Don’t keep it on the DL: Nikon announces three 1″-sensor advanced compacts

by | Feb 24, 2016 | News, Products

Borrowing some design cues from the company’s 1 Series, but forgoing interchangeable lenses, Nikon’s new DL line of advanced compact cameras brings a trio of models built around the same internals, but each featuring a strikingly different lens. Inside, each pairs a 20.8MP BSI 1″-sensor with Nikon’s latest EXPEED 6A processor. Together, they promise ISO sensitivity up to 12,800 and a wealth of other high-performance features, including 4K video with clean HDMI output, and Nikon’s Hybrid AF system that features 171 AF points and allows the cameras to focus continuously up to 20 frames per second. The SnapBridge low-energy Bluetooth technology introduced with the D500 is also present in each DL model, so you’ll never have to pair your camera to your phone a second time.

At first glance, these cameras appear to be competing side-by-side with similar offerings from Canon, Sony, and Panasonic. However, one model, the DL18-50, is not like anything we’ve yet seen in the compact camera world. This is a single-lens camera with an 18-50mm (full-frame equivalent) f/1.8-2.8 lens. If I’m not mistaken, this is the widest-angle, fixed-lens camera on the market, and could prove very promising for travel and landscape photographers who need to pack as light as possible.


The other two models are perhaps less exciting, but only because we’ve seen their formulas used before. The DL24-85 features, as it’s name would suggest, a 24-85mm (full frame equivalent) lens with a fast aperture of f/1.8 to f/2.8. If this sounds familiar, it’s because that’s a very similar style of lens to what’s found on the Canon G7X Mark II and Sony RX100 IV. This model looks almost identical to the DL18-50, but includes a pop-up flash (the DL18-50 lacks a flash, presumably because of it’s ultra-wide lens, although it does have a hot shoe).

The DL24-500 is more along the lines of the Sony RX10 or Panasonic FZ1000, both in looks and in specs, with a 24-500mm-equivalent superzoom lens. The aperture is a bit slower, but still decent for this type of camera: f/2.8-f/5.6.


It remains to be seen how these cameras will fare against the solidly-entrenched competition, but the DL18-50, at least, has the chance to really make an impact. Based on the pricing information, it’s easy to see that Nikon is treating it more as a niche model, while pricing the other two in line with their direct competitors: The DL18-50 should sell for $849, the DL24-85 for just $649, and the DL24-500 for $999.

Also, isn’t it nice that a camera company finally used product names that actually describe the product? I mean, it’s still a weird-looking alphanumeric code, but at least it makes sense now!

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