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Nikon D3200 Digital SLR Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the brand new 24.2 megapixel Nikon D3200 Digital SLR and have a look at the new wireless adapter and 28mm f/1.8G prime lens.

|  Nikon D3200 in Digital SLRs
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Nikon D3200 Red (7)
Nikon D3200 Red

The Nikon D3200 is Nikon's latest Digital SLR and is designed to sit one step above the Nikon D3100, with a new 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, Full HD video recording and new guide mode it has been announced, along with a new Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G lens and WU-1a wireless transmitter.

Nikon D3200 Features

Nikon D3200 Red (6)
Nikon D3200 Red

In addition to the D3200, Nikon has announced the new Nikon WU-1a wireless device for image transmission and remote shooting. It is designed to work with smartphones and tablets, and is compatible with android devices so far, with iOS compatibility scheduled for Autumn. The device lets you download pictures from the camera, take pictures remotely with live view, and share pictures to my Picturetown, social network sites and attached to email.

Key Features

  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS DX sensor
  • 3inch screen, 921k dot
  • ISO100-6400 with Hi 1 ISO12800 equivalent
  • Full HD Video, 1920x1080 30/25/24fps, 20min max
  • 720p, 60/50fps video available
  • 4fps continuous shooting
  • 11 AF Points / Cross Type Sensor at the centre
  • EXPEED 3 Image Processing Engine
  • Dedicated movie-record button
  • External stereo microphone jack (internal mic: mono)
  • Enhanced guide mode
  • Expanded effects: Miniature, Selective Colour, Colour sketch, Image overlay, Filters
  • Retouch menu: D-lighting, Red-eye, Trim, Straighten, Distortion, Fisheye, Colour outline etc
  • Available in black or red
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G

Another new announcement is the Nikon Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G prime lens, this gives the equivalent of 42mm when attached to a DX-format SLR such as the D3200. The lens features a nano ctrystal coating to reduce ghost and flare, silent wave motor for quiet AF, 67mm thread, 2 aspherical lens elements, 7 rounded diaphragm blades, and weighs 330grams. More details on the new lens can be found here.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Nikon D3200 Handling

Nikon D3200 Red (8)
Nikon D3200 Red

Handling - The camera feels well built and features a large mode dial. The optical viewfinder is bright and clear making it easy to see subjects even in low light. Ergonomically the large rubber hand grip feels good, as does the rear rubber grip for your thumb. There is also a dedicated video record button letting you quickly start and stop video recording.

Nikon D3200 Red (2) Nikon D3200 Red (3)
Rear screen New Guide Mode
Nikon D3200 Red (19) Nikon D3200 Red (1)
Shooting Menu Setup Menu

Menus – The menus are clearly laid out and easy to read thanks to the high resolution screen, and will be familiar to anyone who's used a Nikon camera before, with each section being colour coded. The guide mode takes you through a number of steps in order to shoot the desired result while at the same time teaching you photographic techniques such as changing the aperture to have more background blur.

Nikon D3200 Red (4)
Nikon D3200 Red

Battery life - The battery life was said to give between 500 and 600 shots, although if using the optional wireless adapter then this would reduce battery life dependant on how much you used the wireless features.

Nikon D3200 Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Nikon D3200 Performance

As these are pre-production models we are not able to full assess image quality from the camera. When we have access to production versions of the camera we will post full sample photos, along with our full review of the camera.

Value For Money

The D3200 body will be available in mid May for £559 body only, or £649 with 18-55mm VR kit, the release date for the red version is yet to be confirmed by the price will be the same. The WU-1a wireless adapter will be available mid May as well, priced at £54.99. The new Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens will be available from the 24th or May for £619. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon D3200 Verdict

The Nikon D3200 is a welcome addition to the Nikon range of Digital SLRs and offers a high resolution sensor at a new entry level price point. Full HD video recording and wireless control of the camera are useful features and the extremely reasonable price of the optional wireless adapter is particularly impressive. While the red version of the camera may not be to everyone's tastes, you'll be pleased to know that the camera is also available in the more traditional black, and we're looking forward to testing this new camera. If the D3200 is anywhere near as popular as the Nikon D3100, then Nikon look like they will have another winning camera on their hands.

Read the Nikon D3200 Announcement

Nikon D3200 Specifications

Effective Magnification1.5x
Image Sensor
Pixels24.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data
Pixels (H)No Data
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest30sec
Shutter speeds longest1/4000sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-5
MagnificationNo Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30/25/24fps, 720p 60/50fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
  • RAW
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeEN-EL14
Battery Life (CIPA rating)500shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsEN-EL14 Battery, MH-24 Charger, UC-E17 USB Cable, EG-CP14 AV Cable, DK-20 eyecup, AN-DC3 strap, BF-1B body cap, DK-5 eyepiece, BS-1 shoe cover, ViewNX2 CD

View Full Product Details

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D3200

cold stoneMr RobinMY BEAUTIFUL WIFE !!!P51 MustangWaterWeston  super  marealoneRelaxed Travel.All the fun of the Fair.Standing Tall.PLATES AND PLANTWar Horse.UntitledWHITBY ABBEYGull in flight

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kodachrome 9 727
19 Apr 2012 8:23AM
Goodness me, when will the pixel race end, never I guess, I hope the black version looks better than this red one because it looks like an Airfix kit.

I wonder if this new sensor will end up in a 'D5200'?

GarethRobinson 14 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 9:26AM
they will custom build you a d5200 with same sensor but limit it to 2mega pixels for them that just cant stop complaining.Grin
cameracat 17 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
19 Apr 2012 11:03AM
Personally I love the idea of a red one, Black is Sooooo last century and boring, Dull as ditch water as they say and the colour makes no difference to actually taking piccies......Grin

At least its a " Proper " camera and has an optical viewfinder to go with the LCD, Nothing worse than only having a screen to work with, Especially while out in bright sunlight.......Sad

No sign of a horrible EVF either......Wink

Quote:I wonder if this new sensor will end up in a 'D5200'

No doubt a 5200 is on the cards, But not just yet....Smile They are still trying to shoehorn 36 Mega Pixels into that baby.......Wink
kodachrome 9 727
19 Apr 2012 12:05PM
Yes, agree about black, but I would love to see the satin chrome bodies we had on 35-mm SLR's they kept the film cooler as they reflected the suns heat where as black soaks it up.

I quite like the EVF on my Panny G3, its so easy to read the info and settings you have selected or want to adjust while up at the eye, its also 100%. However, its more or less useless in the dark and not that good in low light, its refresh is pretty slow on video. Given the choice, its an OVF every time, but EVF does have its advantages.
How does the red Nikon compare to the red Pentax Kr.

LenShepherd 12 4.3k United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 3:53PM
Going from 10/12 MP to 24 MP increases image resolution - even with the not bad 18-55 kit lens Smile
In some ways it makes development sense to put the new sensor in an entry level body first. It gives more time to develop improvements in noise etc before bringing it out in a mid range body and then maybe a "D400".
It also keeps sales of the D4 and D800 high as a D400 will be stronger competition for the high end FX bodies than the D3200.
Probably less than 2 years from now the Sony 12 MP sensor production will have ended, with 24 MP the normal DX sensor size.
kodachrome 9 727
19 Apr 2012 6:44PM

You make some interesting points I hadn't considered, So far the [did you mean] 16mp Sony sensor used in some Nikon's and Pentax cameras are giving out standing IQ for those cameras. In several reviews of the Sony NEX 7 with a 24mp sensor, they have marked it down slightly as not quite as good as the 16mp sensor in the NEX 5n. Although I guess much of this is down to soft ware processing rather than the sensor. Where's it all going to end, probably never because some thing in the future will replace pixels!, thank g-d for that.

With all these high pixel counts, lenses are going to struggle to keep up getting the maximum info from the sensor, in other words, they will not do it the justice it deserves. This points to more expensive lenses in an attempt to balance out the performance.
andart 18 533 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2012 9:59AM
I think the red one will be great for sunsets Wink
DouglasMorley 10 30 1 Canada
21 Apr 2012 8:48PM
Why would the purchaser of this camera want to move up to a D7000 or D300s unless both were likely to be replaced in the very near future, something I'm sure is on the cards. This I can understand but what of the recently introduced D4? Unless that is replaced at the same time it will be left far behind in this mad pixel chase.

The only real advantage of 24mp to newby owners would be learning how to crop as files from it are sure to clog up their computers no end.

This whole business smacks of a commercial despiration and high dependancy on a very swift turnover of perhaps yearly camera replacements by 'dealer's delights'
Niknut Plus
10 2.8k 82 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2012 3:34PM
Superb piece of kit !!!

After having seen some sample shots from this camera on another web-site (forget which),
I wouldn't hesitate in treating myself to one of these !!!!

The sample shots were exquisitely 'creamy' smooth, with amazing detail, & with a body
weight of 505 gms it's a cracking tool for my type of photography !!!!!!!!

£559 for the body is pretty good value for money, especially compared to some of the
CSC & MFT cameras that are on the shelves....I'd love one !!!!

Can't wait for the EPZ review !!!
kodachrome 9 727
26 Apr 2012 4:32PM

As you can see, I have posted a couple of rather negative comments on the new D3200.
However, I have to agree with you that its smaller and lighter than most Nikon DSLR's that have gone before. As you know, we both await to see how the new Samsung NX20 fairs as it is smaller, [not by much] and lighter. Both these cameras have very high pixel counts and I can't help wondering just how much better picture quality is going to be from 16mp to 24 mp.

My old Nikon D5000 fitted with the 16-85 Nikkor takes stunning pictures with razor sharpness and brilliant dynamic range and its 'only' 12.3 mp. So is it much of an advantage or not to have these very high pixel counts, it was only a couple of years ago when Nikon said they thought 12mp was the best number of pixels/noise ratio/picture quality, and they thought it pointless in adding more pixels. My guess is they were right but were forced to increase pixels by their main rival Canon.


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