The D-SLR at the top end of Nikon’s APS-C range has been upgraded, and has some very nice features indeed – we take an in-depth look at them all
A newer Expeed 4 processor facilitates an increase in burst depth… There’s also an increase in native sensitivity range, which is now ISO100-25600, plus two additional monochrome-only settings
D-SLR Nikon D7200 £939, $1197 (body only) www.nikon.com
It’s been roughly two years since the introduction of the D7100, and the D7200, which replaces it, seems more like an incremental upgrade than a major overhaul. (We felt similarly about the D5500 when that was introduced to replace the D5300 recently.)
Inside the camera you’ll find a sensor with the same 24 million-pixel resolution as its predecessor, while the external body is also identical. As before, the sensor doesn’t have an anti-aliasing filter, which should make it capable of resolving fine detail in images. That’s not to say that some of the changes that have been made are not significant, though.
A newer Expeed 4 processor facilitates an increase in burst depth. Nikon says that the D7200 is now capable of shooting up to 27 RAW files (or 100 JPEGs if you prefer) in a burst, before the buffer fills up. There’s also an increase in native sensitivity range, which is now ISO100-25600, plus two additional special monochrome-only expansion settings which take the sensitivity up to a staggering ISO102400.
The D7200 features the ability to focus down to -3EV for the first time in a DX-format (APS-C) Nikon, thanks to the inheritance of the Multi-CAM 3500-II 51-point autofocusing system from models which are higher up in Nikon’s range.
The D7200 includes Wi-Fi, and, for the first time in a Nikon D-SLR, NFC (Near Field Communication) connectivity. This should make it easier than ever to establish a remote shooting connection with your phone or tablet, or send pictures across for quick sharing.
Staying the same, there’s a 3.2inch, 1,229,000 LCD screen, which is a traditional one – fixed and not touch-sensitive. It is joined by an eyelevel pentaprism optical viewfinder, which offers 100% coverage.
Nikon has worked hard to make the D7200 look and feel like a highquality piece of kit, and in fact it feels pretty similar to something like the D610 or D750 when you’re holding it.
Both the front and rear grip have soft textured coatings which make it feel nice in the hand, while thanks to its contoured and shaped grip, your fingers sit comfortably.
As with the D7100, the D7200 is weatherproof, which gives you the confidence to use it in a range of outdoor conditions without concern. That helps to give the camera an air of high quality, although it doesn’t feel quite as rugged as the D810.
This is very much a camera that requires both hands to use, and,
as you’d expect from this level of camera, there’s a good range of dials and buttons for making changes to key settings quickly and easily. If you’re a D7100 owner, you will, of course, be extremely familiar with both the button and menu layout, but if you’re coming from a different Nikon D-SLR model you should also feel at home.
The optical viewfinder is bright and clear, and it’s great to see a 100 per cent offering on a camera at this level, as it means you’ll never have something unexpected creeping into the edges of the frame. When shooting macro or still life scenes, it’s advisable to use the rear LCD screen, which offers a magnified view for checking critical focus. It would have been nice if the screen were articulated or tilting, though, to help with shooting from awkward angles.
Connecting to a smartphone via Wi-Fi is very easy, but the control is hidden away a little in the main menu. A dedicated button for even quicker access would have been preferable. NFC is included, but unfortunately, despite several attempts, I wasn’t able to get it to respond to my Android phone. The Nikon Wireless Utility app is also very limited, offering only the ability to set the autofocus point and trip the shutter; it would be great if you could alter other settings, such as aperture, using it. Nevertheless, it’s useful for group shots, or if you want to shoot from a tricky angle.
The 24.2 million pixel and Expeed 4 processor combination has already proved itself to be great partnership in the Nikon D5500, which sits underneath the D7200 in Nikon’s line-up, so we were fully expecting good things from the D7200. Happily, we haven’t been disappointed.
This camera is aimed at enthusiasts, those who want to shoot a bit of everything, and therefore it needs to be a fantastic all-rounder, capable of handling lots of different subjects to a good standard.
Looking at JPEG images directly from the camera, we can see that colours have a great vibrancy, with a bright but natural appearance. In good light, those colours are vivid and bold, but even under different lighting conditions, you still get a nice warmth and saturation.
Detail is also excellently resolved, and examining images at 100 per cent reveals some very fine detail, with pretty much zero evidence of image smoothing at lower sensitivities. Detail continues to be resolved well throughout the sensitivity range, and even at those much higher figures, like ISO12800 or ISO25600, we can still see a
The automatic white balance system copes very well with different lighting conditions, and its performance is pretty much flawless in daylight
reasonable amount of detail. Even the monochrome-only setting of Hi1 is usable, with the grain present arguably adding to the ‘feel’ of a black-and-white shot.
Looking at RAW files, we can see that a fair amount of noise reduction is applied to JPEG images in their default settings, but this gives you scope to apply exactly the kind of noise reduction you want to in postprocessing, balancing out detail with the presence of noise.
Using the matrix metering system tends to leave you with well-exposed images in the majority of conditions, and it even copes well with some high-contrast scenes. On occasion, you may find dialling in some exposure compensation for dull landscapes helps to bring out some detail, though.
The automatic white balance system copes very well with different lighting conditions, and its performance is pretty much faultless in daylight or cloudy conditions. Under artificial lighting it errs ever so slightly on the warm side, so it’s recommended for accuracy that you switch to a more appropriate, or custom, white balance setting.
Autofocusing is a breeze with the D7200 and, thanks to the new AF system, the camera is capable of locking onto a moving subject even in lower light conditions. There are 15 cross-type AF points, which are more sensitive in lower light, while the central point is the most sensitive of all if light levels drop even further.
The camera’s burst depth is now much improved when compared with its predecessor. Shooting with Fine JPEG selected allows you to capture around 50 shots before the buffer fills, which equates to around 10 seconds of shooting time, giving you plenty of opportunity to catch the action. RAW shooting at 14-bit gives you roughly two to three seconds, or four to five seconds at 12-bit, if you need the higher quality files.
On the button There are plenty of buttons and dials to get acquainted with on the D7200, especially as there’s no touch-sensitive screen you can use to make changes
You can really see the results from the improved autofocus and automatic white balance
The D7200 performs well in high-contrast conditions, and scored well for dynamic range in our lab tests