Buyer’s Guide

Not sure which Nikon body will be the one for you? Here’s a quick run­down of the cur­rent range to help you out

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Don’t go shop­ping with­out our spec-packed guide to the best cur­rent Nikon D-SLRs and Nikon-fit lenses

A CSC that D-SLR users will love,

the J5 has the high­est res­o­lu­tion of any Nikon 1 cam­era to date (20.8Mp) and a de­cent sen­si­tiv­ity range. The top dial now also gives ac­cess to semi-au­to­matic and man­ual ex­po­sure modes, plus you can shoot in RAW, which is real bonus.

Small in size but big on qual ity,

the svelte Nikon 1 S2 is re­spon­sive and speedy. With a 14.2Mp im­age sen­sor, and the omis­sion of built-in Wi-Fi or a touch­screen, it’s more ba­sic than the J5, but still a highly ca­pa­ble cam­era that you can slip into your bag as a light­weight backup.

Very much the ac tion ad ven­turer,

the AW1 is shock­proof, wa­ter­proof to a depth of 15 me­tres, and freeze-proof down to -10°C. To keep pace with a truly ac­tive lifestyle, it also has a built-in com­pass, al­time­ter, depth gauge and GPS.

For com­fort and fa­mil­iar­ity,

the con­ven­tional lay­out of the V2 in­cludes a sculpted fin­ger grip, elec­tronic viewfinder and shoot­ing mode dial. It’s been largely su­per­seded by the V3 (be­low), so look out for it at bar­gain prices.

The flag­ship Nikon 1 ca mera

adds a vari-an­gle touch­screen to the com­fort­able er­gonomics of the pre­ced­ing V2, along with key up­grades to the im­age sen­sor, pro­ces­sor and aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem, plus built-in Wi-Fi. The elec­tronic viewfinder is op­tional.

An in­stant fa vourite with be­gin­ners

when launched back in 2012, the D3200 eases you into cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phy with a built-in Guide mode that serves up in­ter­ac­tive tu­to­ri­als. There’s im­pres­sive pic­ture qual­ity to match, thanks to its 24.2Mp im­age sen­sor and EX­PEED 3 pro­ces­sor.

con­tin­ues the D3200’s be­gin­ner-friendly trad ition

of an in­ter­ac­tive Guide shoot­ing mode, and boosts per­for­mance with a later-gen­er­a­tion EX­PEED 4 pro­ces­sor, faster con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing and greater low-light po­ten­tial. There’s also a new ‘easy panorama’ mode.

THE D5200 has be­come a very aff orda ble in­ter­me­di­ate-level ca mera ,

now that the D5300 and D5500 have hit the mar­ket. Orig­i­nally launched in early 2013, its spec­i­fi­ca­tions still look ap­peal­ing, and the vari-an­gle LCD makes for easy shoot­ing from tricky an­gles.

A sig­nif­i­cant up­grade over the D5200,

this cam­era fea­tures a newer gen­er­a­tion pro­ces­sor, plus built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, wrapped up in a car­bon-fi­bre-re­in­forced body shell. As with the D3300, the op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter is omit­ted to max­imise the po­ten­tial for im­age sharp­ness.

The sa me pixel count and process or as the pre­ced­ing D5300,

built into the same style of mono­coque (one-piece) body shell. The most no­table up­grade in the newer D5500 is that its vari-an­gle LCD is a touch­screen. How­ever, it loses the D5300’s built-in GPS.

Out­strip­ping the near -pro-level D300s when it was launched in 2010,

it nev­er­the­less now lags be­hind the newer D7100 and D7200, but still of­fers ad­vanced con­trols and great han­dling to suit cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phers, and at a knock­down price.

The D7100 gets a no­table hike in pixel count

com­pared with the pre­ced­ing D7000, along with the re­moval of the op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter to max­imise sharp­ness. Its aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem gets a boost too, and a 1.3x crop fa­cil­ity in­creases the max­i­mum drive rate to 7fps.

Build ing on the D7100’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions,

Nikon’s latest and most ad­vanced DX-for­mat cam­era boasts bet­ter low-light aut­o­fo­cus, a big­ger mem­ory buf­fer, an up­dated pro­ces­sor, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, plus new trick modes for light-trail pho­tog­ra­phy and time-lapse movies.

The vet­eran D300s was launched all the way bac k in 2009,

but is still avail­able if you look hard enough. Im­age qual­ity is ap­peal­ing, the max­i­mum drive rate is fast, and its en­tire body has a mag­ne­sium al­loy build that’s par­tic­u­larly durable, though its spec­i­fi­ca­tions look dated.

Full -frame pho­togra phy star ts here,

with the most af­ford­able of Nikon’s FX cam­eras. It’s no slouch, with a 6fps max­i­mum drive rate and a quiet (but slower) con­tin­u­ous drive op­tion. It also fea­tures a weather-sealed body and, com­pared with the D600, a re­vised shut­ter unit.

The D750 is eas ily man­age­able for a pro­fes­sional full -frame body.

A re­cent ad­di­tion to the line-up, it in­cludes a tilt­ing LCD screen and built-in Wi-Fi. The pixel count strikes a happy medium be­tween the 16.2Mp Df/D4s and the 36.3Mp D810.

Iconic de­sign meets high-tech ex­cell ence in this retro beauty.

The Df is amaz­ingly com­pact for a full-frame body but di­rect-ac­cess di­als and but­tons en­sure that shoot­ing con­trols are al­ways within easy reach. The lack of a video shoot­ing ca­pa­bil­ity is a sur­prise omis­sion.

A spe­cial edi­tion of the orig­i­nal D800,

this one has a mod­i­fied op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter that omits an anti-alias fea­ture. It’s there­fore bet­ter able to cap­ture ex­tra­or­di­nary lev­els of fine de­tail, max­imis­ing the po­ten­tial of its ul­tra-high-res­o­lu­tion im­age sen­sor.

The king of the res­o­lu­tion stakes,

the D810 boasts 36.3 mil­lion pix­els and, un­like the older D800e, has no op­ti­cal low-pass fil­ter. It has a later-gen­er­a­tion pro­ces­sor and an ex­tended sen­si­tiv­ity range. A spe­cialised D810a edi­tion for astropho­tog­ra­phy is avail­able (£3000, $3795).

Nikon’s speedy flag­ship pro­fes­sional D-SLR de­liv­ers 11fps shoot­ing,

com­plete with con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus and me­ter­ing. Han­dling is sublime with du­pli­cated con­trols for por­trait-ori­en­ta­tion (up­right) shoot­ing, and im­age qual­ity is im­mac­u­late, even at ul­tra-high ISO set­tings.

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