Just about two months ago Nikon unveiled the brand new D3200 DSLR camera. It is an upgrade of the existing D3100 but according to Nikon the 3200 is not a replacement and the 3100 will continue to be on the market. This is a really good thing as it gives entry level DSLR users not only a choice in price (about $100 difference), but also in how high they want the specs to be.
Other than the changed model number it has some significant upgrades to talk about, some of which are quite revolutionary for a camera aimed at the beginner level.
The sensor is probably the most headline grabbing change, where the D3100 has a 14 megapixel one the D3200 packs a whopping 24 megapixels. This is a huge difference and pretty much unheard of for an entry level DSLR.
This allows for extremely high quality prints of landscapes and portraits even at poster size without losing any detail. To put it in perspective, it would allow for a high resolution print to the size of 20" by 13"! The other advantage is that it allows you to crop in on an image should you not have a very long telephoto lens, while again not losing significant detail.
One of the big drawbacks on the D3100 was that the display only had 230.000 pixels, which is quite meager even for an entry level DSLR. The D3200 now has 921.000 pixels which is much more suitable. This slows you to soo a lot more detail on the camera and verify that focusing was correct.
The ISO range has also increased from a maximum 3200 to a maximum of 6400. This does mean that you will be able to shoot in lower light conditions without a flash but it does come at the expense of quite a bit more noise.
Buttons and Switches
The first thing I noticed is that the Live view switch from the D3100 has been replaced by a button in similar location on the back; personally I find the switch better as a button can be accidentally pressed.
A good change is that the video record button that was on the back is now conveniently located near the shutter release button on the Nikon D3200 ; this I think is a great change that makes a lot more sense.
Lastly, the D3100 had a drive mode switch conveniently located underneath the mode dial. On the D3200 this is now replaced with a button on the back of the camera, which I find far less convenient.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the D3200 is pretty much exactly the same as the D3100, which means it is a very compact and lightweight camera. This is especially good for beginners that are probably only used to relatively small consumer cameras.
I have held some of the more semi professional and professional DSLRs and there really is quite some weight in them. As an owner of the D3100 I can tell you that it is light enough to carry around on holidays or days out with the family.