Nikon D7200 vs Nikon D5300 worth upgrade ?

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Nikon D7200 vs Nikon D5300 worth upgrade ?


Here is unboxing video:

You are maybe about to buy you first camera and you do not know which DSLR you need or you are trying to decide between D5300 (or D5600) and Nikon D7200 ? I will try to help you decide in this blog post. I owned Nikon D5300 for over the year and made about 15k pictures now I moved on and bought Nikon D7200. I would like to share my experiences with D7200 and compare it to D5300.

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 is great camera for occasional photographers, beginners and I would say even for active photographers who do not need loads of customisation, extra little features and options. Camera will never let you down and has great picture output. It is small and light weight. Comes with articulated display and can do decent video. I would probably stick with D5300 longer but what started slowly pushing me away from it is lack of buttons and customisation.

What I really liked about D5300:

  • for a entry level DSLR plenty of options in the menu
  • camera is very light
  • articulating display was help full here and there
  • camera has plenty of effects and scenes
  • flash is powerful enough
  • battery strong enough to get me through the day
  • GPS and wifi working well and sometimes helpful
  • built in intervalometer for time lapse photography

Nikon D7200

I will do now comparison of D5300 and D7200. I will list and go through all the missing features and options in D5300 that you can see what extras are packed in Nikon D7200.

Key features

  • Nikon D7200 has more AF points and more cross type focus point (for better object tracking)
  • Nikon D7200 LCD screen has higher resolution (on D5300 you have to zoom in once to see sharp image)
  • Shutter speed on┬áNikon D7200 is 1/8000th on D5300 1/4000th
  • Nikon D7200 can do 7fps in crop mode and 6 in normal mode (buffer for 18 pictures in 14bit mode) (d5300 can do 5 but buffer will let you do only 4-5 pictures RAW)
  • Battery in Nikon D7200 is much stronger can do almost double the amount of picuters
  • Nikon D7200 has 2 SD card slots for backup or overflow this is very useful
  • Nikon D7200 can focus in -3EV what is really good for low light situations


Nikon D7200 is bigger and has better grip, definitely plus for bigger hands. I was expecting it to be heavier but it is ok. There is small LCD on the top of the camera with useful informations. You can find buttons dedicated to all important functions of the camera and you can customise them. Camera is weather sealed so light rain and dust should not bother us. Viewfinder is bigger and brighter. Shutter is quieter the sound is not so sharp. Also when you are in live view and you want to take picture on D5300 it takes time, that is not happening on D7200. Shutter goes off on D7200 almost immediately and is ready for next shot much quicker.

If you press any button on D7200 you can change parameters with Aperture and Shutter command dials each for different parameter. For example by pressing “Qual” button you can set with one dial Size with second dial Quality.

Extra buttons on Nikon D7200 which you will not find on D5300:

  • Shutter mode selector – by turning selector you can choose Single, Continuous Low, Cont. High, Quiet, Timer and Mirror up
  • Button for White balance – you can adjust White balance or change preset with other dial
  • Quality – format (raw, jpg, raw+jpg etc) and size (small, mediu, large)
  • ISO – turn on off auto mode and set ISO for certain level
  • Metering – spot, centre and matrix
  • Focus mode/ Auto focus area button
  • AF/MF switch – on or off
  • Pv button – for depth of field preview in viewfinder
  • Bracketing button
  • Focus selector lock


Now I will list extra features in D7200:

Playback menu

  • Hide image option (image wont be shown in preview among the other pictures)
  • Playback display option can show Focus point of the image
  • After delete options – show next, show previous, continue as before

Photo shooting menu

  • File naming – you can change first 3 letters so instead of having DSC you can use something like 17A – year 2017 and A for first 10 000 shots after reaching 10 000 you can set 17B. D5300 restarts every 10 000 shots so you will have files with same names.
  • Role plated by card in Slot 2 – overflow, backup or raw on one card jpg on second
  • Vignette control – automatic correction of vignetting

Movie shooting menu

This menu is completely new you can set here:

  • File naming
  • Destination for video files – card 1 or card 2
  • Frame rate of video
  • Quality of video
  • Microphone sensitivity
  • Frequency response
  • Image area – DX or 1.3x crop (crop mode is for 60fps videos in full hd)
  • Time-lapse photography – this is what I like. D7200 will create Time lapse video for you. You don’t have to edit, crop and export it from Lightroom. All done inside camera.

Custom setting menu

Autofocus menu

  • Focus tracking with lock-on – choose how long camera wait before adjusting focus
  • Focus point illumination
  • Focus point wrap-around – if ON you can keep pressing focus square to the right get to the edge on the right then when you press right again focus point will appear on the left
  • Store points by orientation – different for horizontal and vertical shots
  • Easy exposure compensation – If you are for example in Aperture mode and you want to compensate exposure you have to press Exp compensation button and use main command dial. In easy mode you just use the dial which is not in use for compensation so in aperture priority you will use main command dial for compensation (shutter dial). You don’t have to press button for compensation.
  • Center-weighted area – how big is center area in millimetres
  • Fine-tune optimal exposure – customise the optimal exposure for each metering method

Shooting/Display menu

  • Continuous low speed – from 1 to 7 fps – you can set how fast you want to have low speed
  • Max continuous relese – from 1 – 100 pictures
  • Flash warning – orange flash indicator in viewfinder. You will see this when camera thinks that you should use flash
  • Easy ISO – iso can be adjusted by rotating command dial
  • LCD Ilumination – ON or OFF
  • Battery type – if you use different types of batteries to power camera
  • Battery order – which battery to be used first multi power battery pack or battery of D7200

Bracketing/Flash menu

  • Flash sync speed – from 1/60s to 1/250 plus extra 1/320s (Auto FP)
  • Flash shutter speed
  • Flash control for built-in flash
  • Exposure compensation for flash – entire frame or background only
  • Modeling flash
  • Bracketing order

Controls menu

  • OK button – function in shooting mode, playback and live view
  • Assign movie record button –

Movie menu

  • Assign Fn button
  • Assign preview button
  • Assign AE-L/AF-L button
  • Assign shutter button

Setup menu

  • Copyright information – your photographs can have Copyright information already in before you get them to lightroom
  • Virtual horizon – useful for levelling your shots (you can set virtual horizon on Fn button)
  • Non-CPU lens data – if you have some old lenses you can put their parameters into camera
  • AF fine tune – you can fine tune your lenses and save new values into your camera
  • NFC – wireless connection for fast transferring of the files

As you can see there is a lot of extra features packed in Nikon D7200. It is now up to you decide whether you need them or not. In my opinion all of you who are bit more serious about photography will appreciate all this features which will make your life easier and photographing more effective.

Mode dial U1 and U2 modes

I really like this two modes for user settings , first few weeks I didn’t know how to use them but once you will realise how useful they are you will love them. What they do is that you can set U1 with completely unique settings lets say that your camera is in Aperture priority mode shooting RAW files. Now you want to shoot HDR photographs in different directory with certain maximum ISO setting, and shutter delay etc – you can all this save in U1. In U2 we can put something like JPG with max size, auto ISO with maximum of 1200, different directory, shutter priority with starting shutter speed on 1/500 for example – all this in U2 for wildlife photography. Lets say that you are outside on the walk shooting landscapes in aperture priority on f8 etc and you will spot some birds which are going to land on lake all you need to do is to switch to your U2 profile and press shutter.

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