Nikon D3200 vs D3100

The Nikon D3200 and the D3100 are entry-level DSLRs targeted at those who are just starting out in photography. The Nikon D3200 is a third iteration of the original D3000 that came out in 2009. While it has not gone through drastic changes, having a very similar layout as the D3100, the same 11 point autofocus system, the same metering sensor and a similar build, it has slightly improved over its predecessor. The camera now sports a very high resolution 24 MP sensor developed by Nikon, faster continuous speed of 4 fps, a much better LCD screen, superior video recording capabilities and other improvements such as WiFi capability through an optional accessory. In this Nikon D3200 vs D3100 comparison, I will go over the features of each camera and compare specifications differences between the two cameras.

Nikon D3200 vs D3100

Nikon D3200 vs D3100 Specification Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon D3200Nikon D3100
Sensor Resolution24.2 Million14.2 Million
Sensor Size23.2×15.4mm23.1×15.4mm
Sensor Pixel Size3.9µ5.0µ
Sensor Dust ReductionYesYes
Image Size6,016 × 4,0004,608 x 3,072
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3EXPEED 2
Viewfinder TypePentamirrorPentamirror
Viewfinder Coverage95%95%
Built-in FlashYesYes
Storage Media1x SD, SDHC, SDXC1x SD, SDHC, SDXC
Continuous Shooting Speed4 FPS3 FPS
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 sec1/4000 to 30 sec
Shutter Durability100,000 cycles100,000 cycles
Exposure Metering Sensor420-pixel RGB sensor420-pixel RGB sensor
Base ISOISO 100ISO 100
Native ISO SensitivityISO 100-6400ISO 100-3200
Boosted ISO SensitivityISO 12800ISO 6400, 12800
Autofocus SystemNikon Multi-CAM 1000Nikon Multi-CAM 1000
Focus Points11, 1 cross-type11, 1 cross-type
Video CapabilityYesYes
Video OutputMOV, CompressedMOV, Compressed
Video Maximum Resolution1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p, 25p, 30p1920×1080 (1080p) @ 24p
Audio RecordingBuilt-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone
External stereo microphone (optional)
LCD Size3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD3.0″ diagonal TFT-LCD
LCD Resolution921,000 dots230,000 dots
HDR SupportNoNo
Built-in GPSNoNo
Wi-Fi FunctionalityEye-Fi Compatible, WU-1aEye-Fi Compatible
BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion BatteryEN-EL14 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life540 shots (CIPA)550 shots (CIPA)
Weather Sealed BodyNoNo
USB Version2.02.0
Weight (Body Only)455g455g
Dimensions125 x 96 x 76.5mm124.46 x 96.52 x 73.66mm
MSRP Price$699.95 (as introduced)$699.95 (as introduced)

As you can see, aside from the sensor and a couple of other features, the Nikon D3200 is very similar to its predecessor.


  1. March 22, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Is there sombebody who would need 24 mp ?

  2. 2) Gary Clark
    March 22, 2013 at 6:10 am

    As you know, when I was going to get my first DSLR I was going to get the D3100 however I changed my mind at the last minute and went with the more expensive D3200 and it was the sensor that changed my mind, the extra 10 million pixels are very handy for landscape and high zoom pictures as well as macro shots just because you can crop half of the picture away and it still looks great as an enlarged print!

    I am looking to upgrade to a semi professional soon but funding is a problem and anyone living on the UK will understand that!

    Thanks for the comparison Nasim.

    All the very best,


  3. 3) Jeff Harshaw
    March 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

    The D3200 is a great little camera! I have had mine since they came out last year and have ZERO problems with it. It seems to be the only new Nikon model that can be said of.

  4. 4) yooom
    March 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks Nasim..
    Could you plz help me with lens purchase?
    Last week I bought Nikon D5200, got default lens with it but
    I want to purchase extra lenses. This is my first DSLR Camera
    but don’t know which leases to buy. I am interested in insect, bird
    and landscape shooting. could you plz suggest low and high
    budget lenses or a single lens which can do all of these?
    Thank you

    • 4.1) krishnav deka
      May 9, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Get a nikkor 50mm 1.8G prime lens for landscape as well macro shots. This same lens can be used by reversing method (reverse macro) for splendid macro photography.
      The 50mm prime lens will be a great lens for most of your needs except for the telephoto part.
      For that nikkor 55-300 mm vr will be great keeping up the cost factor in mind.

  5. 5) ocir
    March 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    You mentioned insect, bird and landscape so basically you want a macro, telephoto and wide angle lens. You are going to have to purchase multiple lenses. My inexpensive suggestion would be – Nikon 40 2.8G for insects, stick with your 18-55 kit lens for landscape and get the 55-300 for birds.

    • 5.1) yooom
      March 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Thank you so much ocir for your valuable suggestion.
      Are these low budget or high budget lenses?

      • 5.1.1) ocir
        March 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Low budget.

    • 5.2) Charles Shepherd
      July 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      What makes the 40mm (2.8) better than the 50 (1.8)

  6. 6) Chris Biker
    March 31, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Thanks Nasim, and I confirm, the D3100 is my first dSLR with which I learnt a lot and I got the virus.
    Such an entry level is good for those who are not sure about photography. But still can get decent results. This is also the easy way to learn how to go from the “green” mode to the “pro” mode (my own experience).

    (Reading you from France)

  7. 7) Saikat Malakar
    September 12, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Please also provide a comparison on Nikon D3200 and D3300.

  8. 8) Pradeep Jangra
    May 18, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Hii Nasim, I want to buy my first DSLR camera. please suggest me which is best in nikon D3100, D3200, D3300

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