Nearly two years newer than the preceding D3100, this beginner-friendly camera boasts some significant updates
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.
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.
Stylish, slinky and pleasingly lightweight, the D3200 has a travel-friendly build that makes it a real take-anywhere camera.