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Body & Design

The D3200 body looks very similar to the D3100 but the control layout has been subtly rearranged in a couple of places. An infrared remote receiver can be seen in the front of the hand-grip and on the top rear left of the camera - a feature missing from the D3100. The D3200 also loses its predecessor's combined live view thumb switch and movie record button. Instead live view is now enabled with a button on the back of the camera, at which point the record button that's set just behind the shutter button becomes active.

From the top you can see the D3200's flash, shown here in its closed (stowed) position and the hotshoe which can accept any of Nikon's current range of Speedlight flashes. The left-hand side of the top plate is bare, but on the right of the pentamirror 'hump' you can see a cluster of control points, which are listed and explained further down this page.

Top of camera controls (right)

The top plate of the D3200 gains an extra button, compared to its predecessor - the movie record button. This sits alongside the rather under-utilized 'Info' button, which is essentially a display button, cycling through the three live view display options or turning the rear screen on and off. It's not to be confused with the <[i]> ('information edit') button or the ? button, which provides helpful information about menu settings for novice photographers.

Front of camera controls

The D3200 retains Nikon's multi-function flash button. This can be pressed to release the flash, or held down and used in combination with the control dial to change flash compensation. It gives a impressive level of simple and direct control over flash, which is unusual in a camera at this level. The Fn button, meanwhile, can be configured to control one of four settings (Image Quality/Size, ISO, White Balance, or Active D-Lighting), which are also controlled by holding the button and spinning the control dial.

Rear controls

From the back, the D3200 is again, similar to its predecessor (to the extent that someone coming from the D3100 will know their way around immediately) but not identical. The most obvious is that the D3100's large combined live view/video shooting control is gone, replaced by a simple 'Lv' button in the style of the recent D800 and D4. Unlike these higher-end cameras though, there is no modal distinction between still image and movie live view operation.

Whether this change from a unified live view/movie control to two separate buttons is good or bad depends on whether you particularly loved or hated the old-style control lever but on balance, after using the D3100 and D7000 for some time, we prefer the new approach. There was nothing wrong with the old control, but a simple button press is always going to be quicker than throwing a sprung lever. The only other change to the control points compared to the D3100 is the addition of a drive mode button, just above the delete button on the lower-left of the body.

Easily overlooked, but important, is a rear IR port on the upper left of the rear plate of the D3200 - one of two on the camera. This allows it to be remotely triggered from a position behind the camera, using an optional infra-red trigger. As we've already mentioned, the D3100 didn't offer wireless triggering, so the addition of two ports on the D3200 is very good news.

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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