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The Best Nikon Cameras for Photojournalists

Nikon has always been a top player in the camera world. Their cameras have been in the hands of some of the most notable photojournalists over the decades. And with some of their recent moves in the mirrorless camera world, they’ve gotten even better. But which camera do you choose? Well, we’re rounding up some of the best Nikon cameras for photojournalists based on our recommendations. We’ve tested all of these too!

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How We Selected the Best Nikon Cameras for Photojournalists

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon z9 review edited 2.81 25s1600 1
  • Our roundups include only products that we’ve fully reviewed. You’ll never see a product that we haven’t fully reviewed in a roundup. We’re linking to each of our reviews as well.
  • This roundup of the best Nikon cameras for photojournalists has only cameras that can deliver what a photojournalist needs.
  • All of the best Nikon cameras for photojournalists are weather resistant. Our torture tests are often some of the most renowned in the photo industry.
  • For the most part, we’re recommending the Nikon mirrorless full-frame cameras on the higher end. The Nikon z5, Nikon zFC, and the Nikon Z50 don’t have autofocus systems that are as advanced.
  • Photojournalism requires you not to edit your photos, while basic adjustments are allowed. These lenses will surely help you get everything you need.
  • The product images and sample images in this round up of the best Nikon cameras for photojournalists were all shot by our staff of photographers.

Nikon z9

Chris Gampat Nikon z9 review Build quality1

Avg

  • High Speed ​​sync works to 1/8000 and possibly beyond.
  • The Nikon z9 genuinely feels like the first serious camera for a professional photographer along with the Canon EOS R3.
  • Nikon’s absolute best autofocus
  • Once you get the hang of it and set everything up just the way you want, it’s an excellent camera.
  • Light up buttons are the absolute best thing.
  • Lots of customization options
  • Fast and quiet shooting
  • 3D tracking is great for animal photography.
  • Auto subject detection is quite good.
  • Nikon’s in-camera cropping feature is so wonderful to get more reach from your lenses.
  • The world’s first camera for photographers without a physical shutter
  • I had zero camera shake issues. Anything pertaining to it would’ve been issues with using a slower shutter speed.
  • Rolling shutter is considerably eliminated, and it’s only visible if you pixel peep.
  • Pretty good tracking autofocus in low light!
  • The vertical grip is a nice addition.
  • Tons and tons of buttons that can do virtually everything

Cons

  • The AF illuminator dramatically slows down the autofocus.
  • I’ve surely seen better high ISO results.
  • Exposure preview setting has been completely changed.
  • Heavy, but that’s to be expected
  • Noise reduction is very strong.
  • I wish all the buttons lit up and not just a few. What about the buttons on top?
  • Animal autofocus is good but not as good as Canon or Sony.
  • Nikon still doesn’t have anything unique about their image quality that would make me want to buy it over Canon or Sony.
  • Pushing the shadows introduces a significant amount of noise even if you’re not looking at the image at 100%.
  • Editing Nikon’s colors in mixed lighting is a nightmare I never want to go through again.
  • At this level, the in-camera multiple exposure feature should make the files into RAWs and not JPEGs.
  • 17 × 22 prints are a bit soft if you’re looking super close. You’ll also see grain at ISO 6400, unlike we’ve seen with a few others. But it’s acceptable.
  • Pricey, but not as expensive as competitors for sure.

How’s the Autofocus?

In our review we state:

“One of the big challenges I was interested in was how the Nikon z9 would track fast-moving subjects in low light. I looked for concerts to do this test with but couldn’t find anything. So instead, I photographed a burlesque show. There was some motion blur, but that’s because I was shooting at too slow of a shutter speed at times. When there wasn’t a user error, the Nikon z9 tracked the subjects perfectly fine. ”

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon z9 review 3.21 100s800

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Nikon z7 II

Hillary Grigonis The Phoblographer Nikon Z7 II review

Avg

  • A much-improved autofocus system
  • Durable magnesium alloy build with weather-sealing
  • Image quality is great, especially with native Z lenses
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Dual card slots with XQD / CF Express and SD

Cons

  • While improved, the autofocus isn’t as good as Canon’s R series.
  • Eyepiece rubber sometimes blocks the eye sensor
  • Viewfinder blacks out

How’s the Autofocus?

In our review we state:

“I’m finally okay with the Z7 II’s autofocus system enough to recommend it for weddings with dark dance floors and dimly lit venues. It’s comparable to the D850 for low light and the Sony a7R IV, which also lists a -3 EV in the specs. That said, the Z7 II still isn’t best-in-class when it comes to low light autofocus. The Canon EOS R5 can focus down to -EV 6 (though that’s with an f1.2 lens, and Nikon’s rating is with an f2 lens). ”

hillary grigonis the phoblographer nikon z7 ii review 2549

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Nikon z6 II

HIllary Grigonis The Phoblographer Nikon Z6 II review HKG 2912

Avg

  • Solid image quality
  • Fast shooting with dual processors
  • Dual card slots
  • New AF modes
  • Image stabilization
  • Better, but not perfect, low light autofocus

Cons

  • Autofocus is better but slower than the competition.
  • No light-up buttons
  • Front exposure dial easy to bump

How’s the Autofocus?

In our review we state:

“In my earlier test with a runner coming towards me, the autofocus failed half the time. With the update, only between ten and fifteen percent of shots under the same conditions were soft. I was successfully able to shoot a soccer game with this lens and I only threw out about twenty percent of the shots because they were soft.

In low light, the updated Z6 II can focus about as fast as the D850 with a hot shoe flash, maybe even faster. But, it’s important to note that the firmware offers a boost in low light AF speed only when using single AF, not continuous. While action has improved and low light has improved, low light action has not seen the same big leaps. ”

Feroz Khan The Phoblographer Venus Optics Laowa 45mm f0.95 image 23

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The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a vegetarian lifelong. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.




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