The Best Nikon Cameras 2020


The Best Nikon Cameras for 2020

With such a wide variety of Nikon cameras on offer deciding which is the best Nikon camera can be daunting (and often pointless) – in this post I discuss Nikon cameras available in 2020 in Full Frame, mid-range and entry level models.

Table 1: Nikon Full Frame Cameras – FX Models

Table 2: Nikon Mid-Range Cameras –  DX Models

Table 3: Nikon Entry Level Cameras – DX Models

These tables focus on what features the cameras have that will be of specific benefit to you, the photographer.  The camera that is best suited to you, and your chosen genre, is probably not the same camera your friend uses.

There are several features that are very similar, and even identical, in a number of the models and I see no reason to rehash these in a chart designed to remove information which is confusing or irrelevant . What I have done is selected the features that real users have found to be beneficial, features I have been able to substantiate with my own experience or through the extensive research that I have done.

I believe this will be of far greater value to you than a table of technical features, which while sounding very impressive are of little practical use unless they actually tell you how you will benefit as a photographer.

Table 1. Nikon Full Frame Cameras – FX Models

Often referred to as professional cameras the FX models have a sensor equal in size to the old 35mm film cameras.  The FX bodies are more expensive than DX (much of this extra cost is a direct result of the bigger sensors) and the glass (lenses) that are used on them are of a much higher quality than crop sensor lenses.

The Best Nikon Full Frame Cameras

One of the really big pluses of having a Full Frame body is the outer controls.  Unlike the entry level DSLRs the full frame camera’s most often used controls are externally accessed – that is to say they can be adjusted “on the fly” without having to consult menus, although that is an option.

Full Frame cameras are bigger and heavier than crop sensor bodies, they are considerably more expensive as are the full-frame lenses (note that a DX lens cannot be used on a FX body without creating an ugly black circular frame around the edges of the image). The larger sensor requires more precise framing than a DX due to what is known as “the crop factor” see my post on Full Frame vs Crop Sensor  for an explanation of this.

Full frame cameras will magnify any flaws in your technique and are not recommended as a first camera for this reason and for the fact that the learning curve is far steeper on a full frame camera than it is on any of the smaller models.

The following table is not a complete list of all Nikon’s Full Frame bodies as there have been many over the years, which are now discontinued.  The one’s listed here are the most popular current models and more than enough to give you an idea of the complexity of these wonderful machines.

ModelSensor/M.pixelsAF points*FPS CSISO Range/Shutter SpeedsU1 and U2^Button ControlsWeather SealedVideo/WiFiNotes
D5Expeed 5 CMOS/20.815312 fpsISO 100 – 102400
30 secs – 1/8000th sec
YesYesYes4K UHD/YesLow light Fast Action
D850BSI CMOS/45.7 mp1537 fpsISO 64 – 25,600
30 secs – 1/8000th sec
YesYesYes4K UHD/yesLandscape, studio and Portrait
Tilt Screen
D810Expeed 4 CMOS/36.3515 fpsISO 64 – 12800
30 secs – 1/8000th sec
YesYesYes1080p /yesLandscape portraits and studio
D800Expeed 3 CMOS/36.3514 fpsISO 64 – 25600
30 Secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYesNo/NoReplaced by the D810
D750Expeed 4 CMOS/24.3516.5 fpsISO 100 – 12800
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes1080p /yes# Most popular of the FX range
All round camera

FPS=Frames Per Second with Continuous Shooting
^ Button controls is the ability to change the most commonly used settings on the fly without having to go into menu options.  That is to say these features can be changed by the buttons on the body of the camera.
# The Nikon D750 owes its popularity to the versatility it brings to the table.  It is very good in low light, although not as good as the D5, D810 or D850, while also being an excellent landscape, portrait and studio camera.

Table 2. Nikon Mid-Range Cameras – DX Models

Many of the models that fall into this range have the features and benefits of the full frame bodies. The main difference is of course the sensor size as described in a previous post.

Features such as the top LCD screen, external controls for “on the fly” adjustments, higher frames per second (FPS) shooting ability, wider ISO range, Personal User Settings (U1 and U2), dual card slots and so on.

The Best Nikon Mid range Cameras

Think of Nikon’s mid-range cameras as a bridge between the entry level cameras and the Full Frame models.

ModelSensor/M.pixelsAF points*FPS CSISO Range/Shutter SpeedsU1 and U2^Button ControlsWeather SealedVideo/WiFiNotes
D500Expeed 5 CMOS/20.915310ISO 100 – 51200
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes4k/YesBrilliant for High speed low light
(sport and wildlife)
2 Memory card slots
D7500Expeed 5 CMOS/20.9518ISO 100 – 51200
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes4k/YesGreat video – upgrade from D7200
1 Memory Card slot
D7200Expeed 4 CMOS/24.2516ISO 100 – 25600
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes1080p/Yes NFCUpgrade of the D7100 withWiFi
2 Memory card slots
D7100Expeed 3 CMOS/24.1516ISO 100 – 6400
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes1080p/NoA favourite among enthusiasts.
2 Memory card slots
D7000Expeed 2 CMOS/16.2396ISO 100 – 6400
30 secs – 1/8000 sec
YesYesYes1080p/NoThe first of the trailblazing D7xxx series
2 Memory card slots

FPS CS=Frames Per Second with Continuous Shooting
^ Button controls is the ability to change the most commonly used settings on the fly without having to go into menu options.  That is to say these features can be changed by the buttons on the body of the camera.

Table 3. Nikon Entry Level Cameras – DX Models

While many may consider these cameras as inferior I can assure you they are definitely not!

You can take very high quality and award winning photos with an entry level camera.  My first Nikon DSLR was a D5100 which still takes wonderful photos today.  Do not buy into the “inferior” talk – rather let your photos speak for themselves.

The Best Nikon Entry Level Cameras

So what is the difference then?

Size and weight for one thing.  The size and weight of the entry level cameras make them ideal for anyone starting our in photography and are very popular with high school students. And they won’t break the bank!

Primarily the difference is functionality and controls.

Most of the entry level cameras settings have to be changed in the menu or on the rear LCD screen which means they cannot be done “on the fly” – yes it is inconvenient but it does have the  advantage of forcing you to learn what options are available in the menus. Being familiar with menu options will be a big help when, and if, you upgrade.

A secondary difference is the limited or lesser options in terms of shutter speeds, ISO range, lack of Personal User Settings, lower frames per second in rapid shooting etc.

ModelSensor/M.pixelsAF points*FPS CSISO Range/Shutter SpeedsU1 and U2^Button ControlsWeather SealedVideo/WiFiNotes
D5600Expeed 4 CMOS/24.2395ISO 100 – 25600
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/Yes1 Memory Card Slot
D5500Expeed 4 CMOS/24.1395ISO 100 – 25600
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/Yes1 Memory Card Slot
D5300Expeed 4 CMOS/24.1395ISO 100 – 12800
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/Yes1 Memory Card Slot
D5200Expeed 3 CMOS/24.1395ISO 100 – 6400
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/No1 Memory Card Slot
*D3400Expeed 4 CMOS/24.2115ISO 100 – 25600
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/No1 Memory Card Slot
D3300Expeed 4 CMOS/24.2115ISO 100 – 12800
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/No1 Memory Card Slot
D3200Expeed 3 CMOS/24.2114ISO 100 – 6400
30 secs – 1/4000 sec
No – menus onlyFixedNo1080p/No1 Memory Card Slot

Comparing the above chart of “Entry Level Cameras” to the “Mid-Range DX Range” (previous chart) it becomes obvious that as you go down in models features are stripped.  The biggest difference is in the sensor capabilities in low light, maximum shutter speeds, top end of the ISO range, the button settings and the video capabilities.  There are more.

Entry level cameras are easy to handle and a fairly gentle learning curve and introduction to DSLR cameras.

The main reason photographers upgrade to the D7XXX series and above seems to be the top viewfinder (not available on the lower end models) and the ability to change settings using the external buttons and not having to consult menus all the time. This was certainly a reason for my upgrade.

Another big factor that is an advantage to owning the D7xxx series and upwards is the built-in motor drive that drives the auto-focus.  In the D3xxx – D5xxx range you need to use lenses that have the motor drive built into the lens – this is limiting and makes some of the older, and excellent, Nikon lenses unusable except with manual focusing (nothing wrong with that but it can be off-putting for the newbie). With the D7xxx series (and upwards) the motor is located in the camera body allowing older, non-motorised, lenses to be used on them in addition to lenses with built-in focusing motors.

While sensors have become progressively more sophisticated it may be wise to look at images from entry level models and ask yourself if the photos produced are good enough for you. In most cases I think you will find they are.  And if that is the case then buy a less expensive camera and spend your money on good quality lenses which will continue hold their value.

Notes to the tables.

I believe these tables will assist you in deciding which camera best suits your needs and I urge you to bear in mind that the modern DSLR camera now comes with a long list of feature that are used so rarely as to be insignificant and have virtually no impact on the final result.

The following descriptions are what I think are important/essential in terms of a camera’s functionality, what are nice (even great) to have and what are simply marketing ploys to increase sales.

The Important Features To Look For in a Camera

This very short list will likely shock you but the truth is any camera body produced in the last 7 years is capable of producing far better results than what we see coming out of them.  What that means is that almost all cameras are not used to their full capabilities.

We have all been in the GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) stage and it is fun to buy the newest and latest gear but in all honesty you do not need much and the money you spend on that new camera body could be better spent on learning your trade or buying a better lens.

Let’s kick off with:

  • Price – this must be low enough so as not to break the budget for other more important things. Important things include your family household budget and needs. If that side of things is well taken care of and you have a bigger budget spend the excess on tutorials.  You can get a lot of free stuff online through YouTube etc. but a one-on-one with someone who is an expert in their genre will go a lot further than a camera you have yet to learn to drive.  And that brings me to the next point …
  • A camera that is easy to learn on. The easier it is to learn on the quicker you will learn to master photography.  The cliche “learn to crawl, before you can walk, before you can run” is very true in photography. Buying a top end camera may impress your friends but if the learning curve is so steep that you lose interest you have achieved nothing other than an expensive paperweight.  Why would you buy a Ferrari and leave it in the garage?  And that brings me on to the next point …
  • Weight and feel. You’re going to be using this camera often (I hope) and if it isn’t comfortable or it is too heavy then you will be discouraged. I have so many friends with DSLR cameras that they simply don’t use because they feel they are too big or too difficult to use.  I feel sorry for them because had they been given the correct advice to start a simple point and shoot camera would have sufficed and would get used! Your camera should be small enough to encourage you carrying it at all times and to use it often.  I suspect this is one reason phone cameras are so popular. And that brings me to the next point …
  • Has Manual Options. DSLR cameras are designed to be used to their full capabilities – what that means is for you to take control of the thing and tell it what to do.  That in turns means shooting in a manual mode. Your camera needs to have the basic manual options like Shutter and Aperture modes but also Full Manual mode.  Why drive that Ferrari in 1st gear all day – take it out on the road and open the throttle to get the best out of it. And that my friends bring me to the next point …
  • Megapixels.  You don’t need a lot, megapixels are a marketer’s dream because the average consumer doesn’t understand them but has been led to believe they are of utmost importance. nothing could be further from the truth.  Let’s face it, the vast majority of your photos will only ever be viewed online and a small percentage might get printed.  Those that do get printed are not likely to be printed much beyond a 20″ x 30″ and for that you do not need more than 12 megapixels! And so to the next point …
  • The ability to shoot in RAW.  Trust me on this one – even if you aren’t into post processing at the moment at some point you might be and having your photos in RAW will be an advantage (with no disadvantages). You just never know when you may go back to process an older photo in which case you best have a RAW version of it. And that brings me to the last point …
  • One or two decent lenses – this can be a kit lens or two that take far better photos than some people give them credit for. Trust me you need to master your technique before blaming your gear and upgrading in the false belief that a new whatever will make you a better photographer.

Now let’s move on to what is really nice to have.

Useful Features to Have in a Camera

The following features are nice to have in a camera but not essential to good photography.

In no particular order …

  • As many external controls as possible on the body.  If you can change controls on the fly, through muscle memory and continued use, your skills will soon become automated.  This means you don’t have to take your eye off the viewfinder and can continue to photograph as you change settings, and that means less chance of you losing “that shot” while your eye was off the viewfinder  looking in a menu to adjust a setting.
  • Front and Rear Command Wheels. This almost made the “essentials” list above.  Having a front and rear command wheel makes adjusting settings so much easier and quicker.  I absolutely love the 2 command wheels on my camera.
  • An LCD Control Panel on the top of the body.  Another great feature that saves you time (and battery life) is a top control panel where all your settings can be seen at a glance.  This will save you an awful lot of time – look I know I sound like I’m in a rush and I am not really, its just that I find the pressure comes on during a session. This one feature and the dual command wheels mentioned above seem to be the most important features photographers like when upgrading from an entry level camera to the prosumer level. I certainly felt that way going from my Nikon d5100 to my Nikon D7100.
  • User Settings – U1 and U2. Another time saver is being able to store settings you use often or enter before going out. How does this help you?  Let’s say you photograph birds in flight on occasion and struggle to remember the settings you use.  Simply save them in either U1 or U2 and next time you go out to photograph birds in flight change your mode dial to the selected slot and you’re good to go.  A similar thing can be done using the “My Menu” option in the Menus but is not as fast or convenient.
  • Weather Sealed.  Great to have.  With a weather sealed camera you’re a whole lot safer in dusty or rainy weather but please note that weather sealed does not mean waterproof so you do need to be a little careful and be sure to wipe the camera dry as soon as possible.
  • Dual Card Slots. I always use dual cards in one of four ways – depending on what I am doing.
    As a back-up – use this in case the first card fails.  It’s like that spare wheel you discover is flat when you get a puncture, pretty useless.
    As an overflow.  If you think you will be doing a lot of photographing or if your first card is pretty full because you haven’t had time to download your photos the extra photos will automatically be recorded on the second card.
    If you want to shoot in say monochrome (black and white).  Select RAW on the first card and monochrome on the second.  This very useful way of  “seeing” light – give it a go.
    And finally if photographing an event where there will be far too many photos to edit set the second card to Jpeg.  This will save you hours of processing and if there are a few truly outstanding photos you want to work on you have the RAW files in slot 1.
  • A fully articulating or tilt screen. Of the two I prefer a fully articulating screen.  Hey I am over 60 and bending down or getting low to the ground is a bit of an unnecessary mission so it would be nice to have a camera with an adjustable screen (missing on my D7100).  These screens are great for those shots that are hard to get your eye behind the viewfinder.  With an adjustable screen you can often place your camera in a great position to get a better, or unusually angled, image.  Changing perspective can have a huge and positive impact on your composition.
  • Wifi Capabilities. Useful in this day and age where everything seems to be downloaded to the Internet.  If this is important to you the good news is the newer models come with Wifi.  If you don’t use it then why pay for it?
  • GPS Recording. This is a great feature whereby you can lock in the co-ordinates of a session should you wish to return to a particular location or to use when going to a known location.  It can save you from bumbling about trying to find a particular spot. However as nice as it is it is one of those features that is seldom used by the vast majority of photographs.  So ask yourself if you will ever be going back to a particular spot. If the answer is “no” then remove this as a priority and don’t let the salesman tell you it is such a big plus.
  • Video. Ok this is a contentious one and is repeated below in the “seldom used or not really important” section.  Some people buy a camera specifically for the video capabilities – and they are improving with each model.  If making short videos is your thing then having a good quality video feature on your DSLR camera would be important.  If, on the other hand, you make longer videos (that is much longer than 3-5 minutes) then buy a dedicated video camera. Yeah I know this will be argued but for me and many of my photography friends the video option is seldom used. Nice to have? Maybe …
  • The ability personalise buttons for particular settings.  For example changing the AE-L/AF-L button to back button focusing, or the front Fn button to show you the horizon (don’t you hate those photos where the sea slopes?).
  • A couple of extra Fn (Function) buttons that you can tailor to your requirements. My front Fn button is used to indicate a level horizon while the on eon the right side of the body switches between FX and DX frame size, but you can set yours to any number of options.

Camera Features That You May Not Use That Often.

This is a tricky subsection and no doubt opinion will vary from one photographer to the next.  After all one might argue that there is a definite reason why camera manufacturers go to the trouble of adding these.

When considering features ask yourself if a there is a photographic reason for the inclusion of some of these features for your type of photography. We are all different and the inclusion of built WiFi (for example) may be very important to you but not to someone else.

Take the following list with a grain of salt and feel free to disagree if these features are important to you.

If however you agree with some of what I say then consider buying a camera without these features – it should save you some money which you can then spend on better quality lenses or tutorials.

Again in no particular order:

  • Retouch Menu. There’s a menu option in my camera that has an entire “Retouch” section.  Really? Is this even needed? Will you  use it regularly or will you use it once in every 17 million photos you take? Is it worth considering as a feature with a benefit or simply ignoring it and accepting that it is not a “must have”?
  • Video. Ok this is a contentious one and is mentioned above in the ‘useful features” to have. Some people buy a camera specifically for the video capabilities – and let’s face it each new model is an improvement on the last. If making short videos is your thing then having a good quality video feature on your DSLR camera would be important.  If, on the other hand, you make longer videos (that is much longer than 3-5 minutes) then I would suggest you buy a dedicated video camera. Yeah I know this will be argued but for me, and many of my photography friends, the video option is seldom used. For you though it may be a “must have”.
  • Scene and Effects Modes.  Entry level DSLRs have scene and effects mode whereby you can set the camera to say “Sports” or “portraits” and these are useful for taking above average photos but … do you need a DSLR for this?  Why not use a bridge camera or your phone?  DSLR camera’s are fairly high technology and to get the best out of them you need to utilise them to their full capabilities and that means taking control.  Let’s say you are taking photo of a sporting event and want the subject, be it a car or a person or an animal, to be in sharp focus but the background blurred to make your subject stand out and create a feeling of action.  It is almost impossible to do this in “Sports mode” because the camera is programmed to take the “safe” route which is a fast shutter speed and a large depth of field.  The result is everything is in focus and everything is frozen. By using a manual mode you can blur the background and select a shutter speed that creates some action such as the car wheels turning,  the person’s or animal’s leg’s blurred to create movement. Creating a much more interesting photo than some static cold statue. Having been so harsh on these modes there is one very useful aspect to having them. For the photographer new to DSLR they are handy to understand settings.  Select a mode (say sport as above) and take a photo.  Now go into the review image mode and see what settings the camera used.  Make a note of these settings and then switch your camera to one of the manual modes, either shutter priority, aperture priority or manual mode and duplicate the settings you noted down.  Take a photo and it should have a very similar, if not identical, result.  Now in that same manual mode change on or two of the settings and note the different result you get. Remember if you open the aperture you will need to adjust either the ISO or the shutter speed to get the same “exposure”.  What will however change is the depth of field or the movement.  Play around and become a better photographer by learning to use your DSLR properly and not rely on “auto” modes. The higher end (Full Frame) models do not have scenes and effects modes because by the time you graduate to that level they will be a hindrance.
  • A Zillion Megapixels.  Oh boy the marketing departments are smart! For some unknown reason the public have latched on to the belief that more megapixels are better.  Better for what?
    Ask yourself this: “How many of my photos do I print and what is the largest I will ever print?” I can almost guarantee that your answer will be less than 0.05% and that the largest you will ever print is a 20″ x 30″ canvas.  For that you don’t need more than 12 mega pixels. And in fact the more megapixels you have the more likely you are to produce bad photos if your technique is not good. For example the Nikon D850 is a FANTASTIC camera but if your technique is flawed it will highlight your faults.  Every bit of camera shake will be magnified – the reason why most D850 owners try to use a tripod or monopod with every photograph. At 24 megapixels my Nikon D7100 has more than I need. The majority of the photos on this site have been taken by it, I print a relatively high percentage, and they have come out beautifully.
  • Wifi and GPS. These are useful to have but may not be of interest to you.  In some upgrades (for example from the D7100 to the D7200) these were some of the primary upgrades and in terms of actual image quality they don’t add much value.

A Brief Explanation of Certain Features – Some already mentioned, others not.

There is a lot more to DSLR cameras than what these charts indicate and a paragraph or two detailing some further features and benefits might be useful to you.

  1. Auto Focus and Focus points. Depending on what genre your photography is the focusing capabilities of your camera will play an important part in deciding what is the best camera for your needs; for example if you are a landscape photographer who uses a tripod you will probably not be too concerned about auto-focusing, much of your focusing will be manual.  However, for most of us, auto-focusing is very relevant and even more so if you photograph fast action shots.  For this you need a camera that will lock on to your subject as fast as possible and retain focus. There are a variety of focus modes you can use and the accuracy all of them will depend on the number and type of focus points your camera has.  At the top end of the Nikon range we have seen that the FX and mid-range DX cameras have considerably more focus points than the entry level cameras.  In addition to the number of points certain of these top end bodies have what is known as “Cross Type” focusing.  Think of it as using the same focus point to keep a sharp focus on a subject moving from one side of the frame to another as well as moving towards or away from the camera. The more focus points and cross type focus points you have the better the camera is going to lock on to a subject and the sharper your image will be.
  2. Personalised Button Controls. The ability to personalise your  camera’s buttons to your requirements is a big plus.  Again this feature is found more often in the top end Nikon cameras than in the entry level cameras. What it means is that you can use certain buttons to make adjustments that suit your photography style. The function buttons on some bodies can be used for any one of up to 18 different functions and in some cases each button can be used for even more when used in conjunction with the command wheels.  This is a huge benefit to you as a photographer as it means you do not need to keep going to the menus to change settings – all can be done with your eye on the viewfinder allowing you to concentrate on taking the photo.
  3. Frames Per Second and Buffering. The charts above show the maximum frames per second (FPS) when shooting in continuous mode but it is important to note that these rates can be adjusted or affected by a range of things.
    For example if you are using slow transferring, or inferior memory cards, the buffering (transferring of images from sensor to card) will be slow and consequently slow down the frames per second capabilities as the camera has to wait for the buffering to complete.  As a point of interest the Nikon D5 and D500 can shoot at 10 frames per second for up to 200 photographs before the shutter will slow down. To put that in perspective you could continuously shoot a 100mm Olympic sprint ending up with over 100 photos to choose from – pretty awesome!
    Shooting in 12 or 14 bit depth also impacts the buffering as does the image quality – RAW files take longer to transfer than Jpegs (and you are using RAW right?)
  4. Sensors and ISO. The quality of the sensor will determine, to a large extent, the quality of your images.  Features that are important are sensor size (you can fit more dots on a bigger area which is partly why FX bodies are so much dearer) and sensor sensitivity range (ISO).
    The charts shown above indicate the native range of ISO speeds available – these can be extended for all of the models but come with the risk of more noise.
    A rather interesting fact about Nikon sensors – are you ready for this?
    Nikon sensors are not all manufactured by Nikon.  Some of the sensors they use are made by Sony and others by Toshiba. There have been rumours that Sony would stop supplying Nikon and other manufacturers but whether this has materialised or not I do not know.  The point is there is a lot we don’t know and that we don’t need to know.  I just want to take photos!
  5. Sensor Life Expectancy. The sensor is the heartbeat of your camera and when it comes to the end of it’s life your camera body dies with it.  However take comfort in the fact that sensor life is really long at 100,000 clicks in the very basic cameras and in excess of 200,000 in the top level cameras. I’ve seen one that had taken over 850,000 photos and was still going strong.  They can be replaced for relatively cheap – yes your camera can have a heart transplant.
    Sensor life is not that much of an issue and here is an example of why I believe that.
    I owned my Nikon D5100 for about 16 months and in that time I went crazy – I mean really crazy!  If like me you shoot as much (and I included a 365 challenge whereby I took at least 1 photos a day, usually way more, and posted it online, for 365 days) you will be pleased to know that at the end of the period I had used just under 20,000 actuations.  That’s quite a lot I think but … in terms of the life expectancy of 150,000 actuations the camera’s sensor still had another 7 years worth of actuations shooting at the same rate I had been shooting for the previous 16 months.  And hello – who keeps a body that long these days?  The point is – don’t worry too much about the sensor life.

Best Nikon Cameras – My thoughts …

They’re all good and it is always hard to put a “best” label on anything as we all have different wants and needs.

I hope I have helped you in some way to make your decision on which Nikon suits you best and at worst narrow your choice down to one or two models.

The inevitable question from my readers is “which Nikon camera would I choose knowing what I do?”

That’s really putting me on the spot and I would have to say that, because I shoot a number of genres, I would opt for the Nikon D750 (don’t tell my D7100 though as I would hate to hurt her feelings and still do love her very much).

At the price of the Nikon D750 and with the features you get I would be more than happy with my choice.  The savings I make by not going to the D850 or D500 could be spent on some really good lenses.

And no I wouldn’t particularly worry that there are rumours of a D760 due out.

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8 thoughts on “The Best Nikon Cameras 2020”

  1. Lawrence, thank you ever so much for your article. As a newbie at photography, I understand its powerful impact on my articles when I write for my own website. But, I hardly know anything about photography or cameras. Your website, and this post particularly, have now made things much clearer for when I decide to invest in a good camera without breaking the bank. Thank you ever so much 🙂

    • Hello Giulia.
      Pleased I could help – as far as websites go it is important to know that all photos on the internet are displayed at what is known as “low resolution” (72 dpi – dots per inch) so a high resolution (think expensive) camera is not required if that is what you intend using it for. You are far better off spending money on upgrading your skills and learning what makes a good photo.
      But …
      *Sigh* …
      Here’s the bad news – once you learn that you will probably be hooked on photography and its many challenges and then you will want a great camera and some beautiful lenses. 🙂
      Have a great week,

  2. Lawrence,
    Have never owned a digital camera. I still have one that uses film, don’t use it often. You have given great details on what to look for in a Nikon camera.
    I have been using my phone lately for pictures, as it is always with me. What would be the advantage of getting a Nikon camera over the Galaxy S8+.
    I do take a lot of pictures and convert some to videos by putting them together for my YouTube channel. Would the cheaper Nikon camera help with this.

    • Hello John – tricky questions indeed as I am not a frequent user of the video options on DSLR cameras. That being said the DSLRs are a lot more versatile than a phone because you can use better audio to start with and not have to rely on the built in microphones that the phone videos have.
      If i was going to do a lot of long videos I would get a dedicated video camera. DSLR cameras are really only good for shorter videos as I understand it.
      Maybe I should look into this in more detail when I have some time.
      The advantages of a “proper” camera over a phone are numerous, the main ones being:
      1. The ability to use different lenses for specific applications.
      2. Ability to control depth of field, exposure, shutter speed etc.
      3. And the big one for me – they produce much better prints
      4. For the ego they look the part. 🙂

      Hope that helps.

  3. Hello Lawrence,
    Great article. This is a very thorough article. I liked especially the last section where you took the time to tell anyone what to look for in a camera. I am not a camera buff but I sure loved all the little points to help me out. I like the Nikon brand anyway and this article just reinforced my thoughts.
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Michelle – thanks for your lovely comments. Its always nice to know that my articles are having the desired effect of being simple (ie not overly technical) in a manner that addresses a user’s needs and helps them with a specific problem.
      I’ve seen “Ah ha” moments pop off like a flash and that is so rewarding.
      Glad to hear you’re a Nikon girl!

  4. My Canon EOS 350D is getting a bit long in the tooth now and some fungus has started to grow in the bottom left corner of the CCD sensor.

    I’ve had the camera for a number of years so it’s probably time I looked at getting a more modern camera.

    I uses to use a Nikon F-601 film camera in the days before digital and it weighs so much more than modern dSLRs. I think I switched to Canon when the EOS 300D came out and there was nothing to match it at the time. And then i just stuck with Canon because I’d built a collection of Canon-fit lenses.

    However, I never felt that the images the Canons took were pin-sharp. So I can see me returning to Nikon with the next camera upgrade.

    Thanks for summarizing the latest models and their features.

    • Hey Gary. Sorry to hear about your fungus woes! It can happen to any of us.
      If you do switch across to Nikno just be aware that your Canon lenses won’t fit your new camera. You can sell them of course but you may be better off considering another Canon. On the other hand I would be delighted to have you jump ship and join the Nikon brigade! 🙂


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