Nikon D7500 Review

Perfectly placed between the D7200 and D500, the D7500 is an enthusiast’s dream

Nikon D7500 Review

Plus

  • Outstanding image quality
  • 4k video capture
  • Enhanced autofocus module
  • 20.9MP sensor and EXPEED 5 image-processing engine

Minus

  • Only a single SD card slot; the D7200 has two
  • No optional vertical grip
  • Lower touchscreen resolution than the D7200 or D500

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Introduction

The D7500 is an exciting departure for Nikon, an upgrade to the D7200 that borrows more than a little tech from the top-of-the-range DX-format D500. It’s not a direct replacement for the D7200 as the D7200 will continue to be on sale, instead representing a half-way house between the enthusiast-level D7200 and the professional D500.

The most exciting thing about the D7500 is its 20.9-megapixel sensor and EXPEED 5 image-processing engine that’s lifted directly from the flagship D500. You also get an improved autofocus module, a tilting screen, and the ability to capture video in 4k resolution.

Build and Handling

The D7500 is particularly light – it’s 5% lighter than the D7200 and a full 16% lighter than the D500. It still feels solid and rugged, and the handgrip is a little deeper than the D7200’s handgrip so it feels even more secure in your hand.

Nikon D7500 - Design

The D7500 is sufficiently weatherproofed so you don’t need to worry when it starts to pour.

Some of the button placement has changed from the D7200. There’s now a dedicated ISO button on the top plate (like the D500) that is very welcome.

New 20.9MP APS-C Sensor

D7200 enthusiasts will wonder about the Nikon D7200 vs. D7500. Perhaps the biggest difference between the D7200 and the D7500 is the sensor. The D7500 is fitted with the outstanding 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor from the professional D500 DSLR.

Nikon D7500 - Sensor

The D7500 has the same APS-C sensor as the top-of-the-line D500.

One would be forgiven for thinking this might mean a step down, as the D7200 sports a 24-megapixel sensor. However, the low-pass filter has been removed allowing the 20.9-megapixel sensor to eke out more detail.

The drop in resolution allows for higher sensitivity, with the bottom ISO setting dropping to ISO50 from IS0100, and the ceiling improving from ISO51,200 to ISO1,640,00. While these upper numbers reflect light settings that would be pretty much unusable, the benefits are felt all across the sensitivity range, making the D7500 one of the most superbly versatile cameras for low-light and fast action.

New Tilt-Angle Touchscreen Display

The D7200 has a flush 3.2-inch display; the D7500 has a tilt-angle touchscreen display. The display is not as sharp as the D500’s display, and its 922,000-dot resolution is indeed a slight step down in resolution from the D7200.

Nikon D7500 - Screen

In all honesty, the lower resolution doesn’t affect the user experience and the added tilting touchscreen is a nice bonus.

New 4k Video Support

Like the pro-grade D500, the D7500 supports 4k video (the D7200 only supports HD video). It includes an HDMI-out, microphone jack, and headphone jack for pro-level audio recording and monitoring.

Built-in video modes include the ability to record time-lapse 4k videos.

4K footage can be recorded for up to 30 minutes, at frame rates of 30, 25, or 24 frames per second. You can create time-lapse movies in 4K in-camera, and there’s an electronic vibration reduction system to reduce handheld camera shake.

Like other cameras, you can drop down to lower video quality like Full HD. In Full HD, you can shoot up to 60 frames per second, perfect for slow-motion shots.

Autofocus

One of the best features of the top-of-the-range D500 is its outstanding autofocus. The D7500 doesn’t get that 153-point AF (autofocus) system, but it does get an upgrade to the 51-point autofocus system from the D7200.

The D7500 picks up a number of features from the D500 that make its autofocus better than the D7200.

Fifteen of the 51 AF points are more sensitive cross-types for greater precision and accuracy. The D7500 also gets a new AF mode – Group Area AF – that enhances tracking and detection of the subject.

Nikon D7500 - Autofocus

Another upgrade to the AF system is the metering system. The D7500 takes the 180,000-pixel system from the D500, a big improvement from the D7200’s 2016-pixel sensor. Again, this improves tracking of the subject.

The D7500 also has an AF Fine Tune Feature, making automatically calibrating autofocus with specific lenses in Live View easy. It lacks the absolute top-of-the-line performance of the D500 for shooting sports and action, but it’s head-and-shoulders above the competition in its price bracket, making it a solid choice for anyone who wants to shoot fast action with a moving subject.

Burst Shooting

Underscoring its position in the Nikon DX-format lineup, the D7500 has a burst shooting performance of 8 frames per second where the D7200 only manages 6 frames and the D500 manages 10 frames.

Nikon D7500 - Burst Mode

The D7500 also uses the EXPEED 5 image processor, effectively allowing 50 raw files to be shot in a burst at 8 frames per second where the D7200 can only handle 18 raw files at 6 frames per second.

SnapBridge Connectivity

Like the high-end D500, the D7500 supports Nikon’s new SnapBridge technology. SnapBridge can use both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect to your smart device, but the suggested use case is to connect your device via Bluetooth and leave it connected. The camera will automatically transfer images taken on-the-fly using Bluetooth, leaving your Wi-Fi connection to upload to the cloud.

Conclusion

The Nikon D7500 is like getting a professional-level DSLR without the pro-grade price. The major mechanics of the camera are taken from the top-of-the-range D500, and most of the benefits of such are to be found in the D7500.

Well placed between the D7200 and the D500, the Nikon D7500 is a solid choice, particularly if you want a camera that will capture action scenes well, support 4k video, and will work very well in low-light conditions. An excellent camera through and through, the Nikon D7500 is highly recommended.

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