Nikon FX cameras

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Nikon D1


After many years of collaboration with Kodak and Fuji, Nikon launches, in 1999, its first DLSR, the Nikon D1. It incorporates design of Nikon F5 and F100 and is quickly adopted by professionals despite its APS-C of 2.74 million pixels. Other DLSR models follow: D100, D70, D1X ... all with an APS-C sensor found by Nikon as sufficient enough to cover all professional and amateurs needs. A specific range of lenses called DX is even created. The same ideas push Olympus and Panasonic to create the consortium 4/3 with an even smaller sensor.
The rapid rise of the number of pixels quickly surpass the definition, sensitivity and the ability of the best silver films, The digital becomes inevitable. The silver F cameras are stopped. Digital lenses have to become more and more efficient because the new DSLR needs sharper definition. Even technically compatible, old lenses become not usable with new DSLR models.
Because they did not react enough quickly on the digital demand, some companies disappear as Kodak giant.
During 8 years, Nikon kept its position and did not move to a larger digital sensor than APS-C. Canon proposed the Canon EOS-1Ds with 11 million pixels in 2002. Eventually Nikon could only react.

Nikon D3

Nikon D700

Nikon D3x

Nikon D3s

In 2007, Nikon finally released his first full-frame digital camera, the Nikon D3 at the same time as the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. It has 21 million pixels when Nikon has only 12 but Nikon can take images with high sensitivity up to 6400 ISO without grain. It offers new possibilities for photographers
The D3 is rapidly followed by D700 for professional amateurs.
Following models D3x and D3s increase number of pixels or offer a better sensitivity in low light.

Nikon D4/D4s

Nikon D800/D800e

Nikon D600

Nikon D610

The Nikon D4 is the evolution of the D3 and D800 and D800EA> set a new record to 36 million pixels. The D600 and D610 provide a more compact body with 24 million pixels for enthusiastic amateurs.
Nikon introduced nine full frame DLSR from 2007 to 2013.

Nikon Df

the tenth camera, the Nikon Df camera, for "Pure Photography", is the thinnest and lightest FX DSLR of Nikon surfing on the wave of retro cameras such as Fuji X100, Olympus OM-D E-M5 and OM-D E-M1 ...
It has the same full frame CMOS sensor than D4 with 16.2 effective megapixel with dedicated mechanical dials for shutter speed, ISO sensitivity (extensible until 204 000 ISO), exposure compensation and release mode. It can receive all Nikon lenses since 1959 including non AI lenses by adoption of a collapsible metering coupling lever and can take 1400 shoots with a single charge of its EN-EL14a rechargeable battery. There is no built-in flash and no video.

The eleventh camera, the Nikon D4s, announced after the winter games of Sochi 2014, is an upgrade of Nikon D4 with a 'newly designed' full frame CMOS sensor of 16.2 effective megapixel (16.6MP total) able to take 11fps shooting with AF, an ISO Range of 100-25,600 (extendable until 409,600 ISO), a EXPEED4 image processor, a video part upgraded with 1080p50/60 HD video.

Nikon D4s

Nikon D810/D810a

Nikon D750

Nikon D5

The twelfth camera, the Nikon D810, announced in June 2014, is an evolution of the D800 and D800E with a new Full Frame FX CMOS sensor of 36.3 Megapixel without optical low-pass filter and with a rate of 5 frames per second with AF, a sensitivity range of ISO 64-12,800 (expandable from 32 to 51,200 ISO), an image processor EXPEED 4a, an enhanced Full HD video mode 24p, 25p, 30p and 60p with built-in stereo microphone, a quieter mechanical shutter, a "Quiet" mode and a new electronic shutter 100% silent. The D810 inherits the D4S of 51 AF points with the new area AF group, EXPEED image processor 4a and RAW S size option mode.

In February 2015, Nikon presents a special release of D810. The Nikon D810a is a FX-format digital SLR camera designed exclusively for full-scale astrophotography. It has the same 36.3-million pixels sensor and characteristics than Nikon D810 but the optical filter on the front surface of the image sensor is capable of four times greater transmission of H-alpha light than is that used with the D810.
The D810a includes the addition of a long-exposure manual (M*) mode that supports exposure times up to 900 s, and a live view preview function that makes focusing and composing images easier with display of a preview at a shutter speed of 30 s when an exposure time longer than 30s is specified.

The Nikon D750, announced in September 2014 for the Fotokina, is the true heir to the D700 with a new Full Frame FX CMOS sensor of 24.3 Megapixel (6016 x 4016 pixels) a Multi-CAM 3500 AF II updated from the D810 module. The front plate of D750 is made of carbon fiber on a magnesium chassis. This is the first full-format Nikon DSLR to have an 3.2 inch rear swivel screen , but not a touch , with 1,229,000 points that opens and rotates up to 90 ° up and 75 ° to the below, a Wi-Fi built-in module integrated in the flash bump but no built-in GPS.
It has a rate of 6.5 frames per second, a full HD video mode in 60p, an sensitivity range of 100-12,800 ISO (expandable from 64 to 51,200 ISO).

The Nikon D5, announced in January 2016 replaces the D4s. It has a new 20.8 megapixel full-size Nikon CMOS sensor (5 568 x 3 712 pixels), a 4K (3840 x 2160 px) 30p / 25p / 24p video mode with a maximum of 6 minutes, a new AF Nikon MultiCam 20k module with 153 AF points including 55 cross points and a sensibility until -4 IL, an RGB light sensor of 180,000 pixels.The Nikon D5 provides a sensitivity range from 100 to 102,400 ISO expandable to 3 280 000 ISO (Hi5). It has a built-in Nikon "Snapbridge" software able to share images with smartphones and other devices, and with the cloud.
The version Nikon D5-a has two XQD cards slots able to store 200 RAW images in 14-bit and the second version, Nikon D5-b, replaces XQD cards by two CF cards limited to 82 RAW burst.


Nikon D850

The Nikon D850, presented in August 2017, replaces the D810.
This new camera is a mini-D5 and has a new 45.75 megapixel full-size Nikon BSI CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter.
It inherits of D5 an 180,000 RGB sensor with better face detection and enhanced scene recognition, an 153-point AF system.
It has a native ISO range of 64-25600 (expandable to 32-108400), video modes : 8K timelapse shooting, 4K UDH video with electronic vibration reduction recording in FX with no crop 51-photo buffer when shooting in 14-bit RAW, a "slow-motion" video mode and a new built-in negative digitizing feature.
It has a an 3.2’, 2.36-million-dot tilting LCD touchscreen with improved gesture control, a 7fps continuous shooting standard, 6fps with autofocus, 9fps when using a battery grip, 30ps at 8MP using the electronic shutter.
It has also an 0.75x magnification viewfinder, back illuminated buttons and a dual memory card slots: one SD UHS-II and one XQD but it has no built-in flash.


Nikon D6

The Nikon D6, announced the September 4th 2019 will replace the D5. This camera is the most complete digital mirror DSLR camera ever produced.
It may have a new CMOS 24 million pixels sensor. This sensor will be stabilized, It will have also a video recording mode in 4K 60p, a slot for two CFExpress cards, an optical viewfinder 100% 76-78x, two Expeed image processors, a touch screen back of 3,2", an integrated WI-Fi module.

Sony A7r

Sony A9

The future of FX-format ... with or without mirror

In 2013, Sony introduced the Sony A7R , this full-size 36-megapixel camera is a milestone in the reflex Full Format.
Since the acquisition of Minolta camera pictures division, Sony had produced the classic full size APS-C DSLR with mirror room and optical viewfinder, digital hybrid NEX interchangeable with lens APS-C and finally electronic viewfinder transparent mirror APS-C or full-frame (Sony Alpha 99). This latest range of SLT cameras combined the disadvantages : lack of mirror and electronic viewfinder but they keep the bulk of reflex and classic lenses
. With A7R , Sony clearly indicates the future direction : opportunities related to the full-frame sensor in a similar body than hybrid cameras. The advances in electronic viewfinders now make this solution credible and corresponds to core businesses of Sony : electronics. The Sony A7 becomes a family of cameras, some oriented video other photos. The Sony A7rII has a 42 million pixels sensor.
The Sony A9, released in 2017, is for the pro market with a backlit, stabilized 5-axis CMOS sensor of 24.2 million pixels, an electronic shutter that rises to 1/32000 s allowing bursts at 20 frames per second with AF tracking on 300 images jpg or 110 RAW views, 4K video mode.

Nikon remains in its historical skill : DLSR with optical viewfinder, mirror room and full-frame sensor? But will prepare expert miriness camera with electronic viewfinder and by abandoning the mirror room. Anyway it requires a new set of lenses ... in F mount.

In the future, all full-size cameras will incorporate wifi and GPS built-in modules and become communicating. All their functions and the image itself must be managed from a smartphone or tablet with SnapBridge function. The camera becomes a connected component of image system chain.
The possibility to share images in a cloud is becoming a strong demand and is bringing security and financial opportunities for professionals. Images are instantly available at agency for sale or to be put immediately online. it will be useful for sporting and others events.

Finally, if in a first time DSLR design is similar to conventional SLR design with a fake pentaprism to secure end-users, in the future cameras, the EVF should be adjustable and deported to the left of the camera.

Nikon Z6


At the end of 2018, Nikon presented its first hybrid cameras with interchangeable lenses : the Z6 and Z7 with full format sensors.
They come today in addition to reflex cameras that will continue to be produced during some time. Nikon will probably focus on high-end digital SLRs (D6 D860).
The full format becomes widespread, this page initiated for the release of the Df will not be updated.

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Created October 27th 2013, Updated September 4th 2019.
© Pierre J.