Crop Your Photo on the Nikon D5200 - dummies

Crop Your Photo on the Nikon D5200

By Julie Adair King

To crop a photo means to trim away some of its perimeter. The Nikon D5200 has a Trim function which crops photos right in the camera.

Cropping away excess background can often improve an image, as illustrated by these figures. When shooting this scene, the photographer couldn’t get close enough to the ducks to fill the frame with them, so he simply cropped it after the fact to achieve the desired composition.

Two ducks grooming by a pond.
Close-up of two ducks grooming.

With the Trim function on the Retouch menu, you can crop a photo right in the camera. Note a few things about this feature:

  • Crop aspect ratio: You can crop to one of five aspect ratios: 3:2, which maintains the original proportions and matches that of a 4-x-6-inch print; 4:3, the proportions of a standard computer monitor or television (that is, not a widescreen model); 5:4, which gives you the same proportions as an 8-x-10-inch print; 1:1, which results in a square photo; and 16:9, which is the same aspect ratio as a widescreen monitor or television.

    If your purpose for cropping is to prepare your image for a frame size that doesn’t match any of these aspect ratios, crop in your photo software instead.

  • Crop size: For each aspect ratio, you can choose from a variety of crop sizes, which depend on the size of your original. The sizes are stated in pixel terms, such as 3600 x 2880. If you’re cropping in advance of printing the image, remember to aim for at least 200 pixels per linear inch of the print — 800 x 1200 pixels for a 4 x 6 print, for example.

  • File format of the cropped photo: If you captured the original using the Raw or one of the Raw+JPEG Image Quality settings, the cropped version is saved as a JPEG Fine image. For other JPEG images, the crop version has the same Image Quality level as the original.

After you crop, you can’t apply any other fixes from the Retouch menu. So make cropping the last of your retouching steps.

Keeping those caveats in mind, trim your image as follows:

  1. Display your photo in single-image view and press OK to launch the Retouch menu.

  2. Select Trim, as shown on the left in Figure 10-13, and press OK.

    You see the screen shown on the right in the figure. The yellow highlight box indicates the current cropping frame. Anything outside the frame is set to be trimmed away.

    Rotate the Command dial to change the proportions of the crop box.
    Rotate the Command dial to change the proportions of the crop box.
  3. Rotate the Command dial to change the crop aspect ratio.

    The selected aspect ratio appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, as shown.

  4. Adjust the cropping frame size and placement as needed.

    The current crop size appears in the upper-left corner of the screen. You can adjust the size and placement of the cropping frame like so:

    The Zoom Out button on the Nikon D5200.

    1. Reduce the size of the cropping frame. Press and release the Zoom Out button. Each press of the button further reduces the crop size.

      The Zoom In button on the Nikon D5200.

    2. Enlarge the cropping frame. Press the Zoom In button to expand the crop boundary and leave more of your image intact.

    3. Reposition the cropping frame. Press the Multi Selector up, down, right, and left to shift the frame position.

  5. Press OK to create your cropped copy.

    When you view the picture in playback mode, a scissors symbol appears next to the image size to indicate a cropped photo.