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--- news (4/20/2012)
 
INTRODUCTION
The Nikon D3200 is a much anticipated camera. After all, the previous D3100 and D3000 were so-so compared to the superior D5100. With an anticipated improved 24MP DX sensor it should be a substantial improvement. Sure megapixels do not mean much these days, but hopefully the new sensor will provide improved noise and dynamic range, along with improved video enhancements (1080p 30fps). Additionally, Nikon is introducing a new set of features, primarily WiFi capability, unique to this DSLR that will improve data transfer techniques.

INADEQUACIES OF THE D3100
The D3100 was designed a bit on the cheap end. It is the only entry-level DSLR ever to not be compatible with the ML-L3 ($20) remote control shutter release. Although it is Nikon's lightest DSLR ever, it lacked a high resolution rear LCD screen (only 230K dots), limited controls, limited white-balance settings, and an image sensor that was only half decent compared to the D5000 or D5100.

MORE ABOUT ENTRY LEVEL DSLRs
The typical design concept of an entry level DSLR is centered on cost. It is built around an inexpensive, but capable sensor, a compact body, with controls that depend less on physical buttons and more on menu driven adjustments. Entry level DSLRs are great because they are lightweight and easy to bring along for any situation. They provide much better image quality than point and shoots and slightly better than most mirrorless systems, such as the Nikon J1. Entry level DSLRs are great for those looking to produce high quality images. They provide the flexibility to just use them in auto mode, for more simplistic photography, or use them in advanced modes for greater creativity.

WIFI CAPABILITY
The D3200 will be among the first entry level DSLRs to feature WiFi support with its optional WU-1a module (No Pricing Info Yet). It will allow control from a mobile phone, such as an android or IOS device (iPhone, iPad). It will also be able to upload directly to social networking sites, such as facebook, twitter, and perhaps google+. I am only 60% confident on this information.

This will be a big improvement for some, as many of us would like to be able to share our photos instantly. It seems Nikon missed the boat with their D800 and D4 wireless options. Or maybe the WU-1a will be compatible with these cameras (unlikely, but perhaps hackable).

SPECIFICATIONS
24.2 MP IMAGE SENSOR
ISO: 100-6400 (HI 1: 12800)
SHUTTER: 4 FPS
IMPROVED AUTOFOCUS (11 AF Points)
IMPROVED VIDEO CONTROLS
WIFI SUPPORT (WU-1a)
PRICING AND PREORDER
The Nikon D3200 will be produced in China with an anticipated starting price of $599 including the 18-55mm kit lens. An abundance is expected to be produced, so availability should not be a concern.

FOR THOSE WHO WANT A NIKON D5100
The D5100 DSLR is one step up above the old D3100. It provides a superior 16MP sensor (same as the D7000) which has much better noise performance and dynamic range. When comparing the D3100 and D5100, it was an obvious decision to go with the D5100 as the performance to cost ratio was much better. The D5100 also features an improved resolution LCD that can swivel out for recording video.

The pertinent question is will the D3200 improve on the D5100 or D3100. I suspect it will improve on aspects of both as it will have an entire redesigned sensor. However, the D5100 may still outperform it in low light situations with improved ISO noise performance.

Before purchasing a D3200, you may want to consider a used D5100. I have provided some used pricing data (shown above) along with the current eBay listings (right).

CONCLUSION

The D3200 should be a major improvement to the D3100 and in some aspects a small improvement to the D5100. The added WiFi capability is long overdue. The ability to share photos instantly will be an improved experience in using DSLRs. Nikon is making this capability optional to suck more money from consumers and instead should probably implement it directly inside the camera. I would wait for third party manufacturers to reverse engineer the WU-1a module before purchasing one. Do not provoke Nikon to continue to make external features that cost more, but instead should be built-in to cameras.

Overall I am looking forward to the D3200. I will be pre-ordering one as a present for my wife.
 
 
 
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