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One more time - D5100 or D3200

vedran03

HR
9 posts

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vedran03 Registered since 22nd May 2012
Wed 23-May-12 08:58 AM | edited Wed 23-May-12 09:26 AM by vedran03

Hi there,
my name is Vedran, I'm from Croatia. Very nice community you've got here!
I'm finishing college so I'm trying to use this extra time I've got on myself for purchasing a DSLR.
I've photographed for the last 15 years, sometimes less and sometimes more, mostly with Sony W12 and later with a borrowed Canon 300D. So, I know a thing or two about photography, but still consider myself as a beginner.

After reading many forum posts and online reviews (both users and pro-reviewers) I still can't decide which camera would be a better choice, the D5100 or D3200?
I'm leaning towards the D5100, but really don't care for the articulated LCD, actually, I'm afraid it won't last as much as the rest of the camera.
The extra MPs that D3200 brings don't really interest me.

I plan on using the camera for family events, portraits, vacation and street photography. Color and B&W. Funds allow me kit lens only for now.

Has anyone taken pictures with both cameras, which camera handles better, which one is faster to use, build quality, and at last, are the D3200's higher ISOs really that visibly worse?

I believe that someone sees my dilemma as stupid, but prices of these cameras aren't low for me.

Due to the fact that English isn't my mother language, forgive my errors!

Oh, I forgot, the D3200 hasn't arrived in Croatia yet, so I can't really go and try it!

Also want to add that I've read most of the connected threads here.

drmanubmengi

Chandigarh, IN
637 posts

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#1. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 0

drmanubmengi Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2012
Wed 23-May-12 07:56 AM

hi there,
i have been using D70 for time immemorial now & has been planning to change my camera but due to certain issues i've not been able to.
i'm also in dilemma which DSLAR to buy. i have been leaning towards D3200 which i can use for next 2-3 years when i would be able to buy something like D800 or something like that at that time.
plz guys help me out.

Dr. Manu Mengi

vedran03

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9 posts

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#2. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 1

vedran03 Registered since 22nd May 2012
Wed 23-May-12 08:08 AM

Although not really an answer to my question, but could you elaborate why are you leaning towards D3200? Are you planning to sell it in a few years and you think you'll be able to sell it for more money because it's newer than D5100?

drmanubmengi

Chandigarh, IN
637 posts

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#3. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 2

drmanubmengi Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2012
Fri 25-May-12 06:18 AM

The answer to ur questions is yes. I don't have the money to buy something like D800 now which i would like to buy. so D3200 is going to fulfill my needs till the time i have the required money as i have just started my professional career.
maybe i'll keep d3200 as a standby camera or a 2nd body.

Dr. Manu Mengi

vedran03

HR
9 posts

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#4. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 3

vedran03 Registered since 22nd May 2012
Sun 27-May-12 09:09 AM

Once again, why did you choose the D3200 over the D5100. Could you please elaborate your answer?

RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#5. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 4

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Sun 27-May-12 12:01 PM

I am sure the D3200 is a good camera.
I have had the D5100 and really like the articulating screen.

What you need is to go to a camera store and get "Hands On".
How the camera controls and body feel in your hands will be extremely important.
If it does not "fit" your hands, you will not be able to use it optimally.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Leonard62

Pa, US
4419 posts

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#6. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 0

Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Writer Ribbon awarded for his contributions to the Nikonians Resources articles library Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009
Sun 27-May-12 03:52 PM

Hello Vedran,

I have both cameras and have been running comparison tests between the two.

First, don't worry about the articulated LCD of the D5100. You can just leave it in place like the D3200 and it will lock in.

I've set up both bodies in exactly the same way so even though I'm using fine jpg the photos will have the same settings as close as the menus allow. I use the same lens for all the tests.

The first thing that is obvious is that the menu choices are better on the D5100. One example is when setting noise reduction. The D3200 is either on or off. The D5100 gives you a choice of High, Normal, Low or off. The D5100 also has Long Exposure noise reduction On or Off. The D3200 does not offer this option. So do a little research comparing the menu options, especially the Shooting menu and see if there are any options missing on one that you may want.

Next is resolution. A normal photo showing on the computer screen without cropping appears to be a little sharper with the D3200. It is easier to see at 100%. I have been measuring lens resolution using both cameras and the D3200 will show higher resolution.

Noise. I think the D5100 has a more refined sensor. Up to ISO 800 there is very little difference between the two. From ISO 1600 on up the D5100 appears to have less noise, even if the D3200 image is down sampled to D5100 size. If you use noise reduction with both cameras the slight resolution advantage of the D3200 is lost and the two cameras now look nearly the same. One reason why I say the D5100 sensor is more refined is the noise pattern is smooth where on the D3200 it looks a little clumpy or color blotchy when looking at full enlargement.

As far as handling of the bodies there should be no problem with either body.

I don't set up my cameras to be automatic anything. I use aperture priority, AFS, single point focus, matrix or center metering, and choose my own ISO setting. I didn't test movie mode.

I like both cameras and both can produce excellent photos. I have uses for the articulating LCD of the D5100. I find an improvement in resolution with the D3200, especially when shooting raw. However currently I can only view the D3200 raw files with View NX2. If I could only keep one body it would probably be the D5100 but it would be a tough call. For a beginner I would recommend the D3200 first because of it's simplified menu and GUIDE feature.

Len

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drmanubmengi

Chandigarh, IN
637 posts

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#7. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 6

drmanubmengi Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2012
Sun 27-May-12 10:56 PM

Thanx Len for the post.
I have D70 which has stopped working now. Which camera would you recommend for me?

Dr. Manu Mengi
Loves Photography

vedran03

HR
9 posts

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#8. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 7

vedran03 Registered since 22nd May 2012
Mon 28-May-12 06:55 AM

@ RRRoger:
Thanks, will definitely do that. But the D3200 hasn't come yet in Croatia, although, I've made my decision and chose the D5100.

@ Leonard62:
First of all, thank you for such detailed response!
Really prefer the more options of the D5100, like I said, I have some experience with the DSLRs so maybe the D5100 would be the best choice.
Also, everyone seems to love the D5100/7000 sensor that allows so high ISOs, and that's a really nice advantage.

Once again, thank you!

Leonard62

Pa, US
4419 posts

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#9. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 7

Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Writer Ribbon awarded for his contributions to the Nikonians Resources articles library Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009
Mon 28-May-12 09:43 AM

>Thanx Len for the post.
>I have D70 which has stopped working now. Which camera would
>you recommend for me?
>
>Dr. Manu Mengi
>Loves Photography

If you have a D70 you probably have the older D type AF lenses with the screw type auto focus. If that is the case and you don't want to buy new lenses then the D90 will be a big upgrade. For a little more money you could get the D7000 which is currently the best DX body from Nikon.

You could get either the D5100 or D3200 which is also a big upgrade from the D70 but now you need AFS lenses if you want auto focus. But that's not really a bad thing. The kit AFS 18-55mm lens is very capable and probably sharper than what you have now. If you want a fast normal lens to go along with the kit lens the AFS 50mm f1.8G can't be beat and it's bargain priced.

If I wanted to keep the upgrade price to a minimum I would get the D3200 kit which includes the AFS 18-55mm lens and is priced lower then the D5100 body alone. It's a very capable camera.

Len


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drmanubmengi

Chandigarh, IN
637 posts

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#10. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 9

drmanubmengi Silver Member Nikonian since 14th May 2012
Sat 02-Jun-12 12:53 AM

Thanx Len for the helpful post.

I've decided to sell out my D70 & the kit lens 18-70 mm with it & will be buying D3200 with 18-105 mm kit lens.
I have older 70-300mm G lens & 105 mm Micro Lens.

Dr. Manu Mengi
Loves Photography

girtonp

US
1 posts

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#11. "RE: One more time - D5100 or D3200" | In response to Reply # 6

girtonp Registered since 26th Jun 2012
Tue 26-Jun-12 01:31 PM

>Re: D5100 or D3200
>Hello Vedran,
>
>I have both cameras and have been running comparison tests
>between the two.
>
>First, don't worry about the articulated LCD of the D5100. You
>can just leave it in place like the D3200 and it will lock in.
>
>
>I've set up both bodies in exactly the same way so even though
>I'm using fine jpg the photos will have the same settings as
>close as the menus allow. I use the same lens for all the
>tests.
>
>The first thing that is obvious is that the menu choices are
>better on the D5100. One example is when setting noise
>reduction. The D3200 is either on or off. The D5100 gives you
>a choice of High, Normal, Low or off. The D5100 also has Long
>Exposure noise reduction On or Off. The D3200 does not offer
>this option. So do a little research comparing the menu
>options, especially the Shooting menu and see if there are any
>options missing on one that you may want.
>
>Next is resolution. A normal photo showing on the computer
>screen without cropping appears to be a little sharper with
>the D3200. It is easier to see at 100%. I have been measuring
>lens resolution using both cameras and the D3200 will show
>higher resolution.
>
>Noise. I think the D5100 has a more refined sensor. Up to ISO
>800 there is very little difference between the two. From ISO
>1600 on up the D5100 appears to have less noise, even if the
>D3200 image is down sampled to D5100 size. If you use noise
>reduction with both cameras the slight resolution advantage of
>the D3200 is lost and the two cameras now look nearly the
>same. One reason why I say the D5100 sensor is more refined is
>the noise pattern is smooth where on the D3200 it looks a
>little clumpy or color blotchy when looking at full
>enlargement.
>
>As far as handling of the bodies there should be no problem
>with either body.
>
>I don't set up my cameras to be automatic anything. I use
>aperture priority, AFS, single point focus, matrix or center
>metering, and choose my own ISO setting. I didn't test movie
>mode.
>
>I like both cameras and both can produce excellent photos. I
>have uses for the articulating LCD of the D5100. I find an
>improvement in resolution with the D3200, especially when
>shooting raw. However currently I can only view the D3200 raw
>files with View NX2. If I could only keep one body it would
>probably be the D5100 but it would be a tough call. For a
>beginner I would recommend the D3200 first because of it's
>simplified menu and GUIDE feature.
>
>Len
>
>

Thanks Len for this long explanation. I too have been confused on which one to get.

G