Nikon Camera Guide: Our Four Favorite Nikon Cameras for Beginners, Hobbyists, and Pros

photography gear

Whether you pronounce it Nikon, or Nikon (I know you said those differently in your head), there are Nikon Cameras that are perfect for beginners to pros.

Nikon cameras are some of the best in the DSLR world. This has been proven time and time again. They are solidly built, offer outstanding image quality, and are easy to use. Couple these things with the fact that Nikon cameras have a massive library of first and third party lenses, and you begin to see why switching allegiances makes sense to some.

If you are thinking about buying your first camera, or are on the verge of upgrading your current body, you owe it to yourself to look at Nikon Cameras. There is truly something for everyone. From cameras that will allow you to learn and grow, to Megapixel monsters perfect for professionals and commercial photographers. In this article we are going to look at four Nikon cameras that are perfect for newbies and seasoned veterans.


Beginners and Enthusiasts – D7500


If you are just starting out in the world of photography and want a Nikon, the D7500 would be a very good place to begin looking. Yes, we could have recommended the D3500, or the D5600, but for both those who are starting out, and those who know that their foray into photography will not be a flash in the pan, the D7500 is perfect. Solid build quality, easy to use, excellent image quality, and enough features to make this camera a good one to grow with are the reasons why.

In our review we said:

“I would say this camera is a great one to allow a new or intermediate photographer’s skill to grow to meet the challenge of the product. I could use this thing every day for a year and still be learning.”

The Nikon D7500 is a camera grows with you. You can use it in fully automatic modes easily while you are learning about basics such as composition and the exposure triangle, and then when you’re ready to grow, you can begin to peel back the layers of this camera and apply what you have learned easily.

Featuring a 20.9 Megapixel crop sensor, 51 autofocus points, a eight frames per second burst mode, a 3.2 inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, 4K video, time lapse features, and excellent low light performance, the D7500 is bursting at the seams with features that will want to hold on to this camera for a few years, even after you have grown in knowledge and confidence as a photographer. Pair it with the excellent Nikon 50mm f1.8 G and you’ll have a killer combo that will serve you well.

Image quality is outstanding, both JPEGS and RAW files. The autofocus system is fast, and tracking is very good. This is no surprise as Nikon touts this cameras as the smaller brother to the D500 (a action camera speed demon). Wireless connectivity makes it easy to share you images directly to your phone so you can post to social media quickly, while the touchscreen makes navigating the menu system and using camera overall very easy.

There are cheaper options out there in the Nikon world, but if you buy this camera it will be sticking around with you for a while. See it as an investment in your future and start taking awesome pics with it. This is one of the best entry level Nikon cameras around.

Buy now ($1,146.95): Amazon


Nikon D7500 Image Samples



Pro Tip: Before you head out make sure you have plenty of spare SD cards in your camera bag. The last thing you want to have happen is for a card to fail and you not have a replacement handy. This five pack of Sandisk 16GB memory cards will leave you with peace of mind knowing you have enough cards to keep on shooting no matter what may happen.


Semi Pro and Hobbyists – D750


If you are at the stage where you want a little more performance from your camera, and are ready to step into the world of Full Frame cameras, then the D750 is the way to go. The Nikon D750 may be a few years old now, but it is still perhaps the best entry level, Full Frame DSLR on the market today. The Nikon D750 is perfectly suited for those who are starting to make money through their photography, and for those who want that little bit more out of their images.

In our review we said:

“Other than some quibbles with the partially plastic frame, you’re going to love the Nikon D750 through and through. It follows a long line of professional level Nikon full frame cameras putting all the controls right on the camera body. With better ISO performance and a faster autofocus than the D610, this camera is perfect for photography enthusiast and professional shooters.”

The 24.3 Megapixel Full Frame sensor is paired with the EXPEED 4 image processor. You’ll find 51 autofocus points, a 3.2 inch swivel touch screen, continuous shooting up to 6.5 frames per second, native ISO from 100 to 12,800, Wi-Fi, HD video, dual SD card slots, and weather sealing.

The build quality of the D750 overall is very good. While a good portion of the body is plastic, it feels sturdy and solid, and will stand up to heavy use with ease. Image quality is where the D750 really excels though. This camera is capable of producing some truly gorgeous images, especially when paired with a lens like the NIKKOR 85mm 1.8 G. Low light performance is also excellent with images up to ISO 6,400 being very clean. This camera will serve those who have the basics nailed down, are proficient in full manual mode, and want to provide superior images their clients.

When it comes to Full Frame Nikon cameras, the D750 is hard to beat for the money. If you’re ready for a Full Frame camera that doesn’t skimp on features, and won’t break the bank, this is the one for you.

Buy now ($1,396.95): Amazon


Nikon D750 Image Samples



Pro Tip: When using your camera for long sessions you should seriously consider a camera sling instead of a regular neck strap. A camera sling will take all of the weight off of your neck and upper back, and it will make carrying your gear a lot easier over long periods of time.


Pro and Commercial Shooters – D850


The D850 is Nikon’s newest Full Frame DSLR and is aimed at professional photographers who demand the very best. The Nikon D850 is a monster in every sense of the word, and it delivers mind-blowing results. It’s perfect for those who specialize in portraits, fine arts, commercial work, and landscapes. The D850 is a jack of all trades camera that does everything exceedingly well.

In our review we said:

“In the hand, the Nikon D850 feels really great and surprisingly never hurt my wrist at all carrying it all day long. It’s amazing that Nikon was able to pack this much into a camera like this. Professional photographers looking for a solid DSLR will find it with the Nikon D850 for sure.”

The Nikon D850 has a technical spec sheet that goes on forever. At the heart of the camera you will find a 45.7 Megapixel, backside illuminated, Full Frame sensor, no optical low-pass filter, a nine frame per second burst mode, dual SD card slots, a 3.2 inch swivel touch screen, 153 autofocus points with autofocus that works down to -4EV, a native ISO range of 64-25,600, 4K video, and weather sealing for days. (I could go on but we would be here all day.) The Nikon D850 is a technological DSLR masterpiece.

As you would expect, image quality is outstanding. The 45.7 Megapixel sensor is capable taking breathtaking shots filled with fine details. The D850 is built like a tank and will survive just about anything you throw at it, and the weather sealing means it can be used in even the most trying conditions.

When paired with a lens like the NIKKOR 24-70mm f2.8 you will have a powerhouse of a camera suitable for every genre of photography. Portrait photographers will love it, fine art and fashion photographers will appreciate the amount of detail that can be captured, and landscape photographers will marvel at the built in focus stacking and overall image quality. The Nikon D850 is just as easy to use as other Nikon cameras, even easier perhaps thanks to the backlit keys which make using this camera in low light a breeze.

If you need the best image quality, and need a DSLR that will stand the test of time, the D850 is for you. It is so far ahead of other DSLR cameras on the market right now: nothing really comes close to it. When it comes to Nikon cameras, this one is right there at the top.

Buy now ($3296.95): Amazon


Nikon D850 Image Samples



Pro Tip: Make sure you keep both your lenses and camera bodies clean by keeping a basic camera cleaning kit in your camera bag. You never know when you may need to clean off your glass, or remove stubborn dirt from your sensor. These kits are available in both Full Frame, and APS-C sensors.


The Sports and Action Photographer – D500


If you’re a photographer who focuses on one very specific genre of photography you need a camera that is built to meet the demands placed on it. Sports, action, and nature photographers need a camera that is going to survive bumps, bangs, and horrendous weather. On top of that they need a camera with excellent low light performance, fast autofocusing capabilities, and the ability to track subjects with ease. Enter the Nikon D500.

In our review we said:

“The Nikon D500 is an incredibly capable camera–and I honestly recommend it for both pros and semi-pros. It offers very good image quality, superb battery life, great ergonomics, high reliability in the autofocus department and a load of other cools things like WiFi. It’s a seriously great camera that I’d recommend to sports, photojournalist and wildlife shooters. They’re bound to make the most of it.”

Like the D750 above, the Nikon D500 is a few years old now, but this camera is still one that performs right up there with newer cameras on the market. Exceptional low light performance, excellent image quality, fast autofocusing, and 10 frames per second in continuous shooting with a 200 image buffer make this camera a sports or action photography beast. Pair this camera with the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 G2 and you will have a workhorse camera that will capture stunning images.

Of course the D500 can be used for any genre of photography, but it will feel more at home along the sidelines, beside the ring, or out on safari. Nature photographers will cherish the performance of the crop sensor and the extra reach it will give to your lenses.

The D750 features a 20.9 Megapixel sensor crop sensor, a 153 point autofocusing system, native ISO range of 100-51,200, 4K video, dual card slots, a 3.2 inch tilting touch screen. Built in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC make it easy to transfer images from the camera to a phone, tablet, or laptop (which is great if you need to get images sent to someone quickly).

If you need a camera that is built like a tank, has class-leading weather sealing, and leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to image quality and autofocus performance, the D500 needs to be in your hands.

Buy now ($1,796.95): Amazon


Nikon D500 Image Samples


Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.