Photography

Nikon’s DL premium compact trio are all about their lenses

Nikon’s DL premium compact tri...
The Nikon DL-series are premium compact cameras with one-inch-type sensors
The Nikon DL-series are premium compact cameras with one-inch-type sensors
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The Nikon DL18-50 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
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The Nikon DL18-50 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
The Nikon DL18-50 will cost US$850 when it released later this year
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The Nikon DL18-50 will cost US$850 when it released later this year
The Nikon DL18-50 is well suited to shooting landscapes and architecture and features Perspective Control capabilities
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The Nikon DL18-50 is well suited to shooting landscapes and architecture and features Perspective Control capabilities
The lens on the Nikon DL18-50 benefits from Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce lens flare
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The lens on the Nikon DL18-50 benefits from Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce lens flare
The Nikon DL24-85 lacks a built-in EVF, but is compatible with the optional tilting DF-F1 EVF
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The Nikon DL24-85 lacks a built-in EVF, but is compatible with the optional tilting DF-F1 EVF
Nikon DL24-85 offers a 24-85-mm (equivalent) F1.8-F2.8 zoom lens
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Nikon DL24-85 offers a 24-85-mm (equivalent) F1.8-F2.8 zoom lens
The Nikon DL24-85 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
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The Nikon DL24-85 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
The Nikon DL24-85 can shoot 4K video at up to 30/25 fps
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The Nikon DL24-85 can shoot 4K video at up to 30/25 fps
The Nikon DL24-85 has a Super Macro mode giving users the option to capture small subjects at life-size
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The Nikon DL24-85 has a Super Macro mode giving users the option to capture small subjects at life-size
The Nikon DL24-500 features a built in electronic viewfinder
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The Nikon DL24-500 features a built in electronic viewfinder
The Nikon DL24-500 is styled more like a DSLR than its fellow DL cameras
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The Nikon DL24-500 is styled more like a DSLR than its fellow DL cameras
The rear monitor on the Nikon DL24-500 is a vari-angle offering
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The rear monitor on the Nikon DL24-500 is a vari-angle offering
The Nikon DL24-500 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
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The Nikon DL24-500 features a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor
The lens on the Nikon DL24-500 make it well suited to shooting a variety of subjects from travel to wildlife or sports
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The lens on the Nikon DL24-500 make it well suited to shooting a variety of subjects from travel to wildlife or sports
The rear touchscreen on the Nikon DL18-50 can tilt upwards for selfie shooting
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The rear touchscreen on the Nikon DL18-50 can tilt upwards for selfie shooting
The Nikon DL-series are premium compact cameras with one-inch-type sensors
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The Nikon DL-series are premium compact cameras with one-inch-type sensors
The lenses are the main difference between the trio of Nikon DL premium compact cameras
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The lenses are the main difference between the trio of Nikon DL premium compact cameras
View gallery - 17 images

Nikon has finally decided to enter the market of premium compact zoom cameras with not one, but three new shooters. The DL trio share many specs including a 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type sensor, with their focal length range being the main distinguisher between them. One camera focuses on the wide angle, one has a standard zoom, and the other features a long super zoom.

It's surprising Nikon has taken so long to follow the likes of Sony, Canon and Panasonic in releasing a line of premium one-inch-type sensor compact cameras. Especially considering it's already has a premium fixed prime Coolpix A compact, and its own line of Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras use a one-inch sensor. However, what the firm lacks in speed to market, it appears to make up for in choice with three cameras being launched simultaneously.

The trio of DL cameras, which Nikon says stands for Digital Lens, are each built around the same core, and share a number of specifications. First of all they each have the same 20.8-megapixel one-inch-type (13.2 x 8.8 mm) CMOS sensor which is paired with Nikon's new Expeed 6A image processor.

The lenses are the main difference between the trio of Nikon DL premium compact cameras
The lenses are the main difference between the trio of Nikon DL premium compact cameras

This allows the cameras to shoot high quality JPEG or RAW images with an ISO range of 160 to 6,400, expandable to 12,800. They also have the ability to rattle off up to 20 fps (frames per seconds) with full AF performance, or up to 60 fps with fixed focus. The speed should also continue to autofocus performance, where a hybrid (105-point phase detection AF and 171-point contrast-detect AF) autofocus system promises accurate and fast focusing and subject tracking.

The new DL cameras can also shoot 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) video at up to 30/25 fps and Full HD 1080p at up to 60/50 fps. Around back there are matching 3-inch OLED touchscreen monitors each with 1,037k dots, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC are on hand for sharing content and remote control via SnapBridge. Users of Nikon's DSLRs will find the menu systems familiar, and the cameras all boast manual controls including various dials, and rings around their respective lenses.

Nikon DL18-50

The rear touchscreen on the Nikon DL18-50 can tilt upwards for selfie shooting
The rear touchscreen on the Nikon DL18-50 can tilt upwards for selfie shooting

The ultra wide angle 18-50-mm (equivalent) F1.8-F2.8 lens on the Nikon DL18-50 makes it well suited to shooting landscapes and architecture. As such, it is good to note that it benefits from Nikon's Nano Crystal Coat to reduce lens flare. In addition to optical vibration reduction, the DL18-50 also boasts Perspective Control capabilities, which will be of particular interest to architecture shooters.

The camera measures 106 x 63 x 57.5 mm (4.1 x 2.5 x 2.2 in) and weighs 365g (12.8 oz). While its touchscreen monitor can be tilted, there's no built-in viewfinder, with photographers having the possibility of using the optional tilting DF-F1 EVF with 2,359k dots.

Nikon DL24-85

The Nikon DL24-85 can shoot 4K video at up to 30/25 fps
The Nikon DL24-85 can shoot 4K video at up to 30/25 fps

For those who want a more standard zoom length the DL24-85 offers a 24-85-mm (equivalent) with a matching variable maximum aperture of F1.8-F2.8. In addition to the 4-step equivalent optical vibration reduction, the lens also has a Super Macro option giving users the ability to capture small subjects at life-size. When doing this, the focus peaking option (which is available on all of the DL cameras) will be of particular use.

At 104.9 x 61.3 x 49.8 (4.1 x 2.5 x 2 in) and 350 g (12.3 oz) the Nikon DL24-85 is marginally smaller and lighter than the DL18-50. It once again has a tilting monitor and the option of attaching the DF-F1 EVF via the hot-shoe.

Nikon DL24-500

The Nikon DL24-500 is styled more like a DSLR than its fellow DL cameras
The Nikon DL24-500 is styled more like a DSLR than its fellow DL cameras

The wide 24-500-mm (equivalent) zoom range of the DL24-500 makes it well suited to shooting a variety of subjects from travel to wildlife or sports. However, the variable maximum aperture ranges from F2.8 to F5.8 as you move from wide angle to super telephoto. The vibration reduction on this camera also benefits from a Sports mode which gives a stable viewfinder image during high-speed shooting.

To make room for that lens, the DL24-500 is not as compact as its stable-mates. Measuring 122.5 x 89.9 x 138.8 mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 5.5 in) and weighing 780 g (27.6 oz) it looks more like a DSLR. This is continued on the back of the camera where there's built-in EVF with 2,359k dots. The touchscreen is also slightly different in that it's vari-angle rather than just tilting, allowing more shooting positions.

All of the new Nikon DL cameras are expected to start shipping around June. When they do, the DL24-85 will set you back US$650, the DL18-50 will cost US$850 and the DL24-500 will sell for $1,000.

You can check out a video introducing the Nikon DL-series below.

Product pages: Nikon DL24-85, DL18-50 and DL24-500

View gallery - 17 images
3 comments
BartyLobethal
The "18-50" and "24-85" models look OK on paper, except for the lack of an integral EVF. I guess most people are happy to compose & focus using the rear display but this is a poor way to hold a camera, is often a poor choice in bright conditions and in crowds the sea of LCD displays obstructs the view of others. The optional EVF will drive up the cost, isn't likely to be as robust as a built-in EVF and means that if you want to use external flash then you can't use an EVF at all. Almost there Nikon, but not quite.
JGTinNJ
Best feature is that they opted for more compactness over including a built in EVF. Too bad the screen can be moved, that too adds weight and size. I am still waiting for the Coolpix A update (if they ever decide to do it), but if by June it is not announced I will go with one of these.
Knut
You forget that you have the Coolpix J and P serie, the latest P910. These are incredible flexible - you get comparable to a 1000mm lense in your pocket. Not only can you capture the squirrel in the garden, but also its eye when it winks at you...The DL24-500 seems to be similar.