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.