It is compact and beginner-friendly, yet the Nikon D5200 has the spec of an enthusiast-level DSLR, packing a 24.1-million-pixel sensor, 39-point AF system and articulated LCD screen. Read the Nikon D5200 review...
Nikon D5200 review – Autofocus
Another feature passed down from the D7000 to the D5200 is the 39-point AF system, whereas the D5100 uses 11 points. All the points are located in a large central portion of the frame. When using the 39-point AF mode in good light for static subjects, the camera speedily and quietly snaps into focus. Even in poor-contrast light, the camera steadily finds an accurate and sharp focus, although the process is slowed down a little. One can opt to use just 11 of the 39 points, which is useful when trying to single out subjects more quickly because the camera has to process less data.
There is also an AF-area mode menu, where single-point, auto, nine-point, 21-point, 39-point and 3D tracking modes can be selected. Single-point can be manually selected from any of the 39 points displayed in the viewfinder. By and large, the camera is able to keep up with steadily moving subjects in its 3D tracking mode, but it is by no means designed for very fast action.
When in live view, the AF area can be selected from anywhere in the entire frame, which is handy for off-centre subjects. Face priority and subject tracking work well too, and can provide smooth AF for videos. The contrast-detection-based AF used when in live view is less snappy than phase detection. However, with the mirror locked up and the ability to then select the timer drive mode, it is possible to achieve slightly sharper images than when using the viewfinder without a remote to trigger the camera. I therefore found myself using live view for capturing landscapes a lot more than usual when using the D5200.