As a beginning photographer, you want to choose entry-level DSLR cameras that will not only serve you now, as you learn the tricks of the trade, but later as well, once you are a seasoned photographer. Choosing a camera that has both entry-level features and professional functions is important, not only for future use, but also for your wallet. The Nikon D3200 is a DSLR camera that you can use for years to come, as it offers 24.2 million effective pixels, a 3-inch LCD monitor with a very respectable 921,000 dots, the ability to shoot in a RAW image format and full-HD movie capabilities. This camera is fully compatible with AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR lenses, and partially compatible with many other NIKKOR lenses (see the Specifications tab for details).
Photo imaging software is an essential tool for many professional photographers in order to adjust lighting, contrast, color saturation and picture effect. The Nikon D3200 DSLR camera allows you to apply many of these effects before you even take the photo. The Picture Control mode has several settings for you to choose from, such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Portrait and Landscape. You can apply these settings to images and your HD videos before you shoot. You have the power to change the lighting and ISO levels before shooting as well. Active D-Lighting captures images as you see them and helps to eliminate the loss of vivid hues and image details resulting from dark shadows or over-exposed areas. This DSLR camera has an ISO sensitivity range of 100 to 6,400, and it has a "high" option that reaches a whopping 12,800. Using the correct ISO level helps reduce the chance of blurry images and helps control the image lighting. If your ISO levels are high enough, you will not need a flash in low-light situations. The Nikon D3200 has very low noise even at high ISO.
The Scene Recognition System is a powerful feature that this DSLR camera provides, and which we believe, as an entry-level photographer, you will appreciate. This feature will automatically analyze your surroundings and gauge the appropriate lighting, focus choice and exposure in order to obtain the perfect picture. And the Expeed 3 processing engine ensures that each photo will be processed quickly so that you can move on to the next one.
The Nikon D3200 DSLR camera has excellent photographic features, but it also provides full-HD 1080p movie capabilities. For action shooting, Nikon suggests that you use Subject Tracking Auto Focus, which is a stellar feature for both creating movies and photographing actions shots. This technology locks onto your subject and tracks it automatically, keeping that focus exactly where it should be.
You can share your video with family and friends by connecting your DSLR camera to your HDTV via an HDMI connector. Before sharing anything, however, you have the option to perform simple editing tasks, such as scene trimming and removing still images.
The Nikon D3200 has a host of features and functions that are fantastic but that may be a tad daunting for any entry-level photographer. Nikon does include a user manual with your DSLR camera, but it weighs in at over 200 pages. When you are on vacation or on location, you don't want to be pulling out your 200-page user manual to look up how to use a certain function. You need something that is accessible and easy to use. Enter the Guide Mode. The Guide Mode walks you through the features and actions that you can use to shoot, view and delete photos, as well as set up your camera. With step-by-step directions, examples of photo effects, shooting tips and more, you get to know your DSLR camera very well and how to execute functions flawlessly.
When it comes to DSLR camera design, Nikon definitely knows what it's doing. The back of the camera hosts several buttons to instantly access popular features, including a Live View button and continuous-shooting button. A movie recording button rests on top next to the power/shutter-release combo. There is also a tiny infrared receiver for use with an optional remote control.
The one element missing from this entry-level DSLR is a flip-out monitor, which would allow for more photographic opportunities. Not including a flip-out monitor would be a major drawback for many other DSLR cameras, but because the Nikon D3200 is so well designed in every other way, the stationary monitor does not take away much from the quality of this entry-level DSLR.
The Nikon D3200 operation manual is excellent, easy to navigate and is packed with images, step-by-step instructions and other user information. We wish the rest of the customer service options were so easy to praise. Instead of having a support tab on the product-specific page, you must navigate your way through the system until you reach a mass of information that includes user manuals, firmware information and more for every DSLR camera that Nikon manufacturers. You can use the search toolbar at the top of the page to narrow the information, but we are a tad annoyed that customers must go through this process in order to find information specific to the D3200.
The Nikon D3200 has a long list of features and functions that are simple to use, yet still yield powerful results. We love that you can edit images and videos directly from the camera, choosing the effects that you will apply. The design of this DSLR camera is brilliant, so brilliant in fact that we didn't miss the flip-out monitor – almost. We were disappointed in the complicated navigation of Nikon's customer service section, however.
The Nikon D3200 Has 24 megapixels of crisp brilliance.
This camera does not have the flip-out monitor of many of its competitors.
This entry-level DSLR camera provides the features you need to be in control of all photographic opportunities.