We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.
A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.
For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.
JPEG Signal to Noise ratio
JPEG images from the Nikon D3200 show similar signal to noise ratio results to the D3100 up to a sensitivity of ISO 1600, above this value the results show a marked improvement.
The D3200 has a similar signal to noise ratio (SNR) to the Canon 100D for much of its sensitivity range, this means that images will have a similar level of noise - despite the D3200's higher pixel count.
Raw Signal to Noise ratio
TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Nikon 3200 are on a par with those from the Canon EOS 1100D and show improved results across the entire sensitivity range when compared with the Nikon D3100.
The D3200's raw files (after conversion to TIFF) compare well with those from recent competing cameras, beating the Sony A3000 and Panasonic G6 for much of the sensitivity range and only falling significantly behind the Canon 100D from around ISO 800 and higher.
JPEG Dynamic range
This chart indicates that the Nikon D3200's JPEGs have at least a 1EV higher dynamic range than the Nikon D3100 up to a sensitivity of ISO 400, above this value it maintains around 0.5ev better dynamic range.
Only the Sony A3000 manages to beat the D3200's impressive dynamic range at the lower sensitivity settings, but the other cameras get closer at the higher values.
Raw dynamic range
This chart indicates that the Nikon D3200 TIFF files (After conversion from raw) show a big improvement for dynamic range at all sensitivities over the D3100. At the lower end of the sensitivity range between ISO 100-400 the results show as much as a 2ev difference between the two cameras.
This graph shows how well Nikon has managed to maintain its reputation for capturing a wide range of tones with its cameras. The D3200 leads the way for most of the sensitivity range.