Nikon photography cameras are considered to be one of the best camera bodies for photographers. Nikon Co. has produced dozens of excellent cameras and it is simply impossible to name the best Nikon camera for photography. Each model has its own characteristics, pros and cons. For you not to spend hours watching videos on YouTube, comparing one camera with another, I have collected 10 best Nikon photography cameras with the maximum resolution, best image quality, and revolutionary autofocus.
There is no single way of choosing the best camera for wedding photography or shooting portraits just for you because each photographer has his/her own requirements. For some people, the lack of space for the little finger on Nikon Df is the reason not to buy this camera, someone will not tolerate the enormous dimensions of Nikon D5, and for some people, a large number of megapixels play the main role.
But whatever photographer you are, you will definitely go through certain criteria for choosing your Nikon photography camera, after which you will pick up several products perfectly suitable for you.
Price: about $1450
This is a standard high-aperture lens for everyday shooting. Being sharp, fast, beautiful, and heavy, it will allow you to shoot all sorts of scenes and get good results.
Pictures taken with SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens will please you with good contrast and excellent resolution, especially in modern cameras with a large number of pixels.
Despite the minimal differences from its predecessor, Nikon D610 is the best camera for amateur photographer. As we remember, the previous version had a significant drawback – splashing oil on the sensor surface. The first thing you notice when taking a camera in your hands is an unusual control system that requires some time to get used to it. But after you figure everything out, it will be a pleasure to work with D610 Nikon camera for professional photography. In addition, you may adjust many camera settings for your individual style of shooting.
I was pleased with the speed of work. Start-up time is minimal, there is no shutter lag, and the continuous shooting speed is sufficient for dynamic scenes. The buffer is not as big as in the expensive models, but it allows you to shoot more than 10 frames in long series. 24-megapixel full-frame matrix provides high detail and, at the same time, low noise level, allowing you to work without problems with ISO up to 3200 units. The color rendering has its own peculiarities, but it is fine-tuned when shooting in JPG. As for RAW files, the photographer will always be able to get the color that he/she wants. Though all sensors are close to the center of the frame, the autofocus makes it equally comfortable to shoot both static and dynamic: the autofocus tracking mode works really well.
Price: about $1450
The compact and lightweight design of the lens is combined with “excellent” image quality, as well as ‘fast and accurate autofocus’.
The optimal standard zoom lens of large diameter for any shooting. Unlike fixed lenses, 24-70 zoom is equipped with an optical image stabilization system.
This is an FX-format (which means full-frame) camera. It is fairly fast (6.5 frames per second) and has a new 24-megapixel matrix, which differs from Nikon D610 matrix with a rotating screen. This camera is probably one of the most balanced and interesting full-frame products on the market. This photography camera Nikon has a very convenient body, which is lighter than its analogs. There’s a convenient control, high-quality oblique display and a good viewfinder with 100% coverage of the frame field, pretty quick focusing in phase focus mode, accurate automatic white balance setting in natural and fluorescent lighting.
This is an excellent camera body for reportage photography. Such a light camera with a stunning sensor and AF system that can offer not only amazing dynamic range and quality at high ISO sensitivity but also proper focusing in total darkness will be truly invaluable for every professional photographer. However, the autofocus has a significant drawback. Unfortunately, it does not cover even half of the frame. This isn’t so important for the static shooting, but it’s very inconvenient when photographing fast moving objects. This Nikon camera photography has a built-in Wi-Fi system, and allows you to transfer the photos to your smartphone, only compressing them to Full HD. It’s impossible to adjust the camera distantly, only its shutter release.
Price: about $4000
It is believed to be one of the best lenses for such type of Nikon SLR cameras. It is equipped with a super soft bokeh, and its sharpness is really great even with a wide aperture.
Nikon D850 is the best Nikon DSLR camera for photography I have ever used. This camera was created to show the full power of photo technology. This means that all photographers could only dream to have a camera with the same characteristics.
If you do not pay attention to the price, we must admit that this camera is a real success. It doesn’t have many drawbacks, and some of them, such as the high price of XQD memory cards, are not a problem for a potential rich buyer. In fact, you can blame the camera only for the frankly weak autofocus work in the Live View mode.
Focusing through the viewfinder is fast because it has the focus module of Nikon D5. It is also the best Nikon camera for sports photography, as it allows you to shoot even serious sports events and keep fast moving objects in focus. The reportage potential of the camera is complemented by the continuous shooting with up to 7 frames per second.
The new 45-megapixel back-illuminated matrix provides not only an amazing level of detail but also a low noise level at high ISO. Usually, in the conclusions, we write about photographers, who will like such a camera. In the case with Nikon D850, it is easier to enumerate shooters, who would find it useless. It will be difficult for novice photographers to use it since there is no mode for beginners. If someone asked me to summarize all my thoughts about this camera in a short sentence, I would say that Nikon has heard its clients and made the right conclusion. In this process, they ignored the little things that could make this amazing Nikon camera even better.
Price: about $1500
This is a real "golden mean" – model with relatively affordable cost and high performance.
Nikon D7500, which release is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the manufacturer, is considered to be the best Nikon camera for professional photography. It is well assembled, comfortable in work, and it allows you to focus on the shooting itself, instead of getting acquainted with its peculiarities.
The camera demonstrates sufficient speed and accuracy of autofocus, and it allows you to shoot at high speed – up to 8 frames per second. High ISO tolerance is satisfactory. The photosensitivity up to ISO 164,000 makes it impossible to get an acceptable image.
Nikon D7500 sensor perfectly reproduces colors and halftones, and the electronics in most cases successfully cope with white balance automatic setting. The wide dynamic range makes it possible to get stable results when shooting scenes with large differences in brightness.
When you see Nikon D7500 for the first time and compare its characteristics with predecessor (D7200 Nikon photography camera), you realize that the new product looks like a pure marketing creation. Here you can see the reduced matrix resolution, one slot for a memory card instead of two, a screen with a lower resolution, and a shorter battery life. In comparison with D7200, there are more advantages than disadvantages. For example, the new matrix works much better in the dark and also greatly exceeds 24-megapixel DSLR Nikon camera in the dynamic range. The new metering obviates the need to monitor the exposure manually all the time. The work with video has been significantly improved (but not so much that the camera has stepped into the professional segment) and, of course, the camera's reportage capabilities have been greatly enhanced – both the continuous shooting and the buffer.
Price: about $3000
Due to its amazing sharpness, this lens is thought to be a great decision for many types of photography. The quick open aperture will help you create a wonderful and natural bokeh effect, and its Nano Crystal Coat will enable you to make the picture quality even better, removing unnecessary flares.
The classic is never outdated. This statement works, because in the last couple of years, one by one, different manufacturers produce cameras in retro style. Previously, these were only mirrorless cameras. The first modern retro DSLR was Nikon Df, introduced in November 2013. A large and solid camera with convenient manual control and design in the best traditions of Nikon cameras DSLR is not just a photographer’s tool, but an image element.
The camera turned out to be a solid and reliable thing, which less and less appears on the market. It is absolutely uncompromising, as it has an elaborate out and operational control (even setting exposure can be done from a separate drum to a more familiar control disk), an incredibly high quality of images with poor and very poor lighting, a balanced and thought-out set of functions. Yes, this camera is expensive and can be inferior in the formal characteristics such as the number of megapixels to many competitors. However, this product is a different one. It is the best Nikon DSLR camera for professional photography, which is created not to take the new pictures one by one, but to dive into the frame as much as possible, to create it thoughtfully and carefully. There is nothing distractive from the real photography in this camera. It doesn’t even feature a video shooting option.
The lack of auto modes shows that this camera is, first of all, created for advanced enthusiasts, who are experienced in photo equipment, who are not confused by the control only in manual and part manual modes, but who need just the professional functions.
Price: about $6500
The lens got a modern stepping motor in the autofocus system, as indicated by the letters AF-P in the full name. Thus, the lens became the first full-frame lens of AF-P class. The quiet and precise operation of a stepping autofocus motor is especially important during video recording.
Nikon D5 is first of all a serious camera for a reportage photographer. Everything in this camera, every little thing is configured to ensure simple and great results shooting in any conditions. The camera is dust and moisture resistant, and it is the best Nikon camera for low light photography. Its autofocus is so stable and quick that you simply forget about it. The speed of the continuous shooting and a large volume of the series in RAW guarantee capturing the right moment during any photo session. The battery life will let you shoot all day without any limit on the number of shots. First of all, it’s a working tool created to make the work of a professional photographer easier so that he/she did not think over the technical side of shooting. I especially want to highlight the updated autofocus system with 153 points, which works just perfectly. The quality of the image at high ISO is also a praiseworthy thing. Although a new touchscreen interface has limited functions, it’s a really convenient and thought-out control tool. Does this camera have any flaws? Of course, but most of them are the result of compromise solutions aimed at improving the basic qualities. So, Nikon D5 cannot boast of a wide dynamic range in RAW. Probably, the manufactures "tuned" the matrix primarily for quality work at high ISO.
Such a camera in an excellent decision for those, who work in really difficult conditions and must surely get a great result. It’s the best Nikon camera for wildlife photography, for reportages, and weddings as well. I can definitely recommend such a product.
Price: about $4200
Since Nikon Z has a new Z mount, you should choose the appropriate Nikon lenses. Of course, you can use the adapter to work with other types of bayonets, but you’d better do without them.
If you examine the characteristics of Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4, you will probably name it one of the best Nikon lenses.
This is a new mirrorless Nikon camera presented on Photokina 2018. At first glance, Nikon Company has solved simultaneously simple and a difficult task – they created more compact analogs of Nikon D850 and D750, depriving them of a mirror. As a result, they got Nikon Z7 and Z6. In fact, Nikon has created a new bayonet with a relatively huge aperture and a short working segment, which may become a starting point in the further development of Z-lens systems. The advantages of this Nikon photography camera system greatly depends on how quickly Nikon will create a large number of optics and if it will be able to compete with Sony in a price range. Moreover, Canon has also presented a new EOS R system.
Z7 has an elaborate ergonomics and control system, excellent photography quality and good video recording features, especially when the signal output is done via HDMI. On the other side, this photography camera Nikon has the only slot for an XQD memory card, low battery life and a small number of accessories and optics without an adapter. Of course, Nikon hasn’t managed to surpass Sony in the development of mirrorless cameras with the release of Nikon Z7. In fact, time is already lost. But the company tried hard to catch up with its competitor. Let the target audience of Z6 and Z7 be primarily all Nikon fans, who want to replace the mirror system by the mirrorless one. Now, they won’t necessarily choose Sony, as there are some other interesting models.
Price: about $450
This is an obligatory element for everybody, who uses the DX format. It gives an excellent control over the depth of field and covers a wide frame range. This lens is a great choice for outdoor and night shooting.
This is the best Nikon camera for beginners. It has a small price and good functionality. If you like to shoot architecture, landscapes, any stationary object – this 24-megapixel model stands out from the rest of the cameras in its price range. The speed is really high in most of the modes and the possibilities of image processing are rather impressive. Actually, Nikon D3300 DSLR camera belongs to the younger amateur class, but with this device, you can solve rather serious photographic tasks. Still, D3300 has no built-in Wi-Fi and GPS modules. The pictures are very quality, without chromatic aberrations and geometric distortions thanks to the correction functions. You also get a chance to adjust the parameters of the image, including sharpness. Digital effects and in-camera image processing functions enable you to edit the shot and get a great result right from the Nikon camera. Judging by the characteristics, Nikon camera D3300 is noticeably better than the previous D3200 model. As for amateurs, who want to join the world of mirror photography, D3300 is a decent option. This is a camera that produces beautiful pictures, has a simple interface and great functions.
Price: about $530
The lens has almost a triple zoom and a constant F/2.8 aperture over the entire focal length range. The SP abbreviation in the title means that the model refers to the best Tamron lenses for Nikon cameras, which are also known as "Super Performance".
D5500 Nikon SLR camera is more like an “edited” version of D5300 model. It will be a great, worthy upgrade for D3300 owners, who want a more advanced camera with an improved autofocus system, shooting options in low light conditions, a touchscreen, built-in wireless connection, timelapse recording, a more powerful battery, and additional effects. As for Nikon D5500 reportage capabilities, they are powerful enough for street shooting, events, and weddings. But this model isn’t the best Nikon camera for sports photography. Still, this camera has no equal speaking about battery life. Even the powerful mirrorless or even classic SLRs can’t compete with this Nikon product.
The main drawback is a rather high price. But in the end, after comparing it with the capabilities of competitors, we have to agree that the camera is worth the money. Perhaps, it can be called perfect Nikon camera for photography for beginners, if they can afford D5500. It can also be called a very decent second camera for enthusiasts and pros. Actually, this is the case when the second camera has additional features that the first one does not have -thanks to its very functional screen.
Price: about $1700
The new model has a focal length range of 10–24 mm – the largest among the super wide-angle zoom Nikon lenses for APS-C digital SLR cameras. This results in a very wide viewing angle – from an ultra-wide focal length of 16 mm to 37 mm half-wide. Thus, with this single lens, a photographer can shoot in a variety of genres – from panoramic landscapes to simple, spontaneous shots.
This camera is called D5 in the world of crop matrices. In fact, it is Nikon best camera for professional photography and those, who are engaged in reportage shooting, will like it immensely. The speed and accuracy of the device are off the charts. The camera can become the main tool of a photo reporter, street photographer, traveler, and a blogger. Nikon D500 will be an excellent second camera in the arsenal of a wedding photographer and it will become handy while shooting reportage. There are many unique lenses on the market today that are designed specifically for the “crop”. The photographers, who like full frame can only dream of can only dream about the optics with such characteristics. By the way, any crop optics will be lighter and cheaper than their full-frame analogs. High shooting rate (10 frames per second) and 153 autofocus points located across the entire frame area, and excellent rotatory touchscreen display are the characteristics you need in crop cameras. The device has excellent video capabilities and allows you to record 4K videos. Another bonus is the promising SnapBridge-based wireless technologies. This is an interesting and one of the best Nikon photography cameras. Of course, there will be fans of this camera, and those, who categorically do not understand how you can pay as much for a Crop as for a full-frame model. All in all, Nikon D500 is a powerful and convenient creative tool.
As you can see, Nikon has many worthy competitors for all tastes and for every photographer. To buy exactly the Nikon camera you will be 100% satisfied with, you need to understand what you want from it and what genres you’ll work in. If you need a camera for fast sports shooting – feel free to take a massive D5, if you need a light but powerful mirrorless camera – Z will satisfy your requirements, but if you want to have a stylish and powerful camera - Df is your choice.
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There are only seven steps, although many photographers can argue with me and reduce or, conversely, add the new stages. However, this list will help you successfully decide what you want to get from a new camera.
Price. The biggest mistake those, who buy a camera can make, is to choose the most expensive body, and the rest of the money spend on some inexpensive lens. This is the wrong decision! If you want to get great high-quality images, you need a really good Nikon camera lens that can cost even more than your camera.
The matrix size. The matrix is the heart of your camera and the main criterion for choosing your gear. Whether it is a full frame, crop or micro 4/3 (but there is no Nikon camera for photography with such a matrix), each matrix size has a worthy representative. If the full frame gives you excellent sharpness and image depth, the crop will be much more convenient for you to choose suitable lenses and it will give you better stabilization.
Matrix resolution. Do not chase a large number of megapixels. They will be useful only if your photos are published in magazines, posters, or if you want to print them in a very large format. Moreover, now almost every camera has enough megapixels.
The matrix sensitivity. If you are going to frequently take photos in low light conditions (for example, at dusk), choose a camera with the highest possible ISO values. Depending on the specific model of the device, the sensitivity can vary in the range from 50 to 25,600 units. High sensitivity values make it possible to take a clear picture at dusk or even at night, but in this case, you will inevitably get small image defects.
Manual control. It is recommended to purchase a camera in which you can manually adjust all settings (aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and matrix sensitivity) – this opens unlimited shooting possibilities.
Size and weight. Earlier people used to think that the larger and heavier the camera is, the better it works. Now camera manufacturers have disproved this fact. More and more mirrorless cameras appear on the market, most of them are powerful SLR cameras, but such mirrorless ones are much more expensive.
Convenience. Before you buy a camera, even on the web, visit the photo equipment store where you can see the model you need and hold it in hand. Sometimes even the best Nikon camera for professional photography with all the suitable characteristics can be very unpleasant in your hands, and this means that using it you won’t get much pleasure.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.