If you’re looking to take better photos with the best Nikon DSLR camera, you came to the right place. From beginner-friendly models to the most expensive professional pieces of photography equipment, Nikon has everything you could ever need. And if you don’t know where to start, this is the best guide to learn what makes the best Nikon DSLR camera and what features you should keep your eyes open for when shopping.
First of all, there are a few main things to consider before you even start looking. You want superb handling so that you can take your DSLR with you on adventures, you want something user friendly with enough features to keep you learning without being overwhelmed, and you want massive performance. The best news about Nikon is that they always offer top-notch versatility and performance with a wide variety of lenses to choose from.
Plus, they offer amazing prices. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can still get the best Nikon DSLR to suit your needs. These cameras are perfect for hobbyists, part-time photographers showcasing weddings or real estate, and even just for the parent who wants to get the sharpest pictures of their kids’ sports games!
Starting off the list for today is the Nikon D3500, one of the most affordable AF-P format DSLR cameras on the market right now. It’s wildly easy to use, it operates just like a point-and-shoot camera, it’s compact, and it has a comfortable design that allows for simple and convenient travel. This is one of the ideal DSLR cameras to take along to a sporting event or a European vacation. The image sensor is significantly larger than what you find in any ordinary smartphone, which provides sharper and clearer pictures that can rival just about any other camera.
And let’s not forget all the great features. You get 1080P full HD video, monaural sound, and Bluetooth 4.1. Of course, what you really get are beautiful photographs with each click of the button – and you absolutely don’t need to be a professional. Simply pick this camera up, start shooting, and capture all of life’s memories in perfect clarity.
- Excellent for Beginners
- Comfortable Shooting w/ Cozy Design
- Shoots @ 5 Frames Per Second
- Amazing Color & Clarity
- Small & Discreet for City Shooting
- No 4K Video
- Some May Feel Camera is “Too Small”
The Nikon D7500 is another great APS-C style DSLR, and it is remarkable. It comes with class-leading image quality, a huge ISO range, professional image processing power, and an oversized 3.2” tilting LCD that has touchscreen functionality. This is one of the better cameras out there, even when compared to the D3500. It offers improved 4K video with stereo sound, 4K UHD time-lapse, and it has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi integrated into its components. This makes it an exceptional camera for transferring images instantaneously to your smart device.
And let’s talk about autofocusing for a minute. This camera comes complete with 51 available focus points for some of the quickest, sharpest, and most accurate autofocusing out of any Nikon DSLR camera. It also shoots at 8 frames per second, allowing you to never miss the right moment at a sports game or when documenting wildlife. It works great for taking RAW images, the camera is comfortable and feels robust in your hands, and you can get up to 950 shots on a single battery. That’s practically unheard of in the world of DSLR cameras!
- Rugged Design w/ Extensive Weather Sealing
- Hugely Comfortable & Fun to Use
- Massive 3.2” Tilting Touchscreen
- Full 4K Ultra UHD Video
- Performance Enhanced for Creative Processing
- Only 20.9MP
- Only One Card Slot
Next up is the Nikon D850, a full-frame FX style DSLR with a huge amount of power. The first thing you need to know is that it offers 45.7 megapixels of unbelievable resolution, giving a dynamic range to your photos like you wouldn’t believe. If you want professional photos with the best resolution, the sharpest contrast, and the brightest colors, the D850 should definitely be on your radar. And yes, it’s insanely expensive – but that’s the price you pay if you want reliable and professional technology.
Additional features with the D850 include nine frames per second of continuous shooting, 8K time-lapse movies with insane realism, a huge tilting touchscreen that comes included with focus shift shooting mode, and some of the best battery performance in the business. Standard video recording is 4K, but you can do slow motion at up to 120 frames per second. This camera has fast and rich processing with the EXPEED 5 image processor, offering less noise, better textural details, and so much more. You can focus in almost perfect darkness. The camera is a huge powerhouse for pro content creators. Plus, it can lock-on to your subject and follow with precision. This truly is a huge step up in DSLR technology.
- Impressively Quick Autofocus
- Image Quality is Unbeatable w/ 45.7MP
- Time Lapse is Fun & Easy in 8K
- Illuminated Buttons
- Perfect for Landscape & Wildlife
- Insanely Expensive
- Poor Wireless iOS App
The Nikon D750 is certainly not as advanced as the D850, but it is the next best thing at a huge price cut. The noticeable difference is that the camera only offers 24.3 megapixels using the older EDPEED 4 image processor. Still, you get amazing pictures. If you’re a semi-pro and don’t have thousands of dollars to throw away on a camera, this is your ideal unit. It still has pro videos features, is lightweight and compact with a comfortable grip and a usable LCD, and has a fantastic camera for shooting cinematics, which is key for any content creator.
Other bonuses with the D750 aside from the affordable price include integrated Wi-Fi sharing, the ability to use your camera with a remote control, clean and clear images that you can upload immediately on social media, and very clever color balance customization. There are a lot of different lenses to choose from, it can lock onto a target in near darkness, and it’s versatile enough to use in every situation while being small enough to carry around while traveling.
- Professional Weather Sealing
- Low-Light Works Amazingly for Dark Settings
- Huge 3.2” Variable-Angle Display
- HD Video w/ Great Cinematic Features
- 100 % Coverage Optical Viewfinder
- Older Model
- Lenses Can Get Expensive
Last on the list today is one of the newest DSLR cameras from Nikon, the D780. It’s only been out for a handful of months, but it’s already showing some huge promise. It’s a typical Nikon DSLR, but it offers significantly more versatility. It’s also the best camera on the list for vloggers, YouTubers, and other content creators. It boasts 24.5 megapixels with a huge full-frame sensor that can gather maximum light to produce insanely sharp images with perfect detail. The D780 also uses the brand-new EXPEED 6 image processor with next-generation technology, meaning faster focusing, better rendering, and improved image quality. When it comes to Nikon DSLR cameras, the D780 really is at the forefront of technology and innovation.
Just check out these additional features. The camera has a rugged magnesium alloy and carbon fiber design combined with dust and moisture sealing for ultimate protection. You get full 4K video capabilities. The camera has amazing special effects modes as well, including creative picture controls, full wireless connectivity, and a multiple exposure feature that allows you to create surreal images over one another. Plus, you can even do focus stacking! There have been huge advancements in the autofocusing system, you can take better time-lapse videos, and you’ll never have to worry about low-light situations again, as the ISO performance on this camera is out of this world.
- Major Autofocus Enhancements
- Brand-New EXPEED 6 Image Processor
- New Creative Modes
- Impeccable Picture Quality + Realistic Detail
- Scene Recognition System + Silent Shooting @ 12FPS
- Quite Expensive
- No Battery Grip Available
Now that you’ve seen the five best Nikon DSLR cameras, there are a few more things you should know. The truth is that there are differences even among DSLR units. Nikon offers two different sizes, the smaller format which is APS-C, much like the beloved D3500, and the D7500, which are better suited to beginners and part-time enthusiasts. Then they offer the full-frame models, such as the astonishing D850 and the new to the market D780.
But what’s the big difference? Well, it’s all about size and power. And also the price! When picking up a full-frame Nikon DSLR, you typically get a larger screen, an improved dynamic range, and a better sensor that can produce finer details even if the pixels are the same.
Now, you’re probably wondering which is better, the smaller sensor or the bigger sensor. It really depends on which brand of photography you’re into. For example, if you’re looking into astrophotography or taking photos in the dark, you want a full-frame sensor. These types of DSLR cameras are going to be experts at capturing the beauty of the cosmos and nighttime scenery when there’s a distinct lack of light.
On the other side, if you’re into casual photography, portrait photography, or anything that brings you up-close and personal with your subject, an APS-C sensor is where it’s at. These cameras are smaller and lighter, they’re better for street photography, and they allow you to better capture the mood of a moment when your subject is near to you or when you need to take macro shots or exaggerate the depth of field.