Looking for the best Nikon mirrorless camera you can buy right now? Good news: our list below features all of the top models to suit every budget and style of shooting, based on the results of our comprehensive testing.
DSLR might remain the format of choice for traditionalists, but it’s hard to beat mirrorless if you want a combination of cutting-edge features, versatility, portability, and photographic performance.
Ready to join the Nikon mirrorless revolution? From Nikon mirrorless entry-level models for APS-C newbies to Nikon full-frame cameras that cost more than your monthly salary, this buying guide covers the very best mirrorless equipment you can purchase at this time – whatever your expectations. It also details the benefits and limitations of the mirrorless format, explaining why you might want to make the switch from DSLR.
Our top overall pick right now is the Nikon Z6. Small and light, it also handles well and features a full-frame sensor. Image quality is excellent, as is the electronic viewfinder, and falling prices mean it’s more accessible than ever. For most people, it’s the perfect Nikon mirrorless camera.
Following are the Best Nikon Mirrorless Cameras in 2021
1. Nikon Z6 II
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame CMOS 35.9mm x 23.9mm | Megapixels: 24.5 | Monitor: 8cm (3.2in) tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle (approx 2100k-dot) | Continuous shooting speed: 14FPS | Viewfinder: 0.8x 1.27cm (0.5in) Approx 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED EVF | Max video resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 30p | User level: Intermediate
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z6 II
With a fair price, the Nikon Z 6II balances amazing features. In order to produce sharp pictures even in low light and during long exposures, this mirrorless camera has 5 stops of in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which also makes it suitable for hybrid photography as it can keep the frame stable even when taking handheld film. With the 24.5MP full-frame picture sensor, which can track the action with 14 FPS continuous shooting, it captures great detail. It also delivers the filmmakers with UHD 4K30 video footage. This camera is perfect for those who want to take stills and video at an affordable cost on one platform but do not want to compromise on the quality of the shot.
2. Nikon Z7 II
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full frame CMOS | Megapixels: 45.7MP | Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100K dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage | Max video resolution: Uncropped 4K UHD up to 30p, cropped 4K UHD up to 60p | User level: Enthusiast/Professional
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z7 II
The Z7 II is the flagship full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon. Compared to the original Z7, all the improvements we’ve seen on the Z7 II are definitely welcome, but we can’t help feeling like Nikon’s played it a little easy. To truly make it a serious challenge to the likes of the Canon EOS R5 and Alpha A7R IV, we’d like to have seen even more of a leap. But still, there’s a lot going for the Nikon Z7 II. It does not have a signature feature that sets it apart from its contemporaries, but it is a decent mirrorless camera and the Nikon Z7 II performs solidly across the board. The improvements made by Nikon, such as dual processors and dual memory card slots, have made a decent camera even better.
3. Nikon Z50
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 20.9MP | Monitor: 3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z50
The Nikon Z50 is a much smaller camera than the Z6 and Z7, but the DNA of the same design is clearly shared. It has a decent grip and good external controls considering its limited scale, and the retracting 16-50mm kit lens is exceptional not only for its pancake lens dimensions but for its overall performance. Nikon may have arrived comparatively late in the APS-C mirrorless market, but with a camera that has so many good points, it’s hard to decide where to start, so we’re going to highlight the 4K footage, 11fps shooting… And the fact that the Z mount is similar to that of larger cameras makes it possible to use dedicated Nikkor Z DX lenses, Nikkor Z full-frame, and standard Nikon DSLR lenses with the FTZ adapter. Best of all, particularly when purchased as a twin-lens package, the Z50 is excellent value. However, we would like to see a few more DX lenses come out.
4. Nikon Z5
Type: FX Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame CMOS 35.9mm x 23.9mm | Megapixels: 24.3 | Monitor: 8cm (3.2in) tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 1701.27cm (0.5in) Approx 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED EVF viewing angle. Approx 1040k-dot | Continuous shooting speed: 4.5FPS | Viewfinder: 0.8x 1.27cm (0.5in) Approx 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED EVF | Max video resolution: 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 30p | User level: Intermediate
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z5
It’s quick to eye-up a topic for high-end portraits thanks to the full-frame sensor and an almost incredibly accurate EVF seen in more expensive versions. It comes fitted with autofocus Eye-Detection, which is reliable and most convenient for portrait photographers. With Eye-Detection, the AF also monitors motion around the picture, and on a variety of topics, from humans to dogs, and even cats. The lightweight magnesium alloy body makes it easy to fire all day long. Dual card slots (UHS-II SD compatible) mean it is possible to back up portraits on the spot. For low light photography, it has a decent ISO range and users can charge the camera via USB, ideal for those using a battery bank who want to shoot until dawn until dusk.
5. Nikon Z6
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 24.5MP | Viewfinder: EVFMonitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z6
Its popularity and characteristics make both pros and fans satisfied. The 24.5MP full-frame sensor is capable of producing exceptional results, though it is a strong all rounder for a range of subjects thanks to the 273-point AF system and 12fps burst firing. Its handling is excellent, though it is a pleasure to use the big and vibrant electronic viewfinder.
Although the Z6 II is now on the market, the original Z6 has not vanished, so if you are able to survive without any of the updates, it provides a cheaper option. So you don’t get the second memory card slot or the marginally better autofocus system, but otherwise, through the same sensor and processor combo, you get exactly the same build and specification and matching image quality.
6. Nikon Z7
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 45.7MP | Viewfinder: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon Z7
With the company’s still-popular D850 DSLR, the Nikon Z7 shares a 45.7MP (effective) pixel count, and both sensors have a backside-illuminated (BSI) architecture to assist with light capture, along with no anti-aliasing filter for better information capture. However, the sensor in the Nikon Z7 is different; while we are not told precisely how it compares in terms of efficiency, it includes 493 phase-detect AF pixels to help focus.
However, with a comparatively shallow burst depth, despite the dexterity of the predictive monitoring and continuous AF system, it is not the right choice for sports photographers. For such a model, the 330-shot battery is still quite average, and while it is worth noting that CIPA ratings do not adequately represent what you can accomplish in daily use, this is still quite behind the 650- and 710-shot ratings currently enjoyed by Sony’s A7R III and A7 III models. USB charging ease takes some of the stings out of this, but anyway, you may want to catch an extra charger.
Is Nikon mirrorless worth buying in 2021? Let’s be clear, you should probably go mirrorless if you’re in the market for a new high-end camera. This is where the whole planning effort is being set in motion. For a while, both Canon and Nikon might continue to release DSLRs, but relative to a comparable mirrorless camera, they would be overpriced and under-featured.
Which Nikon mirrorless camera has the best image quality?
Nikon Z7 II and Nikon Z7 have the best image quality.
Should I buy Nikon Z50?
With a 20.9 MP DX sensor, a fast autofocus phase-detection system, 11 FPS continuous shooting speed, the ability to capture high-quality 4K video at up to 30 FPS without any crop (Full HD slow motion at up to 120 FPS), and a sleek, lightweight design with outstanding body structure and ergonomics, the Nikon Z50 is a good option for vlogging.