Upsie’s Guide to the Top Nikon Cameras in 2021

In the age of the smartphone, owning a standalone camera isn’t as common as it used to be. There are plenty of people who consider their smartphone cameras good enough for their limited photography interest or skills. And that’s OK. But chances are if you’re reading this today, you’re not one of these people.
The truth is, standalone cameras like many from Nikon can drastically outperform even the best smartphones. They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, too. Sensor and lens sizes can’t get much bigger in a smartphone and certainly can’t compete with full-frame mirrorless or DSLR Nikon cameras.
If you’re interested in upping your photography game, a Nikon camera could be just the solution you’re looking for. However, the company has a wide array of offerings so it can be tough to know which to pick.
With this in mind, here are some of the top Nikon cameras you can get in 2021. (And if you’re getting one, don’t forget to pick up an extended camera warranty to match.)

Best All-Around: Nikon Z50 Mirrorless

Nikon’s Z50 mirrorless camera sits at a comfortable price point (currently, under $900) for most serious amateurs. It’s an APS-C format camera, which means you’re trading sensor size for compactness here. (Not sure what APS-C vs. full-frame is all about? Zeiss has a handy guide.)
As a compact mirrorless camera, the Z50 is surprisingly small. Yet it can still crank out 4K video footage and accommodate lenses of all sorts: the Nikkor Z lenses work here, as do full frame Nikkor Zs and even standard Nikon DSLR lenses (with the proper adapter).
Just one caveat here: there’s no stabilization built in. Also, as a mirrorless camera, the viewfinder is digital, not optical.

Best Full-Frame Mirrorless: Nikon Z6 II

This camera jumps up in price to around $2,000, but it can do a lot. It features a full frame CMOS sensor and shoots at 24.5 megapixels. The 3.2-inch monitor is a tilting touchscreen, which is an impressive thing to build into a camera.
The Z6 II can produce 4K video at 60fps, though the image will be cropped if you want the highest framerate. On the photo side, continuous shooting at 14 frames per second is impressive, as is the AF performance on this model.
If you’re looking for a prosumer full-frame mirrorless, it’s hard to go wrong with the Z6 II.

Best Entry Level DSLR: Nikon D3500

There’s a debate in photography circles between DSLR and mirrorless camera technologies. It’s too long and technical to get into here, but if you want to learn all about it, here you go. If nothing else, DSLR technology has been around longer and is more robustly developed, and the optical viewfinder is a big draw.
If you’re looking for a solid entry-level DSLR, it’s hard to go wrong with the Nikon D3500. Priced right around $500, it’s a relatively easy entry into the DSLR world. You’ll get fantastic image quality thanks to the 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and it comes in a relatively compact package.
More experienced photographers may wish for more features and a full frame sensor. But for the beginner, Guide Mode helps make sense of all the manual adjustments DSLR cameras are known for.
Make sure you get the version with the VR kit lens, as that added stabilization will help immensely.

Best Pro DSLR: D850

The Nikon D850 is pricey, sitting north of $2500. It’s clearly a pro model, not for beginners. The heavy, rugged body is “weather-sealed” and while we don’t recommend dropping it in the lake, it should survive the elements quite well. Great battery life, insane resolution and fast burst shooting round out the feature set, while the pentaprism viewfinder and 3.2-inch touchscreen with tilt function make using the camera a pleasure.

Nikon DSLRs Aren’t Cheap. Protect Yours with Upsie

Nikon is undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the DSLR camera space. As a result, there’s one thing many of their cameras aren’t: cheap. Whichever Nikon camera you pick up in their DSLR or mirrorless categories, expect to invest a decent chunk of change into it.
As with any expensive piece of electronics – especially as a portable device – it’s always a good idea to protect that investment with an extended warranty. Upsie offers digital camera and lens extended warranties that are easy to understand and easy to use. Accidental damage protection and liquid damage protection are included, as well as warranty coverage for all sorts of defects and part failures.
Whether you’re looking for two or three years of coverage, Upsie has an affordable plan that’s right for you. And if you need to make a repair under your extended warranty coverage, Upsie allows you to use trusted local repair shops!
Life’s too short to worry about a broken camera or lens. Get an Upsie extended camera warranty today so you can keep living life and taking great photos.

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