The Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D3300. They’re both entry-level DSLRs with 24 megapixels of resolution, but there are some significant differences between the two.
The Nikon D5200 is for those photographers wishing to get more creative ability out of their cameras.
The Nikon D3300, being one year newer than the D5200, benefits from some more current technology but is missing a few things commonly found on comparable cameras.
Despite their shortcomings, they’re both excellent cameras in the hands of the right person. You’ll just have to decide which one suits your purposes better.
Nikon D5200 Advantages
- Fully-articulated LCD
- Time-lapse mode
- JPG buffer virtually unlimited
- 39 autofocus points versus 11
- Higher dynamic range
- Can record video at 60 frames per second
- Stereo microphone
An articulating LCD screen may seem like a gimmick, but it really is a great aid to photographers. It frees you up from shooting at eye level and will increase your creativity. Put it on the ground, hold it way up over your head, or even turn it around for that obligatory selfie.
Another feature that will increase creativity is the D5200’s time-lapse mode. Create amazing videos of moving clouds, water, the night sky, or whatever else you may want to experiment with.
Sports and action shooters will appreciate the buffer while shooting in JPG mode. You really can take an unlimited amount of consecutive shots without filling up the buffer, compared to the D3300’s 100-shot buffer.
The D5200 also features 39 autofocus points compared to the D3300’s 11 points. You’ll be able to ensure your subject is sharp throughout the frame and follow moving subjects more efficiently.
Tests have shown that the D5200 has a higher dynamic range than the D3300. This means that you’ll be able to capture more details in an image with a lot of contrast.
Interested in shooting video? The D5200 can shoot at 60 frames per second, where the D3300 is limited to 24 frames per second. Those shooting action video always desire a higher frame rate.
One more advantage for the videographers is the capability to record stereo audio with the built-in microphone. The D3300 is only capable of recording one channel of audio without an external microphone.
Nikon D5200 Disadvantages
- Highest native ISO is 6400
- 500 shots on a single battery charge
- Not sealed from the elements
- No image stabilization
- No Wi-Fi
You won’t get great low-light sensitivity from the D5200. It’s highest native ISO is 6400, which can be expanded to 12800, but not without a lot of loss in image quality.
The battery of the D5200 will, at most, last through 500 shots. This is significantly lower than most DSLRs and means you’ll probably have to carry a spare if you plan on doing a full day of shooting.
Planning on taking your camera in wet or dusty conditions? Not without a cover! The D5200 isn’t sealed from the elements, and you’ll want to keep it protected in even a small amount of mist.
The D5200 doesn’t feature any in-camera stabilization, so you’ll have to spend a little more money on lenses that include stabilization if that’s something you want to have.
One feature missing from the D5200 that’s common on most other comparable cameras is Wi-Fi connectivity. You’ll be missing out on the opportunity to use your phone as a remote control or download images to your phone for sharing.
Nikon D3300 Advantages
- 5 ounces lighter than the D5200
- Battery lasts longer
- Higher native ISO of 12800
- Better low-light performance
- Deeper color depth
- Panorama mode
- Newer processor
You’ll appreciate the lighter weight of the D3300 if you’re carrying it around all day long. It’s only slightly smaller than the D5200, but it is almost five ounces lighter than the D5200. That may not seem like much, but it will after a long hike.
The battery of the D3300 will get you 200 more shots out of a single charge. It’s rated to give you 700 shots, and that’s usually enough for the average photographer.
The D3300 has a higher ISO than the D5200. An ISO of now 12800 will let you shoot in lower light conditions. This ISO can also be expanded to 25600 at the cost of more image quality.
In addition to a higher ISO, the D3300 will also give you better overall performance in low light. The sensor on the D3300 is “backlit,” a feature not found in the D5200. This technology will record color better in low light and with less noise.
Continuing with the theme of performance, imaging tests have shown that the D3300 captures a deeper color depth than the D5200. It’s not a lot, but the fact remains that this camera can capture better colors.
Landscape photographers will love the panorama mode provided by the D3300, and its wide array of top compatible lenses. You don’t have to stitch photos together in computer software – the camera will do it for you. This feature isn’t found on the D5200.
Because the D3300 was released after the D5200, you’ll benefit from the newer technology in the form of a new processor.
Nikon D3300 Disadvantages
- No Auto Exposure Bracketing
- Only 11 autofocus points
- Fixed LCD screen
- No Wi-Fi
- Not sealed from the elements
- No anti-aliasing filter
One feature curiously missing from the D3300 is auto exposure bracketing, or AEB. In high-contrast situations, you may want to take a few photos of different exposure values. This will give you the option to either combine them into a high-dynamic range photo or just to have a few to choose from.
The D3300 has a scant 11 autofocus points. This number isn’t relevant to everyone, but if you shoot moving subjects, a higher number is generally better.
The LCD screen on the D3300 is permanently fixed in place, so you’ll miss out on the option to rotate it when trying to get shots from a different perspective.
The D3300 is also missing Wi-Fi, a standard feature in similar cameras. You won’t have the ability to tether it to your phone.
Weather sealing is absent from the D3300. Any kind of rainy or dusty conditions have the potential to ruin the insides of your camera.
The sensor on the D3300 doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter. Your images will be slightly sharper because of this, but you’ll also notice a lot of “swirling” or muddiness when photographing tight patterns. This is an advantage for some, but I think it’s a disadvantage to the average photographer.
Based on the information above, which is better? It’s a tough choice, and it really comes down to your preferences.
If you want to have a little more creative freedom, then the D5200 might be for you. If you just want a reliable camera to carry around all day and make some great photos, then the D3300 is probably the camera you’d want to get.
I would personally choose the D3300 for precisely those reasons. I can shoot longer with it, the weight won’t bother me as much when I’m carrying it all day, and the image quality is better.Back to Top