NIkon D3200 Review / Overview





The Nikon D3200 is the latest entry level DSLR that is being offered by Nikon. Of the many features, the one that stands out is undoubtedly the 24MP CMOS sensor that places the D3200 at par with the Alpha SLT-A65, A77 and NEX-7 from Sony as all of these offer the largest pixel sizes in the APS-C sensor size. Apart from this the D3200 is only second to Nikon’s D800, which is a professional level camera, in terms of output resolution. What makes the camera even more attractive is the fact that such a powerful camera is available from $699. This makes the camera a very competitive product, if not a revolutionary product.





When compared with its predecessor, the Nikon D3100, the D3200 has some great modifications in it. Let us start with the video. The D3200 is available with an inbuilt 1080p30 video option. The video quality is good and suitable for making casual videos. There is an AF function available for the video as well. The sound quality however is low, as is with most DSLRs of today. The D3200 comes with a 920k dot LCD, which is a welcome change from its predecessor. You can also attach a WiFi transmitter to the camera. A built in focus motor however is not available and you may have to use your hands to get the focus right. The auto exposure bracketing is also absent. The D3200 is fitted with the Active D-Lighting feature that is found in most Nikon DSLRs.

Strangely though, some very prominent features like the live view in-camera filter effect are missing. After Olympus came up with the Art Filters way back in 2008 in the E 30, the feature has been seen in almost all cameras. Even though it is not an essential feature, one does expect a camera in this range to have it. And since the feature is present in both Nikon D5100 and the CoolpixP7100, its omission in the D3200 is rather strange. The JPEG images however can be edited and a number of effects can be added to them.

In spite of these exclusions, the D3200 has some great features for a camera in this range. What stands out here is the infrared remote that can be used to trigger the shutter. Sensors are placed at the back and the front of the camera.

The unstoppable popularity of the mirror-less cameras has surely subjected the entry level sensor market to a lot of pressure. The reduced sizes of mirror-less camera bodies together with their well packed camera-like features have attracted customers who would have otherwise opted for a DSLR, towards them. They have also drawn customers away from the high-end compacts. These entry level cameras however do have a lot on offer, not least true continuous AF which none of the mirror-less cameras have offered (except for the 1 V1 and the 1 J1 from Nikon, both of which have the small CX sensor).

Even while one can’t really say that the modifications and upgraded features are greatly ingenious, the D3200 is a product that suits the demands of the market which mainly include good picture quality and easy to use features. This makes the camera one of most popular, useful and affordable cameras in this range.

Nikon D3200 Specs

 

Sensor

24mp Nikon CMOS

Shutter Speeds

30 to 1/4000

Flash Sync

1/200

Matrix Meter

420 pixel sensor

Flash

i-TTL, manual

Focus

CAM 1000, only AF-S lenses

Storage

SD, SDHC, SDXC card, UHS-I support

ISO

100-6400 +HI

Frame Rate

4fps

Color LCD

3″, 921,000 dots

Viewfinder

Pentamirror, 95%, 0.8x magnification, 18mm eyepoint, -1.7 to +0.5 diopters

Other

No DOF Preview, No Top LCD, No Mirror Prerelease, No LCD cover, No Front Command dial, No vertical grip, has FUNC button, no bracketing, Live View capability added, 1080P and 720P video recording, GPS support, WiFi support,

Remote

MC-DC2 cable

Battery

EN-EL14

Size

5 x 3.8 x 3.1″

Weight

1 lb (455g)

Press here for full Nikon D3200 Specifications.

D3200 in Comparison With Other Cameras in the Range

 





While comparing the D3200 to the Panasonic G3, one notices the swapping of size made to preserve an optical viewfinder. The G3, which is a mirror-less camera, has a sensor that is marginally smaller than the D3200. However, the Sony NEX and Samsung NX are about the same size as the G3 even with APS-C sensors. When comparing the D3200 to the Canon T3/EOS 1100D, one immediately notices the similarities in size. A very popular product, the T3 seems a little odd with the 12MP sensor, 230K dot screen and 720 movies features.

WiFi Feature of the D3200

 

An optional WiFi transmitter is available with the Nikon D3200. With the help of the WU-1a, which can be inserted into the USB port of the camera, the user can broadcast the images and videos to phones and tabs that have the Nikon App installed. With the help of this feature, the user can stream the camera’s live view output on the phone or the tab and also make provisions to shoot images from as far as 49 feet. In such a case however, the settings of the camera cannot be changed. It is also important to note here that the WU-1a draws from the camera’s power so it should be switched off when not in use to improve the battery performance of the camera.
Quality of Image

Technically speaking, the D3200 provides you with some excellent shots. The rendition of color is simply fantastic. A lot of users have complained about a greenish-yellow tinge coming on the images clicked by the D800 cameras, but this problem is completely absent in a D3200. The Auto White Balance (AWB) is also very well developed in the D3200 and users generally get the specific results they want in any light.

Auto ISO

The auto ISO feature works impressively in the D3200. The camera, with the help of this feature, continues to take images at the set ISO till the time it gets dark, after which the ISO is automatically increased and thereby maintains the slowest shutter speed that was previously set.

Body

The D3200 has a plastic body and a metal lens. This makes it light and very easy to carry around. It also makes the camera durable.




Final Verdict – Should a D3200 be bought?

A D3200 is a great entry level DSLR and ideal for a family. It takes beautiful still photos and is also useful for sports shots and concert shots and videos. It captures quick moving images with considerable ease. The low light and long distance shooting features are also added benefits of the D3200. Then, if you have been using a Nikon D60, D3000 or D3100, you would easily be able to adapt to the control changes as the modifications and upgrades are easy to understand and make using the camera even more pleasurable. The Nikon D3200 also boasts of having the best available sensor in the market today. Finally, the Nikon D3200 is a camera that makes very little noise while shooting, unlike the professional cameras manufactured by Nikon. This makes it easier when candid shots are being taken.

So overall, the Nikon D3200, though limited in its features, is a very good entry level DSLR. It is light, affordable and quiet and therefore very suitable for use.



One thought on “NIkon D3200 Review / Overview

  1. David W. Johnson

    A good review that guided me to purchase the modest D3200, and three lens (18-55, 55-300, and the 35mm f1.8). I own about 20 Nikon cameras, including the F5 and some nice glass. The D7100 is my all time favorite already. The D3200 is a capable camera, at a very affordable price. I also based my purchase on it is taking FOREVER for Nikon to release a D400 and I may not be able to afford that when it becomes available. I bought my outfit from B&H Photo which I have come to trust more than others.

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