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 …

Digital SLR Photography - - Contents - Test: DANIEL LEZANO

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)

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