• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 10.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • APS-C 357.3mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

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Differences

Sony DSLR-A230 advantages over Nikon D3200

  • Less expensive
    $549 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.12 vs 3.86 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Less shutter lag
    0.19 vs 0.28 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)

Nikon D3200 advantages over Sony DSLR-A230

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 0.6 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,131 vs 531 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.2 vs 11.4 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 10.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    4.0 fps vs 2.4 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 21 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 3200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Buy the Nikon D3200

Review Excerpt

  • High resolution allows cropping; Good performance in low light; Compact and comfortable, highly portable; Fast and responsive, just begs to take pictures; Quiet shutter is great for candids.

  • Mediocre kit lens; Might be too small for some; No bracketing; Narrow flash coverage; Matrix metering tends to overexpose.

The Competition

Compared to Canon XS

Sony DSLR-A230
Canon XS
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $440
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
Nikon D3200
Canon XS
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • External Mic Jack
  • Newer
  • $440
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A330

Sony DSLR-A230
Sony DSLR-A330
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • More viewfinder magnification
  • $530
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
Nikon D3200
Sony DSLR-A330
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $530
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3000

Sony DSLR-A230
Nikon D3000
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • HDMI out
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Nikon D3200
Nikon D3000
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A65

Sony DSLR-A230
Sony A65
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Focus peaking
Nikon D3200
Sony A65
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Nikon D5200

Sony DSLR-A230
Nikon D5200
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels
  • $543
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D3200
Nikon D5200
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Bigger RAW buffer
  • $543
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
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