Nikon D3200

Nearly two years newer than the pre­ced­ing D3100, this be­gin­ner-friendly cam­era boasts some sig­nif­i­cant up­dates

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Hav­ing been on sale for about two years, the post-launch price of the D3200 has now dropped to a point where, in the US at least, it’s barely any more ex­pen­sive than the older D3100. Key up­grades in­clude a big boost in im­age res­o­lu­tion from 14.2 megapix­els to a lofty 24.2 megapix­els, es­sen­tially match­ing the D5200, D5300 and D7100 and out­strip­ping the D7000. Around the back, the LCD screen also jumps in res­o­lu­tion – 921,000 pix­els com­pared with the D3100’s rel­a­tively lack­lus­tre 230,000. The im­age pro­ces­sor is also a gen­er­a­tion later than that in the D3100: an Expeed 3 rather than an Expeed 2, again match­ing the D5200.

The con­tin­u­ous drive rate isn’t ex­actly fast at four frames per sec­ond but again, it beats the three frames per sec­ond of the older D3100. Sim­i­larly, the stan­dard sen­si­tiv­ity range is also en­hanced, at ISO1006400 in­stead of ISO100-3200, al­though both cam­eras of­fer the same max­i­mum ex­tended sen­si­tiv­ity of ISO12800. The D3200 has a big­ger mem­ory buf­fer as well, with enough space for 18 RAW-qual­ity im­ages in­stead of the D3100’s 13 shots, but it’s worth not­ing that both bod­ies are limited to 12-bit colour depth for RAW files.

Per­for­mance

Some of the spec­i­fi­ca­tions that helped to make the D3100 such a win­ner are re­tained, most no­tably the highly ac­cu­rate aut­o­fo­cus and me­ter­ing sys­tems. The D3200’s aut­o­fo­cus mod­ule is only an 11-point aut­o­fo­cus one with a sin­gle cross-type point at the cen­tre, like you’ll also find in the older D90, but it works well nonethe­less. The same is true of the 420-pixel 3D Colour Ma­trix II me­ter­ing sys­tem, which isn’t ad­vanced but works well. Pros… High-qual­ity stills cap­ture, video ben­e­fits from an ex­ter­nal mic socket, in­tu­itive Guide mode. Cons… Loses out to more ad­vanced Nikon SLRs with its fairly limited se­lec­tion of cus­tom func­tions.

Build

Stylish, slinky and pleas­ingly light­weight, the D3200 has a travel-friendly build that makes it a real take-any­where cam­era.

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