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First Impressions: Nikon D3200

by Gevon Servo on 07/07/2012

Well it has not been a quiet time here. It has been hot with lots of events going on. Amongst all this, I received a Nikon D3200 test unit. We have begun our review and here are a few test images as well as my initial thoughts. I reviewed the Nikon D3100 last year and the idea of this review is nice for me. The camera is on the low end of the range and is not as refined as other Nikon cameras, but does it have potential?

Tech Specs

Product Highlights from B&H
24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
EXPEED III Image Processor
3″ 921K-Dot LCD
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm 3.5-5.6G VR Lens
11-Point Autofocus
HD 1080p Video
Live View
Up To ISO 12800
Optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter

Gear Used

Build Quality

When I first picked up this camera, to examine it, I was less than enthused with its build quality. Clearly there is some concern. For some context, I am a long time Nikon user and I have certain expectations of its cameras, however I was not thrilled with the D3200. I shot with it, Sid by side with my D90, My D700, my Nikon EM Film camera and from what I remember of the D3100 , this camera feels, well, toyish. what  It was like “what the bleep were they thinking?”The camera does not feel solid. I pushed on though, and placed my 40mm 2.8′on the camera, one of Nikon’s newer lenses.

 Doubt

After taking this camera out of the box, I greeted it with a sad smile, cynicism, and apprehension. A significant shift for me, I am, usually, an understanding Nikon Fan boy. By all accounts, though, this camera just seemed wrong. It is all about perceptions or points of views. I think I looked at this camera in a subjective way and that was wrong. Let me just say it is not the same quality as its predecessor, even with the better sensor, or so it seemed.

 Perspective

I had to change the way I looked at this camera to understand it and to take pictures with it. I put the camera in my wife’s hand, she liked it. She’s not a photographer. The first thing that caught my interest with this camera, when I first heard about it, was the sensor and all the new technological advances. Looking at the it I had to ask myself “what is my job with this camera?” How am I to give you a proper review without my biases? I decided to ignore the outward aesthetics so I could  take an objective view of this camera. I am reserving final judgment on everything until I go through the camera thoroughly.

Rethinking

I had to rethink this camera after going through the images. This is important, never judge a book by its cover. This camera is deceiving. On the outside, it has “issues”. Its end result is far better than everything else about the camera. The end results were fantastic. Despite all my current misgivings, I have to thoroughly go through this camera. I have to rethink who this camera is for and how it can be used. This camera has me baffled. We all know this is about taking pictures and the D3200 does that well.

The Nikon 3200 seems to be a distillation of current high end Nikon cameras. As most of Nikon’s entry level DSLR’s its simple to us but it feels lacking in its physical presence. Much to is to be gained, however, by using it  and seeing the final results. Its does have similarities to its predecessors, but like most of Nikon’s new cameras, it’s a change from the past.

To be continued in the full review.

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