Best Nikon DSLR Camera of 2021 – Beginners & Advanced Guide

If you have any knowledge and experience in the field of photography, then you may be familiar with the brand Nikon. It is a well-recognized company that makes cameras for both professional and hobby photographers. In recent years, Nikon has introduced amazing features in its both high and low-end DSLR cameras.

And due to this, choosing the best Nikon DSLR camera has become a bit tricky. Luckily, in the article, we have compiled a list of the most in-demand Nikon DSLR cameras that are suitable for both beginner and advanced level photographers.

1) Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50 Mirrorless Camera Body with Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3...

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The Nikon Z50 is one of the best mid-range DSLRs that Nikon has ever launched. It comes with amazing features, a compact body, and fantastic handling, which makes it a perfect package for everyone. Equipped with a firm grip and well-placed buttons, this camera is very convenient to use and hold.

It is loaded with an Expeed 6 processor and 20.9 MP sensors, so you could expect superb performance. Though it doesn’t support 4K recording but it will give you vibrant images with good detailing and colors.

Pros:

  • The viewfinder is very impressive
  • Amazing handling
  • Features a stylish design

Cons:

  • The native lens range is limited

2) Nikon Z6

Nikon Z 6 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) with 32GB...

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Since its release, Nikon Z6 has been giving tough competition to other big players of the DSLR world. With this model, you will get excellent performance, and it is also very popular for delivering a full-frame experience with superb handling. Because of the huge success of this model, Nikon has announced its successor, Z6 II.

Coming to Z6, it is still ruling the market, all thanks to its versatility and advanced features. With the 24.5 MP FF sensor, this camera promises excellent results.

It also comes with 12 fps burst shooting and a 273-point AF system, so you will never have to worry about missing any beautiful shot. The build quality is awesome and you will love the grip, which makes it easy to operate.

Pros:

  • It supports 12fps burst shooting
  • High-resolution EVF
  • Perfect for professional usage

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Buffer depth is limited

3) Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 with AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens...

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This is an entry-level DSLR that is specially made for individuals who are just starting their photography journey. It is a perfect combination of a user-friendly interface and a lightweight body. As compared to other DSLRs in this price range, the D3500 delivers more in terms of battery life.

It comes with a 24.2MP sensor, so you can be sure that you will get good resolution pictures. However, you won’t be able to get the benefits of a touchscreen display in this unit but that’s okay as it comes at an economic rate.

Pros:

  • Comes at a budget-friendly price
  • Provides excellent image quality
  • Easy to understand functions

Cons:

  • Lacks in-built sensor cleaning
  • Doesn’t support 4K video

4) Nikon D750 24.3 Digital

Nikon D750 24.3 Digital SLR Camera (Black) Body

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If you are looking for a mid-level DSLR that is both compact and powerful, then the Nikon D750 is the perfect pick for you. It is loaded with a 51-point AF system along with the ability to shoot Full HD videos. The main motive for releasing this model is to provide people with a lightweight and portable DSRL that doesn’t break the bank.

Though it lacks 4K video recording that doesn’t make it any less of a great DSLR camera.

The best thing about this camera is the sensor that delivers amazing noise control and dynamic range. The powerful AF system makes sure that you get the best experience while shooting moving objects. In this camera, you will get a nice viewfinder as well as a good 3.2 LCD screen, which can be articulated. This enables you to take pictures and shoot from different positions.

The body of this camera is small but that doesn’t affect handling in any way. It supports 6.5fps burst mode and you will also get some amazing features like two card slots, superb in-camera processing, and WIFI connectivity options.

Pros:

  • The body is very lightweight
  • Compact design
  • Superb dynamic range

Cons:

  • No touchscreen features

5) Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 20.9MP Digital SLR Camera (Black) with AF-S DX...

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The Nikon D7500 features a newer design that looks very stylish and professional. Some people compare it with the Nikon D500 but this camera is slightly better in terms of looks and features. It is developed for action, sports, and outdoor shooters, which is the reason why it comes with a 20.9MP DX-format sensor that was seen in the Nikon D500.

Apart from this, it also combines the ts 180K-pixel sensor with the 8fps burst shooting, robust body, and 4K video recording, so you could expect the best performance in all types of conditions. As compared to other Nikon models, the focusing system in this unit is not that good but it no doubt provides impressive images.

Pros:

  • The image quality is phenomenal
  • Upgraded AF-system
  • Durable body design

Cons:

  • Only one card slot is present

6) Nikon D780

Nikon D780 DSLR Body with 24-120mm VR Lens

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For people who want a blend of both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, then the D780 is the ideal choice. It features the look of a traditional DSLR and is loaded with many useful features that are available in mirrorless cameras. This model exhibits a heavy design but the good thing is that it has a big grip that makes it easy to hold and operate.

In this camera, you will see an optical viewfinder along with a touch-responsive LCD screen, which makes it perfect for both DSLR and mirrorless camera lovers.

Pros:

  • Amazing battery life
  • Controls are very accessible
  • Live-view focusing is fast

Cons:

  • It is heavy and bulky
  • Lacks image stabilization

7) Nikon D850

Nikon D850 45.7MP DSLR Camera Body only with 64 GB SD Card...

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This is one of the most expensive Nikon cameras. It is a perfect example of what a robust, powerhouse camera would look like. No matter whether you are wildlife, wedding, landscape, or any kind of photographer, the Nikon D850 will never disappoint you. The main highlight of this camera is the 45.7MP full-frame sensor, 4K video recording, and a 153 point AF system.

It comes with great battery life and the dual slots eliminate the problems caused by storage issues.

Pros:

  • Extraordinary AF performance
  • Top-notch image quality
  • Comes with advanced features

Cons:

  • Very expensive

Buying Guide for Best Nikon DSLR Camera

As you know that a DSRL camera is an expensive investment, that’s why it is very important to research properly to get the best deal. Though if you are experienced, then you won’t face any problems, but most beginners don’t know what to look for. So here are some factors that you should consider while buying a Nikon DSLR along with some frequently asked questions.

1) Different Grades

person holding black canon dslr camera

When you will start exploring the market, you will see different grades of cameras. Always remember that each grade comes with different features and functions. That’s why you should assess your needs first, then choose a grade that suits your expertise. Generally, there are three grades of cameras, here is a brief explanation of each of them:

i) Entry-Level Grade

DSLR cameras that come under this grade are mostly very affordable. They are perfect for beginners who want to switch from digital to interchangeable lens cameras.

These types of cameras also work well as a backup camera for professional photographers. In this grade, you will generally see cameras that are easy to use and loaded with beginner-friendly features.

However, they will provide you good image quality but they are more inclined towards automation of the settings, so anyone could use it even if they have never used a DSLR before. Entry-level cameras often come with an APS-C sized sensor and feature polycarbonate construction as it makes them compact and lightweight.

ii) Intermediate Level

person holding DSLR camera

This category contains the majority of cameras, ranging from low-end to high-end. All the reputed companies introduce cameras that fall under this grade and this is also the region where most of the technology advancement takes place.

This category of cameras feature either full-frame sensors or APS-C sensors and are made of a combination of alloy and polycarbonate. Intermediate cameras are an ideal option for people who want to upgrade their DSLRs and want to take a step forward in the photography field.

They generally come with upgraded video recording features, in fact, most of them are equipped with 1080p recording or Full HD 1080p. With intermediate cameras, you also get the freedom to control audio settings and exposure manually and they even allow you to connect external microphones for better audio quality.

iii) Professional Level

black and silver SLR camera

As the name suggests, these types of DSLR cameras represent the reputation and position of the company. They come with the best physical build, sensitivity, manual controls, speed, and image quality that a company can offer. However, there are some cameras with an APS-C sensor that can also be placed under the category of professional cameras.

For example- Nikon D7100. This model comes with a quick continuous shooting range and an upgraded autofocus system.

When photographers switch to a professional DSLR, they exactly know what they want. They have a good understanding of manual controls that is essential to operate a professional camera. As compared to entry-level and intermediate cameras, these cameras have large storage capacity as they contain dual memory cards.

Not only this, the physical controls and dials in these models are also more advanced, so photographers can get more control and efficiency while shooting.

2- Image Processor and Sensor

The image processor and sensor are two of the essential components of a DSLR. As stated above that cameras generally are equipped either with a full-frame sensor or an APS-C sensor. Both these sensors have their own benefits and abilities and when they get combined with imaging processors, they function together and enable you to record videos and shooting for long hours in any kind of condition. Some cameras come with multiple image processors, which makes them a perfect option for faster shooting.

3- Image Stabilization

person holding Canon DSLR camera

The main role of image stabilization is to help you deal with camera shakes that are caused by long focal lengths and longer shutter. That’s why it is a useful asset that every photographer must consider. In today’s time, most companies provide two types of image stabilization in their cameras, which are sensor-shift type and lens-shift type. In easy words, some companies include the stabilization mechanism within the camera, while some incorporate in-lenses image stabilization.

The advantage of choosing the in-lenses image stabilization is that it can be customized for a particular type of lens, which provides excellent stabilization performance. Whereas if you choose an in-camera stabilization, then no matter what lens you choose, it will become stabilized automatically.

4- Autofocus

The Autofocus system has evolved a lot in recent years and now it has become a very important DSLR feature. In new-age cameras, you will see two unique focusing methods. Generally, DSLRs utilize a face detection mechanism to acquire focus that exhibits a lot of fixed AF points. If a camera has more AF points, then its AF systems will function with more precision.

In today’s time, you will also get various types of points, such as points with certain aperture sensitivity and cross-type points. The other focusing mechanism is called contrast detection. However, this method is mostly found in mirrorless cameras and only a few DSLRs have it. It is a sensor-based focusing, that’s why it is not compatible with the reflex mirror down.

5- Accessory Support

Before buying a DSLR, you should also check the range of accessories that the unit supports. Accessories are a great way to increase the functionality of the camera and they also help you utilize it to its maximum potential. Many cameras support an external flash, so if you work in low light conditions, then this feature would be very useful to you. Apart from this, you should also look for units that come with headphone and microphone jacks.

person holding black dslr camera

These features will help you connect an external mic or earphone, which will make audio monitoring more convenient.

6- Video Recording

The video quality of DSLR cameras has become amazingly good and even if you opt for an entry-level camera, you will get HD recording support. Not only this, but they also come with good editing capabilities. Some intermediate cameras even support HDTV playback. These features are very useful when you want to take your videography game to the next level.

Another important thing that you should consider is the range of controls that a camera offers. You should always opt for a camera that comes with complete exposure adjustment capabilities. These models will help you achieve more filmic shots and you will be able to make the most out of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

After talking about all the essential things, it’s time to put some light on the frequently asked questions regarding DSLR cameras.

1- Are megapixels really important?

Most people, especially beginners are very confused about megapixels. They think that more megapixels equal better image quality, which is not true at all. However, megapixels have their own role and place but if your main priority is the image quality, then sensor size is more important.

Megapixels only determine the resolution of your pictures. For example- if a camera has more megapixels, then it will produce images of higher sizes. So even if you crop the image or print it, the quality will not be compromised.

shallow focus photography of black Canon DSLR camera

2- What is the lifespan of a DSLR camera?

One common question that most people ask is how long a DSLR lasts. Well, it depends on how you maintain it. If you buy a DSLR camera from a reputed brand like Nikon, then it may last up to 5 to 10 years. Though it can last more but after this time frame, the model becomes outdated and you will have to invest in a new one to get better features.

3- What are the main accessories that I should buy along with a DSLR camera?

Accessories help you use the camera more efficiently but the question is what accessories you should invest in. Well, you should consider buying an additional battery and a good quality bag to keep your camera safe. A lens cleaning kit is also a good investment and you should also opt for a bigger storage memory card.

These are the basic accessories you should buy. If you are more professional, then you should opt for a tripod, external microphone, and a good quality headphone as they will help you record audio better.

Conclusion

Nikon has been providing high-quality products for years, which is the reason why it is one of the most-loved camera brands. It offers a huge collection of cameras, including both high and low-range models. If you are just stepping into the photography world, then it is best to start with a beginner-friendly camera, so you could easily understand the features and functions. Once you have mastered the basics, you should level up and start utilizing a more advanced model.

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