Latest sample galleries
Latest in-depth reviews
Fujifilm's latest entry-level Instax Mini model offers improved auto exposure over its predecessor and a simple-to-use interface. However, fun features and creative controls are mostly absent.
From 2006, when Nikon launched the D40, until today's D3200 the Nikon entry-level line of DSLR has been more about evolution than revolution. With the introduction of live view and a movie mode the step from the D3000 to the D3100 was significant, but other than that, very few changes have been made that don't fall into the 'iterative' category.
The latest model in the series, the D3200, is no exception from this pattern and the main improvements over the predecessor D3100 are an increased pixel count (24 vs 14MP), a higher resolution screen (960,000 vs 230,000 dots) and a movie mode that now comes with some more manual control and an external microphone jack. Other than that the two cameras are as good as identical.
That's not a bad thing though. The Nikon entry-level DSLRs have always been well-regarded for their thought-out design and intuitive user interface by technology journalists and consumers alike. So Nikon had little reason to make any radical changes to a successful concept. 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 successful. What it does need to be is competitive in an entry-level DSLR market that is being put under increasing pressure from a new generation of innovative mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras.
In only a few years, mirrorless system cameras have improved to a level where they do not only offer the sort of image quality that we'd expect from DSLRs but also the same or even better AF speeds and more flexibility in terms of AF-point positioning. Sony's SLT cameras offer seamless switching between live-view and viewfinder shooting and very fast burst modes. A lot of the models in the entry-level bracket come with HDR and panorama modes and digital filter effects that help create interesting results without the use of a computer or imaging software. The Nikon D3200's feature set is sparse in this respect. In some ways it is a fairly 'old-fashioned' DSLR, but it is a solid performer in almost all areas and a good entry-level choice for those who prefer to frame their images through an optical viewfinder.
What really sets the D3200 apart from the competition in the entry level segment is its 24MP CMOS sensor. With a good lens attached, and shooting in Raw mode, the D3200's image quality potential is considerable. The problem is that the 18-55mm kit-lens just isn't good enough to give you the benefit of the chip's megapixel-count. Given that some time ago Nikon told us that a large proportion of their entry-level DSLR users never take the kit lens off the camera (as a response to the question why their entry-level series has to make do without a built-in focus motor) we have to assume that Nikon is OK with the fact that many D3200 users will never see the true potential of their camera. This doesn't sit well with us, but ultimately, although 24MP is probably unnecessary, and the kit zoom is definitely challenged by the demands of the sensor, there is no penalty to the D3200's high pixel count.
The D3200's processor is beefy enough to move images along at 4fps, the camera is nice and snappy in normal use, and its price is competitive with lower-resolution entry-level offerings from other manufacturers. Full-resolution JPEGs will take up a considerable amount of card (and drive) space but both memory cards and hard drives are getting cheaper all the time. In the end then, a typical D3200 user might not need, or make use of the camera's high pixel count but having it - just in case - certainly doesn't do any harm.
If you're critically-inclined, to make the most out of the D3200's sensor you should consider investing in better optics. Nikon makes an excellent range of affordable primes, some specifically designed for the DX format, and there are upgrade options for the kit zoom as well, both from Nikon and from third-party manufacturers. Of course, if you're looking for a smaller, cheaper second body to a D7000 or D300S outfit, and you already have a collection of high-quality AF-S glass, you'll be very happy with the D3200 (you can always use the 18-55mm as a paperweight).
We've already mentioned the various caveats that come with the D3200's high-resolution sensor, but resolution and detail aside the Nikon D3200 has no image quality issues of note. Focussing and metering are generally very reliable, although like many previous Nikon models the camera has a tendency to slightly overexpose in bright contrasty conditions. In those situations it's worth dialing in 0.3 or 0.7EV negative exposure compensation to protect the highlights. However, if the highlights blow there is usually enough information the 'headroom' of the camera's .NEF Raw files to get at least some detail back by applying negative digital exposure compensation in raw conversion.
Image noise is generally well-controlled at low ISOs. Luminance noise starts to appear in plain colored areas from ISO 200 but you'll have to zoom in closely to see it. Noise reduction starts becoming more intrusive at ISO 800 where some fine low-contrast detail is visibly being blurred. At sensitivities higher than ISO 1600 grainy luminance noise and the loss of low-contrast detail become more obvious. Chroma noise only really becomes an issue at the two highest settings which are best reserved for smaller output sizes.
Converting your raw files can get you a small amount of additional detail compared to the out-of-camera JPEGs but again we'd recommend using good lenses to make this exercise worthwhile. Raw noise levels are in line with the competitors in the entry-level segment and at higher ISOs you can achieve better results than the out-of-camera JPEGs by converting raw and using customized noise reduction settings.
If you’ve shot with any recent Nikon DSLR, especially an entry-level model, the Nikon D3200 will instantly feel familiar to you. And even if you’re moving up from a compact camera or switching from another system the camera’s user interface and operation are very intuitive and will let you find your away around the buttons and menus in no time.
While the interface has clearly been designed for DSLR novices it offers more than enough capabilities and customization options to keep even enthusiasts happy. The limited number of external buttons means you might occasionally have to press an extra button or enter a menu to change a setting but the process is never illogical or long winded.
The D3200’s optical viewfinder is not the largest we have ever seen but it’s nice to work with and and advantage over the large number of mirrorless cameras the Nikon is competing with in its price bracket, especially when shooting in dim conditions or in very bright light. On the other hand with its slow contrast detect AF in live view the D3200 loses out to its mirrorless competitors when framing your images on the rear LCD screen. The fact that the Nikon has to flip its mirror out of the way to enter live view mode also means switching between LCD and eye-level framing is not as seamless as on Sony’s SLT models with their translucent mirrors or mirrorless cameras with electronic viewfinders such as Panasonic's G-series.
The camera’s small dimensions mean it fits even in smaller bags and won’t weigh you down during a long day out shooting, yet it’s comfortable to hold and handle, with a grip that’s beefy enough even for photographers with larger hands.
When we reviewed the D3200’s predecessor, the D3100 in 2010 we criticized a point that we would have liked to see improved on the new model but unfortunately there is still no dedicated ISO-button. Like on the D3100 you can assign this function to the Fn-button but when holding the camera up to your eye you are in danger of pressing the flash-button instead. Other than that though you won’t find much fault with the Nikon D3200’s user interface and after a few shooting sessions you’ll feel right at home with the camera and work out how to use it best for your individual shooting style.
All in all the Nikon D3200 is a through and through solid entry-level camera that offers good image quality, decent performance and intuitive operation. However, compared to some of the competition it does lack in the feature and innovation department and if you like playing with the latest digital helpers and gimmicks there better options available in the Nikon's price bracket.
Affordable mirrorless cameras such as the Olympus Pen E-PL3 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 (and recently announced G5) offer a better live-view shooting experience which makes them more attractive to users upgrading from compact cameras. The same is true for the entry-level models in Sony’s SLT-series with their translucent mirrors and electronic viewfinders. In addition many of these cameras come with built-in electronic helpers such as HDR-modes, panorama-shooting and a myriad of digital effects and filters. Apart from a few rather unexciting filter effects D3200 users will have to revert to post-processing to achieve the same effects the competition makes available in-camera.
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, just consider getting some high quality Nikkor glass with it to make the most out of its high pixel-count.
Category: Entry Level Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Nikon D3200 is a no-nonsense, ‘traditional style’ entry-level DSLR that is a solid performer on all levels. It doesn't offer much in terms of innovative features, but comes with the highest pixel-count in its class and good image quality across the ISO range. Just consider getting some high-quality Nikkor glass with it to make the most out of its high pixel count.
Mar 6, 2015
Jan 6, 2015
May 26, 2015
Aug 27, 2014
Nikon has posted firmware updates for the Df, D5200 and D3200. As well as a number of minor bugs and performance issues, support has been added to the D3200 and D5200 for the new collapsible AF-S DX 18-55mm F3.5–5.6G VR II, allowing them to display an error message if the camera is turned on with the lens in its collapsed state. Read more and get the updates
Owners of some of Nikon's entry and mid-range DSLRs are reporting that a recent firmware update broke support for their third-party batteries. The firmware update for the Nikon D3200, D3100, D5100, D5200 and CoolPix P7700 cameras claimed to report remaining charge more accurately for the EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery. However, on installing the update, some owners found their third-party batteries suddenly incompatible.
The holidays are a great time to take pictures — and they're a great time to get a camera for yourself or for a loved one. With more than 50 cameras going through the hands of the DPReview team over the year, we've seen it all (or so we think). Based on our collective knowledge we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision on which camera will fit your needs. In this final part, we look at entry-level mirrorless cameras
The holidays are a great time to take pictures — and they're a great time to get a camera for yourself or for a loved one. With more than 50 cameras going through the hands of the DPReview team over the year, we've seen it all (or so we think). Based on our collective knowledge we hope this guide will help you make an informed decision on which camera will fit your needs. In this penultimate part, we look at consumer-level DSLRs.
Fujifilm's latest entry-level Instax Mini model offers improved auto exposure over its predecessor and a simple-to-use interface. However, fun features and creative controls are mostly absent.
Fujifilm's latest X-S10 is a likeable, easy-to-control mirrorless camera with some of the company's best tech packed inside it. For users tempted by the Fujifilm ecosystem but turned off by all the dedicated dials, the X-S10 is worth a look.
The Nikon Z6 II builds on the well-rounded stills and video features of its predecessor, with the addition of dual processors, dual card slots and the option to add a full battery grip. It's a subtle evolution but enough to keep the $2000 Z model competitive.
What’s the best camera for under $1500? These midrange cameras should have capable autofocus systems, lots of direct controls and the latest sensors offering great image quality. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $1500 and recommended the best.
What's the best camera for shooting sports and action? Fast continuous shooting, reliable autofocus and great battery life are just three of the most important factors. In this buying guide we've rounded-up several great cameras for shooting sports and action, and recommended the best.
What’s the best camera for less than $1000? The best cameras for under $1000 should have good ergonomics and controls, great image quality and be capture high-quality video. In this buying guide we’ve rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing under $1000 and recommended the best.
If you want a camera that you can pick up and use without having to page through the manual first, then this guide is for you. We've selected seven cameras ranging from compacts to full-frame, all of which are easy to operate.
Long-zoom compacts fill the gap between pocketable cameras and interchangeable lens models with expensive lenses, offering a great combination of lens reach and portability. Read on to learn about our favorite enthusiast long zoom cameras.
|Carlos Poses by Charles Pfeil|
|DC Metro 10 by MEDISN|
from The World Beneath
|Little Boy In Awe by wam7|
from Ultra Wide [new shot]
|White-bellied Sea Eagle by Lance B|
|Church Door by Mitchmeister|
|Classic queen by Sufstreet|
from Alphabet soup II. Letter M for "Models" (Human models only)
Fancy tea-filtered panoramics with the sprocket holes showing? If so, Lomography's new 35mm liquid-filled panoramic camera might be just what you're looking for.
A new but already familiar range of batteries for Canon and Nikon cameras, and a fast double charger to go with them kicks off Manfrotto's first steps in the third-party energy market
The manual camera app for iOS brings a redesigned interface with innovative new features including XDR Analysis, 'Coverage' capture mode, 'Instant Raw' and more than 40 other updates.
Joe Biden's official campaign photographer Adam Schultz is a busy man. We spoke to him recently about what it means to shoot for a presidential campaign, how 2020 is different, and why he can't wait for the day we can take our masks off.
With four new devices and six different camera modules used in various combinations, decoding which cameras are on which of Apple's new iPhone 12 series phones is a little confusing. So we broke it down for you.
In a busy week of software announcements, DxO has launched PhotoLab 4. The photo editing software includes DeepPRIME, a new demosaicing and noise reduction algorithm which promises to breathe new life into your images.
The lineup includes two new DreamColor displays that compete with the UltraSharp monitors Dell launched earlier this month.
Winners and special mentions were recently announced for the 1st annual Aerial Photography Awards. we've rounded them up into a gallery for you to peruse.
The October 2020 release of Premiere Pro adds, amongst other things, the ability to natively edit ProRes Raw video files, something that was previously limited to Windows computers running Nvidia GPUs.
Loupedeck, makers of the popular Loupedeck CT and Loupedeck Live editing devices, has announced a collaboration with Adobe. Loupedeck has released a new free plugin using Adobe's UXP plugin platform introduced in today's Photoshop update.
Canon's EOS R5 is one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market today. But even with its 45MP sensor, 20fps bursts and 8K video, its not without its flaws. Find out all the ups and downs of Canon's latest mirrorless flagship right here.
Jordan takes a closer look at what's new on DJI's RS 2 and RSC 2 gimbals, and how they function in the field, both as tools for videographers and fitness buffs alike. You read that right – get ready for some Tonin' with the Ronin.
Today, embargoes lifted for reviews on the iPhone 12 Pro and, while we don't have a unit to test, we have rounded up a few reviews from various photographers and gadget reviewers from across the web.
Adobe's virtual MAX 2020 conference is underway and Adobe has announced updates to its family of software, including Adobe Photoshop 2021. The newest version of Photoshop includes AI-powered features such as Neural Filters and Sky Replacement.
The prototype tool will provide a way for photojournalists, artists and others to cyptographically sign and embed editing and attribution information to images that have been adjusted or altered.
The second-generation mini camera features the same three-axis stabilization found in its predecessor, but improves image quality with a larger sensor, wider lens and improved audio capture.
The Z 24-50mm F4-6.3 is Nikon's most compact and affordable lens for full-frame Z-mount cameras. While it's certainly not the fastest glass in town, it is respectably sharp for a modern kit lens.
The are piles of educational videos on the Ilford Photo YouTube channel for those wanting to get into black and white film photography and those who just need a refresher.
Adobe has released the latest update to Lightroom Classic, bringing the venerable photo editor and organizer to version 10.0. The new version adds performance improvements, new camera/lens support and more, including a highly anticipated new Color Grading feature.
If you don't mind it being entirely manual, this 35mm F0.95 has a lot to offer in a compact, affordable package.
Pivoting away from camera accessories, bags and tripods, Peak Design is back to crowdfund a new line of smartphone cases and accessories that use a unique dual-purpose mount that makes switching between accessories a literal snap.
The new Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II are iterative updates but with some meaningful improvements. So should you buy one? That very much depends on what you're considering upgrading from, argues Senior Editor and Z7 owner Barnaby Britton.
Having light is critical for photography, but what about the quality of light? Our resident mad scientist, Don Komarechka, explains how different light sources can impact your photos.
All you need is a cool space, a little creative composition and a bit of work in post-production to create these inception-esque drone photos that appear to bend reality.
Meet DPReview's new writer: Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals. Be nice – he's doing this for free, for some reason.
The 56th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition recently announced its winners.
Our team at DPReview TV just finished their review of the Fujifilm X-S10, capturing a lot of images along the way. Take a look at their sample photos from the Canadian Rockies.
Canadian light-painter, bullet-timer and visual artist Eric Paré created a bullet-time rig using 15 Pi cameras synchronised to all shoot at the same moment. The results are pretty cool.
Skylum Software has teased a new feature for its upcoming photo editor, Luminar AI. In 2021, Luminar AI's AI Sky feature will be able to create realistic reflections in water. This feature has been requested by users since Luminar's first AI Sky Replacement tool launched in 2019.
As it has with so many cameras over the past few years, Atomos says it's bringing ProRes RAW recording over HDMI to Nikon's new Z6 II and Z7 II mirrorless camera systems.