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 (often these cameras are called true professional cameras). It is easy to distinguish by such features as the fact that they do not have a built-in flash, have an additional second handle for portrait photography, use very capacious batteries and fast memory cards CF. These cameras have two additional displays. They can do everything that professional cameras can do.
  2. Professional (often these cameras are called semi-professional cameras). These cameras do not have automatic modes, have a weatherproof body, use fast memory cards CF and special connectors for control. They can do everything that advanced amateur cameras can do.
  3. Advanced amateur (often these cameras are called mid-range cameras). Use cards SD, can control external flashes, support fast synchronization 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 are light in weight and have few controls. Use SD cards.
  • D3 (FX)
  • D3x (FX)
  • D3s (FX)
  • D4 (FX)
  • D4s (FX)
  • D5 (FX)
  • D6 (FX)
  • Z9 (FX)
  • Df (FX)
  • D800 (FX)
  • D800E (FX)
  • D810 (FX)
  • D810a (FX)
  • D850 (FX)

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
Nikon z9 10.03.2021
Nikon Z fc 29.06.2021
Nikon z30 29.06.2022
Nikon z8 10.05.2023
Nikon Zf 20.09.2023
  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 on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment 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?'.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment: Igor IVANOVICH



Comments: 290, on the topic: The evolution of Nikon cameras

  • Oleg

    Hello, on the Nikon D5200 zhiztnaya manifests itself, and on the Kenon 650d blue. Is it possible to adjust the yellowness to neutral on d5200?

    • Twilight_Sun

      both cameras have several white balance settings (including white sheet, emnip), in addition, you can shoot in raw and adjust colors later in convenient software subjectively better than automation did.

  • vvv

    in d50 matrix from d200

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It is not.

  • Alexander

    Alexey, hello.
    You have a good site.
    I found a resource for a laboratory testing sensors. How do you comment on the comparison of D90 and D300 in view of your statement that they have the same sensor (|0/%28brand%29/Nikon/%28appareil2%29/440|0/%28brand2%29/Nikon)? Не помните, откуда такая информация?

    • Arkady Shapoval


  • anonym

    I wanted to buy a D3100 18-105 for 17 thousand rubles, but I came to the store and there they assured me to buy a D7000 18-105 for 23 thousand rubles. I decided to think a couple of days. Now I’m racking my brains. Maybe the D7000 has a marriage, otherwise why did it suddenly decide to give it so cheaply ?!
    Thank you in advance!

  • Andrei

    I don't agree with Df, although nikon assures that this is the top segment, but based on the technical characteristics, namely the resource 150000, the minimum shutter speed of 1/4000 and the speed of continuous shooting, the camera is on a par with the d600 / 610 d7100 ... ..

    • Arkady Shapoval

      no flash and auto modes

      • Andrei

        The situation is twofold, here and yes and no. I agree that the price and a number of functions indicate the top segment, but exactly the same number of functions indicates the opposite. Personally, the design, the quality of the materials and the 16MP full-frame matrix really captivates me. If I faced a choice between 610 and Df, I would definitely choose Df, albeit 750 bucks more.

  • Igor

    D7000 is definitely better than D3100 ...

  • Sergey.

    Good day. advise, I now have a Nikon d60 and 2 lenses nikon 18-135 and nikon 70-300. Today I had the opportunity to take pictures at 5200. I liked the pictures very much, but I want to take the d90. Advise that all the same it is better to get nikond90 or Nikon d5200. The video in the camera does not bother me. I take photos only in manual mode. First of all, the picture is important to me. thanks

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The picture in the d5200 is better than the D90.

      • anonym

        Thank you!

      • Sergey.

        What if high-speed flash sync is also important?

    • anonym

      Maybe the D5200 has a better picture, but the D90 is better anyway. It is much closer to professional equipment than the D5200-

      • Jury

        Subjectively. For those who value image quality, the D5200 is better. For those who value ergonomics and support for screwdriver lenses, the D90 is better.

  • Alexey

    Good afternoon.
    And where did the old table go? Can I get her back?

  • Alice

    I'm interested in what is better to take Nikon D5200 or Nikon D7000?
    Nikon D5200 already used, nice user-friendly interface, everything is clear. But it seems to me an opportunity to replace the camera, so I’m thinking: change or not?
    I shoot mostly indoors. Often you have to catch moments, because a small child - and I want to capture everything. I would like to continue to develop as a photographer - to strive for something.
    Which is better to choose: D5200 (brand new 2013goda) or D7000 (2010goda). Both there and there are pros and cons. I look forward to hearing)))

  • Vladislav

    I liked the old drawing plate better ...

  • Serzh

    Good day. I now have a Nikon D60 18-105. as stated in the budget is limited. It is possible to take the D90 (with hands) and D7000 (also with hands). Tell me what is better to buy, given that you need a camera with high-speed flash sync. thanks

  • Igor

    Hello Arkady. Thank you for your work. There is an opportunity to buy Nikon D4. Is it worth changing the D5100 to D4, please write a review of Nikon D4.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is generally such a question in a person, then it is not worth changing.

  • Denis

    Arkady, hello. I am inclined to choose Nikon D5300 and Nikon D7000. Tell me which option is preferable and it is worth taking an 18-105VR lens to them. Maybe it makes sense to add a little more and take another lens. I plan to photograph everything and everywhere. Before that, there was Kiev 19 and a soap box.

  • Sergei

    Arkady, why is there no D5100 on the plate?

  • Sergei

    I apologize, remove my question due to carelessness

  • anonym

    D60 and d3000 have different matrices. Even by type, 60 is the last amateur SLR with a matrix of the CCD type, for 3000 and further already CMOS. At one time it was an epic ccd against cmos, up to 3000 cm matrices were placed only on kenon, on Nikon only ccd. And they tried to explain the differences in the image of these respected brands, such as white balance, skinton, etc. only by the type of matrix.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If we are talking about the Nikon D60, Nikon D3000, then at least take the time to look at the dates of their announcements. Nikon D3000 CCD (p) Next, think for yourself :)

  • Simon

    and you don’t have CANON camera evolution

  • Pacman

    To see and feel the difference with cropped cameras, you need to get used to FF and understand it. It is also highly desirable to have an idea of ​​SLR cameras in general and to understand what and how to do and where to twist before moving on to a full frame.

  • Novel

    Good day. The essence of the question: I select a used device, for home and family + trips. There is a Zenith 122nd and 6 different lenses ... a tripod ... a light meter ... a Unumat flash ... rings ... a couple of filters. In general, I'm not a pro, but I periodically use Zenith, when I was black and white photos, I took photos myself.
    The problem with the development of films ... and the soap dish opposite to the Zenith does not suit ... What model would you recommend? According to reviews, it seems like nothing like this: Canon PowerShot SX20IS ... Canon PowerShot SX500IS ... Canon EOS 20D. I didn’t feel them, so I liked them very relatively.

    • Practitioner

      I would certainly take 20d, but better 40d bkb 50d if possible

  • Anna

    Good day! I have Nikon D 50, I go to study on the photo, and I want to exchange it for Nikon D 610. I have three lenses, kit, Nikon 50mm f / 1.8D AF Nikkor, Nikon 70-300mm f / 4.0-5.6G AF Zoom-Nikkor Tell me can I use them with the D610?
    PS: Do not judge strictly, I'm just learning)

    • Pastor

      The kit will work only in the DH format normally, in the full-frame format 18-55 will not be able to cover the corners of the frame - there will be black corners or even a round image inside a black rectangle at wide focal lengths. The other two lenses will work without any problems on the d610.

  • Anna

    Thanks a lot for your answer! Recommend good lenses to Nikon D 610. For macro.

    • Pastor

      The best value for money is the Nikon 105mm f / 2.8G IF-ED AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor. Another option is the lens from Tamron 90 2.8 (there are several versions, it is better to take the latter from the sun stabilizers).

    • Maugli

      If there is a lot of money, then Nikon 105mm 2.8G VR, if not so much then Nikon 105mm 2.8D. Still Tokina 100mm 2.8 many praise.

  • anonym

    mojete linknut 'evoluciu kamer canon..v takom je formate kak eto sdelano dlia nikona (vishe) .. spasibo)

  • anonym

    bolshoe spasibo)

  • Elena

    The information was very useful to me. I think between 810 and d500. Tell me please. I shoot weddings in a small town for 2 amateur canon 600 d glass 50 2.8 nikon 5100 two glasses 18-105 and 70-300. Just like changing the city to Novosib ... it’s already a shame to shoot amateur photographers, and my soul requires a continuation of the banquet) And will the lenses fit for Nikon?

  • anonym

    Why is the D300s, which is far behind the D7000 in all respects, considered professional?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The class of the camera does not depend on its year of manufacture. And not for everyone: 8 fps, professional control, a fully magnesium body, additional professional peripheral, a much better focusing system does not do honor for the d7000.

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