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Baby D800 ??,
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This review is from: Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR NIKKOR Zoom Lens (Black) (Electronics)
I had no plans to buy this camera, but eventually had to find a solution while waiting for my D800 to be delivered. I kind of felt, I could get some training by shooting high megapixel images on this entry level camera.
My first outing after the camera arrived was to some birdpark with absolutely no prior preparation. The manual is still in the box, only charged the battery overnight and brought a selection of lenses in addition to the kit lens.
First surprise, even the kit "plastic" lens performs really nicely on this camera. Due to the nature of the objects of interest, the remaining shoots were done on a 28-300mm.
I was accompanied by an experienced bird photographer and we took turns with the camera. Both made the following observations: From the angle of experienced Nikon users, this camera offers everything in terms of menus and dials to set the camera up the way one is used to from D90, D7000, D300s level cameras. This came as a surprise, as the D3200 does not have the front dial that we both were used to and familiar with. Nikon has done an surprisingly good job in making the menus very easy to access and after a short while, we where entirely concentrated on the shoot and only occasionally reminding ourself that this was "only" an entry-level DSLR.
At the same time, we were impressed how nice the software is tailored to the needs of a potential beginner, gently guiding him towards to goal of making better photos along the way.
The LCD screen on the back is a huge step forward from previous models, as it allowed to effortless pre-screen the shots taken. I was even carrying a laptop computer to better inspect the initial images, but after a short while we only resorted the the built-in screen.
The biggest surprise was however the image quality after we analyzed our initial >350 photos on a large monitor. The yield of usable photos was right out of the box very high, which reiterates the ease of use of this camera and the great auto-focus system (despite only 11 sensors). Also the smallish size of the body turned out to be less problematic, even with a bigger lens attached to it.
We found the image quality obtained to be absolutely stunning, the sharpness of the images was "picture perfect". Colors just the way one would expect them, as is the hall mark of any Nikon camera. Even small birds could be cropped from the 24 MP resulting in usable 7 MP images. Post-processing was a thrill and resulted in a substantial number of images clearly qualifying as publication quality.
Having seen both, the best and the worst in Nikon cameras, I can verify that this entry level DSLR is a keeper. Even though never planned, it will stay in the collection as a second body and now serves as the main camera until the D800 arrives.
If an entry level camera already is this good, what may be expected of the upcoming updates of the other DX models, the likes of D5100, D7000 and the D300s?