Nikon’s upgrade for the two- year- old D7200 features a modest update in specification. Is it enough to offer a competitive edge? We find out …
It seems that barely a month goes by when we don’t see a release from Nikon – is the new D7500 worth the fuss?
SPECIFICATIONS Guide Price: £ 1,299 ( body- only) Image sensor: APS- C CMOS ( 23.5x15.7mm) Resolution: 20.9- megapixels Maximum image resolution: 5568x3712 pixels AF system: Multi- CAM 3500 II AF sensor module. AF points: 51 ( including 15 cross- type sensors) Metering system: TTL using 180,000- pixel RGB sensor Metering patterns: 3D Color Matrix III, spot, Highlight- weighted & centre- weighted ISO range: 100- 51200 ( expandable to 50- 1640000) Shutter speeds: 1/ 8000sec- 30 seconds & Bulb/ Time Integral flash: Guide Number: 12 ( ISO 100, m) LCD monitor: TFT 3.2in 922,000- dot touchscreen Frame rate: Up to eight frames- per- second Storage: SD ( SDHC/ XC) Size: 135.5x104x72.5mm Weight: 720g ( including battery & card) Website: www. nikon. co. uk
IF YOU ARE in the market for a featurepacked digital camera, then you're spoilt for choice, with all the major brands offering a solid range of models to suit all levels of photographer. While this is great news in most respects, it also adds to the confusion when it comes to trying to shortlist the models best suited for you.
Highlighting just the Nikon range for example – there are currently 13 digital SLRS to choose from – along with three mirrorless models. While it's easy to reduce the options of which are best for you simply by deciding on price and sensor size alone, this still leaves a wide choice. If you want a full- frame model, you've six models to choose from, with a similar number of entry- level options. For enthusiasts looking for a highly- specified DX- format ( APS- C) DSLR, the number reduces to three, but the choice is no less confusing. The recentlyintroduced Nikon D7500 is an update of the two- year- old (£ 860) D7200 and shares a number of features with it, as well as with the (£ 1,729) D500, the flagship of the DX range. Therefore choosing between this new model or one of the established cameras isn't so clear- cut. We'll cover the similarities in terms of features as we go along, but for now, let's take a look at the D7500' s build quality, handling and ease of use.
The D7500 looks similar to the D7200 and, despite having seen its weatherproofing capabilities improve, is actually slightly lighter; in part due to the single monocoque construction. While maintaining rigidity, it might feel ever so slightly plasticky to some. The body handles nicely and its pronounced grip provides a very assured hold, with the textured panels on the handgrip and thumbrest offering added purchase.
The neat layout of controls means even inexperienced photographers shouldn't have many problems getting around the camera's many functions. The set- up will be familiar to anyone who has used Nikon DSLRS before, with only a few changes to where certain buttons have been placed. The main exposure dial remains on the left side of the top- plate, with a central locking button preventing accidental movement and the shooting mode dial ( with locking pin) beneath it. On the right side is a large info LCD panel and ahead of it, before the shutter button and on/ off switch, are a small selection of buttons for ISO, exposure compensation, and video. Most other controls are located on the rear, although there are a few on the front too. While there are a significant number of controls, all are well marked out and shouldn't take long to get used to. It's also worth noting that this includes two customisable function buttons on the front, which can be ignored if you decide you don't need to use them.
The large 3.2in LCD monitor dominates the rear and benefits from being placed on a hinged vari- angle platform that allows it to be tilted up and down by 170°, although it can't be swung to either side. The high quality screen boasts an excellent resolution of 922,000- dots, although it should be noted this is lower than the 1,229,000- dots on the D7200, although in practical terms the difference is negligible. A welcome bonus, and the likely reason for the drop in pixels, is the addition of a touchscreen facility.
The viewfinder is great too, providing a bright and clear image with a large magnification of x0.94 and 100% coverage. The screen overlay and exposure info along the bottom ensures you've a wealth of focusing and exposure information.
On the left side of the body are covers hiding ports for the HDMI, USB, microphone, headphone and remote sockets, while on the right side is the SD card slot. Surprisingly, the dual- slot of the D7200 has been replaced with a single SD card slot.
The major ( good) news about the specification is that the heart of the camera – its sensor and processor – is the same as that found in the superb D500. The 20.9- megapixel CMOS sensor ( without optical- pass filter) may have a lower pixel count than the D7200 ( 24.2- megapixels), but that shouldn't be a concern, as the D500' s image quality has proven. The
EXPEED 5 image processor is highly capable too, and proven at delivering clean images free of noise, even at higher ISO ratings. In this latter respect, the sensitivity range of the D7500 is extensive, so no cause for complaint there. Video capability has been improved, with 4K ( UHD) recordings at 30, 25 and 24p possible, along with 4K interval timer and time- lapse mode.
While it doesn't boast the incredible 153- point AF system of the D500, it does use the D7200' s 51- point system and sports a group- area AF mode that aids tracking moving subjects. Sports and wildlife photographers will appreciate the eight frames- per- second drive and a buffer that can handle bursts of up to 50 Raw files.
The Advanced Scene Recognition system links the AF and metering systems for improved acuracy and the D7500 benefits from a Highlight- weighted metering pattern, which prioritises the brightest elements in the scene. Other features worth noting are the multi- mode integral flash, the first on a Nikon that supports Advanced Wireless Lighting control, as well as Wi- Fi, Bluetooth and Snapbridge ( Nikon's bespoke app) connectivity, but there's no NFC.
With so many features borrowed from the D7200 and D500, it's no surprise that the D7500 turns out to be a very accomplished performer. It handles extremely well, with the twin input dials, four- way control, custom buttons and touchscreen providing a wide range of fast and easy to use controls. The autofocus system is fast and responsive with static and moving subjects and the Matrix metering system is also highly accurate. The level of detail in images is excellent, as is dynamic range and colour reproduction, while noise control is among the best of any APS- C sensor. Formidable.
Above: The weatherproof D7500 sports clean lines, nice handling and a relatively compact, lightweight body. With several features passed down from the APS- C flagship D500, it's sure to be a popular model with enthusiasts and semi- professionals.
Exposure: 1/ 1000sec at f/ 1.4 ( ISO 200)