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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 build-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.

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The highest rated Nikon cameras

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Nikon Z6 II

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 Z6 II is currently the top-ranked Nikon camera with a Camera Elo of 3164, followed in second place by the Nikon Z7 II with a rating of 3142. 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 (as far as these are available), 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 Z6 IINikon Z 3164- Mirrorless 24.34K/60p Oct 2020 1,999 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 IINikon Z 3142100 Mirrorless 45.44K/60p Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Nikon Z5Nikon Z 3041- Mirrorless 24.24K/30p Jul 2020 1,399 i
4.
 
Nikon Z6Nikon Z 298595 Mirrorless 24.34K/30p Aug 2018 1,999i
5.
 
Nikon D780Nikon FX 2978- DSLR 24.34K/30p Jan 2020 2,299 i
6.
 
Nikon Z7Nikon Z 297199 Mirrorless 45.44K/30p Aug 2018 3,399i
7.
 
Nikon D6Nikon FX 2931- DSLR 20.74K/30p Feb 2020 6,499 i
8.
 
Nikon D850Nikon FX 2855100 DSLR 45.44K/30p Jul 2017 3,299 i
9.
 
Nikon Z50Nikon Z 2822- Mirrorless 20.74K/30p Oct 2019 859 i
10.
 
Nikon D500Nikon DX 261683 DSLR 20.74K/30p Jan 2016 1,999 i
11.
 
Nikon D7500Nikon DX 257286 DSLR 20.74K/30p Apr 2017 1,299 i
12.
 
Nikon D5Nikon FX 254288 DSLR 20.74K/30p Jan 2016 6,499i
13.
 
Nikon D5600Nikon DX 250884 DSLR 24.01080/60p Nov 2016 699 i
14.
 
Nikon D810Nikon FX 237097 DSLR 36.21080/60p Jun 2014 3,299i
15.
 
Nikon D7200Nikon DX 235187 DSLR 24.01080/60p Mar 2015 1,199i
16.
 
Nikon D750Nikon FX 231693 DSLR 24.21080/60p Sep 2014 2,299i
17.
 
Nikon P950 24-2000 mm f/2.8-6.5 2296- Compact 15.94K/30p Jan 2020 799 i
18.
 
Nikon P1000 24-3000 mm f/2.8-8.0 2294- Compact 15.94K/30p Jul 2018 999 i
19.
 
Nikon 1 J5Nikon CX 221165 Mirrorless 20.74K/15p Apr 2015 399i
20.
 
Nikon D5500Nikon DX 218384 DSLR 24.01080/60p Jan 2015 899i

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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