Nikon D3200 Review
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.
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