Posted 27 October 2012 - 12:45
eventually you'll want semi manual likeA and S, probably fairly soon. anyway, that's not what I mean by controls anyway. with the cheaper models, EVERYTHING has to be done on the screen with the nav key, the higher up you go the more buttons there are to directly change settings. like ISO, WB and so on, high models also have bracketing which I don't believe the 3200 does.
Honestly if you're not planning on using ANY manual controls ever, I suggest getting a good compact or a good Hybrid/Bridge/Superzoom camera. It's cheaper and offers easier ways to quaility photos and wide range of zoom capabilities without a bag full of lenses.
As for quality. I'm not entirely sure, but the 5100 is a generation behind and I think the 3200 might have a slightly better or equal sensor, if the sensor is equal it's better by the fact it has higher mpx, even if mpx don't generally matter. it's more than you'll need in either case.
As a beginner though, the 3x00 series does tend to be EXTREMELY easy to use with a lot of handy "teaching" functions built in. the 5x00 series also has a lot of the beginner friendly stuff, but not as much as the 3x00, as such the 3x00 is also more dumbed down.
In general, without looking more into the cameras I'd suggest the 5100 simply because it probably offers more flexibility but you might need to put in a little more effort, but it's worth it. there will probably be a 5200 soon which will dump the price on the 5100. alowing you the otpion to either get the 5100 cheaper, or get the next gen mid range amateur dslr. in fact since the 5100 is already cheaper, it's probably already been dropped in price in preparation so...