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Nikon D3200 versus Nikon D3400

The Nikon D3200 and the Nikon D3400 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2012 and August 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D3200 has a resolution of 24.1 megapixel, whereas the D3400 provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3400

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3200 and the Nikon D3400. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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).

Snapsort Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3400
Compare D3200 versus D3400 top
Compare D3200 and D3400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3400 is somewhat larger (1 percent) than the Nikon D3200. However, the D3400 is markedly lighter (12 percent) than the D3200. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3200 nor the D3400 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D3200 gets 540 shots out of its EN-EL14 battery, while the D3400 can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D3200» 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D3400« 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i i
Canon 200D« » 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i
Nikon D5600« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« » 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D5300« » 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799- i
Nikon D7100« » 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199- i
Nikon D5200« » 129 mm 98 mm 78 mm 555 g 500 n Nov 2012 749- i
Nikon D5100« » 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749- i
Nikon D3100« » 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599- i
Sony RX1R« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3400 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the D3200, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3400

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 D3400 is 3 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D3200 and Nikon D3400 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Nikon D3200 offers a higher resolution of 24.1 megapixel, compared with 24 MP of the Nikon D3400. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.85μm versus 3.91μm for the D3400). Moreover, it should be noted that the D3400 is much more recent (by 4 years and 3 months) than the D3200, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3400 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

D3200 versus D3400 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D3400 has a markedly higher DXO score than the D3200 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Nikon D3200» APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
Nikon D3400« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
Nikon D5600« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
Nikon D5500« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
Nikon D5300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
Nikon D7100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
Nikon D5200« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.213.9128484
Nikon D5100« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D3400 provides a faster frame rate than the D3200. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the D3200 is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D3400

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3200 and the D3400 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 Nikon D3400 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Nikon D3200»optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D3400«optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5600« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5500« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5300« »optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D7100« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 8000 6.0 Y n
Nikon D5200« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D5100« »optical n 3.0 921 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n

The D3400 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. 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 Nikon D3400

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3200 and the Nikon D3400? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3200:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2012).


Advantages of the Nikon D3400:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 60g or 12 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D3200 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3400 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

D3200 02:09 D3400

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3200 or the D3400. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D3200»HiRec73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599- i
Nikon D3400«Rec76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i i
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i
Nikon D5600« »-79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i i
Nikon D5500« »Rec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899- i
Nikon D3300« »Rec77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i
Nikon D5300« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799- i
Nikon D7100« »HiRec85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199- i
Nikon D5200« »HiRec79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Nov 2012 749- i
Nikon D5100« »HiRec76/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749- i
Nikon D3100« »HiRec72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i
Sony RX1R« »--4/5rev4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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 use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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