Are you a photographer who wants to challenge yourself by moving from a smartphone to camera photography? We have selected the best Nikon cameras for beginners in 2023 that will help you unleash your potential.

One day, you realize that you've outgrown the limited features of your phone’s camera and want to dive into the world of real photography. So, to achieve your goal, you need the right camera, that is, one that combines ease of use, functionality, and decent image quality. Nikon will be the starting point of your photographic journey. After all, it has a line of intuitive models with good manual modes, different lenses, and affordable prices. In this guide, we’ve selected the top 5 models and prepared a few tips on how to choose a camera that meets your needs.

Choosing Nikon Starter Camera: What Factors to Consider? 

The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(2)When you look through a lot of cameras of all types and with different functions in online stores, you may think that you’ll never find your tool. It is so hard! In fact, it is not such a problem. First, you should know what you need the camera for. To get valuable skills to use in a creative industry? To capture amazing moments in life for your personal archive? Or do you want to become a travel blogger to share stunning images of mountains, lakes, waterfalls, canyons, and other locations on our planet with your followers?

Also, pay attention to the entry-level camera, which will be easy enough for you to learn and gives you everything you need as you grow in the photography industry. Let’s look at a few more important factors to consider when choosing equipment: 

  • Image quality. If you want to create sharp and clear photos with excellent color reproduction, choose the model with a high-resolution sensor and wide dynamic range. Each Nikon camera for beginners meets these features. The resolution of such photography equipment ranges from 16 to 24 megapixels, which already shows you excellent image quality that perfectly fits into your Instagram feed or YouTube channel. Of course, if you want to take photos to print them in a magazine, select the option with more megapixels. Doing post-processing of images taken on this camera in the photo editor, you’ll not encounter a deterioration in image quality.
  • Easy to use. When you’re just starting out in the world of photography, it’s important that you find a beginner camera that is easy and intuitive to use. That’s why, while you are learning, don’t be tempted by cool models with a lot of buttons and functions that can confuse you and even discourage you from going further. Choose something simpler, that has an Auto mode, user-friendly interface, and easy-to-navigate menu. 
  • Manual mode. Have you already played around with Auto mode and feel confident in the basics of photography? Then pay attention to the Nikon camera for beginners with manual mode. It allows you to experiment with different settings, such as ISO, exposure, brightness, and others, expanding your creative opportunities.
  • Lenses. If you plan to take up photography seriously and develop your skills without any restrictions, select the option with interchangeable lenses. What advantages does it give you? By experimenting with different lenses, you learn how to work with any type of photography. For example, the wide-angle options give you opportunities to master landscape and architecture photography. Zoom allows you to capture birds in the sky and other distant subjects with convenience and mobility. Fast aperture lenses are found if you want to capture portraits that reflect a person’s true emotions and facial features. And with a macro lens, you can capture small specks of an insect, the original pattern of a butterfly, or other details in an enlarged view. 
  • Features. Sit down at the table and write down the features of the entry-level Nikon cameras that are very important to you. Do you need a photography gadget with a flip-out screen for your selfie and blogs? Is it critical for you that the camera has good image stabilization? Or do you want to transfer your content to your smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to further them with the help of the best editing picture software
  • Video. This factor is important if you want to unleash the world of blogging. The camera for beginners with a 4K format is the best solution in this case. The value of this revolutionary format lies in the high picture quality, with incredible detail and natural color reproduction. 
  • Price. If you’re just starting to learn the basics of serious photography, there is no sense in spending money on an expensive camera with fancy features. You don’t need to save much money, either. It’s better to choose an entry-level option, for which you can pick up good lenses. And it is better to invest in cheap equipment with high-quality lenses than in an expensive body and low-quality optical systems. You can find a good variant for $400 – $800. 

Mirrorless or DSLR Camera: Which is the Best Choice to Start? 

The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(3)Most green photographers puzzle over which to choose: mirrorless or Nikon DSLR camera for beginners. In fact, both types are great for starting out and have their advantages and disadvantages. Thus, DSLRs have a wider range of lenses and provide better, more professional-quality of images, even in low-light conditions. Instead, mirrorless models focus faster on moving subjects when shooting sports or wildlife than DSLRs. And they are lighter and more compact because there is no special mirror inside to reflect light into the image sensor. 

The 5 Best Nikon Starter Cameras: Everything for Your Needs 

We’ve considered the main points that you should pay attention to when choosing photographic equipment for a successful start to improving your skills. Now let’s get acquainted with the top 5 cameras from Nikon on this list. In it, we’ve included models of different price ranges that suit your needs and ambitions. 

1. Nikon Z50: Combination of Great Ergonomic and Functionality

The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(4)MAIN FEATURES         

Type:  Mirrorless camera

Processor: Expeed 6

Viewfinder: Electronic

Sensor: APS–C 

Megapixels: 21.9

ISO: 100 – 51 200

Screen: Touch screen 

Burst mode speed: up to 11 fps 

Video: 4K UHD 

Dimensions (W × H × D): 126.5 x93.5×60 mm 

Weight: 450g with battery and memory card      


  • Excellent photo and video quality
  • Ergonomic body
  • Weatherproof


  • Limited range of lenses      

Are you looking for a compact and powerful camera with a wide range of functions? This mirrorless model is what you need. This is a good Nikon camera for beginners. It has a touchscreen, as well as intuitive buttons, and a simple menu. Once you get your fingers on the ergonomic grip of this small photography gadget, you won’t want to let it go. And thanks to the durable magnesium body and weatherproof coating, you can practice in any environment. 

This Nikon camera is also proud of its fast performance, ease of use, and incredible photo quality. Thanks to a big viewfinder with a 20.9-megapixel resolution, the picture in the frame is detailed, with impressive sharpness, depth, and natural color reproduction. If you want to practice taking portraits of people and animals, the advanced autofocus function keeps eyes and a subject in focus. 

With a wide ISO sensitivity range, this photography tool performs well both day and night. The camera fixes everything you see: city streets with daylight, unbelievable sunrises in the mountains, stunning sunsets, dusk on the ocean, and other beauty with high quality. 

This starter Nikon camera is the best solution if you like to capture live emotions, adrenaline, and movement. After all, thanks to Expeed 6 processor it allows you to shoot bursts of 11 frames per second, focusing on the desired subject and automatically setting the exposure, taking action photos of high quality.

Amazing photography is not the only thing this model is proud of. It can also record stunning 4K video at 30 frames per second and Full HD with different frame rates. This content with dramatic or slow-motion effects is ideal if you're just starting out as a blogger or shooting for commercial projects. And to get a clear sound when shooting your voice in the frame, the camera has a special connector to which you can connect an external microphone. 

What makes this gadget one of the best Nikon cameras for beginners to create photo and video content is the large LCD screen that you can tilt up or down to create interesting selfies. And the 20 built-in creative effects allow you to find your own style. By the way, you can lighten the image or make other fascinating changes in post-processing on your computer. Photos that were taken on one of the best cameras have enough resolution for it.

2. Nikon Z5 – The Best Nikon DSLR for Beginners With Full-Frame Shooting Capabilities 

The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(5)MAIN FEATURES             

Type:  Mirrorless 

Processor: EXPEED 6 

Viewfinder: Electronic

Sensor: Full-Frame CMOS 

Megapixels: 24.3

ISO: 100 – 51 200 

Screen: Titling touchscreen 

Burst mode speed: 4.5 fps 

Video: 4K UHD 

Dimensions (W × H × D): 134×100.5×69.5 mm 

Weight: 590g


  • Full-frame opportunities
  • Image stabilization
  • Nice focus
  • Compact


  • With 4.5 fps is difficult to shoot good photos of sports and other activity
  • 1.7x crop when recording video                

Are you excited about the incredible quality and creative possibilities of full-frame shooting, but have a limited budget? We recommend you review this entry-level full-frame best Nikon beginner camera. It's affordable as well as combines entry and professional-level features, which makes it a great starting point for your journey into the full-frame shooting of landscape, portrait, and wildlife photography

Thanks to the world's widest full-frame Z mount and a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, you get photos and videos of excellent quality and unbelievable depth, with all details and beautiful natural colors. And in any lighting conditions, whether at dawn, in the afternoon when the sun is shining brightly, or at night under the moonlight, you'll get great results without noise or other defects. This is thanks to the wide ISO sensitivity range (100-51200). 

Despite the fact that the Nikon for beginners shoots only 4.5 frames per second during burst shooting, it impresses with a good 273-point autofocus system, that provides sharp focus. So, you can capture water splashes while swimming in the ocean, an eagle flying in the sky, exciting jumps, and much more easily and quickly. And thanks to Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF, you can create great portraits of people, dogs, cats, and wildlife by focusing on the subject's eye. 

One of the best Nikon for beginners allows you to capture crisp, blur-free photos, as it has 5-Axis image stabilization. It prevents image shaking when hand tremors, traveling in a car, or standing on top of a mountain with a strong wind. 

This model also has another strong side. This is an opportunity to shoot videos in 4K format with clear frames with smooth transitions between shooting objects. Together with the tilting touchscreen, this is a great find for beginner bloggers.

In order to achieve new heights, the beginner Nikon camera proposes you a big range of compact lenses. Since it's compact, lightweight, and durable, you can it with you anywhere, even on journeys, just putting it in your backpack. And you can charge anywhere with a USB cable without interrupting the shooting process, simply connect the device to the power bank. 

3. Nikon COOLPIX P950: Excellent Entry-level Camera for Serious Shoots

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Type: Bridge Camera

    Processor: EXPEED

    Viewfinder: Electronic

    Sensor: 1/2.3" CMOS

    Megapixels: 16

    ISO: 100-6400

      Screen: 3.2-inch Vari-Angle TFT LCD

      Burst mode speed: 7fps

      Video: 4K UHD (2160p) at 30p

      Dimensions (W × H × D): 140.2 × 109.6 × 149.8 mm

      Weight: 1005g (with battery and memory card)


      • Incredible 83x optical zoom range, ideal for wildlife and distant subjects

      • 4K video recording capabilities

      • Vari-angle LCD screen for flexible shooting angles

      • Electronic viewfinder for clear and stable viewing

      • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy sharing and remote control


      • Bulky size compared to typical DSLRs or mirrorless cameras

      • Higher noise levels at higher ISO settings

      • Limited aperture range due to the superzoom lens

      The Nikon COOLPIX P950 is a versatile bridge camera that offers the extensive reach of an 83x optical zoom lens, making it perfect for capturing distant wildlife, sports, and celestial bodies. Its 16-megapixel sensor and advanced EXPEED image-processing engine provide clear, detailed images across a broad ISO range.

      This camera is a boon for beginners who wish to explore the realms of superzoom photography without the complexity of changing lenses. The P950’s electronic viewfinder and vari-angle LCD screen aid in composing shots from various perspectives, while the 4K UHD video recording feature allows for high-quality video capture.

      Though it's bulkier than standard DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, the P950’s ergonomic design ensures comfortable handling during extended shooting sessions. Its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities enhance its convenience, enabling easy sharing and remote shooting.

      Despite its size and the noise performance at high ISO settings, the COOLPIX P950 stands out for its phenomenal zoom capabilities and ease of use, making it an excellent camera for beginners looking to capture stunning images and videos from afar.

      4. Nikon Zfc: Power and More Creative Opportunities

      The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(7)


      Type: Mirrorless

      Processor: EXPEED 6

        Viewfinder: Electronic (OLED EVF)

          Sensor: APS-C (DX-format) CMOS

            Megapixels: 20.9

              ISO: 100 – 51200, expandable to 204800

                Screen: Vari-angle touchscreen LCD

                  Burst mode speed: Up to 11fps

                    Video: 4K UHD (2160p) up to 30 fps, Full HD (1080p) up to 120 fps

                      Dimensions (W × H × D): 134.5 × 93.5 × 43.5 mm

                        Weight: 390g


                        • Superior image quality with vibrant colors and fine details

                        • High-resolution vari-angle touchscreen for flexible shooting angles

                        • Compact and retro design with ergonomic handling


                        • Lacks in-body image stabilization

                        • Limited battery life compared to some DSLRs

                        If you're beginning your photography journey and looking for a camera that blends classic design with modern functionality, the Nikon Z fc is an excellent choice. This mirrorless camera is not only stylish but also packed with features that make it easy to use for newcomers. With its 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor and EXPEED 6 processor, the Nikon Z fc captures stunning images full of detail and vibrant colors, even in challenging lighting conditions, thanks to its wide ISO range of 100-51200, expandable to 204800.

                        The Nikon Z fc offers an intuitive experience, with easy-to-navigate menus and controls that help you learn as you shoot. The camera's fast autofocus system ensures that whether you're capturing spontaneous street scenes, fleeting expressions, or dynamic action, your subjects remain in sharp focus, with the ability to shoot at up to 11 frames per second.

                        Videography is a breeze with the Z fc, as it supports 4K UHD video recording, allowing you to create high-quality content for your YouTube channel or personal projects. The vari-angle touchscreen LCD provides the flexibility to compose shots from various angles, perfect for vloggers and creative shooting.

                        The Nikon Z fc is compatible with a wide range of Z-mount lenses, offering versatility whether you're into portrait photography with beautiful background blur, wildlife photography requiring long focal lengths, or wide-angle shots for landscapes and architecture.

                        This camera stands out for its retro design, reminiscent of Nikon's classic film cameras, yet it offers the modern convenience of features like built-in artistic effects and SnapBridge connectivity for easy sharing and transferring of images to your smartphone or tablet.

                        Do you value tactile feel and ergonomics in cameras created for beginners to make professional photography? This model gives you that. As soon as you pick it up and touch the grip with your fingers, you will feel as if the device is an extension of your body. You'll want to take it everywhere, whether you're in urban megacities or wading through the Amazon rainforest. 

                        5. Nikon D7500 – The Best Nikon DSLR for Beginners Who Wants to Realize Creative Ambitions 

                        The Best Nikon Cameras for Beginners | Skylum Blog(8)MAIN FEATURES                

                        Type: DSLR  

                        Processor: EXPEED 5

                        Viewfinder: Optical 

                        Sensor: APS-C

                        Megapixels: 20.9

                        ISO: 100 – 51 200 

                        Screen: Titling touchscreen 

                        Burst mode speed: 8fps 

                        Video: 4K, Full HD 

                        Dimensions (W × H × D): 135.5×104×72.5 mm 

                        Weight: 720g 


                        • The excellent image clarity in low light conditions
                        • 4K video
                        • Improved autofocus system
                        • Capability with a smartphone through Snap Bridge


                        • Bulky                                                          

                        Do you already know some basics of photography and feel like you've outgrown the D3500 and D5600 models but aren't feeling confident in your creativity yet? Try this model. Although it offers a lower resolution of 20.9 megapixels, it is more advanced in other ways and allows you to grow professionally. 

                        Thanks to the EXPEED 5 processor and 180K-pixel RGB sensor, you get sharp exposures and detailed images with incredible tones and natural colors, even in Auto mode. This beginner Nikon DSLR camera provides professional results even when you shoot romantic candles in a dark room, a famous singer on stage, or the scenery of a remote night city. You can do this with a sensitivity range of ISO 100 – 51200. 

                        The advantage of one of the best Nikon cameras for beginners is that its 51-point autofocus system is ideal for action photography, as it effectively captures and focuses on a person, dog, or another subject in motion, providing incredible image clarity. And the advanced high-speed continuous shooting mode lets you capture up to 50 RAW images and 100 JPEG images. 

                        And thanks to the tilting touchscreen you can get amazing shots by choosing the most interesting angles, for example, from the bottom up when shooting a plant growing through asphalt. 

                        Do you dream of becoming a video blogger or director? This best Nikon SLR camera for beginners is a good choice for you. It lets you shoot unbelievable videos in popular formats such as 4K and Full HD at frame rates up to 60fps, with exposure equalization and reduction of flicker and other defects. You can use this model with confidence for your blog or commercial projects. 

                        Overall, with the ability to connect to a variety of lenses, it's the perfect camera for capturing the world's natural wonders, portraits, cityscapes, and action shots. 


                        Selecting a camera that can become your gates into the world of real photography and video art is like a puzzle. But not everything is as difficult as it seems at first glance if you’ll consider your budget, needs, and level of camera experience. In this article, we've selected the best starter Nikon DSLR cameras with different features. For example, the D3500 model with Guide mode is a good choice for completely green photographers who don’t understand all the basic nuances of working with frames. At the same time, Nikon Z5 and D7500 have more advanced functions that suit those who already know something about photography art. By finding the right camera, you’ll grow significantly and become a photographer whose photos will captivate people at first sight. 


                        What Is the Best Nikon Camera for Beginners to Use?

                        We recommend you pay attention to The Nikon D3500 as one of the best beginner Nikon cameras. It is popular through intuitive controls, a simple interface, and a Guide Mode with step-by-step instructions for different shooting situations that help you to learn the basis of photography. 

                        Is Canon or Nikon Better for Beginners?

                        Both brands are proud of their devices with excellent image quality, a wide range of lenses, functionality, and pleasant price. So, it is important to choose a model that meets your needs, type of photography, and budget, regardless of the brand. 

                        What Nikon Beginner Cameras Do Photographers Use?

                        As practice shows, most photographers who are doing their first steps in the photography world, prefer Nikon D3500. 

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