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Body & Design continued

Viewfinder size and crop

One figure hidden away in every SLR's spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes comparison between competing models impossible). The size of the viewfinder is a key factor in usability - the bigger it is, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.

Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors'.

The viewfinder of the D3200 is basically the same as its predecessor, and offers coverage of 95% and a magnification of 0.8X. These numbers might not mean much, but in normal shooting, the D3200 offers a reasonably large, bright finder which compares well to its entry-level APS-C format peers. It's very marginally larger than the Canon EOS 1100D's (0.48x) and marginally smaller than the Pentax K-r's (0.54x), but it's not a patch on the finders in Nikon's D7000 and FX-format D800, partly because the D3200 uses a pentamirror, rather than the brighter but more expensive pentaprism found in the higher-end models.

This is what 95% coverage looks like - as you can see, a portion of the image area is not shown in the viewfinder, but for normal day-to-day use, it doesn't matter much. What it might mean, however, is that every now and then, a scene element might just creep into one of the corners of your shot that you didn't see when you were taking the picture.

Body elements

The D3200's ports are ranged down its left flank. From the top, these start with a microphone input (still relatively rare in a product at this level), followed by the USB/AV port, an HDMI connector and a GPS/wired remote socket.

The optional WU-1a Wi-Fi adapter pushes into the USB/AV port, requiring the large rubber door to remain wedged open while it's in use.
On the rear of the D3200 is the second of two IR receivers on the camera - a welcome return, following the omission of wireless triggering from the D3100.
Unlike some entry level models, the Nikon retains a separate door for its memory card, so there's no need to fiddle around in the battery compartment every time you want to grab some pictures off the card.
The D3200's hotshoe is compatible with all of the flashes in Nikon's current Speedlight range. Not only does this allow you to get more power than the built-in flash but it also opens up the opportunity to create and control a group of flashes wirelessly (something that the D3200 cannot do on its own).
The D3200's battery compartment is neatly slotted inside its handgrip, and is accessible via a hinged door on the base of the camera.
A tripod socket sits in line with the lens axis, and far enough away from the battery compartment door that changing the battery when the camera is mounted on a tripod shouldn't be a problem.
The D3200 uses an EN-EL14 battery, offering 7.7Wh. This is rated at 540 shots per charge, according to standard CIPA testing methodology

(CIPA figures may not reflect how many shots you get but are useful for comparing one camera to another)
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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