Nikon DL 24-500 Brief Review



  • 20.8MP CX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 6A Image Processor
  • UHD 4K Video Recording at 30p
  • NIKKOR f/2.8-5.6 ED VR Lens
  • 24-500mm (35mm Equivalent)
  • 0.4" 2.36m-Dot Eye-Level OLED EVF
  • 3" 1037k-Dot Vari-Angle OLED Touchscreen
  • Hybrid AF System with 171 Focus Points
  • Wi-Fi, NFC, & Bluetooth Connectivity
  • ISO 12800 and 60 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Supplied with: EN-EL20a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, UC-E21 USB Cable, AN-DL1 Strap, EH-73P Charging AC Adapter, LC-DL3 Lens Cap, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover, User's Manual, Warranty
  • Release Date: 2016-06-30
  • Final Grade: 94 4.7 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon DL 24-500 packs big zoom, big resolution, big macro into compact camera
The most expensive of Nikon's trio of advanced compacts, the Nikon DL 24-500mm offers a big zoom.
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.

Nikon's trio of DL advanced compact cameras cover nearly every focal length. The DL 24-500 offers the most features and zoom out of the bunch. And while the camera does sit at nearly $1,000, that's $500 less than the comparable Sony RX10 III.

Like the other Nikon DLs, this version has a 20 megapixel 1 inch sensor. That's smaller than what's inside a DSLR but four times larger than what's inside the Nikon P900 super zoom. That offers much more versatility for low light shooting and getting larger prints. But it's what's in front of that sensor that sets it apart from the other DL cameras. The larger the sensor is, the harder it is to put a good zoom in front of it, so the 21x optical zoom 24-500mm equivalent is a pretty nice lens. It's not as wide as the other DL cameras with a maximum f/2.8-5.6 aperture, but the trade off is the much bigger zoom range. Oh, and this DL camera has a better macro mode compared to the shorter zoom options, with a 1 cm. super macro compared to 3 cm.

Besides the larger sensor and pretty expansive lens, the Nikon DL 24-500 offers a nice 20 fps burst speed, even using autofocus (if you lock the focus and exposure on the first frame, you can shoot up to 60 fps). That's paired with a 105 point autofocus that's not quite as expansive as the smaller DL cameras, but still pretty impressive. 

The body of the 24-500mm DL is much more similar to a DSLR than the other two cameras in the lineup, with a built-in viewfinder instead of just the optional add-on. The tilting LCD screen also flips out to the side. With the larger lens, this Nikon DL is a bit heavier, but pretty light considering some of the alternatives. The battery life isn't the best in class at just 290 shots per charge though.

The Nikon DL 24-500 competes pretty closely with the Sony RX10 III. The Sony has the better lens with a brighter aperture and slightly larger 25x zoom range, so will have a slight edge in image quality. But, the DL is faster, has a better macro mode, sports a slightly larger screen and is equipped with Bluetooth. The Sony's longer zoom and wider aperture is undoubtedly better, but it's priced at $500 more and $1,500 is a really tough price to swallow for a camera without interchangeable lenses. The Panasonic FZ100 is also comparable, only with a much narrower zoom at 16x, a slower burst and fewer autofocus points. Both the Sony and Panasonic do offer a longer battery life.

While $1,000 for a compact zoom camera may still seem a bit steep, the Nikon DL 24-500 offers a big reach with a decent resolution and amazing speed. Along with the 18-50mm and 24-85mm Nikon DLs, this camera is a nice addition to the lineup. At $500 less than one competitor and with quite a bit more zoom than another, the Nikon DL 24-500mm looks like a solid choice for consumers who need zoom, resolution and portability wrapped up in a single camera. 

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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.