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  Nikon Camera Heritage

Confused about how the various Nikon cameras evolved? Here you'll find a simplified diagram of recent models grew from different technology bases.



Updated 4/21/11

I'm often asked about which Nikon camera is the successor to a certain model, or which cameras are considered consumer or professional. Or even which new camera was derived from which older model. There's no easy answer to any of these questions, as Nikon has used parts and designs from multiple models for new ones. However, there are some basic lineages that can be discerned.

In the chart that appears below, bodies with black labels are "professional" 35mm cameras, bodies with blue labels are "consumer" 35mm cameras, bodies with red labels are "professional" digital SLRs, and bodies with green labels are "consumer" digital SLRs. The "professional" and "consumer" labels are used loosely here, but I believe reflect the major intentions of the camera producer. Solid lines indicate direct replacements or direct design relationships, while dotted lines are less direct relationships (e.g., "uses parts from," "inherits design ideas from," etc.). As you'll see, these relationships get quite complex. I've left off some minor variants of a single model to keep the chart simple and clear. Finally, the Kodak bodies are labeled with a yellow K, the Fujifilm bodies with a green F. All other bodies are Nikon. Bodies being currently sold by Nikon have a slight green halo surrounding them.

Note: Outside the US, the Nikon film body names all start with F, not N. Also, the earlier models have a slightly different numbering scheme (e.g., F-801 instead of N8008).

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