Nikon D7200

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

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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.

First-class fo­cus

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.

Classy con­struc­tion

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.

All-round per­former

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

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