Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50: More Than a Lens Change

Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50

Already back in February Nikon announced three new camera’s in its new DL range. Two of these three cameras look very similar. The Nikon DL24-85 and the Nikon DL18-50. These large sensor compacts are great for professional photographers that want to carry something small and pocketable. The main difference is the focal range which is 18-50mm for the DL18-50 and 24-85mm for the DL24-85. Big surprise right? At a first glance this seems to be the only difference. However, it turns out that more subtle changes are made. In this Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50 comparison we list all the differences we found so far.

Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50: all the differences

Like we said, the main difference between the two camera’s is the lens. The DL24-85 has a 8.8-31.3mm lens, which in 35mm equivalent is a 24-85mm lens. This is considered a fairly common standard focal range. The Nikon DL18-50 on the other hand, has a 6.7-18.5mm lens. In 35mm equivalent this is a wide angle lens ranging from 18-50mm. In the image below you can see how much difference the 18 and 24mm make at the wide angle, and compare 50mm and 85mm on the tele end of the lens. Both lenses have a fast f/1.8 to f/2.8 aperture range.

Nikon DL focal length comparison

But like I said, this is not the only difference between the two camera’s. Below we list everything else we found.

Built-in ND-filter

The Nikon DL24-85mm has a ND-filter built into the camera. This is useful to maintain wide apertures in bright lighting conditions, or to allow for slower shutter speeds. The latter can be useful for instance for panning shots, or smoothing waterfalls. However, the Nikon DL18-50 does NOT have a built-in ND-filter. This is an interesting design choice, since a ND-filter can especially be useful in landscape photography, which is a common use for wide angle lenses.

Super macro mode

Something else the DL18-50 does not have is super macro mode. In this mode, available on the DL24-85mm the camera can achieve an impressive 1:1 macro magnification. Because the completely different lens design, it is understandable that this mode is not available on both camera’s.

Built in-flash

Nikon DL24-85 flash

Yet another omission on the DL18-50 is a built-in flash. My guess is that the larger lens made the packaging of this camera more challenging, forcing the engineers to leave the internal flash out of the Nikon DL18-50. Both models do feature a hotshoe however, so if you really want to use a flash, you still can.

Maximum mechanical shutter speed

The maximum mechanical shutter speed on the Nikon DL24-85 is 1/1000s, while on the DL18-50 it is 1/2000s. Since both camera’s also offer an electronic shutter going up to 1/16.000s, this is not really a big issue. But we are listing it for the sake of completeness.

Filter thread size

An unique selling point of these Nikon DL camera’s is that they have a filter thread available. This is something that neither the Canon G7X and the Sony RX100 have, as can be read in our comparison. While this is a nice feature for the pro photographer, the drawback is that the camera’s have a separate lens cap which makes them somewhat more cumbersome. Because of the larger lens, the filter thread on the Nikon DL18-50 is 46mm as compared to a somewhat odd 40.5mm on the DL24-85.

Hotshoe location

Because of the different lens design the hotshoe on the Nikon DL18-50mm is on the side rather than in the middle of the camera. Be aware of this if you plan to use an external flash. For the optional viewfinder this is not an issue, because it is an EVF.

Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50 top view

camera weight and dimensions

As can also clearly be seen from the picture above, the camera’s are almost equal in size, except for the lens. You can see that the fixed protruding part on the DL18-50 is substantially thicker. I personally wouldn’t call this camera pocketable anymore, but it is definitely small for what it is.  The Nikon DL18-50 is 4.1 in. (106 mm) x 2.5 in. (63 mm) x 2.2 in. (57.5 mm) and weighs 12.8 oz. (365 g). The Nikon DL24-85 is 4.2 in. (104.9 mm) x 2.5 in. (61.3 mm) x 2.0 in. (49.8 mm) and weighs 12.3 oz. (350 g).

price comparison

The Nikon DL24-85 is reasonably priced at $649. This is cheaper than its two main competitors, even though the Nikon has some serious capabilities. The Nikon DL18-50 is more exclusive and priced at a still reasonable $849. Don’t forget that there is currently no other camera like it in the market.

Conclusion

And with that we come to a conclusion. The comparison Nikon DL24-85 vs Nikon DL18-50 is in the end an easy one. If you are looking for a small wide angle camera, for landscape photography, street photography or something else, the Nikon DL18-50 is about your only option.

If you are looking for a more conventional high quality compact camera, the Nikon DL24-85 is the way to go among these two. However, in this case, don’t for get to check out the Sony RX100 mark IV and the Canon G7X mark II as well.

Both Nikon camera’s have been announced already in February. However, due to an earthquake in Japan, the sales of these models have been delayed. Currently they are listed to ship the 30th of June.  Pre-order the Nikon DL24-85 now at Amazon, for $649. or the unique Nikon DL18-50 for $849.

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  • iGolfy

    Thank you for this detailed comparison list. Before reading your article, the only differences between these two cameras that I was aware of, are the lens (of course 🙂 and size, and there’s no internal flash for the DL18-50.

  • Lk05321

    The release date you listed was the original release date announced in February and still posted on Amazon. Another site, I think Best Buy or BH, have it listed for Nov. 28.

    • Thank you for your comment. Most likely we have to take the Amazon date with a bit of caution then. However, I could not find the November date you mentioned anywhere. Most shops do not specify a date at all. The only other date I found is at crutchfield.com and they list it for the 5th of July.

      • iGolfy

        I think Cutchfield’s July 5 is their shipping date based on the original June 30 release date.

        My first thought after seeing Best Buy has the Nov. 28 release date: oh nooo…..😢
        \//

  • Drewzilla

    It makes me sad how old this thread is. The dates are consistently 11/4 now, but I’m not sure that’s really 100%.

    • You are absolutely right. Such a shame.