Nikon DL 18-50mm Brief Review



  • 20.8 megapixel 1” BSI CMOS sensor
  • 2.8x optical zoom (18-50mm equivalent)
  • Shutter speed 30 sec. To 1/2000, 1/16000 electronic
  • Maximum aperture f/1.8-2.8
  • ISO 160 – 6400 (12800 expanded)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Up to 171 autofocus points
  • 20 fps burst with continuous autofocus, 60 fps burst with focus and exposure locked
  • Macro focusing to 1.18 inches (3 cm)
  • Tilting electronic viewfinder available but purchased separately
  • 3” tilting LCD touchscreen
  • Manual modes
  • RAW and JPEG
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • 1080p HD video at 60 fps
  • Hot shoe slot
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Li-ion battery rated at 290 shots
  • Weighs 12.8 oz.
  • Release Date: 2016-06-30
  • Final Grade: 92 4.6 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon unleashes advanced compact with big speed and wide angles
As one of three Nikon DL cameras, the 18-50mm version offers a wider perspective than the competition and a speedy 20 fps burst.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 3/22/2017

Nikon's DL line was announced, but never made it to market. Nikon says issues with the processing circut delayed the launch, but canccelled them outright over concern for their profitability.

The advanced compact category is getting pretty crowded--and that's before Nikon introduced a trio of them all at once. But, the Nikon DL 18-50mm may just be worth a second (or third, or fourth, or...) glance with it's wide angle lens and speedy 20 fps no-that's-not-a-typo burst speed.

All three of the Nikon DLs use a backlit 20.8 megapixel one-inch sensor. That's the same size sensor used in the Nikon 1 mirrorless line as well as inside the popular Sony RX compacts. But the Nikon DL 18-50 goes a bit wider than most, ideal for capturing landscape images. The Sony RX 100 IV isn't quite as wide at 24mm. On paper, the two cameras look to compete pretty closely in terms of image quality, but we'll need to take them for a test spin to determine if there's a big difference outside of that nice wide angle. 

But perhaps even more interesting is that Nikon has packed some pretty amazing speed into this tiny camera. The DL will hit 20 fps at full resolution. Technically, the DL can hit 60 fps, but that's only with the focus and exposure locked at the first frame, which doesn't do much good for action (and what's a burst for besides action?). That's on board with Nikon's big speed from the 1 mirrorless line and is one of the best speeds in the category.

Along with that speed, the DF offers up to 171 autofocus points, which should help with the tracking and low light autofocus performance. 

Design-wise, the DL 18-50 offers a good selection of physical controls considering the size, with an aperture ring around the lens and a second control wheel at the back. The touchscreen tilts, but you'll have to pay extra if you want to add a viewfinder to the hot shoe slot. The camera comes in at a pretty small 12.8 ounces. 

With the speed and wide angle of the Nikon DL 18-50, it should be a pretty solid contender--but the price tops it off. This DL sits about $100 less than the similarly speced Sony RX100 IV, though it doesn't have a viewfinder and is a bit heavier, that savings with the wider lens and faster speeds could be enough to entice many. We'll hold out until we see some images from the DL, but so far the camera looks at least competitive, if not on the higher end for that wider angle and higher speed.

Before you buy, be sure to check out the other DL options and choose the one with the zoom range that fits your style: the 18-50mm, the 24-85mm and the 24-500mm.

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Nikon Reviews

Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.

It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.

Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.

Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.

Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.