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).
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.
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|
|Nikon D3200»||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599||-|
|Nikon D3400«||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Nikon D5600« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Nikon D3300« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-|
|Nikon D5300« »||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-|
|Nikon D7100« »||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-|
|Nikon D5200« »||129 mm||98 mm||78 mm||555 g||500||n||Nov 2012||749||-|
|Nikon D5100« »||128 mm||97 mm||79 mm||560 g||660||n||Apr 2011||749||-|
|Nikon D3100« »||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-|
|Sony RX1R« »||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||-|
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.
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.
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.
|Canon 200D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84|
|Nikon D3300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83|
|Nikon D5200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.2||13.9||1284||84|
|Nikon D5100« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80|
|Nikon D3100« »||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67|
|Sony RX1R« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
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.
|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.
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.
|Nikon D3200»||HiRec||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599||-|
|Nikon D3400«||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Canon 200D« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Nikon D3300« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-|
|Nikon D5300« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-|
|Nikon D5200« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749||-|
|Nikon D5100« »||HiRec||76/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2011||749||-|
|Nikon D3100« »||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-|
|Sony RX1R« »||-||-||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||-|
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.
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