Nikon DL18-50 — That Little Camera to Always Be With You

In case you’ve missed it, Nikon introduced a gem of a premium compact camera, the DL18-50 F1.8-2.8 with a fast wide zoom, ideal for reporting, street work, family snaps, travel, you name it. Nikon lauds the camera’s lens as the fastest ultra wide Nikkor lens ever. The mirrorless series’ DL name stands for, well, Digital Lens. Launched with three models, DLs shall give you compact optical pro power to never be left home again.

The premium compact Nikon DL18-50 takes pro-level performance wherever you go.
The premium compact Nikon DL18-50 takes pro-level performance wherever you go.
This new DL18-50 (available on Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama) is basically built around the superb lens with a 1-inch 21MP backside illumination CMOS imager with no optical low pass filter. The fast glass with ISO up to 12,800 should keep you covered in difficult light conditions. Plus there’s the camera’s so called Dual Detect Optical VR system giving 5 stops of compensation.

For focusing and tracking this lightweight, yet sturdy precision optics build offers Nikon’s latest Hybrid AF system, instantly selecting either the 105-point phase detection A for moving subjects, or 171-point contrast-detect AF, which allows accurate focusing in dark situations.

The lens has a fluorine coating, something Nikon uses more and more often, to repel water, oil, dirt and dust, and a Nano Crystal Coat to reduce flare and ghosting. Kind of reflecting the seriousness of the camera, it doesn’t have a gimmicky built-in flash, though a hot shoe is available. Also the DF-E1 electronic viewfinder is optional.

Sure the camera offers the now standard Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth (BLE) connectivities to make best use of Nikon’s new SnapBridge app. Smart devices can automatically be linked to remote-trigger the camera or share photos.

The camera’s 20FPS are not to shabby, and if you lock the first exposure you’ll get 60FPS… Does shoot RAW and offers a similar menu system and control buttons and dials compared to Nikon DSLRs. The lens barrel on the camera is detailed with the signature gold Nikkor ring, and the DL18-50 sure has 4K UHV video with 30FPS.

For someone who wants a more general purpose lens with creamier bokeh for portraits, Nikon also launched the DL24-85 F1.8-2.8 (Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama), and then there’s the DL24-500 F2.8-5.6 (Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama) for sports and wildlife with long reach, yet still being compact. The DL24-85 has a Super Macro option to switch the lens to — and add the camera’s focus peaking for macro to boot.

The Nikon DL18-50, available soon, costs $849.