Hi Donn and welcome to Nikonians. To be honest, I haven't seen much comparing these two cameras because they're significantly different enough that a comparison is usually not required. The D7100 has better specifications than the D5200 in most categories, however, it costs more.
That being said, you can take a really bad photo with either camera and you can take an outstanding photo with each camera so it really depends on what your friend is after.
Thank you so much as this is just what I needed. Now I must compare the D7100 with the D800 for myself. I am also wondering when Nikon will be converting to a mirrorless camera as a top of the line DSLR? Sony has the impressive technology in their high end cameras.
My guess is that's a "when pigs fly" sort of thing. I don't see Nikon or Canon making a A99 imitation - they've got too much going with their really well developed moving mirror system, both as far as manufacturing and customer loyalty goes. Nikon has barely gotten their toes wet in the mirrorless field compared to sony, fujifilm, and olympus.
>I am trying to advise a friend on whether he should buy a >5200 or a 7100. Do any users have specifics about this >subject?
It depends on what he or she wants out of the picture taking experience. I moved from a D5000 to a D7000 because I wanted faster access to more controls. The 7k has more buttons and dials than the 5k, so I can change ISO, metering mode, exposure and flash EV, etc. by pushing a button and spinning a wheel rather than going into the menu system.
On the other hand, my daughter-in-law loves her D5200 for taking pictures of their kids at parties, picnics, playing basketball, soccer, at track meets, and so on. I'm pretty sure she leaves it on the green auto mode all the time and she's taken some fine pictures.
If the person doesn't know what they want, I'm guessing they'll probably be happier with the 5200. It's lighter, cheaper and it's got the swing-out rear screen. They can always move up later and the 5200 will make a fine backup.
Wed 21-Aug-13 12:56 AM | edited Sun 25-Aug-13 08:56 PM by km6xz
The correct answer is not possible. Not enough information, the potential owner does not need either so if there is a desire to have a camera, there must be a reason that a camera is wanted, to do what and how. For most people a phone camera or point and shoot is plenty of camera performance as a non-intrusive factor in life's activities. A DSLR does become part of the activity. It is more involving and involved, takes a bit more deliberate attention separating scene and photographer. It is a hobby in its own right, not just an accessory to daily life like a phone has become. So, does the person really want to go out with a camera and become a photographer separate from a scene or need to learn the much more complex adjustments and operation of a device that a DSLR represents. I suspect "no" if they need to be talked into either one. Either might be overkill and be too intrusive into their life-flow. Owning and using a DSLR is a deliberate exercise in adding complexity to ones life so if they wish to have photography as a hobby, I suggest to not talk them into anything but to get them to learn about it, have the subscribe to Nikonians, or start watching videos on YouTube or get one of Bryon Peterson's books for beginners that instills enthusiasm along with fundamentals such as "Understanding Exposure" or "The Perfect Picture" and they will be in a better position to make their choice based on direction they want are attracted to. If they want a camera that does not intrude on their lives, a J1 or V2 is capable yet casual. With a DSLR they will miss many more chance shots because it is not always with them, plus needs to be taken out of a case, and adjusted. A cell phone takes images that are part of the users life, and chronicles what one is doing while a DSLR takes images of life outside of the person, and more deliberate in use. Just look at the photo collections of cell phone users versus DSLR users. The cell phone shots are just as likely to include the shooter as not, and has a close in perspective of personal involvement. Those are not the same types of photos that DSLR users take which focus outside of the user, more about scenes than events in the shooters life. So, what do they want to capture, their own lives or something external? Stan St Petersburg Russia