Nikon D3200 + 18-55mm VR II
Originally launched more than three-and-a-half years ago, the D3200 is definitely the veteran of Nikon’s entry-level line-up
DX-format D-SLR £280, $450 www.nikon.com
Camera prices have come down a lot over the last few years, and the D3200 is the cheapest D-SLR in Nikon’s current line-up. It’s a testimony to its popularity that it’s still on sale, considering its ‘replacement’, the D3300, was announced nearly two years ago.
Highlights include the same 24.2-megapixel resolution as all the other D-SLRs in the group, plus an interactive ‘Guide’ mode that makes it easy for beginners to learn the basics of creative photography. The mode’s three categories comprise Shoot, View/delete and Set-up, but it’s the Shoot option, further subdivided into Easy and Advanced, that’s of greatest benefit.
In other areas, though, the D3200 loses out to all the other cameras in the group. It has the oldest (third generation) EXPEED processor, which contributes to the slowest continuous drive rate in the group (see left). Of the four D-SLRs on test, it also has the lowest maximum sensitivity settings of ISO6400 in its standard range and ISO12800 in expanded mode.
The D3200 is the only camera on test to include an optical low- pass filter in front of its sensor, complete with anti-alias screen. There’s therefore little danger of moiré patterning, but resolution scores are a little lower than for all the other D-SLRs, and only slightly higher than those of the J5, which has a lower pixel count. Image noise at high ISO settings is more noticeable than on the newer D3300, as well as on the D5300 and D5500.
Images from the D3200 are typically lively, but sometimes a little too bright