The evolution of Nikon cameras

Nikon has a lot of DSLR cameras. Sometimes you can go crazy choosing the right option for yourself. Also, it is very difficult to understand the range of cameras. There are many cameras that are professional on the one hand and amateur on the other.

I broke all the cameras on 4 class:

  1. Flagship (these cameras are often referred to as true professional cameras). It is easy to distinguish by features such as the fact that they do not have a built-in flash, they have an additional second handle for portraits, use very large batteries and fast CF memory cards. These cameras have as many as two additional displays. They can do everything that professional cameras do.
  2. Professional (often referred to as semi-pro cameras) These cameras do not have automatic modes, are weatherproof, and use fast CF cards and dedicated control connectors. They can do everything that advanced amateur cameras can do.
  3. Advanced amateur (often referred to as mid-range cameras). Uses SD cards, can control external flashes, and support fast sync with flashes. Unlike amateur cameras, they have an additional display and an additional control wheel, as well as a depth-of-field preview button.
  4. Amateur (they are amateur in Africa). They have a small weight, few controls. Use SD cards.

Here is my distribution of cameras by class:

The main distribution criteria:

Pro line of Nikon camera classes

About the line of Nikon camera classes. increase.

Useful plate with the dates of the announcements of cameras. Green indicates Nikon FX full-length cameras.

Camera release date
d1 15.06.1999
d1h 05.01.2001
d1x 05.01.2001
d100 21.01.2002
d2h 22.07.2003
d70 28.01.2004
d2x 16.09.2004
d2hs 16.01.2005
d70s 01.04.2005
d50 20.04.2005
d200 01.10.2005
d2xs 01.06.2006
d80 09.08.2006
d40 16.11.2006
d40x 06.03.2007
d3 23.08.2007
d300 23.08.2007
d60 01.01.2008
d700 01.07.2008
d90 27.08.2008
d3x 01.12.2008
d5000 14.04.2009
d300s 30.06.2009
d3000 30.07.2009
d3s 14.10.2009
d3100 19.08.2010
d7000 15.09.2010
d5100 05.04.2011
d4 06.01.2012
d800 06.02.2012
d800e 06.02.2012
d3200 19.04.2012
d600 13.09.2012
d5200 07.11.2012
d7100 01.02.2013
d610 08.10.2013
d5300 17.10.2013
df 05.11.2013
D3300 07.01.2014
D4s 25.02.2014
D810 26.06.2014
D750 11.09.2014
D5500 06.01.2015
D810a 10.02.2015
D7200 02.03.2015
D5 06.01.2016
D500 06.01.2016
D3400 17.08.2016
D5600 10.11.2016
D7500 12.04.2017
D850 24.08.2017
Nikon Z6 23.08.2018
Nikon Z7 23.08.2018
D3500 30.08.2018
Nikon Z50 10.10.2019
D780 07.01.2020
D6 11.02.2020
Nikon Z5 21.07.2020
Nikon z6 ii 14.10.2020
Nikon z7 ii 14.10.2020
  1. Nikon DX SLR cameras with APS-C sensor are marked in white
  2. Nikon DX mirrorless cameras with APS-C sensor are marked in pink
  3. Green indicates full-frame SLR cameras
  4. Full frame mirrorless cameras are marked in blue

Also, with the Nikon F mount, there are the following cameras: Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro, S2 Pro, S3 Pro, S3 Pro UVIRS5 Pro, IS Pro, Kodak DCS PRO 14n (and its modifications) and Kodak DCS Pro SLR / n (and its modifications)

Which cameras use the same sensor can see here.

My calculations on the performance of the Nikon CZK can be viewed here.

Letters S, H, X, E in Nikon Camera Names

  • S - usually this letter is attributed to the camera, which is simply updated version previous model without major modifications. for example Nikon D70s, D300s, D3s, D4s. These cameras have the same body and a similar matrix as in Nikon D70, D300, D3, D4. Roughly speaking, this is a cosmetic update to the camera with the addition of new useful features.
  • H - usually this letter is added to updated camera models when they want to show that the updated camera has the possibility of a good fast continuous shooting. Roughly speaking, a camera for sports photographers, photojournalists. D1h, D2h, D2hs - have just amazing frame buffer.
  • X - usually this letter is added to the updated camera model in which increased number of megapixels, but the main characteristics remained similar to the previous version. For example, Nikon D40 \ D40x, D1 \ D1x, D2x, D2xs, D3 \ D3x.
  • E - for cameras with missing low-pass filter (Nikon D800e)
  • A - for cameras designed for astro photography (Nikon D810a)
  • F - Fusion "Fusion" for cameras with retro body design (Nikon Df)
  • II - second version of the camera (Z6 -> Z6 II)

Comments here on the site do not require any registration. In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic, or leave your feedback, or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.


Using my tablet, you can immediately determine which class the Nikon digital SLR camera belongs to. Considering that each new round of evolution (from left to right) only improves the performance of cameras, it becomes very simple to choose the best option.

When choosing a Nikon SLR camera, I advise you to look in the 'Which Nikon camera to choose?'.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 258, on the topic: The evolution of Nikon cameras


    Good afternoon ! Dear Arkady Nikon D-5 was released: 06.01/2016/419, what was its price for that period, and when did it drop to 990 .6 rubles? What is your forecast when the price of Nikon D-419 drops to 990 .XNUMX rubles:?

    • B. R. P.

      You are unlikely to get an answer from Arkady, because he does not deal with such forecasts. I don’t know how much in rubles, as far as I remember in dollars, the price of the D5 was 6500. Cameras of this class are getting cheaper slowly. And, in fact, why do you need this forecast? Lost 419990 p?

  • Yuliya

    Hello! Thank you very much for this helpful blog! Let me ask you, in your opinion, which camera is better than the nikon d5600 or the canon eos 250d? For quality photography for a beginner with big plans for development in photography.) Thank you!

    • Alexey

      the price for Nikon optics is slightly higher than for Kenon optics. different ideology and ergonomics. just try it yourself, which will be more convenient. junior Nikon cameras cannot use old high-quality Nikon lenses, there will be no autofocus. you can install almost any old manual lenses on the kenon for inexpensive and have an excellent picture. Well, which of the familiar photographs is shooting what? you can rent optics from them. in short, there are many variables when choosing a system and the camera itself.

    • Ivan

      For a beginner, for their own development, any camera is suitable.

      • Alexey

        I started with 5DMkII, I chose it myself from many.

        • Ivan

          And I started with "Vilya-auto". And I also know a lot of examples when moneybags start with top-end cameras, but their photos are worse than real photography lovers who shoot with their phones.

          • Alexey

            I'm talking about DSLRs, and if at all about the beginning, then I shot at FED, then Zenith, then film soap boxes, then Nikons, various film mirrors, then digital cameras, and then DSLRs.

            • Ivan

              That's all right. The main thing is to love photography. And you can start with anything.

  • Jury

    What can you say about Coolpix p1000?

    • Ivan

      A bridge camera that looks like a DSLR costs almost like a DSLR and is much worse than a DSLR. And lenses cannot be changed on it. And on the simplest DSLR, you can put a lens with the same focal length and enjoy shooting.

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