F2.8 which is one of the best full frame wide angle lenses in my opinion.

 

I am a big fan of the Contax Zeiss stuff, it is just a shame it does need a modification of the mount to work on Nikon F.

 

The medium format stuff is very heavy and quite large and I once had the Zeiss Distagon 80mm F2.8 - it was pretty soft but as you say, good for organic looking portraits.

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Now I'm confused!  This d5200 footage and some other tests on persona view look really really good.  I had a GH2 with the 14-140 that was stolen last week so I'm in the market for a new camera.  I was looking at the GH3, used A77 and maybe even breaking the bank and moving into FS100 or AF100 as I eventually want to invest in a camcorder.  I mostly do low light music performances, in controlled environments but sometimes standing on a speaker in the middle of a crowd.  Budget is a huge issue right now so I'm leaning toward replacing my GH2 with another good Dslr and saving for the camcorder with proceeds from using the Dslr.

  Now that the background is out of the way, what do you think is a good direction to go?  I don't know much about nikon glass and I'm not sure what my total cost will be once I kit out a camera with enough lenses to get me going.  I still have a 25mm f1.4 pan lens.  I'm really looking to buy a camera now that will allow me to get superb low light video now and share as many lenses as possible with a FS100 or whatever is out 6-7 months from now when I'm ready to make that investment.

 

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Andrew once you've had a chance to use this gizmo with the Shuttle a little more, I'd be very interested whether you would rank it over or on a par with, the 5D3 for paid video work where IQ is paramount, and the slight delay-causing inconvenices of the cheaper camera would not be so important.  Something to fill in until the BMCC comes along -- if it ever does! -- and leaving photography to the 6D.

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You are very welcome Andrew

I am a long time reader of your forum and I appreciate the effort and enthusiam, you are putting  in it, but I never had the time to get into it and post.

As you needed some information about Nikon, I found it was the right time to give it a start.

For everyone new to Nikon,  some of the f2.8 manual prime lenses are affordable, you get it cheap  in  24, 28, 35 and 135mm range.

You also get a 16mm (fish eyes, very limitative use) a great 20mm and an amazing 180mm. Both are quit expensive.

AIS are manual lenses, AFD are autofocus lenses with aperture ring (autofocus will not work on D5200), AFG are autofocus lenses without aperture rings (but autofocus works on D5200).

According my experiences best prime lenses I had used (for filming)  are: AFD 20mm f2.8, AIS 28 f2,  AFD 35mmf2, AIS 50mm f1.2, AFD 50mm f1.8 (cheap and great),  AFD 85mm f1.8 (cheap and great), AIS 85mm f1.4 (smooth bokeh), AFD, 180mm f2.8 (amazing lens, sharp and contrasty from 2.8), AFD 300mm f4 (sharp from f4.5), AFD 300mm f2.8 (very expensive).

If you go and check my videos (see previous post) ,in the presentation of the video, I often list the lenses I am using in my project.

The AFD 17-35mm f2.8 is a great zoom which deliver result as good as primes  without much distortion at 17mm. Quit expensive.

The AFG 70-210 f2.8 is another great  lens.

If you need to get wide on a DX camera (such as the D5200), go for the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 which is a very good lens if you succeed to pick up a good one (QC not as good as Nikon). Color rendition is cooler than  Nikon lens.

Whatever their type or  age, all Nikon lenses deliver exactly the same colors, which is important for continuity and not wasting time in post.

Compare to Lumix lens, Nikon lenses are more neutral, less digital. Lumix delivers strong green and blue, almost flashy colors with sharp edges. Nikon are more natural (flat) with a little tendency to purple, which is not bad for skin tone. This comparison is done on GH1 or GH2 that I am using with a smooth setting at -2 for everything.

Nikon AIS 35mm f1.4, 50mmf1.2 or 85mmf1.4 delivers very soft image wide open with lots of coma. Need to get close one stop or even a little bit to get much usable results.

 

Hope all of this is useful to people going into Nikon direction. I went to the lumix way as I couldnt switch to Canon (at the start of 5D), due to the huge set of Nikon lenses I get. And I had to be patient before Nikon finally deliver something usable in video.

Lumix got its magic on me (may be I should write a story about what make it unique to me), and even I get the choice between D800 and GH2 to shoot, I still prefer to use the lumix with Nikon lenses.

I am using Lumix lens for documentaries, even a lumix or AF100  will never replace a "real" video camera. All lumix lenses have a huge problem: visible  aperture steps in semi-auto... Another story.

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Andrew- great review. I had not considered the D5200 but most of my lenses are AF or AIS Nikkor, so it's quite interesting for me.

Question: What would be a good option to get sound monitoring onto the D5200? Something from JuicedLink?

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I have just ordered it. Anyone wanna buy a GH2? :)

 

Incidentally, how do all you Nikon users find using the G lens manual focus for video? I would like to avoid D lenses if I can (other than the 50 as its so cheap) because I'd like to double them up for taking stills with AF.

 

When the D7000's successor is out, assuming it has the same Toshiba sensor, it will be the ultimate hybrid I think, but currently out of my budget - and I think there is limited value spending serious cash on an APS-C right now (potentially).

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Now I'm confused!  This d5200 footage and some other tests on persona view look really really good.  I had a GH2 with the 14-140 that was stolen last week so I'm in the market for a new camera.  I was looking at the GH3, used A77 and maybe even breaking the bank and moving into FS100 or AF100 as I eventually want to invest in a camcorder.  I mostly do low light music performances, in controlled environments but sometimes standing on a speaker in the middle of a crowd.  Budget is a huge issue right now so I'm leaning toward replacing my GH2 with another good Dslr and saving for the camcorder with proceeds from using the Dslr.

  Now that the background is out of the way, what do you think is a good direction to go?  I don't know much about nikon glass and I'm not sure what my total cost will be once I kit out a camera with enough lenses to get me going.  I still have a 25mm f1.4 pan lens.  I'm really looking to buy a camera now that will allow me to get superb low light video now and share as many lenses as possible with a FS100 or whatever is out 6-7 months from now when I'm ready to make that investment.

One thing that you might want to consider is that the D5200 does have a bit of an issue with the Skew on the live view LCD.  I was paying with one in the store and it was really bad on the LCD.  The recorded image may not be as bad, but that could be an issue if you're moving around in a hand held manner. 

 

I do think the D5200 would help you with your low light shooting.  Sharing lenses with an FS100 won't be an issue due to the Sony mount being able to take on any lens pretty much.  So no matter what DSLR you choose, it shouldn't be an issue for using with an FS100.  In fact any future Mirrorless camera shouldn't be an issue for you.

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