First Time Nikon DSLR Camera Buyer’s Guide for Absolute Beginners

If you are absolutely new to DSLRs, have no technical knowledge about DSLRs and you are trying to find a budget cam with maximum value as well as you want to build a basic foundation in Nikon DSLRs with a side-by-side comparison to make your buying decision easy, you are at the right place.

As an absolute beginner in photography, I decided to choose a DSLR to enjoy my hobby. So I started to research and I found there are too many options and sometimes it is difficult to choose when you have too many options to choose from. After a small research and to make my research narrower I choose Nikon. Yet there are too many options to choose from. So I decided to continue my research and this post is a result of that research. Hope you’ll find this useful!

Nikon D3000 Series – Entry Level DSLRs

Nikon D3000 series is the most popular series for first-time DSLR buyers. D3500 is the most recent model in this series launched in 2018 while replacing D3400 which was launched back in 2016. The only difference between Nikon D3500 and Nikon D3400 is the camera’s weight and a slight change in design.

Nikon D3000 Series Features Comparison

D3000D3100D3200D3300D3400D3500
Date announced:11-Dec-200921-Dec-201025-Jul-201221-Apr-201417-Aug-201629-Aug-2018
SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:100 – 1600 ( expands to 3200)100 – 3200 ( expands to 12800)100 – 6400 ( expands to 12800)100 – 12800 ( expands to 25600)100 – 25600100 – 25600
Effective pixel count:10MP14MP24MP24MP24MP24MPS
Max shooting rate:3.0fps3.0fps4.0fps5.0fps5.0fps5.0fps
Max video resolution:No Video ModeFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinder
Screen:3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen
Dimensions:126 x 97 x 64 mm124 x 96 x 75 mm125 x 96 x 77 mm124 x 98 x 76 mm124 x 98 x 76 mm124 x 97 x 70 mm
Weight:536g.505g.505g.430g.395g.365g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D40Replaced Nikon D3000Replaced Nikon D3100Replaced Nikon D3200Replaced Nikon D3300Replaced Nikon D3400
Nikon D3000 Series features a Comparison table

Pros & Cons of D3500

  • Quick startup
  • Guide Mode is helpful for beginners
  • Excellent high ISO performance
  • Compact Design, Comfortable, deep grip
  • Fantastic battery life
  • No headphones, external mic, or accessory jacks
  • No Wi-Fi
  •  Average autofocus for moving subjects

Nikon D5000 Series

The special feature of the Nikon D5000 series is the articulated screen.

D5000D5100D5200D5300D5500D5600
Date announced:12-Jun-200926-Apr-201116-May-201312-Feb-20146-Jan-201510-Nov-2016
SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:ISO 200 – 3200 ( expands to 6400)ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 25600)ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 25600)ISO 100 – 12800 ( expands to 25600)ISO 100 – 25600ISO 100 – 25600
Effective pixel count:12MP16MP24MP24MP24MP24MP
Max shooting rate:4.0fps4.0fps5.0fps5.0fps5.0fps5.0fps
Max video resolution:HD – 1280 x 720 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinder
Screen:2.70″ Fully Articulated Screen3.00″ Fully Articulated Screen3.00″ Fully Articulated Screen3.20″ Fully Articulated Screen3.20″ Fully Articulated Screen3.20″ Fully Articulated Screen
Dimensions:127 x 104 x 80 mm128 x 97 x 79 mm129 x 98 x 78 mm125 x 98 x 76 mm124 x 97 x 70 mm124 x 97 x 70 mm
Weight:590g.560g.555g.480g.420g.465g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D60Replaced Nikon D5000Replaced Nikon D5100Replaced Nikon D5200Replaced Nikon D5300Replaced Nikon D5500
ConnectivityBuilt-in Wireless (Wifi)Built-in Wireless (Wifi)Built-in Wireless (Wifi)
GPSBuilt-in GPS
AA FilterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filter

Nikon D7000 Series

The special feature of the Nikon D7000 series is weather sealed body and amazing IOS expansion up to 1640000 in D7500.

D7000D7100D7200D7500
Date announced:30-Nov-201025-Apr-20132-Mar-201512-Apr-2017
SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorAPS-C CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 25600)ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 25600)ISO 100 – 25600 ( expands to 102400)ISO 100 – 51200 ( expands to 50 – 1640000)
Effective pixel count:16MP24MP24MP21MP
Max shooting rate:6.0fps6.0fps6.0fps8.0fps
Max video resolution:Full HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinder
Screen:3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Tilting Screen
Dimensions:132 x 105 x 77 mm136 x 107 x 76 mm136 x 107 x 76 mm136 x 104 x 73 mm
Weight:780g.765g.765g.720g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D90Replaced Nikon D7000Replaced Nikon D7100Replaced Nikon D7200
Weather ProtectionWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed Body
ConnectivityBuilt-in WirelessBuilt-in Wireless
AA FilterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filter

Nikon D Series- Pro DSLR cameras

D1D2D3D4D5D6
Date announced:27-Nov-20001-Jun-200516-Feb-20106-Jan-20125-Jan-201611-Feb-2020
SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CMOS SensorFull frame CMOS SensorFull frame CMOS SensorFull frame CMOS SensorFull frame CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:ISO 200 – 1600ISO 100 – 800 ( expands to 3200)ISO 200 – 12800 ( expands to 100 – 102400)ISO 100 – 12800 ( expands to 50 – 204800)ISO 100 – 102400 ( expands to 3280000)ISO 100 – 102400 ( expands to 50 – 3280000)
Effective pixel count:3MP –12MP –12MP –16MP –21MP –21MP –
Max shooting rate:5.0fps continuous shooting8.0fps continuous shooting11.0fps continuous shooting11.0fps continuous shooting14.0fps continuous shooting14.0fps continuous shooting
Max video resolution:No Video ModeNo Video ModeHD – 1280 x 720 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinder
Screen:2.00″ Fixed Type Screen2.50″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen
Dimensions:157 x 153 x 85 mm158 x 150 x 86 mm160 x 157 x 88 mm160 x 157 x 91 mm160 x 158.5 x 92 mm160 x 163 x 92 mm
Weight:1200g.1200g.1240g.1340g.1415g.1270g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D40Replaced Nikon D1XReplaced Nikon D3Replaced Nikon D3SReplaced Nikon D4sReplaced Nikon D5
Weather ProtectionWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed Body
WirelessBuilt-in Wireless

Nikon D40 to D90 Series

D40D60D70D80D90
Date announced:21-Dec-200619-Mar-20085-Apr-200423-Sep-200613-Oct-2008
SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CCD SensorAPS-C CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:ISO 200 – 1600 ( expands to 3200)ISO 100 – 1600 ( expands to 3200)ISO 200 – 1600ISO 100 – 1600 ( expands to 3200)ISO 200 – 3200 ( expands to 6400)
Effective pixel count:6MP10MP6MP10MP12MP
Max shooting rate:3.0fps continuous shooting3.0fps continuous shooting3.0fps continuous shooting3.0fps continuous shooting4.5fps continuous shooting
Max video resolution:No Video ModeNo Video ModeNo Video ModeNo Video ModeHD – 1280 x 720 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentamirror) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinder
Screen:2.50″ Fixed Type Screen2.50″ Fixed Type Screen1.80″ Fixed Type Screen2.50″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen
Dimensions:124 x 94 x 64 mm126 x 94 x 64 mm140 x 111 x 78 mm132 x 103 x 77 mm132 x 103 x 77 mm
Weight:522g.522g.679g.668g.703g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D40XReplaced Nikon D70Replaced Nikon D80

Nikon D100 to D800 Series

D100D200D300D500D600D700D800
Date announced:26-Jul-200223-Feb-200612-Mar-20085-Jan-201613-Nov-20127-Oct-200811-Jun-2012
SensorAPS-C CCD Sensor– APS-C CCD Sensor– APS-C CMOS Sensor– APS-C CMOS Sensor– Full frame CMOS Sensor– Full frame CMOS Sensor– Full frame CMOS Sensor
Lens/Mount:Nikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F MountNikon F Mount
Sensitivity range:ISO 200 – 1600ISO 100 – 1600 ( expands to 3200)ISO 200 – 3200 ( expands to 100 – 6400)ISO 100 – 51200 ( expands to 50 – 1640000)ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 50 – 25600)ISO 200 – 6400 ( expands to 100 – 25600)ISO 100 – 6400 ( expands to 25600)
Effective pixel count:6MP –10MP12MP21MP24MP12MP36MP
Max shooting rate:3.0fps continuous shooting5.0fps continuous shooting6.0fps continuous shooting10.0fps continuous shooting5.5fps continuous shooting5.0fps continuous shooting4.0fps continuous shooting
Max video resolution:No Video ModeNo Video ModeNo Video Mode4K (UHD) – 3840 x 2160 video resolutionFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolutionNo Video ModeFull HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution
Viewfinder:Optical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinderOptical (pentaprism) viewfinder
Screen:1.80″ Fixed Type Screen2.50″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Tilting Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen3.00″ Fixed Type Screen3.20″ Fixed Type Screen
Dimensions:144 x 116 x 81 mm147 x 113 x 74 mm147 x 114 x 74 mm147 x 115 x 81 mm141 x 113 x 82 mm147 x 123 x 77 mm146 x 123 x 82 mm
Weight:780g.920g.925g.860g.850g.1074g.900g.
ReplacedReplaced Nikon D60Replaced Nikon D100Replaced Nikon D200Replaced Nikon D300sReplaced Nikon D300SReplaced Nikon D700
Weather ProtectionWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed BodyWeather Sealed Body
AA FilterNo Anti-aliasing (AA) filter
GPSBuilt-in Wireless

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