Difference in Nikon cameras

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Scott Fournier, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. Can someone tell me what the difference in N-series and F-series cameras

    Thank you
    Scott Fournier, Sep 23, 2003
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  2. Not really. There are uncounted differences between any two cameras in
    either series - you didn't want a detailed list, did you?

    i general, the "F" series are their top-of-the-line, professional
    cameras, and the "N" series are the amateur line. In reality, the
    cameras with an N prefix range from near point-and-shoots to rather
    serious hardware.

    Generally, there was only one F at a time, and it was the top of the
    line. They were numbered sequentially: F, F2, F3, etc.

    The current F100 breaks that policy; it's NOT the top of the line
    (though it certainly qualifies for professional use) and co-exists with
    the F5. Perhaps it should have been the N100.
    Scott Schuckert, Sep 23, 2003
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  3. Scott Fournier

    Matt Clara Guest

    It should be pointed out that in Europe there are no "N" series Nikons.
    It's strictly a North American thing. Also, the F100 is head and shoulders
    above any N series produced to date.
    Matt Clara, Sep 23, 2003
  4. The guy who stated:

    i general, the "F" series are their top-of-the-line, professional
    cameras, and the "N" series are the amateur line. In reality, the
    cameras with an N prefix range from near point-and-shoots to rather
    serious hardware.

    basically got it right.

    The N80 is the top-of-the-line N series. I'm sure you're aware of that; it
    would be one of the "rather serious hardware" units of N-series cameras the
    poster was talking about. The N55, on the other hand, is nearly a point &
    shoot unit and I wouldn't recommend it if photography is anything like a
    "hobby" to you. (Main reason--you revert to classic "sensor" auto-flash if
    you dare to use a flash besides the built-in unit.) The N65 & N75 are
    certainly worthy of hobbyist-usage (though more "serious" users would go for
    the N80 or F100), but to me the N80 is ***the*** camera in the $500 class of
    SLRs regardless of brand and if you're that close to the N80 you might as
    well go all the way and get the best--unless you get the N65 or N75 on a
    good sale which extends the price advantage.

    The F100 is the only camera to break the "F, F2, F3, F4, F5" scheme of
    cameras. What I mean is that going back to 1959 when Nikon introduced their
    Nikon F, in the United States the top-of-the-line Nikon has been designated
    simply as Fx, where x is 2-5 representing the progression of updates to
    their professional cameras.

    The F100 is not the top-of-the-line Nikon, but is considered "professional
    grade" and that is probably the reason why it has F in its name. That said,
    the guy who said it should have been called the N100 is probably right.
    After all, the N90s which the F100 replaced is considered by many to be a
    "professional" camera but it didn't break into the F-series namewise, no
    reason to change that as far as I can see.

    A quick rundown of the N-series features as I remember them

    N55--Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Programmed (Shiftable) and total
    manual modes. Multiple exposure. Matrix metering except for
    "center-evaluative" in manual. No depth of field (I BELIEVE), has 3 AF
    sensors, doesn't accept remote release (or cable), Matrix TTL flash with
    built-in unit ONLY, "sensor-auto" with any external flash (even dedicated
    units), shutter speeds 30 seconds - 1/2000 sec, X-sync at 1/90 sec. Uses "T"
    (time) instead of "B" (bulb) for long exposures. Can't override ISO of film.

    N65--adds depth of field and has 5 AF sensors rather than 3. Matrix
    metering except for "classic centerweighted" in manual mode. Matrix TTL
    flash, also does this with proper dedicated units. Accepts ML-L3 remote

    N75--adds 3D aspect to matrix metering with flash (N55-65 have 3D with
    non-flash but no 3D with flash), ability to specifically select continuous
    shooting on the motor drive (N55-65 "embed" it in vari-programs mode), user
    can permanently shut off AF assist-light, better AF sensor control
    ("Nintendo" pad). Also uses 3D Matrix metering except in manual mode where
    centerweighted is used.

    N80--user specifically selects centerweighted or matrix metering regardless
    of mode. Also has a spotmeter (N75 does, but activating it is awkward). User
    can override ISO of film. LCD illuminates. More advanced AF abilities. Can
    specifically select continuous "release priority" AF; lesser models only
    have it in "vari-programs" mode. Uses traditional cable release (a HUGE plus
    in my book). Has switchable LCD grid-lines in the viewfinder, great for
    architectual (sp?) and landscaping shooting for implementing rule of thirds.
    Has flash compensation feature. Doesn't have "vari-programs" or FULL AUTO
    mode, since point & shooters aren't assumed to use a camera of this class.
    Max shutter speed upgraded to 1/4000 second, X-sync at 1/125 sec. Uses "B"
    (bulb) for long exposures; N55-65-75 use "T" (time). Shows frame count in
    viewfinder; lesser models don't (N75 MAY but I don't believe it does; I know
    for a face 55 &65 don't). Also shows exposure mode chosen in viewfinder.

    Hope this helps,
    Larry R Harrison Jr, Sep 23, 2003
  5. The cheaper cameras are Nxx in the U.S. and Fxx in the rest of the world.
    For example, the N60 is the F60 here.

    Someone else answered the difference between the F,F2, F3, etc.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Sep 23, 2003
  6. Scott Fournier

    Doug Payne Guest

    Um, no. It's strictly a US thing.
    Doug Payne, Sep 23, 2003
  7. Scott Fournier

    Matt Clara Guest

    Fair enough.
    Matt Clara, Sep 23, 2003
  8. Scott Fournier

    Rainer Guest

    It should be pointed out that in Europe there are no "N" series Nikons.
    IMHO there are some minor differences between the F- and N- Series.
    e.g. the N8008 or N8008s (european F801/F801s) lacks the "beep" for
    misfocusing as there is a US patent which Nikon didn't want to pay for in
    the US. (correct me if I'm wrong)

    Rainer, Sep 24, 2003
  9. As I understand it, the F-series (in America) are considered by Nikon to be
    their professional SLR cameras: FM2, FM3, F-3, F-4, F-5. The Ns are

    Nikon has a self-promotional piece on its F cameras at

    In Europe, the N-series is also an F-series; this has a comparison of model

    Many find the quality of the Ns to be quite good, and some consider the
    more advanced Ns to be better values for the money than the F-5 --
    certainly more affordable.
    Phil Stripling, Sep 25, 2003
  10. Scott Fournier

    Matt Clara Guest

    On the N8008s, the power switch has two settings, the second of which allows
    for beeps if you do something wrong. If that includes focus selection, I
    don't know.
    Matt Clara, Sep 26, 2003
  11. Scott Fournier

    Rainer Guest

    On the N8008s, the power switch has two settings, the second of which
    so I was wrong and the F801s and N8008s are exactly the same... (as my F801s
    has also this 2 settings)
    Thank you!
    Rainer, Sep 26, 2003
  12. I don't think so... The FM10 or F55 are hardly Nikon's
    top-of-the-line professional cameras. Depending on your
    priorities, one or the other of them is probably the bottom
    of the current Nikon SLR line.
    It won't even meter with bellows, extension tubes, mirror lenses,
    or manual focus lenses. Surely the N90s is a step above the N80,
    with its ability to meter with all lenses, its faster flash sync,
    faster top speed, PC sync terminal, and almost twice-as-fast motor

    Anyway, others have covered it: the difference between Nxx and Fxx,
    where "xx" is the same number in each case, is that the N series was
    intended for the USA market, while the F series was intended for
    the rest of the world. The Nikon F, F2, F3, F4, and F5 are Nikon's
    top-of-the-line professional cameras, named the same in all markets.

    Richard Cochran, Sep 26, 2003
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