Nikon is entering the 1"-type premium compact market in a big way, introducing three new models: the Nikon DL18-50, DL24-85 and DL-24-500. Between them, they cover pretty much every focal length. The 'guts' of all three 'DL' models are the same, in that they share a sensor, image processor, autofocus system and support for 4K video (with clean HDMI output, no less). Parts of the design, especially the control layout and font, strongly resemble that of Nikon's 1-series mirrorless cameras.

Sensor-wise, the DLs use what is possibly the same 20.8MP 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor as Nikon's J5 mirrorless camera. It's paired with the company's new EXPEED 6A image processor, which allows for a top ISO of 12800 and 4K/UHD video recording at 30p. All three cameras have 'Dual Detect VR', which combines data from the cameras' angular velocity sensors and the scene itself to reduce shake. They also have fluorine coatings on their lenses to keep moisture and oil away. Each has a manual focus ring around the lens, as well.

They also have 3" touch-enabled OLED displays, tilting on the 18-50 and 24-85 and fully articulating on the 24-500. Naturally, they all have Wi-Fi with NFC, plus Nikon's 'SnapBridge' technology, which uses Bluetooth to maintain a connection between camera and phone, so there's no need to re-pair. Battery life on all three DL models is rated at 290 shots/charge (per the CIPA standard).

One of the features that may set the DLs apart from the other 1"-type cameras is its Hybrid AF system, which combines 105 phase-detect with 171 contrast-detect points. This allows the camera to shoot at 20 fps with continuous autofocus, which is, by far, best-in-class (spec-wise). If you can live with single AF, then the DLs can shoot even faster: 60 fps.

Nikon DL18-50

The first camera is perhaps the most interesting, as it has the widest lens of any enthusiast compact on the market. That lens has an equivalent focal length of 18-50mm and a fast maximum aperture range of F1.8-2.8. The lens has a 3-stop ND filter and is Nikon's first compact to have a Nano Crystal Coating, which reduces flare and ghosting. The lens has seven aperture blades and has a top shutter speed of 1/1600 sec (an electronic shutter, found on all three models, maxes out at 1/16000 sec). There is also built-in perspective correction, which is especially useful when shooting architecture.

The camera has full manual exposure control, Raw support, tilting touch OLED display and aforementioned 4K/30p support. The DL18-50 also supports an optional tilting OLED electronic viewfinder with 2.36M dots. The 18-50 is the only one of the camera cameras to lack a built-in flash, though like its siblings it does have a hot shoe.

Nikon DL24-85

The DL24-85 is very similar to its wider sibling, both inside and out. The main difference is its lens, which is a 24-85mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 model, though it lacks the Nano Crystal Coating. Its standout feature is the ability to take life-size, 1:1 macro photos, with a minimum focus distance of 3cm. Macro shooters can also take advantage of focus peaking and bracketing as well as manual priority AF. Again it includes a built-in ND filter.

Nikon DL24-500

For those seeking a long zoom model, there's the DL24-500. As its name implies, it has a 24-500mm equiv. lens, with a max aperture range of F2.8-5.6. Unlike the other two models, the 24-500 has a fully articulating display and a built-in OLED viewfinder. It's also the only of the DL models with a mic input jack, with support for Nikon's ME-1 shotgun mic. 

All three cameras will be available in early summer with suggested retail prices of $649 (24-85), $849 (18-50), and $999 (24-500).

Press Release:

THE NIKON DL PREMIUM COMPACT SERIES: PUTTING POCKETABLE POWER AND LEGENDARY NIKKOR LENS PRECISION INTO THE HANDS OF PASSIONATE PHOTOGRAPHERS

Pairing a Large 1-Inch Sensor with Superior NIKKOR Lens Technology, Nikon’s New Compact DL24-85, DL18-50 and DL24-500 Will Help Capture Stunning Images and 4K UHD Video

MELVILLE, NY (Monday, February 22, 2016 at 11:01 P.M. EST) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the new DL Series of premium compact cameras. These pocketable yet powerful imaging tools offer an elite level of imaging prowess that fits easily in one’s palm. Equipped with a variety of focal lengths optimized for different types of shooters, the DL24-85, DL18-50 and DL24-500 combine powerful NIKKOR optics with a large 20.8-megapixel (CX-format) 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor to produce stunning image quality and amazingly detailed images, even when shooting in low-light. Cameras in the new DL line will also feature powerful performance, with high-speed Autofocus (AF) and 20 frames-per-second (60 fps with fixed AF) continuous shooting capability for fast action moments, as well as 4K UHD video recording for users to tell their stories in new ways. Ergonomically designed and familiar for advanced users, all three cameras will utilize the new Nikon SnapBridge connectivity to make it easier than ever to shoot and share with ease.

“We recognize consumers’ desire for smaller cameras capable of outstanding image quality,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “With the new DL line, Nikon is proud to fuse legendary NIKKOR optics with the latest innovations in imaging to provide advanced photographers amazingly compact tools capable of capturing photos and video that even the most discerned professional would be proud of.”

The Nikon DL Series: Powerful Performance, Superior Optics

The new DL line of premium compact cameras packs innovative and powerful imaging technology into elegantly designed yet remarkably compact camera bodies, making it easier than ever to carry pure imaging prowess in the palm of one’s hand. All of these new cameras are designed with a 20.8-megapixel CX-format (1-inch) BSI CMOS sensor, which when combined with fast, high quality NIKKOR glass, help to create stunning image quality for stills or 4K UHD video. Working alongside the new sensor is the new EXPEED 6A image processor that allows for impressive noise reduction and powerful, fast performance, making it possible to capture stunning low-light street photography, beautiful portraits or spectacular landscapes with ease. 

For fleeting moments and fast-action, the DL line incorporates a high-speed hybrid autofocus (AF) system featuring 105 phase detect focus areas (with 171 focus points in contrast detect AF mode), as well as continuous shooting up to an incredible 20 fps, with capability to capture up to a blazing fast 60 fps with focus locked on the first frame. The DL series also features Dual Detect Optical VR technology to compensate for camera shake while handheld or at slower shutter speeds.

Continuing the impressive legacy of NIKKOR glass, each new DL camera features a unique lens design capable of amazing resolution and beautiful background blur (bokeh), with impressively fast apertures. The lens barrel also includes a manual focus ring, giving users enhanced control over focus on any subject.

Each NIKKOR lens is also equipped with a fluorine coating that helps repel dirt, water and oil, and also facilitates easy cleaning. For the first time in a Nikon compact camera, the DL18-50’s NIKKOR lens will utilize Nano Crystal Coat to help reduce ghost and flare, particularly useful when shooting at a wide-angle. With the best NIKKOR technologies now integrated into compact camera models, users will be able to capture phenomenal images with amazing detail time and time again. 

Control and Versatility

The DL24-85, DL18-50 and DL24-500 put creative control in the hands of each photographer and are all operated using the familiar Nikon DSLR menu design and an assortment of physical controls. The series also supports RAW (NEF) image capture, full PSAM manual controls and over 20 preset creative options, for use in both still and video shooting (including Picture Control, Creative mode, Multiple Exposure Lighten) to help challenge each user to expand their photographic horizons.

The DL line provides the tools to frame nearly every shot, with all three cameras sporting high-resolution 1,037k-dot OLED Touch displays. While the DL24-85 and DL18-50 allow for tilting, the DL24-500’s display provides full Vari-angle capability, vitally important when shooting from unique perspectives. Even further customization and control is possible utilizing the hot shoe/accessory shoe available on DL24-85 and DL18-50 models that allows for complete system expandability with the DF-E1 optional electronic viewfinder. The DL24-500 also sports a hot shoe and a stereo microphone input jack, while all three models are compatible with Nikon i-TTL Speedlights. 

Seamlessly Shoot and Share

Nikon SnapBridge makes it easier than ever to shoot and share amazing images with friends and family. Available throughout Nikon’s newest line of premium compacts, SnapBridge utilizes Bluetooth®1 low energy technology (BLE) to provide an “always on” connection to a compatible2 smart device. Users can now seamlessly send images from their camera to a smart device (utilizing the new SnapBridge app) for easy sharing via social networks or to the cloud for instant storage. An unlimited number of thumbnails and 20 GB of storage will also be available for registered Nikon owners and SnapBridge users on Nikon Image Space, Nikon’s free image storing service. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi3 and NFC remain available to help facilitate easy connection and sharing. 

Through Nikon SnapBridge, users can also operate their cameras remotely using the app, automatically synchronize time and location information to any image utilizing the camera’s constant connection to a compatible smart device, as well as embed information on any image, including copyright or photographers’ names. Lastly, firmware updates have never been easier, as Nikon will send registered users firmware information via the new SnapBridge application, directly to their smart device.

4K Video Capability

The DL series will be among Nikon’s first compact offerings to support 4K UHD video capability [3840x2160] at 30p, affording users the ability to capture incredibly beautiful video with remarkable detail, all with a compact camera. Multimedia photographers will have free reign over their creative vision with the ability to utilize PSAM selectable exposure modes while recording, alongside popular movie features like HDMI output to an external recorder, slow motion to 1200 fps and the ability to grab stills from video. Other creative video functions available include: Full HD movie, HD movie, Motion Snapshot, Slow motion, 4-second movie, Time-lapse movie, Superlapse movie and Jump cut.

DL24-85: The Premium Compact Camera Ready for Anything

Great for travel, portraits and general photography, the DL24-85 offers pocket-sized imaging power with a fast and versatile 24-85mm focal range. Compatible with 40.5mm threaded filters, the newly designed NIKKOR lens (11 elements in 9 groups) features a 3.6x zoom range (7x with Dynamic Fine Zoom4) and a wide f/1.8-2.8 aperture, empowering users to capture a wide variety of subjects with incredible detail and natural bokeh, even in low-light. The 24-85mm offering also features Dual Detect Optical VR, AF bracketing and a tilting Touch OLED display to make composing from creative angles easier than ever.

Exclusive to this DL model is a new Super Macro Mode (1:1) that helps capture even small subjects in life-size detail. Setting manual zoom on the camera to super macro position allows the user close-up shooting at a 35mm equivalent magnification, providing amazing detail whether shooting flowers in bloom or a wandering ladybug. Macro photographers can utilize a variety of camera functions within the mode, including focus bracketing, manual priority AF (M/A) mode and peaking indication, to truly customize the look and feel of every image.

DL18-50: A Premium Pocket Camera That Can Capture It All

For landscape and architecture shooters looking for compact, ultra-wide angle DL option, the DL18-50 provides a solution that fits easily into any photographer’s pocket. Starting at a wide 18mm and expanding to 50mm (2.8x zoom, 5.5x with Dynamic Fine Zoom) the camera sports a powerful NIKKOR lens with a wide f/1.8-2.8 aperture that makes it easier than ever to produce natural bokeh in any image, while capturing tack-sharp stills and video. This lens is compatible with 46mm filters and features Nikon’s Nano Crystal Coat to help reduce ghosting and flare. 

Those who choose the wide-angle DL premium compact can also take advantage of perspective controls to help compensate for image distortion, particularly for shooting tall objects from the ground like landmarks and skyscrapers. Tailored for architecture shooters, this feature helps to capture the correct perspective with ease.

For use with the DL24-85 and DL18-50, a newly designed optional DF-E1 electronic viewfinder (EVF) will be available for discerning photographers who desire for a traditional eye-level viewfinder to frame their photos. The compact DF-E1 features a 2,359k-dot resolution with eye sensor, alongside a tilting mechanism, diopter adjustment and anti-reflection coating, helping provide further clarity and versatility for DL shooters. 

DL24-500: Get Close and Connect

The DL24-500 offers the longest zoom capability of any DL premium compact, reaching an incredible 500mm focal length and 21x optical zoom (42x with Dynamic Fine Zoom). Combining Nikon’s new 1-inch sensor with this impressive super-zoom NIKKOR lens, the DL24-500 is an ideal choice for users eager to photograph and share anything from concerts to wildlife. Featuring an f/2.8-5.6 aperture, this lens (compatible with 55mm filters) integrates the newest NIKKOR technologies to help render amazing images and background blur, even from afar.

The DL24-500 also features Dual Detect Optical VR, particularly useful when shooting at extremely long focal lengths or without a tripod, a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 2,359k-dot OLED display and an eye-sensor and a Vari-angle 1,037k-dot OLED screen.

Price and Availability

The new DL24-85, DL18-50 and DL24-500 will be available in early summer 2016 for suggested retail prices (SRP) of $649.95*, $849.95*, and $999.95*, respectively. Pricing and availability for the optional DF-E1 electronic viewfinder, compatible with both the DL24-85 and DL18-50, is TBD. For more information on these new Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

1 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Nikon Corporation and its affiliates is under license. 

2. WI-FI COMPATIBILITY This camera’s built-in Wi-Fi® capability can only be used with a compatible iPhone®, iPad®, and/or iPod touch® or smart devices running on the Android™ operating system. The Nikon SnapBridge application must be installed on the device before it can be used with this camera. The SnapBridge app is not yet available (coming soon in spring 2016) Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

3. Wi-Fi and the Wi-Fi logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance. N-Mark is a trademark or registered trademark of NFC Forum, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.

4. Dynamic Fine Zoom magnification is calculated from the full-wide end of optical zoom

* SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon DL18-50 / DL24-85 specifications

 Nikon DL18-50Nikon DL24-85
Price
MSRP$849$649
Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Sensor
Max resolution5584 x 3712
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors23 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6A
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (NEF)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)18–50 mm24–85 mm
Optical zoom2.8×3.5×
Maximum apertureF1.8
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range15 cm (5.91)30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18)
Number of focus points171
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeOLED
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec1/1600 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Bird Watching
  • Close-up
  • Food
  • HDR
  • Landscape
  • Multiple Exposure Lighten
  • Night Landscape
  • Night Portrait
  • Portrait
  • Selective Color
  • Sports
Built-in flashNoYes
Flash range5.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive60.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesSlow motion: 1080/120p, 720/240p, 800 x 296 (400p), 400 x 144 (1200p)
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notesWi-Fi with NFC and constant connection via Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL24 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)290
Weight (inc. batteries)365 g (0.80 lb / 12.87 oz)350 g (0.77 lb / 12.35 oz)
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)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (video)
GPSNone

Nikon DL24-500 specifications

Price
MSRP$999
Body type
Body typeLarge sensor compact
Sensor
Max resolution5584 x 3712
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors23 megapixels
Sensor size1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6A
Color spacesRGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • JPEG (Exif v2.3)
  • Raw (NEF)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–500 mm
Optical zoom20.8×
Maximum apertureF2.8
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points171
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeOLED
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Viewfinder coverage97%
Viewfinder resolution2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Maximum shutter speed (electronic)1/16000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program AE
  • Shutter priority
  • Aperture priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Bird Watching
  • Close-up
  • Food
  • HDR
  • Landscape
  • Multiple Exposure Lighten
  • Night Landscape
  • Night Portrait
  • Portrait
  • Selective Color
  • Sports
Built-in flashYes
Flash range10.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Continuous drive60.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions3840 x 2160 (30p, 25p), 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesSlow motion: 1080/120p, 720/240p, 800 x 296 (400p), 400 x 144 (1200p)
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notesWi-Fi with NFC and constant connection via Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Physical
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL20A lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)290
Weight (inc. batteries)780 g (1.72 lb / 27.51 oz)
Dimensions123 x 90 x 139 mm (4.84 x 3.54 x 5.47)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes (video)
GPSNone