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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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05.22.12         photography  

Nikon D3200 - Portrait Test Shots & Notes


The powers that be saw that I got one of the new Nikon D3200 cameras. No I am not changing my main camera brand (Canon). I have tested Nikons for various reasons and I wanted to take a close look at the D3200 because of its amazing specs. It's is a little BEAST of a camera, 24MP at a cost of just $700! Shoots 4 FPS, full video features. It really is like a mini-5Dii, minus the full frame features (as well as many other little amenities). I think Nikon is really going after more and more megapixels, and bang for your buck, you won't find a more MP/cost on any DLSR.

I have had it for nearly 3 weeks now, and was only about to take it for a quick test drive last Wednesday with my fav model on Maui (Annie - who is awesome!). One thing I wanted to do was stick with the kit lens, (18-55) that came with the camera and see what I could get with it out of the box.

Here are some of my initial notes:

What I Liked:

1. It is INCREDIBLY small and light. I could hardly feel the thing around my neck. One of the lightest cameras I have ever used.
2. The cost of this camera is going to make it a very, very hot seller.
3. For an entry level camera, I thought the focusing systems were very pretty good. Took some time to get the feel for it.

What I Did Not Like:

1. The Auto White Balance is terrible. You have to actually set the camera to the correct color temperature to get anything close to what your eye sees
2. Not really a D3200 problem, but more of a general issue. Lens cost and selection. I did more research on Nikon lenses, and most of the quality lenses for Nikon cost as much or more than the camera body. Canon has several 1.8 and 1.4 lenses that are more affordable for the price. I don't like that a new user would have to invest a serious amount more than the camera for a good portrait lens.
3. ISO increment adjustments. Perhaps I haven't found the custom control for it yet, but default is 1-stop increments. This is a glaring problem (especially when this is mostly a software thing).
4. The D3200 seems to favor yellows. Despite many of the following images being taken during golden hour, I was still seeing this yellowness in complete shade, out of the sun.

All that said, I love it's cost, size, weight and am finding that with more and more shooting, I am getting more and more used to it. I imagine I will really like it with time. It feels very different than a Canon.

I have been getting requests for years now to do a training tutorial video on a Nikon entry level camera, if it were to happen with any of them, this would be the one we would do it on. Im not ready to say this will happen, but it is something I am looking at. I think I am a pretty good photography teacher, and doing entry level Nikon cameras would open a new market for me. This week Ill be doing some pre-production research, if it looks like a good opportunity, yes, we can expect a Nikon D3200 Crash Course Training Video to be made available around the 1st week of July 2012.

These are my favorites of our test shooting, all are straight out of the camera (only resized and watermarked).

Again, all shots were taken with the 18-55 Kit lens. These first couple I am posting as large as I can so you guys can judge for yourself what you think about the color and sharpness.

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