Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests

Started Apr 9, 2013 | Questions
joshpictaking
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Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
Apr 9, 2013

I have read both the reviews of the D3100 and of the D3200.

I have found out a thing that suprises me.

Of course the D3200 has a far superior number of pixels, but these pixels are ... almost half the D3100's ones!

On this test , I noticed that the D3200 is better one low ISO (100-200), but if you place on 6400 ISO, the D3200 cannot really compete with the D3100! (I suggest you, in high ISO, to take a look at the "dried grass", on the top right corner, on the Kodak test paper).

I had almost decided for the D3200, but this has made me stop here. Is it true what I say, did I see wrong, are you still sure the D3200 is better?

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markswift
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 9, 2013

They need to be re-sized in order to evaluate them properly. I see a great improvement in noise with the D3200 over the D3100.

FYI, I have a D3100 and notice an appreciable difference in noise when shooting with my friends D3200. That said, the D3100 is a fine camera for the price point.

If you're going to be cropping, go with the D3200.

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Isit13
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 9, 2013

I believe the studio comparison test shows the tests at pixel level, to compare them i would view D3200 at 14MP as the D3100 is 14MP, then the D3200 might have an advantage. If it is worse at pixel level at 24mp, this does not mean it is worse at the same resolution as the D3100 i think.

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joshpictaking
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Isit13, Apr 9, 2013

Isit13 wrote:

I believe the studio comparison test shows the tests at pixel level, to compare them i would view D3200 at 14MP as the D3100 is 14MP, then the D3200 might have an advantage. If it is worse at pixel level at 24mp, this does not mean it is worse at the same resolution as the D3100 i think.

Perhaps, but the fact is that smaller pixels mean worse quality at high ISO. So, if the D3200 has a worse quality at 6400 ISO, it wouldn't be a surprise. But I would like to know if in practice it has really worse quality at 6400 ISO, on the paper that's what should happen ... but I don't know on the field.

What would you buy if you were me?

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Isit13
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 9, 2013

I'd go with the D3200, you get microphone support (i think) and some other things they took away in the 3100, and in my opinion having a good Denoise tool is just as important as the camera ISO performance itself (well not quite). I use Topaz Denoise for everything i shoot with my 3100 above 400 ISO, usually i apply lightest or light RAW preset and it works way better than doing it in Adobe Camera Raw.

Both are nice cameras it seems, they are nearly as good as the more expensive DX models in terms of image quality, just feature stripped, and often one can still do what the more expensive ones do manually, like bracketing.

The only things i long for as a d3100 user is screwdrive for old AF lenses, Body metering, and addon microphone, and AF fine tune.

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Kelly M Jones
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 9, 2013

joshpictaking wrote:

I have read both the reviews of the D3100 and of the D3200.

I have found out a thing that suprises me.

Of course the D3200 has a far superior number of pixels, but these pixels are ... almost half the D3100's ones!

On this test , I noticed that the D3200 is better one low ISO (100-200), but if you place on 6400 ISO, the D3200 cannot really compete with the D3100! (I suggest you, in high ISO, to take a look at the "dried grass", on the top right corner, on the Kodak test paper).

I had almost decided for the D3200, but this has made me stop here. Is it true what I say, did I see wrong, are you still sure the D3200 is better?

The noise will look nearly the same if you resize the D3200 and D3100 images to the same size. I wouldn't worry too much about that. With regard to the "dried grass" part of the scene, the focal plane of the D3100 image is a little bit further back than the D3200. Look at the sharpness of the playing card to see this. So, don't make a camera decision based on the sharpness of a dpreview studio scene.

However..... my advice would be to get a D5100 that is on sale rather than a D3200. You get a swivel screen and a proven sensor for about the same price. Best luck in finding the best camera for you!

-Kelly

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Isit13
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Kelly M Jones, Apr 9, 2013

Kelly M Jones wrote:

joshpictaking wrote:

I have read both the reviews of the D3100 and of the D3200.

I have found out a thing that suprises me.

Of course the D3200 has a far superior number of pixels, but these pixels are ... almost half the D3100's ones!

On this test , I noticed that the D3200 is better one low ISO (100-200), but if you place on 6400 ISO, the D3200 cannot really compete with the D3100! (I suggest you, in high ISO, to take a look at the "dried grass", on the top right corner, on the Kodak test paper).

I had almost decided for the D3200, but this has made me stop here. Is it true what I say, did I see wrong, are you still sure the D3200 is better?

. So, don't make a camera decision based on the sharpness of a dpreview studio scene.

-Kelly

This is very true, there are way too many people who judge sharpness in the comparison tool, it is not a lens tester.

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joshpictaking
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Kelly M Jones, Apr 9, 2013

Kelly M Jones wrote:

joshpictaking wrote:

I have read both the reviews of the D3100 and of the D3200.

I have found out a thing that suprises me.

Of course the D3200 has a far superior number of pixels, but these pixels are ... almost half the D3100's ones!

On this test , I noticed that the D3200 is better one low ISO (100-200), but if you place on 6400 ISO, the D3200 cannot really compete with the D3100! (I suggest you, in high ISO, to take a look at the "dried grass", on the top right corner, on the Kodak test paper).

I had almost decided for the D3200, but this has made me stop here. Is it true what I say, did I see wrong, are you still sure the D3200 is better?

The noise will look nearly the same if you resize the D3200 and D3100 images to the same size. I wouldn't worry too much about that. With regard to the "dried grass" part of the scene, the focal plane of the D3100 image is a little bit further back than the D3200. Look at the sharpness of the playing card to see this. So, don't make a camera decision based on the sharpness of a dpreview studio scene.

However..... my advice would be to get a D5100 that is on sale rather than a D3200. You get a swivel screen and a proven sensor for about the same price. Best luck in finding the best camera for you!

-Kelly

Thank you for your advice, the D5100 is a great camera, but, in addition to costing about 150€ more than the D3200, well, I for now think that the 150€ gap is a bit too much for a swivel screen and a bit more sensor. You know, I have already an old film Nikon F801s, but now film photography has reached unsustainable prices (at least here in Italy). I have some very good Nikkor lenses and that's why I'm turning head to Nikon. I want a beginner DSLR not because I want to "point and shoot", but because for now I cannot afford a professional reflex (and if I could, I don't think I would buy one because I am not a professional photographer and it would be an investment with too little returns).

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Kelly M Jones
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 9, 2013

joshpictaking wrote:

Kelly M Jones wrote:

joshpictaking wrote:

I have read both the reviews of the D3100 and of the D3200.

I have found out a thing that suprises me.

Of course the D3200 has a far superior number of pixels, but these pixels are ... almost half the D3100's ones!

On this test , I noticed that the D3200 is better one low ISO (100-200), but if you place on 6400 ISO, the D3200 cannot really compete with the D3100! (I suggest you, in high ISO, to take a look at the "dried grass", on the top right corner, on the Kodak test paper).

I had almost decided for the D3200, but this has made me stop here. Is it true what I say, did I see wrong, are you still sure the D3200 is better?

The noise will look nearly the same if you resize the D3200 and D3100 images to the same size. I wouldn't worry too much about that. With regard to the "dried grass" part of the scene, the focal plane of the D3100 image is a little bit further back than the D3200. Look at the sharpness of the playing card to see this. So, don't make a camera decision based on the sharpness of a dpreview studio scene.

However..... my advice would be to get a D5100 that is on sale rather than a D3200. You get a swivel screen and a proven sensor for about the same price. Best luck in finding the best camera for you!

-Kelly

Thank you for your advice, the D5100 is a great camera, but, in addition to costing about 150€ more than the D3200, well, I for now think that the 150€ gap is a bit too much for a swivel screen and a bit more sensor. You know, I have already an old film Nikon F801s, but now film photography has reached unsustainable prices (at least here in Italy). I have some very good Nikkor lenses and that's why I'm turning head to Nikon. I want a beginner DSLR not because I want to "point and shoot", but because for now I cannot afford a professional reflex (and if I could, I don't think I would buy one because I am not a professional photographer and it would be an investment with too little returns).

The D3200 and D3100 are great little cameras. I'm sure you'll like either one. What type of Nikkor lenses do you have? If you have non-G versions, they won't autofocus the d3100/d3200/d5100.  I too enjoyed film until recently, but it's become inconvenient for the most part. I have a Rolleicord TLR that I need to shoot with more often, but I don't shoot much 35mm film anymore. Have fun whatever you decide.

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Jakes
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Kelly M Jones, Apr 9, 2013

If your lenses are not AFS they will not autofocus on any of the three  cameras mentioned. They will, however , focus manually so long as they are F mount.--
jakes
WSSA# 107

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Kelly M Jones
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Jakes, Apr 9, 2013

Jakes wrote:

If your lenses are not AFS they will not autofocus on any of the three  cameras mentioned. They will, however , focus manually so long as they are F mount.--
jakes
WSSA# 107

Right, it would have been more accurate for me to say AF-S rather than G.

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joshpictaking
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to Kelly M Jones, Apr 20, 2013

Kelly M Jones wrote:

Jakes wrote:

If your lenses are not AFS they will not autofocus on any of the three  cameras mentioned. They will, however , focus manually so long as they are F mount.--
jakes
WSSA# 107

Right, it would have been more accurate for me to say AF-S rather than G.

I know this, to have a faster check Nikon gives this stuff (excel file), which I think is very useful.

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coudet
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 20, 2013

joshpictaking wrote:

Perhaps, but the fact is that smaller pixels mean worse quality at high ISO.

Actually, that's not a fact at all.

24mp D7100 and D5200 have lower noise than all of the 16mp & 12mp cameras, and so on..

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baloo_buc
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to joshpictaking, Apr 20, 2013

150 € seems a lot of difference. In Romania D5100 used to cost less than D3200 (now they have an equal price). At that price level you can find also Nikon D90. Maybe in Italy you can find similar Nikon behavior (it seems they consider EU as a country).

I would rather consider D5100 or D90 rather than D3200. You should shop around to see if you can find good prices for them.

Also take some kind of wide angle lens because your old lenses will have a problem there. I would recommend 18-105 mm VR for its flexibility.

 baloo_buc's gear list:baloo_buc's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Nikon D90 Nikon D5100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II +9 more
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john Clinch
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Re: Nikon D3100 vs. D3200 on DP tests
In reply to baloo_buc, Apr 20, 2013

baloo_buc wrote:

150 € seems a lot of difference. In Romania D5100 used to cost less than D3200 (now they have an equal price). At that price level you can find also Nikon D90. Maybe in Italy you can find similar Nikon behavior (it seems they consider EU as a country).

I would rather consider D5100 or D90 rather than D3200. You should shop around to see if you can find good prices for them.

Also take some kind of wide angle lens because your old lenses will have a problem there. I would recommend 18-105 mm VR for its flexibility.

I'd say look at a D90 or a used D300. I think that you would be better off with an older sensor and better handling body. I say that but of course these 12 MP are incredible. Even my 6MP D70 made me wonder why I didn't swap from film earlier. Unless you are going to print huge, bigger than you printed from 35mm film forget the idea that you need 24 mp or even 16 MP

The D90 has a better view finder and focus motor

The D300 has the motor and auto exposure with manual lenses

you may find this useful

http://www.adorama.com/alc/0014164/article/The-Revolutionary-Nikon-D90-How-Does-It-Compare-Today

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