Friday, April 27, 2012

Nikon D3200 Impresses

Nikon's new entry-level D3200 has been put through some preliminary tests at good ol' DPReview and, considering that the camera's price, it impresses. It uses the same 24Mp sensor found in the Sony NEX-7 and A77, and the differences that can be found in the comparison appear to be mostly down to processing choices on the part of the manufacturer.

As far as detail goes, the NEX-7 appears to have the edge, sometimes noticeably. I'm assuming that Nikon chose a stronger AA filter, which apparently wouldn't be hard. If the moire seen in video tests of the NEX-7 is any indication, it has a filter that may as well not be there at all. Regardless, moire rarely rears its head in photos from the Sony, and with a sensor resolution so high, any extra detail is good.

Noise performance also seems to give the edge to the NEX-7, but the difference is small. Since we know that the sensor is the same, it must have to do with the pipes. Moreover, the D3200 seems to pull into the lead after ISO-3200, so they earn at least one win. Both this and the NEX-7 don't produce anything that's much print-usable past that point, but if you did want to go to this point, the D3200 would be your best choice. But even if the D3200 underperformed the NEX-7 in all ways, I would still give it accolades. These images for such an incredibly low price is truly kick-ass.

And that's the point that I want to stress. It's a high-performing, 24Mp sensor, with lens, for less than $700. For me, the takeaway is that Nikon is treating the growth of Fuji and Sony with some seriousness... as opposed to Canon. Because this camera is one hell of a contender. What does Canon give us? An $800 point-&-shoot, and a minor upgrade to their 5D with an extra $1000 tacked onto the price.

Keep up the good work, Nikon. Maybe I'll stop ragging on you.

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