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

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

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.

Per­for­mance

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

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