Best Nikon cameras for portraits

Best Nikon cameras for portraits: the camera does make a difference whether you’re running a professional image business or just taking cute pictures of your kids.

This guide will explain everything, but the Nikon Z6II is my top choice. Why is this my top choice for the best Nikon camera for portraits? Because it does everything so well.

But there are other great choices as well. Keep reading to see how I rank the best Nikon picture cameras.

Best Nikon Mirrorless Cameras For Portraits

1. Nikon Z6 II

Nikon cameras for portraits

The second generation of the Z6 has better focusing, a great camera, two card slots, and the Z mount, which lets you use some of the best lenses on the market. This camera takes great pictures and videos.

Since soon after it came out, the Nikon Z6 II has been my top choice for the best Nikon camera and my general camera selection. When compared to other full-frame digital cameras, this one is a good deal because it does everything you could want from a camera.

This is the camera I use every day, and I would suggest it to anyone, from a skilled amateur shooter to a professional photographer.

Lens MountNikon Z
Sensor SizeFull-Frame (35.9 x 23.9mm) backside illuminated (BSI)
Sensitivity RangeISO 100-52,200 (expands to 50-204,800)
Monitor3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous Shooting Speed14fps
Stabilization5-axis in body
ViewfinderEVF, 3.69m dots
ScreenTilting 3.2 inch 1,040,000-dot touchscreen
Max Video Resolution4K UHD at up to 60p
Memory Card2 slots (1 XQD/CFexpress and 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II)
Dimensions(W x H x D): 134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.8-inches
Weight (Battery Incl.)705g / 1lb. 4.9oz

The Z6 II might be the best camera on the market, especially at this price, when it comes to picture quality, build quality, handling, and how well it works in low light.

Personally, I think this camera is great for taking pictures because it has a great auto-focusing system that uses eye autofocus and the 24.5-megapixel lens is a good size for photos.

For pictures, I don’t think you need the higher resolution, and you get all the other great things about the Z6 II, like the higher frame rate and great video features that the Z7 II doesn’t have.

If you must have the best resolution, though, you might want to choose the Z7 II over the Z6 II because of its resolution. You’ll have to spend more than twice as much on a Z9 if you want both high quality and high frame rate.

Excellent image quality for a crop sensor cameraReasonable price for a full-frame camera but still pricey
Exceptional ergonomics and usability24.5 MP might not be enough for some
An affordable entry point to Nikon Z system
Best Nikon Mirrorless Cameras For Portraits

The Z6 II is, without a doubt, not as good as the Z9 in most ways. But the Z9 is more of a specialty lens for professionals who need that level of performance. Its body is bigger and heavier, and it costs a lot.

Since the Z6 II has everything you need, it’s at the top of the list. This is also true for most professional shooters. Read on to learn more about the Z7 II and Z9.

2. Nikon Z50

Nikon cameras for portraits

Nikon’s crop sensor choice for the Z Mount system is a great camera with a lot of great features, such as eye autofocus and great picture quality, all in a body that is easy to hold.

The Nikon Z50 is a great camera with a crop sensor that works with the Nikon Z Mount device. In short, this is the best camera for portrait photography if you are just starting out or are on a tight budget. It is less expensive than full-frame cameras but still has all the features you need to get good at it.

Lens MountNikon Z
Sensor SizeAPS-C / DX (23.5×15.7mm) CMOS
Sensitivity RangeISO 100-52,200 (expands to 204,800)
Monitor3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous Shooting Speed11fps
StabilizationNone in body
ViewfinderEVF, 2.36m-dot OLED
Max Video Resolution4K UHD at up to 30p
Memory Card1 slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I)
Dimensions(W x H x D): 127 x 94 x 60 mm / 5 x 3.7 x 2.36-inches
Weight450g /14oz (body only)

The best thing about this camera is that, even though it has a crop sensor, it has the same lens mount as the full-frame Nikon Z cameras. There are two good things about this.

To begin, the Z mount might be the best mount on the market right now. Because of its size and shape, Nikon can make lenses with the best picture quality. It’s also easier for them to make lenses that are smaller and more compact without losing quality.

Second, it means that you can start putting together your full-frame Z Mount lens kit, even if you only have a “entry-level” camera. They will all work fine on this camera. You won’t need any new glasses if you then get a Z5 or Z6II.

The Z50 is smaller than the full-frame Z mount cameras, but it is still very comfortable to use. The grip is a good size, which isn’t always the case on crop-sensor compact cameras.

If you take a lot of pictures of people, you will like this. A well-made camera is easy to hold with one or two hands, so you can talk to your subject, tell them how to pose, or even use one hand to fix things like hair in their face or problems with the background.

Excellent image quality for a crop sensor cameraOnly a few Z mount DX lenses are currently available
Exceptional ergonomics and usabilityFlip down screen isn’t very practical
Affordable entry point to Nikon Z system

It’s not as good at low light and wide dynamic range as the more expensive Z5 or Z6II cameras because this one has a crop sensor. It makes sense, given the price difference, but if you want a camera that works well in low light, like at parties, for natural light photos after the sun goes down, for evening street photography, or other times, you might want to check out the Z5 below.

3. Nikon Z30

Nikon cameras for portraits

The Z30 is a lot like the Z50, but it’s smaller and costs a little less because it doesn’t have a lens. It’s not great for taking portraits, but it’s a great camera in a small package.

If you want to make a blog, the Nikon Z30 is a smaller, more basic version of the Z50. But that doesn’t mean picture shooters shouldn’t pay attention to it. At the moment, this is the cheapest way to get into the Z Mount system, which makes it a great choice for people on a budget.

All of the cheaper DSLRs I’ll talk about below aren’t as good as this one. The extra cost is worth it to get into the Z mount system because of the perks. Portraits will be a lot more fun just because of the eye focusing.

Lens MountNikon Z
Sensor SizeAPS-C / DX (23.5×15.7mm) CMOS
Sensitivity RangeISO 100-51,200 (expands to 204,800)
Monitor3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous Shooting Speed11fps
Max Video Resolution4K UHD at up to 30p
Memory Card1 slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I)
Dimensions(W x H x D): 128 x 73.5 x 59.5 mm / 5.1 x. 2.9 x. 2.4 inches
Weight (incl. battery)405g / 12.4 oz

The Z30 and Z50 both use the same sensor, so the RAW files you get from them will be of the same quality.

The Z30 doesn’t have a camera like the Z50 does; it only has a screen on the back. Because of this, the Z30 will be a little harder to use than the Z50. However, they both take great pictures, so if you don’t care about the lens, the Z30 will save you a few hundred dollars.


  • Same image quality as the Z50
  • Lighter than the Z50
  • Great for vlogging
  • Least expensive entry point to Nikon Z system


  • No electronic viewfinder
  • Only a few Z mount DX lenses are currently available

With a screen that flips out to the side, I think the Z30 is a bit better than the Z50 if you want to make vlogs as well as pictures. I’ve used the Z50 and know that the flip-down screen wasn’t great for taking video. Having said that, the video quality is the same as on the Z50.

4. Nikon Z7 II

Nikon cameras for portraits

The Z7 II is a high-resolution camera that only takes the best pictures. The 45.7 MP camera makes it great for picture photographers who need to print big. The camera doesn’t shoot as fast as other Z models, though, and it doesn’t record videos.

For those who care about the highest quality, the Nikon Z7 II is the camera for you. It has 45.7 Megapixels.

This camera is also one of the few on the market with a low native ISO of 64. This gives it a very good dynamic range and lets you use slower shutter speeds without an ND filter, which can be useful for taking pictures outside in the day when you want to use a wide aperture.

Nikon More Article

Lens MountNikon Z
Sensor SizeFull-Frame (35.9 x 23.9mm) BSI sensor
Sensitivity RangeISO 64 to 25,600 (expands to 32 to 102,400)
Monitor3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous Shooting Speed10fps (with single point AF)
Buffer50 frames
Stabilization5-axis in body
ViewfinderEVF, 3.69m dots
Max Video Resolution4K UHD at up to 60p (with 1.08x crop)
Memory Card2 slots (1 XQD/CFexpress and 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II)
Dimensions134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.7″ inches
Weight (battery incl.)705g / 1lb. 4.9oz

It has a much better continuous shooting rate (10fps) than the Z7 that came before it, but it still only has single-point AF and can’t use Nikon’s much better subject-tracking AF system for compact cameras.

That being said, this camera can shoot things that are moving quickly if I need to, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for that. The Z6 II and Z9 are both much better for wildlife, action, and sports.

5. Nikon Z5

Nikon cameras for portraits

The Nikon Z5 is the most cheap full-frame camera that can be used with the Z mount technology. Other than not having as many advanced features as the Z6II, this camera is very good for newbies and can do a lot.

The Z5 is pretty much Nikon’s first full-frame camera. If you want to get a full-frame camera right away and have a little extra money, this is the next best thing after the Z50. When you shoot photos, going to full-frame makes a big difference because it makes it easier to get the blurry background that makes the subject stand out.

The Z5 was made by Nikon to give new photographers (and even experienced artists) a less expensive full-frame camera to start with.

This is a great deal and might be the cheapest full-frame camera on the market. It’s only a few hundred dollars more than the Z50.

Tech SpecificationsDetails
Lens MountNikon Z
Sensor SizeFull-Frame (35.9 x 23.9mm) CMOS
Sensitivity RangeISO 100-52,200 (expands to 204,800)
Monitor3.2-inch tilting, 1.04m dots
Continuous Shooting Speed4.5fps
Stabilization5-axis in body
ViewfinderEVF, 3.69m dots
Max Video Resolution4K UHD at 30p (with 1.7x crop)
Memory Card2 slots (SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II)
Dimensions (W x H x D)134 x 100.5 x 69.5 mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.8 inches
Weight (Battery Incl.)590g / 1lb. 4.9oz

As it is part of the Nikon Z mount system, you can save some money on the camera body at first so that you can spend more on lenses, which is a great idea.

There are 24.3 megapixels, the same as the more expensive Z6II. However, the sensor is not backside lit, so it doesn’t do as well in low light as that camera.

There will be some pros and cons compared to the Z50, though. The Z5 can only take 4.5 pictures per second. This is not the right camera for you if you want to use it for more than just taking pictures of your kids playing sports. In this case, either the Z50 or the Z6II would be better for you.


  • Low-cost full-frame Nikon Z camera
  • Z mount has exceptional lenses


  • Low frames per second make sports/action shooting difficult
  • 1.7x crop factor when shooting video

To keep the price low, Nikon put together a mix of entry-level and pro functions in this camera. You can get a great start with full-frame cameras with this one, and the speed and video features they gave up don’t really affect picture shots.

You can get the benefits of the great monitor for a lot less money.

Best Nikon DSLRs For Portraits

To take better photos with your Nikon camera, choose one of the compact models above instead of one of their DSLR cameras. Because they can use eye focusing alone, it’s much easier to take pictures, and if you shoot a lot, you’ll get more keepers.

Having said that, Nikon DSLRs are still great cameras. This is why I’m going to talk about a few that I think are great for picture photography.

6. Nikon D850

Nikon cameras for portraits

It is still the standard for cameras when it comes to picture quality, color, dynamic range, and how well they work in low light. The Nikon D850 is one of the best DSLRs ever made.

The Nikon D850 is still the best DSLR camera on the market. It came out in September 2017 and is still one of the best-rated camera sensors for dynamic range, low-light performance, and

It is a powerful tool for all kinds of shooting, including photos, thanks to its 45.7-megapixel quality and those features.

The 45.7 megapixels may be too much sharpness for most people who aren’t expert shooters. That being said, if you want the best picture quality possible and your computer can handle big files, this camera will do the job.

You can use any Nikon F-mount lens with the D850, which is another big reason why it’s better than some of the other mobile choices. To use older F-mount lenses that don’t have their own motors, you can still use this one because it has one built in.

Image Sensor45.7 megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor
Image ProcessorEXPEED 5
ISO Range64-25,600 (expandable to 32-102,400)
Autofocus SystemMulti-CAM 20K autofocus sensor with 153 focus points, 99 cross-type sensors
Shutter Speed Range1/8000 to 30 seconds, Bulb
ViewfinderOptical pentaprism with 100% frame coverage
LCD Screen3.2-inch, tilting, touchscreen, 2,359k-dot resolution
Video Recording4K UHD at 30/25/24 fps, 1080p Full HD at 120/60/30/24 fps
Built-in FlashNo
External Flash SupportYes, hot shoe and PC sync terminal
Continuous ShootingUp to 7 fps (9 fps with optional battery grip)
Storage MediaDual card slots: XQD and SD (UHS-II compatible)
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.0, headphone and microphone jacks
Battery LifeApproximately 1,840 shots per charge (CIPA)
Weather SealingYes
Weight32.3 oz (915 g)
Dimensions146 x 124 x 78.5 mm (5.8 x 4.9 x 3.1 inches)

7. Nikon D780

Nikon cameras for portraits

Even though it’s a DSLR, the D780 has a lot of great technology built in because it came out at the same time that Nikon switched to mirrorless cameras.

The Nikon D780 is one of their newest DSLRs. It came out in January 2020. Nikon’s handheld cameras had already come out by this point, so the D780 indirectly benefited from some of the new features that were built into those cameras.

With 24.5 megapixels, it’s a great choice for people who want a DSLR but don’t want the big files that the D850 makes.

Along with a great selection of lenses, the D780 also has better video features for those who want a camera that can do more than just take pictures.

Any Nikon F-mount lens can be used with it, just like the D850.

Camera TypeDSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera
Image SensorFull-frame CMOS sensor
Effective Pixels24.5 million
ISO Sensitivity100-51,200 (Expandable to 50-204,800)
Autofocus System273-point phase-detection AF system
ViewfinderOptical pentaprism viewfinder, 100% frame coverage
LCD Screen3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, Approx. 2,359k-dot resolution
Video Recording4K UHD at 30fps, Full HD at 120fps
Continuous Shooting SpeedUp to 7 fps
Built-in Wi-Fi and BluetoothYes
BatteryEN-EL15b Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
StorageDual card slots (SD and XQD)
DimensionsApprox. 143.5 x 115.5 x 76 mm (5.6 x 4.6 x 3.0 in.)
WeightApprox. 840g (body only)

8. Nikon D3500

Nikon cameras for portraits

There are two card slots, better focusing, and a better camera in the second version of the Z6. The Z mount lets you use some of the best lenses on the market. It’s also not too expensive.

The D3500 is the least expensive DSLR you can get, but I don’t think it’s the best choice for taking pictures.

But you can get a Z30 body with eye focusing and a better camera for an extra $60. This will get you into the Z mobile system. The Z30 will do a better job with photos.

Image Sensor24.2 Megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor
ProcessorEXPEED 4 image processor
ISO Range100-25,600 (expandable to ISO 50-102,400)
Autofocus11-point autofocus system with contrast-detect AF
Shutter Speed1/4000 to 30 seconds, bulb mode
ViewfinderOptical pentamirror viewfinder
LCD Screen3.0-inch, 921,000-dot TFT LCD
Video RecordingFull HD 1080p video at 60fps
Continuous ShootingUp to 5 frames per second
StorageSD, SDHC, SDXC memory card compatibility
ConnectivityUSB 2.0, HDMI, Bluetooth, SnapBridge
BatteryEN-EL14a rechargeable Li-ion battery
Dimensions124 x 97 x 69.5 mm (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 inches)
Weight415g (body only), 465g (with battery and card)
Other FeaturesGuide Mode, Picture Control settings, In-camera retouch menu, Built-in flash

Nikon Cameras To Avoid For Portrait Shooting

The Nikon DSLRs are second on this list, and I only put a few of them there. That’s for a good reason…

Nikon said in 2022 that they would no longer be making DSLR cameras. That means mirrorless is the best way to go if you want to buy a new camera body.

Still, that doesn’t mean they’re bad cameras. I love my D850 and use it for most of the portraits I do for clients. Also, Nikon is said to be releasing the Z8 in mid-2023, which is said to be a compact version of the D850. If it’s as good as the D850, I plan to update.

There’s no reason not to get a Nikon DSLR for taking portraits. You should get them. Just know that Nikon has no plans to add to the F-mount system.

However, I wouldn’t suggest a few of them because for the same price, you can get a better compact camera.

Nikon D5600

The D5600 is a “entry-level” body because it doesn’t have many “pro-level” features.

Nikon stopped making new DSLRs and the F-mount lenses that go with them not long ago. That means that if you buy a D5600, you’ll be getting a machine that is no longer being made. Instead, get the Z50 or Z30.

Nikon D7500/D500

Nikon’s best crop sensor bodies are the D7500 and the very famous D500. Both have a lot of the same features as the full-frame version, like Nikon’s better autofocus system and a motor drive that lets you use older Nikon lenses that don’t have an AF motor built in.

The D500 is a favorite among animal shooters because it has a fast frame rate, is built to last, and is lighter than most full-frame cameras. Many people who wanted more reach without buying big lenses liked the 1.5x crop factor as well. However, this isn’t very useful for taking facial pictures.

You can still get a great deal on these two cameras if you already have a lot of Nikon crop sensor F-mount lenses. This is because Nikon is trying to get rid of their old stock. But keep in mind that no new lenses will be released for these cameras.

Nikon D750

A lot of people love the Nikon D750, which is a full-frame camera. There are even times when I still use the D750, even though it’s eight years old, for work.

If you already have one of these cameras, there’s no need to get a new one just because Nikon isn’t making them anymore. They take pictures that are just as good as the best cameras on the market today.

If you want a full-frame camera and don’t have any F-mount lenses, you should skip this body and get the Z6II instead, which costs about the same.

Coolpix P950/P1000

The Coolpix P950 and P1000 are too expensive for you. Instead, get a Z30 and use lenses that can be switched out.

You can point and shoot with these, like the Coolpix A1000. But they are bigger and made like DSLRs, but the lens doesn’t come off. It’s also not possible to shoot in manual mode with these. You would have to let the camera choose the setting, which makes learning simple shooting skills much harder.

If you’re not interested in photography as a hobby or job, there’s really no reason to use these cameras other than to take pictures. Don’t even bother with these.

Why You Should Trust Me

I own cameramanlife and work as a professional photographer. This gives me the chance to use a lot of different cameras and teach other shooters how to use them.

I’ve used all of the cameras on this list, and my goal is to help you choose the best one for your needs instead of just getting the newest or most expensive one.

Ease Of Use

A big factor is how easy it is to use. When you are just starting to learn photography, you want as few things as possible that get in the way of your progress.

Because of this, I never tell people who are just starting out to buy the best, most expensive top camera models from any brand. Beginners can get lost when their camera has a million buttons and functions. This keeps them from focusing on the basics that will make the biggest difference in their pictures.

If you know how to set up a camera and want one with more features, though, the more advanced full-frame models are the way to go.


As you get better at shooting, you don’t want to be limited in what you can do with your camera. That’s why I say anyone who wants to learn photography (even if it’s just for fun) should get a camera with lenses that can be switched out.

The best thing about a changing lens camera is that you can buy or rent a new lens to try out different types of photos. Because of this, the point-and-shoot isn’t my top budget pick, even though it costs less than the pick.


As your needs change, the camera system you choose should be able to adapt to those changes. It’s not just the body of the camera that you buy; you also buy lenses and other tools that go with it.

You won’t have to deal with the trouble and cost of getting a new set of gear if you choose a good method from the start.

You should also think about how many lenses are offered for a machine. I suggest that people who are just starting out use the Nikon Z system because all of the Z cameras can work with Nikon’s very big F-mount range. For as little as the F to Z adapter, you can use hundreds of lenses made by Nikon and other companies, such as Tamron and Sigma.

In addition to being able to use older devices, you’ll also be okay in the future because Nikon is quickly adding some great lenses to its Z mount range.

Price To Quality Ratio

Cameras cost a lot of money. You can’t get around that, and you should stick to your limit no matter what it is. You can always get better later.

I know that if you buy a camera, you want to get the most out of it, though.

You shouldn’t spend all of your money on a camera body. If you have the money, I think you should buy a 50mm f/1.8 lens instead of a more expensive body. When it comes to picture quality, the lenses are going to make a bigger difference than the body of the camera.

What kind of Nikon lens is best for portraits?

For pictures, I think the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G lens is best. Nikon’s 85mm lens is one of the best for taking pictures. The first thing is its best focus length. Its rounded nine-blade lens and very fast f/1.4 maximum aperture make portraits look easier. It lets me take close-ups of faces that don’t show any warping.

It also lets me get close to my subject while still keeping a safe distance. It was used at the ceremony for my daughter’s graduation. It takes the most beautiful pictures of her in her black dress, which I then processed and hung on my wall at home. You can get one-of-a-kind photos this way.


Ladies and gentlemen, that’s all the cameras we’ll be talking about today.

Have you guys ever used these cams before? What do you think about them?

What are the best Nikon cameras for taking pictures of people?

Did I miss a camera that you love for photos that you wish I had talked about?

Please tell us what you think and feel below.

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