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Nikon D3200 Camera Review

Updated on April 3, 2013

Basic Review

For those just looking for a quick review:

A few years back I was a professional commercial photographer. I got out of the business a few years ago but kept my equipment. Recently I was looking for a replacement camera for an upcoming trip. I bought the Nikon D3200 as a replacement for my old D100 (i mean VERY old). I had compared the D3200 and the D5100 for what I wanted, and in the end the D3200 won out for a number of reasons.

Overall the camera has many features I was looking for: high megapixel (24) sensor, very good color quality, full HD 1080p30 video, was very light weight, and (in my case) came with a wifi adapter that lets me transfer photos to my computer (and iPhone!) wirelessly.

The weight was a big thing as once you start getting some lenses and other accessories, the bag could get heavy, so a lighter weight camera is good. The downfall is that I believe part of the lightness is due to cheaper materials. Not as much metal int the body as my old D100 camera, which makes me thing it is mostly plastic.

The shooting ability is great. It focuses well with the proper lenses, makes the colors look great and shoots fairly fast while in continuous shooting mode.

As compared to the older cameras, the 3" screen on the back that can be used as the viewfinder is great. You can easily line up shots without pressing your face to the small viewfinder (a bonus for those with glasses!).

The only advantage I saw with the D5100 was the viewfinder screen being able to move/rotate, but overall that wasn't a deciding factor (the few times you'll use it really isn't worth it unless you're taking a ton of selfshots).

While I have yet to push the battery life, this was one factor that I've read elsewhere: the D3200 battery life is shorter than most. Factory guide says it can take about 540 shots per battery charge, but those are subject to time of focusing, using the back display for a viewfinder, etc. In all, having a backup battery for those long shooting days wouldn't be a problem.

Overall, the D3200 looks and feels like a great camera. It will take very detailed photos and for any hobby or amateur photographer, should be a great camera to work with.

Wifi Adaptor on the D3200
Wifi Adaptor on the D3200

D3200 Advantages

The D3200 is a great camera for any non-professional. It has quite a number of great features that make it the camera of choice without spending a ton of money.

1. Continuous Shooting
With a speedy burst of 4 photos per second, you'll be able to capture those moments of movement that you'll need. At a reported 6016x4000 size at high speed in JPG format, you'll get some great photos.

2. Large Autofocus area
The D3200 has an 11 point autofocus area and Scene Recognition System, the camera's focus will actually track a subject while shooting to ensure crisp, clear photos. I haven't tried this in high speed situations yet, but in terms of basic use (like focusing while walking) it seems to work quite well.

3. 3" Screen
As compared to my old camera(D100, who's screen was very close to an inch), the D3200's screen is amazing. At 920k pixels, the quality looks great, and you can really see the focus (even in manual focus mode) to get the best photos.

4. Wifi Transmitter
Although this is really an additional accessory, I really recommend getting this, and it is really a great feature of this camera. No more cords going from the camera to your computer, and the fact that you can instantly load it to your iPhone is great, especially while on the road (when you take that perfect photo that everyone on Twitter needs to see!). The additional adapter basically just creates a wifi hotspot that you hook into with your phone through the Nikon app, and you get instant photos on your iphone that you can view, download and send.

D3200 Back

Some Negatives

Overall I'm happy with this camera. But there are some negatives that you may want to know about.

1. Lens compatibility.
As a semi-professional photographer years ago, I had a number of very high priced lenses. I had assumed that a Nikon lens from 6-7 years ago would work on a new camera. But alas, all but one didn't. In terms of Auto Focus I mean. They fit and would shoot, but the autofocus didn't work. Very annoying, and very strange as two of my lenses were the very similar to each other, even bought the same day, were the same aperature, yet one didn't work and one did. Just keep that in mind. They MUST be AF-S style lenses.

2. Structure/Breakability
As I stated above, these cameras feel like they're made of mostly plastic, so I can see some potential fails when dropped.

3. Screen glare
Sometimes it is hard to see the picture in the screen in very bright situations (like in direct sunlight). A screen protector may help the glare, but sometimes you do need to shade the screen to see the photo.

What do you think of the D3200?

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Nikon D3200

What is your experience with the D3200?

Submit a Comment
  • aaronrobb profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Ontario


    The 18 or 55 means focal length in the lens. Basically, a 50-ish length is about equal to the human eye. A 200mm lens focal length is about a 4x magnification.

  • baja2013 profile image


    8 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

    Just to be sure: 18-55 zoom means 18 to 55 times magnification? That would be quite enough I think.

  • aaronrobb profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Ontario


    The D3200 was the best deal I found for a DSLR in terms of what you get for the money. If you're not looking for a camera that a full time professional would want, go with this one, as it's as close as you can get with great quality.

    In terms of the zoom, that all depends on the lens you get. It comes with an 18-55, which is more wide-med angle, but I grabbed a simple 55-200 zoom as well and it works great. You can also get up to 300 zoom which does get more expensive, but should give great shots if you really need to zoom in!

  • baja2013 profile image


    8 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

    I would like to buy one for my wifE. Need to save some money first.

    Actually she would like something with good zoom feature and I am not sure is this one ok with that?


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