Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
The Nikon D3200 and the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (labelled Canon 200D in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2012 and June 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24.1 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D3200||Canon SL2|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel touchscreen|
|4 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|540 shots per battery charge||650 shots per battery charge|
|125 x 96 x 77 mm, 505 g||122 x 93 x 70 mm, 453 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
The physical size and weight of the Nikon D3200 and the Canon SL2 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the D3200 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SL2 is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Nikon D3200. Moreover, the SL2 is markedly lighter (10 percent) than the D3200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3200 nor the SL2 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3200) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (SL2).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Nikon D3200»||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Canon SL2«||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5200« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||500||n||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3100« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Sony A58« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||3.1 in||17.4 oz||690||n||Feb 2013||599||-||Sony A58|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SL2 was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the D3200 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the SL2 is 7 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D3200) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24.1MP, the D3200 offers a slightly higher resolution than the SL2 (24MP), but the D3200 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.85μm versus 3.72μm for the SL2) due to its larger sensor. However, the SL2 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years and 2 months) than the D3200, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The SL2 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Nikon D3200 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D3200»||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
|Canon SL2«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon SL2|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63||Canon SL1|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.2||13.9||1284||84||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3100« »||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Sony A58« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.3||12.5||753||74||Sony A58|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SL2 provides a faster frame rate than the D3200. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3200 and the SL2 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3200 and Canon SL2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D3200»||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
|Canon SL2«||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL2|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n||Canon SL1|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5200« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||optical||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3100« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3000|
|Sony A58« »||1440||n||2.7||460||tilting||n||4000||5.0||Y||Y||Sony A58|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The SL2 has a touchscreen, while the D3200 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The SL2 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D3200 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D3200 and the SL2 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D3200 and Canon EOS Rebel SL2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D3200»||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
|Canon SL2«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SL2|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon M5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon SL1« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SL1|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3100« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Sony A58« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A58|
It is notable that the SL2 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3200 does not offer wifi capability.
The SL2 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the D3200 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3200 was succeeded by the Nikon D3300.
Review summary: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D3200 better than the Canon SL2 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3200:
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2012).
Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D3200 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the SL2 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3200 or the SL2 handle or perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D3200»||HiRec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-||Nikon D3200|
|Canon SL2«||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon M5« »||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon SL1« »||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-||Canon SL1|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D5200« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749||-||Nikon D5200|
|Nikon D5100« »||HiRec||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-||Nikon D5100|
|Nikon D3100« »||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||Rec||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Sony A58« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599||-||Sony A58|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon XSi vs Nikon D3200
- Nikon D1 vs Fujifilm X-H1
- Nikon D3100 vs Canon 600D
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Panasonic GX9
- Olympus E-M10 II vs Leica C-LUX
- Panasonic GH5s vs Pentax KP
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- Pentax K-1 vs Sony A7R II
- Sony HX95 vs Canon G9 X Mark II
Specifications: Nikon D3200 vs Canon SL2
|Camera Model||Nikon D3200||Canon SL2|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2012||June 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 549|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.2 x 15.4 mm||22.3 x 15.4 mm|
|Sensor Area||357.28 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.8 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6016 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.85 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.74 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Expeed 3||DIGIC 7|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Battery Type||EN-EL14 power pack||LP-E17 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
125 x 96 x 77 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||505 g (17.8 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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