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Old Nov 18, 2012, 9:33 PM   #1
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Default Nikon D3100 or D3200

I'm new here and don't know anything about camera's... other than point and shoot... or something simple like the easy use digitals.

my daughter is 25 and takes photos as a hobby... makes a few dollars every now and then...i don't know what she has for equipment.. but she would like to step up and is wanting a nikon 3100... i thought maybe i could get her one for christmas .... i asked her why that one and she couldn't give me a good answer... or what i thought was a good answer... only because i know that there is some better ones.... like the 800... and i can't afford that... anyway ... i've been looking online at the 3100 and i have seen the 3200 with more megapixels... reading the tech info they seem to be about the same camera and do the same things...

so...

is there a difference?
and for about the same price which camera would be a better buy?

Thank you in advance for any advice.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 4:09 AM   #2
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Advantages of the D3200 include-
Higher resolution sensor.
Expeed 3 processor vs EX' 2 which gives faster processing.
Higher available fps of 4 vs 3.
Quiet shutter mode available on D3200
Higher resolution screen- 921k dots vs 230k
D3200 is Wi-Fi enabled with optional WU-1A transmitter
More HD movie frame rates on D3200- 24,25 and 30fps vs 24 only on D3100
Mic socket on D3200 for improved movie audio.
Despite the higher resolution sensor, dynamic range,colour depth and noise control seems to be improved on the D3200.

All in all, quite a few upgrades.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:39 AM   #3
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The D3100 has a 14MP sensor which is good, but not great. The D5100 has a very nice 16MP sensor, while the D3200 has a very nice 24MP sensor. In many respects, the D5100 is more of an upgrade from the D3100 than the D3200 is. Also, the extra resolution of the D3200 can reveal optical flaws in conventional lenses that aren't apparent with D3100 and D5100.

If someone asked me for a D3100 and I wanted to give them a little bump, I think I'd go with the D5100 instead.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 8:12 PM   #4
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@TCav : I second that. But do not know what is the major improvement of expeed 3 over expeed 2 processor. How does it affects photography ? And the major advantage of D5100 over D3100 is the articulated 3" LCD and the sensor size is bigger, same as D7000.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 5:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTechie View Post
@TCav : I second that. But do not know what is the major improvement of expeed 3 over expeed 2 processor. How does it affects photography ?
Not so much. The D3200 has more image to process, so it needs the faster processor just to keep up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTechie View Post
And the major advantage of D5100 over D3100 is the articulated 3" LCD ...
Not so much. In fact, I think the articulating display is a bad idea. It's a major component of the camera that is more vulnerable to damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyTechie View Post
... and the sensor size is bigger, same as D7000.
That's splitting hairs. It's a distinction without a difference.
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Last edited by TCav; Nov 30, 2012 at 7:42 AM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 9:29 AM   #6
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"JBaldwin", you ask which camera is a better buy between the D3200 and the D3100. My answer is neither one. My choice is the same as what "TCsv" and "Crazytiechie" suggested...the Nikon D5100. The price of the D5100 has really dropped due to Nikon's announcement of it's replacement, the new 24 MP D5200. As a result you can buy the D5100 for about the same money or less than the D3100 or the D3200. The D5100 has the same superb 16 megapixel image sensor and processor as the D7000. The D3200 actually has a disadvantage due to it's huge 24 megapixel image sensor. Unless you plan on buying some very expensive glass for the D3200, image flaws are going to show up like a sore thumb due to it's extreme 24 MP image resolution. You must stop and ask yourself if you really need this much resolution, are you going to print your pictures up to the size of your house ? Also, what about the huge amount of file that will be produced by this 24 MP image sensor that must be stored on your card and your computer ? As others have suggested, the Nikon D5100 is a much better choice and if you can afford it, the Nikon D7000 is even better yet.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 3:05 AM   #7
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I was considering the D5100, but way too many folks been having the "Black Image" problem with them. Quality of product with the dSLR's as well as Point & Shoots has been a big factor when shopping for a new camera, Reading reviews of folks that have purchased, is far more helpful. I find a recommended model here & go to Amazon & read the reviews their. These camera's are costly-who wants to invest all this cash to find out it breaks & you have to pay to get it fixed. When you see 64 reviews at 1 star for a Nikon & they all have a black image problem you know it's more than the occasional lemon.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 8:54 AM   #8
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Wow.

Did it ever occur to you that many of the people that write reviews on Amazon go there because they have a bone to pick?

Then, of course, there are the shills ...

If you want honest judgements of reliability, go to Consumer Reports.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 12:36 PM   #9
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Forget about the 3100 or 3200 and just buy a used DSLR for a few bucks.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 1:16 PM   #10
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Avoid used. Warranty is limited to the original owner so those few bucks you save could be costly. That said, I am selling my...

Seriously, to understand the various Nikon models
The 3100 is the easy to use entry level that started with the D40, with the recently intruduced 3200 it's replacement. When I transitioned from film, I started with the D40, then upgraded to the D90 and now the D7000

The D5100 is the step up level that adds features to differientiate itself from the D3100 such as the articulated back and the upgraded sensor used in the D7000, including video capability. I believe the D3100 uses the sensor of the excellent D90, and has the limited (soft) video of the D90 which is primarilly why I upgraded.

The D5100 has been replaced with the D5200 which is announced but not on shelves, anticipated in January. That is the reason for the price drop. It has the 24MP sensor of the D3200. All of the cameras in the 3000/5000 series have certain features that differientate them from the higher series. The camera body tends to be smaller, which can be a good thing for small hands. Also, for autofocus they require lens with a motor inside the lens rather than the camera body. That is not really a problem as the lens are relatively available from Nikon and 3rd party manufacturers. The only time it becomes a problem is if you have older glass you wanted to use.

Next up is the D7000 which was preceeded by the D50, D70, D80 and D90. An excellent all round camera. There has been a slight price drop on it with the current promotion where you essentially get the 18-105 lens for free. Note: the 3000/5000 series typically come with the 18-55 lens. Rumored, but not announced yet is it's replacement, dubbed the 7100, and speculation is all over the board. Will be interesting when it materializes as that 24MP sensor used in the 3200/5200 is the largest Sony (licensed by Nikon) makes.
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