Best Nikon SLR: which one is right for you?

Nikon is among the best known camera manufacturers for good reason. Its range of SLRs includes some cameras that deliver performance and imaging clout where it matters. There are also models suitable for every level of user.

Prospective Nikon SLR buyers need to consider their photographic understanding as well as their current and future requirements.

The D4s, for example, is a very highly specified camera, but it's also littered with controls that could intimidate some potential users and designed for jobs and situations that amateurs simply won't encounter.

However, the D610, which is also a full-frame camera is significantly smaller. It also has a similar control system to the D7100, which is aimed at enthusiast photographers.

Let's take a look at the best options for each level of user.


Starting with entry-level cameras, the D3200 and D3300 are both wonderfully beginner-friendly, but the D3300 offers a significant upgrade in terms of features, specifications and image quality, making it a better value buy and well worth the extra money.

Moving up to mid-range models, those who want a little bit more from their camera will find the D5300 a great option. We've yet to try out the new D5500 properly, but that could be better still.


It's a trickier call in this area, with the D7100, D610 and even the D750 all having a lot to offer enthusiast photographers.

All have excellent handling and easy-access controls that put important, creative shooting adjustments under your thumb.

The D7100 is clearly the best enthusiast-level DX camera at the moment. Our only reservation is that the memory buffer is a tight squeeze for rapid-fire bursts of shots in raw quality mode.

The D610, is also a great option and a superb route into full-frame photography. While it is compatible with Nikon DX lenses, you'll need a collection of FX lenses to get the real benefit of the larger sensor.

The D750 is a little more expensive, but has the benefit of a tilting screen, better autofocus system, higher ISO range and built-in Wi-Fi.


The D4S is a worthy successor to the D4. It looks similar on paper, but a host of important improvements add up to a big upgrade. It's a professional workhorse that offers the best compromise for the widest range of shooting scenarios.

The D810 offers the highest resolution of any Nikon camera to date, yet still manage very good high-ISO image quality. It's the ideal choice where the best possible quality is essential – though to get the full benefit of that 36-megapixel sensor you need perfect technique and the best possible lenses. Those 36-megapixel files can be quite a handful, too, especially if you like shooting raw files!