If you are planning to step up from a digital compact camera to a DSLR, then a likely option to consider would be entry-level digicams from the likes of Canon or Nikon. Last year, we reviewed the EOS 1100D, the base model from Canon and it was a decent camera that would be an ideal choice, if Canon were the brand you are opting for. Today, we take a look at the Nikon D3200, which is a rival to the aforementioned model and it is also a follow-up to the highly successful Nikon D3100. Read on to know if you should opt for this year’s entry-level DSLR option from Nikon or just opt for the Canon EOS 1100D, which is over a year old.
A kit includes an 18-55mm lens
Design and Build Quality
Since the Nikon D3200 is a base model, the brand has designed the camera in such a way that it does not intimidate a user. Nikon has kept the design of this DSLR camera simple and because of this, a user who is stepping up from a point and shoot camera will not feel too overwhelmed by the fact that it is a DSLR camera. The model is available in India in two colour options - black and red and the option we received in our labs was the black one. The size of this model is not too large when compared to other DSLR cameras, such as some of the higher end options from Nikon as well as Canon. The hand grip at the front is not chunky, but large enough to fit in the folds of your fingers. The front of the model features an AF assist, a function key, a button for flash and a lens mount that occupies the majority of this area.
At the back of the display, is the 3-inch LCD, which features a 921k dot resolution. This is a major improvement over the 230k dot resolution that was found on the D3100. This would translate into a lot more detail onscreen, while previewing or reviewing images. The buttons for the DSLR are located on either sides of the display and Nikon has done well not to over clutter this area. Apart from the display and the buttons, the rear also features the viewfinder. Nikon has added a rubberized padding here to help in reducing strain that may arise, while peering through it for long periods of time. The top of the camera features a handful of buttons, some of which are a dedicated video recording button and a shutter release button. The other notable features found in this area is a mode dial, which is quite comprehensive as it features different modes that are designed for shooting images in various settings, scenes, etc.
The hand grip makes the D3200 easy to handle
Connectivity options are housed in a bay at the side and they include ports for HDMI, USB, a mic and a GPS unit. Like other DSLR cameras available in the market, this model has a hot swap option for switching SD cards as it is housed in a slot at the side. A slight crippling feature here is that it houses just a single slot for SD cards and not dual, which means one would have to be content with a single slot for switching between cards. Also, the brand does not add a CompactFlash card slot in the DSLR, which keeps this camera on par with some of its competitors, such as the EOS 1100D. The flash for the camera is located at the top and the spring loaded mechanism works well. The flash unit of this camera feels sturdy and just like the rest of the D3200, it features a good build quality. The battery bay is located at the bottom of the camera where the handgrip is located. Though the flap feels well-built, the brand should have made it spring loaded, so the battery does not accidentally pop-out when used a bit roughly.
The D3200 is light enough to be used with a single hand
Rounding up this segment of the review, Nikon has done well in designing a stylish camera and has added a build quality to match.