It may be an entry-level camera, but the Nikon D3200 features a 24.2-million-pixel sensor that could provide the sort of image quality demanded by enthusiasts. Can the Nikon D3200 cater for all? The Nikon D3200 review find out.
As an entry-level model, the D3200 uses a simplified Multi-CAM 1000FX autofocus sensor with 11 individually selectable points. These points are in three groups in the central portion of the frame, with the centre point being a more sensitive cross-type.
When using the viewfinder, the AF system works on a phase-detection basis, with the active AF point illuminated red in the viewfinder (chosen via the D-pad in single-point mode).
Other options include 3D tracking (great for videos as well as still images), dynamic area and auto, all of which use the 11 points to gather focus information. For everyday use, the system is snappy and perfectly capable. The more demanding action photographer is, of course, better served by a more sophisticated set-up on a more expensive camera.
When live view is in use, the D3200 employs a contrast-detection-based system. Handily, in this mode the AF point can be set to anywhere in the frame, which is great for off-centre subjects. However, the performance of this AF is a tad slower than the phase-detection system, certainly in low light where the camera often hunts for the subject.