Nikon D3200 Review 2021: Detailed Analysis

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The beauty of a picture depends on the subject in the frame, and most importantly, the quality of the camera with which it was clicked. The perfect camera captures the most stunning moments. Ever wondered why the pictures captured with the Nikon D3200 turn out to be the  best?  It’s because this elegant DSLR is jam-packed with all the must-haves of a good camera.

You no longer need to rummage through different articles to find the perfect camera review. Let’s delve right into the Nikon D3200 camera review for more information!

nikon d3200 review


Features To Look Out For In Nikon D3200

You may find the Nikon D3200 small in size, but don’t get tricked by it. This amazing DSLR is an easy-to-use tool in the market with a 24.2MP DX-format CMOS sensor that excels in all lighting conditions. This camera allows you to avail creative, in-camera effects with the EXPEED 3 image-processing. 

The Nikon D3200 is a great entry-level DSLR camera with its compact, comfortable and ergonomic design. This is perhaps Nikon’s best digital SLR for beginners yet. The 24.2-megapixel sensor is capable of being expanded up to ISO 12,800. The Nikon D3200 is also compatible with the new wireless adapter, WU-1a. 

This wireless adapter allows quick and easy image sharing and also enables any android device to act as a remote controller for the camera. The camera is capable of capturing full HD video at up to 30fps, with non-stop AF while recording, thanks to the new 3-inch 921,000 dot LCD monitor. This all-in-one camera also comes with a headphone jack that helps you with stereo recording and creating HDMI output with CEC support.

The EXPEED 3 processing of the Nikon D3200 lets the camera record up to four frames per second at the full 24.2MP resolution. Its flawless 11-point autofocus system works along with the Nikon Scene Recognition system to set exposure and helps the camera work more accurately.


1. Appearance

Though it looks quite similar to its predecessor, the Nikon D3100, the D300 sports new contours and elements. Altogether, the camera has a very compact and comfortable design. The camera weighs 27.3 ounces, including its lens, card, and battery. The body of the camera is well-built and balanced with a slight tilt toward the lens.

The well-designed body of the camera gives you ample grip. The shoulder is designed so that it slopes steeply, giving the index finger enough space and a better angle on the shutter button. The Nikon D3200 comes with a new infrared remote control part, which is nestled in the grip.

Incorporated with the camera is the 18-55mm f/3 5-5.6 kit lens with adequate vibration reduction. Concerning the D3200, the drive mode switch, which is used to jut out from below the Mode dial, is now moved to a button on the back of the camera. The speaker is also moved from the back to the top left of the camera. 

The top deck now adorns a new Movie Record button, as well. The Nikon D3200 has undergone quite a few changes in button arrangements/positions. This model is considered to be a little more complicated than the other cameras in the Nikon family.

Although the camera has more buttons and icons, it has a fairly straightforward design for such an all-round camera. To make the job easier, the Nikon D3200 has an in-built Nikon’s Guide Mode. This enables the users to access the DSLR’s unique capabilities more efficiently.

2. Ports

The Nikon D3200 includes a range of ports, making the camera open several connectivity options. It has a 3.5mm stereo microphone, an input jack, and also an accessory microphone, the ME-1 Stereo Microphone. For easy transfer of data to a computer or any android device, there is a standard USB 2.0 High-Speed port.

The NTSC / PAL switchable composite port or the Type-C Mini HDMI port allows the videos to be displayed on a standard or high-definition monitor. The HDMI port also assists the Consumer Electronics Control (HDMI-CEC). This permits the remote control device to make use of certain playback functionality through the HDMI cable. 

Additionally, there is an accessory terminal on the Nikon D3200, which is compatible with the MC-DC2 remote cable release. Other extra options available are the GP-1 GPS unit and the WU-1a wireless mobile adapter. 

3. Battery And Storage

The Nikon D3200 comes with an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card, enabling you to store images easily. It is also compatible with Eye-Fi cards. For recording Full HD video, it is best to use Class 6 or faster cards. The camera also supports Faster UHS-1 compliant cards.

The DSLR camera boasts an excellent battery life. It utilizes an EN-EL14 lithium-ion battery pack. It is rated for 540 shots on a charge, with 50% of pictures using the flash. The camera also gives you a way to connect an optional dummy battery adapter with an optional AC adapter.

4. Price 

Available from late April 2012, the Nikon D3200 currently holds a price tag of $299.90. 

5. Small And Comfortable

The camera has been subtly but visibly redesigned to make it more comfortable for use. The dimensions of the Nikon D3200 are 4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 inches (125 x 96 x 77mm). The Nikon D3200 is still a very portable camera, not much bigger than compact or mirrorless cameras.

It is more comfortable to hold than most small and interchangeable lens models. Nikon has added a red movie record button to the shutter switch. While the Mode dial seems easy to turn, the buttons and controls on the Nikon D3200 are comparatively small. 

6. Control

The Nikon D3200 is an amazingly portable camera with much creative control. Though there’s no monochrome display as with more advanced DSLRs, the camera lets you see and adjust most features using the 3-inch LCD screen. For beginners, it takes a while to get used to the camera features.

7. Speed

One attractive highlight about the Nikon DSLRs is that they are fast and quiet performers. The Nikon D3200 has a whisper-quiet shutter that makes photography a speedy and intuitive process. The AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR locks focus more quickly in good light conditions than the D3100.

The Nikon D200 also offers an improved burst mode that is capable of shooting four frames per second. 

8. Outdoor Shoot

The Nikon D3200 can click impressive pictures of the landscape, flora, fauna, and other natural/urban settings. The pre-set landscape mode is the perfect mode to capture some spectacular shots. 

However, in challenging light conditions, the camera takes a few seconds to lock its focus on a subject. 

9. Kit Lens 

The Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens is incorporated with the Nikon D3200. Even though it focuses quickly, the image quality is still on the line. The Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilization in the lens helps correct camera shake when shooting at low shutter speed.

The ikt lens is not particularly sharp in the corners, especially when shooting at the widest aperture. While recording at the widest focal length, high geometric distortion takes place. To get more out of photography, we recommend that you pair the Nikon D3200 with a higher quality piece of the lens, such as the new AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G prime lens.

10. Image Quality

The image quality of the Nikon D3200 is quite impressive. It even does a pretty good job in low light conditions. The ISO range can go up to 12,800. The DSLR uses a 24.2-megapixel CMOS APS-C sized sensor, where the photosites are just 3.8 microns a piece.

At ISO 6,400, heavy luminance noise is visible in the shadow areas. At 12,800, the overall image quality softens from unwanted noise. The camera produces fairly accurate color saturation when you use the default settings. The yellows, light greens, and some cyans will be slightly undersaturated while the dark greens, blues, and reds will be pushed to a moderate amount.

There are many picture control options available like the Vivid, Monochrome, and Portrait. They also allow you to individually adjust saturation, contrast, brightness, sharpness, and hue for even more control.

The high-resolution sensor incorporated with the Nikon D3200 lets you take images with tons of details in it.

11. Movie

The 1080p HD functionality enables the Nikon D3200 to shoot fantastic short movies. Though the camera allows you to automatically and continuously autofocus, it is nowhere mentioned in the User manual but is only included in the full Reference Manual in the given CD-ROM.

Important Features

  • 24.2 Megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor
  • Full 1080p HD video with stereo sound 
  • Easy-to-use with the Nikon’s Guide Mode
  • Fast shooting with 11-point Autofocus System
  • 3-inch monitor with One-Touch Live View shooting and movie recording
  • Built-in HDMI port
  • Automatic Exposure Scene modes – Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up, and Night Portrait
  • Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, and Landscape Picture Controls
  • In-built pop-up flash
  • 3 x 18-55mm Zoom-NIKKOR VR Image Stabilisation Lens
  • Compact and ultra-lightweight design
  • ISO sensitivity 100-6400, expandable up to ISO 12,800
  • Scene Auto Selector and Scene Recognition System in Live View
  • Includes EXPEED 3 image-processing engine
  • Active D-lighting for shadow highlight recovery
  • Automatic Image Sensor Cleaning
  • In-camera Image Editing
  • Compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards.
  • 95% Viewfinder frame coverage
  • Four frames per second in Continuous Shooting Mode
  • AF-S lens for autofocus

What’s Good About The Nikon D3200?

The Nikon D3200 is a subtle yet great successor to the Nikon D3100. Boasting a high-resolution 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, full HD video recording ability, and a lightweight, well-designed camera body, the D3200 is an excellent camera with unique camera features.

This will be the right purchase for beginners and those upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera. This DSLR is an entry-level camera with a minimum number of features, a simplified user interface, and the lightest and most compact camera body. 

The Nikon D3200 is the third member of the Nikon D3000 series. The camera sports a higher megapixel sensor, fast-performing processor, quick shooting speed of 4 fps, and a high-resolution LCD screen compared to the Nikon D3100.

The DSLR proves to be an ultra-lightweight camera with dimensions of 125 x 96 x 76.5mm. When the camera was introduced, it was the smallest DSLR in Nikon’s line of cameras. The delicate Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens that the Nikon D3200 adorns is a perfect fit for photography.  

The Nikon D3200 sports an EXPEED 3 processor that enables you to handle high-resolution files very quickly and effectively. The Nikon D3200 is also impressively capable of handling high definition video. This DSLR can record 1080p at up to30 fps and 720p at up to 60 fps.

The Nikon D3200 displays the 11-point AF System with one cross-type sensor in the center. In a nutshell, the Nikon D3200 is a high-performance DSLR for your everyday photography. It doesn’t aim at fast-action photography such as sports and wildlife. Autofocus proves to be very accurate and on-point for stationary and slow-moving subjects. 

The camera tends to miss out on fast subjects with erratic movements. The DSLR also shows excellent dynamic range results. It allows you to shoot HDR images with the Manual Mode, as well. Moreover, the D-lighting works great for JPEG images. It also enables the user to balance the highlights and shadows.

The built-in flash is an alternative for fill flash and can even be utilized in low light conditions. However, you have to watch out for the subject distance, shadows, red-eye, lens hood size, and other problems when using the flash.

High ISO performance is a striking characteristic in any DSLR. For that matter, the Nikon D3200 provides plenty of detail with minimal noise. It is also capable of remotely sending images without using a computer.

It is undoubtedly an excellent small-sized camera for amateurs who wish to improve their photography skills.

What Can Be Improved In The Nikon D3200?

People who are used to bigger DSLRs may often find the Nikon D3200 much smaller with mini controls. Although the camera provides high image quality, the kit lens only provides mediocre results. 

The camera provides high-ISO images, and it is expandable up to 12,800 ISO. However, you may still find soft corners and noticeable geometric distortion. The Nikon D3100 sports a dedicated Live View switch and Movie Record button nested together. However, the Nikon D3200 has them split up, with one on top and the other button on the rear. 

Even though the device provides in-camera tutorials in Guide Mode, the feature can be somewhat confusing for beginners. The camera is only capable of noise reduction up to a certain level. You can see excessive image noise at ISO 6,400 and above. 

For indoor photography, the camera develops images with Warm Auto and Incandescent White Balance. The full-time autofocus, aka Full-time-servo AF feature, is not that pleasing for prime time. It happens to be too slow and loud and tends to drain the battery insignificantly.

The Nikon D3200 fails to provide a well-working microphone, but it includes a built-in monaural microphone. Moreover, it only gives you narrow flash coverage. Photographers looking for a more versatile DSLR might want to look for other better options.

A Brief Recap – Nikon D3200

The Nikon D3200 is a well-built camera with some fantastic features. Though it comes with its cons, it does a pretty good job developing good quality images. It is a great intermediate-level DSLR camera with a 24MP sensor.

This DSLR is a perfect must-have for beginners who want to polish their photography skills. The Nikon D3200 was also termed as the second-best camera in sensor performance. The Guide Mode provides the users with all the information they need. Accompanied by a fast performance EXPEED 3 image processor, the camera sets the quality bar relatively high.

If you are looking for a multi-talented camera for HD recording, the Nikon D3200 can meet your expectations. It enables you to capture pictures even in low light conditions using a flash. The 11 focus points will not disappoint you if you want to obtain sharply focused images. 

The 3-inch LCD screen also helps you with good video recording. In short, the software is user-friendly, easily accessible, and provides a wide variety of options to adjust in the settings. This lightweight and well-designed camera are comfortable to handle, as well.

Additionally, the camera sports a much better color depth, high-resolution image quality, and a wide dynamic range. The Nikon D3200 only enables you to capture up to 150 photos in a single fully charged battery. 

Overall, it is a good option for beginners and is quite affordable. Advanced photographers and videographers can try their hand at this camera once, but they may find it less equipped with features in the long run.

FAQs on the Nikon D3200

Q1. How Many Shutter Actuations Does Nikon D3200 Have?

The shutter life ratings differ from camera to camera. The Nikon D3200 boasts a shutter life expectancy of 100,000 actions. It may range from 5,000 shots for entry-level models to 500,000 actuation in the case of professional cameras. 

Q2. Can The Nikon D3200 Be Used As A Webcam?

Some of the Nikon camera models are excluded from being used as a webcam. These include the Nikon D3000, Nikon D3100, Nikon D3200, Nikon D3300, Nikon D3400, Nikon D3500. However,  several other DSLRs in the Nikon family can be used as a webcam, too.

Q3. Does The Nikon D3200 Have A Mic Input?

The Nikon D3200 provides users with a wide range of connectivity options. The DSLR camera sports a 3.5mm stereo microphone input jack. Nikon also offers an accessory microphone, the ME-1 Stereo Microphone, which connects to the camera through a hot-shoe. 

Q4. Does The Nikon D3200 Have Built-in WiFi?

This entry-level DSLR comes with in-built wifi. It can be used with an optional WU-1a Wifi module. The camera allows you to transfer files online and also helps your device act as a remote controller.

Q5. How Many Photos Can a Nikon D3200 Capture?

Nikon’s website gives out all the information you need in this respect. It is said that the Nikon D3200 stores RAW images in 12-bit format. Nikon guarantees that the camera is capable of taking 520 RAW images per 16GB card and 100 Large/Fine JPEG images.

Q6. Can We Connect Nikon D3200 To A Computer?

Yes, it is possible to connect the camera to a computer. For this, the camera provides you with a USB cable, which enables you to download photos and other files. 

To make this possible, turn off the camera. Then, open the rubber cover on the left side of the camera to expose the USB port. Connect the camera to the computer and now turn on the camera. This allows you to download files from the camera.

Q7. Is the Nikon D3200 Good to Capture Videos?

The Nikon D3200 indeed lets you produce a good quality video with great detail, modest motion artifacts, and a well-pleasing color. The videos claim to have reliably higher quality in well-lit areas. The DSLR is perfect for shooting in daylight, considerably bright interiors, or shortly after sunsets. 

The camera also permits you to capture videos during nights, but it may show quite a bit of noise.

Q8. How Old Is The Nikon D3200?

The Nikon D3200 is a 24.2-megapixel DX-format DSLR Nikon F-mount camera and was officially launched on April 19, 2012. It is usually marketed as a camera for beginners and experienced DSLR hobbyists looking for more advanced specs and performance.

Q9. What Is The Best Sd Card Recommended For Nikon D3200?

The SanDisk Extreme is the most widely recommended card as an overall SD memory for the Nikon D3200. With just $20 for a 16GB card, the SanDisk Extreme offers write speed of up to 45 MB per second. It performs exceptionally better than cheaper cards in terms of larger files, videos, and downloads. 

Q10. Can the Nikon D3200 Shoot 4K?

One of the practical reasons to choose the Nikon D3200 from other low-end cameras is the modified autofocus system with an incredible 11 detection points. The Nikon D3200 can shoot 4K videos, which has become the standard in recent years. The DSLR camera adorns a Nikon F lens mount, as well.

Nikon D3200 Review – The Camera Hunt Is Over!

The Nikon D3200 can be a reasonable purchase if you are a beginner. We have provided all information regarding this excellent DSLR camera, and now it is time for you to make the final camera decision. Wait no more, and get your hands on the Nikon D3200 to elevate your photography skills.

We hope this detailed Nikon D3200 review simplified your job. 

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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