Best DSLRs for £700
The Nikon D3200 has the highest resolution out of all the cameras here, housing a 24.2MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor.Nikon has stuck with the 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module that was featured in both the D3100 and D3000 before it. Along with single-point AF and dynamic-area AF, there's auto-area AF and Nikon's clever 3D tracking. This latter mode will track your subject from AF point to AF point as it moves across the frame, utilising colour and distance information from the D3200's 420-pixel RGB sensor that provides input into the Scene Recognition System.
Like the Nikon D5100 model, the D3200 features in-camera Effects that include Monochrome, Miniature, Sketch and a variety of others. Rather than apply these at the point of capture though, these can be only added after you've taken the photo.
There is also a Retouch menu with a selection of tools to edit and adjust your image including straighten horizons, trim photos and control distortion. All of this is displayed on the 3in, 921k-dot TFT LCD on the rear that sits flush with the camera's body.
The outer shell of the D3200 is constructed from a high-impact plastic with a relatively matt finish
to it, while there's a textured rubber coating round the handgrip and thumb rest at the rear. The handgrip is pretty comfy, but if you've got big hands then you may find your little finger hangs off the bottom of the grip thanks to the camera's proportions.
AF is pretty fast and dependable in single-point AF, and it does well when tracking subjects. In continuous AF the 3D-tracking proves itself to being one of the best AF tracking systems on a camera of this class. In live view, however, the autofocus speed just isn't as quick as that offered by the G5 and A57, which each feature a non-standard internal construction.
Although the rear screen shares its 3in size and resolution with its peers, it fails to deliver clarity on a similar level. Furthermore, images are displayed with a cool blue cast, which isn't entirely accurate.
Most shooting settings are set via the interface on the rear screen, though the function button can be set up to control a host of options. There's also a useful Guide mode to help newcomers to shoot a variety of subjects.
- 24.2MP CMOS APS-C sensor
- ISO 100-6400 (Expandable to 12,800)
- Optical viewfinder (95% coverage)
- 4fps burst mode
- 3in, 921k-dot TFT DISPLAY
- Guide Mode