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The best Nikon cameras

Nikon is one of the top brands for digital cameras. The company was already a major player in the analog photographic equipment industry and has continued to innovate since digital technology became dominant. Nikon provides a broad range of models, including digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and compact cameras that come with a built-in lens. It also uses a variety of imaging sensors in its models, ranging from full-frame, over APS-C and One-inch, to small 1/2.3-inch sensors.

D850
Nikon D850 with 1.4/85mm[Andy Zofka]

The choice of a particular type of camera depends very much on the intended use. A professional wedding photographer has different requirements than a casual family holiday shooter, and a sports reporter has different needs than a landscape artist. The importance of individual preferences and selection criteria means that the question which camera is best is not easy to answer. That said, general camera rankings can give a useful overview of the overall capabilities of various camera models and thereby provide the basis for more use-specific model comparisons and assessments.

The highest rated Nikon cameras

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Nikon Z9

The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive rating that takes the body, sensor and feature characteristics of digital cameras into account. It is based on the outcomes of thousands of pair-wise comparisons undertaken via the CAM-parator app.

The Nikon Z9 is currently the top-ranked Nikon camera with a Camera Elo of 3217, followed in second place by the Nikon Z6 II with a rating of 3129. The table below lists the 20 highest ranked Nikon cameras in descending order of their Elo. It also reports the cameras' DXO Mark sensor quality score, which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

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The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Lens
Type
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Camera
Type
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z9Nikon Z 321798 Mirrorless 45.48K/30p Oct 2021 5,499 amazon.com
2.
 
Nikon Z6 IINikon Z 312994 Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 1,999 amazon.com
3.
 
Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 3127100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 amazon.com
4.
 
Nikon Z5Nikon Z 297795 Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 1,399 amazon.com
5.
 
Nikon D780Nikon FX 293095 DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 2,299 amazon.com
6.
 
Nikon D6Nikon FX 289895 DSLR 20.74K/30p Feb 2020 6,499 amazon.com
7.
 
Nikon Z7Nikon Z 288799 Mirrorless 45.44K/30p Aug 2018 3,399ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon Z6Nikon Z 287595 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018 1,999ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon Z50Nikon Z 277084 Mirrorless 20.74K/30p Oct 2019 859 amazon.com
10.
 
Nikon D850Nikon FX 2753100 DSLR 45.44K/30p Jul 2017 3,299 amazon.com
11.
 
Nikon Z fcNikon Z 273485 Mirrorless 20.74K/30p Jun 2021 959 amazon.com
12.
 
Nikon D500Nikon DX 252883 DSLR 20.74K/30p Jan 2016 1,999 amazon.com
13.
 
Nikon D7500Nikon DX 250886 DSLR 20.74K/30p Apr 2017 1,299 amazon.com
14.
 
Nikon D5Nikon FX 247888 DSLR 20.74K/30p Jan 2016 6,499ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D5600Nikon DX 245684 DSLR 24.01080/60p Nov 2016 699 amazon.com
16.
 
Nikon D810Nikon FX 230997 DSLR 36.21080/60p Jun 2014 3,299ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon P950 24-2000 mm f/2.8-6.5 228852 Compact 15.94K/30p Jan 2020 799 amazon.com
18.
 
Nikon D7200Nikon DX 228587 DSLR 24.01080/60p Mar 2015 1,199ebay.com
19.
 
Nikon P1000 24-3000 mm f/2.8-8.0 227951 Compact 15.94K/30p Jul 2018 999 amazon.com
20.
 
Nikon D750Nikon FX 225893 DSLR 24.21080/60p Sep 2014 2,299ebay.com
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

You can access more detail on the listed cameras by clicking on the camera's name. Alternatively, you can compare two Nikon cameras using the search boxes below. Just enter two model names into the input fields and you will promptly be taken to a respective comparison.

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    Further Reading

    Additional information on the calculation of the Camera Elo can be found on a respective Elo methodology page. Moreover, there are other rankings of cameras by category that might be of interest:

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