Updated (March 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3100

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3100

Nikon D3200


Nikon D3100



Reasons to buy the Nikon D3200

Great image quality
Overall image quality
Great color depth
Color depth
24.1 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
13.2 EV
High true resolution
True resolution
24.1 MP

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100



Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3200.
Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.


Nikon D3200 Competitors

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
Lowest price More expensive
Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$399 body only

$360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Weight Slightly lighter
Overall image quality Much worse image quality
Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200

Entry-level DSLR

$378 body only

$479 - $580 with 18-55mm lens

Movie format Lower frame rate movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
Shutter lag More shutter lag

Nikon D3100 Competitors

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Canon EOS Rebel T5

Entry-level DSLR

$399 body only

$360 - $399 with 18-55mm lens

Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
Low light performance More noise at high ISO
Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

Entry-level DSLR

$400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
Size Slightly larger
Canon Rebel T3

Canon Rebel T3

Entry-level DSLR

$399 body only

$439 with 18-55mm lens

Battery life Longer battery life
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
Movie format Lower resolution movies


Advantages of the Nikon D3200

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
921k dots vs 230k dots
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
81.0 vs 67.0
More than 20% better image quality
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.2 EV vs 11.3 EV
1.9 f-stops more dynamic range
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,131 ISO vs 919 ISO
The D3200 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
24.1 MP vs 14.2 MP
Capture around 70% more detail in your photos
Color depth
Better color depth
24.1 bits vs 22.5 bits
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Movie format
Lower frame rate movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D3200 does so at a higher frame rate
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 3 fps
More than 30% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
The D3200's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Nikon D3200 Learn more about
the Nikon D3200

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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2.9" vs 3"
Almost the same
Slightly smaller
124×97×74 mm vs 125×96×77 mm
Almost the same
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$259.89 vs $289.00
The best price we've seen is $29 cheaper (more than 10% less)
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100


Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3200 Nikon D3200 71
        You save
        53 Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100
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              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              230 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              400 ms startup delay
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              Weight Light weight Help
              505 g
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Built-in focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              12,800 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D32006,400 ISO
              D31003,200 ISO
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D3200276 ms
              D3100279 ms
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D32004 fps
              D31003 fps
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              D32001080p @ 30fps
              D31001080p @ 24fps




              Nikon D3200 Nikon D3100
              Nikon D3200 Nikon D3100
              Nikon D3200 Nikon D3100


              Nikon D3200

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              Nikon D3100

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              Showing 23 comments

              Jeet Tiwari (9:13 AM, September 15, 2014)
              i bought D3100 instead of D3200?was my purchase is right...or not?
              Jasmin (3:42 PM, August 22, 2014)
              The cameras that are close to Nikon D3200 in image quality are Very expansive then it, see deep comparison of D3200 and its comparatif cameras at http://goo.gl/kG2mxO
              Avatar for cuntrag cuntrag (1:32 AM, June 26, 2014)
              Trushna S Hasan
              Social Security # 136-88-6383
              Date of Birth 07/04/79
              27 Edison, New Jersey 08817
              Avatar for Cycling Photographer Cycling Photographer (3:12 PM, March 11, 2014)
              I would (and did) go with the D3200. It has enough features and a quality edge over the D3100 that it's worth it. You can pick them up dirt cheap from ajrichie.com although you'll wait FOREVER for shipping (My last camera from them took 6 weeks to ship but it was factory fresh).
              The D5200 has the flip screen but unless you are really getting into video a lot that won't get you much return. I would go for the D3200 because it gives you plenty of quality imaging that you can grow into and once you top out you can more easily justify a jump up to the 7000 series.

              Stay with either Nikon or Canon because lenses and accessories are FAR easier to come by. If all you want is a high end point and shoot then Pentax and Sony are viable options (about half of the nikon lineup uses Sony sensors). If you want to have a camera collection that can grow with you then stay with one of the two big brands. (Nikon glass is the best)

              NEVER skimp on glass, a cheap camera with good glass will get you better results than a great body with cheap glass.
              Avatar for Pepe Le Pew Pepe Le Pew (0:39 AM, January 27, 2014)
              Just get the Pentax K-50.........You'll thank me later.....
              abhi (7:57 PM, December 31, 2013)
              from where you bought plz tell me at abhisekwal@gmail.com
              Ernie (3:01 PM, December 25, 2013)
              BOUGHT THE D3200 WITH KIT 18-55mm VR lens, camera bag, lens cleaning pen from Bestbuy online BOXING DAY sale.....$399.99. Looking forward to the video capture
              Excalibur2811 (0:44 AM, December 22, 2013)
              Well, I have to admit that as a newbie to the DSLR world (My last SLR was a Pentax ME Super and that was about 30 years ago!) I have yet to settle on the model that best suits.

              My reasoning went like this:
              1. Decide between Canon and Nikon (chose Nikon because almost everyone says images are better), so settled.
              2. Was about to settle for D3200 (as a great beginner camera), then discovered that the D5200 has a flip out screen which makes it great to photograph over people's heads.
              3. Then was advised to focus on lenses not camera bodies, so thought I might as well buy an older model body like D5100. Seemed to be the best choice..but
              4. An expert (?) said that the D 7100 allows changing settings directly using knobs and dials instead of through fiddly menus..
              5. But the D 7100 is expensive and I doubt it has a flip out screen. But it does have an autofocus motor and is weather sealed, so I can use cheaper (older) lenses.. but since it is expensive I kept looking and came across a good offer for a D 3100 with 2 lenses 18-55 and 55-200 for the same price as a D 5200 with one lens.. so
              6. thought I had the best deal.. buy the D3100 with both lenses. I can start learning with this body and later on when I get better and if I don't lose interest, I can buy a D 7100 or D 5200 body (and the price will have dropped) but the lenses remain good to use.
              7. But then I saw the comparison of the D 3200 and D 3100 and there is a wide gap so I am back to the D 3200 option.

              Anyone care to help me out please? I will be taking a proper photography course in February, but if possible I would like to take advantage of the Christmas sales..


              Wimpy Aymaan (0:36 PM, December 20, 2013)
              Your right but the D3200 is slightly more expensive. I would say buy a D3100 and and use the money saved for gear or a better lens.
              Avatar for Bob Blaylock Bob Blaylock (10:46 PM, November 27, 2013)
                In the “Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs” section, it lists “No image stabilization” as a disadvantage that the D3100 and D3200 have compared to other DSLRs.  This is incorrect.  Nikon implements image stabilization in a lens-based manner, and the standard lens included with the D3100 and the D3200 includes Nikon's “Vibration Reduction” or “VR” feature.  As long as you are using a VR lens, you have image stabilization available.

                This is exactly the same way that image stabilization is implemented on all of Nikon's DSLRs that support it, all the way up to the top-of-the-line D4 model.
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (7:41 PM, September 25, 2013)
              Glad we could help
              kenny (3:37 PM, September 25, 2013)
              what lence and flash is good for d3200 nikon
              Rajib Koushik (3:52 AM, August 28, 2013)
              Your reviews helped me decide on which slr to buy!! And a 'side-by-side' review format is a brilliant idea. Thanx a ton team. Keep up the good work. Bought my D3200!!
              Pablo (9:36 PM, July 28, 2013)
              Most helpfull website I've found so far. Thanks! I'm definetly going for the D3200.
              Sarwa Gunawan (3:22 PM, July 23, 2013)
              D3200 has good image quality and relatively same with Nikon 5200 and even Nikon D7100. The only advantage of D5200 is faster focusing for sport. The advantages of D7100 is in-body focus motor and looks more professional with some metal panel in the body.
              Andreas (3:28 AM, June 14, 2013)
              planning to buy d3200 thanks snapsport
              Avatar for Abishai Madridista Abishai Madridista (7:58 AM, February 27, 2013)
              Which camera comes closest to what the D3200 can produce?
              me (11:54 AM, June 15, 2012)
              I'm sure the two cameras are perfectly capable for that purpose.
              Avatar for PhilB PhilB (11:50 PM, May 06, 2012)
              Would either of these two cameras be my best option if I want to be able to use my camera as a video camera to record home videos of my kids and things like that? I also want to be able to take indoor pictures that don't look so grainy..
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:15 PM, April 20, 2012)
              You are correct, we have fixed that but it will take a while to show up here. Thanks for your support. 
              captvizcenzo (1:50 AM, April 20, 2012)
              I'm pretty sure there is no built in AF motor for D3200.
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (7:23 PM, April 19, 2012)
              Glad we could help the D3200 should be out mid May for $699
              Rohan (7:19 PM, April 19, 2012)
              was planning to buy d3100 :) , now my plans have altered . thank you snapsort