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Nikon D3200 vs D5000 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200 camera image

Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000
Nikon D3200
Nikon D5000
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
April 19, 2012
April 14, 2009
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D3200 outperforms the Nikon D5000 with a score of 54/100 compared to 41/100. Both cameras are DSLR models, announced in 2012 and 2009, respectively. They have similar launch prices, with the D3200 at $699 and the D5000 at $730.

The D3200 has a smaller and lighter body, measuring 125 x 96 x 77mm and weighing 505g, while the D5000 measures 127 x 104 x 80mm and weighs 590g. This makes the D3200 more portable and convenient for photographers on the go.

However, the D5000 has its advantages, such as being slightly larger, which could provide better grip and handling for some users.

Ultimately, the Nikon D3200 is the superior camera, offering better overall performance and a more compact design. The Nikon D5000 may still appeal to those who prefer a larger camera body.

Nikon D3200 vs D5000 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D3200 outperforms the Nikon D5000 in optics, with a score of 63/100 compared to the D5000’s 45/100. This 18-point difference is significant as it highlights the superior optical capabilities of the D3200. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as shooting speed (4 fps), sensor type (CMOS), sensor size (APS-C), lens mount (Nikon F DX), and the absence of image stabilization.

The Nikon D3200’s superior optics are primarily due to its higher megapixel count of 24.2, compared to the D5000’s 12.3 megapixels. This allows the D3200 to capture more detail in images, resulting in better image quality. Additionally, the D3200’s processor, Expeed 3, is an upgrade from the D5000’s Expeed processor, enabling faster and more efficient image processing. The D3200 also boasts a higher DXOMARK score for its sensor, at 81 compared to the D5000’s 72, further solidifying its position as the better camera in terms of optics.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5000 does not have any significant advantages in optics over the D3200. Both cameras have the same shooting speed, sensor type, and size, and neither offers image stabilization. This makes the D3200 a clear winner in the optics department.

Given the differences and similarities in specifications, it is evident that the Nikon D3200 surpasses the D5000 in optical performance. With its higher megapixel count, upgraded processor, and better DXOMARK sensor score, the D3200 offers superior image quality and processing capabilities. Meanwhile, the D5000 does not present any notable advantages in optics, making the D3200 the better choice for those prioritizing optical performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
12.3 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6016 x 4000 px
4288 x 2848 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.4 x 23.2 mm
15.8 x 23.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
4 fps
4 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F DX
Nikon F DX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 3
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 4000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentamirror)

Nikon D3200 vs D5000 Video Performance

The Nikon D5000 outperforms the Nikon D3200 in terms of video capabilities, scoring 49/100 as opposed to the D3200’s score of 43/100. Despite this difference in scores, both cameras share some common specifications in their video performance.

Both the D3200 and D5000 have the ability to record high-definition video, with the D3200 offering Full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080 pixels, while the D5000 provides Standard HD at 1280 x 720 pixels. The D3200 can record at a higher maximum frame rate of 30fps, compared to the D5000’s 24fps.

The winning camera, Nikon D5000, has the advantage of built-in time-lapse functionality, which allows for creative and dynamic video capture. This feature is absent in the Nikon D3200, making the D5000 a more versatile option for videographers who are interested in time-lapse photography.

On the other hand, the losing camera, Nikon D3200, offers better video resolution and a higher maximum frame rate. This means that the D3200 can capture more detailed and smoother video footage than the D5000. However, it lacks the time-lapse functionality that the D5000 provides.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon D5000 is the superior choice for those who prioritize time-lapse capabilities and versatility in their video recording. Conversely, the Nikon D3200 may be more suitable for videographers who place greater importance on video resolution and smoother frame rates. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on the specific video requirements of the user.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Standard HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
1280 x 720 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
30 p
24 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
Motion JPEG

Nikon D3200 vs D5000 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D3200 outperforms the Nikon D5000 with a feature score of 41/100, compared to the latter’s 34/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, including the absence of a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth. Despite these similarities, the D3200 holds a clear advantage over the D5000 in certain aspects.

The D3200’s 3-inch screen size is larger than the D5000’s 2.7-inch screen, providing a better visual experience when reviewing images and navigating menus. Furthermore, the D3200’s screen resolution of 921,000 dots is significantly higher than the D5000’s 230,000 dots, resulting in sharper image previews and a more detailed display.

While the D5000 does not hold any advantages over the D3200 in terms of features, its lower score could be attributed to its age, as it was released earlier than the D3200. This older model may still appeal to users who prefer a more budget-friendly option or those who are comfortable with its specifications.

Considering the feature scores and specifications, the Nikon D3200 proves to be the superior camera when compared to the Nikon D5000. Its larger screen size and higher resolution provide a more enjoyable user experience. While the D5000 may be a more affordable option, it lacks the advanced features and improved specifications found in the D3200. Therefore, the Nikon D3200 is the better choice for photographers seeking a more feature-rich and user-friendly camera.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,000 dots
230,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D3200 vs D5000 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D3200 and Nikon D5000 both score 27/100 in storage and battery, showing no clear winner in this category. They have several similarities in this aspect, such as having a single memory card slot and lacking USB charging capabilities. Both cameras accept SD and SDHC memory cards, but the D3200 also supports the newer SDXC cards and is UHS-I compatible.

The D3200 holds a slight advantage in battery life, offering 540 shots per charge compared to the D5000’s 510 shots. This difference, though minor, could be crucial for extended shooting sessions. The D3200 uses the EN-EL14 battery type, while the D5000 uses the EN-EL9a.

On the other hand, the D5000 does not have any features that make its storage or battery superior to the D3200. Therefore, the D3200 has a minor edge in this category, primarily due to its longer battery life and compatibility with newer memory cards. This advantage may be a deciding factor for some photographers when choosing between these two cameras.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
540 shots
510 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
24.1 bits
22.7 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
13.2 EVs
12.5 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D3200 vs D5000 – Our Verdict

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3200 or the Nikon D5000:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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