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Nikon D3300 vs D5200 – Which is Better?

Nikon D3300 vs D5200

Having a dilemma in choosing between the APS-C-sized Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D5200? Don’t worry, we got you right here.

Nikon D3300 is for frequent low-light shooting (higher ISO). And Nikon D5200 is for better image quality (higher sensor score).

We’ll accompany you to the end till you come up with the final choice! Until then, may the best Nikon camera win! 

Nikon D3300

Specs

  • Image quality: 82
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount
  • Image sensor size: 23.5 x 15.6 mm (APS-C sensor)
  • Sensor type: CMOS sensor
  • Sensor resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Autofocus (AF) points: 11 AF Points
  • Cross-type focus points: 9
  • ISO range: 100 to 12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • Best ISO quality: 1385
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror (95% coverage)
  • Magnification: 0.85x
  • Color depth: 24-bit
  • Pixel density: 333.2 PPI
  • LCD screen: Fixed-type screen
  • Video quality: 1920 x 1080 (MPEG-4, H.264)
  • Screen resolution: 921k dots
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Dynamic range: 12.8 EVs
  • Shutter speed: 30-1/4000s
  • Frame rate (continuous shooting): 5 fps
  • Available lenses: 265
  • Anti-alias (AA) filter: No
  • Panorama: Yes
  • Timelapse: No
  • HDR mode: No
  • Serial shot mode: No
  • BSI sensor: Yes
  • Flip-out screen: No
  • Microphone port: Yes
  • HDMI port: Yes
  • Hot shoe: Yes
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Raw shoots: Yes
  • EXPEED version: 4
  • Battery lifespan: 700 shots, 1500mAh
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 124 x 98 x 75.5 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 3 in)
  • Weight: 410g (camera body only)

Background

So just a quick peek into D3300’s history — Nikon D3300 first launched on January 7, 2014.

Yes, it’s been MORE than 5 years ago already… And we’re truly devastated to tell you that it’s already been discontinued by Nikon Japan.

BUT!

The good news is you can still purchase them in some surplus stores (or even from direct second-hand sellers if it’s okay with you).

Because honestly, you wouldn’t want to miss out on Nikon d3300 as it’s the Best Digital SLR Entry Level Camera (officially awarded by Technical Image Press Association) during the earlier generation!

So you DEFINITELY have to look for this specific model if you’re looking for some cameras you can use for casual landscape or portrait photography!

Key Features

There’s a lot to be amazed at with this APS-C sensor-size camera. But aside from a large, very high-resolution sensor, what other things make the Nikon D3300 famous among beginner photographers?

Image Quality

Well, Nikon D3300 can only make your low-light photo BRIGHTER than the sun with a maximum ISO of 12800. And it’s EVEN capable of capturing better image quality at ISO 1385.

It’s even equipped with a BSI sensor to improve images in low-light conditions MORE!

What’s more, is that it also features an optical viewfinder that allows you to ACTUALLY see exactly what goes through your cameras… However, it only covers 95% of the frame.

But that’s still way BETTER than having no viewfinder at all!

You should take note that the magnification is approx. 0.85x — it’ll show you LARGER and SHARPER images overall (great for detailed zoomed-in photos)!

Combine it with the perfect setting, you’ll be able to capture EXCELLENT graphic photographs even in different shooting situations.

Processor

Talking about media processors, Nikon D3300 uses EXPEED 4 image/video-processing engine which is a BIG HIT during 2013-2016. It provides reliable autofocus features that enhance image stabilization!

These include:

  • Face detection, 
  • Live view
  • Other featured modes

And yes, this variant includes ALL the features of the previous versions. So to simply put, it’s MORE advanced and LESS battery-consuming.

Battery

Other than that, the Nikon D3300 will also last LONG in your hands as it’ll take 700 shots before your camera runs out of energy. With 1500mAh, you’ve got a good battery life!

Design

And guess what?

This old camera model is actually LIGHTER than some best modern DSLR cameras made today! It only weighs 410g compared to the usual cameras that are OVER 500g!

And its dimensions are even slightly SMALLER than Nikon D5200.

Yes, it’s just a few inches difference. But hey, if you’re that sensitive with measurements, you’d take this as a feature.

It’s MORE compact and lighter despite having an APS-C size sensor!

Other Features

You’ll enjoy the panorama mode of Nikon D3300 which you can use for WIDER landscape photography.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Has a lighter weight
  • Slightly more compact
  • Higher magnification
  • Has a more advanced processor
  • Higher ISO
  • Has panorama mode
  • Has BSI sensor

Cons

  • Lower pixel density
  • Lower dynamic range
  • Lower photo quality overall
  • More expensive
  • No timelapse
  • No stereo microphone
  • No HDR mode
  • No serial shot mode
  • No flip-screen
  • No AA filter

Nikon D5200

Specs

  • Image quality: 84
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount
  • Image sensor size: 23.5 x 15.6 mm (APS-C sensor)
  • Sensor type: CMOS Sensor
  • Sensor resolution: 24.1 MP
  • Autofocus (AF) points: 39 AF Points
  • Cross-type focus points: 1
  • ISO range: 100 to 6400 (expandable to 25600)
  • Best ISO quality: 1284
  • Viewfinder: Pentamirror (95% coverage)
  • Magnification: 0.78x
  • Color depth: 24-bit
  • Pixel density: 471 PPI
  • LCD Screen: Articulating screen
  • Video quality: 1920 x 1080 (MPEG-4, H.264)
  • Screen resolution: 921k dots
  • Screen size: 3″
  • Dynamic range: 13.9 EVs
  • Shutter speed: 30-1/4000s
  • Frame rate (continuous shooting): 5 fps
  • Available lenses: 265
  • Anti-alias (AA) filter: Yes
  • Panorama: No
  • Timelapse: Yes
  • HDR mode: Yes
  • Serial shot mode: Yes
  • BSI sensor: No
  • Flip-out screen: Yes
  • Microphone port: Yes
  • HDMI port: Yes
  • Hot shoe: Yes
  • Touchscreen: No
  • Raw shoots: Yes
  • EXPEED version: 3
  • Battery lifespan: 500 shots, 1030mAh
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 129 x 98 x 78 mm (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
  • Weight: 505g (camera body only)

Background

Nikon D5200 first went into the global market on November 6, 2012. However, it ONLY got into North America on January 7, 2013.

As you can see, it’s a little bit OLDER than the Nikon D3300. So it’s given that the Nikon D5200 will be discontinued too. Fortunately, there are still some of it left on Amazon and other stores.

But the Nikon D5200 won’t just let itself be forgotten THAT easily without even making a significant achievement.

Nikon D5200 has WON a Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2013, officially given by Germany’s Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen! The camera model specifically earned a spot in the Interface Design category.

Key Features

Now, the reason why you’ll love the Nikon D5200 is that it still ROCKS in some ways regardless of how old it is!

Curious how? Well, let’s not have you wait any longer. Time to talk about its BEST qualities!

Image Quality

One of the BIGGEST perks Nikon D5200 has is that it has a total of 39 focus points overall! This will help you achieve better image stabilization EVEN on fast-moving subjects.

This camera will DEFINITELY be A PERFECT OPTION in sports photography!

Not to mention that it has a WIDER dynamic range too. It’ll be a piece of cake to retain details on certain scenes with low light attributes.

Nikon D5200 is also proud of its HIGHER pixel density with 471 PPI. With this, you’ll have more sharpness and clarity in your photos! 

There’s also an optical viewfinder with Nikon D5200! Unfortunately, it’s NOT full coverage as well.

With all these great features, Nikon D5200 got a sensor score of 84 — and this says EVERYTHING.

Just make use of your large sensor and built-in flash. Then feel free to take photos EVEN in a long period of nighttime!

You’ll have BETTER color accuracy despite all the environmental lighting hurdles.

Other Features

Features you will enjoy of the APS-C-sized Nikon D5200 are its minor features. 

For starters, it has an HDR mode where you’ll be able to describe a MUCH MORE detailed photo by addressing its lightest and darkest elements.

And Nikon D5200 even has a serial shot mode if you want to take a burst picture of your crush. But don’t overdo it to the point that you’ll look like a stalker.

It also has a built-in microphone. You won’t need to try connecting external high-end ones or any specialized microphones AT ALL. Unless you need studio sound quality.

Another great thing that Nikon D5200 offers is the optical low-pass or anti-alias filter! Using this one on street photography will eliminate ALL those unnecessary jaggies. Don’t try holding off this feature if you want SMOOTHER images!

But among all, the BEST features that we most love are the timelapse function and flip-screen.

There’s no need to explain the former in detail — all you need to know is this is a MUST if you want to record videos of a busy life!

And using a DSLR camera with a flip-screen is also HANDY especially if you’re shooting in difficult positions!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More AF points
  • Better photo quality overall
  • More dynamic range
  • Higher pixel density
  • Has HDR mode
  • Has stereo microphone
  • Has serial shot mode
  • Has timelapse function
  • Has AA filter
  • Has flip-screen
  • Cheaper

Cons

  • Large body
  • Poor battery life
  • Heavier
  • Outdated EXPEED version
  • Lower ISO
  • Lower magnification
  • No panorama mode
  • No BSI sensor

Comparison: Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D5200

We’re done talking about what these two cameras can do. Now, let’s compare and contrast both APS-C sized Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D3300!

DxOMark Overall Score

Let’s first start with the most important factor to consider in choosing the BEST camera: How great is it OVERALL in capturing the best quality of a photo?

Well, let’s see what DxOMark Sensor Scores has to say about the sensor comparison. But first, let’s introduce you to DxOMark since there might be some who aren’t familiar with it.

DxOMark is a well-known, reliable website that does quality testing for smartphones, lenses, and cameras. You can refer to their benchmark ratings if you’re not so sure about how good your eyed entry-level DSLR cameras are.

DxOMark usually considers these three as significant factors in scoring cameras:

  • Color depth (DXO Portrait): D3300 (24-bit) / D5200 (24-bit)
  • Dynamic range (DXO Landscape): D3300 (12.8 EVs) / D5200 (13.9 EVs)
  • Low-light sensitivity (DXO Sports): D3300 (ISO 1385) / D5200 (1284 ISO)

And since we already know the value of the two cameras, it’s safe to say that Nikon D5200 is the clear winner as it has an overall score of 84, compared to the Nikon D3300 that only scored 82.

Winner: Nikon D5200

Sensor Power

Both the camera sensors don’t have ACTUAL sensor-based image stabilization — you’d have to buy a lens with an optical stabilization feature as an alternative.

And it’s all for the sake of REDUCING the blurriness captured by your shaky camera movements.

We don’t blame you and other camera users if they consider this category a weakness. 

However, the resolution more than makes up for the image stabilization or lack thereof. 

Both the two cameras feature a very HIGH-RESOLUTION sensor of 24 MP. Sure, they’re both APS-C sensor-size and CMOS type too, but they possess differences when it comes to ISO levels.

  • Nikon D3300: ISO 12800 
  • Nikon D5200: ISO 6400

Additionally, D3300 also carries a BSI sensor. So, Nikon D3300 takes the trophy here.

Winner: Nikon D3300

Sharpness and Resolution

Nikon D5200 has a HIGHER pixel density than Nikon D3300. The actual numbers are: D5200 has 471 PPI and D3300 has 333.2 PPI. This means that Nikon D5200 has a LARGER image resolution compared to D3300.

Nikon D5200 also has MORE focus points with 39 points overall, while D3300 has only 11 AF points.

Nikon D5200 scores!

Winner: Nikon D5200

Shooting Flexibility

Let’s talk about the LCD screen.

As you just learned, the Nikon D3300 has a FIXED-TYPE screen. It doesn’t have those extra displays you can look at when you want to shoot the sky but don’t want to extend your neck at the same time.

Contrary to that, it’s what Nikon D5200 has. It has a SWIVEL screen that you can rotate in any position, which will help you with image stabilization.

Imagine crouching while trying to get the best angle… You’ll have unsteady camera motions with this. So basically, it’s useful in capturing a subject located EVEN on the ground without getting yourself dirty.

This goes without saying: Nikon D5200 scores again.

Winner: Nikon D5200

Engine

Nikon D3300 is almost 1-year NEWER than the D5200. So it’s obvious it’s going to use a more modern processor, which is EXPEED 4. The older model still uses EXPEED 3.

There’s no need to argue things further — your winner here is Nikon D3300.

Winner: Nikon D3300

Body

Nikon D5200 has a LARGE body compared to Nikon D3300. But it’s only a slight 4mm difference, though. But if that still largely matters to you, well congrats. You’ve got yourself a winner.

Besides, Nikon D3300 is LIGHTER too. So this makes the camera more compact and portable

Winner: Nikon D3300

Battery Life

Nikon D3300 can take 700 shots of images before it shuts down. And Nikon D5200 will ONLY accompany you until 500 shots. Not to mention the former has a capacity of 1500mAh while the latter has only 1030mAh.

We can say with confidence that you’ll find it HANDIER to use Nikon D3300 in all-day photography.

Winner: Nikon D3300

Others

Those aren’t the only important factors in selecting the best between Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D3300. Sometimes, it’s the SMALL features that become the deciding factors in picking up the best camera.

We’ve already discussed all the minor features of both cameras. But let’s quickly go through them once again to see the comparison more CLOSELY.

Extra Features of Each Camera

Nikon D3300

  • Panorama mode

Nikon D5200

  • HDR mode
  • Serial shot mode
  • Built-in microphone
  • AA filter
  • Timelapse function
  • Flip-screen

Similarities of Both Cameras

  • APS-C Sensor
  • Built-in flash
  • Raw camera shoots
  • Hot shoe
  • Microphone port
  • HDMI port
  • AF face detection and other AF features
  • Optical viewfinder (Nikon D3300 with 0.85x; Nikon D5200 with 0.78x)

Clearly, Nikon D5200 has so much MORE to offer than D3300 despite being older (and losing in magnification power). So it’s safe to argue that D5200 wins this category as well.

That’s only accounting for how many features one can offer.

Winner: Nikon D5200

Conclusion

This is HONESTLY a tough battle because BOTH cameras work great in their own ways (they even won 4 categories each). 

So let’s look at it like this:

Think of what you’re MAINLY searching for in a camera and list them all by priorities. Then see which one below is the MOST suitable for your current preference.

Use the Nikon D5200 If…

  • Better photo quality overall is more appealing to you
  • You need more features as much as possible
  • You don’t mind the battery dying on you more frequently
  • It’s alright to use an out-of-date processor
  • It’s okay for you to carry a larger and heavier camera all around

Use the Nikon D3300 If…

  • You don’t mind missing out on some features
  • You need low-light friendly settings
  • Portability is what you’re looking for
  • You require longer battery life
  • You thirst for a more advanced processor

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