Best Nikon Camera Choices For Guaranteed Picture Quality

nikon camera

When you speak to professional photographers about which company produces the best cameras, you will usually get one of two answers: Nikon or Canon. These two companies have been going head-to-head for a long time, with Nikon being a go-to choice for professional and casual photographers all around the world. The goal of both companies is to create quality cameras to suit various types of people.

Nikon has been doing just that for over a century. The company is responsible for creating some of the very first SLR and DSLR cameras, some of which were used by NASA. Suffice it to say, many people covet Nikon cameras. With the number of cameras Nikon puts out, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. Don’t worry. You’re in the right place. We can help you with that decision.

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Reviewing Process

This list is the result of hours of research on expert opinions in order to provide the most accurate, unbiased review.

Overall Price Range

Cost varies significantly, depending on the quality and features. You can find a lower-end Nikon for $300 to $500. The most expensive camera on this list is $6,500. The more expensive options are going to have better build quality, larger sensors, more features and sharper shooting. These are usually intended for professionals.

The Best Nikon Cameras

Here are eight of the best Nikon cameras you can buy to date.

1

Sale
Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR (Body Only)
  • 20.9MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor.Viewfinder:Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor;Monitor Size : 3.2 inches diagonal
  • 3.2" 2,539k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

The D500 is the best overall, balanced Nikon camera you can currently buy. It isn’t a low-end camera, but it isn’t a high-end camera either. Yet, it still takes top-notch, pro-grade photos and videos in 4K with the powerful Exceed 5 processor. It isn’t a beginner’s camera, and the interface can be unclear at first, but this makes for an excellent go-to camera.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Stunning videos
  • Great quality
  • Fast touchscreen

Cons

  • Interface takes time to get used to if you’re unfamiliar with it
  • Limited tools for video
  • Autofocus for videos is sometimes unreliable

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon.com

2

Sale
Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
  • Full frame 24.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor
  • Full HD 60/50/30/25/24p video
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with the WT-5a + UT-1 Communication Unit

Often compared to Nikon’s D810, which is also on this list, the D750 is essentially its less expensive counterpart. It has an incredibly quick burst mode and built-in WiFi. Best for professionals, this camera provides full-frame, 24-megapixel, high-resolution photographs that are sure to wow the crowd.

Pros

  • Built-in WiFi
  • Reliable autofocus
  • Dual SD slots
  • Excellent burst mode

Cons

  • Poor smartphone app
  • No touchscreen
  • Sub-par LCD tilt

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon.com

3

Nikon D4S 16.2 MP CMOS FX Digital SLR with Full 1080p HD Video (Body...
  • 16.2 megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor
  • 30% faster EXPEED 4 image processing engine
  • 51-point AF system and 3D Color Matrix metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor

The D4S is the successor of the D4, and it truly shines at taking quality, perfectly lighted photos. It has a speedy auto focus and long battery life. It doesn’t offer 4K for video and only allows 20 minutes of recording, so it isn’t for moviemakers. However, for photography professionals, the D4S will not fail you.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Full-frame

Cons

  • No 4K
  • Only 20 minutes of video recording

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon.com

4

Sale
Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)
  • SnapBridge Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 4 Image Processor

Are you a new photographer? If so, look no further than the D3400. Designed to be an entry-level DSLR camera, it is incredibly user-friendly for those unfamiliar with the interface. The best part is the price. You can find it for under $500.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • User-friendly
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • No WiFi
  • No 4K video recording
  • No touchscreen

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon.com

5

Nikon COOLPIX P900 Digital Camera with 83x Optical Zoom and Built-In...
  • 16MP CMOS Sensor 6-level brightness adjustment
  • 24-2000mm 35mm Equivalent Focal Length. Sensor Size: 1/2.3 inch
  • 83x Optical Zoom NIKKOR Super ED VR Lens

This camera is best for optical and dynamic zoom. It zooms up to 83x in optical and 166x in dynamic, which means you will never have to miss a detail. It provides high-resolution photos that are incredibly focused. If zoom is the most important quality to you, then the P900 is the camera to pick.

Pros

  • Built-in GPS and WiFi
  • Great value
  • Incredible optical zoom for the price

Cons

  • Poor battery
  • Poor low-light autofocus

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon.com

6

Sale
Nikon D5 DSLR 20.8 MP Point & Shoot Digital Camera, Dual XQD Slots -...
  • 20.8MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor

The Nixon D5 is a high-performance DSLR camera that shines in making videos. Even in low light, the D5 looks great with its incredible ISO range. Video recording is in 4K at 30 fps, and it sports the ability to take photos while recording! It’s expensive, but if money isn’t an issue and you’re a professional video creator, the D5 will dazzle you.

Pros

  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • Ability to take shots while recording
  • Amazing ISO range

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Bulky

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon bundled with extras

7

Sale
Nikon COOLPIX A900 Digital Camera (Black)
  • 20MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS Sensor. Focal length : 4.3 to 151mm
  • NIKKOR f/3.4-6.9 ED Lens. Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1
  • 24-840mm (35mm Equivalent)

You aren’t a professional photographer, but you want to get a camera that’s better than your smartphone. If this is the case for you, then the A900 is your best bet. It takes away the fancy bells and whistles but keeps the quality. You simply point and shoot, and it’s budget-friendly.

Pros

  • Simple point and shoot
  • Affordable
  • 4K video recording

Cons

  • Autofocus only
  • No touchscreen
  • Average photo quality

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon bundled with extras

8

Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 10-30mm PD-ZOOM Lens (Silver)...
  • 20.8MP CX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor EXPEED 5A Image Processor
  • 3.0" 1,037k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD UHD 2160p/15 and Full HD 1080p/60 Video
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC Hybrid AF with 105 Phase-Detection Areas

The Nikon 1 J5 is a mirrorless camera that won’t hurt your wallet. It provides an incredible 20 fps, which is astounding for its price. The shutter speed outperforms many high-end DSLR cameras. However, it has a very poor battery life at only 250 shots. Nevertheless, this is a great all-around camera for those who don’t want to go the DSLR route.

Pros

  • Great auto focus
  • 4K video recording
  • Touchscreen
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Small sensor
  • Weak flash

Where to Buy

  • Where to buy: on Amazon 

Nikon Camera Comparison Table

  • Max resolution – 5568 x 3712
  • Effective pixels – 21 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3.2 inches
  • Touch screen – Yes
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/8000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – No
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds)
  • Wireless – Built-In (Wi-Fi with low-energy Bluetooth)
  • Remote control – Yes (Optional, wired or wireless)
  • Battery description – Lithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery & charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 1.90 pounds
  • Dimensions – 5.79 x 4.53 x 3.19 inches
  • Max resolution – 6016 x 4016
  • Effective pixels – 24 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3.2 inches
  • Touch screen – No
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/4000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds)
  • Wireless – Built-In
  • Remote control – Yes (wired or wireless )
  • Battery description – EN-EL15 lithium-ion battery & charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 1.65 pounds
  • Dimensions – 5.55 x 4.45 x 3.07 inches
  • Max resolution – 4928 x 3280
  • Effective pixels – 16 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3.2 inches
  • Touch screen – No
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/8000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – No
  • Self-timer – Yes (2-20 seconds, 1-9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 seconds)
  • Wireless – Optional via WT-5A or WT-4A
  • Remote control – Yes (wired or wireless )
  • Battery description – Lithium-Ion EN-EL18a rechargeable battery & charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 2.98 pounds
  • Dimensions – 6.3 x 6.18 x 3.58 inches
  • Max resolution – 6000 x 4000
  • Effective pixels – 24 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3 inches
  • Touch screen – No
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/4000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs (1-9 exposures))
  • Wireless – Built-in (SnapBridge - Bluetooth only)
  • Remote control – Yes (via smartphone or wireless remote)
  • Battery description – EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery and charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 0.98 pounds
  • Dimensions – 4.88 x 3.86 x 2.99 inches
  • Max resolution – 4608 x 3456
  • Effective pixels – 16 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3 inches
  • Touch screen – No
  • Minimum shutter speed – 15 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/4000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 10 seconds)
  • Wireless – Built-in with NFC
  • Remote control – Yes (via smartphone)
  • Battery description – EN-EL23 lithium-ion battery & charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 1.98 pounds
  • Dimensions – 5.51 x 4.06 x 5.39 inches
  • Max resolution – 5588 x 3712
  • Effective pixels – 21 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3.2 inches
  • Touch screen – Yes
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/8000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – No
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 5, 10, 20 seconds)
  • Wireless – Optional, requires WT-5A or WT-6A
  • Remote control – Yes (wired, wireless, smartphone)
  • Battery description – EN-EL18a lithium-ion battery & charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 3.12 pounds
  • Dimensions – 6.3 x 6.26 x 3.62 inches
  • Max resolution – 5184 x 3888
  • Effective pixels – 20 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3 inches
  • Touch screen – No
  • Minimum shutter speed – 8 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/4000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 5, 10 seconds)
  • Storage types – SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Wireless – Built in, Bluetooth
  • Remote control – Yes (via smartphone)
  • Battery description – EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery and charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 0.64 pounds
  • Dimensions – 4.45 x 2.64 x 1.57 inches
  • Max resolution – 5568 x 3712
  • Effective pixels – 21 megapixels
  • Screen size – 3 inches
  • Touch screen – Yes
  • Minimum shutter speed – 30 seconds
  • Maximum shutter speed – 1/16000 seconds
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • Self-timer – Yes (2, 10 seconds)
  • Storage types – MicroSD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Wireless – Built in, 802.11b/g with NFC
  • Remote control – Yes (via smartphone)
  • Battery description – EN-EL24 lithium-ion battery and charger
  • Weight (inc. batteries) – 0.51 pounds
  • Dimensions – 3.86 x 2.36 x 1.26 inches

The Verdict

The D500 and D750 are great overall cameras that won’t steer you wrong. The D4S is a great high-end choice for photographers, while the D5 is a great high-end choice for video makers. If you’re a beginner photographer, go with the D3400. For simplicity, the A900 will give you great photos and videos at an affordable price. If you don't want a DSLR camera, the Nikon 1 J5 is a great mirrorless option.

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