Best Nikon Cameras 2019

We round up the best Nikon Cameras you can buy for photography, video, vlogging, beginners, wildlife, landscapes, portraits, weddings, and more, in our Nikon Buyers Guide.

|  Nikon D850 in Digital SLRs
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If you're looking for the best Nikon camera, whether it's a compact camera, a Nikon DSLR, or a Nikon mirrorless camera, then you've come to the right place. 

Nikon is one of the best-known brands in the photography industry but with so many cameras available, which one is right for you? To help you out, we've listed the main reasons people buy a camera and have suggested which of Nikon's vast array of cameras is the perfect pick. 


DSLRs are probably what Nikon is most known for with beginner models such as the Nikon D3500 sitting at one end of the scale and professional DSLRs such as the Nikon D5, costing more money, found at the opposite end. Nikon also has full-frame mirrorless cameras available and both the Z6 and Z7 scored well in our reviews. If you don't need a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a compact might be better suited and the Coolpix range, even if it's shrinking in size, still offers a wide range of options. For more reach, have a look at an Ultra-Zoom Bridge camera and if you plan on doing a lot of travelling, a waterproof Coolpix might be just the camera you're looking for. 

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Best Nikon Camera For Photography: Nikon D850 

Nikon D850 Front1
 

The Nikon D850 has been our 'Full Frame DSLR Camera of the Year' for 2 years running so it's only right that it's our 'Best Nikon Camera For Photography.'

With the Nikon D850, Nikon introduced a full-frame 45.7mp BSI CMOS sensor, giving both high-resolution images, excellent noise performance and up to 9fps continuous shooting (with the optional battery grip), along with a range of advanced photo and video features. In our opinion, the Nikon D850 does everything you could ask for in a DSLR; whether you want high-resolution images or high-speed shooting, it will do both, without complaining. The camera delivers 45.7mp images, and thanks to a new BSI CMOS sensor, noise performance is excellent, giving you have a wide ISO range, unlike some high-resolution competitors.

Key Features: 

  • 45.4mp Full-Frame BSI CMOS sensor, with no OLPF
  • 3.2inch tilting touch-screen, with 2360K dots
  • 0.75x magnification OVF
  • 153 focus points
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • ISO64-ISO25600, extended: ISO32-ISO102400
  • 180K pixel RGB sensor (same as D5)
  • 200,000 shutter life rating
  • 7fps continuous shooting - 9fps with battery grip
  • 4K UHD video, at 30, 25, 24fps with stereo mics
  • High-speed FullHD video at 120/100fps
  • 4K Timelapse creation in-camera
  • 8K Timelapse creation possible (off-camera)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • 1840 shot battery life
  • Weather-sealed camera body

 

Pros & Cons

Excellent image quality possible
Excellent noise performance
Variety of Auto White Balance options
Improved focus performance
Impressive battery life
4K video recording
High-speed FullHD video
Large, clear touch-screen

Remote control app is extremely limited
Slow live-view focus speeds

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Best Nikon Camera For Beginners - Entry-level: Nikon D3500 

Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 would make a great first DSLR and it has an excellent battery life, capturing an amazing 1550 shots on one charge. Thanks to its APS-C CMOS sensor, it captures images at the quality-level we've come to expect from DSLRs and for a DSLR, the body is compact in size which, when combined with the good battery life, makes the Nikon D3500 an excellent choice for those who travel lots, too. 

We awarded the Nikon D3500 the 'Entry-Level DSLR Camera of the year' award in our 2018 Gear of the Year award so it's well worthy of this new title. 

Key Features: 

  • 24mp APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F mount
  • 3inch screen, 921K dots
  • Optical viewfinder, 0.85x magnification
  • 11 focus points (phase-detection)
  • 5fps continuous shooting speed
  • FullHD, 60fps, mono sound
  • ISO100 to ISO25600
  • Flash GN7 (GN8 in manual)
  • Guide mode built-in

 

Pros & Cons

Incredible battery life of 1550 shots
24mp APS-C CMOS sensor
Good noise performance
Great image quality possible
Compact DSLR body 
Bluetooth for instant image transfer
5fps continuous shooting

Small optical viewfinder
Control system could be better
No HDR mode (auto or otherwise)
No exposure bracketing
Slow live view mode
Remote shooting doesn't include live-view

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Best Nikon Camera For Video: D500 

Nikon D500

 

Whether you're producing video for fun, have a YouTube channel or just want to become the next big vlogger, the Nikon D500 would be a good camera choice. 

The Nikon D500 records 4K video at UHD resolution (3840x2160) with frame rates of either 30fps, 25fps or 24fps, and this is recorded using a dot-by-dot native pixel crop.

Video quality is good, with the option of electronic Vibration Reduction (VR) for Full HD videos, or alternatively, you can use a lens with VR built-in to help with handheld video stabilisation.You can also record Full HD video (1920x1080) at 60fps, 50fps, 30fps, 25fps or 24fps. Full HD can be recorded using the full-pixel area, or can also be cropped.

Clean HDMI out is available and 4K/UHD movies can be recorded to the memory card or you can output uncompressed to HDMI with 8-bit 4:2:2 YCbCr. Microphone and headphone sockets are built-in, which is positive, and optical zoom can also be used when shooting video. As you expect on modern DSLRs, the touch-screen tilts and it has 2,359k dots. There's also an optical viewfinder built-in that gives 100% coverage and 1.0x magnification. 

Unfortunately, it's only possible to record up to the up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds of video footage and there's no focus peaking but if you want 4K without switching over to a mirrorless system, the D500 could be for you. 

 

Key Features: 

  • 20.9-megapixel DX APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • 3.2inch Tilting Touch-screen, 2,359K dots
  • 1.0x Magnification, 100% coverage optical viewfinder (OVF)
  • 10fps continuous shooting (200 shots RAW)
  • 200,000 shutter cycle rating
  • 153 AF points, 99 cross-type, -4EV
  • Group AF, Tracking AF
  • UHD 4K Video (3840x2160), upto 29 minutes, 59 seconds
  • ISO100 to ISO51200, expands to ISO50 to ISO1,640,000
  • Nikon SnapBridge Bluetooth Always On (Low Power)
  • Wi-Fi / NFC built-in 
  • Supports XQD and SD memory cards
  • Built-in interval timer and 4K/UHD quality time-lapse function
  • USB3.0 Connectivity

 

Pros & Cons

Excellent noise performance - best in class
Improved white balance performance, and settings
High resolution tilting touch-screen
Dual-axis electronic level
100%, 1.0x magnification viewfinder
Quick live view shutter response 
153 focus points, 99 cross-type
10fps continuous shooting and rapid AF
Wi-Fi / NFC / Bluetooth connectivity
Tough weather-sealed body
Separate port covers, USB3
Illuminated buttons
Automated AF Fine-tuning
2-year warranty
Built-in help

Photo shooting menu bank / custom settings may not be to everyone's preference
Remote shooting app could do with some better controls
Limited touch-screen controls
Lacks built-in flash
Price

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Best Nikon Camera For Wildlife and Sports: Nikon D500 

Nikon D500

 

You're going to be using telephoto lenses and the APS-C sensor on the Nikon D500 makes the most of these types of lenses as, with the 1.5x crop factor, your 300mm lens becomes a 450mm lens; giving you more reach and getting you closer to your subject. The excellent low light performance of the camera will also help in low-light which can be an issue at indoor sporting events and the 10fps continuous shooting will mean you won't miss a crucial action shot. 

The Nikon D500 is Nikon's top of the range APS-C (DX) sensor camera and features a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, 4K video recording and a wide ISO range of ISO50-1640000. The camera body is weather-sealed and features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for image transfer and remote control.

 

Key Features: 

  • 20.9 megapixel DX APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • 3.2inch Tilting Touch-screen, 2,359K dots
  • 1.0x Magnification, 100% coverage optical viewfinder (OVF)
  • 10fps continuous shooting (200 shots RAW)
  • 200,000 shutter cycle rating
  • 153 AF points, 99 cross-type, -4EV
  • Group AF, Tracking AF
  • UHD 4K Video (3840x2160), upto 29 minutes, 59 seconds
  • ISO100 to ISO51200, expands to ISO50 to ISO1,640,000
  • Nikon SnapBridge Bluetooth Always On (Low Power)
  • Wi-Fi / NFC built-in 
  • Supports XQD and SD memory cards
  • Built-in interval timer and 4K/UHD quality time-lapse function
  • USB3.0 Connectivity

 

Pros & Cons

Excellent noise performance - best in class
Improved white balance performance, and settings
High resolution tilting touch-screen
Dual-axis electronic level
100%, 1.0x magnification viewfinder
Quick live view shutter response 
153 focus points, 99 cross-type
10fps continuous shooting and rapid AF
Wi-Fi / NFC / Bluetooth connectivity
Tough weather-sealed body
Separate port covers, USB3
Illuminated buttons
Automated AF Fine-tuning
2-year warranty
Built-in help

Photo shooting menu bank/custom settings may not be to everyone's preference
Remote shooting app could do with some better controls
Limited touch-screen controls
Lacks built-in flash
Price

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Best Nikon Camera For Portraits and Weddings: Nikon D850 

Nikon D850

 

We know the D850 has already had a mention but the full-frame 45.7mp BSI CMOS sensor produces high-resolution images which is what you want when shooting detailed group shots at weddings and working in the studio with models. The excellent noise performance also means evening party guest shots when the lights are dimmed and the disco is in full swing won't be too much of a problem either. Plus, 9fps continuous shooting means you won't miss a crucial moment or the perfect pose. 

 

Key Features: 

  • 45.4mp Full-Frame BSI CMOS sensor, with no OLPF
  • 3.2inch tilting touch-screen, with 2360K dots
  • 0.75x magnification OVF
  • 153 focus points
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • ISO64-ISO25600, extended: ISO32-ISO102400
  • 180K pixel RGB sensor (same as D5)
  • 200,000 shutter life rating
  • 7fps continuous shooting - 9fps with battery grip
  • 4K UHD video, at 30, 25, 24fps with stereo mics
  • High-speed FullHD video at 120/100fps
  • 4K Timelapse creation in-camera
  • 8K Timelapse creation possible (off-camera)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • 1840 shot battery life
  • Weather-sealed camera body

 

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Pros & Cons

Excellent image quality possible
Excellent noise performance
Variety of Auto White Balance options
Improved focus performance
Impressive battery life
4K video recording
High-speed FullHD video
Large, clear touch-screen

Remote control app is extremely limited
Slow live-view focus speeds

Best Nikon Camera For Low-light: Nikon Z6 

Nikon Z6

 

For good low light photography, a wide ISO range is important and the Nikon Z6 has this going from ISO100 to ISO51200, which can be extended down to ISO50 (Low 1), and up to ISO2048000 (Hi 2). Noise performance is very good, with usable results up to ISO6400, and even ISO12800. Noise levels increase at ISO25600, and detail drops more noticeably. Colour saturation remains good, even up to ISO51200. ISO102400 shows stronger noise, and colour saturation drops off, so we'd generally recommend avoiding this setting. Noise becomes excessive at ISO204800. Noise reduction options available are Off, Low, Normal, and High. 

The camera also has a 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation system, that works with Z mount lenses, but also works when you use a Nikon F lens with VR, with the FTZ adapter, so that you can benefit from both image stabilisation systems. The system is said to give up to 5-stops of image stabilisation - something you'll need when using longer exposures to ensure shots are sharp.

 

Key Features: 

  • 24.5mp Full-Frame BSI CMOS sensor
  • 3.2inch 2100K dot tilting touch-screen
  • 3.69m dot EVF, 0.80x magnification, 100% view, with dioptre correction and eye-detection
  • Top LCD display - showing shutter speed, aperture, ISO, battery, drive mode and remaining shots
  • Z-Mount, with 16mm flange distance, and 55mm diameter
  • 273 phase-detection AF points 
  • ISO100 - ISO51200 (extends to ISO50 and ISO204800)
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • Locking mode dial, with 3 custom user (U) modes
  • Two front function buttons, Fn1, and Fn2
  • 4K UHD video recording, FullHD 120fps video
  • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • XQD memory card slot (with side access)
  • Headphone, microphone, USB-C, HDMI and remote ports
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Compatibility with Nikon flashguns
  • EN-EL15 battery compatibility, EN-EL15B needed for USB charging

 

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Pros & Cons

More compact body than FF Nikon DSLRs
Excellent image quality possible
Great noise performance
High-quality 4K video without crop
Compact lenses available
3.2inch tilting touch-screen
High-resolution electronic viewfinder
Built-in 5-axis image stabilisation
12fps continuous shooting
Excellent build quality

Single XQD card slot
Short Battery life (310 shots)

Best Nikon Camera For Landscapes: Nikon Z7 

Nikon Z7 (2)

When capturing landscapes, you've got a lot in frame and you want to make sure plenty of detail is captured so a 45.7MP sensor will definitely help with this. Image quality is also excellent, matching the D850 which is also great for landscape photography but as the Nikon Z7 has a smaller/lighter body, you'll be thankful for the difference in weight when you're walking up a mountain. 

 

Key Features: 

  • 3.2inch 2100K dot tilting touch-screen
  • 3.69m dot EVF, 0.80x magnification, 100% view, with dioptre correction and eye-detection
  • Top LCD display - showing shutter speed, aperture, ISO, battery, drive mode and remaining shots
  • Z-Mount, with 16mm flange distance, and 55mm diameter
  • Locking mode dial, with 3 custom user (U) modes
  • Two front function buttons, Fn1, and Fn2
  • 4K UHD video recording, FullHD 120fps video
  • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • XQD memory card slot (side access)
  • Headphone, microphone, USB-C, HDMI and remote ports
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Nikon flashguns
  • EN-EL15 battery compatibility, EN-EL15B needed for USB charging

 

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Pros & Cons

High-resolution 45.7mp sensor
More compact body than Nikon D850
Excellent image quality possible
Very low noise at low ISO speeds
High-quality 4K video without crop
Compact lenses available
3.2inch tilting touch-screen
High-resolution electronic viewfinder
Built-in 5-axis image stabilisation

Price
Single XQD card slot
Short Battery life

Best Nikon Camera For Macro: Nikon D850 

Nikon D850

The Nikon D850 is back again and that's because of the high-resolution sensor, tilting screen and wide range of macro lenses that are available for the DSLR. A tilting 3.2inch touch-screen will help with framing as you won't have to lay on the ground to see the screen and image quality will be excellent. The Nikon D850 also has a good ISO range and handles noise well which will be useful when you're photographing fungi in woodland where only low levels of light can get in. 

 

Key Features: 

  • 45.4mp Full-Frame BSI CMOS sensor, with no OLPF
  • 3.2inch tilting touch-screen, with 2360K dots
  • 0.75x magnification OVF
  • 153 focus points
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • ISO64-ISO25600, extended: ISO32-ISO102400
  • 180K pixel RGB sensor (same as D5)
  • 200,000 shutter life rating
  • 7fps continuous shooting - 9fps with battery grip
  • 4K UHD video, at 30, 25, 24fps with stereo mics
  • High-speed FullHD video at 120/100fps
  • 4K Timelapse creation in-camera
  • 8K Timelapse creation possible (off-camera)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • 1840 shot battery life
  • Weather-sealed camera body

 

Pros & Cons

Excellent image quality possible
Excellent noise performance
Variety of Auto White Balance options
Improved focus performance
Impressive battery life
4K video recording
High-speed FullHD video
Large, clear touch-screen

Remote control app is extremely limited
Slow live-view focus speeds

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Best Nikon DSLR Camera: Nikon D850 

Nikon D850

 

The Nikon D850 is our 'Full Frame DSLR Camera of the Year' so it makes sense to make it our 'Best Nikon DSLR Camera', too. 

Plus points include its excellent image quality, good noise performance, impressive battery life, improved focus, good white balance options, 4K video and a large touch-screen that's easy to read. 

To see the full list of features and the plus/negative points for the Nikon D850, just scroll up a little as we really like it so have mentioned it a few times! 

 

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Best Nikon Mirrorless Camera: Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

 

The Nikon Z7 features in our 'Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras' list as it's a top of the range full-frame mirrorless camera that benefits from a more compact camera body (than a similar specification Nikon DSLR such as the D850), as well as benefits of Mirrorless technology, such as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) electronic viewfinder. You'll also find fast continuous shooting (9fps from the Z7 and 12fps from the Z6), an electronic shutter, and in-camera image stabilisation (a first for a Nikon ILC).

Image quality is excellent, easily matching the D850, with good noise performance, and Nikon's tried, tested (and loved) colour reproduction.

Focus performance is very good, with a high success rate, much improved compared to a DSLR, thanks to on-sensor phase-detection focus points. The lack of eye detection focus will be disappointing to those who have used it and seen the benefits, such as having every single portrait photo correctly focused on a subjects eye.

With a camera this good, it's clear to see that the Nikon Z series is the future direction for Nikon's full-frame cameras - and one we'll be watching with close interest.

 

Key Features: 

  • 3.2inch 2100K dot tilting touch-screen
  • 3.69m dot EVF, 0.80x magnification, 100% view, with dioptre correction and eye-detection
  • Top LCD display - showing shutter speed, aperture, ISO, battery, drive mode and remaining shots
  • Z-Mount, with 16mm flange distance, and 55mm diameter
  • Locking mode dial, with 3 custom user (U) modes
  • Two front function buttons, Fn1, and Fn2
  • 4K UHD video recording, FullHD 120fps video
  • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • XQD memory card slot (side access)
  • Headphone, microphone, USB-C, HDMI and remote ports
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Nikon flashguns
  • EN-EL15 battery compatibility, EN-EL15B needed for USB charging

 

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Pros & Cons

High-resolution 45.7mp sensor
More compact body than Nikon D850
Excellent image quality possible
Very low noise at low ISO speeds
High-quality 4K video without crop
Compact lenses available
3.2inch tilting touch-screen
High-resolution electronic viewfinder
Built-in 5-axis image stabilisation

Price
Single XQD card slot
Short Battery life

Best Nikon Compact Camera: Nikon Coolpix P900 

Nikon Coolpix P900

 

Nikon offers a wide variety of compact cameras which includes the Nikon Coolpix B600 ultra zoom, Nikon Coolpix A10 budget compact, Nikon Coolpix B500 ultra zoom bridge camera, Nikon Coolpix W300 waterproof camera and the Nikon Coolpix A900 travel zoom but our vote goes to the Nikon Coolpix P900 with its long reach, easy controls and good image quality. 

The Nikon Coolpix P900 has a whopping 83x optical zoom and Wi-Fi. There is a tilting and flip-out screen for ease of use when shooting in different situations, and it's also possible to shoot at less than 1cm away from your subject, making it great for macro photography. 

You can shoot video in FullHD 1080p, and there is an Auto HDR mode ideal for those looking to learn more about this method of shooting. The camera is really ergonomic, featuring a good grip and has special modes for shooting birds and the moon, too. 

If you have a lot more money to spend on an ultra zoom bridge camera, have a look at the Nikon Coolpix P1000.

Key Features: 

  • 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
  • 83x optical zoom lens, f/2.8-6.5, equivalent to 24-2000mm
  • 5.0-stop Dual Detect Optical VR (Vibration Reduction) 
  • 3inch vari-angle screen, 921k dots
  • EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), 921k dots, 0.5cm
  • GPS / GLONASS / QZSS
  • P/A/S/M shooting modes
  • FullHD 1080/60p Video recording, stereo sound, zoom mic
  • Time-lapse movie creation in-camera
  • ISO100 to ISO6400, ISO12800 available in High ISO monochrome mode
  • 0cm macro mode
  • HDR, Panoramic mode
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi and NFC built-in
  • Moon and bird-watching scene modes

 

Pros & Cons

83x optical zoom lens!
2-year warranty
Large rubberised grip
Side zoom control
Effective image stabilisation
Good EVF and a vari-angle screen
Moon and bird watching scene modes
HDR mode built-in
Wi-Fi / NFC connectivity
GPS/GLONASS built-in
Electronic level

Large and heavy
Does not offer RAW shooting
Panoramic images could have more detail
Tripod position could be better

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I Want To See More Top Lists

If you'd like more help finding the right camera for you, take a look at our Best Full-Frame DSLRs, Top Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras, Best Ultra-Zoom Cameras, and our other camera buying guides.

 

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D850

Pigeon in flightViking WarriorSunset at Mary's ShellSunsetBoat at ToulonConvergenceEarly Morning ... textAu revoirThe Fallen BeautyMary's Shell IIHello thereMary's Shell, CleveleysCatching the LightBird portraitUnder the bridge

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