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First SLR, 3200 or 3100 - ISO performance?

Zeya

US
3 posts

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Zeya Registered since 10th May 2012
Thu 10-May-12 10:29 PM

Hi, this is probably a somewhat typical first post. I've read quite a bit about SLRs and photography, trying to learn the ins and outs before I buy something. I've even read the entire d3100 manual, nearly every section, and even skimmed the d3200 manual (nearly the same manual). So I believe I have a fair grasp on most concepts, at least at a basic level.

So my main thing is, I need to decide between buying a d3100 or a d3200. (I'm not considering a higher/pricier model due to my budget. Even the 5100 is a bit too high for the feature value at this point.)

At first I was thinking that the upgrades for the 3200 that were most intriguing were (in order of importance to me):
- Higher ISO range (one stop higher)
- 4 fps instead of 3 fps in continuous shooting
- 24 megapixels instead of 16 (I'm guessing I'll be doing a lot of cropping, right?)
- Larger LCD (minor bonus)

Really I considered the higher ISO range and extra shot-per-second to be the biggest selling point... However, I then read the following article, which seems to imply that the 3200 is actually a worse performer at the higher ISO in low light.
http://www.examiner.com/article/nikon-d3200-vs-d3100-at-high-iso-which-is-better

This was troubling to me, particularly because it was my #1 reason to buy the 3200 over the 3100. I've read that higher density sensors tend to have more artifact problems with higher ISO speeds. And it's kind of surprising that Nikon would give a larger ISO range like that, knowing that the image quality would be worse. The article says it's worse even at ISO 800.

What do you all think? If you were a newbie like me, would you pay the extra $150 for a 3200 versus the 3100?

Oh, and how soon do people tend to want to upgrade from their first entry level dSLR? Three years? Six years?

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