DL Series: Nikon’s Ambition To Conquer Premium Compacts Market

ShadowDL series: Nikon's ambition to conquer premium compacts market

Nikon has announced 3 next generation DL compact cameras that can come in handy even if you’re a serious photographer.

So, the three are DL18-50, DL 24-86 and DL 24-500. The numbers in their names stand for the focal distance in 35-mm equivalent.

Nikon DL18-50


Nikon DL24-86


Nikon DL24-500


Key features:

  • 21 MP 1-inch sensor
  • Native ISO up to 12800
  • Video 3840 x 2160p at 30 fps
  • Video 1920 x 1080p at 120 fps
  • Video 1280 x 720p at 240 fps
  • 20 fps Shooting  with AE/AF (60fps with locked focus)
  • EXPEED 6A Image Processor
  • 2.4m-Dot Touchscreen OLED
  • AF System with 105 phase-detect and 171 contrast-detect points

DL18-50 and DL 24-86 share pretty much the same body design with only the slight difference noticeable in lens’ size, built-in flash availability (only DL24-86 has it) and hot shoe position.

On the other hand, DL24-500, although essentially the same in terms of features, has a very different, much larger body. And it’s not surprising, considering that this is a superzoom camera with the lens capable of 20x zoom.

Nikon DL24-500

All these cameras feature a 20.8MP 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor with the ISO range topping out at 12800 and fast EXPEED 6A image processor that allows these cameras to do continuous bursts of 60fps with locked-on AF or 20fps with continuous autofocus - and that is a lot, best result in class actually!

As those frame rates are no joke, Nikon needed to pair this camera with an excellent autofocus system able to keep up with such speedy performance - and they have. Each camera features a hybrid-detect AF system which incorporates 105 phase detection and 171 contrast detection points and promises blazing fast performance.

All the lenses have a manual focus ring, in case you want to adjust focus during AF or shoot in manual focus mode. They also feature a fluorine coating and Nano Crystal Coat for being ghost and flare free, as well as dirt/moisture repellent.

Speaking of lenses, both DL 18-50 and 24-86 are very fast f/1.8-2.8 lenses, whereas 24-500 can offer f-number of only 2.8-5.6. Also, only DL 24-86 features super macro mode with 1:1 magnification.

Nikon DL24-500

As for connectivity, all cameras have Wi-Fi and NFC, that allows them to be easily paired with an iOS or an Android companion app.

The 2.3 million dots viewfinder with 97% coverage can only be found on most senior DL24-500 and for the junior DLs, it is available as a hot-shoe accessory. But all the cameras have a tilting LED touchscreen with 2.4 million dots which are really good.  This is good news for video-bloggers, who will be able to see themselves while recording, especially considering the fact that these cameras have pretty serious video capabilities.

So, all these DLs can record 4K UHD video at 30 frames per second but truly start to blow your mind with high frame rates when the resolution goes down. As such, with 1080p they can do 120fps, with 720p 240fps and so on all the way up to 1200fps with 400x144 resolution.

There’s little doubt that with these cameras Nikon meant to put up a great deal of competition with the compact Sony RX100 and superzoom RX10, that currently dominate the market segment of premium fix lens cameras.

And with the same sized 1-inch sensor, blazing fast autofocus system and amazing video characteristics paired with lower prices than Sony; Nikon has all the chances to overthrow the king when the sales start this summer at $650 (DL24-86), $850 (DL18-50) and $1000 (DL24-500).

Nikon DL18-50Nikon DL24-86Sony RX-100 IV
Dimensions106 x 63 x 58 mm (4.17 x 2.48 x 2.28″)105 x 61 x 50 mm (4.13 x 2.4 x 1.97″)102 x 58 x 41 mm (4.02 x 2.28 x 1.61″)
Weight365 g (0.80 lb / 12.87 oz)350 g (0.77 lb / 12.35 oz) 298 g (0.66 lb / 10.51 oz)
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Resolution5584 x 3712 (21MP)5472 x 3648 (20MP)
Video resolutionUHD 3840 x 2160 30p
1920x1080 120p
1280x720 240p
UHD 3840 x 2160 30p
1920x1080 120p
HFR: 1920x1080 480/960p
Continues shooting 60fps (20fps with continues AF)16fps
Lens18–50 mm (35-mm equivalent), F1.8 - F2.824–86 mm (35-mm equivalent), F1.8 - F2.824–70 mm (35-mm equivalent), F1.8 - F2.8
Optical zoom2.8x3.5x2.9x
Built-in flashNoYesYes
Price $850 $650$948 Buy-With-Amazon


Nikon DL24-500Sony RX-10 II
Dimensions123 x 90 x 139 mm (4.84 x 3.54 x 5.47″)105 x 61 x 50 mm (4.13 x 2.4 x 1.97″)
Weight780 g (1.72 lb / 27.51 oz)350 g (0.77 lb / 12.35 oz)
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Resolution5584 x 3712 (21MP)5472 x 3648 (20MP)
Video resolutionUHD 3840 x 2160 30p
1920x1080 120p
1280x720 240p
UHD 3840 x 2160 30p
1920x1080 120p
HFR: 1920x1080 480/960p
Continues shooting 60fps (20fps with continues AF)14fps
Lens24–500 mm (35-mm equivalent), F2.8 - F5.624–200 mm (35-mm equivalent), F2.8
Optical zoom20x8.3x
Built-in flashYesYes
Price $1000 $1300 Buy-With-Amazon

About the Author

Denis ProtopopovLandscape, lifestyle and product photographer for the past 3 yearsView all posts by Denis Protopopov →

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