Nikon D3200 review - official thread

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Nikon D3200 review - official thread

Postby Gordon Laing » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:48 am

Hi everyone, Nikon has announced its latest entry-level DSLR, the D3200.

See my Nikon D3200 review!


The Nikon D3200 is the company’s latest entry-level DSLR. Announced in April 2012, it replaces the best-selling D3100 and like that model, makes a number of key improvements. The headline upgrade is pure resolution with the new D3200 boasting nothing less than 24 Megapixels, a whopping ten more than its predecessor – indeed it subsequently becomes the highest resolution DX-format body in the Nikon range.

Dramatically higher resolution sensors are normally cause for concern, but I believe the sensor in the D3200 is the same as that already deployed by the Sony NEX-7 and SLT-A65 and A77 models, all of which deliver surprisingly good performance considering the pixel density. The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, but I reckon we can use the results from the NEX-7 to indicate the degree of performance we can expect from the D3200. (Note I say NEX-7 as oppose to the SLT models as it doesn’t have a fixed mirror in the optical path).

The earlier D3100 was the first Nikon DSLR to bring 1080p video recording to the range, but did so at a fixed frame rate of 24fps, which the D3200 now expands to include 30fps; impressively there’s also an external microphone input too. The AF system remains the same 11-point as its predecessor, and the screen’s still 3in too but the latter enjoys an upgrade in detail from 230k to 920k dots (320x240 to 640x480 pixels), while continuous shooting has been boosted from 3 to 4fps, and a new optional wireless adapter allows you to remote control the D3200 with Android and later, iOS devices.

MELVILLE, N.Y. (APRIL 19, 2012) – Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. introduced the new 24.2-megapixel Nikon D3200 HD-SLR; a camera designed for photo enthusiasts ready to step up to a D-SLR or for the busy family memory keeper with an active lifestyle who demands a camera that can keep pace. From low-light to fast action, the D3200 delivers the amazing image quality Nikon is known for, either indoors or outside. Whether new to photography or upgrading from a point-and-shoot, the D3200 features Nikon’s acclaimed instructive Guide Mode to help unleash the photographer in everyone. From candid action shots to staged portraits that flatter, the Nikon D3200 provides the power to capture every moment easily and beautifully with stellar image quality and in stunning Full HD (1080p) video.

Ready to tag along for any outing, the Nikon D3200’s compact, lightweight body makes it easy to pack for a quick day trip or the long haul. A host of advanced features, including a super high resolution 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, Full HD (1080p) video recording with full time autofocus (AF) and 4 frames-per-second (fps) high-speed continuous shooting mode, prepare the D3200 for challenging lighting conditions and fast paced action. Also, Nikon D3200 users will be able to take advantage of the new WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. When connected to the camera, this optional adapter can wirelessly send images to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, preview an image before shooting and control the camera remotely.

“When every moment is as precious as the next one, having a camera that takes the guesswork out of photography is important,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The Nikon D3200 HD-SLR offers effortless functionality and easy-to-use connectivity to mobile devices that answers the call for a capable, entry-level D-SLR that will change how you share amazing images with your friends and family.”

Stunning Images to Last a Lifetime
The new Nikon D3200 delivers outstanding image quality no matter the user’s skill level by leveraging Nikon’s renowned technologies. The new 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor allows for incredibly sharp images with stunning detail and less noise, while Nikon’s EXPEED 3™ image processing engine helps to create clear, lifelike images and video with vivid colors, smooth tonal gradations and low noise.

The Nikon D3200 grants users impressive performance in low-light, affording the ability to shoot with assurance even during night games and school plays. With a native ISO range that extends from ISO 100 to 6400, the D3200 can also be expanded to a high of ISO 12,800 for extreme low-light situations resulting in previously impossible photos. Additionally, Nikon’s Scene Recognition System works in tandem with the camera’s 3D Color Matrix Metering II to recognize factors such as color and brightness for balanced exposures, accurate AF, faithful white balance and beautiful flash photos.

Effortless Operation
Beginner photographers as well as those looking to expand their repertoire of shooting techniques will appreciate the Nikon D3200’s Guide Mode which provides step-by-step photo instructions to capture amazing images. Easily accessible through the Mode Dial found on top of the camera body, the Guide Mode walks beginning D-SLR users through the process of set-up, shooting, viewing and deleting images. Because it asks the user what kind of creative photo technique they would like to learn, the Guide Mode has been widely acclaimed for its ability to build confidence and give users the tools to create amazing images. As more people discover the benefits of replacing their camcorder with a D-SLR, the Guide Mode also walks users through the best video settings to create home movies with blockbuster flair. For those with a more advanced skill level, the Guide Mode features helpful Assist Images that serve as a visual reference to inspire users and illustrate the desired result, while guiding them through easy-to-follow techniques.

Further taking the guesswork out of photography, the D3200 also includes six Scene Modes. Photographers can set the Mode Dial to Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-Up or Night Portrait, and the D3200 will automatically adjust camera settings for optimal results in a variety of conditions.

Beautiful Home Movies in Full HD
When images alone can’t tell the whole story, the Nikon D3200 offers the full HD experience of high quality 1080p video. Users can create memorable, cinematic quality videos at 24 or 30 fps and easily share HD content online with friends and family or on their own HDTV via the HDMI output.

Continuing down the path that its predecessor, the Nikon D3100, started, the D3200 implements full-time AF during video recording to help capture crisp video even during the most action-packed situations. To boost the production value of any home video, the camera offers manual or automatic exposure control, and a stereo microphone input to attach an optional external microphone such as the compact ME-1 Stereo Microphone. Furthermore, the D3200 offers other HD-SLR advantages including the ability to create a shallow depth of field, amazing low-light video performance and NIKKOR lens versatility.

Capturing videos on the D3200 is simple, even when in Live View. With a dedicated video record button and easy access to the Live View switch, users can capture video clips before the moment is gone. Additionally, videos play with astonishing detail and clarity on the D3200’s 3-inch, high resolution 921,000-dot LCD screen.

A Camera to Keep Pace with an Energetic Existence
An active lifestyle requires a capable camera that is ready at a moment’s notice, and the Nikon D3200 packs powerful technology to tackle just about any challenge. Delivering up to 4 fps in high-speed continuous shooting mode, the D3200 helps ensure that important, spontaneous and easy-to-miss memories are captured, from a baby’s first smile to a game winning grand slam. Additionally, the D3200’s advanced 11-point AF system allows the user to find and keep focus while maintaining a clear view of that subject. This advanced focusing system is ideal for capturing tricky subjects like a dancer mid-leap during the big recital or a dive for the line drive in centerfield.

The Nikon D3200’s power is amplified when combined with the versatility of Nikon’s legendary NIKKOR optics and powerful accessories. Compatible with Nikon’s dedicated DX-format lenses and over 50 FX-format lenses as well as Nikon’s Speedlight System, the Nikon D3200 puts creativity at the user’s fingertips. The optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter for the D3200 allows the connected user to easily share photos taken on the D3200 to an Android™ platform based smartphone or tablet, so friends and family can enjoy the moment almost as quickly as it happens.1 Android platform users are able to wirelessly transfer images from the camera to a mobile device, preview the image before shooting photos, and even remotely control the camera from up to 49 feet. The Application for use with an Android platform smartphone (2.3 series) and tablet (3.x series) is expected for release in May 2012.2 Additionally, an Application for the iPhone® and iPad® mobile digital device is expected for release in Fall 2012.3

Price and Availability
The Nikon D3200 outfit with the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens will be available in late April 2012 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $699.95* in either Black or Red. The optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter, sold separately, will be available in late May 2012 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $59.95*.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby capital » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:08 am

Bravo Nikon for being the first to offer a wireless connection to a mobile device at an affordable price. Let's hope it supports live view over wireless. Just maybe Canon's $600-$800 USD wireless connection devices just hit the dust bin and really show how much they are overcharging for the ability to connect a camera to a mobile device.

Would have been nice for the D3200 to a have a tilt-swivel screen like the D5x00 and T3i.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Rorschach » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:34 am

capital wrote:Would have been nice for the D3200 to a have a tilt-swivel screen like the D5x00 and T3i.

Yes but you need to give reasons for people to buy the model up in the range. With articulated screens being relatively new with DSLRs, I don't think manufacturers will be in too much of a rush with including it in the entry level models.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Leo » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:02 am

EDIT: I realised I didnt read properly. Great looking new camera.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Jiko » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:06 am

Now that's an upgrade...! From 14 to 24MP and still the camera got faster! And it got a better screen.

Pretty impressive little thing following Nikon's latest "high MP count" models. But if the sensor really is the A77's it's definitely not bad.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby janern » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:05 am

How many DSLR beginners need 24 MP's? And what are they gonna use it for? Just to show it off to their compact user friends?
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby RAW 1 » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:47 am

well i have to say the Nikon D3200 very impressive for the price, and has wireless connection. Gonna be a top seller!
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby maxjj » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:09 am

the Nikon/ Canon battle, if you want to call it that is becoming interesting. It appears that Canon were the first to increase MP leaving Nikon to focus on other things, arguably more relevant to photography. In many ways Nikon have pushed the camera features to a new level, more so than Canon.

With Nikon pushing more MP is that purely a result of using Sony build sensors, or their own specs pushing MP. Will Nikon still be the leader with new features, or am I seeing this all wrong??????
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby lagnificent » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:50 am

Pigs flying? Nope.
Hell freezing over? Nope.
Entry level DX model with more megapixels than Canon's entire lineup? Check.

It's 2012 people, the Mayans were right.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Lorride » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:11 pm

From ISO-100 to 800, no problem. Beyond that it's starting to struggle quite a lot. (A77 used as reference, expecting performance to be near equal.)

In, short great for most, but extra pixels wont give you any extra details after ISO-800 compared with the 16Mp sensor.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Thomas » Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:13 pm

Same applies here as with the discussion about the shocking 36MP of the D800: If you down-size your images to say 16MP of 8MP or (heaven forbid! :wink: ) 2MP you gain proportionally in signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range.
So not to worry if the single pixel of a high-MP sensor does not look perfect above ISO 800: It is not normal to pixel-peep at 100% magnification!
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Lorride » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:16 am

I forgot that to a certain degree and I failed to write that my thoughts where locked on preservation of details. And I do not disagree with what you say, that you can proportionally gain SNR and DR when resizing. Never done this kind of comparison by my self on my own computer so I did, for fun ^^

Don't expect to learn anything from this, just to compare.

(Dpreview's ISO test images.) | Chosen ISO = 1600
D7000 vs 7D vs A77 vs 5D MkII

All resized down to ~2Mp, looking for noise and details.
D7000 vs 7D is pretty much a wash. They produce images and keep details to an almost identical level.
D7000/7D vs A77, noise is most visible in the A77 and it makes the fine detail become just a little bit soft. If you are to do a crop and still preserve details, well you cannot. Practical importance though, not really relevant.
5D as expected given its full frame nature is cleaner than the rest.

The detail preservation trend is visible down to ISO-200 in my eyes, where the extra (D7000)8Mp-(7D)6Mp is not giving any significant details, but it falls of and starts losing them much quicker.

The D800 vs 5D MkIII fight is totally different, both of these cameras produce exceptional images far into very high ISO values, neither falls of except here the D800 in my eyes actually takes the detail crown, it keeps things you would otherwise have completely lost on the 5D.

Also, is dpreviews A77 examples not entirely up to their best potential? Why do they look different from the Nex-7?

I have a tendency to shoot above ISO-1600 quite a lot, so for me personally preserving details in that region is favorable.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby EvanK » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:26 am

Alright, a high MP count on a high end camera (Eg, D800) is justifiable as it can be used for landscape shooters that NEED the resolution, or may be doing quite a bit of cropping in post. However, for a low-end consumer DSLR it's no more than a marketing shtick and an excuse to brag to your Canon buddies. Honestly, what consumer, everyday shooter is going to need that sort of resolution? I'm assuming that you're not going to be doing huge crops of your vacation photos, nor will you be printing them over 4x6 inches in size. I think that the average consumer would prefer being able to take decent photos in low light as opposed to being able to print over 8 feet wide. That all being said though, I don't mind a high resolution if Nikon can keep the same performance as the D3100, or even better, the D7000. I would've personally preferred the D7000's sensor.

That being said, I'm fine with a higher resolution display, 263 PPI is great (although I would've preferred a bump to >300, perhaps Nikon's saving that for the D7100), but unless Nikon can keep a decent SNR, I'm a little disappointed. I personally believe that the market is headed towards higher res cameras, 100 MP and beyond will certainly become the norm one day, I'm just hoping that images don't get too noisy.

The WU-1a is also a nice addition, but I'm disappointed that it's D3200 only. Does anybody know if it connects via USB 3.0 or Nikon's proprietary port? Aside from that, it's nice to see these apps coming to Android before iOS. Now we just need to see some more devs on Windows Phone.

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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby capital » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:42 am

The WU-1a adapter completely upstages those $800 wireless connection devices sold by canon & nikon on a price/performance basis as this device allows live-view over wifi. Check out this video demonstration on youtube:

Samsung's new NX1000/NX210/NX20 & Nikon's WU-1a wifi capabilities demonstrate the continuing convergence of smart phones and camera technologies.
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Re: Nikon D3200 - official thread - announced!

Postby Claude B. » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:31 pm

That is strange for some of you to compare to the D7000!!!

D7000 body only is $1369. :cry:

It should be compare to the D5100 :wink: at $699.00 with 16.2MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens.
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