Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

Last updated date: April 10, 2019

DWYM Score

8.0

Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

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We looked at the top Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Update as September 25, 2019:
Checkout The Best Nikon DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top nikon dslr cameras.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 78 expert reviews, the Nikon D3200 Digital SLR placed 8th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Versatile, accurate, fast and lightweight - the Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera has all of these attributes and more. Designed to offer the highest level of picture quality in the most compact and sleek design, the Nikon D3200 blends quality, function and convenience for a winning combo. With its impressive 24.2 MP image zoom, astounding DX-format CMOS sensor and high tech 3 LCD display screen, the Nikon D3200 simply cannot be beat. One of the most flexible and effective cameras on the market, the Nikon D3200 is sure choice for ease of use and design. Advanced 24.2 MP for Amplified Image DetailThe Nikon D3200 was designed to offer the utmost in terms of picture quality and camera function. The cameras 24.2 MP CMOS sensor captures even the most miniscule details. With 24.2 megapixels, the Nikon D3200 offers over two times the resolution of the average camera, which means more detail and definition in every picture. State-of-the-Art DX-format CMOS Sensor for Cutting Edge ImagesThe D3200 also features a cutting-edge DX-format CMOS sensor. This state-of-the-art light sensing technology means you can shoot in nearly any light condition without compromising image quality. With this image sensor and processor, the D3200 offers unparalleled picture quality with defined detail and vibrant color. 3-inch LCD Display Screen for Effective Picture-Viewing and Camera ControlThis Nikon also comes standard with a 3-inch LCD display screen that extends the highest level o...

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

7.5
7 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
1,859 user reviews

What experts liked

Users agree that this is a superb basic DSLR that takes great photos right out of the box. Packed with all the most commonly used features.
- BestReviews
The D3200's AF system is the same as in previous generations. It's not the state of the art but very capable, and able to lock focus reliably, even in very low light.
- DP Review
July 26, 2012 | Full review
External mic input adds to movie appeal. The noise is well controlled throughout ISO range. Excellent image quality. Small and easy to use.
- Trusted Reviews
June 26, 2012 | Full review
Improvements made to the Guide Mode are something Nikon is understandably keen to shout about. On the Nikon D3200, new guides including Reds in Sunsets have been added, which - along with the original guides - is designed to help users to achieve the best possible image quality without necessarily having to have a huge amount of photographic knowledge.
- Tech Radar
September 1, 2016 | Full review
With reasonably fast performance and very good photo quality, the Nikon D3200 delivers what you expect from a dSLR.
- CNET
June 5, 2012 | Full review
Nikon D3200 also features Face detection AF where it intelligently detects the faces in the frame and locks the focus automatically. 1920 x 1080 Max Video Resolution. Optical Built-in Viewfinder.
- Camera Decision
Nikon has packed a surprising number of firsts into the Nikon D3200 incredible body. The device embodies plenty of enhancements to enhance options, features and shooting options. Naturally, the new camera itself feels like a high-class imaging device, with a consistent, remarkable and elegant design and easy dials. The smooth controls are well laid-out, with the buttons being of a decent size and easy to locate my fingers when you’re holding the grip. This is an essential addition to the Nikon D3200 solid 4.0 fps continuous shooting via the use of Fast Priority Continuous mode, which is very useful. Most notably, one of the valuable reasons to switch to the Nikon D3200 from lower-end cameras is the modified autofocus system with a whopping 11 detection points.
- Gadgetine
May 14, 2017 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Some users complain about its heft amd a sometimes confusing interface. A solid choice, but we recommend the D3300 for a little more performance at a similar price.
- BestReviews
The D3200 is not meant to be a sports or action camera. Like all of Nikon's other entry-level models, the D3200 lacks an in-body autofocus motor. This means the camera won't focus with older non-AF-S Nikkor lenses, or third party designs which lack an built-in motor; something you need to bear in mind if you choose to expand your lens collection (and which limits your options on the second-hand market).
- DP Review
July 26, 2012 | Full review
No internal AF motor and some issues with monitor quality. Guide Mode will only 'guide' you so far.
- Trusted Reviews
June 26, 2012 | Full review
This DSLR camera has limited connectivity. It's worth bearing in mind that autofocus is slower when using Live View, because the speedy phase detection is replaced by a slower contrast detection system. This may frustrate some shooters who are used to the quick speeds of compact cameras.
- Tech Radar
September 1, 2016 | Full review
The camera's lackluster feature set, some underwhelming design changes, and photos that don't necessarily surpass its predecessor may disappoint.
- CNET
June 5, 2012 | Full review
No touch screen and no AF micro adjustment. No environmental sealing. No articulating screen. No image stabilization. No wireless connection.
- Camera Decision

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Overall Product Rankings

Nikon D850 Digital SLR

1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.6
Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

2. Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

3. Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

4. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D750 Digital SLR

5. Nikon D750 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

6. Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.5
Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

7. Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.2
Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

8. Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.0

An Overview On Nikon DSLR Cameras

It wasn’t too long ago that powerful cameras were prohibitively expensive and limited to professionals. The times and technology have certainly changed. Now, families tote DSLR cameras around on trips to the playground, and many consider them a travel necessity.

It makes sense, as companies like Nikon have honed professional-level technology so that beginners and aspiring photographers alike can take stunning photographs every day. Having a high-quality camera, like a Nikon DSLR, will make a significant difference in the photos that you take, no matter how incredible you might think the built-in camera on your phone is.

Think you can’t afford a digital camera? Think again. Even if you’re working within a budget, you can still take advantage of this top-notch technology, says Jay Soriano, a portrait photographer based in Las Vegas.

“If the budget is a bit smaller, go a generation older or the next model down,” Soriano suggests.

You’ll also want to factor in the intended use of your new camera, he says. Will you be focusing mostly on still photography, or is video important to you too?
DSLR cameras were made to capture impressive scenes, minute details and everything in between. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and was designed to mimic its predecessor, the single-lens reflex film camera. As such, the DSLR cameras have similar design features. The camera body is equipped with a viewfinder and a reflex mirror and connects with an interchangeable-lens system.

DSLR cameras come in a wide range of prices and features. If you want to take the most beautiful photographs, they are unparalleled in image-capturing technology. They boast the highest image quality, speed and user-friendly design. Similarly, they can match basically any type of photography you can dream up. A DSLR camera is generally the first step toward serious photography for many people. While there are reasonably priced models, any DSLR camera purchase will be an investment. As such, it’s important to understand the DSLR cameras available so you can select one that best fits your personal needs.

Nikon DSLRs are among the wide array of digital cameras available on the market today. Canon and Sony are competitive camera manufacturers. There are models suitable for beginners, professional photographers and everyone in between. DSLRs are the leading camera technology available today, and Nikon is often the camera of choice for professional photographers.

Unlike basic digital cameras, when buying a DSLR camera, you’ll likely purchase at least two parts. These two main components are the body and the lens. Generally, these pieces are sold separately, and there are specific lens options for each camera body. For beginners, you can purchase a kit that includes the body and one or more lenses as a package. Generally, these lenses are lower performance than those sold individually. The DSLR camera body contains a mirror that reflects the light onto an optical viewfinder that displays the image viewed through the lens.

It is with various lenses, not camera bodies, that you will notice the biggest difference in photos and capabilities. As such, one of the most important characteristics to think about is the system of lenses compatible with each camera body. While you may begin with one or two lenses, you will likely invest in more over time as your photography grows. Each camera body connects with a different system of lenses.

Even though Nikon is well-known as a top camera choice for professional photographers, there are plenty of beginner-friendly Nikon DSLR cameras too. These cameras, like the Nikon D3400 and D5500, are especially appealing because they have reasonable starting price points. They also have helpful automatic photography settings. That means you will have high image quality but less control over the camera settings. As such, these are aimed at beginners and could be frustrating for more advanced photographers. Armed with a variety of preset effects, you can rely on these and gradually learn how to handle a DSLR camera.

The value pick, the Nikon D3400, is an excellent first DSLR camera for beginners. It delivers solid image quality and shutter speed for its class at a good value. That means it is fast enough to capture kids and pets. For a step up in performance without a significant price increase, the D5500 offers upgrades across the board. This camera is one of the lightest Nikon DSLR cameras and features a more comfortable grip.

If you’re familiar with photography and want a bit more control and range in a Nikon DSLR, you may be ready for a higher priced and higher performance intermediate category camera. There are many intermediate options for aspiring photographers as well as professionals. If you’re looking for innovative technology, this is an exciting category.

For example, the Nikon D7200 offers upgraded features, such as the 51-point autofocus system and native range of ISO100-25,600.

The top pick Nikon D850 DSLR camera boasts many impressive features. It shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution, one of the highest resolutions on the market today. It also has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. By design, this camera outperforms others in low-light. Overall, it’s a powerful, professional camera that commands an equivalent price tag.

Within Nikon’s range of DSLRs, there’s a camera and a price point that’s perfect for every photography skill level. As the company innovates, the cameras are constantly improving, boasting more features and improved image quality at ever more reasonable prices.

The Nikon DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras generally incorporate an APS-C-sized sensor and polycarbonate construction. These two components help make them compact and lightweight. However, those new to DSLRs will notice they are heavier and more unwieldy than standard point and shoot.
  • Beginners should look for features like guide modes when buying their first DSLR. These entry-level DSLR cameras help teach new photographers about the controls and settings with the ultimate goal of understanding exactly how to produce specific types of imagery in mind.
  • DSLR cameras tend to have superb battery life because the optical viewfinder uses minimal power. Depending on the length of time you’re shooting, DSLR cameras can take thousands of photos on a single battery charge
  • DSLR cameras can range greatly in price. Nikon DSLR prices tend to be a bit higher than competitors because each level of camera includes enhanced performance features.
  • Be careful when changing lenses to not touch the mirror or sensor or get dust on the inner components. If anything does get on the sensor, some cameras include an auto-clean mode, or you can use specialty cloths to clean.
  • Some DSLRs have more rugged weather sealing. However, most require a separate housing to be waterproof and weatherproof. You should be careful in adverse weather conditions or wet or dusty areas to protect the sensitive camera.