Nikon holds its own in the photography industry. The camera maker is known for its great image quality, superior ergonomics, and solid build quality. You can’t go wrong with Nikon cameras, but many find themselves lost in a sea of options. What are the best Nikon cameras you can buy?
We have put together a list of our favorite recommendations in the Nikon camera portfolio. The list includes shooters that offer the best value at their price ranges, which means there is a great option here for everyone. Let’s find yours!
The best Nikon cameras:
Editor’s note: This list of the best Nikon cameras will be updated regularly as new products are launched.
1. Nikon D3500
I used the Nikon D3200 and D3300 professionally for a few years, so the D3500 can definitely perform.
If your budget is tight or you are just getting started with photography, the Nikon D3500 is a great camera for beginners. It’s also among the most affordable DSLR cameras out there.
It is a bit lacking in features compared to more expensive cameras, with just 5fps shooting speed, 1080p video resolution, and an 11-point autofocus system. Still, it can definitely get the job done and you get plenty of camera for what you pay.
The D3500 has a 24.2MP CMOS sensor, which is plenty good to take some great shots if you know your way around the camera, lighting, and composition. In fact, I used the Nikon D3200 and D3300 professionally for a few years, so the D3500 can definitely perform.
2. Nikon D5600
The Nikon D5600 is a nice upgrade over the D3500, and easily made our list as one of the best DSLR cameras you can buy. It keeps nearly all features, including the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 5fps shooting, and 1080p video recording. Its true value is in a few extra features.
The Nikon D5600 has a full-articulating swiveling screen that can really make a difference when shooting at odd angles. In addition, it has integrated wireless functionality, improved battery life, a touchscreen, and more. It’s a favorite among Nikon camera enthusiasts.
3. Nikon Z50
The Nikon Z50 offers an experience similar to the high-end Nikon Z6 and Z7, but with an APS-C sensor (as opposed to full frame) and a much lower price point. It is also known for its better ergonomics when compared to direct competitors.
Specs include a 20.9 APS-C CMOS sensor, an EXPEED 6 engine, a hybrid phase/contrast autofocus system, eye autofocus, a 3.2-inch tilting screen, 11fps continuous shooting, 4K@30fps video recording, and more.
This Nikon camera is great for those who want to get into Nikon’s mirrorless systems without spending nearly two grand on a body alone.
4. Nikon D610
The Nikon D610 has a full frame sensor and can cost less than many APS-C cameras!
Nikon camera fans have a very affordable option for switching to a full frame sensor. The Nikon D610 is one of the best DSLR cameras in its price range and can cost less than some of the APS-C competitors in the market.
This 24.3MP sensor takes good quality imagery, but you don’t get many of the fancy features in other cameras. It shoots at 6fps and can only record at 1080p resolution. Wireless compatibility is only available through a dongle (not included). In short, you get a more basic experience but enjoy the privileges of having a full frame sensor for a lower price.
5. Nikon Z6
Nikon’s contribution to the full-frame mirrorless camera market is no slouch. The Nikon Z6 has everything you need to take a stunning shot. It also comes with all the benefits that come with owning a mirrorless system.
Specs include a 24.5MP full frame sensor, a powerful EXPEED 6 processor, superb lowlight performance, 4K video recording, a 3.2-inch tilt screen, 12fps continuous shooting, phase detect autofocus, eye autofocus, and more.
6. Nikon Z7
The Nikon Z7 looks, feels, and works very much like its Nikon Z6 counterpart. This Nikon camera costs about a grand more, though, and for that extra money you get a few improvements. The sensor on the Nikon Z7 has a 45.7MP resolution. You also get 493 focus points, as opposed to the 273 on the Z6. ISO can go down to 64 and battery life is slightly better. Honestly the extra cash over the Z6 might not be worth it for everyone, but it’s still a great camera.
7. Nikon D780
Just when we thought mirrorless cameras were taking over, we get a new Nikon camera for the DSLR world. It succeeds the Nikon D750, which was a favorite among photographers, and things only get better with this iteration.
The Nikon D780 comes with a 24.5MP full frame sensor. It can shoot at 7fps and records 4K video at 30fps. The 3-inch touchscreen can tilt, making it easier to achieve complicated angles. You can also now enjoy modern features like eye autofocus, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and weather sealing. Many would say it is the best full frame DSLR at its price range.
Many consider it a hybrid between a DSLR and a mirrorless system, and it is certainly among the best Nikon cameras you can get.
8. Nikon Df
We can't tell you this is a smart investment, but it is definitely one of the coolest Nikon cameras!
OK, so there are far better Nikon cameras at the same price point as the Nikon Df. We can’t tell you this is a smart investment, but it is definitely one of the coolest Nikon cameras! Nikon created the Df to pay homage to their history. This is why the camera is reminiscent of classic Nikon cameras.
You’re pretty much paying for the construction and looks, but this doesn’t mean the camera is horrible. The exposure dials are pretty nice to have, and the magnesium alloy construction should keep your Nikon camera more protected than plastic. It can totally be uses as a professional tool.
The Nikon Df comes with a 16MP full frame sensor, which is the same as the one found on the Nikon D4. It’s pretty powerful and can perform well, just not as well as the sensors newer high-end versions. This Nikon camera can shoot at 5.5fps, features 39 autofocus points, and sports a 3-inch display.
9. Nikon D850
The Nikon D850 is praised among photographers worldwide. Many would argue it is the best high-end Nikon camera that doesn’t require you to spend over 5 grand.
Its 45.7MP full frame sensor is great for lowlight performance and has good dynamic range. The D850 can shoot at 7fps, has 153 focus points, features a tilting screen, and can record at 4K at 120fps. Serious photographers really get what they pay for with this one.
10. Nikon D5
The Nikon D5 is the best camera you can buy when money is no factor. It is made for the most demanding professionals and costs nearly $5,500 USD for the body alone.
The Nikon D5 is the best Nikon camera you can buy when money is no factor.
This unit comes with a 20.8MP full frame sensor and Nikon’s new EXPEED 5 processor. It has a 153-point autofocus system, and can shoot at 12fps. Native ISO is limited to 102,400, but it can be extended to 3,280,000. And with 4K recording capabilities, this can also be used as a video production machine.
You can enjoy controls in both landscape and portrait orientations, and the extended body makes it possible for Nikon to add extra buttons, controls, and shortcuts. This thing is a beast!
These Nikon cameras offer the best bang for your buck. Whether you are a beginner, a hobbyist, or a professional, you will find a camera here that fits your needs and budget. Happy shooting!