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Just Posted: Nikon D3200 in-depth Review

By dpreview staff on Jul 26, 2012 at 01:13 GMT

We've just posted our in-depth, 20-page review of the Nikon D3200 entry-level DSLR. The D3200 builds on the the company's line of simple, accessible beginners' DSLRs by adding a higher-resolution screen, boosting its continuous shooting rate and adding details such as a microphone jack and infrared remote sockets. And then, of course, there's the 24MP CMOS sensor, making it by far the highest pixel-count camera in its class. Does its impressive specification translate into class-leading performance? Read our review to find out.

222
I own it
47
I want it
40
I had it
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Comments

Total comments: 355
12
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Jul 26, 2012)

It would have made more sense to use the well-rounded 16mp sensor in this d3200, which would have made a useful upgrade to the d3100. I expect the d5100 replacement to come with 24mp and a better kitlens, hopefully 2.8, and maybe 50 iso. The existing 18-55mm a 'paper weight'. Cracked me up! Thanks for the review!

1 upvote
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Jul 26, 2012)

What is wrong with having a higher megapixel count if it is a good implementation with low noise??

I see a lot of people who seem to be afraid of the high megapixel count. I guess that is based on a few years ago when more megapixels equaled less imaged quality.

That is not the case any longer and not just with Nikon D3200, but across the board from all manufacturers, we are getting more pixels with less noise.

So chill out with this "I would like it better if it had less resolution" talk.

2 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Jul 26, 2012)

An additional Conclusion - Con is that it doesn't have Automatic Exposure Bracketing. Even many compact cameras have that.

4 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Jul 26, 2012)

On Amazon (USA) the Nikon D5100 currently costs less than the Nikon D3200, and has many more features.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Jul 26, 2012)

Don't rule out the D90 either, which has much better interface.

4 upvotes
iBuzz
By iBuzz (Jul 26, 2012)

Another poor review by DPR about a great entry level camera from Nikon.
Message to Nikon : remove the mirror box from the D3200 and PDAF, keep the poor lens kit and the slow CDAF, add some Instagram filters, double the price and name it NEX-7. Maybe DPreview will give you a good score! ;-)

12 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Jul 26, 2012)

You forgot about doubling the price.

1 upvote
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Jul 26, 2012)

The NEX-7 is way overpriced. And try getting a decent lens for it...

4 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Jul 26, 2012)

Much faster CDAF, much smaller still, better controls, OLED viewfinder, tilting screen, more than double the fps, larger buffer, bracketing, tons of handheld multi frame features (HDR, NR, pano etc.), metal build, much shorter shutter lag, much easier MF (also thanks to peaking), 1080P60 with more and easier movie control, etc.
Horses...

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Jul 26, 2012)

iBuzz: I totally agree with you!

0 upvotes
Fraxinus excelsior
By Fraxinus excelsior (Jul 26, 2012)

The Nex is a totally other and more serious camera. You have clearly not hold the NEX in your hands.

Kind regards

D

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

TrojMacReady summed it up very nicely. D3200 is a joke comparing to NEX7.

1 upvote
rsf3127
By rsf3127 (Jul 26, 2012)

iBuzz: I totally disagree with you!

0 upvotes
iBuzz
By iBuzz (Jul 27, 2012)

@Fraxinus excelsior: Sorry, I have already hold the NEX-7 in my hands.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

Why would anyone want a proper DSLR with PDAF, a solid grip, and an optical VF when they can have a slippery little E-PL3 PEN camera with no VF and slower, less accurate Contrast Detect AF?

Go to B&H on any given Sunday and the DSLR kiosks are jammed with people while the mirrorless kiosks have no one looking at them. Yet we are supposed to believe that trendy ILCs are the bees-knees and DSLRs are old technology.

16 upvotes
Julian_K
By Julian_K (Jul 26, 2012)

It got a silver award, cheer up. :-)

1 upvote
zzapamiga
By zzapamiga (Jul 26, 2012)

Actually Contrast Detect autofocus is much more accurate than Phase Detect autofocus because the main sensor is performing the autofocus. It is not plagued with front and back focus issues like Phase Detect autofocus. As for speed its funny how you mention the E-PL3 which is very fast at autofocusing. Have you actually used one? For 95% of users the speed of the autofocus of most mirrorless cameras is plenty fast enough.
As for sales your anecdotes about B&H mean nothing. Mirrorless cameras are selling very well. I own and love DSLR cameras but find I end up taking my Panasonic GH2 out much more often. I only bought the GH2 for video but have become a reluctant convert to mirrorless.

6 upvotes
chlamchowder
By chlamchowder (Jul 26, 2012)

Size? Mirrorless cam + tiny pancake lens is lighter and smaller than practically any DSLR setup.
CDAF on modern mirrorless cameras is very fast. I think most users will find mirrorless CDAF adequate unless they're going after action.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Jul 26, 2012)

@chlamchowder: you don´t need to "go after action" like Formula 1 race, having children is pretty much the same (no CDAF mirrorless can catch up running children). So if someone claims "I use my camera only for family snapshots", it can mean "I need a very fast camera".

4 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Jul 26, 2012)

@marike6

Contrast Detect AF (CDAF) may be slower than Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF) but it is certainly not less accurate.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

@CFynn - ...as long as you shoot static subjects. With anything that moves (god forbid: moves quickly away or towards camera) it's by far less accurate then PDAF.
So: Landscape shooting -> CDAF
Anything else -> PDAF all the way

3 upvotes
rikyxxx
By rikyxxx (Jul 26, 2012)

No, you're wrong: CDAF is more accurate than PDAF even when is slower. And I find it quick enough for anything but (fast) sport photography.

My niece moves a lot but It's never been a problem to get the right focus on her with my GH2.

People tends to exaggerate...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
napilopez
By napilopez (Jul 27, 2012)

This isn't a fair comparison. Just because people flock to DSLR kiosks doesn't mean that they are making a smart buy.

Why would anyone want a huge, heavy, DSLR with humongous lenses, a tiny, dark viewfinder, when they can have something that gives them comparable image quality that fits in a jacket pocket?. PDAF is slower than CDAF on modern mirrorless cameras btw. Still tends to track a lot better, of course, but catching up is only a matter of time.

Ultimately, different needs for different people. If you travel a lot, I'd recommend a Mirrorless camera over a DSLR. If you have active young kids or generally take pictures involving a lot of changing movement, I'd recommend a DSLR or SLT.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 27, 2012)

@napilopez
PDAF is not only faster, but more accurate and has the ability to focus in extremely low light like -2 EV for the D800, and it can track the movement of a subject moving toward and away from the camera. Why do you think Nikon implemented PDAF in the Nikon 1, because it was slower?

And I don't know which DSLRs you've used that had tiny, dark VF.There is nothing like a bright, 100% optical VF for composing an image.

And if users care about IQ and a 1 lb DSLR is too heavy for them, maybe they should invest in a tripod or a gym membership. Nobody said creating images and ultimately art was easy.

3 upvotes
Professor999
By Professor999 (Jul 29, 2012)

@Markie6,
Gotta wonder why you keep mentioning other Nikon cameras in your posts,800, for example, when this is about the 3200.

Maybe they care less about IQ than you do. They want a reasonably priced camera with reasonable IQ and with a reasonable weight and portability.

In this case a MILC would suit them.

I have the impression that you prefer using DSLRs and that's fine for you.

Not all people who buy cameras are interested in creating art or working out they just want to snap.

0 upvotes
looker
By looker (Jul 26, 2012)

Since the D3200 is for beginners, I'm even more glad to be going with the Canon Rebel T4i, because I'm no beginner.

4 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Jul 26, 2012)

Yeah, but the Nikon D3200 would probably be more comfortably compared against the Canon T3 as it is the entry level Canon. But, anyway you slice it, any of these cameras are way more than any point-and-shooter would ever need, and all have tons of room for most first time dSLR buyers to grow into.

0 upvotes
AP7
By AP7 (Jul 26, 2012)

Buy Canon T2i. It is much cheaper and gives you more features that you'll find useful as you are growing.

If you start with Nikon D3200, you need to replace camera body by D7000 to get the same features (such as, auto exposure bracketing for HDR image, Auto FP/high speed flash sync for daylight fill flash at lower f-stops, mirror lock up to mention a few) that T2i offers.

Beginner may not know about this at the beginning, but later they may regret.

Also, keep in mind telephoto zoom and affordable prime prices for both camera in case you may want other lens than kit.

4 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Jul 26, 2012)

congratulations. have you sent out a press release about this camera that you use?

1 upvote
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Jul 28, 2012)

Uhm, but aren't Rebels also for beginners? As far as "advanced" are concerned I think they start with the XXD and up, e.g. 50D, 60D, 7D. All Rebels are still entry-level...

0 upvotes
Rachotilko
By Rachotilko (Jul 26, 2012)

Can any kind fellow reader explain, what are the main points of difference - in terms of features and general usability - between this device and - say - Panasonic G3 ?

It seems to me that they are priced similarly, yet - at sensitivity level of ISO3200 - the output from G3 provides remarkably more detail, despite much lower nominal resolution. What does this Nikon DSLR provide that Panasonic provides not ?

1 upvote
tt321
By tt321 (Jul 26, 2012)

They are not priced similarly in the UK. The G3 is quite a bit cheaper.

It's not all about high ISO performance. Most pictures from most people are shot at low ISO. That said, low ISO performance is not better than the G3's either. On the balance the D5100 is more attractive and cheaper.

0 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (Jul 26, 2012)

Check the eye of the roman statue @ 800 ISO and you'll see more of the same, Nikon is probably very noise free, but in the washing a lot of detail have been lost.

I do understand why some always say "you have to use raw" ...

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Jul 26, 2012)

Can you say PDAF? Sure, I knew you could.

0 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Jul 26, 2012)

Yeah, the autofocus speed. PDAF vs. CDAF. And PDAF tries to track a moving subject while shooting multiple pictures of a subject in motion. I shoot my daughter in gymnastics and cheerleading and this forces me to stay with PDAF, for now. That and lens availability. If not for those things, I'd be all over a m4/3 camera.

0 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Jul 26, 2012)

pixel peeping can lead to insanity down the line

1 upvote
white tea
By white tea (Jul 26, 2012)

Nice camera, but does it have AE bracketing feature? If no, question for Nikon, why do you cut down your entry level DSLR cameras from that utility?

1 upvote
taotoo
By taotoo (Jul 26, 2012)

Maybe because it puts wear on the shutter etc., and they'll have to deal with more warranty returns.

2 upvotes
CarlPH
By CarlPH (Jul 26, 2012)

Its just a marketing hustle, if you want better features on your camera..pay more

0 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (Jul 26, 2012)

You don't need a button to bracket. Just bracket your shots. No big deal. Manual bracketing also allows you to bracket anything from exposure to focus.

5 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Jul 26, 2012)

Or one can actually learn how to expose properly to begin with ;-)

0 upvotes
viking79
By viking79 (Jul 26, 2012)

Auto bracketing is most important for HDR. I want to be able to take a sequence of shots with one shutter press at multiple exposures. There is no reason to leave this software only function off the D3200 except to prevent enthusiasts who need this feature from buying this camera, and instead buying a more expensive camera.

Bracketing manually is tedious and error prone. There is no reason to do that when the camera can do a better job automatically.

3 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Jul 26, 2012)

Ironically exposure braketing is a feature that would be more important to beginners than it would be to pros who are more able to nail the correct exposure in one shot. So it seems odd that nikon would leave that out of the low end dslr.

Yes I am aware of HDR & exposure bracketing but I have no interest in ever doing that.

0 upvotes
white tea
By white tea (Jul 26, 2012)

You know guys, my question was rather rhetorical. I don't expect Nikon to admit, that the lack of feature is nothing but milking customers.
I'm interested in AE bracketing, because of HDR photography. I tried to do it manually with my old D40 and I don't think it is a good method. Manual exposure bracketing is simply impossible without steady support. With AE bracketing I even don't need a tripod.
As I couldn't get what I liked with Nikon I just switched to another manufacturer, that's all.
BTW, talking, that without exposure bracketing one can learn proper exposure is nothing but misunderstanding of what creative photography is.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jul 26, 2012)

I read the review. it said 18-55 mm can't deliver the full 24MP resolution but did not do any test to prove it
So this is just an opinion?

4 upvotes
Tap0
By Tap0 (Jul 26, 2012)

All camera reviews are only opinions...

4 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jul 26, 2012)

They really should do a test to prove it
is the 18-55mm lens really no use for 24MP?
if really so than people should opt for a lower resolution sensor if using kit lens only like D5100

0 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Jul 26, 2012)

I can't believe if Nikon bundled D3200 with a lens that can't deliver the full 24MP—they are not stupid.

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Jul 26, 2012)

Higher detail and maximized resolution comes in the form of larger glass elements in the lens, not just higher pixel count numbers, as the the optical theory tell us that's how it works. Golf ball through a garden hose thing ...

With a lens like the 18-55, its glass elements aren't physically large enough to provide the sensor with enough information to maximize the full potential of a 24Mp sensor.

That said, I've seen a lot of great photos taken with a kit 18-55. Bar all the lens snobs out there who wouldn't even think of looking at an image taken with one, I think the answers vary tremendously and are completely subjective. But theory still remains: bigger glass elements=better resolution. They've provided the spec on the back side of the lens to accomodate, I think it's just up to the end user to purchase further in to the line-up for lenses to make good use of it.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

"I can't believe if Nikon bundled D3200 with a lens that can't deliver the full 24MP—they are not stupid." - yes, they are. Just look for some photos taken with it and the kit - they look worse then those from my 3 years old Kodak P&S. It's a joke. I just can't see to get all those people whining how Nikon shoots crap while the only issue out there really is the lens which is of pathetic quality.
But well - if not this then the camera would probably be even more overpriced.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 26, 2012)

How many computer monitors or HDTVs can deliver 24MP resolution? How many pictures does one need to crop to 8% of the original frame? How many wall-sized prints do people need?

1 upvote
Cary Seipp
By Cary Seipp (Jul 26, 2012)

No, they're not stupid, just cynical. It's a ploy to upsell people to Nikon's pricier lenses.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 27, 2012)

"How many computer monitors or HDTVs can deliver 24MP resolution? " - All of them. It's just one click in Windows Photo Viewer and you can see image pixel-to-pixel on the screen.

1 upvote
ashwins
By ashwins (Jul 27, 2012)

@MarkByland

"With a lens like the 18-55, its glass elements aren't physically large enough to provide the sensor with enough information to maximize the full potential of a 24Mp sensor."
.
.
"bigger glass elements=better resolution"

True, bigger glass elements=better resolution—but not a necessity.

My bro has a Samsung NX200 (20MP) and it produces excellent, pin-sharp photos with the 30mm f/2 pancake lens that is using only 43mm filters! Since Nikkor 18-55mm VR takes 52mm filters, I can't believe that for great resolution shots it would be physically too small.

0 upvotes
carlo trevisan
By carlo trevisan (Jul 26, 2012)

I don't get the low score as I didn't get the D3100 low score.
(I own a D3100 myself)
Nex7, as a D3200, is not poketable... So why should I spend more money on a Nex7? Where is IQ advantage?
In my opinion, Dpreview should write it in the D3200 cons list: "Mirrorless is smart and cool, DSRL is old tech (-5 score)"

5 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Jul 26, 2012)

Ouch

1 upvote
PeterTom
By PeterTom (Jul 26, 2012)

If I remember well, the scores are always relative to the category of the camera.
So you cannot compare them across categories.
If nex7 has a higher score then it means that Newx7 has a "better position" within its category (mirrorless) than D3200 has in its category (entry-level DSLR).

4 upvotes
carlo trevisan
By carlo trevisan (Jul 26, 2012)

Dpreview compares it with some mirrorless cameras (conclusions).
A great live-view experience is probably important for people coming from compact cameras (I was one of them 4 years ago), but I think that great image quality, a good optical viewfinder, great lens selection (if you want, you can), a good price... are important points for people coming from the average compact camera. Most people prefer downgrade to smartphones than upgrade to mirrorless or DSRL. Mirrorless are bulk cameras for most people I know (my girlfriend in primis...)
I had an Olympus E-pl1. Nice camera... but images from my old D40 where better. I also shot only in M mode (Fn set to ISO), and a Dsrl is perfect for this. When I walk around I just pick up a compact camera or use Instagram.

So, if you upgrade thinking about your skills as photographer, I belive a Dsrl is the way to go. (+5 points to the Dpreview live-view-oriented conclusions!)

;-)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Couscousdelight
By Couscousdelight (Jul 26, 2012)

Wow, the hi iso jpg studio shots are just awfull !

2 upvotes
chyll2
By chyll2 (Jul 26, 2012)

Live view before is not really important before, but everything changes. For an entry level camera, most users of it are more comfortable with using the live view. So I think DPR is correct for being hard on its performance.

If this product was released 2 or 3 years ago, then as I quote from the review

"That said, if you are after a no-nonsense , ‘traditional style’ entry-level DSLR that is a solid performer on all levels, with good image quality, the Nikon D3200 might be exactly the right match for you..."

2 upvotes
taotoo
By taotoo (Jul 26, 2012)

Yeah but none of those people are even going to consider a DSLR. They'll just buy something mirrorless. So unfair to criticise a DSLR for not being something it isn't.

1 upvote
citrontokyo
By citrontokyo (Jul 26, 2012)

Aahh, the internet. Manners and selective, conscientious use of language right out the window. Might I remind the readers that they can read the reviews for free? No, perhaps that would just be a waste of my time.

1 upvote
bydloman
By bydloman (Jul 26, 2012)

So, if I give you my opinion on a certain subject for free you can't criticize it?

5 upvotes
FuzzTheKingOfTrees
By FuzzTheKingOfTrees (Jul 26, 2012)

I find it interesting the amount of importance reviewers seem to attach to an ISO button. Surely these people that are going to be using this camera in live view with the 18-55 kit lens permanently attached to the front using in camera effects filters aren't going to be adjusting the ISO; they're going to let the camera do it for them.
The only time I adjust my ISO is when I'm shooting with a flash I usually fix it at 400 to add a bit more ambient light and give the batteries a rest but the rest of the time I just let the camera choose the ISO for me.
As for the score, I think it's probably fair enough. At the moment the camera is quite expensive for what you get. The D5100, to my eyes, has slightly better IQ at all but the lowest ISOs and at the moment it's cheaper and you get the moving screen. Once the D3200 hits the £325 mark it will be an excellent camera.

3 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Jul 26, 2012)

The ISO button is important. It's not just point and shoot entry level folk looking at this camera. It could be serious enthusiast landscape photographers on a budget, someone actually looking to improve their photography- the market is huge and isn't limited to people who will never do anything with the camera other than point and shoot.

If you don't need an ISO button, then fine. Maybe some of these upgraders don't even need a button. But many people do, and if anything, it's a good learning experience to be able to adjust it on the fly.

2 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Jul 26, 2012)

No jj, for an entry level "beginner's (Nikon) camera" like this a dedicated ISO button is not important at all because Nikon's Auto ISO works great.

Maybe only—as FuzzKing says—when using flash, you want to set ISO to a fixed value.

DP reviewers should understand this and stop making cons out of non-issues.

1 upvote
Blondesailor
By Blondesailor (Jul 26, 2012)

@ashwins.

Can't agree with 'auto ISO works great'. Setting iso and depth are central to good composition and the reason why many want to learn photography. If everything works 'fine' on auto then you got a P&S in DSLR form. A good entry level camera encourages improving technique. Hiding most features in the menu is bad design for a DSLR. I think dpreview agree.

2 upvotes
TacticDesigns
By TacticDesigns (Jul 26, 2012)

You can set the function of the FN button to be a dedicated ISO button if it is important to you. That's what I did on my Nikon D5100 and I use it all the time. Just as friendly as the dedicated ISO button on my previous Nikon D70s. Works very well!

0 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Jul 26, 2012)

@Blonde

"If everything works 'fine' on auto then you got a P&S in DSLR form"

I think that you mixing here "Auto" shooting mode and "Auto ISO" feature.

Based on your reply I can tell that you haven't been shooting with Nikon DSLRs much at all.

I have shot hundreds of thousand photos with D40, D5000, D3100 and D7000 and I can confirm you that Nikon's "Auto ISO" works Great!

I have set the max ISO on my D7000 at 1600 and only in extreme cases I change it higher. The other time I need to change ISO settings is only—as FussTheKingOFTrees mentioned earlier—when shooting with flash. Cheers!

0 upvotes
Panasonicus
By Panasonicus (Jul 26, 2012)

Apart from the potential (which, if unused, is useless) the 24mp sensor offers there does not seem to be anything to tempt those drifting away from DSLRs to DSLMs (Panasonic G series, Olympus OMd) which offer similar quality in a much smaller and lighter package. With travel being an issue these days due to draconian baggage restrictions size is becoming more important. As a former Nikonian of a few decades I have found the brand drifting toward too much "cheapness" with more and more lenses made in China instead of Japan. The 3200 is quite rightly given an average rating by DPR with no silver award because it offers nothing extraordinary. The potential will not be realised for most as high end Nikon glass is not going to be purchased for an entry level camera. I have made the switch to a Panasonic G3 and find overall quality superior to Nikon and the size and weight advantages plus easy movie mode made the switch a no-brainer for me. DSLMs will kill off entry level DSLRs.

7 upvotes
Tap0
By Tap0 (Jul 26, 2012)

"The potential will not be realised for most as high end Nikon glass is not going to be purchased for an entry level camera."... so does this mean that all camera manufacturers should not intorduce an advanced sensor at this price point ? What if Nikon decides to introduce the D800 full frame sensor into the D3300 ? Should it still get a silver rating because of the assumption that no one will buy glass which can do justice to that sensor ? Is that why Panasonic is nowhere close to Nikon in terms of lens choices, because they decided to only manufacture lenses which do full justice to the pana sensor ?

2 upvotes
Der Steppenwolf
By Der Steppenwolf (Jul 26, 2012)

"What if Nikon decides to introduce the D800 full frame sensor into the D3300 ?"
A full frame sensor is almost as costly to manufacture in itself then D3200 as a whole so your logic is flawed.
Also anybody who knows what a full frame sensor is will surely know that lenses must be of very high quality to take advantage of it. And full frame lenses are always more expensive then APS-C sized ones.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

DSLM? What's that? Someone trying to pretend that mirrorless cameras have something in common with DSLRs?!

2 upvotes
Tom_A
By Tom_A (Jul 26, 2012)

I don't quite get the relatively low score. It is obvious that the image quality is very good indeed, and if you upgrade to an expensive lens to it will really shine, meaning the camera has room for growth, or it could be an ok 2nd camera.
What is the big deal with live view for photography? The camera has an optical viewfinder which is much more comfortable than an lcd screen in sunny situations. In my opinion, the live view is mainly useful for video.
The camera seems very good for amateurs who care about image quality first.

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

Image quality isn't everything (despite of what some ppl say). This camera offers very little besides new sensor (which also lacks in terms of sharpness, and horribly lacks in default kit setup), hardly anything for people to grow up in photography as their hobby (eg: no bracketing - crippling feature for many uses).
Accessory that got released clearly says who should buy it: smartphone kiddies.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
VivaLasVegas
By VivaLasVegas (Jul 26, 2012)

24 mp is soft and mushy beyond ISO 800, 1080i as in interlaced, lens noise can be heard during video, LV is slow and outdated, AF and metering not as sophisticated as Canons, only 4 fps, lacks an in-body autofocus motor.......Sony, Pentax and Canon is a better alternative.

13 upvotes
Damo83
By Damo83 (Jul 26, 2012)

@Tap0 Just curious, how is VivaLasVegas a Canon fanboy? He mentioned three genuine alternatives.

0 upvotes
pwilly
By pwilly (Jul 26, 2012)

Viva is the offspring of PIXmantra and Canon Kitty. A Nikon hater to the core.

1 upvote
j_h_w
By j_h_w (Jul 26, 2012)

Once again, you omit information about the distance of the eyepoint to the viewfinder.
Coverage of 95%, magnification of 0,8X, that is not sufficient information.
What, when people with glasses cannot see the corners, or the exposure params at the borders?
To my experience, the minimum eye distance for framing with glasses is 24mm, below begins cropping.
I would very much appreciate a constantly provided parameter 'Eyepoint' in the chapter 'Viewfinder' of the page 'Specifications'.

4 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Jul 26, 2012)

I agree. This is what highly competent reviewers – like DPReview – can offer, while most reviewers cannot. It might also draw attention to the many cut corners on modern SLRs, which are largely glossed over by reviewers, but which affect real-world usage.

0 upvotes
jnk
By jnk (Jul 26, 2012)

What - another negative spin by DPR on an otherwise ground breaking entry level camera from Nikon with one of the HIGHEST IQ DX sensor on the market - and everyone here is surprised?

Hint - check out their previous review of Nikon.

3 upvotes
Tap0
By Tap0 (Jul 26, 2012)

DPReview is becoming more of a mirrorless fanboy nowadays... A DSLR like the D3200 still offers the best image quality if you want something smaller and lighter with access to a wide variety of AF-S lenses, not to mention that it is cheaper than mirrrorless..

3 upvotes
jnk
By jnk (Jul 26, 2012)

Lets call it for what it is - DPR is not a fan of Nikon period - if DPR were pro mirrorless - then the Nikon V1 would be their top choice.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

"then the Nikon V1 would be their top choice." - oh man, I almost chocked myself reading that. What a joke. V1 isn't anything a serious photographer should ever consider for his mirrorless solution - man, it has a point and shoot sensor!

2 upvotes
jnk
By jnk (Jul 27, 2012)

"then the Nikon V1 would be their top choice." meaning DPR is not pro-mirrowless :-)

0 upvotes
Ivanaker
By Ivanaker (Jul 26, 2012)

I have never read so poor list of CONS before. Slightly this and that, and slow CDAF?!
And what the heck is:
`` Not so good for:
Fans of LCD image composition, who will be disappointed by the slow AF, and anyone who wants filter effects at the point of capture. ``???

Give me a break, this is a great camera, you should award it with it 85 points and GOLD.

6 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (Jul 26, 2012)

Typo: Page 9, Paragraph 2, Line 2
instead of ...18-5mm kit zoom...
should be ...18-55mm kit zoom...
Regards

1 upvote
alexpaynter
By alexpaynter (Jul 26, 2012)

I am not sure what all the fuss is about here. People complaining about comparing different genres. Who cares if professionals don't use live view. How many readers here are professionals.

For me IQ is important but when I look at the comparison charts it looks to me like the much smaller sensor OMD is much better than this.

Personally I don't care is a camera is mirror less or SLR. I am only interested in quality, speed and compactness.

6 upvotes
heartattackandvine
By heartattackandvine (Jul 26, 2012)

It is interesting that you dismiss the live view issue by saying that "many readers" are not professionals (btw. live view is not only of little interest just to professionals, but to most people who are serious about photography - professionals do not have the ownership of that) and then you go on talking about "IQ comparison charts". See, if photography is more important than technology then live view doesn't matter and comparison charts also don't matter.

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jul 26, 2012)

IQ is phenomenal on the D3200, shutter speed equals the D800, sharp lenses are way less expensive on DX, FF lenses will be sharper as well (center sharpness) :

http://www.bigupload.com/en/file/49749/17mm-tamron.jpg.html

9 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

D3200 requires sharper lenses then D800 making overall cost higher, not lower then in case of FF glass.

2 upvotes
intensity studios
By intensity studios (Jul 26, 2012)

NOPE!!! --Chuck Testa

0 upvotes
Dirty Harry44
By Dirty Harry44 (Jul 26, 2012)

Sounds about right but, for $700 it lacks too many features, the continuous AF in video is not worth $700 either. What I find amazing is the fact DP saw those highlights getting a bit too bright as I did, and that was the final blow for me.

So therefor

I'm now enjoying my brand new A57 :)

5 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Jul 26, 2012)

Good entry level camera. I think DSLR are going FF and APS-C will be relegated to low-end DSLR and EVIL/mirrorless.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

No offense, but probably one of the more absurd conclusions to this review. Recommending a Panasonic G3 or EPL3 over the D3200 because of better "LiveView experience"?

a) Image quality from the D3200 absolutely destroys the G3 and EPL-3. It's not even close. If you want to get about 10 EV of DR, yes buy the G3 or PEN and have a party. If you want a more modern sensor with over 13 EV DR, and significantly better color and control of DOF, buy the D3200.

b) What photographer in their right mind would use LiveView when you have a dedicated VF? DPR is so enamored with all this mirrorless crap it's getting embarrassing. Notice that virtually all professional photographers are shooting with DSLRs, yet DPR continues to push newbie cameras with tiny bodies, bad ergonomics and significantly worse IQ.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
17 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jul 26, 2012)

DPR is correct. Most entry-level consumers that will buy D3200 shoot in liveview mode. That's how they know cameras, the p&s and cellphones. Many will be disappointed with D3200 liveview implementaion.

23 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Jul 26, 2012)

We're not recommending anything over the D3200. We say these cameras offer a better live view experience. Undoubtedly true.

23 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

@Lars Rehm

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d3200/20

You say there are better options in this price bracket. And the reason you say they are better is for LiveView performance. But the D3200 has an optical VF. And better for what? Worse IQ? Blow out highlights, and 2008 style dynamic range?

It's a DSLR. How is a mirror-less, and especially a previous generation m43 camera even relavant to the review? Why is DPR crossing categories in a review? You think a photography student looking for a DSLR cares about YOUR fondness for a PEN camera when they want a solid DLSR that to learn photography with? Is it personal preference or do you think LiveView is really so important to base a buying decision on, especially when the G3 and D3200 both that good viewfinders?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Jul 26, 2012)

"That said, if you are after a no-nonsense , ‘traditional style’ entry-level DSLR that is a solid performer on all levels, with good image quality, the Nikon D3200 might be exactly the right match for you..."

17 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jul 26, 2012)

IQ of the D3200 is just phenomenal at lower isos, this makes it the optimal leightweight landscape DSLR.

look at this sample I took :

http://www.bigupload.com/en/file/49749/17mm-tamron.jpg.html

4 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jul 26, 2012)

my only regret about the D3200 is the lack of AF Fine Tune and aperture control in live view.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

"Good image quality"? The D3200 has the same class leading IQ that the NEX-7 has but better high ISO ability.

From DxOMark:

Nikon D3200

Overall Score 81
Color Depth 24.1 bits
Dynamic Range 13.2 Evs
Low-Light ISO 1131 ISO

Sony NEX-7

Overall Score 81
Color Depth 24.1 bits
Dynamic Range 13.4 Evs
Low-Light ISO 1016 ISO

Panasonic G3

Overall Score 56
Color Depth 21 bits
Dynamic Range 10.6 Evs
Low-Light ISO 667 ISO

Olympus E-PL3

Overall Score 52
Color Depth 20.9 bits
Dynamic Range 10,3 Evs
Low-Light ISO 499 ISO

Note the the D3200 high ISO is only slightly worse than the class leading D7000 and K-5. But that only elicited a "good IQ" from you? Real head scratcher of a conclusion.

And your two recommended picks, which have significantly worse IQ and way less lenses, but have good LiveView (hardly a feature DSLR users base a buying decision on). Why wouldn't you compare the D3200 to the K30 or t4i?

5 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Jul 26, 2012)

It's not a professional camera or even aimed at serious enthusiasts. As evidenced by its very weak kit lens. I can see many potential buyers also considering mirrorless cameras that offer similar features in smaller, simpler packages. As they should if all they want is an upgrade from a compact and aren't interested in taking classes and shooting in RAW.

DxO doesn't test resolution and what I see here is a surprising lack of detail for a 24mp sensor, and that is with a good lens. Combine that with a lackluster kit zoom that most users will rely on and any IQ advantage over a decent mirrorless model is pretty slim except at very high ISO.

I'll be sure to recommend this to any photography students who aren't being forced to shoot film.

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (Jul 26, 2012)

Live View is highly useful in many situations. At least a _good_ live view. Even more so on an articulated screen. This is the 21st century.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

In RAW detail is quite high and is identical to the A-65 with which it shares a sensor.

The Nikon 18-55 VR is one of the sharper kit lenses. Look it up on Photozone to see the MFT scores are quite high. What happens is with high pixel count sensors lenses get challenged more than they do with 12 and 16 mp sensors.

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 26, 2012)

When you want to shoot with liveview all the time, just don't buy a dslr. You wasting a perfectly good viewfinder.

2 upvotes
ashwins
By ashwins (Jul 26, 2012)

DPR has always been emphesizing not to compare scoring of cameras from different categories. But now they are comparing in the final words the LiveView experience of D3200 with some mirrorless cameras! Strange!

I can't believe that anybody would buy a D3200 for LiveView shooting—LOL!

Where AF speed has important is practically only when shooting from high above of down close to the ground.

So, another issue made out of non-issue...

1 upvote
Josh152
By Josh152 (Jul 26, 2012)

Key thing that is being missed is that regardless of how some people may use it, a DSLR is designed to be primarily used with the OVF and PDAF. I mean the through the lens viewfinder is the whole point of the SLR design. That is why the Live view and CDAF isn't as good as it is on a camera without an OVF and PDAF and it's also why it doesn't matter that it is not as good and should not be considered a negative in a review. I mean you are really comparing apples to oranges when comparing a mirror less camera and a DSLR.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (Jul 26, 2012)

so you need a different lens to match the sensor and that's a minus, it doesn't sit well with dpreview. How could Nikon not get this criticism for the D3300? They could include a better lens, which is unlikely or they could use a better matched sensor - and sucks to be Nikon in this regard.

I doubt you guys could have imagined this problem when you started reviewing cameras back in the day, but they eyes of an entry level user haven't changed. It seems to me like the IQ for this class of camera far exceeds what's required for the target market. You end up sounding irrelevant when you're writing a review of a $700 camera that's meant to be read by people with $2000-camera taste. Luckily all those people, the world over, have gathered in your forums to enjoy one another's company.

3 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Jul 26, 2012)

We're simply saying the kit lens does not show the real potential of the sensor. I am sure many readers would find that information useful.

9 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

But why should that be a con? When vendors increase resolution, lenses start to have corner issues where before they had none. I don't remember the NEX-7 getting cons for poor corner performance of the NEX 18-55. Why does Nikon once again get DPR review shrapnel? Had a peek at DxOMark ratings lately guys? Reading your reviews it doesn't seems like it. Every Nikon camera get's huge high marks everywhere but here on DPR. Here you recommend a Lumix G3 or EPL3 that the D3200 beats easily in nearly every meaningful way? Seriously guys?

11 upvotes
Lars Rehm
By Lars Rehm (Jul 26, 2012)

Is it listed under cons? No it isn't. We're informing our readers about it as it is our duty. We specifically say in the conclusion that it's good to have the 24MP, just in case, even if the kit lens doesn't make the most of it.

Let me guess, you bought a D3200 and would like us to confirm that it's the best thing since sliced bread?

17 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Jul 26, 2012)

DPR may not consider it a con, but I think it is when most buyers use that kit lens and no others. Call them silly, but they bought a kit from a top name an ended up with a lens that isn't up to the camera. Not the body's fault, of course, but no credit to Nikon.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

No I don't own a D3200. I have a D800 and a K30. When I bought them LiveView performance was pretty low on my list of features. And I've owned tons of m43 cameras and not one of them is as nice to use as these two DSLRs nor did they have anywhere near as good IQ.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (Jul 26, 2012)

Rather than say the IQ of the camera far exceeds what the consumer is looking for, I would argue that the resolution of the camera far exceeds what consumers need.

I honestly see little reason why someone would want 24 mp in a camera of this class.

My D90 has 12 MP, and for me that's more than enough. And I have some pretty good glass to shoot through.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

@Lars Rehm wrote: "Let me guess, you bought a D3200 and would like us to confirm that it's the best thing since sliced bread?"

Are you always this cheeky with your users?

0 upvotes
redeye47
By redeye47 (Jul 27, 2012)

Whenever I get into something new, I look to buy a little more than I need for the purpose of having 'room to grow'. The fact that this entry level camera has more (potential) IQ than a new consumer needs is a great thing. Rather than being a camera not worth investing in glass, it very much is. Lenses are the true investment; the consumer's next camera might be a hopefully upcoming D7100

0 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (Jul 26, 2012)

jumped right to the conclusion page. A lot of "good" statements. Im not the market for this camera, but oh man does this review scream "meh".

who would waste good glass on this junk.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

I'd buy it in a second. This "junk" outperforms every Canon camera in it's class and many in higher price brackets.

From DxOMark:
Overall Score 81
Color Depth 24.1 bits
Dynamic Range 13.2 Evs
Low-Light ISO 1131 ISO

Same exact overall score as the Canon 5D Mk III. Why, you ask?
Over 2 EV better dynamic range. Junk indeed. It's in the top for IQ of all APS-C DSLRs. Better IQ than T4i, 60D, 7D, and E-M5, that's for sure.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 26, 2012)

"This "junk" outperforms every Canon camera in it's class and many in higher price brackets. " - no it doesn't. It does in terms of picture quality - and so do all of the Sony cameras, but picture quality isn't everything. Especially when differences are so slight that you need pixel-peeper to see them. What average people buying this camera will see is the blurred images from kit lens lacking badly in resolution for this sensor.

That "junk" lacks badly behind nearly any (but C1100D) DSLRs Canon currently offers - especially if you are ambitious and interested in growing-up of your hobby and trying new kinds of photography.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
babola
By babola (Jul 26, 2012)

"What average people buying this camera will see is the blurred images from kit lens lacking badly in resolution for this sensor."

No they won't. And there's plenty of detailed D3200 reviews on the web done with the default 18-55 lens, resulting in nothing short of fantastic images. See for yourself.

0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jul 26, 2012)

Lol 73%, and the NEX-5N got 79% and a gold star. Nikon desperately needs to release at least one good product in the fall in order to stay relevant.

1 upvote
ET2
By ET2 (Jul 26, 2012)

Don't worry about Nikon. Nikon is making 10 times more money than the Sony's camera division with D800

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 26, 2012)

Nice try, Nikon has the very best DSLRs at the moment. But because DPR scored this camera 73% doesn't mean it's not a great camera. The D3200's sensor scored 81 on DxOMark, the same as the 5D3 and NEX-7, and higher than NEX-5N, and just edging out the amazing D7000. Because DPR seems to have missed the high IQ that the D3200 is capable - the excellent DR, and superb color depth - to go along with excellent video quality (way sharper than the T4i) is not Nikon's problem, it's the problem of reviewers missing the unique qualities that this camera offers at this price point.

The superb D800 aside, if you doubt the relevance of the D3200, go on Flickr and compare some D3200 images with T4i and EM5 images. The D3200 samples look head and shoulders better than the other two cameras that DPR is so fond of. But if you prefer to view review scores like a football match, it's your loss.

8 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jul 26, 2012)

Image quality on all DSLRs released in the last two years is very good. That itself should NOT be the only criteria to judge a camera.

11 upvotes
wasserball
By wasserball (Jul 26, 2012)

before going on further, does it come in a different color?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
wasserball
By wasserball (Jul 26, 2012)

Yes, it does.

0 upvotes
sir_bazz
By sir_bazz (Jul 26, 2012)

Well done guys....good work with the review.

Did notice a typo in "The Final Word".

"However, compared to *come* of the competition it does lack..."

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 26, 2012)

Fixed now, thanks for the spot.

0 upvotes
Truck240
By Truck240 (Jul 26, 2012)

Does changing the image size via the menu to medium( 13.5 ) or small (6.0) result in lower ISO noise? Does this setting simply result in smaller sized jpegs?

0 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (Jul 26, 2012)

Yay for the new SLR review! Keep'em coming!

3 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Jul 26, 2012)

"As we said in the introduction to this review, the D3200 doesn't need to represent a massive leap forward from its predecessor in order to be sucessful. What it does need to be is competitive in an entry-level DSLR market" Wouldn't it be nice if a manufacturer exceeded expectations. Well-measured review. Based on preview info, I expected something that would shout "tremendous value."

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jul 26, 2012)

Boy! Entry level users these days are a spoiled bunch!

Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc... keep 'em coming!

.

4 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jul 26, 2012)

Isn't that the truth (as I hold my old Sony S85 in hand and think of all the advancements since this camera came out for the price).

C

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Jul 26, 2012)

Lock and load, bracket lovers!

1 upvote
panometrical
By panometrical (Jul 26, 2012)

Does it come with that hot shoe cover?

0 upvotes
edu T
By edu T (Jul 26, 2012)

That little square dark little tab? See
http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d3200/spec.htm ,
"supplied accessories" section.

0 upvotes
AP7
By AP7 (Jul 26, 2012)

Does it support Auto FP flash sync and exposure bracketing?

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Jul 26, 2012)

No auto exposure bracketing

3 upvotes
What do I know
By What do I know (Jul 25, 2012)

Had a look at this and don't understand why Nikon who makes very nice and well designed cameras will lower their quality and make something so cheap and plastic.
Good price point do they sell a lot of these?

0 upvotes
spoorthy
By spoorthy (Jul 25, 2012)

yep no link for me either

0 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Jul 25, 2012)

Fire the programmers!

0 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Jul 25, 2012)

True.. they still are reviewing the camera, not finished yet.. ;)

2 upvotes
Lmorodrigues
By Lmorodrigues (Jul 25, 2012)

No review to...

0 upvotes
nasty hog
By nasty hog (Jul 25, 2012)

yes i can´t find the link either...

1 upvote
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jul 25, 2012)

i clicked on the link.. no review?

5 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Jul 25, 2012)

same, link is not working

maybe they published the news page about the review before posting the actual review? it doesn't seem to be cataloged under the reviews tab either. (not criticizing, just saying we'll probably just have to wait a bit. if they did that on purpose...well....kind of is a criticism, similar with posting the canon mirrorless in a rush before the preview was finished. but probably was an accident or some server issue with all the updates)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Almeida
By Almeida (Jul 25, 2012)

And there's no rating on the latest reviews either. Guess the news went live to soon...

1 upvote
Total comments: 355
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