How does Nikon series numbers work? For example for Canon is pretty simple:
- 1000 series is "cheap"
- 100 series (600D, 650D) is "enthusiast"
- 10 (50D, 60D) series is semi-pro
- 5 and 1 series are pro DSLRs
How can Nikon models can be classified?
It's actually pretty similar except that they changed numbering when they run out of digits in some series.
For the current lineup:
For the older lineup:
Nikon its difficult(but possible) to classify the series like in Canon.
But its pretty much similar to Canon's by the fact that "pro'ness increases with decrease in the number of digits in name".
Nikon As how you classified Canon:
D3### series = "cheap" D5###, D3## series = "Enthusiast" D7###, D8##, D7## series = "Semi-Pro" //Except that 7### is crop sensored D4 ,D3X series = "Pro"
This list is how I infer the categories.
Don't forget that Nikon used to number their film cameras in a similar manner: Fx, Fxx
The model numbers used to make more sense when a new camera would be brought out only once every couple of years. Since new digital cameras seem to be produced every couple of months the 'old school' numbering system doesn't stand up to the number of cameras available.
There is little, if any, point in trying to coax some arbitrary level of "pro-ness" out of Nikon's model numbering scheme. The last time you could do that was at the end of 2003, when Nikon's DSLR lineup consisted of the D1X, D2H and D100, and fewer digits meant better bodies. The D70 broke that model shortly afterward in 2004.
About the only thing you can say at this instant and be right about it is that the Dx family are full-sized pro models, the Dxxx family are compact pro models, and everything else is consumer.