155 of 155 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2004
I've had my coolpix 3200 for about a week, and am really surprised at how good the pictures are, how easy it is to get the pictures into my PC, and how long the batteries last. I bought Duracell rechargeables with the camera, told my camera that these were the batteries I was using through its menu system, and have been taking pictures for a week on the same batteries. That's more than 80 pictures -- perhaps more -- all on the same 2 batteries, most of them using a flash. My battery charge meter has not even shown up yet.
When I first read the manual, I didn't understand the value of all the frame, portrait, and scene assist modes. As I've used the camera, though, I've come to see that they are very important. The frame and portrait assistants actually change the location of the auto-focus. When I am in sports mode, the camera's auto-focus is constantly changing so that the picture will shoot quickly when the shutter release is pressed. Shutter speed and aperature are adjusted depending on which scene I've selected. In other words, using the modes makes for much better pictures. They are more than just marketing pitches.
The software that came with the camera is okay, though it is nothing earth shaking. Better tools came with my scanner/copier/printer combo, but if you don't have those tools, what comes with the camera is much better than nothing and will get the job done.
I'm very satisfied. The camera is so small that I wear it in a tiny case on my belt all the time.
BTW, I was going to buy the 2200 instead, but am glad that I didn't. Once I had the manual (which is the same for both cameras), I saw that there are a number of small features that the 3200 has that are not available to the 2200. For example, the 3200 has sound for movies, the 2200 does not. You can record voice memos and set sounds for camera functions with the 3200. The 3200 can take more continuous pictures at a time (due to the higher resolution and space required). There are more differences, and most of them are small, but by the time you add them all up, it's worth the additional $100, in my oppinion.
I was an avid amateur photographer back "in the day", but grew tired of the hassles of large cameras and film developing. Thanks to this tiny, filmless camera, I'm a photographer again.
111 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2004
Nikon has always had a reputation for superior photo products, but I never bought one because there was always a near-as-good Pentax or Canon. This time, they've hit a home-run. The Coolpix 3200 is as good or better, according to industry reviews, as other manufacturers' and the price, for a change, is right. Not only that, but once you load the software, you can set the camera up to automatically load the pictures. The camera comes with several editing software programs as well, and they work nicely. You don't have to go out and buy Photoshop.
Remember, this is a point-and-shoot. It is not meant for people that have to have all kinds of control over how the picture comes out. If you are a pro, stick to SLRs, either digital (which cost in general, more than $1000) or film, which are still far more than this camera.
A strong suggestion: Buy an RCR-V3 rechargeable battery. These are Lithium-ion rechargeables. You can get a Delkin one for under $30 including battery and charger. It will take many more picture than the NiMH.
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2004
Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, great auto features, panoramic pictures, easy to use, long batter life even on alkaline batteries.
Cons: Takes noisy videos if you use auto focus mode.
I guess one might call me a camera snob. I am extremely critical and picky when it comes to my digital images. So for me to rate this as a 5 means a lot to me. I like to do a lot of photoshop work and artistic shots so pixel quality is extremely important.
This camera makes the 3rd digital camera that I have personally owned and is actually a supplemental camera that I am adding to my collection. My first camera was a Ricoh RDC-5300 from 1999, it was my faithful sidekick until I dropped it and damaged the lens. It set a very high bar for me after that. I replaced it 1 1/2 years ago with a much higher end camera, my Minolta DiMage 7i. My Minolta has all the bells and whistles on it and is for the most part a digital SLR and I paid a pretty penny for that. I however discovered that there was a penalty for buying a nice camera... I never wanted to take it anywhere casual. The size of it (it's a full sized slr) and the weight made it bulky for carrying around on a vacation/trip and the price of it hindered me wanting to take it anywhere that might put it at risk of being grabbed. So that is where the Nikon came in. I realized I had a strong need for a more "casual" camera, one I could easily tote around and get great pics from and not worry about it being stolen (like on my upcoming cruise in December).
I started researching all of the current 3-5mp cameras and was trying very hard to stay around $200 in price. I quickly became discouraged as I looked at pictures on Steves-Digcams and saw that the current models were taking lesser quality pictures than my old Ricoh that only was 2.3mp! Most of the cameras I looked at took grainy pictures with lots of noise or color distortion. I knew I would not be happy with a lower end camera if the images were not good enough for a high quality prints or being edited. Then I discovered the Nikon Coolpix line. This camera takes much higher quality pictures than even my friends 5mp camera! I must say that I am extremely satisfied with my decision.
About the features:
Where do I begin? It may not have f-stops and apertures and fancy ISO settings... but this camera does amazing tricks for the little amount of cash I spent on it.
**Auto Mode - I've tested this in many lighting conditions (bright light, room lighting, and low lighting) and each time I was impressed. Pictures of grass blades come out clear and sharp with well defined color. Animal fur is well defined not softened or blurred. Pictures of shadows come out solid with no jaggies or purple distortion. Bright sun did not fade out my pale face self standing next to a white fence.
**White balance - The ability for it to measure the exposure in a room is impressive as well, you can go into the settings and easily let it measure the colors in the room to get optimal contrast.
**Macro Mode (extreme closeups) - The camera had no pixelation or color distortion when I took pictures. The blades of grass in a pond and each pine needle of a tree were very colorful and well defined. The general response I got from people that I showed them too was "wow" and "that little camera really took those?"
**Scene Modes - I have played with only a few of them so I will just name the features I have played with.
**Indoor party mode - great for taking indoor pictures with lighting effects (like candles on your childs birthday cake).
**Panoramic mode is so simple to use and once you combine it with the Arc software that comes with the camera I think you'll be amazed. You start by taking one picture, then on the LCD you'll see an outline of the last 3rd of the picture you took on the side of the screen... line it up with the next shot and repeat as many times as needed. The software they supply effortlessly seams the pictures together for you making beautiful panoramic pictures.
**Scene guides - The guides available in portrait modes and landscape modes are wonderful for the amateur and take the worries out of focusing on the subject properly.
**Continuous Shot - Very handy and took about 1 photo a second for me.
**Auto-Focus - The camera actually projects a red light on where it is going to auto-focus so you know in advance if you are going to get the shot you want. For those that want to use the half click focus and then move the camera this can come in very handy.
At first I was a little put off by the size (I'm used to holding a nice slr size camera) but quickly became accustomed to it. I suffer from hand shaking on a regular basis and the first day I tested it was having problems with it... the camera didn't even seem to notice most of the time. The pictures snapped so quick that my movement didn't even affect it. I highly recommend this camera to anyone that is picky about the pictures they take of their loved ones and their vacation shots. This is so much camera for the money that you can't possibly go wrong.
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2004
I've noticed that everyone that has written a bad review for this camera has given it a bad review, only because they have no idea how to use it. 99% of all issues complained about can be fixed simply by reading the instruction manual.
I got this camera because it was highly recommended, and it has turned out to be my best camera so far (under $200). I like the fact that you can record video w/ sound, and that you can format it to record in 3 different sizes. You can take quickshot sports photos, like the ones used in skateboarding magazines to show shot by shot how the trick is done... very cool! I also like the fact that you can change the picture size to be anywhere from absolutely ENORMOUS to the regular-sized pictures any other camera would take. The detail is amazing. I can focus in on dust particles on my desk! It also takes shots in Black & White, and other effects. Sure the camera uses up batteries - it's a digital camera - what digital camera DOESN'T use up batteries??? However, this one doesn't eat batteries like my other cameras do. And it only takes 2 AA's. I really like this camera.
This camera cannot be used as a webcam. I unfortunately found that out after I bought it, but it's not something that's going to make me take it back to the store.
Video quality is very gritty. It's nowhere near the quality of a video camera, but it is much better than a video camera phone. Also, if you leave the auto adjust on, the video records clicking sounds as the camera focuses. I just turned auto adjust off and it's fine now.
This camera isn't going to make you a pro photographer, but it's no piece of crap either! There are plenty of options and buttons to keep you busy for a every long time learning everything that you can do with it, if you want to get into that. It's also simple enough to be able to say "ok, I want to turn this thing on and take a picture". I figured out how to take a picture less than a minute after having it out of the box. Very cool. Very easy. If it breaks, I'll let you know.
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2004
What do you use your digital camera for? I use it for posting pictures to the internet for family to see, emailing pictures, and the occassional printout of a 4x6 for a scrap book page.
This camera does all of those things very, very well.
2 megapixels is more enough for any purpose you have around the house, such as emailing or posting pictures online, creating and printing 3x5 images, even decent-quality 8x10 prints.
But 2-megapixel cameras are often short on quality and features, obviously because camera makers want you to buy a more expensive camera. 3 megapixels seems to be a good industry zone for picture quality vs hardware quality and price quality.
And you want to know what megapixel really means? Well, 1600x1200 is 1.92 million pixels, or megapixels. The resolution of most pictures I post on the internet is 640x480, which is 0.3 megapixels, which is well within the reach of cell phone cameras or the $20 pocket/keychain cameras you see in the mall. But it's quality that you get when you pay more for a camera like this.
At 3.2mp capacity, the finest-grain image you can store is theoretically 2038 x 1568. If I vertically stacked my two work monitors (max 1800x1440 each, but I use 1600x1200) and rotated one of these images 90 degrees, then I could view it! Might get neck strain, though.
For images at acceptible PRINTING quality you need to have about 300 real pixels for every inch of your print's dimensions. Multiply the inch dimensions by these DPI figures to get the total resolution (horizontal and vertical, typically thousands in each dimension) you need for a decent image, and multiply these together to get a total number of pixels (megapixels.) So, you be the judge. When the wife needs a picture for her scrapbook that is 3"x5", then all I need if I use the formula above I found is 3x300 x 5x300 or 1.35 megapixels. For a 4"x6" i'd need 2.16 megapixels. That's all! This Nikon 3200's 3.2 megapixels is great for these kind of uses and the features is what you end up paying for.
Even 8"x10" blowups on nice paper with a good printer look good enough at 3.2 megapixels.
My Nikon 3200 fits in my pant pocket with the same footprint as my Nokia and without the battery inside weighs ounces only. It's very compact and light. Even with the battery it feels toyish but solid. Despite its size it is remarkably easy to hold still and manipulate. I have fairly large hands.
One feature inparticular I wanted was Continious or Burst shooting mode. This is where the camera will take 2-3 pictures every 2-3 seconds while holding down the shutter. A must for sports photography. The real sports sideline photographers have cameras that will take pictures like a minigun. This mode also applies to normal folks like you and me when you're taking any sort of picture where the subject is, well, moving. My Nikon 3200 takes 1.5 pictures every 2 seconds, I think, which is decent.
When you read a casual customer review, you'll often here people say that indoor pictures are bad. This is totally bunk. A well-lit room for humans is actually poorly lit for a camera and seriously impairs the autofocus's ability to find the target. That's why there's a flash. After reading a lot of reviews of digital cameras here on Amazon.com, I find that most people who complain about picture quality (which is 99% the user's fault in the first place) either don't know how to use the two-stage button ("have to press really hard and then there's a 1-2 second delay before the picture is taken!") or refuse/fail/don't have the camera set to use a flash inside. My Nikon has a special setting for indoor pictures with flashes, among other 'scene' modes. The scene modes are awesome, I've taken very fast sports-like photography and then with the turn of a button taken 4-second exposures of a fireworks show minutes later.
As for the durability of this camera, it is a bit toyish, but it seems solid enough. The lens retracts fully into the camera body so no potential catastrophic angles there. I have a 256mb SD card that came in a bundle with the camera that is totally overkill. I bought a CR-V3 battery that has lasted me ~200 pictures, most without flash. But since it was a non-rechargable battery that cost $18, I bought a rechargable AA battery kit.
Absolutely zero complaints about this camera so far. I trust Nikon implicitly too.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2004
I needed a digital camera, primarily to capture the construction of our new house. So I spent a couple of months researching options before choosing the new Nikon Coolpix 3200. I am very happy with my choice.
I have a Nikon N4004S SLR 35-mm camera, which I am very happy with, but I wasn't about to take hundreds of pictures of our house with it and spend the money on prints and converting all the pictures to JPEG images to put on a personal web site. After reading reviews of various digital cameras online, as well as in Consumer Reports and Smart Homeowner, I decided I wanted a 3 Megapixels camera with 3x optical zoom, a Secure Digital card slot, a nice color LCD monitor, date imprinting, audio memo capability, movie mode, good flash range, USB port downloading, excellent optics and color representation, and decent AA battery life. The Nikon Coolpix 3200 had everything I was looking for and more. At first I was leaning toward Panasonic, Canon, and Kodak models, but the Nikon won out because of my past experience with Nikon and it seemed to be superior in the features that were most important to me (plus some reviews of the competing models I was considering scared me a bit).
Despite what some reviewers have said about this camera, I think it does very well on battery life. I am using the Nikon EN-MH-1 NiMH rechargeable batteries (I also have the MH-70 charger) and, so far, I am happy with the battery life. The pictures are absolutely outstanding - the color representation and optics are first class, and the images look great even blown up to maximum on my 15" LCD computer monitor. I haven't used all the shooting modes yet (mostly auto mode), but I was pleased to see the improvement in brightness and color of pictures I took during dusk in night mode. The date imprinting is very handy for taking pictures of the house construction progress and it has been great to be able to take the camera to my Mother-in-law to show her the house pictures on her television using the audio and video cable supplied with the 3200. The camera is also so compact that it is easy to take pictures with one hand, if necessary, and the zoom is very smooth. The Nikon View software is a nice bonus. The only drawbacks I've seen are that the LCD monitor is difficult to see in bright sunlight (not a problem though because I think the view finder is easy to use) and pictures in low light can be dim, grainy, and blurry, especially if you're not in the right mode (dusk or night) and the camera is not stable while taking the picture (a tripod is recommended for night shooting).
All in all, a great camera at a very good price! I recommend it highly. I also recommend the Panasonic 10 Mb/s 256MB Secure Digital card, which Nikon had tested for this camera.
(Note: Since my wife had already registered to post reviews here, I'm writing this under her screen name.)
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2004
I bought this camera on the recommendation of a friend -- truth is, there are sooo many digital cameras out there that I just didn't know where to start. The images from my friend's camera were remarkably vivid, so I decided to give the Nikon Coolpix 3200 3.2MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom a try! I'm glad that I did!
As an amateur photographer and an avid scrapbooker, I was looking for two things--excellent prints and compact size. I get both with this camera.
After opening the box, I was completely ready to take pictures in less than 5 minutes, thanks to the quick reference guide included. After capturing more than 300 photos, I uploaded them all to my computer and sent them away to Photoworks.com. My pictures arrived in the mail within a couple of days, and they were outstanding. Unlike the 2.0 megapixal prints I had seen in the past, these were sharp and clear and matched the images I was seeing on the camera's monitor. No one would be able to tell that these were taken from a digital camera instead of a film camera.
I love the scene settings that are pre-programmed into the camera, especially the panoramic, macro, and dusk/dawn settings. The menu is set up intelligently, which means that I haven't had to refer to my owner's manual once since purchasing it almost 2 months ago. And though I don't use it often, the movie feature is outstanding. I can take a five minute movie complete with sound to send to family and friends via e-mail.
I highly recommend purchasing additional batteries when you buy this, since the ones that come with it won't last very long, especially if you decide to take a movie or two. In fact, I've started using rechargable batteries. You'll also need a media card--I bought a 256MB, though I think that a 128MB would give you about 150 pictures (before having to download them to your computer and clear them off of the card).
The only thing that I don't like about this camera is the clicking noises that it makes sometimes when I use some features that affect focusing such as macro. Aside from that, I highly recommend this compact camera! I've enjoyed it a great deal and even recently discovered that my pictures are equal to the quality of my friend's 5 megapixal camera, since going about 3.2 megapixals does almost nothing in terms of affecting the image of a 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 print.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Up till now I've been a big fan of Canon digital cameras (esp. the PowerShot S410 and S500), but also have liked Minolta and Pentax offerings. Last night I went to a wedding and the gentleman sitting next to me had the Nikon Coolpix 3200, and I was astonished to discover how excellent its battery life was. The gentleman took over 300 shots, all with flash on and all with LCD on as viewfinder, and he also played back the pictures to lots of guests, and at the end, when we were among the last to leave, the batteries in the camera were still going strong! I was totally impressed. I had my Minolta Dimage F300 (5MP camera) with me and the batteries ran out after about 80 shots -- and my NiMH was rated higher than his (2100mAh vs. his 1950, I believe). I walked away totally sold on the Nikon.
OK, I exaggerated. If the image quality weren't good, perpetual battery life wouldn't have meant much. But judging from zoomed-in playback on the Nikon's LCD, as well as his comments, the image quality seemed excellent. Compared to my Minolta Dimage F300, the 3200's images were generally sharper, while the color temperature was not as pleasing as my Minolta's, but still excellent. He took a wide range of shots, from outdoors to indoors to close-ups to wide-angle... and most came out quite satisfying from a technical point of view. All were well-exposed, sharp, and evenly lit in cases where flash was used.
In addition, I noticed that when I borrowed his 3200 to shoot a few pictures after my Minolta's batteries died, the recycle time on the 3200 was quite fast, unlike my Minolta, which could take 6 or 7 seconds before I could shoot the next shot. The 3200 was ready in under a second. The only problem I experienced was there seemed to be a shutter delay with the 3200: after I pressed the shutter, it waited a second or slightly longer before taking the picture. You may want to keep this in mind when shopping for this camear. The delay didn't affect the pictures, but did feel weird since my Minolta has virtually no shutter delay.
The camera seemed well built. But it was the battery life that was truly impressive -- and the fact it delivered such good battery performance on 2 AA NiMH batteries!
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2004
1. Ultra-compact size. Believe me SIZE DOES MATTER especially if you like to take it on trips and not feel that you are carrying a burden with you.
2. great design.
3. intutive menu.
4. 15 scenes modes which are more than enough for the amateur casual photographer (families or indiviuals who are not so familiar with the right set of shutter speed and aperature mode setting for a specific snap). For people who are looking for more control (who are really photographers) you should look at digital SLRs. I think by definition ultra compact are for people who just want to point and shoot anything they want without much thinking.
The 15 scene modes tell you exactly what settings you need for the specific shot you are taking. It is also very easy to get to them and set. Nothing complex. Intutive !
5.good picture quality
6.good in low light.
nothing much. It is the best in its segment of ultra-compacts.
For a long time I kept on debating between the coolpix 3200 and its arch rival, the canon A75. I have come to the conclusion that nikon is the best because
1. of the smaller size
2. the usage of less AA batteries than canon.
(canon - 4, nikon -2)
Picture quality is equally good. Again people who need manual control can go to the canon a75 but it is very bulky. point and shoot cameras should always be really point and shoot.
Go to the following link for the comparison between the canon a75 and nikon coolpix 3200.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2004
This is a very nice camera for beginners & for new experts. I took this camera for a recent trip to France and I found the following good and a few bad things.
The good things are, it is very compact and easy to carry around, it has a lot of features for an advanced user, uses AA batteries, pictures are of excellent quality and resolution, produces amazing 4x6 prints.
Bad things are, it uses a lot of AA batteries (every ~40 shots), no automatic image playback after every shot, with the flash on it takes almost 5 -8 secs for the flash to recharge to take the next picture and at this time you cannot operate the camera in any way (eg., to review picture or change setting etc.,)
But the disadvantages are too small comapred to the value of the camera. I give it 5 stars and it is excellent purchase for any body who opts to buy this camera.