The Nikon D3200

Product Summary

  • Model name: Nikon D3200
  • Focus Type: Autofocus / Manual
  • Format : APS-C / Crop Sensor
  • Mounts: Nikon DX
  • Purchase options: Amazon | Adorama | B&H

What’s new in the Nikon D3200

  • A newly developed 24.2 megapixels DX format CMOS sensor
  • Revamped guide mode for amateurs / first time DSLR users
  • 11-point Auto-focusing system including 3D tracking (inherited from the D3100)
  • 3-inch TFT LCD monitor with 921,000 dots resolution, 160˚ viewing angle, 100% coverage
  • EXPEED 3 image processing system
  • HD video recording at 1080p, 720p and VGA
  • ISO range of 200-6400, 12800 (expanded)
  • Continuous shooting speed of 4 fps
  • Image sensor cleaning function
  • Option to plug an external stereo microphone
  • Compatible with WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
  • Compatible with GP-1 GPS Unit

Features explained

The D3200 is the successor to the very successful and a favorite among a lot of amateur photographers the D3100. The D3200 immediately comes at you as a DSLR that is built to impress. It has a stunning 24.2 megapixels DX format CMOS sensor that captures stunning amount of details and Wireless Connectivity to Mobile Devices

The new 24.2 megapixels DX format CMOS sensor

Nikon has upped the game with the entry level DSLR cameras with this new sensor. However it is not the highest resolution entry level camera in the market. There is at least one Sony model (the a65) that currently retail for the same price of $699 and has a slightly more resolution.

EXPEED 3 image processing

The D3200 uses the same image processing system as the flagship D4 does. Since the ISO sensitivity of the camera is also pretty high 100-6400 (expanded to 12800), the camera needed all the processing power that it could to ensure that the noise can be eliminated and the details are retained. Thanks to the extra processing power and the 24.2 megapixels sensor, the details captured are fabulous. You can make an A4 print of a small square while retaining all the details.

Active D-lighting

Maintaining the details of scenes which has different light sources or when the background is illuminated and the subject is comparatively in the dark, the Active D-lighting feature uses moderation to ensure that the details of both the highlights and the darker areas are preserved.

Videos & stills

The D3200 can shoot large images of size (pixels) 6,016 x 4,000. It can shoot full HD videos at 1080p, 720p and VGA modes. Videos are shot in MOV formats and it can use both H.264 and MPEG-4 advanced video coding. Unlike the D3100 one can plug in an external microphone jack via the 3.5mm pin to record crisp audio.

The viewfinder & the LCD monitor

The eye-level pentamirror has a field of view (FOV) of 95%. The 3” LCD TFT monitor boasts a 921,000 resolution and has a much better and brighter display covering 100% of the frame. The viewing angle is the same as the older D3100 at 160˚.

Wireless shooting

The D3200 is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter which allows the camera to be used remotely to shoot images via and for transferring images to a mobile device wirelessly. It is necessary to download the wireless mobile adapter utility from the Google play store (free) for using this function via an Android powered device. Using this utility one can use the camera to shoot pictures by triggering it from the mobile device using its display as the live view mode. Transmitted images can be shared via the Smartphone

Embed location data in pictures shot

Compatibility with the GP-1 GPS Unit allows the camera to embed location data such as latitude, longitude and altitude.

What are missing / wish list

The D3200 just like its older compatriot the D3100 does not have a built-in Auto-Focusing motor. What it means is older lenses which does not have a built-in AF motor can only be used if you manually focus them at all times. All other AF-S and AF-I lenses specially the modern Nikkor G lenses are compatible. Although this is basically an entry level camera the lack of a built-in AF motor is damper. Also missing is a live view histogram which for some strange reasons Nikon is refusing to implement on their entry level DSLRs.

Similar products

Sony’s Alpha A65 also retailing at $699 is a formidable competitor to the D3200. It also has a 24.3 megapixels sensor and because of the Translucent Mirror technology is capable of extremely fast continuous shooting drives of 10 fps. If you need to take pictures of playful kids, pets or some fast action / sports photography then the A65 should be the one to go for in this budget.

Should I buy it?

The D3200 costs a mere $50 more than the older D3100. While for most shooting needs the D3100 is perfectly good camera, if you often print crops of scenes then the extra pixels do make sense. It will retain all the details without making then soft when you blow them up. Again if you need large prints from time to time, the extra megapixels will help you immensely. Ideally for sharing photos on the Internet, you don’t need anything more than 4-6 megapixels and the D3100 is perfect. Available at Amazon | Adorama | B&H

Sample images by Nikon D3200 on flickr

Nikon D3200 Specifications

TypeSingle-lens reflex digital camera
Lens MountNikon F bayonet mount
Picture AngleApprox. 1.5× lens focal length (35 mm format equivalent); Nikon DX format
Effective Pixels24.2 million
Sensor Size23.2 × 15.4 mm CMOS sensor
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Pixels24.7 million
Dust-reduction systemImage Sensor Cleaning
Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Image Area (pixels)6,016 × 4,000 (L), 4,512 × 3,000 (M), 3,008 × 2,000 (S)
File formatNEF (RAW): 12 bit, compressed JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture ControlStandard
selected Picture Control can be modified
Storage MediaSD (Secure Digital) and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards
File SystemCompliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras
ViewfinderEye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage95% horizontal
95% vertical Approx
Viewfinder Magnification0.80x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0m-1) Approx
Viewfinder Eyepoint18mm (-1.0m-1)
Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment-1.7 to +0.5m-1
Focusing ScreenType B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VII screen
Reflex MirrorQuick-return type
Lens ApertureInstant-return type
Electronically controlled
Compatible LensesAutofocus is available with AF-S and AF-I lenses; Autofocus is not available with other type G and D lenses, AF lenses (IX-NIKKOR and lenses for the F3AF are not supported) and AI-P lenses; Non-CPU lenses can be used in mode M but the camera exposure meter will not function
The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster
Shutter typeElectronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane
Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec. in steps of 1/3 EV, Bulb
Flash Sync SpeedUp to 1/200 sec, Synchronizes with shutter at 1/200s or slower
Shutter Release ModesSingle-frame [S] mode
Self-timer mode
(delayed remote)
(quick-response remote)
J (quiet shutter release)
Frame Advance RateUp to 4 fps (manual focus, mode M or S, shutter speed 1/250 sec or faster, and other settings at default values)
Self-timer2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures
Exposure Metering SystemTTL exposure metering using 420-pixel RGB sensor
Metering MethodMatrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame
Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point
Metering Range0 to 20 EV (Matrix or center-weighted metering at ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, at 20 deg.C/68 deg.F)
2 to 20 EV (Spot metering at ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens at 20 deg.C/68 deg.F)
Exposure Meter CouplingCPU
Exposure ModesAuto modes ( auto, auto [flash off])
Scene Modes
Programmed Auto with flexible Program (P)
Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
Aperture-Priority Auto (A)
Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation±5 EV in increments of 1/3EV
Exposure LockLuminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO SensitivityISO 100 to 6400 in steps of 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 1 EV above (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO 6400 (ISO 12800 equivalent); auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-LightingOn
Autofocus SystemNikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection
Auto-area AF ModeSingle Area AF
Auto-area AF
3D-tracking (11 points)
Detection Range-1 to 19 EV (ISO 100, 68 deg.F/20 deg.C)
Lens ServoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); Predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
Focus PointCan be selected from 11 focus points
Focus LockFocus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)
Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
AF-area modeSingle-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points)
Built-in FlashAuto flash with auto pop-up
P, S, A, M: Manual pop-up with button release
Guide Number39/12, 43/13 with manual flash (ft/m, ISO 100, 68 deg.F/20 deg.C) Approx.
Flash ControlTTL: i-TTL flash control using 420-pixel RGB sensor is available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600 or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
Flash ModeAuto, auto with red-eye reduction, auto slow sync, auto slow sync with redeye reduction, fill-flash, red-eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red-eye reduction, rear-curtain with slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off
Flash Compensation-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash-ready indicatorLights when built-in flash or optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output
Accessory ShoeISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-910, SB-900, SB-800 or SB-700 as a master flash and SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes,or SU-800 as commander; Flash Color Information Communication supported with all CLS-compatible flash units
Flash Sync TerminalSync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (available separately)
White BalanceAuto, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine-tuning
Live View ShootingYes
Live View Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F)
Manual focus (MF)
Live View AF-area modeFace-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
Live View AutofocusContrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected
Live View Scene Auto SelectorAuto mode
Auto (flash off) mode
Movie MeteringTTL exposure metering using main image sensor
Movie Metering methodMatrix
Movie Maximum recording time10 min
Movie File FormatMOV
Movie Audio recording formatLinear PCM
Movie Audio recording deviceBuilt-in monaural microphone
Monitor Size3-in./7.5-cm, approx. 921k-dot (VGA) TFT LCD with 160° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage, and brightness adjustment
Playback FunctionsFull-frame and thumbnail (4, 9 or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, auto image rotation and image comment (up to 36 characters)
InterfaceHi-speed USB
Video output: NTSC, PAL
HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Accessory terminal: Remote cord: MC-DC2 (available separately); GPS unit: GP-1 (available separately)
Audio inputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
Supported LanguagesArabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian
Battery / BatteriesEN-EL14 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
AC AdapterEH-5b AC Adapter
Power Connector EP-5a available separately
Tripod Socket1/4in (ISO1222)
Operating Environment32 to 104 deg.F (0 to 40 deg.C)
Less than 85% (no condensation)
Dimensions (W x H x D)Approx. 5.0 × 3.8 × 3.1 in./125 × 96 × 76.5 mm
WeightApprox. 1 lb 1.8 oz/505 g (with battery and memory card but without body cap); approx. 1 lb/455 g (camera body only)

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Purchase Options

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200 available at Amazon | Adorama | B&H

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