Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Nikon is the number 2 in the camera market, behind Canon. Nikon offers single lens reflex cameras (DSLR), system cameras and compact cameras. Because Nikon has been producing all cameras with the same mount since 1959, all lenses are compatible with each other. Due to Nikon's long existence in the market, Nikon cameras enjoy the trust of its customers.

With our big Nikon camera test 2021 we want to help you find the best Nikon camera for you. We have compared different models with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • Nikon is a world-renowned camera manufacturer since 1948.
  • Nikon produces system, compact and SLR cameras. The large selection means that everyone can find the right model, whether they are hobby photographers or professional photographers.
  • Nikon cameras feel good in the hand, are easy to operate and take perfect photos.

The Best Nikon Camera: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Nikon camera

Before you decide on a Nikon camera, there are a few points and questions you should look at to save you time and effort in making your decision.

What makes Nikon different from other manufacturers?

Nikon cameras are very well known and popular. Initially, only professional models were produced, but then Nikon also produced models for beginners and sales increased quickly due to the positive image.

Nikon cameras have a longer battery life and a lower weight than cameras from some other manufacturers. Nikon also makes it possible to buy a camera with a lower budget without the functions being inferior.

When it comes to continuous shooting, Nikon cameras are unbeatable, even in the low-cost models. Nikon cameras are also very user-friendly.

Nikon Kamera-1

Nikon cameras are very popular. Nikon scores points with its users because of the very good continuous shooting.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Warren Wong)

What price range are Nikon cameras in?

Hobby SLR cameras are available for around 250 euros. These cameras are perfectly adequate for hobby photographers. Mid-priced Nikon cameras cost between 400 and 700 euros and are well suited for advanced and professional photographers. High-quality luxury SLR cameras cost up to 5000 euros and are only recommended for professional photographers.

Type price range
Nikon cameras for amateur photographers 200 - 300 euros
Nikon cameras for advanced and professional photographers 400 - 700 euros
Luxury Nikon cameras for photography professionals up to 5000 euros

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Nikon cameras?

  • Sensor technology: Nikon cameras are equipped with sensor technology. This allows Nikon cameras to achieve excellent image quality. The new sensor design, without a low-pass filter, enables pictures without distortion.
  • Speed: The fastest Nikon camera achieves 14 frames per second. Since this is in the upper price segment, there is an alternative camera that manages 6.8 frames per second. Nikon thus offers a higher speed in the entry-level models than cameras from other manufacturers. In the upper price segment, other manufacturers are ahead in terms of speed.
  • Battery life: Nikon cameras have on average a longer (sometimes double) battery life than comparable competitor products.
Advantages
  • excellent image quality due to sensor technology
  • long battery life
Disadvantages
  • Speed in the upper price segment rather mediocre
  • in video recording Nikon is in the midfield

What are the alternatives to Nikon cameras?

Nikon's two main competitors are Sony and Canon.

Sony: Sony is a competitor of Nikon and Canon and tries to make a name for itself between the world's well-known manufacturers. Sony therefore often introduces new models. The big advantage of Sony cameras? The image sensors. They are so good, in fact, that Nikon has been using them for years. The range of third-party accessories is relatively small. The menu can't keep up with Canon's well-structured one, but it's quite good. The displays of some models are too reflective in sunlight.

Nikon Kamera-2

The image sensors of the competitor Sony are so good that Nikon has been using them itself for years.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Leon Seibert)

Canon: Is the largest camera manufacturer in the world. Offers a wide range of different camera models and a cheap range of third party accessories. In terms of price, the cameras range from 300 to 5000 euros. The menu is easy to use and very clear. Even in sunlight, everything is easy to see on the display. Compared to Sony/Nikon, the number of light values/apertures and the noise behaviour are worse.

Type Advantages and disadvantages
Sony cameras Advantage: very good image sensors

Disadvantages: Low range of third-party accessories, some models are too reflective in sunlight

Canon cameras Advantage: affordable range of third-party accessories, clear menu, everything can be seen on the display even in sunlight

Disadvantages: Number of light values/apertures and noise behaviour worse

Decision: What types of Nikon cameras are there and which one is right for you?

In the following section, we will show you 3 Nikon camera models to help you find the right camera for you:

  • Nikon camera Coolpix B500
  • Nikon camera Coolpix W100 for children
  • Nikon reflex camera D5600

What distinguishes the Nikon Coolpix B500 camera and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The lens of the Coolpix B500 camera has a 40x zoom, which allows even the smallest subjects to be photographed sharply. The camera also has a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor. With a resolution of 994 at a maximum of 1,392 line pairs per image height, the Coolpix B500 is more in the midfield. The camera records videos in Full HD.

The camera is equipped with an image stabiliser and a tiltable display. The function dial facilitates image settings. The continuous shooting speed of this model is particularly high, at 9.1 frames per second. With a full battery, 240 pictures and 88 minutes of video can be recorded.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is ideal for beginners and amateur photographers, as it is one of the most affordable cameras in its class.

What distinguishes a Nikon camera for children and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is robust, waterproof and shockproof, making it ideal for use by children. The camera survives diving, frolicking and digging without any problems.
The Coolpix W100 is available in 5 colours. It shoots sharp photos and records videos in Full HD, which it can send directly to a smartphone or tablet using SnapBridge.
The menu features cartoon effects and decorative elements. The direct function buttons make the camera easy to operate, even for children. The camera has 13.2 megapixels and a 3x wide-angle zoom, which makes high-quality pictures possible.

What distinguishes a Nikon SLR camera and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With the Nikon D5600, detailed images are possible thanks to the CMOS sensor in DX format and a resolution of 24.2 megapixels. The camera does not use a low-pass filter, which allows structures and patterns to reach the image processor undisturbed, resulting in superior sharpness.
Thanks to the ISO sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600, images are razor-sharp even in low light. SnapBridge allows the camera to be connected to a mobile device for faster image sharing.

The camera has an 8.1cm (3.2inch) tilting and rotating LCD touch monitor, allowing you to shoot from all angles. 9 cross-type sensors detect subjects accurately. This allows you to take pictures of moving subjects.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate Nikon cameras based on these factors

Megapixel/resolution

The number of megapixels determines the resolution of the image and is therefore an important criterion when buying a camera. As the number of megapixels increases, so does the detail of the image. But factors such as brightness settings and focus also contribute to better image quality. Nikon SLR cameras have 16.2 - 24.3 megapixels. Mirrorless cameras 24.5 up to 45.7 megapixels.

The number of megapixels determines the depth of detail of the images.

For occasional pictures, a megapixel number of approx. 4 is sufficient. Only when you zoom in on the pictures do you notice the blurriness. A Nikon compact camera with up to 16 MP is sufficient here.

The situation is different with pictures that are to be printed. Here, a high resolution is important, especially because many providers such as meinfoto.de will only accept the picture if it has a certain minimum resolution. A Nikon SLR or mirrorless camera is recommended here.

For professional photographers or advanced photographers, a higher megapixel number of approx. 16- 20 megapixels is recommended. For razor-sharp images, there are also Nikon models with up to 45 MP.

Did you know that a very high number of megapixels can affect the image?

Above a certain number of megapixels, the image quality no longer increases, but actually decreases. This is because the pixels have to be made very small. This results in image noise or defective pixels.

Zoom

The minimum equipment of a camera should be a 3x zoom. High-quality cameras have a zoom of up to 30x. This allows objects to be photographed even in the far distance. The Coolpix P1000 model from Nikon even has a 125x zoom.

However, a zoom that is too high limits the light intensity of the camera and these cameras are also usually larger and heavier. For occasional photos, a 3x zoom is sufficient.

Lens interchangeable?

Bridge cameras and compact cameras from Nikon have a fixed lens. With SLR cameras and system cameras, you can exchange the lens.

You only have to pay attention to the lens mount, because lenses from a manufacturer other than Nikon do not fit on a Nikon camera.

Therefore, you should buy a camera from a well-known manufacturer like Nikon in order to have many interchangeable options. Nikon has a wide range of interchangeable lenses, smaller manufacturers do not.

WLAN

If the camera has a Wi-Fi function, you don't have to use a memory card. Transferring photos is easier and faster this way. Nikon's D-SLR and COOLPIX models are equipped with a Wi-Fi function.

So if you want to avoid the hassle of using a memory card, the Wi-Fi function on these Nikon camera models will make your job easier.

Simply download the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app from the iTunes or Google Play Store and connect your smartphone or PC to the camera.

Weight

Nikon SLR cameras can quickly weigh a few kilos with equipment. Camera straps or backpacks are available for this purpose.

Mirrorless system cameras are lighter than SLR cameras. Nikon compact cameras are light and do not require any equipment.

If this camera doesn't appeal to you, there are also Nikon bridge cameras that are between the compact and SLR cameras in weight.

Facts worth knowing about Nikon cameras

Can I use a Nikon camera as a webcam?

You can also use a Nikon camera as a webcam.

Theoretically, you can also use a Nikon camera as a webcam, but this requires a few settings. The video recording time is limited to approx. 20 - 30 minutes for almost all models. To get around this, you can record directly to your computer via HDMI.

Most cameras have this connection. To prevent the Liveview from switching off automatically after 10 minutes, you must set the Liveview switch-off time to infinity in the settings.

How do I register a Nikon camera?

To register your Nikon camera, you must first create an account on the Niko website. Then you can register your product and benefit from some advantages.

For example, you can extend the warranty of your camera or lens for 4 more years, ask questions to customer support or update your data.

How do I charge a Nikon camera without a charger?

With a Powerbank you can charge your camera without a charger. All you need is a USB cable and a Powerbank. You charge it at the wall socket, put it in your pocket and when the camera runs out of power on the way, you can use it.

Did you know that the CIPA value indicates the amount of photos per battery charge?

This tells you how many photos the camera can take on one battery charge. You can use this value as a guide and then consider whether you should take a spare battery/power bank with you.

When buying a camera, you can also make sure that it has an exchangeable battery. That way you won't get into the situation where you want to take a photo but can't because the battery is empty.

Nikon Kamera-3

With a power bank, you can charge your camera on the go without needing a power socket.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Markus Winkler)

How do I clean a Nikon camera?

  1. Remove dirt and dust on the sensor with a blower. (Do not use a bellows with a brush, as the brush hairs can damage the filter)
  2. If necessary, use special cleaning agents from the photo trade.
  3. Caution: The sensor is sensitive and can easily be damaged.
  4. If the dirt cannot be removed, do not rub or scratch the sensor, but have it cleaned by Nikon customer service.

In the following video we show you how to clean the sensor of your camera properly:

Image source: beer5020/ 123rf.com

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