Nikon D3200 Digital Camera Review

Nikon D3200 camera
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Featuring a powerful 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, 1080p video recording, and 24.2 effective megapixels, D3200 is one of the most renowned cameras by Nikon.

Compact size, easy handling, reliable performance, and richer results make Nikon D3200 one of the popular choices among photographers seeking similar features in their DSLR camera without breaking the bank.

2021 marks 9 years since the release of D3200. Hundreds and thousands of DSLR cameras are released since then, but despite that, its specs are still advanced compared to numerous cameras in this category, making it stand out.

Nikon D3200 DSLR Review

Built

Except for few changes in the control layout, D3200 is almost identical to its predecessor, D3100. The body is made up of Nikon’s signature high-quality polycarbonate, making it very rugged and compact.

With physical dimensions of 4.92 x 3.03 x 3.78 inches, it weighs only 1.11 pounds. The repositioning of buttons makes it further easier to access the buttons of D3200, ensuring ease in all sorts of shooting situations.

Nikon D3200 digital SRL camera

Compared to D3100, one addition of an infrared remote receiver at the rear left remotely actives the wireless shutter release. Another change is moving few buttons at the top of the body; the top plate features an on/off button, movie record button, info button, and a rotating dial.

The front has a multi-function flash button and an Fn-Button. The rear side also features many buttons (movie, zoom in/out, LV, navigate, delete) surrounding the 3 inches 921,000-dot resolution non-articulated screen.

D3200 was marketed as an entry-level DSLR but its screen is the one used inexpensive, almost doubled priced cameras of Nikon. D3100’s has a 230,000-dot screen – almost 4 times fewer pixels compared to this generation.

The screen is used for both live view and movie recording. Results displayed on this wide-viewing LCD are very vibrant and bright.

As per Nikon, “Your D3200 is designed for comfort, intuitive use, and durability”, and honestly, D3200 has proved this statement right over the years.

Nikon D3200 digital camera

Video Quality

Nikon D3200 offers full ultra-high-definition 1080p resolution (at 30fps, 25fps, and 24fps) with stereo sound for videos. Shooting at 1280×720 pixels, you can choose from 60 and 50 frames per second.

Super-slow-motion at the rate of 60fps is another feature that is still absent in several DSLR cameras by relatively cheaper brands. Increases in pixel count boosted the video quality, too, in terms of display.

Videos format is MOV with H.264 / MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) compression.

This generation has a dedicated button for movie shooting. Just press the button, and the camera will start shooting the video with full autofocus and exposure control.

Comparing to the previous generations, another new addition to make the video experience better is a new jack to hook up a microphone. D3200 borrowed this feature from the high-end and expensive cameras of Nikon.

Though the resolution of 1080p is not very remarkable for the price of D3200, it is enough for casual shooters and beginners. We cannot consider the lack of resolution as a con considering the HD quality delivered by 1080p.

Still images

The full 24.2 MP resolution of D3200 is still one of the best resolutions offered for an entry-level digital SLR camera. The ISO sensitivity is even wider and can go as high as ISO 6400 making low-light output better.

Nikon D3200 ISO sessitivity

One welcoming feature related to still images is the Scene Recognition System (SRS). This built-in system automatically evaluates the surroundings and subject and makes sure the pictures are taken at appropriate brightness without losing color details.

One issue that followed the increased pixel count is a somehow greater noise level in the background of the image. Overall, image quality is great but in low light situations and shooting with higher exposure settings, the noise and graininess in footages can be clearly visible.

File format for still images are:

  • NEF (RAW): 12 bit, compressed
  • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
  • NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single image recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Powerful CMOS sensor

The compact D3200 features a compelling 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor with EXPEED 3 image-processing. This DX sensor was the most powerful in any digital SLR camera when 3200 was launched. The footages are improved in tonal range, image quality, sharpness, and color retention.

Multiple in-camera filter effects in D3200 is also an output of a fast 24.2MP sensor with EXPEED 3.

Guide mode

First introduced in 2009 by Nikon, Guide Mode is added in D3200 to makes it beginners friendly. It helps to take control of the camera and helps amateur photographers master the art of DSLR settings as time passes. Paying a little attention, you can learn all technical aspects of Digital SLR camera settings to use in the future.

Guide Mode also offers advice and sample images if you are in difficult shooing circumstances.

Optimize the results using scenes mode

For further ease of users, with Guide mode, Nikon D3200 also has scene modes. These are 6 automatic modes designed as per creative standpoint considered best.

Nikon D3200 modes

These modes are Portrait, Landscape, Child, Close Up, Sports, and Night Portrait. No need to change settings manually. Just set the camera on desired scene mode depending upon the shooting circumstances and get the professional level flawless results.

11 point autofocus system

The 11 point autofocus system with a 1-cross type sensor in the center of D3200 is accurate to an impressive extent. The fps also has an upgrade from 3 to 4, which also impacted the quality of autofocus.

Autofocus system has pretty accurate results especially slow-motion shooting and stationary results. Good results but do not keep your expectations high where you have to capture very fast-moving subjects such as sports photography.

Besides 11 point AF system, manual focus modes are Continuous-Servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M), and Single-Servo AF (S).

NIKKOR lens

NIKKOR lens is well-known by serious photographers and professionals. Previously featured in high-end Nikon cameras only, Nikon D3200 comes with AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G lens. Besides this lens, D3200 is compatible with most (around 70) NIKKOR lenses.

Nikon D3200 camera lenses

This lens supports a wide range of photography styles, especially which involve wide-angles and zoom. It is also coupled with the Vibration Reduction (VR) mechanism of camera stabilization which ensures blur-free footages every time.

Connectivity features

The highlight of connectivity features is WU-1a optional wireless mobile adapter. Using this adapter, one can instantly share the footage to their smartphone using the Wi-Fi connection. You can use the smartphone as a wireless control to capture images on D3200.

Battery Life

Nikon D3200 is powered by a 1030 mAhEN-EL14 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion with7.4 VDC. Battery life is generally never an issue with Nikon cameras; D3200 has reliable battery life. Nikon’s official specification can shoot 540 shots (CIPA standard) in single-frame drive mode to 1800 shots in continuous shooting mode in ideal conditions.

Nikon D3200 battery

If your shooting requirement is an even longer battery life, you can keep an additional battery.

Nikon D3200 Specifications:

  • Brand: Nikon (Model Name: Nikon D3200)
  • Shooting Modes: Landscape, Portrait, Night Portrait, Scene, Automatic
  • Compatible Mountings: Nikon F (FX), Nikon F (DX)
  • Sensor Resolution: Actual – 2 4.7 Megapixel, Effective – 24.2 Megapixel
  • Aspect Ratio: 3:2 (bit depth: 12-Bit)
  • Focus Mode: Continuous-Servo AF (C), Manual Focus (M), Single-Servo AF (S)
  • Autofocus Points: 11
  • Viewfinder Coverage; 95%
  • Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.8x
  • Diopter Adjustment: -1.7 to +0.5
  • Mirror Lock-Up  Yes
  • Metering Method: 3D Color Matrix, Center-Weighted Average, Spot
  • White Balance: Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Fluorescent (Day White), Fluorescent (Natural White), Fluorescent (White), Fluorescent H, Incandescent, Preset Manual, Shade
  • Flash Modes: Auto, Auto/Red-Eye Reduction, Off, Second-Curtain Sync, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction
  • External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe
  • Battery: 1 x EN-EL14 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion, 7.4 VDC, 1030 mAh
  • The angle of View: 76° to 28°
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 11″ / 27.94 cm
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.31x
  • Optical Design: 11 Elements in 8 Groups
  • Diaphragm Blades: 7
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Dimensions (ø x L): 2.87 x 3.13″ / 7.29 x 7.95 cm

Pros:

  • Compact, lightweight, and reliable
  • 1080 videos and 24.7 MP high-quality still images
  • 11 point Autofocus system
  • Guide mode and scene modes
  • Easy to use
  • 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor with EXPEED 3 image-processing
  • High-resolution LCD with 4x pixels compared to predecessors
  • Increased ISO sensitivity making low-light shooting better
  • AF-S NIKKOR lens

Cons:

  • The connectivity feature is troublesome. Even with a stable Wi-Fi connection, the camera fails to connect
  • Hard to find in the market

Conclusion

In the Nikon D3200, Nikon introduced one of its best entry-level DSLR cameras. Almost a decade since it was first available in the market, yet some of its specs still top several digital SLR cameras in this category.

Nikon D3200 with a 24 MP sensor is a reliable performer from footage quality to battery life.  Recommended! <-Affiliate Link 🙂

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