The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners, Enthusiasts & Professionals

For decades, Nikon has been one of the best camera brands around. Even today, Nikon camera models are listed among the best cameras of the year, whether they’re DSLRs or mirrorless models. 

With so much choice out there, it can be tricky to narrow down your options. So we’ve taken a look at the best Nikon cameras for every level of photography in 2020, from beginners and enthusiasts to professionals. 

The best Nikon cameras for beginners

The compact camera: Nikon COOLPIX W300

This Nikon compact camera is the ultimate action camera. Its rugged body makes it waterproof (to 30m), freezeproof (to -10°C on land), shockproof (to 2.4m), and dustproof. 

The COOLPIX W300 has an impressive array of internal features, including an eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge, and GPS. 

nikon coolpix w300 digital camera

With a back-illuminated 16MP sensor, Vibration Reduction feature, and 5x optical zoom Nikkor lens, you'll capture stunning shots of all your adventures, whether you're diving, fishing, snowboarding, or snorkelling. 

Videographers will love the ability to record 4K Ultra HD videos, time lapses, and super lapses. 

Take a look at the Nikon COOLPIX W300 compact camera today. 

The mirrorless: Nikon Z 50

With a 20.9MP screen, outstanding burst shooting mode of 11 frames per second, and 4K recording capabilities, this mirrorless camera packs a powerful punch for a beginner photographer who wants to take their craft seriously. 

nikon z50 mirrorless camera

There’s a lot to love about the Nikon Z 50. For such a compact build, the Z 50 offers beautiful handling, with a nice deep grip and a great spread of buttons. 

Packed with a Nikon EXPEED 6 image processor (the same processor you’ll find in Nikon’s high-end D850 DSLR below), this camera produces impressively vibrant images and colour detail. 

And as an added bonus, the Z mount used on this camera is identical to the mount on larger cameras, meaning you have a huge range of Nikon lenses to choose from.

Check out the Nikon Z 50 mirrorless camera today.  

The best DSLR: Nikon D3500 

The D3500 is a great Nikon DSLR for beginners, thanks to its versatility. A useful guide mode and user-friendly interface will help you find your way around the camera until you’re ready to uplevel - at which point the manual controls will offer everything you need to learn and improve. 

nikon d3500 camera for beginners

This beautiful camera is incredibly lightweight, making it a great choice for travellers, and is affordable so you can get your foot in the door without forking out a tonne. 

This model boasts a range of brilliant features for its class, including a 24.2MP sensor and a Nikon EXPEED 4 image processor, which will produce images of stunning resolution. 

You can also enjoy Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 frames per second, although the camera doesn’t offer 4K.  

Most impressively, there’s a 1,550-shot battery life, which is above and beyond anything else offered in this price range. 

Check out the Nikon D3500 camera for beginners today. 

The best Nikon cameras for enthusiasts

The best mirrorless: Nikon Z 6

An impressive full-frame mirrorless camera with a lower price tag than the premium Nikon Z 7 (but with features to compete), the Z 6 boasts a 24.5MP sensor and an enjoyably large and bright electronic viewfinder. 

nikon z 6 camera

You can capture up to 12 frames per second in continuous shooting mode (faster than the Z 7) and enjoy an impressive 273-point autofocus system that will mean you never waste a shot. 

It also boasts the ability to capture uncropped 4K video and superb image quality at higher ISOs (another feature where it outperforms the Z 7). 

Very little can compete with this camera for its price range, versatility and impressive array of features. 

Take a look at the Nikon Z 6 mirrorless camera today.

The DSLR: Nikon D780

A brilliant all-rounder Nikon camera that will serve you well into the future, the Nikon D780 is a hybrid camera that combines all the best features of a DSLR and a mirrorless camera. 

nikon d780 camera

To start, there’s the amazing full-frame 24.5MP sensor and Nikon EXPEED 6 image processor. These features combine beautifully balanced exposures, a great dynamic range, and fantastic noise reduction for incredible image quality. 

The D780 has a classic DSLR magnesium body that may be heavy but offers a big grip that translates into a superb handling experience. You’ll also enjoy the traditional DSLR optical viewfinder and a top-plate LCD. 

On top of this, you have a tilt-angle touchscreen and the same 273-point on-chip phase-detection autofocus system that you’d find on a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera (see below). This gives you the rare opportunity to have a fast live view performance on a DSLR. 

This is a great camera for a hobbyist or intermediate photographer, with accessible controls and a superb battery life. 

Take a look at the Nikon D780 camera today. 

The best Nikon cameras for professional photography

The best DSLR: Nikon D850

This is a serious Nikon camera for serious photographers. We’re talking a 45.7MP, back-illuminated, full-frame image sensor and an incredible 153-point autofocus system designed for low light performance. 

nikon d850 dslr camera

These features, along with a great dynamic range and Speedlight control, mean you’ll get vibrant shots with better lighting control and contrast. 

Of course, there’s plenty more to impress. A 1,840-shot battery life, silent mode for hushed shooting, and 7fps continuous shooting mode, for a start. 

Night photographers will appreciate the illuminated controls while videographers can’t go past the 4K Ultra HD video recording. 

The D850 is a beloved camera model for expert photographers, whether they’re shooting weddings, landscapes, wildlife, or sports. 

Find out more about the Nikon D850. 

The best mirrorless: Nikon Z 7

The mirrorless equivalent of the Nikon D850, the Nikon Z 7 was the brand’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. And it’s turned out to perform beautifully across every field. 

nikon z 7 mirrorless camera

An ultra-high-resolution 45.7MP full-frame sensor, 493-point hybrid autofocus system (that beats the D850), fast burst rate (9 frames per second), and 5-axis Vibration Reduction, it produces vibrant shots. And then there’s 4K video recording.

Thanks to a smaller and lighter body, this camera is a favourite among landscape photographers looking to capture vivid, colour-perfect images. 

Show me the Nikon Z 7 mirrorless camera today. 

Bonus: The best Nikon camera for sports & wildlife photography - Nikon D7500

The Nikon D7500’s ability to capture crisp images with a burst rate of 8 frames per second and an advanced 51-point autofocus system makes it one of the best Nikon cameras for sports and action photography and well worth the mention.

nikon d7500 camera

Thanks to its lightweight design and rugged, weather-sealed body, this is a camera you’ll want to take everywhere with you. 

And it’s not just the handling you’ll love. This camera comes with a great array of features for its price, including a 20.9MP sensor, a tilt-angle touchscreen, and 4K video recording. 

Take a look at the Nikon D7500 today. 

Picked your favourite Nikon?

At Camera House, we have a huge selection of Nikon cameras. Shop the range online or visit us in-store to pick up your favourite model today.