Nikon's D5200 and D7100 DSLR cameras are "prosumer" cameras designed for amateur photographers who desire some professional features. Both are high resolution, 24.1 megapixel cameras with good light-sensitivity, but the D7100 offers enhanced features like continuous shooting, professional-level autofocus selection, and a longer battery life. The D5200 is priced at approximately $500, and the D7100 is about $1,100.

Comparison chart

Nikon D5200 versus Nikon D7100 comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartNikon D5200Nikon D7100
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About Pro-amateur camera. Much better than simple point-and-shoot cameras and at times comparable to the Nikon D7100, but ultimately lacks some of the more professional features of the D7100. More professional features than the D5200. More autofocus options, more memory card slots, longer battery life.
Price About $500 USD for the camera body. About $1100 USD for the camera body.
Maximum Resolution 6,000 × 4,000 pixels (24.1 effective megapixels). 6,000 × 4,000 (24.1 effective megapixels).
Autofocus Selection 39-point system. 51-point system—the same number of focus points found in Nikon’s professional cameras. In addition, the D7100 includes 15 cross-focus points in the center which are sensitive in low light conditions, such as moonlight.
Video Recording Supports full HD movies of 1920 x 1080 at standard rates of 30 frames for second (fps) or 24 fps and at faster rates of 60 fps or 50 fps. Supports full HD movies of 1920 x 1080 at standard rates of 30 frames for second (fps) or 24 fps and at faster rates of 60 fps or 50 fps. Capable of shooting full HD movies in 1.3x crop mode and/or with the 51-point AF system.
LCD Monitor 3-inch flip-out, variable angle monitor that can be tilted and swiveled. 3.2-inch rear monitor, cannot be adjusted at different angles.
File Formats RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG. RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG.
Storage Secure Digital, SDHC, SDXC compatible. Supports Ultra-High Speed (UHS-I) class cards. Secure Digital, SDHC, SDXC compatible (Dual Slot).
Battery Life Up to 500 shots with the Nikon EN-EL14 Lithium-Ion battery. Up to 950 shots with the Nikon EN-EL15 Lithium-Ion battery. An additional battery pack (the MB-D15) can be added to the D7100, extending the battery life for up to 1,900 shots.
ISO Sensitivity 100 to 6400 (extendable to 25600). 100 to 6400 (Extendable to 25600).
Continuous Shooting 5 frames per second. 6 frames per second and up to 7 frames per second in crop mode.
Memory Card Slots 1. 2.
Weight Approximately 505 g (1 lb. 1.8 oz.), camera body only. Approximately 675 g (1.488 lb), camera body only.
Wi-Fi Support Yes, with adapter. Yes, with adapter.
Flash Built in Pop-up, Guide number 13m at ISO 100, Standard ISO hotshoe. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System. Built in Pop-up, Guide number 12m at ISO 100, Standard ISO hotshoe. Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, featuring commander mode for wireless setups.
Shutter Speed Range 30 s to 1/4000 s in 1/2 or 1/3 stops and Bulb, 1/200 s X-sync. 30 s to 1/8000 s in 1/2 or 1/3 stops and Bulb, 1/250 s X-sync.
Sensor 23.5 mm × 15.6 mm Nikon DX format RGB CMOS sensor, 1.5 × FOV crop. 23.5 mm × 15.6 mm Nikon DX format RGB CMOS sensor, 1.5 × FOV crop.
Body Colors Black, bronze, red. Black only.
Body Material All plastic. Metal alloy and plastic.

Picture Quality

Resolution

The D5200 and the D7100 have the same maximum resolution of 6000x4000 (24.1 megapixels). But because of certain advanced features (noted below), the D7100 can create sharper images.

Image Sensor

Nikon's D5200 has an optical low-pass filter (OLPF) that adds anti-aliasing effects to images. In contrast, the D7100 has no OLPF, meaning its images are sharper.

Autofocus System

The D7100 has 51 autofocus points, the same number found in Nikon's professional cameras.
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The D7100 has 51 autofocus points, the same number found in Nikon's professional cameras.

Both cameras feature an advanced autofocus (AF) system that offers a set number of control points the user can select from to focus the image automatically. The user can select all of the points to bring clarity to an action shot or select a single point to home in on a specific area of the image. The D5200 offers a 39-point AF system compared to the D7100's more advanced 51-point AF system. This is the same number of focus points found in Nikon’s professional cameras. In addition, the D7100 includes 15 cross-focus points in the center which are sensitive in low light conditions, such as moonlight.

Crop Mode

Both cameras feature a DX format, which means they offer an effective focal length of a 1.5x crop of the FX (regular) mode. This cropping mode allows the user to zoom into an image without switching lenses. The D7100 offers an additional 1.3x crop mode to give extra reach to images. This feature will most likely be appreciated by wildlife and sports photographers. When shooting in this mode, the resolution is reduced, but the user can still take advantage of the 51-point AF system. The D5200 does not offer this additional crop mode.

Movie Mode

The D7100 in movie mode.
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The D7100 in movie mode.

Both cameras are able to record full HD movies at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. They film at the standard rate of 30 or 24 frames for second (fps); they are also able to film at the faster rates of 60 fps or 50 fps. These additional frames per second are ideal for fast-paced videos, for creating a slow motion effect or to replay videos in slow motion. The D7100 is also capable of shooting full HD movies in 1.3x crop mode and/or with the 51-point AF system.

Hardware

Processor

The D7100 has the same EXPEED 3 processor that the D5200 has; however, the D7100 also features a high-speed sequential mechanism which increases the continuous shooting to 6 frames per second (fps) in standard mode or 7 fps in crop mode. The D5200 offers a continuous shooting rate of 5 fps, which is better than the 4 fps supported in introductory cameras like the D3200. This difference between the D5200 and the D7100 is minor but will be noticeable when taking action shots.

Unlike the D7100's screen, the D5200 screen can be tilted and swiveled at different angles.
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Unlike the D7100's screen, the D5200 screen can be tilted and swiveled at different angles.

LCD Screen

Another difference between the D5200 and the D7100 is the LCD monitor. The D5200 features a 3-inch display that can be flipped out and rotated, while the D7100 features a 3.2-inch stationary display. The D7100's display is larger but does not flip out and requires the user to be behind the camera. With the D5200, the user is able to turn the LCD screen so it can be viewed during self-portraits or while taking photos from awkward angles. This flip-out, rotating LCD allows for more versatile shooting.

Battery Life

The D5200 takes up to 500 shots on a single battery charge, and the D7100 takes up to 950 shots on the supplied li-ion rechargeable battery. An additional battery pack (the MB-D15) can be added to the D7100, extending the battery life for up to 1,900 shots. This additional battery pack almost quadruples the D5200 battery life and is significant for long-term shooting.

Body Color

The D5200 is available in black, red, or bronze. The D7100 is only available in black.

Body Type

The D5200 is made of all plastic while the D7100 features magnesium alloy top and back plates. The D7100 also has the same dust and moisture seals that are found in Nikon’s professional cameras. These enhancements add to the camera's durability and stability.

Usability

User Interface

The D5200 has intuitive menus that are easy to read and understand. Users can select "classic" or "graphic" display modes and choose from one of three color themes — black, blue/green/white, or brown/orange. The D7100 offers easy-to-read menus, but no visual customizations are available.

D7100 interface.
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D7100 interface.
D5200 interface colors.
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D5200 interface colors.

Body Size

At 675 grams, the D7100 is larger and heavier than the D5200, which weighs 555 grams. The D5200 measures about 5.1” W x 3.9” H x 3.1” D, and the D7100 measures 5.3” W x 4.2” H x 3.0" D.

Connectivity

Wi-Fi and GPS

Neither camera has wi-fi capabilities by default. An adapter can be purchased separately for wireless image transfer between the camera and smart devices. An additional adapter can be purchased to add GPS capabilities to either camera.

Image Storage

Both cameras offer USB connectivity to transfer images and both can store images on SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. The D7100 features two memory card slots enabling the user to store twice as many pictures and movies. Some users will store raw images on one memory card while saving JPEGs or updated images on the second card. The second memory card adds versatility and increased functionality to the D7100.

References

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