Nikon D3200 vs D5200? With Nikon now boasting two 24-megapixel DSLRs for beginners the question is… which do you choose? Find out what our experts suggest in our Nikon D5200 vs D3200 match-up?
While both are great cameras (watch this space for a Nikon D5200 review), we’ve waded into the Nikon D5200 vs D3200 debate to see if we can make some sense of what advantages each camera offers.
Nikon pitches the D5200 more at ‘advanced beginners’, but here are the concrete differences that could help you decide.
UPDATE – JUMP TO: Nikon D5300 vs D5200 vs D5100: 13 key differences you need to know about
Nikon D5200 vs D3200: what you need to know
1. LCD display
Both cameras have a high-resolution 921,000-dot 3-inch LCD display, but the big difference is that the D5200’s display can be flipped out and rotated to any angle. This is a major advantage of the Nikon D5200 vs the D3200 and is ideal for anyone shooting movies and close-ups, or any other kind of subject where the angles or the subject position are awkward.
2. RAW files
Both cameras shoot RAW format files for those seeking maximum quality, but they’re not quite the same. The D3200 shoots 12-bit RAW files, while the D5200 shoots 14-bit files. It’s a small technical difference in an overall Nikon D5200 vs D3200 comparison, but it means the D5200’s picture quality is potentially better.
3. Continuous shooting speed
The Nikon D5200 has a modest advantage, with the ability to shoot at 5 frames per second compared to the D3200’s 4fps. It could make a difference to wildlife and action fans.
4. Exposure metering
The Nikon D3200 uses a 420-pixel metering sensor, while the D5200 has a 2016-pixel sensor. Technically, this should improve exposure accuracy and subject recognition, but you may not notice in practice.
5. Exposure bracketing
This is a useful option in difficult lighting conditions where the exposure is hard to predict. The camera takes 3 shots at different settings and you select the best. The Nikon D3200 does not have this feature, but the Nikon D5200 does.
6. ISO range
The main ISO range is the same at ISO100-6400, but the Nikon D5200 has a ‘Hi’ setting of ISO25600 that’s one stop higher than the D3200’s – though the quality is pretty low, so it’s fit for emergencies only.
The D3200 has an 11-point autofocus system, but the D5200 uses a more sophisticated 39-point system taken from cameras further up the range. This could prove useful for fast-moving subjects.
Both cameras shoot 1920 x 1080 full HD movies, but the D3200’s built-in microphone is monaural, while the D5200’s is stereo (both can take external mics, though). The D5200 can also shoot movies and 60fps or 50fps in interlaced (‘i’) mode as well and the standard 30fps, 25fps and 24fps frame rates.
9. Help for beginners
The D3200 has a Guide mode designed to walk novices through everyday shooting scenarios, making it one of the easiest DSLRs on the market to use. Having said that, the Nikon D5200 is hardly very difficult.
10. Special effects
The Nikon D5200 offers a range of special effects (Night Vision, Color Sketch, Miniature Effect, Selective Color, Silhouette, High Key, Low Key) and an in-built HDR mode.
Nikon D5200 vs D3200: our conclusion
Get the Nikon D3200 if price is a factor. It’s a lot cheaper than the Nikon D5200 price tag, delivers almost the same picture quality and offers all the features you’ll need when you’re just starting out.
But the D5200 is a much more versatile camera, thanks to the articulated LCD, a better autofocus system and greater range in-camera effects and adjustments.