Activating live view mode is slightly different in the D3200 than the D3100, as we've already described. But in operation, the D3200's live view mode is as good as identical to its predecessor. It offers subject-tracking and face-detection AF modes and there is an option to change the sampling rate of the live view image, to reduce screen flickering. You can change the amount and type of information on the screen by pressing the INFO button on the top of the camera. The Info screens work in the same way as in normal shooting mode.
In PAS shooting modes, the live view image will darken or brighten to reflect any exposure compensation you set, although sadly there's still no option to include a live histogram in the live view image to help judge the optimum exposure. Like on the D3100, in manual exposure mode, though, the display makes no attempt to reflect the currently-set exposure level at all. Fortunately though, it is possible to activate an on-screen exposure meter which shows exposure on a +/-2EV scale in 1/3EV increments.
Unfortunately the D3200's live view mode still shows the same odd quirk that we saw on the D3100 and had first appeared on the D300. When you enter Live View, the camera will stop down to the currently set or metered value (offering an undocumented depth-of-field preview in the process), but what it won't then do is readjust the diaphragm 'live' if you change the aperture setting. It will honour the set aperture when actually making an exposure, and indeed return to live view at that aperture afterwards; alternatively you can force it to readjust by exiting and re-entering live view. This can give a misleading impression of the depth of field you'll end up getting, and it further complicates manual focus as you have to remember to always initiate live view at an appropriate aperture (normally with the lens wide open).
This image shows the AF target (in green) and some basic shooting information. A press of the INFO button adds a grid overlay.
Another press of the INFO button gets you to this screen which gives you an overview of currently selected settings including drive mode, AF mode and Active D-Lighting.
The third view shows you the currently selected movie settings including movie size and quality and the remaining recording time on your memory card plus sound recording levels.
The D3200's live view image can be magnified in five steps, to greater than 100% (equivalent). Unfortunately though this appears just to be upscaling of a low-res sensor output, so isn't very useful for critical manual focus.
Record review & play displays
There are five display modes available in image playback, which collectively offer a comprehensive amount of information. By default, only the plain screen and luminance histogram - the first two screens shown in this selection - are made available, but shooting data, separate RGB histograms and a highlight clipping display screen can be activated individually in the playback menu.
1. Large image with key shooting information
2. Small image with histogram and additional shooting information
3: Large image with shooting data overlaid
4: Large image with flashing highlight warning
5: Small image with RGB histogram
The Nikon D3200 has ten levels of review magnification of which four are shown here, (although in common with most digital cameras, at the most extreme magnification the image is visibly pixilated). Zooming is performed using the two zoom buttons to the left of the LCD screen.
Play thumbnail index
The D3200 offers four thumbnail display screens, the final one, shown here at bottom right, being a calendar view that groups images according to the date on which they were taken. Caution is called for here though, because pressing the delete button in this mode deletes all of the images taken on whichever day is highlighted. Movie files are distinguished from stills by a film sprocket-style border.
As a camera aimed squarely at DSLR novices coming from compacts or even camera phones, the D3200 has to be as user-friendly as possible, without compromising on functionality. One of the ways that Nikon has approached this goal in the D3200 is by including a comprehensive database of help screens. when a menu option or setting is highlighted on the LCD screen, the ? button to the left of the LCD screen brings up a page of text, explaining the purpose of the particular setting.