The BEST Nikon DSLR Camera – Top 7 Models

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Nikon is one of the best camera producers that offer different models for all beginners, amateurs, and professional photographers.

However, with numerous Nikon models on the market, you may be confused as to which one is the best Nikon DSLR camera for you.

While some of the best models are mirrorless cameras, the DSLR ones are the real deal and are those that will bring the best results no matter the situation, even for taking photos for a blog.

Let’s dive right into the best Nikon cameras money can buy and all the details you have to know!

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A QUICK LOOK AT THE BEST NIKON DSLR CAMERA

If you’re in a rush, these are the three best Nikon DSLR cameras per category – pro, semi-pro, and entry-level photographers.

Simply click on the links above to view each of these cameras on Amazon, however, I highly recommend reading until the end of this guide to learn about them in greater detail.

These names may not mean much to you, but they’re the most popular models on the market, and you won’t be disappointed by the results, whether you take photos or videos.

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WHAT IS THE BEST NIKON DSLR CAMERA FOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY?

I’ve listed the best Nikon cameras per level and skill, but let’s focus more on the categories in the following paragraphs.

All things considered, the best Nikon camera for professional photography is the Nikon D850.

It’s the most versatile full-frame camera with a 45.4 MP image sensor and can take incredible photos whether it be for landscape photography, portraits, and more.

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WHAT IS THE BEST NIKON DSLR CAMERA FOR PORTRAITS?

The best models are the Nikon D850 for professionals and the Nikon D3500 for beginners.

These will bring outstanding results where you want to get portrait photos for your catalog, stock photography, or even social media.

Are you an aspiring photographer? Make sure to check out my PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDES to become an expert fast!

WHAT IS THE BEST NIKON CAMERA FOR VIDEO?

Videography has undeniably been increasing in popularity in recent years with more and more users sharing their experiences, adventures, and tutorials on social media.

If you take videos on a professional level, the best Nikon camera for video recording is the Nikon D780.

It can record 4K up to 30 FPS and 1080p up to 120 Frames Per Second, which is one of the best on the market. You can shoot seamless slow-motion and premium quality 4K in any situation.

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WHAT IS THE BEST NIKON CAMERA FOR BEGINNERS?

If you’re just starting out as a photographer, the best camera you can get is the Nikon D5600.

It’s reasonably priced, it has a 24.2MP sensor, ISO that you can boost up to 25,600 for poor lighting conditions, a rotative 3.2 in. monitor, and can even record in Full HD.

While there are cheaper models available such as a mirrorless camera, the D5600 is the perfect fit for beginners and amateurs ensuring that you can use it even after gaining some serious skills.

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3 ESSENTIAL THINGS WHEN BUYING A NIKON DSLR CAMERA

Finding the right camera for your needs, whether it’s one of the Nikon professional cameras or entry-level ones, can be daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start.

Let’s get a closer look at the three most essential things to consider before buying a camera.

SENSOR SIZE

To start with, you’ll have to check the sensor size. The bigger the camera sensor is, the higher the image quality – of course, it goes without saying that cameras with a big sensor cost much more than entry-level ones.

Sensors are normally divided into 2 categories – Full-Frame and APS-C (referred to as cropped), and Four Third sensors.

As a beginner, a Four Third or an APS-C sensor will certainly be enough as they can still give decent results with the right lens. But if you’re searching for the best Nikon camera for professional photography, you’ll want to get your hands on a Full-Frame one.

Apart from that, it’s worth noting that full-frame cameras are usually heavier and bigger in size than their counterparts with cropped sensors.

Lastly, full-frame cameras normally have a higher resolution, and this takes us to the following point – Megapixels.

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RESOLUTION (MEGAPIXELS)

Megapixels and a camera resolution are what most users look at first in a device – the higher it is, the crisper and higher quality your images will be.

For instance, the Canon EOS R5 has 47.1 megapixels, and some others like the Sony A1 have even more than 50 megapixels.

But apart from quality, what does the camera resolution mean? Huge prints, and being able to zoom in without losing any (or very little) quality. That sounds like the best thing you can get, right?

Well, there are a few downsides to buying a high-resolution camera, and you most likely want to stick around 30 megapixels or so.

High-resolution cameras often have reduced ISO capabilities which means that the low-light results won’t be as crisp as you’d expect.

Apart from that, the more megapixels you have, the more data the photo has and, therefore, the quicker your SD card and hard disk will fill up.

To sum up, if you want to save money as a beginner, a camera with 10 to 20MP is going to give you decent results.

If you’re an advanced photographer, around 20 to 30 megapixels is a perfect balance.

As a professional photographer that needs big prints and high quality, you’ll have to spend more money and go up to 40 to 50 megapixels and sometimes higher.

So, before purchasing the best Nikon camera for portraits just for the megapixels and just to post on Instagram, think twice – you often don’t need that many megapixels!

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LENS SELECTION

You can have the best Nikon DSLR camera, but without the right lens attached to it, the results aren’t always going to be as good as you wanted.

For instance, you can buy a Nikon D6 but, if you attach an 18/55mm kit lens to it, I can assure you that you won’t get the photo you had in mind.

To elaborate on that, you’ll also have to think about the differences between premium lenses and zoom ones. Do you want a versatile lens that’s able to zoom in and out, perfect for landscape photography, or do you prefer slightly higher quality and have to physically move?

It goes without saying that you need a lens attached to your camera, or you can’t take photos, and manufacturers normally offer a kit lens with the camera body. But I’d stay away from those and invest in a more worthy lens to get the most of your camera.

Make sure to check out this COMPLETE GUIDE ON THE BEST NIKON LENSES which includes everything you need to know!

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THE BEST NIKON DSLR CAMERA – TOP 7 MODELS

That was a lot of information to start with, right? But now you have the answers to your most precise questions.

But now comes the time to go into the greater details of the best Nikon DSLR camera money can buy. They’re all excellent models for different purposes – let’s jump right in!

NIKON D6 – PROFESSIONAL DSLR

The absolute best Nikon DSLR camera you’ll find is the D6. This is the camera to get for all professionals willing to shoot sports photography at the stadium or at the Olympics. Or even take it with you in the forest to take animal or landscape photography.

Sure, it’s also Nikon’s most expensive camera and it’s certainly not for beginners. But, if you’re a professional photographer or have been taking photos for years, then this is definitely the one.

With a 20.8MP resolution, you will be surprised by the results. The Nikon D6 has 105 autofocus points, a 14FPS frame rate, a battery life that will last for 3580 photos, and a fixed touchscreen display.

Apart from that, if you want to take your video-game skills to the next level, the D6 can record 4K up to 30p which is great for YouTube.

Lastly, if you’re into NFT photography, you’ll want to have a premium camera to shoot awesome photos and the Nikon D6 is definitely your best ally.

Again, this is not a camera for everyone, since it’s the most expensive Nikon camera. But, if you’re a professional photographer, this is the best Nikon camera you can get – let’s go through the endless pros and few cons of this beast.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D6

First of all, you’ll benefit from the world-class ISO performance, ​​100-102, 400, and expandable to 3,280,000. Also, the 14 FPS allows for fast shooting as well as its incredible 200-image buffer, perfect for photographing fast-moving elements.

Also, the 105 autofocus system will guarantee you take awesome shots all the time, no matter the subject and the speed they move. As mentioned previously, the rear LCD touchscreen display is very convenient and the 4K capabilities are something to consider.

On the other hand, its price tag is very high ($6,500 body only), making it the most expensive Nikon camera. Apart from that, its dimensions and weight are also particularly big.

All in all, however, the price is worth the value of this camera that will last you years.

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NIKON D5600 – HIGH-END ENTRY-LEVEL DSLR

If the Nikon D6 is not what you need for your next camera, then the D5600 will definitely do. This high-end entry-level Nikon camera is affordable, has a great autofocus system, and even a rotative touchscreen display.

I would say it’s the best camera under 1000 dollars, kit lens included, and that will benefit both beginners and pro-users, particularly if you’re into landscape photography. 

Equipped with a 24.2MP sensor featuring 39 autofocus points and a decent battery life allowing you to shoot 970 photos in one charge, it’s one of the Nikon D Series models you should keep in mind.

Sure, it’s already quite a few years old, originally released in November 2016, but the technology behind it will not stop you from getting award-winning photos!

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D5600

  • Great price for the value
  • The image quality will blow you away
  • The 3.2 inch touchscreen is a great addition
  • Good dimensions to carry everywhere you go
  • It’s not compatible with AF-D autofocus
  • The control layout doesn’t offer many options
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NIKON D850 – HIGH-END SEMI-PROFESSIONAL

Jumping right back into the professional levels, the D850 is the best Nikon DSLR camera in terms of value for money and even outranks the legendary D6.

With a resolution of 45.7MP and 153 autofocus points, it’s the best specs you’ll find in a Nikon D series camera. Apart from that, the 7FPS frame rate can go up to 9FPS if you use Nikon’s battery grip.

Also, I love the fact that it accepts SD cards, unlike the Nikon D6. It’s also a great ally for YouTube since it can shoot 4K up to 30p and the battery life will last you hours, or 1840 photos.

On the flip side, the price is quite on the upper end, starting at $3,000 for the body only, so it’s definitely a camera for those that know what they’re doing.

All things considered, the D850 is the best Nikon camera for portraits and professional photography and you’ll take some of the nicest photos you’ve ever shot.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D850

Just like any device, there are pros and cons to the Nikon D850, and, even though it’s hard to see the negatives, let me go through all in detail.

  • Top-class build quality, customizable options, and image quality
  • The autofocus system made up of 153 points is out of this world
  • Its 45MP sensor and the base ISO 64 is the best you will find anywhere
  • It offers the full package for both photography and videography, recording 4K
  • Although the Nikon D850 is worth it, $3,000 for the body only is pretty hefty
  • Heavier than other cameras on the market
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NIKON D780 –  PROFESSIONAL DSLR

If you want a similar quality to the D850 but aren’t quite convinced by its price tag, the D780 is the perfect alternative and it’s the best Nikon camera for video.

With a 24.5MP sensor, 51 autofocus points, and the option to record 1080p up to 120 FPS, it’s one of the best Nikon cameras you can get. Did I mention its battery life can record up to 2260 in one charge?

On top of that, it has two SD card slots and it will become your best friend if you’re shooting portraits or wedding photography. The dimensions are also better compared to other cameras – 5.6 × 4.5 × 3.0 inches and only 840 grams, or 29.6 oz.

In plain words, it’s one of the best Nikon cameras and I can’t recommend it enough for portraits, weddings, landscape, and even wildlife photography!

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D780

  • The 51-point autofocus system is fantastic
  • The tilting touchscreen makes controls easier to handle
  • The full-frame takes the image quality to a whole new level
  • You’ll benefit from Nikon’s newest technology in a beautiful DSLR
  • The price is relatively high but 100% worth it
  • While the image quality is great, the camera only has a limited sensor size
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NIKON D3500 – ENTRY LEVEL

What I love about Nikon cameras is the fact to bring excellent resolution to every photographer, and the D3500 is the perfect example.

Well established among all other Nikon DSLRs, it’s one of the cheapest yet most powerful cameras, with a camera body available for a few hundred bucks, making it the best camera under 500 dollars.

With such a big difference in price with the D6 and D850, for instance, you’ll be surprised to know that the D3500 is not that far behind in terms of quality when attaching the right Nikon lens.

That being said, the D3500 doesn’t have numerous manual controls and the autofocus system is outdated compared to other Nikon DSLRs. But again, I recommend this camera to anyone starting in the photography world.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D3500

  • Compact dimensions and easy to carry
  • The best value for money on the Nikon market
  • Excellent and crisp image quality, comparable to high models
  • The cheapest and greatest alternative to a mirrorless camera
  • It doesn’t have Image Stabilization so moving shots may not be great
  • No touchscreen, only 11-point autofocus system, and no 4K video recording
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NIKON D750 – PROFESSIONAL DSLR

If you’re looking for one of the best Nikon cameras to up your game, the Nikon D750 is exactly what you need.

While it’s quite an outdated camera when it comes to technology, it still brings magnificent pictures when connected to the right Nikon lens. For example, don’t expect to have Image Stabilization or 4K video recording.

That being said, the fact to be older generation means that it’s cheaper and it’s the cheapest Nikon DSLR camera for professionals. The battery life will last over 1200 photos, you can mount 2 SD cards, and it has small dimensions to take when traveling or during a wedding.

In plain words, it doesn’t have anything to envy to full-frame mirrorless cameras and I can’t recommend it enough.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D750

  • Advanced manual controls
  • The autofocus system is made up of 51 points
  • It’s equipped with a tilting screen, although not touchscreen
  • It can mount 2 SD cards which provides peace of mind as a back up
  • It doesn’t record 4K videos despite the price tag
  • The technology is outdated
VIEW ON AMAZON
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NIKON D7500 – SEMI-PROFESSIONAL

The Nikon D7500 is not your typical compact camera and it’s got the perfect mix of all the features in this list.

It is a little pricier than the D750 and D3500 but offers more advanced technology, it can record 4K videos, and its 51-point autofocus system is spot-on.

In addition, it’s the right piece of gear for all wildlife photographers as well as shooting sports photography.

Aside from its exceptional value for money, what I personally like about the Nikon D7500 is its rugged build quality and light weight, perfect to take on a trip anywhere. I also want to highlight the manual controls available in the menu.

As a whole, while it’s on the same level as other cameras like the D5600, it’s still very much worth its value.

PROS AND CONS OF THE NIKON D7500

  • Tilting touchscreen display
  • Advanced controls and technology
  • 4K video recording
  • High-performance ISO, fantastic for low light shots
  • The 8 FPS shooting and the 51 autofocus points give excellent results
  • You can only insert 1 SD card as opposed to 2 for other cameras
  • Slightly heavier than other Nikon DSLRs
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SUMMARY

I hope this full guide answered all the questions you may have about the best Nikon DSLR camera and that you’re finally ready to get one of these cameras to up your game!

If you have any further questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.

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THANKS FOR READING

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