Nikon D3200 DSLR Camera Review

Rating:

While I was never a photography buff to start off with, having previously relied on my iPhone or smartphone as the primary camera I’d use for everyday situations, I’m glad I came across the Nikon D3200. It has made me a believer in capturing and honouring those beautiful moments in life with a capable camera that gives those moments, the depth, clarity, life and colour they deserve. Upon reviewing your photos, it’s as if you were transported back to that time in all your photos high resolution glory.

Originally released in 2012, the D3200 has gone through some software improvements through firmware updates. Upon picking up the D3200, compared to your smartphone, it feels hefty and solid.  The design, while a bit dated and not slick, looks and feels like it should, grippy and just enough weight that it feels like what a DSLR should feel like.

It is rock solid and capable of taking beautiful pictures at your beck and call.  If having that extra WIFI capability is something that you need because you can’t be bothered with plugging in your camera to your computer, there’s a separate WIFI adapter to help you with automatic uploading.

Image Quality

Expect crisp pictures that evoke the emotions captured the moment you hit the shutter button. With the different modes given to you to help the beginner photographer capture beautiful photos, you can take pictures in a variety of environments, light conditions and time of day ensuring that you’re getting the best pictures possible.

While it makes it a no-brainer to capture beautiful photos with its guide mode, its manual controls allow for more flexibility as photographers get more advanced or for those who already consider themselves advanced.

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Video Capability

The video quality is absolutely top notch, capable of capturing video at 1080p, 720p, and 424p. You can also adjust the frame rate (f/s) at each level, with 30 being the highest rate at 1080p, 60 f/s while shooting at 720 p, and 30 f/s at 424p.

Check out an example I shot at 1080p below.

Camera Software

While I’m a smartphone first point and shoot photographer (in the vein of Instagram), my first instinct after reviewing photos were wondering how you could edit the photos with filters.  There were even some light editing features such as cropping already present without having to load your photos onto your computer to edit them with whatever photo editing software you might have handy.

The operating system feels a bit dated, but it’s easy enough to navigate through the buttons, knobs and dials. If you want to dig a little deeper into get access to more advanced features and granular controls, there’s that as well.

Controls

If you’re a beginner,  it might be bit disorienting to deal with all the knobs, buttons and dials, but playing around with the knobs, buttons and dials, you’ll be able to figure it out in no time as everything is pretty intuitive, without having to consult the D3200’s hefty instruction manual.

A Mode for Every Mood

One of the awesome things that you’ll get when you do decide to get a your first DSLR is the plethora of advanced options that afford you the ability to do things you never really considered using an iPhone or other smartphone camera. While the gap is slowly bridging between smartphones and DSLRs, you won’t be able to get the quality, depth and versatility of a DSLR camera whose sole purpose is to only take awesome photos. With that in mind, with the power and versatility of the D3200, you can be sure that you get the best shot possible with the D3200.

Features

– 24 MP CMOS sensor
– SDXC Support (up to 32 GB)
– 3” LCD Colour screen (921,000 dots)
– Focal length multiplier 1.5x
– Continuous shooting at 4 frames / second
– Shoots 1080p / 720p video
– Microphone jack
– Micro USB connector
– HDMI output

The Bottom Line

While there are some minor annoyances such as the remote not being included and some touchscreen innovations that are being found on newer generation DSLRs, the D3200 is a great choice for entry level and aspiring photographers looking to get their feet wet with their first real camera.

The D3200 fits comfortably in your hand and while bigger/heftier than your smartphone and other point and shoot cameras (obviously), it’s footprint is pretty small, especially when I’m throwing it into my satchel or backpack.

What I like about the D3200 is that does two things very well right out of the box – taking beautiful photos and recording high resolution videos at 1080p and below. If you’re not one to sync your photos with your computer too often, it might be a good idea to get a higher capacity SDXC flash card to be able to capture photos without the worry of filling up your flash card so fast.

With that said, considering the retail price sitting at around $450, you’re looking at an affordable powerhouse of a DSLR that gives higher end models and newer generation cameras a run for their money.

This product is perfect for: people who are looking to get into photography. It’s the perfect entry level DSLR. The D3200 is easy enough to get a grasp of it relatively quickly, but also allows you to add more advanced lenses as you grow into learning more about digital photography.

Key things to be aware of: there’s a bit of a learning curve, especially if you want to learn how to shoot manually. While the camera is a few years old, understandably the software and features haven’t been on part with newer DSLR cameras as of late. The software is a bit dated and doesn’t have WIFI uploading built in.

Final Review Score: 4/5

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Nikon D3200
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Will obsesses over the latest and greatest in gadgets, startups, does CrossFit and writes about technology, growth marketing, programming and personal development. He curates the Startup Digest in Toronto and is a coffee enthusiast.

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