Nikon's recent cashback promo gave us a twinge that new consumer models might be around the corner, but as of today there's just the one: the almost entry-level D3200, which Nikon hopes will complement the cheaper D3100 without supplanting it. The price gap between these two low-end DSLRs is significant -- around $150 based on current D3100 prices, with the black D3200 and regular 18-55mm kit lens expected to hit shelves at the end of April for $700. What does that extra outlay get you? Quite a lot, actually: a hefty resolution upgrade to 24-megapixels with an Expeed 3 processing engine, versus 14-megapixels mustered by D3100; an extra ISO notch of 6400, providing more flexibility in low-light situations; and also a much higher-res LCD display for cleaner live-viewing and playback, with around four times as many pixels as the D3100's grainy window. Read on for some initial impressions and a hands-on video, and you'll see that there are a couple of subtler selling points too.
Nikon makes a really big deal out of Guide Mode, which has been expanded on the D3200 to offer even more tuition to DSLR newcomers. It might sound gimmicky, but actually the interface is well intentioned: you twist the mode wheel to Guide and the camera asks if you want a desired effect, such as a blurred background in a portrait, or more red in a sunset, and then it efficiently guides you through the steps needed to make it happen -- in this case, opening up the aperture or shifting the white balance respectively. Of course, if you actually digest what Guide Mode tells you, or if you simply read up on the basics of photography online, then this feature will quickly become irrelevant, so it probably shouldn't be regarded as a determining factor in any buying decision, even if it is a nice thing for newcomers to have.
In terms of the hardware itself, it's outwardly very much like the D3100, and that's a good thing: the camera feels equally well built, well laid out (especially if you like your Nikons, which we do), small and lightweight.
In another sense these similarities are also bad, because they leave you with a tough buying decision. Are the better resolution, image processing, LCD and ISO worth the money? Alas, we can't make that call without seeing actual images from the D3200, and Nikon won't let us do that without final hardware.
In the meantime, however, there's one other factor to consider: the $60 WU-1A WiFi dongle that will let you beam your photos straight to your Android smartphone or tablet, and later in the year to your iOS device too.
We weren't able to try out the device, but we do know that it's meant to do more than just file transfer, also allowing you to use your Android device as a remote viewer and shutter release. And yes, if that functionality appeals, then the D3200 is currently your only option within the Nikon range. Your decision after that will be whether to go for traditional black or funky red. Hmmm...
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SIMPLY STUNNING: THE NEW NIKON D3200 IS THE SIMPLE WAY TO CHRONICLE MEMORIES WITH SUPERIOR IMAGE AND HD VIDEO QUALITY
The Nikon D3200 Provides New D-SLR Shooters a Powerful Combination of Effortless Operation, 24.2- Megapixel High Resolution and Wireless Connectivity to Mobile Devices
MELVILLE, N.Y. (APRIL 19, 2012) – Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. introduced the new 24.2-megapixel Nikon D3200 HD-SLR; a camera designed for photo enthusiasts ready to step up to a D-SLR or for the busy family memory keeper with an active lifestyle who demands a camera that can keep pace. From low-light to fast action, the D3200 delivers the amazing image quality Nikon is known for, either indoors or outside. Whether new to photography or upgrading from a point-and-shoot, the D3200 features Nikon's acclaimed instructive Guide Mode to help unleash the photographer in everyone. From candid action shots to staged portraits that flatter, the Nikon D3200 provides the power to capture every moment easily and beautifully with stellar image quality and in stunning Full HD (1080p) video.
Ready to tag along for any outing, the Nikon D3200's compact, lightweight body makes it easy to pack for a quick day trip or the long haul. A host of advanced features, including a super high resolution 24.2- megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor, Full HD (1080p) video recording with full time autofocus (AF) and 4 frames-per-second (fps) high-speed continuous shooting mode, prepare the D3200 for challenging lighting conditions and fast paced action. Also, Nikon D3200 users will be able to take advantage of the new WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. When connected to the camera, this optional adapter can wirelessly send images to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, preview an image before shooting and control the camera remotely.
"When every moment is as precious as the next one, having a camera that takes the guesswork out of photography is important," said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. "The Nikon D3200 HD-SLR offers effortless functionality and easy-to-use connectivity to mobile devices that answers the call for a capable, entry-level D-SLR that will change how you share amazing images with your friends and family."
Stunning Images to Last a Lifetime
The new Nikon D3200 delivers outstanding image quality no matter the user's skill level by leveraging Nikon's renowned technologies. The new 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor allows for incredibly sharp images with stunning detail and less noise, while Nikon's EXPEED 3TM image processing engine helps to create clear, lifelike images and video with vivid colors, smooth tonal gradations and low noise.The Nikon D3200 grants users impressive performance in low-light, affording the ability to shoot with assurance even during night games and school plays. With a native ISO range that extends from ISO 100 to 6400, the D3200 can also be expanded to a high of ISO 12,800 for extreme low-light situations resulting in previously impossible photos. Additionally, Nikon's Scene Recognition System works in tandem with the camera's 3D Color Matrix Metering II to recognize factors such as color and brightness for balanced exposures, accurate AF, faithful white balance and beautiful flash photos.
Beginner photographers as well as those looking to expand their repertoire of shooting techniques will appreciate the Nikon D3200's Guide Mode which provides step-by-step photo instructions to capture amazing images. Easily accessible through the Mode Dial found on top of the camera body, the Guide Mode walks beginning D-SLR users through the process of set-up, shooting, viewing and deleting images. Because it asks the user what kind of creative photo technique they would like to learn, the Guide Mode has been widely acclaimed for its ability to build confidence and give users the tools to create amazing images. As more people discover the benefits of replacing their camcorder with a D-SLR, the Guide Mode also walks users through the best video settings to create home movies with blockbuster flair. For those with a more advanced skill level, the Guide Mode features helpful Assist Images that serve as a visual reference to inspire users and illustrate the desired result, while guiding them through easy-to-follow techniques.
Further taking the guesswork out of photography, the D3200 also includes six Scene Modes. Photographers can set the Mode Dial to Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-Up or Night Portrait, and the D3200 will automatically adjust camera settings for optimal results in a variety of conditions.
Beautiful Home Movies in Full HD
When images alone can't tell the whole story, the Nikon D3200 offers the full HD experience of high quality 1080p video. Users can create memorable, cinematic quality videos at 24 or 30 fps and easily share HD content online with friends and family or on their own HDTV via the HDMI output.
Continuing down the path that its predecessor, the Nikon D3100, started, the D3200 implements full- time AF during video recording to help capture crisp video even during the most action-packed situations. To boost the production value of any home video, the camera offers manual or automatic exposure control, and a stereo microphone input to attach an optional external microphone such as the compact ME-1 Stereo Microphone. Furthermore, the D3200 offers other HD-SLR advantages including the ability to create a shallow depth of field, amazing low-light video performance and NIKKOR lens versatility.
Capturing videos on the D3200 is simple, even when in Live View. With a dedicated video record button and easy access to the Live View switch, users can capture video clips before the moment is gone. Additionally, videos play with astonishing detail and clarity on the D3200's 3-inch, high resolution 921,000-dot LCD screen.
A Camera to Keep Pace with an Energetic Existence
An active lifestyle requires a capable camera that is ready at a moment's notice, and the Nikon D3200 packs powerful technology to tackle just about any challenge. Delivering up to 4 fps in high-speed continuous shooting mode, the D3200 helps ensure that important, spontaneous and easy-to-miss memories are captured, from a baby's first smile to a game winning grand slam. Additionally, the
D3200's advanced 11-point AF system allows the user to find and keep focus while maintaining a clear view of that subject. This advanced focusing system is ideal for capturing tricky subjects like a dancer mid-leap during the big recital or a dive for the line drive in centerfield.
The Nikon D3200's power is amplified when combined with the versatility of Nikon's legendary NIKKOR optics and powerful accessories. Compatible with Nikon's dedicated DX-format lenses and over 50 FX- format lenses as well as Nikon's Speedlight System, the Nikon D3200 puts creativity at the user's fingertips. The optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter for the D3200 allows the connected user to easily share photos taken on the D3200 to an AndroidTM platform based smartphone or tablet, so friends and family can enjoy the moment almost as quickly as it happens.1 Android platform users are able to wirelessly transfer images from the camera to a mobile device, preview the image before shooting photos, and even remotely control the camera from up to 49 feet. The Application for use with an Android platform smartphone (2.3 series) and tablet (3.x series) is expected for release in May 2012.2 Additionally, an Application for the iPhone® and iPad® mobile digital device is expected for release in Fall 2012.3
Price and Availability
The Nikon D3200 outfit with the versatile AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens will be available in late April 2012 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $699.95* in either Black or Red. The optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter, sold separately, will be available in late May 2012 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $59.95*. For more information on the Nikon D3200, NIKKOR lenses, additional Nikon D-SLR cameras and accessories, please visit www.nikonusa.com.