Nikon Coolpix 3200 digital camera  » Cameras  »
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  • The Nikon Coolpix 3200 is a pretty good example of a digital camera from quite a few years ago that, I think, could still work pretty well as a second camera, perhaps to keep in the car or to give to a child in lieu of a toy camera
  • In my experience it is a little bit noisier than the lenses in some of its contemporary models, but unless you are taking your photos in a location which demands real quiet then it should not really be a problem
  • I would strongly recommend against buying the Coolpix 3200 if it is important to you to have a lot of creative control over your photographs
  • That is not what this particular model is about, and I found this to be very evident in use
  • I was, however, quite surprised and impressed to discover that the Coolpix 3200 offered not only the usual range of exposure compensation options, but also a custom white balance setting

    • by fredhound
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      The Nikon Coolpix 3200 is a pretty good example of a digital camera from quite a few years ago that, I think, could still work pretty well as a second camera, perhaps to keep in the car or to give to a child in lieu of a toy camera. This would have the benefit of giving him or her a “real” camera for a price so low that parents would not really have to worry too much about whether or not it got damaged. However, I also feel that it would be more than good enough for an adult to use for basic snapshot use, although of course a more modern camera would outperform it fairly easily.

      This camera dates from 2004, which means that although it has of course been surpassed by any number of new technologies in the intervening years, it is still new enough to include several features that would be very frustrating to do without. For a start, it accepts standard SD format memory cards, rather than using one of the more obscure formats that some earlier models did. It also has a standard USB link rather than the old and horribly slow


      serial connection, although it is only USB version 1.1 rather than the more recent version 2.0, so I think I would still recommend that you transferred pictures to your computer by means of a card reader if this is at all possible. It will make things an awful lot quicker!

      This is quite a chunky little camera, although it is not nearly as large in your hand as some of the photos available online tend to make it out to be, and you need not fear that it is going to be uncomfortable to hold. However, I have to say that I am not completely sold on its looks, with the lens in particular, at least when extended, looking a bit out of proportion to the rest of the body, and in actual fact also not really looking large enough for its surround! That lens is a standard three times optical zoom, which is nothing special for this vintage of camera but which works adequately. In my experience it is a little bit noisier than the lenses in some of its contemporary models, but unless you are taking your photos in a location which demands real quiet then ...


      • it should not really be a problem.

        I would strongly recommend against buying the Coolpix 3200 if it is important to you to have a lot of creative control over your photographs. That is not what this particular model is about, and I found this to be very evident in use. Although there are one or two interesting mode settings not found on most cameras, such as the “Multi-shot” mode which takes 16 small pictures in sequence to make up one large one, it is very quickly obvious that manual modes are missing. In fact, you are not even able to control the ISO setting - it is usually rated at 50, but in certain conditions (such as poor light or long distance flash) it is hiked up to 200. This obviously makes photos noisier, although at smallish sizes this is not a huge problem for most people.

        The screen is acceptable for the era, and it does not blur or lag too much, although I am sure it would seem very cramped to people who have become used to the much larger LCD monitors used in more recent cameras. The controls and menu system seem pretty old fashioned

        and clunky nowadays, especially since in many cases, such as when you are selecting the scene mode, the live view disappears entirely, which I did find irritating. I was, however, quite surprised and impressed to discover that the Coolpix 3200 offered not only the usual range of exposure compensation options, but also a custom white balance setting. This was not very common in 2004, and in fact is still missing from a lot of basic compacts. I find it very useful when snapping in tricky conditions, such as at dusk where there is mixed natural and artificial light.

        Since this camera accepts standard AA batteries, I think it would make a pretty good choice as a backup camera to keep in the bottom of a bag. You are never going to produce stunning, professional quality poster prints with this thing, but it is more than acceptable - and better than all but the top end of phone cameras - when it comes to taking quick photos while you are out and about. If you happen to see one of these on sale very cheap somewhere, then I think you could do a lot worse than to give it a look.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 4324051104960331/k2311a0524/5.24.10
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