The Nikon D3200 offers a good compromise among image quality, price, and ergonomics for aspiring photographers. There is no real equivalent in this category in today’s market, given that the old Canon EOS 600D or 1100D cameras may soon be replaced. In terms of image quality or sensitivity, it competes with the Sony NEX-7, but this last follows a radically different philosophy: reflex vs. hybrid, amateur vs. semi-pro ergonomics, optical reflex vs. OLED viewfinder — and at a significantly higher price.
The D3200’s 24 Mpix Sony CMOS sensor brings with it some real pluses: high resolution and an extended dynamic range. For as much as we salute Nikon’s bold strategy of putting the best sensors into cameras designed for the general public, we cannot help but regret the quality of the JPEGs that the D3200 generates, which seems a priori below that of its competitors… due to the limitations Nikon has imposed on its software. This said, with a good RAW converter, the D3200 will provide image quality as good as that of an expert-level camera.