So I have been shooting with a D40x and D80 since 2007. Some burglars recently gave me the opportunity to re-think my entire camera/lens collection, as I will be starting from scratch. I will likely buy used equipment, so the whole model line is available to me.
Anyway, I loved the D40x. It seemed to have a good chip in it (I thought it did a slightly better job with colors than did my d80), and I loved its compact size. I'm now in the market for a replacement body. It would help me if you all could tell me which of the compact bodies has the best chip in it. Superior high-ISO low light performance would be a big plus.
If you all don't think that there is a huge difference among these bodies, that is useful to know too. I could always just go for the best deal or pick up a D50, which will work with all the good ole AF lenses.
I almost posted in the D50/D40/D60 forum -- I want to consider both model lines. Whether or not the camera can do video is not really a big priority for me -- all else being equal, it would be nice.
#1. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Sorry to hear about the theft of your equipment. For outright sensor performance it is tough to beat the D3200. The D3100 would be right behind the D3200. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#2. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 1
Thanks. I should have entitled this post "Compare the compact bodies from the last ten years"
how does the 3200 do in terms of high ISO performance? The last I heard when I was in the know about the latest and greatest from Nikon was that the D90 was one of the best in terms of high ISO/low light. Does the 3200 stack up to the D90?
#3. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 2
The D90 and the D3200 have nearly identical High ISO performance with the D3200 a more extended range. This is quite a feat for the D3200 since it's sensor pixel denity is so much greater than the D90. The D40X performance is much worse than either of them.
You can compare the performance of any of the Nikon cameras at
#4. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 2
The D3200 has a little better high ISO performance than D90, more Dynamic Range and significantly more Color Depth as well. It also has twice the resolution of the D90. The D3200 doesn't have a sub-command dial, penta-prism viewfinder, or dedicated buttons to quickly change settings without going into the camera menu that the D90 has. So there are trade offs. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#5. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 4
Yes, I figured that I would have to make those concessions for the compact body. If only Nikon could only make a camera that is big and easy to use when you are holding it in your hand but small and compact when you are carrying it in your bag.
#6. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 5 Tue 13-Nov-12 06:45 PM by Pacman32
To add a little info ... at this point, I can tell that it is going to be a cost-benefit analysis for me. I can pick up the older camera bodies for next to nothing, and I can pick up a D3100 for substantially less than the D3200, so I'd appreciate any input as to what the real, everyday difference is among the bodies. For example, the 24 megapixels of the D3200 seems like overkill to me, at least for pics (maybe it's needed for the 1080p?) -- if that's right, it's not something that I am goingo to want to pay for that.
But sounds like the D3200 brings more realistic benefits to the table such as better higher ISO performance and deeper colors ... so at this point I am leaning towards the newer bodies, but maybe not the latest and greatest D3200. Maybe a 3100 or another newer body if it gives me most of what the D3200 has. The D90 (not a compact body, I know)and D5100 are part of that mix as well. From what I can see, the D5100 out-performs the D3200.
#7. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 6 Wed 14-Nov-12 11:46 AM by John Bertotti
I love my d3200 and for me I wouldn't consider a 5100 instead. I would like a few more controls but the color depth and dynamic range of the D 3200 work very well for me. Had the D5200 been out I would have probably considered it as well. I love the larger mp as I can do a lot of tweaking and have gotten multiethnic shots out of o e pic just by cropping and still had pics I liked!
Edit to add; if I was in your shoes and had the resources I'm not sure I wouldn't go for a used D700. I always wanted that camera, great pictures, now with the 800&600 out I imagine the used prices are coming down but small it isn't, the D3200 is a great compact size.
#8. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 0
Livermore, CA, US
I would have voted D7000 as the best, but if you preferred the size of your D40x to your D80, then it seems to me it's an easy call for the D3200.
The D3100 might save you a few bucks and if you're only web posting then its (14MP?) is plenty. If you have any aspiration to do prints, however, I'd go for the D3200. The cost of storage space and processing power is so minuscule, I consider it to be a non-issue and certainly not worth all the hand-wringing it generates.
#9. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 6
For info. - the extra resolution is not for video. 1080P is merely 2 megapixels per frame. So DSLRs have to severely downsize (line skip) resolution as they form each 2mp frame.
I am advising a lady from work and likewise D3200, D5100 are in the mix and am not sure how to differentiate for her purposes. Aside from sensor differences and swivel LCD, did you guys have any thoughts between those two bodies?
#10. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 8
Monterey Bay, US
I say get "Hands On" That is the most important thing about a camera for me. Neither the D3100 nor the D600 fits my hands. The D800 fits nearly perfect and that makes up for the weight difference. The D5100 is very comfortable so I expect the D5200 to be also. But I would try before I came home with any camera body.
#11. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 0
Thanks to everyone for the advice... I was just about to get a refurbished D5100 for a great price but I found a D3200 on craigslist for $30 more so I gave in to the pressure and got the D3200. I hope the colors and dynamic range will blow me away.
Now I need to decide on what lenses to pick up. I wish the old AF lenses were an option -- I love some of those old lenses (such as my now long-gone 80-200 f/2.8 AF).
#13. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 11
Congratulations on your new D3200. As stated above, even the kit 18-55mm VR is optically excellent. It is also very small and light. The Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED IF AF-S VR (discontinued) is optically better than any version of the AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED though it defeats the purpose of having a small light body. The Latest Sigma and Tamron lenses 70-200mm f/2.8 have built in AM motors so they will work on the D3200. Like the Nikkor they are both large and heavy. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#14. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 13
I love my D3200 but still wish it had a few more functions and controls. Goodness is it isn't very hard to adjust things off the display just a click or two on. The 18-35 is the lens Inuse the most next to the 35 prime. I love the look of both heck even the 55-200 looks great to me! Although someone once said fast glass is addictive. I agree, a 70-200. 2.8 is calling to me daily. I don know if it is considered fast but it is substantially fast then what I have! You'll love the D3200! Unless you have giant mitts, then it might be a love hate relationship because it is a small bodies camera, and very light.
#16. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 15
When you say constant does that mean I can't go to f/8 or higher? At first I thought it might be a bit redundant but with all the gym shots of kids and the goal of gaini g an fx body I can justify it in my head! Lol thanks Bertotti
#17. "RE: Best compact Nikon body in last 10 years?" In response to Reply # 16
No! Constant f/2.8 aperture lenses maintain a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range of the lens. With Variable aperture lenses like the 70-300mm f.4.5-5.6G the maximum aperture varies from f/4.5 at the wide end to f/5.6 at the long end. This refers to the maximum (Largest Opening) aperture only. You can always stop the aperture down (close) on either type lens.
Fast lenses allow you to use a faster shutter speed in low light situations providing the ability of freezing the subjects motion. Shooting wide open also provides a narrow DOF resulting in subject isolation. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!