The Nikon D3200 follows the successful D3100 barely annually after its introduction. News about its release was well-received and many were excited about its screen made up of 921,000 dots. But the biggest surprise was its 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, which is previously restricted to high end models.
I had been pretty impressed using the D3200 the first time I first viewed it. While the case is all plastic, the quality isn't too shabby and it is got a rubberized coating on the handle and also the rear for easier handling. Not the very best in its class but nonetheless pleasant to make use of.
A glance through the viewfinder is a little disappointing though: it is narrow and inconvenient for eyeglass wearers. However this is unfortunately the case for many entry-level SLR on the market today. However, Sony is definitely an exception because it managed to provide the Alpha 37 by having an electronic viewfinder that is much broader and covers 100% of the field photographed.
What's promising for beginners is that they could discover the basics in photography in the Guide mode, and it lets users configure the device according to the desired shooting outcomes. Surprisingly, the auto ISO feature is hidden somewhere within the menu (you cannot access it directly on the screen without changing the option), although the sensitivity will even vary depending on the focal length used.
The LCD screen is now displayed in VGA (921,000 dots) thus correcting a major shortcoming from the previous model. The display is also fluid and colorimetry rather accurate, so previewing the photos is quite a nice experience.
The D3200 incorporates autofocus module with 3D tracking, which already exists on previous models. However, the overall performance from the camera is very impressive as it requires only greater than a second to shoot successive photos when light conditions are good. Compare that with D3100 and you'll find that the D3200 is 4 times faster! The burst mode was also consistent for a price of 4 frames per second.
With a 24 megapixel sensor, the D3200 is anticipated to shine on image quality and especially on the removal of electronic noise. I began with my observation via a 100% image on the wide screen. The grain is absent up to ISO 400 and pictures undergo a small smoothing at 800 and 1600 ISO. The grain remains very fine and pictures were perfectly usable even when printed on large sizes.
I printed a 40x60 cm size with ISO 3200 and also the result is still quite acceptable. Aside from the fine stitches, the 24 million pixels possess the advantage of offering a good flexibility in cropping, though it is still needed that the optics are up to the standards set through the manufaturer. Lenses delivered in kit commonly are not exceptional, but the included 18-55 mm f / 3.5-5.6 VR is actually performing very well.
The JPEG images usually come out soft in most DSLR cameras. If you wish to get the best of the sensor, it is advisable to use the Nikon RAW format. I bet with this format, however, most buyers of the D3200 are not very interested to use it.
Optical stabilization is also very effective and the auto white balance is traditionally just a little "hot" under halogen lighting.
Around the video side, improvement is also noticeable having a recording capability in HDTV 1080 at 30p or 24 fps (full frames). In HDTV 720p mode, the rate climbs to 60 or 50 fps, that allows for some quality slow motion. The D3200 has an interesting permanent AF, but nonetheless too slow to trace a moving subject which reflex is still far from the performance of a compact interchangeable lens or perhaps a Sony model having a fixed mirror. The pictures are quite beautiful and noise is unnoticeable. On its side, an interior microphone can be found, but it is possible to connect a stereo microphone via a mini-jack in the camera.