The New-ish Nikon D3200 versus the not as new Nikon D5100

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D3200 Back D3200

  • 24MP- Good MP too, this sensor is excellent and has scored higher than any other crop camera (Pentax K5 scored slightly higher)
  • New processor
  • Fun new features

Price- $699 w/ 18-55 Lens

Nikon D5100 Back D5100

  • flip out screen

Price- $649 Body with 18-55 Lens 


My Thoughts:

Can I just say that I really hate snap sort – so misleading, this page talks about sensor size for the D5100 and I feel that implies it has a larger sensor and better ISO capabilities. . . NO NO NO. Sensor size is the same. Truthfully there is a fraction of a millimeter difference, but not enough to make an actual difference in image quality. The D3200 has 24MP. The DxO folks recently tested the D3200 and it is the 2nd best crop sized sensor they have ever seen. Is the D5100 near it on that list, no, not really. Not to say the D5100 is bad, it is just a bit older and uses an older sensor. This new 24MP sesnor in the D3200 is quite fantastic. Reason to get the D5100 – swivel screen, really that’s about it- and for some it could be a valid reason. Personally I would get the D3200 at the $699 price point getting an excellent sensor in a smallish body is lovely.

The D5100 is likely to be replaced in the next 6 months, it will be interesting to see what Nikon offers to counter the Canon T4i which looks to be very successful and closer in price, though the Nikons are more affordable.  If you are serious about video I think canon offers a bit more here plus the lack of in-body focus motors on both the D5100 and D3200 limit the number of lenses you can use, though this is far less of an issue than just a few years ago due to excellent and affordable lenses like the 35 af-s f/1.8.


Curious how the T4i stacks up against the D3200?  D3200 Vs T4i


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  1. Thank you for this review. I was really confused on what nikon dslr to get since I’ve read a lot of good reviews on both cameras. I think the D5100 swivel screen is more prone to damage (?) Like what if it gets used too much. Anyway, this is my question and i hope you can help me on this. If ever I’m getting a D3200, what prime lens is better? A 50mm 1.8 or a 35mm 1.8? I know both are great lenses. Thank you!

    • The swivel screens really are pretty sturdy but the D3200 has a much improved sensor over the D5100 – D5100 is likely to be replaced in the next 6 months. Both of those primes are great – for general use I find the 35mm focal length a bit more versatile. So I vote for the 35mm f/1.8 If you are going to be doing mostly portraits the 50 f/1.8 is lovely but the 35 can be used for that too. Feel free to ask more questions!

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