Nikon D3300 vs Nikon D3200

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Introduction

Back in the day, these two remarkable DSLRs were the perfect cameras for photography enthusiasts, however, in some sort of way, they have remained as a top-option fo entry-level novice users. I wouldn’t recommend these two cameras to people who have used more premium DSLRs before, however, for those that are just starting out, these would be a perfect choice, and we’re going to show you why.

Firstly, they both come at a very affordable price, whereas they vary greatly with more high-end cameras, in both features and performance.

Although, they share similar specifics, even though the D3300 is the successor of the D3200, while they have almost the same specs, same features, same functionalities. Nonetheless, we’re still going to make a head-to-head comparison where we’ll try to mention even their slightest details and differences, while by the end, I believe you’ll have enough arguments to support your decision, whether the Nikon D3300 is the one for you or the D3200.

Before you purchase a camera, make sure you check out the features because depending on what you need the camera for, that’s how you also know what features to check in a camera. For instance, if you would need a camera for videography, check the autofocus system, check whether it can record 4K or not, and other stuff like this.

Okay, now, let’s get more into the specifics and see what these cameras are truly capable of.

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D3300

As we mentioned in the beginning, back in 2014, the D3300 was the biggest announcement in the Consumer Electronics Show. Even though it lacked some essential features such as the 4K video, or the curved LCD, it still was a great entry-level DSLR and Nikon’s most popular in this category.

There is a lot to talk about this camera, so why don’t we just start off by saying a couple of things about the design.

Considering the fact that it is an entry-level DSLR, the D3300 boasts a plastic shell which isn’t exactly what you’d want, since it doesn’t really give that sturdy-feeling, nonetheless, it has a sculpted handgrip on the front along with a wide thumb rest on the back, while these are both coated in a pleasantly resistive textured leather-like finish. From my experience, I find the grip to be kind of slim, while I also found it uncomfortable to hold it for an extended time, however, I have some really big hands so just take it as an opinion. Let’s not forget to mention, the D3300’s viewfinder has a 95% field coverage with 0.85x magnification, which means that you’ll be missing some details around the corners of the frame when you’re shooting.

To continue, the D3300 has a number of useful ports, such as the GPS/remote socket, a mic port, the USB/AV port, and an HDMI connector. There are also two separate port doors which make use of the optional Wu-1a Wi-Fi adapter, however, we’re going to talk about connectivities later in this review.

Now, when it comes to the LCD, unlike some other entry-level DSLRs which use a fully articulated touchscreen LCD, the D3300 has a 3-inch 921k-dot fixed screen with no touchscreen capabilities or whatsoever. When you think about it, it’s not really that disappointing since it’s really just an entry-level budget-friendly DSLR camera aimed towards novice users who are just starting out, so if you find yourself in this category, then you’ll be good to go.

Performance-wise, let’s first point out that this camera has a very powerful 24.2-megapixel DX-format APS-C sensor, while it runs the EXPEED 4 image processor which means that you’ll get pretty fast and decent performance. While in other terms, if you combine these specs into one piece, you get a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second.

Regarding the ISO range, the Nikon D3300 has a native ISO sensitivity of 100-12800, and a boosted ISO sensitivity of 25600.

In addition, what I also like about this camera is the autofocus system, having an 11-point AF system, it means that the autofocus system locks onto your subjects as soon as they enter the frame and stays with them until you catch the shot you want. If you’re wondering, you won’t have any problems even with fast-moving subjects, they’re captured with tack-sharp precision, while for Full HD Video, there’s full-time autofocus that maintains the focus on your desired spot.

Since we mentioned video, I don’t really recommend this camera to videographers, because the first missing feature is an articulating LCD, but just to fill it in, the D3300 can record FHD 1080p/60p with a maximum record time of 20min, and H.264/MPEG-4 compression.

But there’s something that I really like about the Nikon D3300, the Full-time Servo AF, which is available as soon as you start recording video, while face detection and subjects tracking is also present, in other words, you’ll get full details with ease in FHD 1080p video recording.

In terms of connectivities, it may be disappointing to some users that this camera doesn’t have a built-in Wi-Fi. Although, there’s an optional WU-1a Mobile Adapter, which lets you transfer files to external devices.

Overall, I really like the Nikon D3300, it’s a decent camera which offers significant performance and an array of features that are well-suited for an entry-level DSLR, and for novice users.

Nikon D3200

The Nikon D3200 is the D3300’s predecessor, while it has some downsides if you compare it with its successor, starting from the continuous shooting speed, the LCD display, and some other features which we’ll mention in a bit.

The design is mainly the same, they look pretty similar with a subtly rearranged control layout in a couple of places. The D3200 holds the company’s multi-function flash button, which when pressed it releases the flash, while if you hold it down and you use it simultaneously with the control dial, you change the flash compensation. There’s also an IR port on the upper left of the rear plate of the D3200 which allows for remote triggering from a position behind the camera while using the optional infra-red trigger. The design is overall pretty decent, it also has a good grip which feels more comfortable than D3300’s, of course that’s just my opinion, while same as the D3300’s, this one also has a 95% field coverage which means a portion of the image area will not be shown in the viewfinder, more precisely in the corners.

The LCD remains partially the same, it’s a 3-inch 920k-dot screen which delivers stunning colors whether you find yourself indoors or in outdoor light. Same as the D3300’s, the D3200 has a fixed-screen design LCD which means you can’t tilt it or swivel it in any direction, while this may be a very useful features especially for some videographers, since most of the time, you can use tilting as a way to shoot more easily from different angles and viewing positions. Also, let’s not forget to mention that there are also no touchscreen capabilities.

Okay, but what about performance, does it really differ from D3300’s specs or they share mainly similar features and specs.

For starters, similar to D3300, the Nikon D3200 also has a pretty impressive sensor, featuring a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor while armed with an EXPEED 3 image processor, it means that you’ll get a continuous shooting speed of 4 frames-per-second. These are amazing specs for an entry-level DSLR, but as you can see, they don’t really differ much from one another, even though the other it’s supposed to be the successor.

When it comes to the ISO range, this particular camera boasts a native ISO sensitivity of 100-6400 and a boosted ISO of 12,800-equivalent Hi1 setting.

Furthermore, the autofocus also remains the same, featuring an 11-point AF system with 3D tracking, you’ll get impressive performance and tracking while maintaining focus even with fast-moving subjects.

In addition, for video recording you’ll also get a similar performance where you can record in Full HD 1080p, but I’m going to say it again, these cameras are pretty decent for videography, however, I would still not recommend them, you have better options available at similar prices if you want a DSLR for video, maybe look for one that has 4K capabilities.

Before we end, let’s also mention that for connecting, you get a WU-1a Wi-Fi transmitter that clips into the USB socket of the D3200 while it allows you to transfer your images to smartphone devices or tablets, but you’ll have to install the Nikon app first.

All and all, the D3200 is a great entry-level DSLR, it doesn’t change much from the D3300, while if you’re in a budget or if you’re someone who is just starting out, this camera would be the ideal choice.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D3300 Nikon D3200
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.0
24.0
ISO Range
100-12800 (25600 with expansion)
100-6400(12,800)
Flip-Out Screen
No
No
AF Points
11 AF Points
11 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
CMOS
CMOS

Conclusion

As you can see from the comparison table, these two cameras are pretty much the same, whether you see them in terms of specs, or by the reviews in terms of features, they mostly share the same functionalities.

If you were to decide between these two cameras, no matter what you choose, both of these two cameras are great, of course, for an entry-level DSLR, they output great image quality, with sharp details, vibrant colors, and fast performance.

Although they lack some essential features, such as the built-in Wi-Fi, the fully articulating touchscreen LCD, but nonetheless, if you haven’t really used such a camera, then you’ll be fine, but if you’re used to having a touchscreen LCD with a flip-out design, then you’ll probably be disappointed with these cameras.