One week with Nikon D5200

Day 2. Shooting in auto mode

For many buyers, the Nikon D5200 will be the first serious camera. Where to start your journey in photography? I strongly do not recommend immediately switching to manual shooting modes, as many more experienced photographers advise. Where it is better to shoot the first time in fully automatic mode, gradually getting used to the camera and learning new functions as necessary with the help of an instruction or teacher.

So in our testing, I decided to put myself in the place of a novice photographer and try to devote a whole day to shooting in auto mode. I will say right away – it did not work out. So today I will tell you what the Nikon D5200 automation can and cannot do.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 400, F5.6, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

On a snowy February day, I expected to take a walk around the city center, looking for interesting stories. But “interesting stories” in winter is not an easy task. The weather too often makes its own adjustments. And this time it was not without force majeure: the day was not just a snowy day, but the snowiest one in the 21st century that began not so long ago. Colors and details – all this was swallowed up by a huge snow mass, and the dense cloudiness deprived the freshly drifted snowdrifts of any interesting black-and-white pattern. You can, of course, try to find color accents, bright spots … But in a snowy city this is also not so simple. But the camera did an excellent job of its task: it regularly focused even on non-contrast objects, correctly set the exposure without the intervention of a photographer. Not a secret, that shooting in the snow for many cameras can be a problem – the automation underestimates the exposure, and the snow turns out to be a dull gray color. There was no such problem with the Nikon D5200.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 400, F10, 1/50 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 400, F9, 1/40 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

After a short but prolonged walk due to snowdrifts that suddenly grew up under my feet, I almost despaired of making at least some shots. And Nikon D5200 hanging on a neck idle is already all covered with snow. But for this case, I had a fallback: a marine aquarium. But do not take up shooting tropical fish on a snowy winter day? In addition, each of the amateurs on vacation or on a trip finds themselves in an aquarium, museum or other place with low light. So let’s check how the camera works in such conditions!

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 640, F4.5, 1/40 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 360, F5.6, 1/125 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 400, F5, 1/100 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

The first problem was not even the difficulty of shooting fast fish. Brought from the street into a warm, humid room, the already wet camera instantly fogged up, covered with huge drops of condensation. To the credit of the Nikon D5200, it passed the moisture test successfully: after getting pretty wet and dry after half an hour, it continued to work absolutely correctly.

There were no difficulties with not very mobile fish. Even through the thickness of glass and water, the Nikon D5200 focused on them perfectly. Thanks to the densely arranged autofocus currents, the smallest fish was accurately detected by the automation and fell into sharpness. After all, the camera always gives priority in focusing to the object closest to it. The automatic white balance worked out correctly in most cases, and only in aquariums with pronounced color illumination was sometimes mistaken. The same applies to the work of expo-automation. She made mistakes only in the most difficult cases, when bright white underwater inhabitants on a dark background fell into the frame.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 400, F4.5, 1/80 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 450, F4.5, 1/60 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

Turn off flash in auto mode

By the way, do you know that in aquariums, just like in museums, it is forbidden to use a flash? Nikon D5200 allows you to force the flash to turn off when shooting in auto mode. But this is not the only intervention in the settings that I had to do.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 6400, F4.5, 1/50 s, 72.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1100, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 3600, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

As soon as a slightly faster fish appeared in the frame, the autofocus system either did not keep up with it, or the fish floated out of the depth of field immediately after focusing. What to do? The answer is simple: again interfere with the operation of automation. Taking pictures of everything in the same auto mode, you can use different autofocus modes. 3D tracking helped me.

Autofocus zone selection in auto mode

I already wrote a little about this function. It works like this: you select the subject, combine it with the selected focus point in the viewfinder (I will make a reservation, I took all the shooting through the viewfinder!), Press the shutter button halfway and hold it. All you can forget about focusing for a while: the camera will keep the subject in focus, even if it moves around the frame. All that remains is to wait for the underwater inhabitant to take the place allotted to him by your idea in the frame, and to press the shutter button down. Very simple!

With sedentary piranha, there were no problems during the shooting

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 6400, F4.5, 1/60 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

Clownfish removal is easier with tracking focus

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 2500, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

Thanks to 3D tracking, the camera kept the fish in focus

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 2800, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1600, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1800, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1250, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1400, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1250, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.

I admit, in a number of cases I nevertheless left the auto mode. In some pictures, I entered exposure compensation or manually set the aperture value, white balance. But after shooting, I still could not determine by eye which pictures were taken in auto mode and which ones were in aperture priority. This is probably a good enough indicator of the correct operation of the camera.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 6400, F4.5, 1/60 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 250, F4.5, 1/40 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 280, F4.5, 1/40 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

Testing this time began for the Nikon D5200 right off the bat: on the very first day, it ended up in low light conditions, where many other cameras could not cope at all.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 1100, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 500, F4.5, 1/125 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 200, F4.5, 1/50 s, 34.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

So the next day I decided to set the auto mode to a test in simpler conditions: to take a few frosty landscape shots. The correct result of the operation of all camera systems was predictable: even the simplest “soap dishes” do not experience much difficulty when shooting during the day.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 100, F8, 1/250 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 200, F7.1, 1/200 s, 29.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 180, F8, 1/250 s, 85.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 160, F8, 1/250 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

Nevertheless, I would like to point out again the very correct operation of the expo-automatics (I did not need any exposure correction to get bright and bright images), high detail and vivid color reproduction. But the Nikon D5200 has one more feature: when shooting in auto mode, it thus selects the aperture value so that both the main object in the frame and the background are as sharp as possible. In some cases, this is very good. Although I prefer shooting with an open aperture so that the picture looks as airy, as voluminous as possible, the background is more blurred. Actually, for such cases, the Nikon D5200 has manual and semi-automatic shooting modes, which we will talk about in the third part of our test. It will be published tomorrow.

NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 140, F8, 1/250 s, 62.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
NIKON D5200 Installations: ISO 200, F8, 1/250 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW

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