Buying a camera is a significant investment and an asset if your livelihood depends on photography. Whether you are upgrading your equipment or purchasing a DSLR for the first time, you have to look for the best option. But how can you choose the right camera when you have so many options with different features and specifications? At times, it seems harder than purchasing a Smartphone.
Each camera comes with different specs and features depending on what you are going to do with it. This article will provide you with the top five Nikon cameras and guide you on the features to look while purchasing a DSLR. So, before we begin our list, look at this buying guide to find out what to look for in a camera before you shell out your money for it.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Nikon Camera
Before you buy a DSLR, you need to consider some common factors that will affect the way you use your camera. There are many brands and products that come with variety of features, functionality and style. You need to choose that suits you the best. Here are some important things that you need to consider when you are buying a new camera.
Speed and Performance
Cameras these days can be sufficiently fast for you if you are a casual user. Cameras with interchangeable less, whether if it’s a DSLR or mirrorless, can serve you with better performance than compact cameras. They will track the subject better, focus faster, and take more pictures each second.
As per our recommendation, cameras with at least five fps (frames per second) our enough, but if you take pictures for sports and fast-moving objects, you need a camera with higher fps.
You should consider a camera that you need instead of attracting to those features which are unimportant. For instance, most cameras advertise 10 to 20 fps, which sounds thrilling, but only a few people need that much speed.
Comfortable and Handy
Most people do not consider this element before buying a camera, but it is essential to choose a camera that you can handle easily. You should better try holding the camera from every angle you will be using it before you buy it. The camera should fit in your hand comfortably. It should not weigh more as you will be carrying your camera around.
You should also check if the functions and menus that you commonly use are quick to access. You should choose an easy to learn, logical, and well-structured option.
Having a touch screen model can provide you the best user experience, but on the other hand, poorly organized menus and control can be frustrating. This is subjective to your preference, so you should check different models according to your choice.
Point and shoot and DSLRs, in some cases, have similar counts of megapixels, whereas cameras with the same megapixels may have different qualities. More than the number of pixels, the physical size of the sensors matters for more quality. This is the reason that a 1/2.3 inch sensor point of the shoot will never pile up to a DSLR with a larger full-frame sensor or APS-C.
Other factors also matter for picture quality, like field control depth coming from larger sensors. The main reason for quality improvement is a bigger sensor, which gathers more light. This is why it maintains low light situations and provides better contrast and color overall leading to less light.
If blurriness due to physical shifting irritates you whenever you take a picture, ruining your best pose, optical image stabilization can help eliminate blur photographs. This is essential for long-zoom lenses, and you can keep your hand steady with ease.
This camera includes sensor-shift stabilization, which is also called IBIS or in-body image stabilization. IBIS moves the sensor physically when it detects vibration. This method of stabilization is common in mirrorless cameras and can perform well with any lens.
Many cameras have better picture quality, but video recording is not that good. If you are looking for a DSLR that has better video capabilities, you should check recording frame rates. Many entry-level cameras are limited to 720p or are non-HD, but some can record full high definition 1080p. You should also look for a higher frame rate, as higher frame will smooth out the motion. Maybe you do not make videos, but you might need it in the future.
Modes and Editing Features
While purchasing any DSLR, you may find a variety of modes such as landscape, night, action, portrait, and so on. But many DSLRs come with additional modes like scene intelligent auto, panorama, guide, or food. Learning the manual modes like setting up shutter and aperture is essential but when you are new to DSLRs, you can rely on these modes. These modes can be a great help, so while choosing the camera, look for the one with modes that suit you. When you are getting started, not using a shutter, aperture, or manual modes, is fine.
You should look for a camera that includes quick editing ability. This will help you to edit your photos right away. You can instantly make adjustments, apply filters, or even change the exposure setting. You can edit your photos through photo editing software on your computer, but using your camera to do editing without even a connection to your computer is fun.
Most of the mid and entry-level cameras have a kit lens having an 18 to 55mm zoom lens. These lenses have different qualities of glass and features depending on how expensive the lenses are. You may see many packages that retailers put together. These kits come with kit lens, camera body, memory card, other accessories, extra lens, and strap. These packages cost you less and could be more useful than buying lenses separately.
Most of the DSLRs look and feel the same, but you will notice differences upon inspection. For instance, some cheaper camera screens don’t give a good view of the scene you want to capture. Having a better screen can help you in reviewing your photo in better way.
Some cameras have a pop-up screen, which can also rotate. These screens can help you take shots from unique angles with fewer efforts. Cameras with a touch screen can be a great addition to small cameras with further smaller buttons.
Keep in mind that the size of your hands also matters when choosing a camera. If you need a comfortable grip, you should select the body size according to your hand size. When you hold the camera comfortably, you can take more dazzling and clear photos.
Cameras having polycarbonate bodies are lighter in weight. The quality of the body of the camera also depends on your budget. If you want nice and sturdy, feel go for high-level cameras.
Magnified Photo Preview
You also need to consider a camera that has a magnified photo preview so that you can check all the small details. By using this feature, you can zoom in the picture to a great degree and see if the quality deteriorates. A professional photographer who takes pictures for commercial use cannot depend on low-quality images. They need to make sure that their photo quality is nothing less than impeccable.
List of Top Nikon Cameras
Here are the five best Nikon cameras for you depending on the budget, zoom, and a lot of other features.
BEST OVERALL –Z6 by Nikon
Z6 by Nikon is hard to beat according when it comes to its price and the blend of features that it supports. The performance of this camera can make even enthusiasts and pros happy. It has a 24.5MP full-frame sensor that can deliver excellent results. Talking about the AF system, it gives 273-point and burst shooting mode, offering 12fps to make every shot count. It has a large, bright, and clear electronic viewfinder with polished handling, making it comfortable to use.
- It has 273 Autofocus points
- It has an ultrasonic cleaner
- In-camera sensor-shift with 5-axis
- It also works amazingly in VR lenses
- 12fps burst shooting
- This has redefined and familiar handling
- It has 4K video capture
- High-resolution EVF
- Touch screen interface
- 5-axis IS system
- The range of the lens is limited
- Depth of the buffer is also limited
- XQD card format also has limited support.
This is our all-rounder DSLR and it is suitable for everyone, because of affordability, high quality, and great features.
BEST FOR ULTRA ZOOM – Coolpix P1000 by Nikon
Coolpix 1000 is best known for its super-zooms. Coolpix is a lot of fun as you can capture shots that are literally beyond any other super-zoom camera in the market. It can reach up to 125 times zoom, ranging from a 24mm wide-angle to 3000mm. This camera is the best classification of the mega-zoom category.
- A big bright viewfinder
- Wi-Fi with Bluetooth
- In-camera battery charging
- A big articulated screen
- It supports Raw shooting
- 4K filming
- An external socket for mic
- It has a telescoping super zooming power with 125x optical zoom
- Image stabilization is steady, which means that on super zoom, slight camera movement cannot affect the image
- It has 4K ultra high definition video with stereo sound
- You can reveal a hidden world and reveal the smallest details
- It has an effective VR system
- easy to handle
- It also supports Raw shooting options.
- This camera is poor for continuous shooting
- You cannot correctly take action or sports photography
- Sometimes, you will struggle with the autofocus
- Quality of LED is below average
These are best for wildlife photographers. It can also play a significant role for people who need high-quality zoom.
BEST CHEAP DSLR – Nikon D3500
This is a low-budget DSLR with great features and functionality. With its AF system, you can focus on small elements anywhere on the screen. This camera is easy to use, and you will find many beginners saying how easily they get familiar with this camera. The internal GPS also works great, helping a lot of vloggers. It has a great ISO range. You can get a bit of flexibility as it can shoot in 1080p at 60p, 30p, and 24p. It has an excellent video shooting quality for indoor shoots.
- It has 24-megapixels
- APS-C sensor for better image quality
- It snaps 5-fps bursts
- It uses 11-point viewfinder AF system
- Full HD 1080p video
- It also has Dual Pixel AF
- This camera is budget-friendly with all the features that expensive cameras should have
- It is the company’s lightest DSLR, making it easy to handle
- This camera is best for beginners as it is low budget and easy to use
- It has an excellent image quality
- It has a solid proportion for a DSLR
- It does not support 4K video
- It has buttons to control settings instead of a touch screen
- It has Bluetooth but lacks Wi-Fi.
This low-budget DSLR is good for new users.
BEST FOR VIDEO – Nikon D750
This camera is best for videos and has lots of positive customer reviews. In fact, for the price that the company sells it for, customers’ expectations are quite high. Still, this camera satisfies everybody’s needs. If you work with high-end cameras already, you can easily shift to this one. It has many features that even the pricier video cameras do not provide. This camera is fast at taking pictures and excellent with video shooting, making it a perfect choice for video creators and vloggers.
- 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor
- Great Body
- carries a Pro Video Feature set
- It offers Highlight-weighted metering
- It can deliver 1080/60p video recording
- To control during live view/video, it has powered aperture
- It has a 6.5 fps continuous shooting.
- It also has AF mode in group areas.
- This camera has built-in Wi-Fi
- AutoFocus is a crucial factor that boosts the level of accuracy. This is a fast and instantaneous camera in terms of autofocusing; hence, it is best for vloggers
- It has an excellent grip, so for outdoor shoots, you won’t be needing tripod
- It has accurate autofocus, so if you move while shooting a video, it won’t let any distortion ruin your footage
- lightweight , making it easy to handle and carry
- This is a beginner-friendly camera as it is easy to use and manage
- It offers great low light performance, making it ideal for vloggers
- The auto and incandescent white balance is too warm
- Default sharpening, contrast, and saturation
- Unexpected results in matrix metering
Nikon D750 is best for vloggers and video creators.
BEST FOR BEGINNERS- Nikon D850
D850 by Nikon is the most desirable DSRL. It has a full-frame, making it a powerhouse that is best for wildlife and portrait, landscape, and wedding photography.
- It has a full-frame sensor, which is back-illuminated and 45.7MP
- 7fps burst shooting
- The 153-point autofocus system
- 4K video recording
- It has dual card slots
- It has illumination control for working in dark conditions
- Bright and Large viewfinder
- It has a fantastic battery life
- This camera is amazing for detailed and extensive images
- The proven and sophisticated AF system
- It is more expensive than D810
- Focusing speed during live view is behind competitor
- SnapBridge is still not good
This DSLR is better for beginners and travelers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the essential part of a DSLR?
The most important part of a DSLR is its sensor size. Bigger sensor means the camera is going to receive light. More light means your camera will give you clean pictures, even in low-light conditions.
Which is better, optical or digital image stabilization?
Digital stabilization simply boosts up the shutter speed and ISO and, in some cases, sharpens the blurry area of the image. Whereas, the real deal to consider is optical image stabilization. This moves either the imaging sensor or another element in the lens for handling slower shutter speed.
What things to look for before buying a DSLR?
To buy a perfect hybrid camera, you should look for the five things stated below:
- The viewfinder
- Manual controls
- Image sensor
- How long does a DSLR last?
Your DSLR can last for at least three to five years if you use it with care. It is possible that it can last even longer depending upon the brand. Do keep in mind that due to new tech features flowing in every year, your camera might start feeling outdated after a couple of years.
Can I view satellites with Nikon cameras?
As surprising it may sound, you can zoom in on satellites with your cameras today. The best camera for this job is Nikon Coolpix P1000. The company itself brags about this feature i.e. you can see the space station with it.
Every camera has a unique feature that makes it better than other cameras. However, Z6 by Nikon is our best choice because of its overall performance and because it is cheaper than many DSLRs with the same functionalities. It still depends on what your choice is as a photographer. Do make sure what you want the camera for before you spend your money on one. Just because a camera has a great zoom to see planets or satellites does not mean it will be equally cool for taking pictures of an F1 Race.