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Active D-Lighting

Active D-Lighting is Nikon's dynamic range expansion option, which can be activated in the shooting menu. It is designed to maintain shadow detail without blowing the highlights in high contrast scenes. On the D3200 this feature has only two settings - On or Off - but when switched on ADL essentially operates in an Auto mode that adapts the intensity of the effect to a specific scene, so the results differ depending on the scene.

In the sample scene the effects of ADL are more obvious in the shadow areas of the frame which have visibly lifted than in the highlights. The blown white areas on the boat only show very marginally more detail with ADLS activated, but the light blue sky has turned a little darker, giving the image an overall more pleasant look.

ADL off
ADL on

Digital filters

The Nikon D3200 is one of the few entry-level DSLRs that does not offer any digital filters or effect at the point of capture. However, the camera's Retouch menu is fairly comprehensive and there are a few good effect options that you can apply to images on your memory card that you have already taken. In the 'Filter Effects' sub-menu you find a number of 'traditional' filters. In the pre-digital era the same effects could have been achieved with a physical filter screwed in front of your lens. This includes the Skylight, Warm, Red, Green, Blue, Cross Screen (Star) and Soft filters.

Additionally there is a range of 'digital' filters which are similar to the ones we have seen on other current entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless system cameras. These include the Color outline, Color sketch, Fisheye, Miniature effect and Selective color options. The majority of these filters don't allow for any customization but some, such as the Fisheye, Miniature and Sketch filters let you modify the intensity of the effect. Below you can see all these filters applies to a real-life image.

No filter

Picture Control

The Nikon D3200 offers six Picture Control color response presets, shown in the table below.


These presets can be applied prior to image capture via the Q-menu or the Picture Style button, or when converting a raw file in-camera. There is also an 'Auto' setting which automatically picks the best style for a given scene and three user definable settings.

The D3200 offers the same Picture Control settings that we've seen on most Nikon DSLRs in the last few years. Once you pick a setting you can then fine-tune a number o parameters such as sharpening and contrast.

Distortion correction

On the Nikon D3200 you have the option to enable distortion correction in the shooting menu. As you can see in the images below, the feature does a good job at keeping the image from showing the barrel distortion caused by the lens. This shot was taken with the 18-55mm kit lens at its widest focal length.

Overall the distortion correction is doing an excellent job, eliminating a large portion of distortion with only a minimal loss of quality at the edge of the frame. You also loose a small portion of the frame around the edges to the correction.

Distortion Correction On
Distortion Correction Off
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Total comments: 14
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Thanks a lot for this information. After I read it I think, I make my choice about digital cameras. I was between this Nikon and one Canon, but I think I found my DSLR!


It may be a new model with a few new bells and whistles but I see that the IQ is still rated at 4.5. To me that means that adding 10 megapixels is just a sales gimmick. The extra megapixels seems to be the Nikon choice of improvements to induce hobbyists to upgrade. Do they think we are such fools?

1 upvote

Great power comes with great responsibility. High quality sensor is a bonus but at this resolution, you need better lenses to make the most of it. Entry level people may not even want to spend that much for any lenses… by the time they are happy with their skill and ready for investment in better lenses… they may also want a better body… so, yes, again for those who can afford it rather than really drawing people in to their DSLR range. For many beginner, I think price is one of the main issues.

1 upvote

Hello. I have slightly unrelated question.

What is you opinion of Canon PowerShot G16? Do you think it's good enough for commercial object photography?



thank you for this useful information, i really like the Nikon D3200, it's be the door of much people to photography world and i can said that it's the best for beginners, because it's simple - low price - 24.2 MP ...i creat a post about features of Nikon D3200 and why it's the best for beginners (see my profile)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting

Its horrible to hear some bad news related with d3200 as i purchased it last week.I am a new one in SLR,and have less experience with SLR camera.Today i downloaded the update of firmware and finally decided to give up the attempt after reading the reviews related with the new update.Now i ordered for a 35 mm F1.8 prime lens.Now i think the move was totally foolish one


I am a novice DSLR user as I have only used point and shoot cameras up until last year. Two days ago, I took my camera into Kenmore camera (our local store) as they asked to look this issue. I may have had a setting incorrect after the camera came back from Nikon Service. It appears to be working acceptably now with the 35mm, F1.8 lens. I will see if I can delete my earlier post. Keep in mind, you may need to send your camera to Nikon to get the autofocus adjusted (this is free during the warranty period)to work acceptably with F1.8. The other thing I realized is the focus system can have a hard time determining what to focus on in different lighting and in low contrast conditions (this may have contributed to my problem after the camera returned from service). I am still learning the camera and each new item I get (F1.8 lens in this case) is a new learning curve.



Don't be sad, i always suggest Nikon D3200 for beginners, because it's teaches and encourages those who are new to DSLR technology.
i've created a comparison chart at that compares the D3200 to the D7XXX serie,D5XXX and Canon cameras under 700$. don't make any buying decision till read it.


I've had my D3200 for almost a year. I was happy with it until purchasing a 35mm F1.8 prime lens. I found at F1.8 the actual focus was behind the subject by about 4". I sent the camera back to the factory (warranty service) and had the autofocus adjusted. The focus is only slightly better than before. If you stick with the kit lenses, you won't notice this as you have a larger depth of field. It's possible not all D3200 cameras behave this way; mine does. If I use the prime lens, I start around F4 and don't go lower.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting

I would like to modify or delete this post but apparently, I can't do that. The post is correct except for after the camera came back from service. By the way, Nikon service did verify my focus issue was valid. The camera focuses properly at F1.8 now. I found the camera can struggle to determine what to focus on depending on lighting and sometimes the subject itself. It's possible this is normal. I am a novice photograhper and am learning my gear and it's limitations.


Oh man, I have been having crazy issues with my auto focus on my d3200. I bought a 2.8 17-55 lens for landscape and event photography and am finding SO often that in low light, when I have to move towards an f-stop of even around f5 that my subject is OUT OF FOCUS. Even with this fancy lens! I don't think my camera is still under warranty. What is the solution here?!


i love it. im using the camera for filming.
im gonna let the camera speek for it self.
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I have been using this camera for 6 months now. Prior to this I had a D90 and I miss the LCD display and the extra control. It just takes a bit of getting used to.
The 24mp CMOS is very useful for crop-zooming. Got a good price on it in Dubai Duty Free.


thanks a lot for this huge amount of useful information
actually in digital cameras world Nikon is my only choice

Total comments: 14