The difference among professional and consumer DSLR cameras have started to become a bit blurry. Numerous people have started to consider just three things, the chip size, the max shutter speed, and the auto focus points available. It is for these reasons that Nikon has included the D3200 in its consumer range. However, it is still a top quality DSLR camera that can give you some finest of the results.
I have bought this camera after giving all its specs a thorough thought and here I would give you a detailed experience of mine. A quick overview of the pros & cons are listed here:
- 24.2 MP sensor
- 1080p video shooting
- Rubber grips
- External microphone compatible for video recording
- 2 years guarantee
- Black and Red Colors Available
- Guide Mode doesn’t give RAW shooting option
- Photographing is slow in live view mode
The biggest selling point of D3200 is its impressive 24.2 megapixel resolution. It is even better than some of the best professional cameras including Canon EOS 5D Mark III having 22.3 MP. It can produce pictures of 6016×4000 pixels. It has an ISO 100-6400 that is extendable to ISO 12800. The professional cameras are better when it comes to the sensor size like the EOS 5D has a full frame chip that is close to regular 35 mm frame size. Whereas in D3200, the chip is APS C size, DX format, which has closely packed photosites.
For all entry level photographers there are higher chances of learning photography well as this camera comes with a Guide Mode that uses images and instructions to allow you do the correct settings. It has a Nikkor 18-55 mm VR Nikor lens that has a Silent Wave Motor that allows keeping the noise level low in videos. The camera has EXPEED 3 image processing engine made for clear and excellent colored images and a much enhanced video recording. With your D3200 you can use SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory card.
The Nikon D3200 comes with 11 point auto-focus system for focusing off center subjects, moving rapidly, or totally unpredictable. For capturing rapidly moving objects, you may switch to continuous shooting mode that can record up to 4 frames per second. The Scene Recognition of Nikon analyzes the scene and automatically then adjusts the focus, white balance, and exposure for top results. The Active D Lighting captures more detail in dark and brightens areas of high contrast pictures.
Once you have taken the photos, you can easily edit them through the photo retouch option that gives you different effects and tools to play with. The video recording is done at 1080p HD in 24p, 25p, and 30p, with continuous autofocus AF, full time servo AF-F, face priority AF, and subject tracking AF. Nikon D3200 uses ME-1 Nikon stereo microphone along with others and videos can be played back on a HDTV through HDMI cable.
D3200 has a 3 inch LCD screen boasting 921k dots compared to previous 230k dots on the predecessor D3100 making it a pleasure to use screen in live view or image playback view. Moreover, it has a sensor that detects if you are capturing in portrait angle, the orientation of your screen switches automatically.
Apart from the screen resolution, there isn’t much changed on the camera physically, except for the movie recording button, which is now placed on the top, the live view mode lever is changed in a button and the release mode lever is also changed in a button placed on the back.
For holding the camera firmly there is a hand grip, a properly placed rubber thumb grip, and a rubber grip on the lens giving you just the right kind of hold to get quality pictures. The camera body is well made and a tough one however, the memory card cover may not survive any accidental damage if remained open. The camera buttons present on the screen left feel a bit wobbly and loose however it’s unlikely that they will create any problems.
The function button allows you to rapidly set an option with the help of command dial. Moreover, you have another exposure compensation button. For changing other settings you have to go in the camera menu or options on back screen.
The Nikon D3200 is overall easy to use, however, some advanced photographers will find it bit limited, and numerous settings or options need you to enter in menus and certain useful option like exposure bracketing seems to be missing. The absence of complicated buttons on the other hand makes it a lot easy for those who just want higher resolution image that a DSLR camera offers.
The battery life of the camera is 500 shots, which is according to the CIPA standards. I was able to get at least 500 photos on every charge so far. The battery has a solid cover with a clip for keeping battery in place.
Value For Money
The camera body is priced at £559 or £649 along with 18-55mm VR lens. It is a lot costly than other entry level DSLR cameras like Canon EOS 1100D or Pentax K-r which are £304 and £399.95 respectively. Apart from this basic guide you will have to purchase a memory card as well as a camera bag for keeping your camera protected and safe.
To conclude this review, I would say that an entry level DSLR with 24 MP is quite rare, and if you aren’t much familiar with aperture and shutter working then the Guide Mode will be quite useful for you. If you don’t have much budget then you can go for Nikon 3100 or Nikon D5100 that are also very good quality entry level DSLRs. However, if you can afford this high price then there are a number of features that will make this investment fair enough.