The 3200 is newer and has a better sensor. The 5100 is older but it a better camera. If I were in the market today I'd buy... Neither of them. The 5200 is coming and it will bring the better features from the 5100 with the 3200's higher MP sensor. For the time being I'd search craigslist/ebay/the forum for a older d40 or d60 and use that to get for feet wet.