The D5200 is a feature-packed DSLR from Nikon. It has retained some of the features of its predecessor the D5100 and also has some of the features of the high end D7000. Let us take a detailed look at the camera and what it has to offer.
To access the SHOOTING MENU, you have to click on MENU. Then, press the left button and stroll up or down and access the SHOOTING MENU, which is placed above the LCD screen. Some of the INFO screen settings can also be accessed with the help of the ‘i’ button.
What can be set?
You can set the resolution of your choice, change the ISO settings, control the noise and so on. The D5200 is easier to use since the buttons and options are found close to each other unlike in other models where they are scattered over different menus.
Reset Shooting Menu
With the help of this button, you can restore all the factory settings in the camera.
This option allows you to create a new folder as well as alter an existing one. You can rename, arrange and delete folders that are present on the SD card.
Select Folder :
This feature helps you to get organized as you can select the folder in which you want your images to be stored. So for example if you are going to your son’s soccer match in the morning and want to shoot images and videos, you can store them in a separate folder and then use another folder to store the images of the wedding you are going to attend in the evening.
Quality of image
To set the quality of the image, the ‘i’ button can be used. If you want to set it to basic jpeg, click on MENU, then CAMERA, then IMAGE QUALITY and finally click on JPEG basic. You can select jpeg or RAW, but the RAW images take up a lot of space and also take longer to process. So keep this in mind before you select.
Size of image
This can also be adjusted with the help of the ‘i’ button. If you are looking to click regular images of say a family, then stick to the Small option. Only if you want to make a poster or something as elaborate, go for the Large option. Since the D5200 is a 24 megapixel camera, you end up with magnificent shots even at the Small setting. Please note here that ‘Large’ is the default option and you must change it to either ‘Small’ or ‘Medium’ or else the files will take up a lot of space. For this, you have to click on MENU, then click on CAMERA, then IMAGE SIZE and then either Large, Medium or Small.
Use the ‘i’ button to access the White Balance.
The Main White Balance Settings include:
It is best to select the Auto option as the D5200 is a smart camera and can adjust itself very well to get the perfect white balance.
Incandescent (hanging bulb)
Do not use this setting unless you want a frozen effect because the Incandescent feature makes the images appear a bit too blue.
Fluorescent (glowing tube)
A very rarely used feature for most people, this setting helps to diminish the ugly look of the fluorescent lights to some extent, if you are shooting under such lights.
Direct Sunlight (sun)
Do not confuse this icon with the hanging bulb icon of the Incandescent setting. If you are shooting in a place where there is a lot of direct sunlight, with the light falling in front of the camera, use this setting. However, if you are looking for shadows, this setting won’t be of much help to you.
If you are looking for an orange tinge (warm) in your images, use this setting.
Shade (shadow of house)
This has a heightened orange tinge and is perfect for images clicked when the sun is setting.
This setting is used for matching shades of colors with the help of a grey or white card. If you are shooting in some strange artificially lit surrounding and want to get a more natural look, use this setting. If you want this setting, you first have to assure that the card is of the light that you want in the subject. Then go to the MENU option and select PRE and then click on the OK button. Click on Measure and then again on OK and press YES. After that is done, position the camera towards the card and hit the shutter. You will see the message, ‘Data Acquired’ on the LCD screen. This means you are all set and you can begin shooting.
AUTO DISTORTION CONTROL
This feature makes the images sharper by automatically straightening any line that may have gotten curved in the image.
This feature is best left alone, as if you which it on, the images tend to get a little dull.
ACTIVE D LIGHTING
Like in most Nikon DSLRs, in the D5200 too, the Active D Lighting feature is brilliant. What it does is it makes the highlights and shadows more defined and sharper. The default setting is ON and by all means you should keep it that way!
LONG EXPOSURE NOISE REDUCTION
This is not a very useful feature as it barely reduces the noise. It is switched off by default and you really do not need to switch it back on.
Use the ‘i’ button to reach this setting. The Auto ISO is a very good option. It clicks great photos in low light conditions and adjusts well when the light conditions change. To select this, you can follow the path: MENU > SHOOTING > ISO sensitivity settings > Auto ISO sensitivity control > ON.
For best results, you can have 6400 as maximum ISO and have 1.125 as the minimum speed of the shutter. This is ideal for shooting people and moving scenes.
There is a small defect in the camera, though. The Auto ISO remains switched on in the manual exposure mode as well. So when you are using this mode, make sure turn off the AUTO ISO setting.
The movie settings can be used to control the format of the movie, namely the frame rates and the resolution, along with the gain in audio. The movie settings, by default are HIGH and HDTV which leads to large sizes of files being recorded and stored. If you want to save space and time, set it to NORMAL. The resolution and the quality will be lowered but the videos would look exactly the same. So do not worry about it.
The different features of the D5200 consume different levels of power. So you may have to use them cleverly. For instance, the Long Nigh Exposure consumes way too much battery and in the morning you may find the camera completely drained out of batteries. Also, the LCD screen takes a lot of power so keep it switched off when you don’t require it. Finally, remember to carry an adapter so that you can get emergency backup in case the battery drains out.