Best Nikon camera for beginners – Buying guide

Are you a novice looking for a Nikon camera to document your adventures and improve your photographing skills towards being a professional photographer? There are several Nikon models on the market with the user-friendly capacity for your needs.

When it comes to looking for your first camera, it can be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. All you want the camera to do is take some high-resolution photos and chances are that the only thing you are looking for in a camera is the pixel count. But, then there is more to it than just that. You’ll have to decide the ideal zoom range, how much manual control you want to have, and if you also want to use the camera for shooting videos. The best Nikon cameras should have a nice design and user-friendly. We’ve highlighted for you the best Nikon cameras and hope that you find one that not only suits you but is within your budget.

Best Nikon camera for beginners – A Comparison table

Product name
Resolution
Weight
Max. video resolution
Check on Amazon
Nikon D3500
24.2 MP
13.8 ounces
1080p
Nikon Z50
20.9 MP
14.4 ounces
4K UHD
Nikon Coolpix A10
16.1 MP
5.7 ounces
720p
Nikon Coolpix W300
16 MP
1.9 pounds
4K UHD
Nikon Coolpix P950
16 MP
1 pound
4K UHD

Best Nikon cameras for beginners review

Nikon D3500 – Excellent DSLR camera

When it comes to the image resolution quality, this Nikon camera is great with its 24MP sensor.

Key features

  • Interactive Guide shooting mode
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 1080p video resolution
  • Good handling and new sensors

The Nikon D3500 is easy to use and handle. It comes with an interactive menu, long battery life and the picture quality is great. It has a 3.0-inch fixed monitor without touch or tilt capabilities. What I liked more about this model is its 24.2 MP APS-C sensor that allows you to capture ton-rich and detailed images. Another thing that I like is its 1,550-shot battery life which makes the camera ideal for outdoors as it will give you enough time to take as many pictures being looking for a charging station. The Nikon D3500 incorporates all of DSLRs traditional advantages at the best value making it a low-budget camera for beginners. This camera is compatible with a lot of senses. However, I would recommend any VR lens since it increases the camera’s stability leading to better shots even in low-lighting.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • High-quality 24MP Sensor
  • Long-lasting 1,550-shot battery life
  • Value for money

Cons

  • maximum video resolution of 1080p Full Video
  • External controls are basic
  • Lack of touch functionality with screen
  • No Wi-Fi support

Verdict

For a beginner looking for the all-around Nikon camera, this model meets almost all the criteria. If you want to build your experience outdoors, then this device has the battery life to power you throughout the day.

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Nikon Z50 – most ideal Nikon mirrorless camera

When it comes to the image resolution quality, this Nikon camera is great with its 24MP sensor.

Key features

  • Compact build and slim kit lens
  • Lacks in-body stabilization
  • Good value for money
  • 4K UHD max video quality and 11fps shooting

This camera was built for compactness including its lens that is super slim. The camera is mirrorless, weighs 14.4 ounces, and has a 3.2-inch monitor with a tilting of 1.04m dots. Nikon Z50 features a continuous shooting speed of 11fps. Though small in size, the device has good external controls and a good grip when handling it. Also, it features a 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor and retracting 16-50mm kit lens for improved overall performance compared to its predecessors. The best feature of the device is its video resolution that goes up to 4K UHD giving you the best videos ever. You can use various kinds of lenses including the dedicated Nikkor Z DX lenses, regular Nikon DSLR lenses, or the full-frame Nikkor Z lens.

Pros

  • Compact in size and easy to handle
  • Super slim kit lens
  • 11 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K UHD video quality

Cons

  • 300-shot battery life
  • It has a single SD shot
  • The flip under the selfie screen
  • Its a bit costly

Verdict

Though costly for some beginners, this unit makes a powerful camera with humble beginnings, The camera can last longer since it a pioneer in the Nikon full-frame mirrorless space.

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Nikon Coolpix A10

You may be fooled by this model to think that it’s just a simple camera for any wannabe. But, the camera meets most of the needs of a beginner. It’s simple, cute, and at an amazing value.

Key features

  • Has a simple and intuitive design
  • Comes with stabilization for movies & stills
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Maximum movie resolution of 720p

I love the Nikon A10 camera since it’s a decent digital camera at a great price range. When starting out, you don’t need something too high-end because it’s hard to exploit its full potential. This unit allows you to experiment and realize your full potential before advancing. It comes with a 16.1 MP sensor, a 2.7-inch screen, and a 5x zoom fixed-lens equivalent to 26-30 mm. TIn addition, the continuous shooting mode is only ideal for capturing 720p videos. hough you won’t be able to take wall-size enlargements with it, the camera meets your snapshots and social sharing needs. This camera is ideal for use and minimizes the risks of damaging your smartphone as it’s cheaper to replace. When it comes to power, you don’t need to worry much because the AA pair of batteries can be replaced when they run out.

Pros

  • Uses replaceable AA batteries
  • Budget-friendly
  • Versatile
  • Simple control layout
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Slow continuous shooting mode
  • Maximum video resolution of 720p

Verdict

I really like this camera as it’s lightweight and simple to use. You can carry it around and practice your photography without having to worry about the battery. Its simplicity makes it ideal for a family as anyone can pick it up and use.

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Nikon Coolpix W300 – This is the most ideal camera in extreme environments

The Nikon W300 can trick you into thinking is just another big & heavy low-budget Nikon camera. This model can not only survive water, but also anything!

Key features

  • It’s shockproof
  • Excellent waterproof capabilities
  • The zoom range is decent
  • Lacks raw shooting

For an extreme sports enthusiast, you need a camera to document your adventures, share with the rest of the world and keep a record for future reference. If you’re surfing, skydiving, or kayaking, then this is the camera that you need. It’s small, lightweight, and build to withstand the toughest of environments. Despite there being several action cams, the Nikon W300 is the ultimate camera. It comes with a 5x zoom lens with telephoto power and VR image stabilization, a 3-inch LCD screen, a ½.3-inch sensor to capture those 16MP stills, and 4K UHD videos. It features lens of between 24 to 120 mm. The camera is built for toughness as it can weather water up to 30m deep. As if that’s not all, the unit is shockproof and can withstand a 2.4m high drop. Also, it’s freezeproof and dustproof making it ideal for any adventure. Besides, it has a rechargeable battery, supports GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Pros

  • It’s waterproof up to a depth of 30m
  • shockproof from up to 2.4 m height
  • Dustproof and freezeproof
  • 4k UHD videos

Cons

  • Cant shoot raw files

Verdict

With all these features, this camera combines all the features necessary to survive in the outdoors regardless of the weather conditions. From a family looking to go out camping or on an adventure to a skydiver, you can use this camera without having to worry about damages to it.

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Nikon Coolpix P950

You can end up confusing this camera with a DSLR one due to its exterior design and bulkiness. However, when it comes to quality, it’s at par with the D3500.

Key features

  • 83x zoom range
  • Raw capture capabilities and max 4K UHD video

This camera has a superzoom compact ability making it more and more popular. The Nikon P950 comes with 16 MP sensors, an 83x optical zoom range or lens of between 24 to 2000 mm, and a 3.2-inch LCD screen with various angles. The maximum continuous shooting range is 7fps. Its size makes it secure in hands due to its sizable front and rear points to grip. It’s ergonomic in style with the controls being well-spaced. You can capture videos with a maximum resolution of 4K UHD. For connectivity, the camera features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, and USB micro.

Pros

  • Good ergonomic design
  • 4K video quality
  • 83x optical zoom capability

Cons

  • It’s costly
  • The image quality is not up to standards
  • The zoom range is too much

Verdict

Though its image quality doesn’t measure up with the rest of the cameras in its price range and the zoom range might be too much for a beginner, this camera is still a great camera for a beginner as it has more to offer.

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Buying guide for the best Nikon camera for beginners – What to look out for

Type of camera

There are different types of cameras in the market to choose from. The most common include – point & shoot, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras. Point & shoot cameras come in different forms ranging from compact, user-friendly, and affordable, to advanced ones with large sensors, long zooms & manual controls. However, the most common point & shoot cameras are the ones with a fixed lens that can’t be separated from the camera. Mirrorless cameras derive their name from the fact that they lack the mirror found in DSLR cameras. These models have superior image quality, faster, and offer more creativity than point & shoot. The last type is the DSLR which is bulky and possesses a longer battery life. For a beginner, between a mirrorless and DSLR camera, get the mirrorless one.

Performance & Speed

Nowadays, most cameras come with sufficient speeds to handle a task. DLSR and mirrorless cameras have an interchangeable lens that makes them offer better performance compared to compact cameras. This helps them focus faster, better track subjects, and take more clicks per second. The most ideal camera is one with at least 5 fps and for higher needs, get one with between 10 to 20 fps.

Ergonomics

This is mostly an overlooked factor when it comes to purchasing a camera. The best way to determine the right camera for you is by going to a store and trying it out. See how it fits in your hand and how heavy it weighs. You don’t want to be carrying a camera that’s too heavy for you leaving you fatigued in the process. Also, look for a camera that has a simple design that will give you quick access to the menu and most used functionalities. You can choose a touchscreen one since it’s more familiar to us considering that we use phones.

Lenses

One of the most important features to look out for in a camera is the lens. A camera that allows you to swap lenses is a great camera since you get creative options to choose from. Mostly, mirrorless and DSLR cameras are sold with a lens kit. You can go out there and buy a new lens to offer you better performance. It’s important to note that you can’t directly use a different brand’s lens on another camera.

Video

All cameras nowadays shoot videos with some even recording at 4K UHD. For cinematic filmmaking, high-end DSLR and mirrorless cameras offer suitable video features with increased creative options depending on the lenses. The most important thing to note is the fps or frame rate. 24-30 fps is normal while 60 fps is good slow-motion and smooth playback.

Image stabilization

Optical image stabilization aids in getting rid of blur in photos which comes in handy on long-zoom lenses which can prove difficult when it comes to holding steady. DSLR cameras prefer this method. Mirrorless cameras prefer sponsor-shift stabilization while action cameras use electronic image stabilization.

Conclusion

Having a poor camera can spoil your photography learning experience and give you low-quality photos. Get a camera that’s user-friendly and easy to use. So, what camera would I recommend? I found the Nikon W300 very durable, reliable, and lightweight. It has great features and can withstand different kinds of weather conditions. For this reason, I would highly recommend it.

FAQs

Can I use a Canon lens on Nikon?

No, you can’t directly use a Canon lens on a Nikon camera unless you use a 3rd-party adapter.

Are Wi-Fi and GPS factors to consider when buying a camera?

Wi-Fi is great to have on your camera if you want to share your images straight from the camera to social media without plugging the camera into your PC. As for GPS, it’s not important and even drains your battery faster.

Philip Taylor believes in helping people achieve their dreams and has, therefore, gone to the lengths to make the subject of photography and cameras more digestible to individuals who are passionate about this line of career. He believes with the right mentorship and experience, novice photographers can turn into professional photographers, the excerpts on beginner cameras at Photo MD are, therefore, the perfect guide for individuals who are into photography, want to get their first cameras but have no idea what to look for. Philip is a father to two lovely boys, and when not working he loves to research and will, therefore, be found in the library.

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