Best Nikon Cameras – 2021 Complete Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: July 16, 2021

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Have you recently ventured into the photography business?

Are you looking for a worthy upgrade to your previous camera? You have landed in the right place.

This guide will help you decide which Nikon camera you should purchase, distinguishing each model by its functions and specific needs. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Nikon Cameras

  • Best overall and best Nikon DSLR camera
  • Goes up till 9fps1 for continuous shooting
  • 45.7 Megapixels with supreme resolution and high-quality image
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  • Able to reach 23 feet
  • Can shoot 7 shots continuously per second
  • Able to shoot ultra HD 4K quality videos, making it the runner-up
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  • Has ISO ranging from 100-25600
  • Equipped with SnapBridge and Wi-Fi
  • Can video record 60 frames per second at 1080p, making it the best for the money
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  • Comes with a pro video feature set
  • Can shoot up to 65 frames per second at a high resolution
  • Equipped with a 243 MP CMOS image sensor that makes it the best Nikon full-frame camera
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  • Format of the picture is 24 mm x 36 mm
  • Comes with multiple exposure modes, making it the best Nikon film camera
  • 35 mm Single Lens Reflex camera, a focal plane shutter that is controlled electronically
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  • Also works as a point and shoot camera
  • Image sensor is 15 times bigger than smartphones
  • 1080p full HD videography, making it the best Nikon camera for beginners
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  • Comes with a 51-point AF system
  • New RAW feature with a small size option
  • Best Nikon camera for video and best for portraits
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What is Nikon Known For?

Nikon is a well-known and internationally recognized brand for technologically advanced and high-quality imaging products, photography gear, and other instruments. In a short time, it has made its way up the ladder for world-class and leading photographic equipment such as cameras, lenses, etc. Nikon keeps innovating its products to deliver quality and excellence to its customers through their imaging technology. They have a wide variety of different cameras, such as SLR, COOLPIX, and the Z-Series, which features mirrorless cameras of the best quality and precision. 

Their bestselling cameras are DSLRs, which exude elegance, and are built for robust operation to deliver the most accurate shots with fast bursts. They target all sorts of demographics and ages while considering the budget of each customer by ensuring the quality of every item produced, whether expensive or low-priced. 

Additionally, Nikon also produces accessories to enhance your photography experience. Their professional equipment is also noteworthy, with accessories including NIKKOR brand optics, precision optical lenses, microscopes, and other instruments. In the past century, Nikon has shaped its brand and become the market leader for the best photography equipment, while maintaining a large loyal customer base and constantly striving to deliver the best and only the best to its consumers. 

Are All Nikon Cameras The Same?

Not all Nikon cameras are the same. As mentioned previously, Nikon has a range of different cameras and various product lines. The most popular ones are the DSLR cameras, and even they have a wide range of models to choose from, depending on the kind of photography you’re aiming for or what your experience level is. First things first, Nikon’s cameras are divided into the following segments:

FX and DX

This tells you about the camera’s sensor size, and FX cameras usually tend to be more costly since they have better image quality. 

DSLR or Mirrorless

As the name suggests, mirrorless cameras are those that do not have a mirror inside them, and/or the surrounding equipment, which makes them lighter than DSLRs. However, DSLR cameras provide a better auto-focus system. Mirrorless are, therefore, better for travel photography because of their lightweight build. 

DSLR Types

There are several models in the DX series of Nikon, which range from beginner to expert. Budget cameras are for newcomers to photography and are designed with features that are easy for novices to use. However, there are models such as D500, which are solely for professionals, especially for wildlife and sports photography, and allows for higher-quality imagery. However, they are at an "up there" price because of their advanced features. 

How to Choose a Nikon Camera

Now, armed with the knowledge that Nikon literally has hundreds of models for different users, there’s no need to panic. This portion is designed to guide you on which factors you need to focus on when choosing your new Nikon camera. Let’s dive right in:

Cropped Frame or Full-Frame

If you’re a beginner to photography, a full-frame sensor is something you shouldn’t consider. Cameras such as the D4 or D600 are designed for professionals, are more expensive, and are bigger. They’re harder to understand if you do not know how to use a Nikon camera. You may want to go for a D3200, as it produces good quality images and is the cheapest option available in Nikon’s DSLR range.


If you’re on the hunt for a good-quality Nikon camera, it is important to divert your attention from the megapixels and focus on the resolution of the photos instead. You can reduce the print resolution even while using a low megapixel camera. However, megapixels are still a feature you should look into for sharper, more refined images.

Size and Ergonomics

If you have issues holding a heavy camera for long periods of time or need something that’s easy on the wrists, consider buying a mirrorless camera that has excellent ergonomics, is lightweight, and easy to use and travel with. 

Review of the Best Nikon Cameras

Now that we’ve gone over several different types of Nikon cameras and their features, let’s look at the reviews for the best ones available in the market.

Best Overall and Best Nikon DSLR Camera:
 Nikon D850

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body


  • Allows video shooting in 4k
  • Has full AF capabilities, which are sophisticated
  • Comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi system
  • Has a sturdy, robust design for harsh weather conditions
  • Has super-fast viewfinder auto-focus that comes with a silent shooting system


  • Does not have built-in flash
  • Not equipped with AF in live view
  • The SnapBridge in this camera needs enhancement

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera is a complete game-changer for photography, with its impressive technology and mind-blowing results. The screen is also brighter, and the auto-focus works at lightning speed. The sharpness of the image is incredible and the overall performance of the camera is powerful. Nikon, as always, manages to exceed user expectations with brilliant results and great features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There’s no doubt that the Nikon D850 is one of Nikon’s shining stars when it comes to DSLRs. It is equipped with Nikon’s first BSI (back-side illuminator), full-frame sensor that lets you shoot picturesque images with exceptional quality. The brilliant auto-focus system lets you capture images in low-light conditions while rendering sharper images and focusing on every little detail.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera is suited to take pictures of any subject, but the build, features, and quality are more appealing to high-end enthusiasts who can dig a little deeper in their wallets, or professional photographers who earn their living taking photos. It can capture anything, from wedding photography to landscapes, and delivers the best images.

Bottom Line

The Nikon D850 provides an extensive range and amalgamation of attractive properties that add up to a beautiful, all-rounder camera for your professional needs. From the resolution to the speed and image quality, you can count on this masterpiece to exceed your expectations each time.

 Nikon COOLPIX P1000

Nikon COOLPIX P1000 16.7 Digital Camera with 3.2' LCD, Black


  • Comes with 125x optical zoom
  • Equipped with a raw shooting feature
  • VR system embedded is super-efficient
  • Camera control is super-easy and built with an intuitive lens
  • Has an amazing image stabilization feature that eliminates blurriness in images


  • Not equipped with a touchscreen
  • Auto-focus does not always perform flawlessly
  • Build is not suitable for harsh environmental exposure

What Recent Buyers Report

The P1000 is a beautiful camera that performs wonderfully. It has a telescopic zoom lens, which is great for close-ups, and can also shoot in RAW format, which is an added bonus for most consumers. It is also easy to use, feels like working with a DSLR, and renders photos in sharp quality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The features on this camera are phenomenal and the image quality is also remarkable. The COOLPIX P1000 has a 125x optical zoom, which is a complete wow-factor feature for this camera. It uses a technologically advanced ck-steady image stabilizing feature for stills and lets you capture tricky subjects as well.

Who Will Use This Most

The P1000 by Nikon is aimed at a small group of niche customers who love to capture images of far-away subjects or scenery. It is an especially great option for wildlife photographers who want to capture images of dangerous animals at a safe distance. It’s also a good camera for landscape photography.

Bottom Line

This camera is a great option if you like close-up photography or capturing scenic landscapes. It functions at seven frames per second, which is a great feature, and is also really fast so you can take shots of wild animals before they are out of sight. Overall, this is a wonderful model with sublime specs.

Best for the Money:
 Nikon D5600

D5600 DX-Format Digital SLR w/AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR


  • Long-lasting battery life of the camera
  • High-quality images with a crop sensor camera
  • Includes professional features such as time exposures
  • Durable and robust build to withstand harsh environments
  • Comes with a 39-pt auto-focus, which is great for sporting shoots


  • Does not offer 4K quality videos
  • Live-view auto-focus is not as speedy as the other models
  • Does not come with a built-in auto-focus motor, which means you cannot use older D lenses

What Recent Buyers Report

This is one of the best DSLRs Nikon offers to its customers at a budgeted price. Its feel is that of an expensive model and it has good button placement and fantastic features for the price. It also comes with remarkable battery life, great ISO versatility, and a reticulating LCD.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera allows you to take pictures in low-light and has an outstanding auto-focus system that helps you capture scenes at any time of the day. It also comes with enhanced video features such as vibrant images and clear sound, and can produce time-lapses. Overall, this camera is a good bang for the buck.

Who Will Use This Most

The D5600 is targeted towards beginners of the photography industry or anyone who wants show-stopping picture quality at a low price. It is a great DSLR for families who want to capture their memories on vacations. Overall, this is an advanced model at a reasonable price and is quite versatile.

Bottom Line

If you cannot afford to purchase a high-end camera or have recently stepped foot in the photo-taking industry, then this camera is perfect for you. It gives you a wide range of features to explore and familiarize yourself with, so you can take great-quality images while also learning how to step up your photography game.

Best Nikon Full-Frame Camera:
 Nikon D750

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body


  • Large and articulated rear LCD screen
  • Supreme image quality with built-in flash
  • Has a great buffer-depth when capturing JPEGs
  • Outstanding auto-focus performance and is able to work in low-light
  • Has an excellent battery life that allows it to work for longer periods of time


  • AF can be very slow and sluggish in live view mode
  • Default saturation and contrast may be a little too high for some
  • Maximum continuous shooting range is just 7 frames per second

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera has the advanced technology of being able to track subjects in any light condition and performs as promised. The highlight-weighted metering feature is a cool concept added by Nikon, which helps preserve whites. It can focus fast regardless of light conditions and the screen is sturdy and durable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This D750 provides with the full-frame freedom to capture stills and make videos without missing any moment. It has fast and responsive auto-focus and is extremely versatile for serious shooters. It also comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and remote control to download your favorite images to your smart devices in an instant.

Who Will Use This Most

This is an amazing full-frame camera for high-end photography enthusiasts and is packed with pro-level amenities and powerful performance. So, the target market for the Nikon D750 full-frame camera is experienced and professional photographers, for whom all the advanced features are designed for.

Bottom Line

This is a deep grip camera that captures beautiful images and renders them to the finest detail for sublime texture and smoothness. It also has a tilting screen and intuitive control scheme, making it easier to use. If you’re looking for the best full-frame camera in the market, then this one's for you.

Best Nikon Film Camera:
 Nikon F6

Nikon F6 AF 35mm Film SLR Camera (Body Only)


  • Enhanced auto-focus system which functions at high speed
  • Equipped with a metering system that includes 3D Color matrix
  • High Precision Shutter created from the best, cutting-edge materials
  • Comes with 41 settings that allow you to customize F6 to your preference
  • Sleek and highly durable design with a magnesium-alloy front body to shelter from harsh weather conditions


  • F6’s prism is non-replaceable and not removable
  • Needs battery replacement regularly, increasing costs
  • Slimmed-down body, but the weight is still quite heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

Users find this camera to be a perfect blend of digital and film cameras and balances well between a DSLR and film photography. The build is strong but easy to hold, and the settings are easy to locate and use. It’s powerful, rugged, and gives you the most stellar performance in a camera that will absolutely stun you.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera is the right mesh of sturdiness and functionality. It is one of the best 35mm cameras Nikon has ever produced. It is user-friendly, offers many advanced features, and gives you the ultimate film experience that no other camera can provide. All in all, it’s a stunning model with outstanding specs.

Who Will Use This Most

This is one of Nikon’s top-level film cameras and is specifically designed to be the ultimate film camera. It is the perfect model to use for cinematography because of its professional features but also works like a dream for wedding shoots, nature, and wildlife photography.

Bottom Line

It can’t get better than the Nikon F6. The innovative features and the remarkable resolution make it hard to resist, which is why this is known as one of the best film cameras ever made in history. So, if you’re into cinematography and want a new film camera, dig into your pocket and invest in this beast.

Best Nikon Camera for Beginners:
 Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black


  • Super-compact and lightweight to hold
  • Can shoot up to 5 frames/second continuously
  • Can take up to 1500 images on a fully charged battery
  • Image quality and resolution match those of expensive cameras
  • Allows automatic image transfer through Bluetooth, and is compatible with the SnapBridge app


  • Does not shoot videos in 4K
  • Screen is not adjustable and cannot tilt
  • Limited features on LCD, including no touchscreen

What Recent Buyers Report

This small camera is packed with powerful features and outstanding performance, especially for the price. It is one of the best entry-level models Nikon has produced, with excellent image quality and rich details. The build allows you to shoot more comfortably, which makes it a perfect addition to a newbie’s photography starter pack.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The D3500 is a fast and responsive camera with a user-friendly interface. It’s lightweight, fits in your hand perfectly, and is also able to withstand harsh conditions. The free SnapBridge app also allows you to share images fast with just a few steps involved. It gives you rich, beautiful colors in every lighting condition.

Who Will Use This Most

Entry-level photographers who are strapped for cash can invest in this beautiful camera and not be let down. It gives you a bang for the buck and guarantees to exceed customer expectations. The controls and features are perfect if you are a beginner who has recently stepped into the photography world.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt to find the best first DSLR, then take a look at this model of Nikon. It is light, compact, easy on the pocket, and is not short on performance. It gives you great performance at high sensitivities and sharp quality images at low ISOs. If you’re looking for a beginner-level camera, this one's for you.

Best Nikon Camera for Video and Portraits:
 Nikon D810

Nikon D810 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body


  • Extremely low image noise
  • Super-fast auto-focus with no lag or buffer
  • Robust build which makes it weather-resistant
  • Excellent battery life for long periods of functionality
  • Rich, fine stills and comparable to the 35mm film camera


  • Live-view is inconsistent
  • Super sensitive to lens performance
  • Does not have a Wi-Fi option embedded

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera has high resolution, enhanced auto-focus capabilities, and an increase in the dynamic range, which ensure a stellar performance. It has better ergonomics and a really quiet shutter that allows you to take photos seamlessly and captures the best images in any conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is one of the most versatile cameras produced by Nikon, allowing you to create smooth time-lapses, unlimited continuous shooting, and jaw-dropping image quality. It also has a built-in editing feature, which helps you explore your creativity levels without restrictions. Overall, this is a stunning model filled with supreme quality features.

Who Will Use This Most

This camera delivers crystal-clear images and has settings that allow this model to be excellent for capturing moving objects and taking more action shots. It can take production up a notch and is a dream for multimedia photographers who want silky-smooth videos. The rich and expensive quality of images make it a great purchase for portrait photography, as well.

Bottom Line

This is an amazing camera if you are willing to go the extra mile to achieve the highest quality camera for video-shooting and portrait photography. The resolution is mind-blowing and the build is made to last you for a long time, making it a very versatile and durable model, as well as a worthy investment.

Best Nikon DX Camera:
 Nikon D7200

Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body (Black)


  • Built-in Wi-Fi embedded in the sensor
  • High-resolution images with an outstanding dynamic range
  • Super-speedy auto-focus with enhanced low-light performance
  • Equipped with zebra-striping function which makes manual exposure easy
  • Has a rugged and robust weather-sealed build to function in harsh conditions


  • Menu system needs better organizing
  • Does not have focus peaking on live mode
  • Aperture change is impossible if you’re shooting a video on live mode

What Recent Buyers Report

This camera handles higher ISOs superbly and is an excellent model for night-time photography. It allows you to take 2000 photos on a single battery charge and the image quality is a dream. It is one of the most capable DX-format cameras by Nikon and is a reliable photography companion.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This camera is free of an optical lens filter, which allows you to take remarkably sharp and precise images each time. It goes up to ISO 25,600 to ensure outstanding low-light images. It also has a high-speed frame rate, which makes it a great feature if you want to take part in wildlife or sports photography.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a reliable, durable, and tough camera when it comes to the build and performance. It is targeted towards photography enthusiasts because of its innovative features that allow the photographer to explore their creative capabilities and maximize their photography potential. It’s a great all-rounder model for family photography or travel photos.

Bottom Line

The D7200 lets you explore different modes and functions, and allows you to take images in any light, condition, or place, always delivering a consistent image quality and sharp, beautiful pictures. If you want the best DX-format camera that Nikon ever created, this last stop is for you.

Can You Really Find a Quality Nikon Camera That’s Affordable?

Yes! You can definitely find a high-quality camera for a good price. It depends on the specs you want from the camera and the experience level you have. Even for professionals, Nikon has managed to produce models that lie in the reasonable range so your photography dreams don’t depend upon the balance in your bank account. 

People usually have the concept that good quality cameras come at a price. While this may be true to some extent, Nikon has eradicated that myth and produced some really great cameras within most consumer affordability ranges and deliver supreme quality images and exceed customer expectations. For example, Nikon developed the D5600 and the D3500 for beginner-level photography, and this camera is under the $1000 mark. Moreover, their mirrorless cameras are also designed for high-quality images and priced lower than DSLRs. 

How to Clean a Nikon Lens

One tricky part of maintaining your camera can be to clean the lens. It’s a very gentle and intricate process that requires patience and focus. This portion aims to explain the steps you should follow in order to get a squeaky-clean and spotless lens for your Nikon camera and make it look brand-new again.

  1. Use a blower or mini-fan to remove the excess dirt from the camera’s lens. The less physical contact you have with the camera’s lens, the better.

  2. If the blower does not help, then use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe off the dust and dirt that has accumulated on the lens.

  3. Use a lens-cleaning solution on the cloth to make sure that your lens does not have any stubborn stains on it.

  4. Do not forget to clean the other part of the lens that is attached to the camera’s mount. Follow the same steps as before, by using a blower and then resorting to a micro-fiber cloth to remove excess. 

  5. In order to clean your sensor, put your camera on manual cleaning mode that can be found in your camera’s settings. This will ensure that the mirror is flipped and the sensor is exposed. Use the same blower to remove the dust inside. Do not use a brush, lens pen, or microfiber cloth in the sensor as it will damage the materials in it. If you still find some muck in it, take it to a professional for deep cleaning. 

For further clarity, have a look at this video, which shows exactly how to clean a Nikon lens.


Now that you have read about the different types of Nikon cameras, let this be a guide you can use in order to ensure that you have purchased the right camera and there are no regrets later on. Hopefully, this article was useful to determine which camera is fit for your shooting needs.

People Also Ask

If you still have ambiguities regarding Nikon cameras, this portion can help you to clear out your doubts and answer your questions. Listed below are some common questions so you can fully encapsulate how the cameras function. 

How to Change Shutter Speed on Nikon

In order to change the shutter speed on Nikon, you should rotate the command dial. You can go to the manual mode and access the shutter speed portion that is not available on other modes. In order to access the bulb setting, rotate the dial one notch before the slowest speed of 30 seconds, which allows the shutter to be open as long as the shutter button is held on to. 

How to Change F-Stop on Nikon

Make sure you turn the dial on the top to “M.” Next, make sure to press and then hold the +/- button, which is visible on the right side underneath the camera shutter. Rotate the command dial located at the back in order to change the aperture. Revolving the dial to the left will decrease the aperture and rotating it to the right will increase the aperture.

How to Change ISO on Nikon

Go to the settings menu and select the camera icon from the left column. Scroll down until you find ISO Sensitivity Settings. You can use the top line of the next screen to determine which ISO setting you prefer. Then, use the right portion of the circle button in order to go down the menu options and then press OK to select the one you want. 

How to Change Aperture on Nikon

In order to change aperture on your Nikon camera, locate the "Adjusting Aperture" button in your camera, and press and hold it as you twist the command dial. If you want larger apertures, rotate left for lower f-numbers, and if you want smaller apertures, then simply turn right to get bigger f-numbers. 

How to Pronounce Nikon

Most people tend to pronounce Nikon as ‘Nick-on.’ However, since this is a Japanese word, the pronunciation differs from what is usually used in the UK or the US. As it was decided by the company in Tokyo, somewhere in the 1950s, Nikon is actually pronounced as ‘Neye-kon’ or ‘Nee’kon.’ 

How to Check Shutter Count on a Nikon

First, make sure your camera is switched on. Next, open the memory card slot and press "PLAY" and "OK’ \"at the same time. Next, press the dial in the following order: up, then down, then left, and lastly, right. Next, let go of the shutter release button and hold up on the dial. 

Where is Nikon Made?

Nikon manufactures most of its products in Thailand. However, some of its products, such as the COOLPIX cameras and the cheaper lenses, are produced and assembled in Indonesia. Recently, Nikon has also set up a factory north of Bangkok. The D5 and FX bodies, as well as the high-end lenses, however, are made and then assembled in Japan.

What is Nikon F Mount?

The Nikon F-mount refers to the interchangeable lens mount, which was created by Nikon for its single-lens reflex cameras, as well as the 35mm ones. It was first shown by Nikon in 1959 and made a range of lenses available to the photographers. It was enhanced for better aperture control, metering, and auto-focus. 

What is Nikon DX Format?

The DX-Format is a name that Nikon uses to refer to the APS-C sensor format and was produced for Nikon’s digital SLR cameras. The DX-format is a small sensor with dimensions of 24x16mm. This is just 2/3rds of the FX-format. It is more popular with entry-level photographers or semi-professionals.

What is Nikon FX Format?

This type of format is relatively more expensive and is used most by professionals. The dimensions of this image sensor are about 36mmx24mm. It is also dubbed as a full-frame format because the sensor is of the same size as of the conventional 35mm film.

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Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.