Nikon D3200 DxOMark score: second best APS-C camera ever

Top 10 cameras (overall DxOMark score)

DxOMark just released their test results for the recently announced Nikon D3200 DSLR camera ($699) which scored the #10 spot on their overall score list (5 of the top 10 cameras are made by Nikon; there are also 3 Phase One and 2 Pentax models).

Here is the Nikon D3200 compared to the D5100 and D3100:

Nikon D3200 compared to the D7000 and D300s:

And the D3200 compared to the Sony a57 and Canon T3i:

This entry was posted in Nikon D3200 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • ayel

    these proves the point – the best doesnt always cost a luxury

    • too bad the target group wont know how to use it

      • Mike

        @ Harold Ellis

        That’s an arrogant statement.

        I bought one for my wife, but have been using it somedays instead of my d300s, or d700 because of its lightweight and impressive results.

        Not only ameruers and soccer moms are buying this camera.

        Some people who own it like myself make a part time living with their photography and aren’t stuck in Auto Mode.

        • Andrei

          @Mike People like you, who aren’t stuck in Auto Mode, are NOT the target group for the D3200 🙂

        • Paul

          Soooo….I guess that means you’re not the “target group” like he said. Herp a derp.

          • me

            you are right there paul!

      • Andrew

        Ah, the marvels of modern technology – just point and shoot, and out comes picture perfect shots! So Harold, you did not fully develop your thoughts… now had you said “in extreme situations” or “knowing how to frame your shots” or “knowing what shots to take”, you would have made more sense.

        • Petia

          I’m afraid what makes a good photographer is not his/her mastery of technique. Once upon a time, it was necessary. Now it probably isn’t much any more. Great! One now just needs an original view on the world, and a personal esthetic.
          Qualities that gearheads often forget to cultivate…

          • LhOLga

            It never was (solely)!
            But it helps a lot to understand what you’re doing and why!

            • Andrew

              LhOLa, both your point and Petia’s are right on the mark; it is not one color fits all. Technique (i.e. knowing how to bring out the best in one’s equipment) can take one’s shot to the next level if combined with personal aesthetics. But the modern photographic tools can handle a lot of variants that allows the photographer to simply focus on the shot, and those tools no longer have to cost an arm and a leg. It is in this department that the D3200 apparently excels at a price that is approachable to the masses.

              It appears that the top photographers must increasingly “up” their skill level to the point of cinematographers similar to how performers create smoke on stage to make a more visually appealing presentation. Or how photographers do time-lapse photography for its visual effects. Creativity and story telling should be emphasized as much in the art of photography as equipment and technique.

          • Andrew


          • Jabs


            Photography is not only a skill but also an Art form and thus both equipment, your ability to properly use it and your skill in using it all count.

            If I gave you the exact same outfit, the track shoes and race conditions of say Usain Bolt, you would still not get his results, as he has a real SKILL.

            Same in photography – better skilled camera user with a better camera = better results often, as cameras do NOT think but the better bodies allow you to capture that fleeting moment better or a specific fleeting human emotion, thus both camera and operator are a team.

            I shoot with a lowly L22 and a better D700 and sometimes the results are quite similar especially with fill flash as both are 12 meg bodies BUT the D700 outperforms it consistently once I speed up the shooting and up the ISO or even shutter speed, as it shoots much faster. Shot to shot performance means it will capture what the L22 cannot!

            What you envision in your mind’s eye is often better reproduced with a quicker and more capable camera, as often photography is about fleeting moments. NOW, how do you improve your vision and technique with a lousy body or one unable to express your vision due to its limitations?

            • Spy Black

              You’re comparing physical performance to artistic vision. Petia nailed it. You don’t need to know jack about photography to take great pictures. This has been true since the Instamatic.

      • preston

        Haha – ironic shit! You call someone arrogant and then follow it up with an arrogant comment of your own!

        fyi, a target group is not a list of people that you allow to buy your product, it’s the group that you aim your marketing efforts at. I’m picturing you as the product manager for the D3200 now:
        Fishnose – “Can you make a commercial for the D3200 for us?”

        marketing firm – “Sure. Who is your target audience?”

        Fishnose – “What are you, stupid!? ANYONE WHO BUYS IT. Anyone.”

        marketing firm – “umm. . . ok. That’s helpful. . “

        • B!

          That is just hilarious, ROFL

          Leave Fishnose alone, he’s clueless.

      • Booyah

        It’s NOT the camera, stupid. Unless you are photographer suffering from little man syndrome.

      • Carsten

        The target group are people who want to learn photography.

        I can’t find anything wrong starting with auto-modes. A nice way of teaching is to shoot the same scene in pair with a seasoned photographer and move towards more difficult situations where the auto-mode will give random results and teach how to fix that. I am always impressed how well modern cameras guess the intention of a shot

        Starting in M with manual focus is frustrating, just because there was no other way when some of us learned photography doesn’t mean that it should be done this way forever

    • Josh

      Sorry Ayel. I disagree. I think this and the scoring for the D800 prove that DxO Mark doesn’t mean anything in real world shooting. I wish people would stop using it like it’s as accurate as 3d mark etc. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. And they don’t. But most photographers are not techies at all, so you’re forgiven for thinking that this is at all true.

      • AMEN!

      • Andrew

        Well, well, well, when the results do no suit our purpose, question the method!

        • Sky

          DxO testing method was questioned long before Nikon even started producing D3xxx series. The test results they get stand against with real life photographs and other tests more than often. Especially when it comes to comparing high-res vs low-res cameras.

      • Petia

        I can hear: “I’ve never used a 3200, but at that price it cannot beat my D300s hands down, this is ridiculous, so this DxOMark must be crap”.

        Well, technology progresses at a ridiculous pace, yes. DSLRs are just expensive lens rear caps. That’s life in the 21st century. There’s a positive way to look at this, you should try it.

        • I always hated my D300s in all but the best of light. If you went straight up the chain from D100 to D200 to D300… You may say “it cannot possibly beat my D300s,” BUT if you ever used a D700 or up (or, uh, even a D7000), you’d know better.

      • B!

        This test is a joke. In 2 out of 3 categories it the D3200 beats the D3s. You don’t even have to bring the D800 or the D4 into conversation to see a problem.

        People need to understand what these scores mean and how to take it all in.

      • iamlucky13

        I think a more valuable point to make is that the technical capabilities of the sensor have relatively little to do with the enjoyment of the final image.

        It’s really useful to have the capability to shoot ISO 3200 with negligible noise, or to be able to capture 14 stops of dynamic range, but if the user is most frequently shooting landscapes or portraits at ISO 100, and you’re cranking up the contrast in post-processing so only 8-10 stops are rendered, they should be able to grasp why even on the technical side of things the camera only counts for part of the picture. Add in the different levels of creativity on the part of the user, and their ability operate the camera competently (which generally means going beyond trusting the engineers who programmed the auto mode to understand the scene you’re shooting better than you do), and you end up with good photographers taking better shots on their cell phones than bad photographers take on D800’s.

      • Jabs

        If you are referring to 3D Mark in computers – then sorry, you are way off. 3D Mark is known to be compiled specifically for Intel processors and thus they always win = bogus results.

        DXO = Scientific analysis and then YOU can make you own conclusions, but their results DO show that in real life or the real world, they are remarkably accurate.

        Look here too for correlations to DXO results:

        3D Mark is fudged and DXO = Scientific measuring with their own conclusions based upon their weighting of their own presented facts means there is a huge difference.

  • jim bob

    Where are them thar Canons?

    • Bob jim

      ….we don’t take kindly to there kind round here

    • Five of the top ten are Nikons!

      • ck

        I think, since these are sensor scores, that most of the top 10 not medium format is actually Sony…

        • Let’s check that, shall we:

          3 Nikon sensors (D4, D3s, D3200)
          3 Sony sensors (D3x, D800, K5)

          How is that “most”?

          • ck

            Yes, Thom Hogan, we shall check that.

            The D3200 sensor is the same 24mp sensor as in the sony nex7 and a77. That’s how it’s “most”…

            • Joe Boston

              Incorrect, CK. The D3200 sensor has different dimensions and pixel pitch than the Sony NEX7/A77 sensor.

            • Sky

              I don’t know if it’s the same sensor as in A77 or not – probably not, but it’s still Sony sensor.
              DxO mark says so and I thrust they have far more knowledge on that topic than “mr. with a website” aka Tom Hogan will ever have.

          • Dan

            I think he means that the Nikon bodies have sensors made by Sony. although I don’t know if that’s the case or not for those three cameras.

          • Sky

            D3200 has Sony sensor – even guys from DxO mark told it themselves.

          • Andrew

            Thom Hogan, regardless of the spattering, your article “The Collision” at your website makes good and interesting reading. Great job!

          • Jabs

            Actually – Thom is correct.

            Look here and then scroll down to Sony and see a different size PLUS Sony cameras usually have 12bit output versus Nikon’s having 14bit output.


        • Jonathan

          Sony manufactured, but the rest of the components that DxO measures, such as the Analogue to Digital Converters, the filters used, etc, are all Nikon, and contribute to the RAW files as well.

          • ed

            nope, if you see their site it says that they measure the sensor result even before it was demosiced, so it is not exactly like the raw files that we get normally from the camera

    • John Richardson

      So, do they leave Canon off on purpose, or does Cannon’s sensors just suck hind titty?

      • Maji

        I think you are right about sucking… however, Canon users feel they have got the deal of the century with the great jpeg machine aka 5d3 🙂 😀

  • wayno

    whos leg are you trying to pull??
    quote from dxomark
    “the d3200 has not yet been tested”

    • Ken Elliott

      They tested it April 20th.

      I guess you owe Admin an apology.

      • wayno

        sorry admin
        my browser or the website is playing silly buggers
        i have dxo in my favorites list my broweser must be pulling up the wrong info sometimes because the d800 and d4 wernt even on there?

        dont know
        stupid firefox

        • gt

          an apology on the internet?

          this is the first and last time any of us will ever see such a thing

        • No, you’re correct — Firefox is stupid. It’s the new Internet Explorer.

          • B!

            I actually think its worse…..but will agree with your statement for the time being.

          • Fishnose

            Fascinating. My Firefox works flawlessly, I saw the 3200 test on dxo minutes after it was published.
            Things like this are invariably due to user error.

        • just download Chrome

          • Shawn

            I love Chrome but it is (can be) worse when behind a corporate firewall. I have to use Firefox in that case.

            Both are way better than IE on any day.

            • Ben

              IE is so slowwwwww anymore.
              Seems like it’s always freezing up.

              +1 Chrome

            • iamlucky13

              Every now and then I open IE again just to see if Microsoft has gotten serious about making a quality browser since I dumped it almost a decade ago.

              Nope. It’s still slow to render and buggy.

              Firefox is wearing on my patience now, too, though, after screwing up what was a sensible UI, excessively frequent updates that break plug-ins, and still neglecting to give users proper cookie control.

              Chrome hasn’t quite sold me yet, as although I like the portable profile, I simply don’t want to put any more personal/browsing information in Google’s basket than I already do.

            • Jabs

              You all must be using an older Firefox, as they just released Firefox 13.

              Firefox also has the best cookie handling of all Browsers as I use them all – including Private Browsing. Just learn to set it up yourself to delete cookies when you exit plus you can empty both cookies and data from the Controls yourself while browsing without going into About:config!

              Chrome is fast but insecure to me, as you drop into the Google Universe unfortunately.

              Firefox has better OpenGL and HTML5 rendering and with the right Add-Ons is very good and safe to me.

              IE 10 on Windows 8 is really fast but not secure enough yet to me.

              On Firefox – try Better Privacy, NoScript and Ghostery Add-Ons.

            • @iamlucky13: Safari. It’s what Chrome wishes it could be. It’s the best performing Webkit browser on the market, hands down. It should be, as Webkit is an Apple product, and Chrome borrows it as their rendering engine.

          • Jabs

            @Ron Adair

            Sorry but Web Kit is not Apple’s but an Open Source Project from Linux


            Same for Google’s Chrome – based upon Web Kit and coming from the Linux Chromium Browser Project.


    • Just be happy you get to see the results before DxOMark 🙂

  • sam

    This list only makes my extreme desire to upgrade from d300s to d800 even more… but I can’t find that god damn camera.

    • Upgrade from your D300s to… just about anything, and you’ll be happy.

      I had a D300s for two years, and I despised using it next to my D700. If I knew then what I know now I would have got a D7000.

      Looking back I can’t believe Nikon didn’t tweak the sensor of the D300s for its release. It really needed some serious low-light performance improvement for only being 12mp.

    • catinhat

      @sam & @Sean Molin

      There is really nothing wrong with D300. I have options of D700 and D7000 too, but when I shoot sports outdoors in daylight, D300 is a “go-to” camera. D700 doesn’t have the reach and D7000 doesn’t quite cut it in AF among other things. I would say, D300 is still quite usable up to ISO 1600, depending on your requirements of course. I took a walk to the zoo the other day with a pretty long tele and a D300. I had to shoot at f6.3-7.1, and my ISO was way over 2000 in some cases, and I still got some killer shots out of D300. In reasonable daylight, noise is moderate even up to ISO 3200 on a D300. Now, if you shoot in a poorly lit inner space, such as a gym or a theater, then D300 at ISO 1600 isn’t all that good anymore, that’s true, and there are better options now. But for most everything else D300 is still a wonderfully constructed and functional body, and I can see using it for many years to come. I have to say, even a D200 if used close to the base ISO is still very very good regardless of what other bodies have appeared since. For macro at very low ISO D200 would be my pick of the bunch for color and virtual absence of any noise.

  • nuno santacana

    Can’t wait for D600!!!

  • EcoR1

    Wasn’t this really obvious. Nikon uses same Sony-sensor as Sony NEX-7. Nex-7 has also overall score 81. Nikon has made a wise choice of buying sensors from Sony.

    • Lonnie Utah

      Until Sony decides to stop selling to Nikon.

      • Sky

        This won’t happen. Money smells too good for a corporation with such a huge losses as Sony.

      • Jonathan

        I’ve heard that Sony’s sensor manufacturer sells more sensors to Nikon than they do Sonys Camera division.

    • I don’t believe the sensor in the D3200 is the same sensor as in the NEX-7. The pinouts appear different.

      • LeGO

        That would really be news if the 24mp APS-C sensor in the Nikkon D3200 is not sourced from Sony as it would mean that another sensor manufacturer can go toe-to-toe with Sony.

        Noticed though that the 24mp sensor of the NEX-7 outperforms the D3200 in Dynamic Range at all ISO settings. Both sensors are about equal on SNR, Tonal Range and Color Sensitivity.

  • wayno

    here is a link to the proper list
    nikon rumours is full of shite

    • Fraucha

      It appears they did list the top ten, so what’s YOUR issue?

      • wayno

        appears to have been a browser issue or a website issue
        i can see it now had to click refresh a few times

        • Ben

          Well, I feel that you owe the admin yet another apology for your latest outburst…. It’s not NR’s fault you can’t work a computer!!! You know, my grandma took computer classes at the public library maybe you should too.

          • B!

            LOL, That’s cruel and hilarious at the same time.

          • Fred

            LOL, but wouldn’t be ironic if wayno had been the one teaching your granny at the public library.

    • Ken Elliott

      It appears that Wayneo is the one full of it.

      Wayno, you like to toss insults, but a simple check shows NR is spot-on with their reporting. It must be pretty embarrassing to come here, blast the host, then be shown to be an incompetent jerk.

      • wayno

        i was looking for the number 10
        they must have redone the page pecause its now at number 9 on dxo mark
        i emailed them and got this reply
        “dear wayne
        we are currently updating pages the d3200 results will be up shortly and in spot number 9”

        they must have taken it down to update it or something but its back there now but this time in number 9 spot

        • wayno

          now the k5 is gone completely
          must still be updating things perhaps?

          • JorPet

            If you are behind a corporate firewall they are likely caching the website. If not then it is your browser cache causing the issue. Clear your cache and it might fix the issue for you.

            • wayno

              how do you clear the cache?
              the browser is called firefox that my son put on here
              im used to IE5 on my old pc cant even find a file or options button on this bloody thing

            • Shawn

              Hi Wayno,

              It’s hard to set up firefox to refresh the cache, it’s a hidden setting. I had to install a add-on called “Configuration Mania” and then I was able to access it via a screen (I think you can modify it without the plugin but it’s far more cryptic).

              If you do choose to get the add-on, it’s under:
              Browser -> Browser Cache -> Check cache of the pages…
              Under that section I have selected “Each time” which means every time I go to a page it refreshes it from scratch. This is good, because I read a lot of blogs, like Nikon Rumors, and they are constantly updated during the day.

              If not, just be sure to manually refresh every page (F5 on Windows).

            • Jabs

              Maybe you all are using an ancient version of Firefox like the Firefox 3 Series.

              On the newest Versions.

              You can clear the cache on Firefox from the TOOLS Menu.

              Go to: Advanced – Network – Cached Web Connect – CHECK Override Automatic Cookie Management (then Set Limit in megabytes of space) – Clear Now.

              You can also clear Offline Web Content and User Data plus select how much SPACE to use for Cookies Storage.

    • Like I said, be happy you can read that info before it’s official.

    • Dchino

      You ever heard the phrase “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  • ffaabb

    D3200 takes good pictures,

    but for those of you who want to buy a d3200 for video : don’t.

    The noise is horrible from 400 iso and at 200 iso (lower iso available for video) it’s not brilliant

    given it’s a 24mp + expeed 3, it’s obviously a decision from nikon to implement crap video quality in this body

    I’m not complaining ! I did get what I paid for.

    It seems to be much better for the quality of the photos

    • Michael

      Because Nikon is not using binning for video.

  • Analyst

    If you read forums though, they are full of n00bs who can’t handle the high pixel density… lots of complaimts about sharpness when viewed at 100%.

    D3200s pixel density is equivalent to over 50 MP on full frame… needs good lenses, high shutter speeds, stable technique, tripod, even more than the D800.

    • O.


      How do you get to fifty megapixel?

      • Ken Elliott

        Your math is wrong. FX has roughly twice the area of DX. Your 1.5x multiplier is on one axis.

        24MP x 2 = 48MP.

        • Michael

          More like 2.3 times.

          • The magnification factor has nothing to do with it. Is just an easy geometric calculation:

            APS-C = 25.1mm * 16.7mm = 419.17mm^2
            FF = 36mm * 24mm = 864mm^2

            so the ratio is 864/419.17 = 2.061

            24MP * 2.061 = 49.47 MP

            Analyst was right… however that DOESN’T Mean you need more skills, unless you are watching at 100% on the screen, which is wrong anyway, and if this is how you assess images stop looking ad DxO mark (and therefore exit this topic) as they normalise the images to a standard size.

            • Travis

              D3200 sensor is 23.2×15.4mm. Hense crop factor of 1.55. Thus full frame equivalent will be apprx 54mp.

            • Michael


              DX is 356mm2 to 372mm2. (D3100 – D2x)
              FX is around 860mm2.

              860/356 = 2.4
              860/372 = 2.3

              Where did your APS-C size come from?

            • Sky

              “Analyst was right… however that DOESN’T Mean you need more skills,”
              Nope, you are wrong.

              It DOES mean it unless you want blurred, unsharp photos.
              Just look at samples from kits Nikon sells – they are pathetic. One of the most unsharp photos I seen in last 4 years at the base ISO.

          • ActionJunky

            I guess its true: Most photographers are not techies. If you don’t know what you have, you probably don’t need it.

      • FDF

        24×1.5×1.5 = ?

  • Raizee

    The ISO result is weird. DXOmark places the D3200 neck and neck with the D5100 and D7000 with regards to ISO performance. But in real life, from the pictures I’ve seen, its very obvious that the D3200 is significantly inferior to the D5100/D7000 with regards to noise performance.

    Anyone who can explain this?

    • Youneedtoresize

      You need to resize to 16MP before comparing to D7000

    • Analyst

      >> Anyone who can explain this?

      DxOMark has two types of tests – “Print” and “Screen”. Both are useful measurements if you understand the differences between them and what you’ll be using the camera for.

      In “Print” mode, all sensor results are scaled down to an 8×12, 300dpi print (about 8MP viewed at 100%). The result is that higher pixel density sensors get a boost in their scores – extra pixel data improves image quality when the image is scaled down.

      In Print mode, the D3200 does well against the 2x more expensive D7000 – more pixels make up for its worse noise and dynamic range performance.

      In “Screen” mode, the sensor results are viewed at 100% – 1 pixel = 1 pixel, with no
      scaling or resizing. The result is that lower pixel density sensors getting a boost in their scores. In Screen mode, the D3200 clearly lags the D7000 in most categories.

      To see this in practice, compare the scores of the 4MP D2H vs. the 16MP D7000 vs. the 24MP D3200 (all are APS-C sensors), and then flip back and forth between “Screen and Print” – you’ll see how the D2H gets a huge boost in its score in “Screen” mode, but when it comes time to print, the 4MP images don’t hold up so well.

      • Fred

        Can you pin analysts comment somewhere on the site for future reference for others?
        It’s right on the mark.
        I would also add that when people say ‘you can always crop a large sensor camera’ then they need to compare DXO results in ‘screen’ mode to see what the quality would look like, and not ‘print’ mode.

      • Paul

        “In Print mode, the D3200 does well against the 2x more expensive D7000 – more pixels make up for its worse noise and dynamic range performance.”

        You are correct about the level of perceived noise, but no amount of resizing/resampling would make dynamic range look better by itself or compared to another camera. One cannot “visually” improve dynamic range by resizing an image, as opposed to noise.

        • Analyst

          >> One cannot “visually” improve dynamic range by resizing an image, as opposed to noise.

          I disagree.

          Dynamic range is the ability of the sensor to capture small changes in contrast – particularly in the shadows and highlights. DxO’s dynamic range score is based on “Maximum dynamic range” – described as “the greatest possible amplitude between light and dark details a given sensor can record.”

          Dynamic range tends to drop off as ISO increases. This is primarily due to the introduction of noise, particularly in the shadow areas for many sensors. Dynamic range and noise go hand in hand — if we can reduce noise by downsampling / pixel binning, then we can also improve dynamic range at the same time. I am not saying this is a 1-to-1 linear relationship, but simply that the relationship exists.

          If you don’t believe me, here is a reference for my claims from DxOmark: “high-resolution sensors will gain more SNR, DR, TR and CS when reduced to a lower reference resolution.”

          Further, here is a simple comparison: D800 vs D700..

          Screen DR of the D800 = 13.23 @ ISO 100
          Screen DR of the D700 = 11.85 @ ISO 200

          But then you downsample them both to an 8-MP print, and dynamic range increases for both — moreso for the D800 due to its greater pixel count (more binned pixels when going from 36-MP to 8-MP than there are when going from 12-MP to 8-MP).

          Print DR: D800 = 14.33 @ ISO 100 (DR increases 8.3%)
          Print DR: D700 = 12.15 @ ISO 200 (DR increases 2.5%)

    • Greg

      I own a D3200 and a D800. I was surprised to see that the D3200 pictures were noisy above ISO 400. I use it at ISO 200 and below.

      I’ve also found that it’s very difficult to get sharp results. Part of the reason is it’s so light, I find that camera shake is more of a problem that I never had with my D700. The D800 is more challenging as well, but not on the same order of magnitude as the D3200.

      As far as the D3200 noise compared to the D5100/D7000 – they were probably downsizing the D3200 files to the same resolution as the other cameras. In that situation – yes, the noise would be less.

      • gt

        just don’t pixel peep and the camera is fine.

        If you print, the noise won’t be an issue.
        If you resize for the web or for a computer monitor, the noise won’t be an issue.

        The only time its an issue is when you zoom in at 100% on the full-res image — which makes NO sense for any practical purpose. There’s no context where that type of viewing is essential

  • Vicious

    Toss the troll a shilling.

  • qwerty

    DxO analizes sensors, not cameras. Saying that the D3200 has the second best APS-C sensor (according to DxO) is far from saying that the D3200 is the second best APS-C camera.

    • B!

      But most idiots dont see it that way and soon you’ll have people saying the 3200 is almost as good as the D3s, heck it even beats the D3s in multiple categories.

  • Rich in TX

    lol… the D3200 sensor is rated higher than the 5DM3 sensor…
    Canon fanboys, where are you now? lol
    -soccer mom’s camera just kicked canon’s ____

    • Max

      You have to see when you use it… The ISO rating is far more important to me as a a wedding photographer that ISO 100 dynamic range.

      It makes a bloody good camera for 600 dollars, but scoring the same rating as a FF camera is nonsense.

      • Michael

        Problem is, dynamic range is also very important to people who retouch photos, like you, as a wedding photographer. Sensor’s from Nikon and Canon (not Sony) has very high read noise (aka shadow noise) and therefore isn’t really good for post processing. Lifting the shadows creates nasty banding/noise.

    • wayno

      i think the canon people took the boats back to asia

    • Mark

      It’s not rated higher, they both have an overall score of 81, just like the Sony Nex-7 and Nikon D3. It seems the final place in the ranking is determined by the age of the camera, ie. the newest is placed highest.

  • Funduro

    ISO performance is better then last generation but still being limited by Nikon, via SW IMHO. Not saying it isn’t increasing, for the cost of DSLR’s like current D3200m, Nikon, as other manufactures do keep better performance towards the higher prices models. Yes I’m stating that they throttle back performance on purpose.

    • Michael

      Not really true. I think Sony has almost squeezed out everything they could. The D5100, D3200 and D7000’s sensor efficiency is just one stop away from perfection.

      • Funduro

        “I think” that does not sound like your statement is in fact based on facts. I’m using the example of the D700/D3 which have the same sensor but have different ISO “performance”. Anyhow, what do you mean by “one stop away from perfection”?

        • Sean

          Hmmm… I’m guessing you’ve never really compared a D3 to a D700 as I see no practical difference in the ISO performance of these cameras.

          • Funduro

            Sean: I stand corrected. I checked they are nearly the same on DXoMark’s ratings. My bad. D3/D700 are twins.

  • Maji

    Not a single Canon in the top twelve… the canonites are already bitching that DXO hates Canon 😉

  • MJr

    Promises good things for the D7100 !

  • gt

    soooo can’t wait for the D600. game changer.

    Just please fit it with CAM3500 and not CAM4800

  • Lee

    It’s important to keep in mind that while the actual charts DXO publishes are very useful, the score summaries reposted here are completely meaningless. Especially the Overall Score.

    • Shawn

      I think they’re very useful, they tend to shut people up very quickly. The real photographers realize it’s all a numbers game and what really matters is light, creativity, and actually using the camera to take pictures of things.

      But there’s always that D-bag who won’t shut up about how camera X doesn’t take “sharp” pictures. DxOMark scores tend to shut them up so I can get back to shooting.

      I do agree that these numbers are meaningless, but those a-holes who just want to compare camera specs seem to believe it, so whatever it takes to get them to keep quiet is fine with me.

  • Damn!

    My D700 only scores 80 vs. 81 of D3200!!

    Must update my D700 to D3200 NOW!!!

  • Gab

    1 point over the d7000. xD I prefer dynamic range over resolution. All things considered I can bet, even though the dynamic range advantage of the d7000 is “only”0,7EV, banding when raising shadows in post will occur a lot quicker with the d3200 thanks to the higher resolution sensor. (dxo testers down-sample when measuring dynamic range)

    • Analyst

      >>(dxo testers down-sample when measuring dynamic range)

      DxO measures and compares both downsampled and 100%-view. When comparing sensors, just click on the measurements tab, and then the “Screen” and “Print” buttons in the upper left.

      Let me know when you find out a real world application for comparing images at 100% . . . . ? Anything?

      That’s why DxO uses the downsampled print measurements for the final scores – because that’s what matters in real life – whether you view a final image on the web or in print, you are virtually always downsampling.

      When you pixel-peep and compare two 100%-view (“Screen”) tests and say one is better than another, that’s like looking at two prints and saying:

      “Well, this D7000 has the same image quality on a 10″ x 16″ 300 DPI print as this D800 image does on a 16″ x 24″ 300 DPI print.”

      Sounds like a silly comparison, eh? Blow up the D7000 image to 16″ x 24″ and DPI drops to 245, and then image quality / dynamic range / etc. doesn’t look so good compared to the D800 print, which is still at 300dpi. Conversely, downsample the D800 image to 10″ x 16″ and you can boost DPI to 370, comparatively improving image quality.

      That kind of stuff is what is actually important in displaying images in real life … do people go on flickr and pixel-peep everyone’s images at the original size only? No, they look at the whole image, usually at only about 900 x 600 pixels or so, and decide if it’s any good.

      • Calibrator

        > do people go on flickr and pixel-peep everyone’s images at the original size only?

        This is pointless as most images on Flickr aren’t original images anyway.
        Many of them are downsized to 1024×768 or something and neither sharp nor detailed.

  • Hmm, the D7000 has better iso, and dynamic range scores, and only trails in bit depth by .6 bits, yet the overall score is lower for the D7000? what am I missing?

  • morg

    Nikon better hurry up with the D600 or D400 or I will replace my D200 with a D3200!

    • Jamez

      …or I’ll actually replace my d300 for a d3200 !
      the d800 is tempting, but I just don’t shoot enough to make it worth it the cost.
      so please, give us a d600 or d400 at less than 2000$ asap =)

  • Is Nikon tuning cameras for DxO mark?

    • burgerman


      If image quality is what we are measuring. And it is… Colour depth, dynamic range, noise, resolution IS image quality!

      Dont believe that? Try a camera with HALF the dynamic range, half the bit depth, half the res, and twice the noise. Print it big enough to look at, and compare!

      DXO scores measure the sensors capability. Its important! Notice the canons starting about 13th…

  • Pat Mann

    But how does it compare to the D400?

  • Lonnie Utah

    Your list didn’t include the NEX-7….

  • Ok, but that only raises the Performance Bar for the eventual release of a D400 Pro-Level DX Body that so many would like to see this year. Canon will eventually come out with a 7D so Nikon is expected to have a model to compete with it!

  • Bob

    I would liked to have seen one other category, autofocus since it is so important to sports and wildlife photography.

    • don

      As has been mentioned, DxO rates only the camera’s sensor. They don’t rate a camera’s autofocus or burst rate or buffer capacity or any other spec that’s unrelated to the sensor. For those items, you mus seek your answers elsewhere.

      • Chris

        +1. Exactly

  • Nikon Fan

    I’ve been contemplating a high megapixel camera for my studio work (portraits and product shots) to complement my D3s, which I use in the field (love the high ISO and frame rate of that beast).

    I’ve gone from considering the D800 to waiting for the D600 announcement to now thinking about getting the D3200. In a controlled environment, where I’m shooting at native base ISO and will not be needing most (if any) of the conveniences of the more expensive cameras, there probably isn’t going to be much discernible difference in image quality among all these cameras. But with the D3200, I have 24MP to play with and I’m saving a TON of cash. Am I crazy, or is this a pretty good idea?

    • Shawn

      Not crazy if all you care about is image quality, but a lot of criticism of the “lesser” (aka amatuer) models is size, setting options, and focus performance.

      I’m kind of hoping this new generation of cameras stops the fights about image quality and starts the fights about usability, modularity, and programmability.

      • iamlucky13

        In other words, the same considerations as in the film days – you had cameras ranging from less than $200 like the N65 to over $2000 like the F5…

        …and they produced exactly the same quality images because they had the exact same “sensor.”

        I share your hope, but not much optimism.

    • I think you’re sorta crazy. You have a D3s, so you obviously care about having the best.

      The D800 is essentially untouchable for the requirements you listed. ISO 100, 36mp… and you’re getting 1.2 EV better dynamic range.

      • Nikon Fan

        Agreed. The D800 is in another realm. I’m just wondering if that qualitative difference (perhaps too small to care about if I’m throwing enough light at my subject in the studio) is really worth the long wait and the extra cash when all is said and done.

        Thanks for the comment.

    • Chris

      Not a bad idea at all — a small fraction of D3S cost for another body isn’t a huge investment. Plus the D3200 will be a great walk-around camera; less worries or regrets if it ever gets beat up.

      Assuming D600 is released, D3200 can be a great stopgap until the D600 availability gets better (chances are, it’ll be hard to get for several months)

      • Nikon Fan

        Exactly what I was thinking. If and when the D600 is available, I’ll consider it then. But until then, I will have the D3200 for high megapixel use. And it may prove to be an equally good alternative for what I’m shooting where I won’t need the D600 or D800, saving me enough money to grab another quality lens.

    • The economics come into play when you look at the amount of shutter actuations you can shoot before the camera needs a service or putting on the shelf to gather dust. Shoot a catalogue on a cheaper camera and you will rapidly clock up the clicks. You could ‘do’ the camera in a few weeks. If you are shooting considered studio shots, your shutter count will be quite low, so it might make sense. Only other thing to think about would be DX v FX for bokeh. I just prefer the FX size for getting super soft backgrounds.

      • Nikon Fan

        The studio is where I’m envisioning the D3200 would be primarily used, so high shutter count won’t be a factor. My strobes might die well before the camera’s shutter, if that were the case. For anything requiring a “click, click, click” scenario, I’ll turn to my D3s.

        Yeah, depth of field differences is one area to consider. And that may be the deciding factor. Still, I think I’m going to go with the D3200 only because it’s available. Right now! When the high megapixel FX options become more readily available, I’ll re-evaluate then.

        Thanks for your comment.

  • Kylberg

    A Swedish newspaper tested the D3200 and also compared the image quality with that of Nikon D2x, a “pro level” camera a few years ago: The D3200 blew the D2x away….
    (Test made by newspaper’s own photographer)

    • B!

      That might very well be the case when it comes to image quality but I still have to correct you. The D2X wasn’t released few years ago, a correct statement would be nearly a decade ago.

      Even then what happened to weather-proofing and the rest of the package that makes the professional camera just that. The D3200 wouldn’t survive many if any assignments unless news were shot in protected studios.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    It is a good idea if all the lenses that you want to use are AFS.

  • Tags

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. Yes, some d3200 users aren’t just mindless idiots like many of you think! I shoot pro jobs (not with a d3200), but the sensor in this camera is absolutely killer. This is the ideal landscape travel camera. It also can definitely take care of portraiture… i’ve never seen such great jpeg rendering for portraits. I’m absolutely hooked on the resolution (yes, megapixels DO matter for those who print large). High res + small body = the ideal travel cam.

    Hilarious how everyone just craps on the entry level bodies when they really do fill in nicely for landscape and studio work. The sensor and the lens are what matters when you shoot static objects… it doesn’t matter if it’s only a tony body marketed to amateurs.

    • Analyst

      Exactly! That’s why I bought mine – small size means I can take it just about anywhere, big pixel count means I can take decent landscapes and have a large amount of cropping ability. Yeah it doesn’t have the fancy features, but that’s what my other cameras are for.

      Speaking of crops, think about what you can do with 24 MP:
      Full size = 6016 x 4000 = 24 MP
      Square crop = 4000 x 4000 = 16 MP
      Portrait crop = 4000 x 2660 = 10.6 MP

      Doing the same with a 12 MP D90 (or a 12 MP D3s for that matter) and you’ve got half the pixels to play with… portrait crops of a landscape frame aren’t quite as nice.
      Full size = 4288 x 2848 = 12.2 MP
      Square crop = 2848 x 2848 = 8.1 MP
      Portrait crop = 2848 x 1982 = 5.4 MP

      • Tags

        Yes, you have seen the light too! The camera is weightless and the output is really far too good for the price point. There are other cameras for other needs, and quite frankly anyone needing more from a camera knows who they are and should not be complaining about a d3xxx!

  • bigeater

    But what do these rankings even mean? Are they saying that if I shoot at base ISO with good lenses my clients won’t be able to tell a photo from a D800 from one shot with a Phase?
    In film days we talked about negatives or slides having more or less “meat” meaning ability to hold tones and print crisply without a lot of futzing around.
    Are they saying that a D800 file is meatier than a PhaseOne file?

    • burgerman

      Yes. And it really is. (lens allowing – and some do)

      Greater dynamic range by a full stop, tiny bit depth only. Way less noise.

      And it nukes it as the ISOs go above base too, should that interest you.

  • Fuzz

    I’m not sure the way DXO Mark produce the final score is weighted sensibly. If you look at the charts the D3200 is worse in every way compared to the D5100 apart from colour sensitivity at 100 ISO. The D5100 clearly has a better sensor, it’s a shame the Nikon chose to grab headlines by sticking 24MPx in the entry level camera rather than using a tweaked version of the 5100/7000 sensor which might have produced better results. For an example of what can be achieved you just need to look at the K5 results which manages over 14 stops of dynamic range.

  • I am happy with the scores – just because adds more fuel to the fire that Nikon have to really up their game in the D7000/D300s replacement specs to stay viable. As its the 300s replacement I am waiting for – these results suit my personal needs/wants very well.

  • Yagion

    So, it proves that Nikon + Sony have mastered the sensor technology

  • bp

    Time for Canoners to shout this well-known off-context statement: “CAMERA IS JUST A TOOL, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THE MAN BEHIND THE CAMERA.. blah blah blah blah blah”

    or maybe: “WHATEVER! Nikon still sucks because these sensors are made by Sony!” (this is by those who are proud of Canon having their sensors made by Canon itself—implied that ‘whatever the sensor performance, an off-brand sensor will always suck’) LOOLOLOL


    • It’s like people who spout of the greatness of something “being home-made” or “being made in the USA,” like that doesn’t mean they could suck.

      Who cares WHO makes it, or even WHERE it is made. Results are all that matter.

      • BartyL


      • bp

        yeah, some people say those things where I could conclude that they are too proud of their in-house made sensor; so proud, they would go with worse performance rather than having ‘off-brand’ sensor lol..

        and as far as I could see, only Canoners do that, at least in my country. I haven’t met any Sigma users or Fuji users, etc being so proud of their in-house made sensor haha..

  • timon

    In “Screen mode” all the measurements (TR, SNR18, DR, Color depth), d3200 is lower a stop ISO than D7000. The d7000 is still one better (TR 8.5bit and SNR18 38dB ISO100/83), but the d3200 is a lowest entry level body (TR 8.2bit and SNR18 36.5dB ISO100/71), so that is a reasonable and acceptable case.

    If that is a d7100 would be unacceptable.

    Nikon’s official webpage says that d3200 the sensor is Nikon-developed. Moreover, you now seen DxOmark has same measurement results in between d3200 and NEX-7, it is interesting.

    If the d3200 sensor the tape-out production is Aptina, would be an important event, Micron is another major semiconductor corporation. People did not know the d3100 sensor the tape-out production is Aptina or Sony.

  • chk

    How can it be better than the D7000??

    I’m taking their points of the summary:
    D3200 D7000 %difference
    24.1 23.5 2.49%
    13.2 13.9 -5.30%
    1131 1167 -3.18%

    So the D3200 is 2.49% better in color depth but much more than that worse in dynamic range (most important characteristic for me) and low light capability (second place for importance).. how can those scores end up with a higher total for d3200? 😐

    • Jamez

      Resolution I guess?

  • pervert

    so if nikon gave you one camera for free, what would you pick between D3 and this D3200?

    some would go for A 3200 because DXO said it’s a better camera?

  • Hom Thogan

    This kind of stuff is what makes me laugh at DXOmark really… it is so full of BS…

    • burgerman

      Fools are always “laughing”.

      The data doesent lie. The CAMERA may not be as good though, even if the sensor is.

      • Landon

        Sharing my 2 cents.. I have had the D3200 for about 3 weeks..swapped the D3100. I am a well read noob. Including Thom’s and Ken’s (Rockw..l) websites.. I read the manual and the book for dummies..

        But, I simply cannot get the uber sharp pics from this thing.. It is like subtle noise and softness everywhere.. I mean I get good pics and great cropping from 35mm f1.8.. I never shoot about f6.3.. usually around f4.. I rarely print.

        It eats space…I must buy larger and faster SD cards.. work best with my sandisk 90mb/s and ok with 45mb/s.. I shoot both raw and jpeg cause I am lazy..My raw is just incase i get lucky woth good shoot..

        Anyway, i will keep trying..

  • I got the D3200 new for $600 including kits lens…

    This is a GREAT camera and I am really impressed at the image quality. I have gotten usable photos using all the way up to ISO 3200.

    The only thing I don’t like is not being able to set white balance with direct access to color temperature numbers.

    • Damian

      Where did you get the camera for $600 ?

  • hardbonemac



  • I really don’t get why everyone has to be so cynical about this camera.
    Camera snobbery at its very highest on this page.
    If it didn’t have a guide mode, was pointlessly bigger, and was weather sealed, the majority of the camera snob cynics would be at heart attack levels of arousal over it.
    Some waster called Harold Ellis says “too bad the target group wont know how to use it”.
    Too bad Harold Ellis won’t punctuate and write a comment with some opinion or structure to it, rather than an up-his-own-arse one liner with no meaning. Hopefully all his imagination and creativity goes into creating wonderful photography, I’m sure it does. Really.
    Half the problem, is how the camera is marketed, and I don’t mean a problem I think Nikon has, I’m happy for them to sell every camera they want as entry level or amateur.
    I’m not narrow minded.
    They say 24MP which allows for loads of cropping, if you’ve got your head screwed on you read that as ‘shit I bet the quality is ridiculous, imagine the print size I can get without interpolating a thing’.
    It’s small, I never understand why people want a massive camera, people mocking it’s lack of controls and buttons etc. every photographer knows all they really need to adjust for every single shot is shutter speed, aperture and ISO, and this camera has all those controls immediately. It’s compactness is a good thing, it weighs very little, and when’s the last time you really let your weather sealed camera get so wet to the point it would damage this camera? If you’re honest it won’t be a regular occurrence, get a cover, keep it nice.
    It’s brand new, it’s new technology, all new technology is excellent.
    Technological progression is linear, it is better than its predecessors, it’s better than old cameras.
    It produces high quality images, it’s kept ISO performance good.
    If you’re the Formula 1 official photographer, buy something specifically for that job, don’t mock an excellent camera for not having 12fps and the ability to be handled by a wild bear. Nobody is going to do that with it, that said, don’t dismiss it as mothers taking pictures of their kids, because why kid yourself into thinking that’s really who is going to buy this camera. It is about money, and this probably produces the best quality for the smallest price of any comparable camera.
    I am a photography degree student, 2/3 of the way, I have a D3000 because it’s the cheapest Nikon I could find in the shop about 3 years ago. I’ve done paid shoots and earned back it’s value ten times over, along with intense amounts of degree work with a varied portfolio.
    Get a camera body, use it to the point where it’s holding you back, then buy the best value model up from it which solves which ever element your last camera was missing out on.
    Lenses are decades of investment, buy decent ones, they don’t go out of date in a hurry.

    You’re all just upset because you don’t have 24mp, like it even matters to most intents, don’t bother about your magnesium alloy frames per second million button bollocks, unless you genuinely do have a specific job where it truly matters, just buy two of these.

    Spend your money going cool places, and spend your time taking cool pictures.

    I’m getting one.

    • So I need sturdy, googd sealed camera every time when a drops of my lather flow from my face in the rainforest or when the heavy rain catch me here 🙂
      Good weather sealed camera is essential for wildlife photographer.

  • Alwyn

    Dxo mark’s just as credible as DP review. Coz if DP review is believed, then the 7D is very good in low light, which it fkn isn’t. So I don’t believe any of these ‘testing facilities’

  • Ankit Garg

    Nikon’s D3200 which is at the bottom of the stack scores higher than the best camera by other brands. This is simply Amazing! Nikon’s new line-up will not score less than 81.. Which means any Nikon Camera is a better Camera.. Canon and Pentax!! step up.. 🙂

  • Alwyn

    Got my hands on a Canon 50d yesterday and compared it to my Nikon D90. There was no comparison. The D90 wiped the floor with the 50d. Yet, DP review scored both these cameras on 8.5 for image quality when they reviewed it. Granted DXO mark seemed to have got it right. I think ppl should not take these so called reviews as serious as they do. The real test is in the shoot out in the real world, not in some studio under controlled conditions or analyzing data collected by some nerd on a Friday or Saturday evening

  • Denis

    I’m curious if DxOMark could be trusted?

  • Jan

    Great colour depth is what makes a great camera. And here we see why the d3200 exceeds the d5100 and d7000 and the k-5, in being the only APS-C camera to crack 24 bit. You’ll see that other great cameras fail to do well at high iso and even dynamic range might not be stellar. The new 24mp sensor is a next-gen sensor not only in terms of resolution. The only problem now is that most APS-C lenses – especially the kit lens – are no match for the sensor. Indeed expect to see a new kit lens on the upcoming d7000 replacement. Further, DxO scores do make sense when looking at colour depth, with older sensors simply offering less.

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