Best Nikon Cameras Reviewed & Compared

Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings
Anes Mulalic
September 18, 2017 By Anes Mulalic
Best Nikon Cameras Reviewed & Compared www.sleeklens.com

It’s the middle of 2017, summer is on our doorstep along with clear sunny skies and lots of opportunities for beautiful photography. It is the perfect time for us to take a look and review Best Nikon Cameras for 2018.

Our Top 3 Picks

 
Nikon D810
  • Nikon D810
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Good noise-handling
  • Price: See Here
Nikon D750
  • Nikon D750
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Amazing performance
  • Price: See Here
Nikon D3400
  • Nikon D3400
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Beginner's top choice
  • Price: See Here

We have prepared a list of 6 Nikon cameras for you to choose from, each one accompanied by a short review. Each camera serves a different purpose and is best for a certain type of photography. Choices are based on camera class, type, and price. We have prepared something for everyone, be they a professional photographer looking the best of the best in features and image quality, an enthusiast or an amateur looking to upgrade to something more than a smartphone camera.

Nikon, along with Canon, is one of the most popular camera brands. The reason for this is the company’s long-standing experience and expertise in creating reliable and capable camera hardware and software but also using modern and exciting new technologies.

Best Nikon Cameras

 

Nikon D850: Professional DSLRGo to Amazon
This is the company’s current top of the line full frame DSLR that was made to appeal to a very wide audience of different types of photographers. Thanks to its impressive feature set it, very few professionals will be able to resist the temptation of adding it to their arsenal. Let us see what it has to offer and what makes it such a competitive camera among other enthusiast-oriented products.
Overall rating:
90
Design:
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85
100
Image Quality:
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97
100
Features:
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92
100
Price:
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85
100
Pros
  • High resolution sensor
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Extreme battery life
  • Great build quality
  • Weather sealing
  • 4K recording
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • Very capable AF system
  • Impressively sharp touchscreen
  • Large and bright viewfinder
  • 1/8000 second shutter speed
  • 7 fps burst rate
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth LE
  • USB 3.0 support
Cons
  • Average low light performance
  • Heavy body
  • Slow AF during video recording
  • No built-in flash unit
  • No USB charging
  • Video recording quality still not up there with the best performers on the market
Click to read the full Review
The first thing that makes it stand out is its capable 45.7-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, which aims to push a lot of details into your images, but without sacrificing dynamic range and noise performance too much in the process. Judging by the scientific tests that were done by some websites, the D850 brings almost 15 stops of dynamic range and can also bring very usable and clean images up to an ISO of 6400.

While it won’t blow anyone away with its low light capabilities, it’s still a mighty impressive performance considering the number of pixels the camera has to work with. Thus, the D850 will right at home when it comes to portrait and landscape photography, as well as things like studio and any kind of work that requires high-resolution prints. Still, this being a flagship-grade camera, there are a lot more useful functions to be found aside from the sensor itself and let us mention all of them in no particular order.

The camera body is very durable due to magnesium alloy construction and solid weather sealing, wide ISO range will allow you to shoot at values as high as 102400 and as low as 32, the 151-point phase detect system exhibits excellent overall performance and will even manage to hold its own when it comes to subject tracking, the articulated 3.2-inch 2,359,000-dot TFT LCD screen and the large 100% optical pentaprism viewfinder are both very good units, the flash sync speed of 1/250 seconds will give you a lot of room when it comes to playing around with flashes, the 7 fps burst rate is very good indeed for a camera that shoots 45.7-megapixel photos, video shooting experience is very solid thanks to the inclusion of 4K 30 fps recording and both the headphone and microphone jacks (although the overall quality isn’t the best that can be found among other cameras and the contrast detect AF system used during recording is still to slow to be useful for any kind of professional work), the addition of both the UHS-II compatible SD and the XQD card slots will make the camera write its files at very high speeds (and the included USB 3.0 compatible port will allow you to transfer them to a computer at very fast rates as well), the plethora of wireless communication technologies (Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth LE) will make it easy to work with any kind of wireless equipment and lastly, the extreme endurance rated at 1840 shots will allow anyone to shot for days without having to recharge the battery.

So, in the end, the Nikon D850 serves as a true showcase of a modern flagship DSLR and manages to offer a very well-rounded package that will satisfy the needs of many advanced photographers without any noticeable compromises. However, those interested in low light photography, sports or professional videography will be able to find a better deal in form of other cameras available on the market, especially when you take into account that the D850 isn’t exactly a cheap product. Still, it’s a worthy successor to the venerable Nikon D810 and you couldn’t ask much more from it.

Nikon D750: Semi-professional DSLRGo to Amazon
The Nikon D750 is a semi-professional mid-to-high-end DSLR camera from Nikon. It is designed to serve as an all-around camera for advanced enthusiasts and professionals who don’t quite need all the goodies which come from professional-oriented DSLRs. It packs a 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor with an AA filter.
Overall rating:
87
Design:
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80
100
Image Quality:
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92
100
Features:
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90
100
Price:
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84
100
Pros
  • Superb image quality
  • Excellent performance, good build quality
  • Good connectivity options including Wi-Fi
Cons
  • No touch-screen
Click to read the full Review
The D750 sits in between the budget-oriented Nikon D610 and the professional-oriented D810, although it shares more similarities with the latter.
Compared to D810, it has several advantages: Same type but improved AF system, faster burst rate, better noise handling, now tilt-able LCD screen as well as expanded connectivity with the inclusion of Wi-Fi. All this for a lower price, you might ask. Well, the D810 does have a 36MP sensor which means a lot more details in images and more flexibility when it comes to manual controls, custom buttons and similar features needed by demanding professional photographers.
Build quality is more or less on-par with the D810, featuring magnesium-alloy chassis and high-quality polycarbonate outer shell. It feels very solid and durable. At 140mm x 113mm x 70mm and 840g it is smaller and lighter than D810 but still quite hefty.
The rear screen is a 3.2-inch LCD which is tilt-able (you can flip it up and down) with 1.2m dots – same sharpness as D810 but higher than D610 which has 920k dots.
Even though the D810 is more customizable, the D750 still offers a wide range of customizable buttons, 5 of them to be exact, which can be assigned pretty much any functionality you like. The menus are extensive in options and customization as well, not unlike most other Nikon DSLRs in this range.
Nikon D750 also comes with a small LCD screen on top for quick access to important shooting parameters, including but not limited to choosing between different shooting modes, AF drive and battery life.
Image quality from this Nikon DSLR is nothing short of exceptional, at least for its class. We are seeing excellent noise handling performance as well as dynamic range. You will be able to capture practically noise-free images up to ISO3200. Beyond this point noise does show up, but it is hardly detail-breaking and can be easily managed. To give you an idea of how far can this sensor really go, we’ve tested it at ISO25600. This is very high ISO so it is not surprising that both noise and the accompanying aggressive noise-reduction result in smudged details. However, if you shoot RAW and apply some smart sharpening and noise-reduction in prost-processing, you can still get a usable image.
Performance in terms of continuous burst shooting is at 6.5 FPS which is pretty good, certainly better than the 5FPS of D810 and marginally faster than 6FPS brought by D610. Autofocus system is the same 51-point AF we’ve seen in D810 with improved low light sensitivity. Sufficient to say it performs exceptionally well in all conditions.
Video recording tops at 1080p FullHD at 60FPS, while the D810 could only do FullHD at 30FPS.
As you can see the Nikon D750 has a lot going for it. It is in fact a cheaper version of the Nikon D810 with the main downsides of having a smaller resolution sensor and somewhat inferior build quality. Other than that, the D750 is an improved camera even compared to the more expensive D810, mainly thanks to the fact that it is released two years later and features some modern capabilities, such as the tilting LCD screen, though unfortunately it sills lacks a touchscreen. There is also Wi-Fi connectivity which is a serious connectivity omission in D810. Image quality and performance are superb. Really, it is hard to find fault with this camera. If you don’t need the extra pixels of D810 and would like to save some money, the D750 comes as an excellent middle choice between D610 and D810.

Nikon D3400: Entry-level DSLRGo to Amazon
Nikon D3400 is successor to the entry-level D3300 with a few modest but notable improvements. This beginner-oriented DSLR aims to draw amateur photographers looking to cross-over to a more advanced territory of photography from smartphones and P&S cameras. It packs a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, same as Nikon D3300, but comes with improved connectivity and battery life.
Overall rating:
78
Design:
0
75
100
Image Quality:
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70
100
Features:
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79
100
Price:
0
86
100
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Excellent Image quality
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Optical VF
  • Good value camera
Cons
  • Low-light performance could be better
Click to read the full Review
The body is virtually identical to that of its predecessor, offering plastic but durable body and design. Physical controls and buttons are basic in variety compared to more advanced DSLRs, but still offer plenty of playground for DSLR newcomers. It is perfect for learning DSLR photography thanks to the presence of manual and semi-manual shooting modes such as M, A, P and S. It also comes with a dedicated range of scene preset which are listed on the main exposure dial.
Performance is very solid thanks to the EXPEED 4 image processor which is also found in the much more expensive D750 and D810. This allows for 5FPS continuous shooting which is very impressive for a camera of this class.
Unsurprisingly there is no top LCD screen which is reserved for enthusiast DSLRs, but the screen on the rear is more than enough for beginners. It is a fixed LCD-TFT with 921k dots, same as D3300. The AF system is very basic, but again, will do fine for amateur photographers. It has 11 AF points out which only 1 is cross-type.
The viewfinder has 0.85x magnification and 95% coverage. It is far from perfect, but still presents a valuable feature compared to otherwise threatening range of Mirrorless cameras in this range which either offer a basic Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) or lack one altogether.
Image quality is impressive for the price of this DSLR. You will get pleasant-looking photos with rich colors and sharp details. Dynamic range is very impressive compared to rival DSLRs such as Canon’s T6i. Noise handling could be problematic when shooting in dark environments. You should be fine up to IS0800 if you want nice looking prints, or ISO1600 if you want high quality images for the web. Beyond that noise does considerably creep in causing problems with details rendering. You can still use higher ISOs if you opt for RAW format shooting where you can handle issues with noise in post-processing.
There is no Wi-Fi in Nikon D3400, but this time around we do get Bluetooth connectivity which allows for a continuous connection with a smartphone for photo sharing and remote control.
Overall the Nikon D3400 is a very capable DSLR for its price and an attractive choice for DSLR beginners. However, if you already have Nikon D3300, you should be looking for a more substantial upgrade than this.

Nikon Coolpix P900: Mega ZoomGo to Amazon
The Nikon Coolpix P900 is the number one choice for many casual and enthusiast photographers who have the specific need for super long zoom – the need for zoom. The P900 is in fact a 16MP mega-zoom bridge camera, with a feature set which borrows something both from a traditional Point-and-Camera and a DSLR.
Overall rating:
74
Design:
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84
100
Image Quality:
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75
100
Features:
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70
100
Price:
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65
100
Pros
  • 83x optical zoom (+83x digital)
  • Very versatile focal lenght
  • Easy to use
  • Optical Image stabilization
Cons
  • Small sensor
Click to read the full Review
The Coolpix P900 can zoom as much as 83x. This is a focal length of 24 – 2000mm (35mm equivalent) and that’s purely optical zoom, meaning no loss in image quality. On top of that there is digital zoom, dubbed Dynamic Fine Zoom, which doubles the level of zoom for a total of 166x or a focal length of 24 – 4000mm (35mm equiv.)
The P900 is relatively large and heavy. It is much bigger and heavier than an average P&S camera and about the same size as an entry-lever DSLR. Still, compared to the size and weight of a DSLR and lens that would be needed to achieve this kind of focal length, P900 is a much more mobile camera. There is a built-in flash which too stands tall in order to compensate for the length of the protruding lens.
Despite its DSLR-like design, the P900 does not offer any particularly advanced manual controls. Most notable would be the main mode dial which sits on top of the camera. You can choose between different exposure modes (Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual) as well as a wide variety scene presets such as Portrait, Landscape, Panorama, Timelapse, etc. A custom preset mode is also present, where you can customize and save settings that are often used. Worth mentioning is also the Function (Fn) key which lets you access metering and other shooting parameters.
On the rear of the camera you will find a set of controls you would expect to see in any consumer-oriented camera, along with 3-inch, 921k dot tilt screen.
Behind the scenes lies a 1/ 2.3-inch 16MP BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor. This sensor is most likely the same one used in many other compact Nikon cameras. Images produced by this sensor are of solid quality but don’t expect anything jaw-dropping. Color richness is generally well balanced, outputting nicely saturated and vibrant photos. White balance is reasonably good too. What is not so impressive is noise handling. Even at ISO 400, if you zoom close enough, you will be able to notice noise reduction which results in ever so slightly softened and smudged details. Basically, ISO1600 should be considered hitting the roof. Even though the camera can be set to a maximum ISO6400, we wouldn’t recommend going that high because its simply too much for this sensor.
The Nikon P900 is equipped with 5-stop optical image stabilization which should help reduce blur due to hand vibrations, which can be particularly problematic in longer focal lengths. The lens have an aperture of F/2.8 when wide open which is reduced f/6.5 at the longer end of focal range. Burst rate performance is impressive at 7FPS in full resolution. This can than drastically increase as you lower the resolution. Video can be recorded in 1080p FullHD.
Enthusiasts will be happy to know the P900 also comes with a built-in Electronic View Finder (EVF) as well as focus peaking which helps with manual focus.
Connectivity-wise, the P900 comes fully loaded, packing both GPS and Wi-Fi, for geotagging photos and smartphone integration respectively.
To conclude, if you want the largest possible zoom on the market, the Nikon P900 is an obvious choice. While it is undoubtedly feature-rich, it does come with a steep price tag for what is realistically a small sensor. The P900’s zooming capabilities left us nothing short of amazed. 2000mm (4000mm with digital zoom) focal length presents astonishingly wide field of view range, making this bridge camera a very versatile shooter.
Nikon 1 J5: Mirrorless ILCGo to Amazon
The Nikon 1 J5 is a CSC (Compact System Camera), otherwise known as Mirrorless camera, or ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) designed for amateur photographers and enthusiasts who would like utilize the power of interchangeable lens without the large size, weight and price of a DSLR.
Overall rating:
73
Design:
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76
100
Image Quality:
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83
100
Features:
0
74
100
Price:
0
60
100
Pros
  • Compact design
  • Premium build quality
  • Good image quality
  • Extremely fast performance
  • responsive EVF
  • Articulating LCD screen
Cons
  • Expensive
Click to read the full Review
It features a 20MP 1-inch BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) sensor. It can do 4K video at 30FPS and 1080p video at 60FPS. It also packs an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), an advanced hybrid AF system and extremely fast performance. Apart from the EVF, you can also snap and review photos using a rear 3-inch LCD display.
The 1 J5’s body is mostly metal, made using aluminum and magnesium alloy at specific points. This is a substantial upgrade in build quality compared to its predecessor. Total weight is at 231g and size at 98.3 x 59.7 x 31.5 mm. This is about the same size as an average P&S camera, though it is slightly on the heavier side. It is available in three colors: all-black, silver-white and silver-black.
The screen on the rear is an articulating LCD with 1m dots. This means the screen offers nice sharpness and can be rotated in 180-degrees for selfies or shooting at awkward angles.
Nikon 1 J5 has an advanced hybrid AF system with a total of 171 AF points, out which 105 AF points are phase-detect. This allows for super quick and accurate focusing. The new EXPEED 5A image processor in combination with an electronic shutter allows for a super-fast burst shooting of 20FPS. ISO performance is solid for a sensor of this size, but a far cry from DSLR quality. Available ISO levels range from ISO100 – ISO12800. You can expect relatively clear photos up to ISO1600, which is actually impressive for type of sensor.
The kit lens that come with this camera is Nikkor 10-30mm f/3.5 – 5.6 VR (Image Stabilization). The J5 is strong on the connectivity side as well, packing both Wi-Fi and NFC. ‘
Nikon 1 J5's improved build quality, using premium materials and retro styled design, significantly adds to the value of this camera. 4K video recording , articulating LCD screen, manual controls, interchangeable lens, stellar performance among others, means this camera is almost completely feature-proof. It is a truly prosumer – enthusiast camera, with the only real downside having a relatively small sensor. If you need a versatile but compact camera and don’t image quality of a DSLR, the J5 makes a smart buy indeed.
Nikon A300: Budget-friendly P&SGo to Amazon
The Nikon A300 is a budget-friendly Point-and-Shoot camera released in February 2017. It is a successor to last year’s Coolpix S3700. Much like its predecessor, the A300 comes with a beautiful sleek design in a variety of colors (black, silver, pink, red, red with decorations).
Overall rating:
66
Design:
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65
100
Image Quality:
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60
100
Features:
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50
100
Price:
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90
100
Pros
  • Good all-around shooter
  • Very affordable
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Easy sharing
  • HD video
  • 8x optical zoom
Cons
  • Slow burst performance at 1.1FPS
Click to read the full Review
Being an entry-level compact camera with an annual update, it is not surprising we are not seeing major differences in specifications between the two models. We still have the same 1/ 2.3-inch 20MP CCD sensor and all-around similar performance, remaining somewhat limited. The main differences is the expansion of Bluetooth connectivity.
At 96 x 58 x 20 mm and 118g you can see this is a very compact camera. The front houses an optically-stabilized (VR) Nikkor lens with 8x optical zoom, which results in rather nice focal lengths range of 25mm – 200mm (35mm film equivalent). Aperture will decrease as you zoom in which isn’t that large to begin with – it ranges from f/3.7 – 6.6. The quality glass is nothing to write home about but it will get the job done – most of the time. On the other hand, it does offer a lot of versatility thanks to the optical zoom, especially when you consider just how thin the camera is (20mm / 0.8-inch).
The LCD screen on the back is another obvious giveaway that we are looking at a budget camera. It measures 2.7-inch diagonally, with a resolution of 320x240 pixels. This is a bit on the low side for a camera in year 2017, but it does come with anti-reflective coating and relatively high brightness so it should do pretty good even in daylight use.
The Nikon A300 can capture 720p HD videos at 30FPS. Performance in terms of burst photo capture is unimpressive at just 1.1FPS. Noise handling is actually pretty good for a P&S camera in this class, with very little trouble-making noise popping at ISO800. Still, you should avoid higher ISO levels as a sensor this small just can’t handle that much noise without severely damaging image details. ISO1600 still produces usable images, but they won’t be of high quality.
The A300 comes fully equipped with connectivity options. For full-resolution image and video sharing, you have Wi-Fi with NFC. As an upgrade, we now also have Bluetooth always-on sharing functionality, meaning lower-resolution version of your photos will transfer automatically to your smart device without any hassle.
Nikon A300 is basic point-and-shoot camera. Apart from the impressive optical zoom, a wide variety of shooting scenes (including Panorama) and a very polished design, it doesn’t offer any advanced or particularly impressive performance or functionality. This is however to be completely expected given the low-price tag of this camera. All things considered, the A300 is well worth the value.
Nikon Coolpix W100: Waterproof family memberGo to Amazon
The Nikon Coolpix W100 is the latest tough camera from Nikon. It comes from a line of Coolpix waterproof cameras which are budget-friendly and simple to use. There rugged cameras are perfect for family-wide use, such as when going on vacation.
Overall rating:
80
Design:
0
85
100
Image Quality:
0
74
100
Features:
0
85
100
Price:
0
76
100
Pros
  • Water-proof (10m)
  • Rugged
  • Optically-stabilized sensor
  • Wi-Fi
  • NFC
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Low-light performance could be better
Click to read the full Review
Being simple to use they are also suitable for children and other friends and family who are not particularly tech-savvy. The W100 can dive down to 10m (33ft) underwater. Toughness extends beyond water-resistance, so Coolpix W100 is also shock-proof from heights up to 1.8m (6ft) and freeze-proof at temperatures as low as -10C (10F). It can capture 13MP photos (varies after processing) and FullHD 1080p video at 30FPS.
So, the W100 is pretty durable, but how does it fare in the imaging department? Well, the horse power that captures all the details is the 13.2MP CMOS sensor, sitting behind the NIKKOR-branded lens which extends from 30mm – 90mm (35mm format equivalent) with apertures ranging from f/3.3 – f/5.9. In other words, this amounts to 3x optical zoom.
This hardware performs well for its purpose, which is casual photography with photos of decent quality for social media sharing. The sensor is relatively small so don’t expect overly impressive photos if you are shooting during the night (unless you use the flash). Daylight photos, especially on sunny days, are very colorful and pleasant to look at.
There is optical image stabilization (vibration reduction) within the camera hardware, which goes a long way in ensuring you get bright photos underwater without camera shake blur. However, this applies only to still photo capture, while the video is stabilized electronically.
ISO levels range from ISO125 to ISO1600 although you won’t be able to adjust this manually. As you can see, this camera is all about simplicity of use. You also won’t be able to adjust other advanced settings such as shutter speed, aperture, etc. On the other hand, there a ton of other adjustable features which can be fun and useful such customizing the interface and sounds. While there are no manual settings when taking photos, there are various scene modes to choose from, as well as a range of interesting filter effects to make your photos ‘pop’.
On the rear, we have a 2.3-inch TFT LCD screen for reviewing captured media and adjusting camera settings. The screen is covered with anti-reflection coating which is a nice addition.
Connectivity-wise, the Nikon W100 has got everything you would expect from a modern camera. You have your standard Wi-Fi and NFC sharing. There is also Bluetooth connectivity for establishing a low-power, always-on connection. Once the connection with the SnapBridge smartphone/tablet App is established, your photos will be transferred automatically immediately after capture.
If you are looking for an affordable, durable camera to take on a vacation, one that can dive underwater and take some beating, the Nikon Coolpix W100 is an excellent choice. You need to be aware that a camera with a price tag as low as the one W100 is wearing isn’t going to produce any award-winning photographs. Image quality simply isn’t the focus here, durability is. But it will provide sharp and colorful photos for the web, at least. Another selling point of this camera lies in its simplicity. No matter which family member or a friend picks it up, you can rest assured that Auto mode will do the job reliably.
Nikon D5Go to Amazon
While the Nikon D5 may be a very specialist type of a camera catered to a very limited amount of photographers (due to multiple factors which we will mention in just a moment), considering the fact that you are presented with an article that deals only in the best of Nikon’s cameras that are currently available on the market, we had to include the D5 since it does fit that category just fine since it has a lot of extremely good features stacked to its side, despite the fact that those are followed by a couple of shortcomings as well.
Overall rating:
78
Design:
0
74
100
Image Quality:
0
87
100
Features:
0
80
100
Price:
0
70
100
Pros
  • Great low light capabilities
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great build quality
  • Weather sealing
  • 4K recording
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • Very capable AF system
  • Impressively sharp touchscreen
  • Large and bright viewfinder
  • 1/8000 second shutter speed
  • 14 fps burst rate
  • Dual card slots
  • 1.5x crop mode
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Easy to use in both vertical and portrait orientations
Cons
  • Heavy and large body
  • Average dynamic range
  • No built-in flash
  • Wi-Fi and GPS only available via separate adapters
  • No articulating screen
  • Not the best performer for video recording despite the 4K support
  • High price point
  • Slow AF during video recording
  • No USB charging
Click to read the full Review
Let’s start with the sensor. It’s a 21-megapixel full-frame unit and by itself, it doesn’t sound like the most impressive thing when compared to a lot of other modern cameras. Well, it depends on who you ask. Landscape and portrait photographers may feel limited by its modest resolution, but sports and event photographers, as well as journalists and reporters will appreciate its low light capabilities as well as the extreme speed of shooting that it brings to the table by having to work with less demanding file sizes. Since the camera of this type isn’t meant to be used for creating large prints and instead is best for producing photos that found their way in things like magazines, newspapers, web portals and similar informative types of media, its potential buyers surely won’t be bothered by its modest resolution and will appreciate how well it can perform its specific tasks. Now, we will cover the most of its prominent features in just a second but let us focus on two of the most important ones that always go hand in hand with a workhorse type of a camera like the Nikon D5 and these are performance and battery life. If these really matter to you, then this will be the device you’ve always dreamed of. Its generally excellent responsiveness brought on by the EXPEED 5 processor, the phase-detect 153-point AF system and its impressive burst rate of 14 fps create a camera that would be considered a very fast sports car (if you can imagine that all cameras are vehicles, just for a moment).

You can expect to get quick power on and write times, very reliable subject tracking capabilities at all times and a highly sustainable burst rate that will allow you to capture those decisive moments and give you a lot of frames to pick from afterwards and find the perfect one that will be ready for publishing. All of this performance would go to waste without a good enough endurance to keep you shooting away as long as necessary and for this reason the D5 offers an otherworldly battery life rated at almost 3800 shots (3780 to be precise). So, even if you find yourself using that 14-fps burst rate very often, you won’t need to replace your battery pack each and every time. Such battery life does require a lot more room inside the camera body and for this (and couple of more) reasons, the D5 is one of the biggest and heaviest DSLRs on the market (at 1415 grams). Still, it’s big for a reason and that’s because of second to none build quality (magnesium alloy construction and weather sealing), advanced control scheme and dual grips (for both horizontal and portrait orientation photography).

Now, for the rest of its features, they also sound very good on paper as you would expect for such an expensive piece of gear; highest native ISO value of 102400 (expandable to 3280000), 3.2-inch TFT LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 2,359,000 dots, an optical pentaprism viewfinder with a magnification of 0.72x and 100% accuracy, maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, 4K video recording, a 1.5x crop mode that will allow you to use DX lenses, dual memory card slots (either CompactFlash or XQD), USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, microphone and headphone jacks and the ability to add optional Wi-Fi or GPS modules if you require such functionality.

So, if you could live without the lack of built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and flash units, articulated screen, higher resolution sensor or great video AF performance and dynamic range and you crave performance, build quality, endurance and reliable shooting experience, then the Nikon D5 is surely the camera you will be very happy with (providing you can afford such an investment, of course).
Nikon D500Go to Amazon
As is the case with Nikon’s full-frame DSLRs (as in having one two main enthusiast-oriented models, one concentrated on shooting speed and other on better resolution and a more well-rounded price point), the company also offers two of such models bearing smaller APS-C sensors. Thus, the Nikon D500 came to be and it is somewhat of a spiritual successor to one of Nikon’s older cameras, the D300S (which was also one of the fastest APS-C DSLRs at the time of its release).
Overall rating:
84
Design:
0
84
100
Image Quality:
0
87
100
Features:
0
85
100
Price:
0
81
100
Pros
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Good low light performance
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • Great build quality
  • Long battery life
  • Very capable AF system
  • 10 fps burst rate
  • 4K recording
  • 1/8000 sec shutter speed
  • Impressively sharp touchscreen
  • Large and bright viewfinder
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Dual card slots
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth LE
Cons
  • Conservative sensor resolution
  • Slow AF in video
  • Video quality and capabilities still not up to par with a lot of similarly priced cameras
  • No built-in flash
  • High price point
Click to read the full Review
While it isn’t a product you could consider to be a mainstream offering (thanks to its relatively high price point) it still presents itself as a very good alternative to Nikon’s much more expensive full-frame DSLR, the D5. You could already see that it shares very similar design philosophy with the D5 by looking at its sensor as it brings the same 21-megapixel resolution (but smaller in size, of course). It is a slightly lower resolution than what can be found on most of other APS-C cameras that often offer 24-megapixel sensors, but the benefits of such implementation will become obvious very quickly when we touch on camera’s performance.

Despite its lower resolution, the D500 still manages to bring an impressive rating of 14 stops of dynamic range and a very good noise performance that will allow you to get very usable photos at ISO values as high as 6400. It’s also important to mention that the D500’s sensor also lacks an Optical Low Pass Filter and because of that it will be able to produce sharper images than other similar sensors that have the said filter sitting on top of them. We should also mention its incredibly wide ISO range (for an APS-C camera at least) of 100 – 51200 (which can go as high as 1640000 when expanded). It is true that you won’t be getting mighty impressive results going any further than the ISO of 12800, but it’s always good to have the option to push it further than that for those really dark situations.

Now, we did mention that this camera excels in performance and its sensor is only a small part of the story on how it manages to achieve it. The second one has to be the EXPEED 5 processor, which is the same one used in the Nikon D5 and it is certainly a very capable piece of hardware. It enables the camera to shoot at a very impressive burst rate of 10 fps and at keep a large number of images in its buffer, no matter if you find yourself shooting JPEG or RAW files. This alone could raise the interest of sports and action photographers in need of an APS-C camera (thanks it crop factor, which would increase the focal length of their telephoto lenses and allow them to get significantly more reach without having to invest in expensive teleconverters), but the D500 has another card up its sleeve and that is its AF system. Believe it or not, it is the same 153-point phase detect system found in the Nikon D5 itself and for that reason, the D500 is easily the company’s best performing APS-C DSLR to this when it comes to its focusing capabilities. No matter what kind of photography you’re dealing with and no matter how demanding it is for a camera, this one will be able to handle anything you throw at it with utter confidence (like you would expect for such a pricey product that markets itself as one of the fastest DSLRs on the market). To round up its great performance, the D500 also offers a very good endurance rating of 1240 shots, a fast maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and a respectable flash sync speed of 1/250 sec (but sadly, no built-in flash unit of its own). As we are talking about a flagship camera, it’s no wonder that it also offers a nicely designed body with a lot more useful features that are worth mentioning.

Its build quality and rich control scheme shouldn’t be a problem to anyone and the same can be said for some of its other aspects like extremely big (for an APS-C DSLR at least) 100% accurate optical pentaprism viewfinder with a 1x magnification, an articulating TFT LCD touchscreen sporting a resolution of 2,359,000 dots, 4K video recording, dual SD card slots (including the combability with the very fast XQD technology), microphone and headphone jack inputs, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE and the ability to connect the optional Nikon GP-1 GPS accessory. So, if you’re on the lookout for a cheaper alternative to the venerable Nikon D5, the Nikon D500 certainly looks like an obvious choice to consider as your next purchase; simple as that.
Nikon D7500Go to Amazon
If you’re one of those users that are trying to find a middle ground between Nikon’s more expensive and the entry-level DSLRs, than the D7500 is here to help you find the camera that meets your needs. It is essentially a cut-down version of the Nikon D500, sharing some of its features while downgrading a few to keep its price down. It’s still a very capable camera nevertheless, as you’re about to see and there’s no reason for it to not be of interest for professional and amateur photographers alike.
Overall rating:
85
Design:
0
86
100
Image Quality:
0
91
100
Features:
0
80
100
Price:
0
83
100
Pros
  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Good low light performance
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • Great build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Decent AF system
  • 8 fps burst rate
  • 4K recording
  • 1/8000 sec shutter speed
  • Large and bright viewfinder
  • Microphone and headphone jacks
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth LE
  • 3-axis Digital Stabilization for Full HD videos
Cons
  • Conservative sensor resolution
  • No USB 3.0 support
  • Video quality and capabilities still not up to par with a lot of similarly priced cameras
  • Average screen resolution
  • Slow AF in video
Click to read the full Review
The first thing we get to talk about is one of those things it has in common with the D500 and that is the sensor. It’s the same 21-megapixel AA filter-free APS-C unit that aims to bring more speed and better low light performance thanks to its lower overall resolution (when compared to the D7200 and a lot of other APS-C cameras). It also manages to retain the very good dynamic range Nikon DSLRs have become known for over the years and thus, the D7200 should be a very interesting proposition for anyone shooting in those conditions with drastic light changes or where there's a severe disbalance of light and dark areas (or shadows and highlights how to photography community likes to call them). These holds especially true if you know how to process RAW files, as they will really let you get the most out of that new sensor.

The D7500 also shares the video capabilities of the D500 and also brings 4K 30 fps and 1080p 60 fps recording, both the microphone and the headphone jacks and a fully manual exposure mode (thanks to the Power aperture feature), but also manages to bring one new functionality and that is the 3-axis Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) for videos recorded at 1080p or lower resolution. While it may not sound very useful at first considering that this time around 4K recording is included, a lot of people will prefer to shoot in 1080p mode because of the lack of additional crop factor that is applied to the 4K footage and thus they can make use of the added stabilization.

This camera will also give you a lot of control over exposure thanks to the wide range of available ISO values and shutter speeds to choose from (with the maximum ISO of 51200 and the fastest shutter speed of 1/8000 sec) and also because of the inclusion of very decent pop-up flash unit that can be used even at a distance of 12 meters (and that's at the ISO of 100). Now, while the D7500 does lack the additional XQD card slot, USB 3.0 compatible port and the impressive battery life of the D500 (even though it's own rating of 950 is still pretty good), it still manages to bring a lot of other quality features onboard that make it worthy of its position as an advanced mid-range camera. These are the well-constructed weather sealed body, familiar and rich control scheme, top information monochrome LCD and the articulating 3.2-inch TFT LCD touchscreen on the back with a decent resolution of 922,000 dots, a 100% accurate optical pentaprism viewfinder with a very respectable magnification of 0.94x, a good burst rate of 8 fps, a 51-point phase detect AF system, a mini-HDMI port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, an orientation sensor and lastly, the capability to pair with Nikon's optional GP-1A GPS accessory via of the dedicated ports.

So, the Nikon D7200 is one of those cameras that doesn't try to be the best at anything but also tries to cover all of the important aspects of any enthusiast-oriented (but fairly priced) DSLR and because of that it will be the perfect camera for those that want to capture professional-looking images (provided that they pair the camera with a decent lens, of course) but also want to dabble in some video recording and see if that's an area they would like to expand on with their next purchase (since we wouldn't consider the D7500 to be a video camera that would appeal to full-time videographers).

Selection Criteria

Design – Just like any modern consumer product, it can be important for a camera to offer good design and aesthetics. Cameras are often not only photography tools but also a matter of fashion and style. Design encompasses more than visual appeal, as good design also means a camera with intuitive controls and ease of use.

Price/Product rate
– Most people are a budget, be it a low budget or a high budget and some cameras are more affordable than others. Price is important to consider in relation to camera class, performance, and quality. When all of this is taken into account, we can determine the overall value of a camera.

Weight – Even though this if often overlooked It is crucial to consider the weight of the camera, and in the case of ILC cameras, the weight of any potential accessories that might use, such as lenses, battery grip, etc. While a certain camera may have great specifications for excellent landscape photography it also might prove quite a burden when traveling –  if it is heavy.

Waterproof capabilities – Depending on where one might be planning to take a camera, its overall durability needs to be considered. Some cameras offer protection against splashes, rain, snow, shock, and temperature while other cameras cannot survive these weather conditions. When making sure to include at least one rugged camera in our reviews.

Grip – How good is a grip of a camera is another important factor to consider. Is it easy to hold firmly, reducing chances of an accidental drop? It is important to note whether the camera is comfortable to use with different hand sizes.

Image Quality – Clarity, sharpness and a number of details on a photo is what makes overall image quality – one of the most important factors in any camera. Image quality is determined by the type and size of a sensor as well quality of the lens.

Adaptability – When choosing a camera one should be aware of adaptability (versatility) of a camera. We check if the camera is compatible with a wide variety of accessories and add-ons, especially third-party equipment which is often just as good but more affordable than that of the original manufacturer.

Ease of Use – Some cameras are extremely easy to operate, while other require a steep learning curve. This depends on camera type and it is something to watch out for.

Availability – Is the camera available in a local retail store or does it need to be ordered online on stores such as eBay and Amazon? This is another crucial factor because it affects delivery time and the cost of shipping. We only choose cameras which are generally available and easy to order from a trustworthy source.

FAQ

All the things you’re wondering about

If I want a reliable camera that can capture high-quality photos but don’t really need the advanced features or the form factor of a DSLR, which camera would be a good fit?

Whether you are a photography enthusiast or a casual camera consumer the Nikon 1 J5 should a perfect fit for this purpose. Its 1” sensor is larger than those found in most compacts. It supports interchangeable lens if you want to experiment with different focal lengths, but the kit lens you get with the camera will do very good for general use. Its form factor means this camera is also much smaller and lighter than an average DSLR.

I want a good all-around camera that has a large zoom. Which one should I choose?

You want a bridge camera. The Nikon P900 has a focal length of 24mm – 2000mm. Not only do you get 83x optical zoom (double that if you use digital zoom too) but the focal length at the other end (24mm) ensures ability to capture photos with a relatively wide field of view as well. Shoot the tip of that mountain 1km away? Sure! Shoot a group portrait with friends? No problem! How is that for versatility?

I am on a budget and need a reliable general-purpose camera. Are there any good options in the Nikon lineup?

You should have a look at the new Nikon A300. Released in February this year, it has modern connectivity features such as Bluetooth always-on for automatic image transfer between the camera and a smartphone. Wi-Fi and NFC are there too. With the A300 you won’t always get a perfect image but you will have all the essentials covered for casual photography. The best part is, it is very affordable!

I’ve been in amateur waters for a while now and think I am ready to upgrade to a more versatile camera in terms lens and manual controls. What would be a good DSLR for a beginner?

The Nikon D3400 is the #1 best-seller camera in its class for a reason. It offers excellent image quality and full control over each photo. It is a perfect tool familiarize oneself with advanced DSLR settings. Nikon also has a large variety of entry-level lens available for this camera.

I need a waterproof camera that is durable and user-friendly. What is the best option?

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is the latest such camera from Nikon. It is extremely easy to use, can be used for underwater photography down to 10m of depth. It is also generally very durable, featuring both shock and freeze resistance. It is a decent 13MP shooter suitable for the whole family.

I plan on printing photos in large format and want the best possible image quality. What camera is best suited for this purpose?

That would be the Nikon D810 – it’s 36MP sensor ensures the best performance and image quality if you need high-quality prints. The D810 is professional DSLR so it is not intended for beginner photographers. It is a highly flexible camera with lots of manual controls.

Do I need an interchangeable lens camera (ILC)?

If you have never used a DSLR or one of the newer Mirrorless camera, you might be thinking about upgrading to a camera which supports changing between different lens but you don’t know if you need this functionality. This primarily a question of versatility – being able to switch lens allows you to use a lens with different focal lengths depending on the situation. For example, you might need a wide-angle lens for capturing panoramas, but what if you also want to capture portraits, wildlife, sports, etc. If you need lots of zooms, you can simply switch to a telephoto zoom lens and capture distant subjects with high detail. The different lens also has different apertures – some lens which has a large aperture (such as F/1.8) are great for portraits and low-light photography. These are called fast lenses. Cameras with interchangeable lens are also generally more expensive and deliver higher image quality as well as performance, as opposed to cameras which only feature built-in lens which cannot be removed or replaced.

Rating: 5.00 based on 2 Ratings

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Anes Mulalic
I'm a copywriter, web designer and a passionate photographer. I can write research papers, blog articles, product reviews, buying guides and tutorials. I make them SEO-friendly, but also engaging and interesting.

I try to make the best of both worlds; I enjoy urban lifestyle, always meeting new people and networking, pursuing new knowledge and developing skills with ambition and dedication to building a successful, long-lasting freelancing career. At the same time I travel a lot, enjoying nature and practicing meditation.
Anes Mulalic

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Comments (1)

  1. Aad van Vliet Guest
     

    Thanks for the overview. The D810 has a 36MP full frame sensor. Not a APS-C sensor!

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