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Nikon D5200 review


Andrew Reid
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Hi everybody, I have a D5200 and have the noise banding problems, I think all D5200 suffer from this issue but is more noticeable in some circumstances. I'm guessing the chip is pumping gain to the sensor even at 100 ISO, which If confirmed would be utterly absurd. if this is the case it'is easily fixable by a firmware update ( In case Nikon listen to us).
In the meantime, I'm working out ways to avoid the banding, as it certainly can be done.

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D5200 does suffer from fixed pattern banded noise in the shadows, especially if you use a flat profile

 

Just to clarify the fixed pattern noise comes from electronic circuitry on the sensor, it isn't anything to do with gain or ISO. To add to that the Nikon picture profiles go extremely flat and really can bring up the shadows a hell of a lot. There's also the D-lighting feature, turn it off.

 

The answer is simply not to dial down contrast all the way and don't use a flat picture profile. Simple.

 

Grade in-camera with the required look baked in.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Andrew. First I want to thank you for your blog. I learned a lot from it and it led me to GH2, which I am very happy with ;-)

 

Today I was reading your review of D5200, I wanted to advise my friend, who is looking for new DSLR. I was impressed with the D5200 sharpness that was brought up after postprocessing. It looked very much like the GH2 sharpness king.

 

Out of curiosity I downloaded your full-res frames, to check how the direct-from-camera D5200 frame behaves under Unsharp mask in Photoshop. (I know it's not the same thing as Sharpen in PP, but in my experience Photoshop Unsharp mask is still the king of all sharpening plugins I came across, so it is at least as good as Sharpen in PP). And the results of my test left me puzzled.

 

The 2 frames you provided in your review are not the same. But that's not really a problem, they just could be consecutive frames (with equal sharpness). The problem is, that the so called sharpened frame has much more detail that is ever possible to bring out from the direct-from-camera frame. The direct-from-camera frame has hardly any microdetail and what's left is largely destroyed by the compression. Only compression artifacts and coarser detail can be brought up with sharpening.

 

How can the sharpened frame be so much more detailed than the direct-from-camera frame? If I ignore the sharpened framedirect-from-camera frame would lead me to conclusion, that D5200 is not only much softer than GH2, but also that most of any possible microdetail will be destroyed by the compression (at least at higher ISOs).

 

What am I missing here Andrew? Thank you for your time.

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Which frame are you referring too? Is it this one -

 

http://www.eoshd.com/uploads/d5200-sharpened.jpg

 

It surprised me too.

 

Just try downloading the full JPEG and sharpening it in Photoshop, you will get the same result that I did.

 

There's not much in it between the GH2 and D5200 but the GH2 does still have an edge for resolution and the D5200 is much better in low light with a cleaner codec and larger sensor.

 

By the way the D5200's sensor also ranks very highly for stills at DXOMark, basically the best APS-C camera out there for image quality. Toshiba really did do well.

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What sharpening settings do you use to get the same result in Photoshop? I got curious and tried but couldn't get nowhere near it. I think PeterK has a good point.

I also overlayed the two images and they aren't exactly similar. There's a slight change in composition and brightness.

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You are trying to sharpen a heavily compressed JPEG downloaded from Wordpress.

 

I'll see if I can find the master MOV clips and upload. But I am quite busy on testing the 5D Mark III raw at the moment and finishing off the Sony RX1 review.

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Hello Andrew. First I want to thank you for your blog. I learned a lot from it and it led me to GH2, which I am very happy with ;-)

 

Today I was reading your review of D5200, I wanted to advise my friend, who is looking for new DSLR. I was impressed with the D5200 sharpness that was brought up after postprocessing. It looked very much like the GH2 sharpness king.

 

Out of curiosity I downloaded your full-res frames, to check how the direct-from-camera D5200 frame behaves under Unsharp mask in Photoshop. (I know it's not the same thing as Sharpen in PP, but in my experience Photoshop Unsharp mask is still the king of all sharpening plugins I came across, so it is at least as good as Sharpen in PP). And the results of my test left me puzzled.

 

The 2 frames you provided in your review are not the same. But that's not really a problem, they just could be consecutive frames (with equal sharpness). The problem is, that the so called sharpened frame has much more detail that is ever possible to bring out from the direct-from-camera frame. The direct-from-camera frame has hardly any microdetail and what's left is largely destroyed by the compression. Only compression artifacts and coarser detail can be brought up with sharpening.

 

How can the sharpened frame be so much more detailed than the direct-from-camera frame? If I ignore the sharpened framedirect-from-camera frame would lead me to conclusion, that D5200 is not only much softer than GH2, but also that most of any possible microdetail will be destroyed by the compression (at least at higher ISOs).

 

What am I missing here Andrew? Thank you for your time.

I have never ever sharpened something in post in a commercial edit suite ? why would you??

to me you are just degrading the image you have spent good time and money creating

(and bringing out artifacts you dont want from the codec which dont look nice)

It is not a practice I have ever done or felt the need to do nor have many of my fellow professional collegues I work with - we had a big talk about this last week in the edit suite as we now keep reading about people doing this on forums.

get it right in camera !!  if your camera sensor  is soft - get another better one - cameras are now cheap

get a better lens if your lens is soft , and make sure your focusing is spot on

We did not go around 'sharpening up ' when we shot on film ......it had a look

 

It is a practice I would not recomend as you will loose your skills shooting in camera if you just rely on always sharpening in post!!

Cameras have 'intrinsive looks' depending on who makes them / sensor size and model type

to me that is an advantage it is character and I work with it rather than trying to dial it out in post sharpening so it looks like another brand  of camera.......

 

I keep reading about lots of poeple doing this - and yes its a thow over from working on Photoshop - unsharpen mask -  but I just dont - ever!

It spoils the organic look of the image . I'm personally not into square pixels

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I don't know Andy... The 5D Mark III and D5200 look a lot nicer with a bit of sharpening in Premiere. Not something I'd usually do and I never had to do it with the GH2, but to make the images pop a bit more it does help. True if you go too far you get an awful scratchy feel that isn't organic and on some cameras you can't do it at all because it just brings the artefacts out like on the 7D and NEX 5N.

 

Take a look at how close the 5D Mark III is able to get to the REAL resolution of the GH2 once you help to bring it out in post. It isn't about sharpness but just making the detail a bit less muddy.

 

Organic softness is good - I'm totally in agreement on that - but muddy detail is horrible!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just bought a d5200 and the lack of control over aperture is making me think it's going back. I've been driving myself crazy trying to change the aperture without the shutter speed changing automatically with no luck so far. Also how can this camera have no touch screen? I think its missing too many basic features to waste $800 when I can get a GH3 for 400 more and gain a headphone jack, better battery life and control over my camera again.

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I have never ever sharpened something in post in a commercial edit suite ? why would you??

to me you are just degrading the image you have spent good time and money creating

(and bringing out artifacts you dont want from the codec which dont look nice)

It is not a practice I have ever done or felt the need to do nor have many of my fellow professional collegues I work with - we had a big talk about this last week in the edit suite as we now keep reading about people doing this on forums.

get it right in camera !!  if your camera sensor  is soft - get another better one - cameras are now cheap

get a better lens if your lens is soft , and make sure your focusing is spot on

We did not go around 'sharpening up ' when we shot on film ......it had a look

 

It is a practice I would not recomend as you will loose your skills shooting in camera if you just rely on always sharpening in post!!

Cameras have 'intrinsive looks' depending on who makes them / sensor size and model type

to me that is an advantage it is character and I work with it rather than trying to dial it out in post sharpening so it looks like another brand  of camera.......

 

I keep reading about lots of poeple doing this - and yes its a thow over from working on Photoshop - unsharpen mask -  but I just dont - ever!

It spoils the organic look of the image . I'm personally not into square pixels

Doesn't something like the GH2 or GH3 just sharpen an unsharpend image in camera anyway? So having to apply some sharpening in post on the D5200 isn't really any different, you just have to do it because the camera applies less sharpening on it's own. The other cameras in this price range don't have a magically more organic image just because it's sharpened in camera instead of in post. I guess you could make this argument if you shoot RAW, but then you get into a whole other price range than the D5200.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, I recently purchased a D7100 as I needed a camera that could do both stills and video. I used to own a 5D MKII, so perhaps comparing the two isn't really fair, but there is one issue that is really bothering me. With the D7100, I find that video is juddery as you pan. I never saw this in the 5D (then again maybe the MOUNTAINS for moire were so distracting I just didn't notice). Is this judderiness the same in the 5200? Is there away to get this smoother?

I've noticed it primarily on 1080p 24fps. Setting were a shutter speed of 50 and iso 100 (or multiples of that as I've read the base iso is 100, correct?).

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  • 2 weeks later...

iam thinking of getting a d5200 for video and have been looking in to custom picture profiles to make a cinestyle/flaat look that would work better in post processing.

using view nx2 and the picture control utility you can make custom picture styles which include curves.this to me seems like a great idea/tool. better then post process for alot of reasons. i havnt got the camera so cant test or save the profiles ive made,it tries to locate camera.

using the custom curve you can really alter the style/look of the video and then theres the sharpening,contrast,saturation and hue,,everything you need for a custom look.

with the video been compressed when saved to memory card iam thinking its better to get the looks you want in camera then doing it after compression. and only do basic small general tweaks in post.

you can make many custom styles easy so could make a base{ie flaat} then other ones tweaked from that for certain shots,close up,wide angle,anything you want.

many of the locations i will be filming in i can revisit so will have pics of the locations /scenes that i can create styles for.

 

curves:

the curve adjuster is amazing i hope.and is hopefully a great way of getting percieved dynamic range/stronger image. i think limiting/custom curve will increase quality of a compressed video file.the curve is so much better then just brightness and contrast,

iam a audio mix engineer and to me is alot of similarties on how things work , the same argument is happening about dynamic range loss due to compression.one of the ways modern music has got louder is by limiting frequencies/output and also using low,high cut filters to remove the extreme low and high frequencies .the end result presents a smaller package to your ears/brain so is clear and loud in comparison.remove the mud and enhance the good bits.the same thing is done in post processing with video using curves and the other tools. 

in music you have mix engineers and mastering engineers just like films have director and colourists. very seperate roles.by doing as much in camera as you can your able to use it in creative ways while filming .

 picture control utility::curve is done like would for audio :] it has peaks at fundamental frequencies. in music/audio a good sound will resonate /peak as harmonics ,like a piano chord. so visually with light our eyes should work the same as our ears is the same "brain" processor afterall.:]

anyway iam thinking the custom curves could be used alot for every type of filming situation. once you learn how it effects the video  you can use it as a creative tool to enhance your art.

pic tweaked is default one that comes with nxview2.my crazy random curve hasnt killed the image and you can go very extreme if you wanted.any style you want and i think by chopping out the extreme blacks/whites it will give you a more compact,cleaner file when compressed. depending what the total dynamic range of the camera is you can work within that range. if you cut out lows and boost highs it can add up to 0 therefore not effecting dynamic range. is a balancing act to get audio/images good across the spectrum.

 

3tcv.jpg

 

does this feature /function work like i think? 

 

thanks:}

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kool yes have seen the flaat site before and liked it but wasnt sure if was for d5200. i was just shocked that it is possible to make them and wondered why it wasnt a big feature that people highlighted.why would you use a default one when you can make a custom one this easy!, i see alot of posts saying flaat/cinestyle doesnt work for every senerio which is bound to be true. it was done to an image/scene which totally diff to one you might be filming.

ignore the profile i put in pic that was first attempt, i have made loads more since trying to improve details and quality or replicate film styles.is many many possible things that you can do with this feature.

http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/How_to/100_Curves_and_Films/_Curves_and_films.html

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I've been playing around with LUT's and Flaat_11 footage from my d800 since my CF card broke on my 50d recording raw.

 

http://juanmelara.com.au/print-film-emulation-luts-for-download/

 

just apply in AE or in PS as an adjustment layer, or in resolve. It doesn't replace proper grading but it's a nice starting point if you are looking for that film look.

Out of the box it is a liitle bit heavy on the d800 footage, but the same goes for raw footage from my 50d, tone it down.

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