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Nikon D3200 hands-on: 24-megapixel sensor, high-res screen, external mic input, comes in red

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Nikon has announced the D3200 DSLR with a 24-megapixel sensor, 4fps continuous shooting, Wi-Fi support, and expanded video functionality. It's out in mid-May for £559.99 body-only or £649.99 with a kit lens.

nikon red d3200 hero
nikon red d3200 hero

Nikon has announced the D3200 DSLR, and it's a pretty compelling option for those considering the jump into enthusiast photography. As we heard before, the D3200 has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, 4fps continuous shooting, Wi-Fi support, and expanded video functionality. The new sensor is a big deal — it makes the D3200 Nikon's highest-resolution DSLR after the 36-megapixel D800, but still improves on the D3100 with a native ISO range of up to 6400. Despite the increase in file size, Nikon has also managed to up the shooting speed, with the D3200 able to capture up to 4 continuous frames a second. All these photos will look sharper on the back of your camera as well as your computer thanks to the 921k-dot screen.

As for video functionality, the D3200 will shoot 1080p at 30 frames a second or 720p at 60 frames a second in H.264 .mov format, and significantly it's Nikon's cheapest DSLR to feature an external mic input. The camera also has a dedicated movie record button as part of a redesigned control layout, and should be capable of recording movies for 20 minutes on end without issue.

These features are all standard fare for DSLRs, but Nikon is treading new ground with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter (sold separately). This dongle will connect the D3200 to smartphones and allow for ad hoc file transfer without a Wi-Fi connection, and you can also use your phone's display as a viewfinder and shutter trigger. The adapter will only launch with support for Android devices, but Nikon told us that an iOS version is coming in the autumn. While it would have been nice to see the functionality built into the camera body itself, this is still a big step forwards for DSLR connectivity, and following the D4's network functionality shows that Nikon is doing more than anyone to advance this space in particular.

We expect a huge improvement in future Instagram bokeh

If you're thinking that all of these features sound like a pretty major upgrade over the D3100, Nikon agrees — it's keeping the older camera on sale for the foreseeable future. Despite the similar product name, the D3200 is being positioned as an addition to the lineup rather than a replacement. Nikon told us that it's opened a new production line in Thailand for this camera, and claims it's back up to full capacity after the devastating floods in the country closed its factories last year.

So, when will you be able to get your hands on the D3200? There's not too long to wait — the camera will launch late this month in the US for $699.95 with an 18-55mm kit lens. In Europe, the camera will ship in mid-May and cost €667.00/£559.99 in body-only form or €775.00/£649.99 for the kit. That's if you want it in standard-issue DSLR black, mind you, as Nikon is taking the unusual step of also offering the D3200 in a glossy red finish at an unspecified later date. We weren't all that enamored of it ourselves, but options are never a bad thing, and there's no reason why Pentax should have the colorful DSLR market cornered to itself. You'll have to wait for the red model, but Nikon assures us you won't be paying any extra.

Compare this: D3200 vs. D3100 vs. Alpha a57 and more!

Vlad Savov contributed to this report.