best nikon cameras

Best Nikon Cameras | 3 Beginner-Friendly Picks of 2021

This post has affiliate links. At no cost to you, we earn a commision for puchases made through links in this post. Read more

I have been interested in photography since my teenage days when I would click pictures of almost anything with the compact Nikon point and shoot camera gifted by my parents. Several years and countless cameras later, I am an established professional in this field today.

But if there is something that hasn’t changed over the years, it is my love for Nikon cameras. It’s not like I haven’t used cameras from any other brand – of course I have! But I keep coming back to Nikon whenever I get the chance. 

And why shouldn’t I? Nikon has introduced several amazing camera models over the years, which boast of great quality and high performance. No matter whether you’re looking for a small point and shoot, an advanced DSLR, or a fast mirrorless – Nikon has it all!

In this article, I have listed down some of my favorite cameras from Nikon, including both recent and slightly older models that I love. I hope this will help you choose the best Nikon camera matching your requirements! Take a look!

Best Nikon Cameras for Photography as of September 2021

Superior image quality, great autofocus, decent battery life, and RAW support are some of the basic requirements for professional photographers. For this reason, most prefer to go for a good quality DSLR.

Nikon has a wide range of DSLRs in all price ranges that don’t disappoint in terms of performance. Take a look at some of the best Nikon cameras for photography mentioned below.

Nikon D7500

This is a 20.9-megapixel DSLR suitable for basic professional use.

Megapixels: 20.9Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 32000
Lens Mount: Nikon FStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Flash: YesWeight : 42.2 oz

The Nikon D7500 features a 20.9-megapixel DX-format image sensor that lets you capture sharp and clear images with ease. Being a proud owner of one, I can vouch that it’s no less than an asset for beginner and intermediate-level professionals.

I absolutely love its fast autofocus. With 51 points spread over the frame (with 15 cross-type sensors), it’s super easy to track and shoot moving subjects.

This advanced camera is perfectly suitable for bird and wildlife photographers. Being one myself, I think this is one of the best moderately-priced Nikon models for shooting clear and blur-free images of animals in their natural habitat.

Moreover, it has a continuous shooting speed of 8 fps, which makes it a great camera for shooting sports and action. 

It comes with a tilting screen that makes it easy to shoot creatively from high and low angles. And the best part is its amazing battery life! You can actually depend on it for a whole day of shooting – a feature that professional photographers truly need.

The camera has a few shortcomings too. Firstly, It lacks a second memory card slot, which I feel is an issue when you are doing long shoots. Also, while the camera sensor is good enough for the price range, a full-frame sensor would have made it way better. 

Overall, I feel that this is an amazing camera suitable for all types of photography. I would recommend the D7500 as it is a great model for professionals looking for a feature-packed DSLR within a moderate price range.

Pros
  • 51-point autofocus system
  • 4k ultra HD video
  • Comes with weather sealing
  • 8 fps continuous shooting
  • Tilting touch-enabled LCD screen
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Comes with a single memory card slot
  • The screen isn’t full articulated

Nikon D5600

An affordable DSLR featuring an amazing 24.2-megapixel sensor.

Megapixels: 24.2Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Nikon FStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Flash: YesWeight : 23.6 oz

The D5600 is an advanced entry-level DSLR that is good enough for basic professional work. No matter whether you are a beginner or an experienced professional, this camera has features that would appeal to all. 

Of course, this Nikon DSLR is not comparable to the more advanced (and expensive) models out there. But with a 24.2-megapixel sensor combined with a fast 39-point autofocus system, this performs well enough to feature in my list of favorites.

Be it portraits, wildlife, landscapes, macro, or action, I was impressed with the way it captures professional quality images with great color and details. If you are a professional looking for a secondary DSLR for basic shooting, this model is definitely worth considering!

It has a high ISO range, which ensures that it performs satisfactorily in most light conditions. I personally feel that it is best for capturing images in bright light, as the low light performance is slightly lacking.

The camera comes with Nikon Snapbridge, which makes it easy to automatically sync the images to your smartphone as you capture them. In addition, you can also use your smartphone as a switch to take photos remotely – a blessing for wildlife photographers!

In my opinion, this entry-level Nikon camera is the best choice for novice photographers looking for their first DSLR. 

Pros
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • Decent ISO range
  • Fully-articulated LCD touchscreen
  • 39-point autofocus system
  • Nikon Snapbridge
  • Great battery life
Cons
  • No weather sealing
  • Autofocus lags a bit when shooting videos

Nikon D3500

This is a 24.2-megapixel DSLR camera perfect for beginners.

Megapixels: 24.2Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 25600
Lens Mount: Nikon FStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Flash: YesWeight : 21.7 oz

The Nikon D3500 may not be as advanced as the D5600 and the D7500, but packs in enough features at this price range. Firstly, it comes with the same 24.2-megapixel sensor as the more expensive D5600, so you get excellent image quality without going over your budget.

This is an entry-level model, designed for beginners in photography to hone their skills and learn to control the different DSLR camera settings for capturing great images. It comes with a fast 11-point autofocus system that does a good job of tracking and capturing moving subjects in good light.

The 5 fps continuous shooting mode of the D3500 is the same as the D5600 – a decent feature considering it is a budget model. Also, it is compatible with a wide range of Nikon interchangeable lenses, so you can use it for almost any kind of photography. 

One major aspect of this camera that makes it perfect for any photographer is its size and weight! This Nikon DSLR is quite lightweight and compact, proving to be the perfect travel companion. In fact, even professional photographers would love this as a convenient model to take while travelling.

When it comes to shooting videos, the lack of 4k is a disappointment. It shoots good quality full HD video though, so you won’t be at a disadvantage unless you’re looking for a camera especially for videography. For a beginner-level camera, the overall performance is great, although not exceptional.

I would recommend this lightweight camera to anyone looking for their first DSLR to step into the world of professional photography.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • 11-point autofocus system
  • Decent ISO range
Cons
  • The optical viewfinder is rather small
  • No 4k video

Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners

Are you a photography enthusiast looking for a budget camera with decent features? Or maybe for a compact camera to take along while going on a much-awaited tour with your family? Well, Nikon has a wide range of cameras suitable for all your needs.

From advanced point-and-shoot cameras to low-budget DSLRs, there is a beginner-friendly option for anyone interested in photography!

Check out the best Nikon cameras for beginners that are great for beginning your journey as a photographer!

Nikon D3100

A beginner-friendly 14.2-megapixel DSLR at an affordable price.

Megapixels: 14.2Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 3200
Lens Mount: Nikon FStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Flash: YesWeight : 27.4 oz

I started my journey as a professional photographer almost a decade ago with the then newly released Nikon D3100. Fast forward so many years, it still remains a cherished model.

Of course, Nikon has introduced several models over the years which are way more advanced than the D3100. But this still is a great camera for people who want to try their hands at professional photography but have a limited budget.

With a 14.2 megapixel sensor, it captures decent-quality photos in adequate lighting. The low ISO range does limit its performance when shooting in dim light conditions. The guide mode is one of its best features – a novice photographer can greatly benefit from the onboard assistance!

While the shutter speed and autofocus may not be great, it’s decent enough for the price. After all, you can’t expect a DSLR available at a price less than many standard point-and-shoot cameras to excel in every aspect!

You can actually get the camera body with an 18-55mm VR Lens for under $200! This, I feel, is a wonderful deal for beginners looking for their very first DSLRs.

Having owned it in the past, I would definitely recommend this model to all aspiring photographers. It’s a great choice for building your skills in photography without investing a considerable sum!

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Full HD video
  • RAW and JPEG support
  • 11-point autofocus system
Cons
  • No weather sealing
  • Comparatively slow shutter speed
  • Low ISO range

Nikon COOLPIX L830

A 16.1-megapixel Nikon camera featuring a 34x zoom lens.

Megapixels: 16.1Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 125 – 3200
Lens Mount: n/aStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Flash: Yes Weight : 17.9 oz 

Well, of course, DSLRs are the most popular option if you want high-quality photos, but not everyone wants to deal with the annoyance of carrying around a heavy camera along with lenses all day.

The Nikon Coolpix range actually offers several great digital cameras designed for photography enthusiasts, hobbyists, and casual users. The Nikon Coolpix L830 is one great alternative for people looking for an advanced point and shoot that offers manual control options. Featuring a 16.1-megapixel sensor and packed with a massive 34x zoom lens, it’s one of the best Nikon cameras for beginners.

If wildlife photography is your hobby, you would just love this camera. Of course, it cannot compare with the exceptional image quality of Nikon DSLRs, but the high zoom range kind of makes up for it. Combined with the fact that you won’t need to carry around a heavy telephoto kit lens to take shots of faraway animals and birds, this camera is definitely worth it!

I would totally recommend this as one of the best Nikon cameras for anyone who wants reasonably good photos without getting into the hassle (and cost) of dealing with different lenses.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Decent image quality
  • Great zoom range
Cons
  • Low light performance is unsatisfactory
  • Slow shutter speed

Best Nikon Film Camera

A good quality video camera is a must-have if you are a budding filmmaker or a full-time vlogger. Of course, you can shoot videos on your smartphone, too, but not many of them come with excellent video quality.

Therefore, Nikon DSLRs and point and shoots featuring 4k videos can be a good option to shoot those stunning videos that take social media by storm. Mirrorless cameras are also a great choice, as these have high-resolution sensors packed in a lightweight and compact body.

No matter what your preference, Nikon has a range of cameras suitable for the job. Here are some of the best Nikon film cameras that would help you shoot your next viral video!

Nikon Z 6II

A 24.5-megapixel mirrorless camera with 4K UHD video.

Megapixels: 24.5Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 51200
Lens Mount: Nikon ZStorage: SD / SDHC / SDXC/ CFexpress/ XQD
Flash: No Weight : 24.9 oz

The Nikon Z 6II is an advanced full-frame mirrorless camera featuring a high definition 24.5-megapixel sensor. I absolutely love how this camera excels in almost anything that one might use it for. 

Firstly, you can shoot excellent videos in 4k with this camera. No matter whether you are shooting a short film or a travel vlog, the amount of detail you get in the videos is just awesome. 

Moreover, the camera is equipped with an exceptional 273-point hybrid AF system which does a brilliant job in tracking moving subjects with great precision – both while shooting images and videos.

Apart from videos, this is a great camera for professional photography, too! It comes with a continuous shooting speed of 14 fps, making it an excellent choice for capturing action scenes. The camera also takes amazing portraits due to the brilliant eye detection AF. 

And the best part is that the camera comes with dual memory card slots. This is an essential feature for people shooting long videos in high definition as the files take up a lot of space.

Overall, I would recommend this lightweight yet high-performance full-frame mirrorless camera for both professional photographers and videographers!

Pros
  • 4k UHD video
  • 273-point hybrid autofocus system
  • 14 fps continuous shooting speed
  • Dual memory card slots
Cons
  • No built-in flash
  • Limited number of compatible lenses (unless you are using an FTZ adapter)

Nikon KeyMission 360

A sturdy compact action camera with 4k video capability.

Megapixels: 30.0Sensor: CMOS
Aspect Ratio: 3:2ISO Range: 100 – 1600
Lens Mount: n/aStorage: microSD / microSDHC / microSDXC
Flash: NoWeight : 7.0 oz

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is a remarkable small, compact, and lightweight camera designed for adventurous souls! Fitted with two CMOS sensors, it lets you capture 360-degree videos of all the incredible experiences of your life!

Be it shooting underwater videos while scuba diving, or taking a panoramic shot of the beautiful landscape while skydiving – this tiny camera can do it all! 

It is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, so you can rest assured that it won’t be damaged if you happen to drop it while shooting. It can also capture still images, although the quality isn’t comparable to the Nikon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Unfortunately, the KeyMission 360 does not feature a monitor. To view the live footage, you need to use the SnapBridge 360/170 app to pair the camera with your smartphone. You can even shoot videos remotely by using the app. 

And the best part is that the app shares the live footage captured by the camera to your smart device in real time! This is a useful feature for travel vloggers who can instantly share their adventures with all their followers on social media!

Of course, the video footage cannot be compared to that shot by a full-frame camera, but the quality is good enough to document all your adventures in high definition. 

Overall, I would recommend this as a perfect companion for all the travel enthusiasts and vloggers who want a sturdy video camera that can perform well in any environmental condition.

Pros
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Waterproof and shockproof design
  • Decent image quality
  • 4k video capability
  • Built-in Wifi and Bluetooth
Cons
  • Battery life is rather short
  • Doesn’t perform well in low light conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Nikon camera is best for portraits?

Many Nikon cameras are equipped with fast autofocus along with face and eye tracking that makes them great for taking portrait shots. DSLRs like the Nikon D7500 and D5600 are some great choices that you can look at. Portrait photographers also prefer mirrorless models like the Nikon Z 6II.

2. What Nikon camera is best for video?

When it comes to videography, the resolution, as well as detail in the video, is extremely important. Vloggers and filmmakers usually prefer to stick with cameras offering a 4k video resolution, although some may choose to go for 1080p full HD, too. The Nikon Z 6II and the Nikon Key Mission 360 are some of the best cameras for capturing videos.

3. Canon vs Nikon – Which camera is best?

Well, both Canon and Nikon are leaders when it comes to cameras, and it is difficult to declare a clear winner among them.  That said, the best brand depends on your individual requirements. For example, Nikon is a better choice for beginners as it offers greater features within an affordable range. But when it comes to professional cameras like DSLRs, both Nikon and Canon seem to be evenly matched.

4. How long do Nikon camera batteries last?

There is no fixed standard battery life for Nikon’s cameras. Usually, they may start degrading after a few years of use. It is recommended that you change the batteries if you see considerable degradation compared to earlier.

5. Are Nikon camera lenses interchangeable?

Nikon has a wide range of interchangeable lenses including macro, zoom, and telephoto lenses that are compatible with the brand’s cameras. But, not all lenses can be used with every camera. 

This is because Nikon’s cameras often have different lens mount systems, which support lenses specially created for them. All the cameras mention the lens mount type and compatible lenses to make it easier for the user to choose.  

But in case you want to use a Nikon interchangeable lens that’s not compatible with your camera, buying the right lens mount adaptor can do the job.

6. Is it worth buying a refurbished Nikon camera?

Buying refurbished products is a great way of getting an advanced camera at a good discount. But you need to take some precautions to avoid ending up with a sub-par product. 

Make sure you only buy a refurbished product from a Nikon authorized seller. This will ensure that you get a product that has undergone stringent quality checks prior to reaching you.

7. Will Nikon lenses fit Canon cameras? (and vice versa)

The lens mount for both Nikon and Canon cameras is different, so you won’t be able to pair the camera of one brand with a lens of another.

It isn’t entirely impossible though, as some lens mount adapters can help fit Nikon lenses to a Canon DSLR or vice versa. Although such adapters do allow you to pair a Canon camera with a Nikon lens, we don’t recommend it as the functionality of the lens gets reduced to a considerable extent.

The following two tabs change content below.

Mathew Daly

Mathew Daly, is a 32-year old photographer from Boston. Mathew has been intrigued by photography from an early age ever since he was given his first camera. He started wandering his neighbourhood to capture the beauty in the most mundane of things. He curates interesting buyer guides on cameras and helps buyers make an informed choice. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *