Very much on a par with Canon, Nikon offer a wide range of highly regarded consumer and professional digital cameras.
The Coolpix brand predominantly represents Nikons compact point and shoot camera range, although it also includes the Coolpix P100 bridge camera. The range is split into three lines, Style, Life and Performance, with an increase in features and quality as you progress through the ranges. For those looking for something very affordable the Nikon Coolpix L21 offers incredible value for a camera with the heritage of a brand like Nikon behind it. This sort of camera is perfect as a camera for kids, or as a second camera to take to festivals, on nights etc.
The Style line focuses on just that, and offers a large range of colourful, slim and well designed compact cameras for consumers. The popular Coolpix S3000 goes beyond style though, offering a competitive 4x zoom, 12Mp sensor and Nikons VR image stabilisation for under £100. The flagship Coolpix S8000 tops the current range, competing directly with Canons’ PowerShot SX210.
The range of Nikon DSLRs is now quite large, and all offer the potential to take great pictures. Sadly, the naming convention is less easy to interpret than Canons EOS range, but there are a few key models that you might be interested in. The D3100 is the entry level model of choice, with a special Guide Mode to help ease you away from the comfort of Auto, and a competitive price. Add in HD video and you can see why we like this camera so much as a first DSLR model. The D60 and D90 both remain popular as mid-range DSLRs, and offer more complete feature sets than the entry-level offerings. The D90 has HD movie recording too, though if video is a big concern for you then Canon have a more developed reputation in this field.
Whilst Nikons Camera Control Pro 2 and Capture NX2 software is highly regarded (software for controlling your DSLR remotely using your computer and for processing images), they are both costly (between £120 and £150 each) extras and the functionality is broadly similar to Canons bundled software package.
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