Nikon D5600 vs D7500: Which Should You Buy?

The Nikon D7500 has some upgrades and some unusual changes from its predecessor, and not all of them are for the better. On the other hand, the D5600, which now has a higher resolution sensor and rear LCD than the D7500, remains an excellent camera that is only slightly hampered by a limited feature set. As a result, deciding which camera is “better” is not as simple as it once was. In fact, for some photographers, the older D7200 will offer the best of both worlds, while they’re still available. My general advice is always this: buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and buy the best lenses that you can afford. Below, I’ll cover the differences between these cameras and explain which types of photographers will find the different features useful.

Nikon D5600 vs D7500: What’s the Difference?

To begin with, let’s take a look at the most significant specs for the D5600 and the new D7500.

Nikon D5600Nikon D7500
Price (body)
Price With Kit Lens
(18-140mm VR)
Body MaterialPlastic Monocoque BodyPlastic Monocoque Body
Dust/Weather Sealed BodyNoneYES
Sensor Resolution24.220.9 Megapixel
Anti-Aliasing Filter [OLP]
(Reduces sharpness, prevents moire)
ISO Range100-25600100 - 51200
Total AF Points3951
Cross-Type AF Points915
AF Motor In Body
(For Using Older AF Lenses)
AF Light Level Range-1 to +19 EV-3 to +19 EV
Autofocus Fine Tuning
Shutter Speed Range1/4000th - 30 sec.
1/8000th - 30 sec.
Max Frame Rate5 fps8 fps
Max RAW Burst
(buffer size)
6 shots, compressed 14-bit50 shots 14-bit compressed
Max JPG Burst
(fine, Large)
Flash Sync Speed1/200th sec.1/250th sec.
Wireless Flash With
Built-in Commander
Nikon RADIO Wireless Flash CompatibleNOYES
Auto FP Flash Mode
(High Speed Sync)
Media Slots1 SDXC1 SDXC
Quick Access User Modes
(Saved U1, U2 programs)
LCD Size3.2"
1,036,800 pixels
922,000 pixels
LCD ArticulatedYESYES
LCD TouchscreenYESYES
Built-in WiFiYESYES
Body Weight420g (no battery)
470 (with battery)
640g (no battery)
720g (with battery)
Body Size124 x 97 x 70 mm135.5 mm x 104 mm
x 72.5 mm
Battery Life820 shots
CIPA Standards
950 Shots
CIPA Standards
Viewfinder Coverage95% Frame
.82x Magnification
100% Frame
.94x Magnification
Video CodecMPEG-4 / H.264
MPEG-4 / H.264
.mov or MP4
Video Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 50i, 30, 25, 24 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps)
3,840 x 2,160 (4K: 30, 25, 24 fps)
1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps)
1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps)
640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Digital Stabilization
for Video
(Reduces image area; not available for 4K resolution)
Headphone JackNOYES
Microphone JackYESYES
Internal MicStereoStereo

Body & Build Quality

In the past, the biggest difference in build between the D5000 and D7000 lines was the heavier magnesium-alloy construction of the D7000s. However, with the D7500, Nikon has dropped the metal construction in favor of a unified plastic frame and body, much like that found in the D5600. For specifics take a look at our D7500 vs D7200 comparison. The most important difference now is that the D7500 is weather sealed while the D5600 is not.

Weather sealing is one of the major differences between the two camera bodies: the D7500 has it, and the D5600 doesn’t. Image Courtesy Nikon
Along with the D7500’s smaller, lighter body, Nikon has also adopted a new battery, the EN-EL15a. The D7500’s estimated battery life has dropped to only 950 shots (down from 1100 in the D7200), which is a significant but not dramatic advantage over the 820 of the D5600.

With the differences in battery and body size, the walk-around weight11. This includes the weight of the body, the battery, and the memory cards. It doesn’t include a lens. of the D5600 is about 65% the weight of the D7500, which is also significant. Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage depends on your photographic needs; some photographers (especially those with larger hands) prefer a larger camera with some ‘heft’ to it, while others prefer something more lightweight and easy to carry around, especially travelers and hikers. Needless to say, those who work in harsh conditions will also prefer the D7500’s weather sealing, as long as they also have a weather sealed lens.

Nikon D5600 and D7500 LCD screens
The Nikon D5600’s LCD has a wider range of motion available, but must be swung out to the side to be tilted. Images Courtesy Nikon
The D7500 is the first of its line to have an articulated LCD, but its movement is somewhat limited. It can tilt up or down, but it can not be flipped out to the side to face forward, a useful feature for vloggers or those who take selfies. Both cameras now have touch screens, but at 922,000 pixels, the LCD on the D7500 has the lowest resolution since the D5100 announced in 2011 (luckily it did not drop down to the 230,000 pixel range found in the D3000 models). It’s 10% lower than the D5600, and is especially disappointing considering last year’s D500 has an LCD with over 2,000,000 pixels.

The viewfinder of the D5600 uses a pentamirror while the D7500 uses a pentaprism to reflect the light coming in from the lens to your eye. Pentaprisms offer better transmission of light, but are heavier. The D7500 does have a top LCD panel to help you set and keep track of your settings, which you’ll miss in the D5600 if you’re used to having it. If you’re not, you’ll probably get used to pulling up the same information on the rear LCD instead.

The Sensors

You may be surprised to discover that the D7500’s sensor has lower resolution (20.9 megapixels) than that of the D5600 and older D7200 (24.3 megapixels). There are a few reasons why Nikon made this choice. (Click Headings to Expand)

Low-Light Performance

First, and most importantly, is Nikon’s concentration on high-ISO performance with the D7500. More pixels on a sensor means smaller pixels. Smaller pixels collect less light, but the sensor’s electronics still generate background noise. This results in a worse signal to noise ratio (like a quiet voice talking in the car over the road noise), and thus, more digital noise in the image that results, especially at high ISOs (where the sensor tries to get by with even less light). The D7500 has fewer ‘pixels’ on its sensor, so they’re larger.

As a result, the D7500 has a top native ISO of 51200, compared to the 25600 of the D5600: a full f-stop of difference. However, we’ve found that the D500 (which has the same sensor as the D7500) does not quite have a full f-stop of improvement in quality over the D5600 at high ISO, it’s more like 2/3rds of a stop. At ISO6400, the D7200’s noise is slightly better controlled (finer and smoother) than the D500’s is at ISO12800, though the difference is minimal, and the D500 has better contrast in the comparison.

Shooting Action
Second, Nikon wanted to improve high-speed shooting performance to compete with cameras like the Canon 7D Mark II, which can shoot 10 frames per second. These frame rates produces a lot of data for any camera to deal with. At higher resolutions, cameras produce larger files, which are harder to move quickly through the data pipeline to storage on the SD card. A lower resolution sensor’s smaller files are easier for the camera to deal with at high speeds. These smaller files make it possible for the D7500 to shoot 8fps and get the data stored onto an SD card, and more shots can be stored in the camera’s buffer for extended burst shooting.
Expeed 5 processor
Nikon’s Expeed 5 processor is found in the D7500
Minor Difference in Resolution

And finally, for most photographers, the difference in resolution between 21 and 24 megapixels just isn’t very significant in real-world use. Remember that most of us use computer monitors that are no larger than 4K resolution (about 8 megapixels), but the vast majority use full HD (1080p is just 2 megapixels), and very few photographers print these days. And if you’re resizing an image from 21 megapixels down to 10% of its original size, all of the fine differences in detail will be thrown out anyway.

But if you do print? Then you’ll have to print LARGE to be able to see these differences… probably 16 x 24 inches or perhaps larger, and the differences even then will be minor. And that’s assuming that you are able to capture a difference to begin with. Only the sharpest lenses have high enough resolution to make a difference, and even then, only when shot from a tripod at the lens’ sharpest apertures, with no vibrations from the wind, ground, shutter, etc. A full frame sensor with the same pixel density of the D7500’s 20.9 megapixel sensor would hold 46.5 megapixels, and Nikon has already admitted that not many lenses can meet the demands of the D810’s 36 megapixel sensor.

Who will benefit from the higher resolution of the D7200? Landscape photographers often shoot in a manner that could make use of it, and so do some commercial/studio photographers and fine-art photographers. But journalists, event photographers, sports photographers, and hobbyists generally do not.

Auto-Focus Systems

Although the Nikon D5600 has a very capable autofocus system for casual, every-day use and action shots in decent light, its 39-points (9 cross-type) lag behind the D7500’s 51 points (15 cross-type) and cameras like Canon’s Rebel T7i and 77D (45 cross-type points, including one dual-cross type), both of which also have fast, accurate autofocus while shooting video or using live-view due to their dual-pixel CMOS sensors. Unfortunately, no Nikon cameras have an equivalent feature for this, so video shooters are much better off with Canon or Sony… if they want to use AF. (Don’t know what cross-type points are? Watch our quick video explanation.)

The total number of AF points in the D7500’s AF system are not so important as the fact that all of the 15 central points are cross-type, which makes them much more likely to lock on to a subject and pull focus. Equally important for many photographers, especially wildlife photographers, is the fact that the D7500’s AF system will work at very low light levels: -3 EVs, with compatible lenses. That’s about the amount of light you’d get from a full-moon, which is about 1/4 of the that the D5600 needs to focus.

Photographers who frequently shoot indoor events in low light and wildlife photographers who shoot at dusk and beyond will appreciate the D7500’s AF system. Most photographers, though, will find that the D5600’s system is perfect for casual use, as well as portraits, landscape work, and travel.


The differences between the D7500 and D5600 are most apparent when it comes to speed. The D7500 has a top shutter speed that is one full f-stop faster than the D5600’s (ie, 1/8000th vs 1/4000th), but the D7500 can also shoot at 8 frames per second, significantly faster than the D5600 at 5 frames per second. Even more dramatically, the D7500 can shoot 50 RAW shots in a row before the buffer is filled, while the D5600 can only shoot 6 RAW shots in a row before bogging down.

However, if you shoot JPG, both cameras are can shoot for about as long as anyone would need: at least 100 full-size JPGs in a row. Many pro sports photographers do shoot JPG, but some like the flexibility of shooting RAW for pulling out more detail, especially in low light.

The D5600’s Downfall: Flash

Flash has been a concern for all of the members of the D5000 line, and the D5600 is no exception. For some reason2 Undoubtedly this was purely a marketing decision to separate to separate the D5000 and D7000 lines, since high-speed-sync requires special functionality for flash units but NOT for camera bodies., Nikon decided to withhold high-speed-sync (Auto FP Flash, henceforth AFP) and commander functionality with the built-in flash. External flash control may not be a big deal; many of us prefer to use radio-units (Pocket Wizard, Phottix, etc) anyway… though the built-in IR system can be very useful with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS). Hot-shoe mounted flashes with commander-mode capabilities (such as the SB500, SB700, SB5000) can be used on the D5600 and D7500 to control CLS slave flashes.

Lack of HSS/AFP, however, is a serious problem for portrait (and some action) photographers. Imagine this situation: you’re shooting a portrait outside on a sunny evening in the golden hour light, and you want to use a large aperture to blur the background…  f/2 or f/1.4, for example. Even at ISO 100, this will push your shutter speed beyond 1/1000ths of a second, which is much higher than the camera’s 1/200th sec. maximum sync speed. So, if you want to use a flash to soften the shadows or create a catch-light in the eyes of your subject, forget it: the flash will not sync. The same is true if you want to use flash for sports and a high shutter speed, and while you can purchase external command modules or radio transmitters for off-camera-flashes, there’s nothing you can buy to work around the lack of AFP. You’d need to buy the D7500 instead.

The WRR10 Flash controller connects to a side port of the camera… where you’d normally hold it. Most radio flash controllers connect to the flash hotshoe. Images Courtesy Nikon
In some instances, a neutral density filter can be used to bring the shutter speed down within the range of the D5600’s sync speed. There are several problems with the method, though: the image through your viewfinder will become much darker, making it hard to frame your shot and making it hard for your camera’s AF system to pull focus, and you lose flash power. If you’re shooting with a telephoto lens, shutter speeds at the camera’s sync speed might not be safe for hand-holding, and they’ll always be too slow for sports or fast action if you’re balancing flash and ambient light.

All the Little Things

There are a few other assorted differences that deserve mention here, but they’re mostly the same differences that we saw between the D5000 and D7000. First, the D5600 does not have an autofocus motor built into the camera body, so it will not be compatible with the full range of (old school) Nikon lenses, while the D7500 does posses the motor. And speaking of “focus”, the D7500 is capable of micro focus adjustments to correct for front or back-focus problems on lenses, while the D5600 is not.

Additionally, the D7200 has two User Preset positions on its mode dial (U1 and U2), allowing photographers to store commonly used groups of settings for quick access later. I’ve never found this necessary, but some photographers find them very useful, and they’re not available on the D5600.

Overhead view of Nikon D5600 and D7500.
The D7500 has U1 and U2 settings on the main dial for quick access to custom user modes. The D7500 also has a top LCD panel. Matthew Gore | Light And Matter
Finally, if you are interested in video, the D7500 has a headphone jack for monitoring audio while you shoot. The jack is absent in the D5600. Both cameras can shoot video at up to 1080p 60fps, but the D7500 also can shoot cropped 4K video. When shooting 4K, the camera records only from the center of the sensor at an equivalent 1.5x crop of the already 1.5x cropped sensor, so while shooting 4K, a 200mm lens gives you the angle of view of a 450mm lens. This does make shooting wide angle very difficult, however.
On the left side of the body, the D7500 has a headphone jack along with its microphone jack and other connectors. Images Courtesy Nikon

Which Should You Buy?

The Nikon D5600 and D5500 are great cameras, and I’d recommend them for the vast majority of photographers, with the exception of those who need superior flash capabilities. For those of you who focus on action and events, the D7500 has some significant advantages and is the best way to go. The D7200 is less expensive than the D7500 and occupies a great middle ground, with high resolution and fast speeds, but not quite matching the low-light capabilities of the D7500. If you think the D7200 might be a good option for you, check out our comparison of the D7200 and D7500.

To summarize, you should buy the D5500 or D5600 if you:

  • want a great, all-around camera
  • want the highest resolution sensor for landscapes or other detail critical work
  • shoot primarily with natural light (or manual flash)
  • need a front-facing LCD screen for vlogging or selfies
  • really care about the weight of your camera
  • want to save money to buy the best lenses possible! At Amazon, the current price for the D5600 body is currently: $1,239.95

Buy the D7500 if you:

  • shoot in low light
  • shoot lots of action, especially in long bursts
  • use flash for action or fill, and need high-speed sync
  • use Nikon’s CLS and want to use the built-in command module
  • shoot macro (or other focus critical work) and need to make micro adjustments to your lenses
  • shoot a lot of video and want a simple headphone jack on your camera or 4K resolution
  • don’t need to worry about spending a little more. At Amazon, the price is currently: $849.95

For the sake of simplicity I’ve tried to focus on only the differences that, in my experience, will actually be important. There are, of course, numerous differences between the two cameras, though, and some features may be more important to particular photographers. If you think that I’ve left out something important, please feel free to let me know.

Please Comment!

If you have additional questions or comments, please let me know, below. I’ll do what I can to answer questions and clear up any confusion.

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Hi Matthew, thank you for the article. I wish I had found it months ago! In January my camera bag was stolen when our car was broken into. All of my camera equipment was taken. I had been using a Canon T3i for years with a couple upgraded lenses. I always shot in manual. Since I have to replace everything I figured now would be a good time to move on to a better camera. Sometimes I felt I didn’t get the sharpest images. I have spent the last 7 months agonizing over what camera to buy. I have done hours of research. I had it narrowed down to the Nikon D5600 and purchase a nicer lens or the D7500 with the 18 to 140 lens or even the Canon T7i with the Tameron 18 to 200 lens. I’ve been going back and forth. I primarily shoot portraits and sports photography (ice hockey, lacrosse, and golf) with the occasional life moments and landscapes when we are out hiking and boating.
My brother had a Canon M50 which I borrowed and tried out. I felt awkward using the viewfinder taking portraits with such a small camera and I don’t like using the lcd screen for taking portraits. Do you recommend mirrorless for portraits and sports photography?
I need to get another camera bought fairly quickly since my daughter is a senior and wants pictures taken before the leaves change.
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated! This is a huge investment and I want to buy something that will continue to work for at least the next 5 years.


Thank you for taking the time to respond, your advice is greatly appreciated.

There is an appeal to having a more compact camera. I feel like it might get used more in everyday situations if it is easier to pack around. I have done almost no research when it comes to mirrorless cameras, so I would be very interested to hear your suggestions. How are the kit lenses of the mirrorless? Are they something that will need to be upgraded fairly quickly?

Lighting is always a challenge when taking pictures at hockey rinks. The buildings are huge so the lights are pretty high above the players but the ice it bright white so getting good exposure and clear focus on faces, inside a face cage on top of all that, can be frustrating. I take a lot of portraits for family members. I really want sharp portraits. I used a Conon EOS 6D for a while and I could never get sharp pictures when I focused and then recomposed the shot.

I have been looking at spending around $1600. There are some decent bundles in this price range that allowed me to replace everything flash, lenses, bag, spare batteries, etc. I feel like the mirrorless might push that budget a little, but I would like to stay under $2000.


Thank you so much for this information! The Tamron 17-70 lens is a steal at that price tag for a fixed aperture lens. Definitely looking into the Sony mirrorless setup you recommended.



how is the Tamron?
I’m trying to choose between the Sigma 17-50 2/8 and the Tamron one.. in reviews i saw the Sigma is better (and also more expensive )


Hello! I am looking to purchase a camera for my son’s 18th birthday. He enjoys wildlife photography, primarily birds and ducks at dawn and dusk. I was looking at both the Nikon 5600 and 7500, but after reading the comments below, I am wondering if I should invest in mirrorless at this point? I would like to purchase an additional lens as well to allow him to get the shots he just can’t quite get right now. If someone is starting with all new equipment, what would you recommend for primarily wildlife photography? I’ve read so much and I’m so confused at this point. Really looking forward to your advice. Thank you!


Hello! Your comparison has been very useful. Thank you! But I am brand new at photography and I am looking for the best possible camera for me but I am on a budget. I like the price of the d5600 but I like the specs of the d7500. I want to get into pet photography and will need a camera that will take good action shots. Can you help me to choose between them? Or even another camera?


Thank you for your response. I am looking at the Nikon Z50. I haven’t done much research on mirrorless cameras, I’ve done most of my research on the D5600. Are the mirrorless cameras more of a point and shoot or do they still have controls like the DSLRs? I really want to get into photography and have creative control.


Thank you for your help. It’s been much appreciated


Hi Matthew, I’ve been using my D5600 for 3 years and I mostly shoot birds using 70-300 kit lenses. While I’m happy with my camera and lens, I’ve been thinking about upgrading my camera. Post-reading a lot of articles, I learnt that upgrading the lens would suffice my purpose of getting closer and detailed. Please suggest if I can use the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG Contemporary with the same camera or upgrade the camera as well (if yes, which camera). Thank you.

Christine Feehan

Hello Matthew,
I’ve been doing a lot of research and your comparison is the most helpful!
I’m trying to decide between the 5600 and 7500 (or something completely different if you recommend it), for a very specific purpose.
I’m an artist and need to take photos of my art that accurately capture the colors, detail, depth and texture of my acrylic paintings.(Many of my paintings are abstracts with a thick application of paint.)
I’ll be using the photos on my website and for giclée prints as large as 36″ x 36″ via a third party printer using my digital files.
My budget is about $1,000 and I’m willing to get a refurbished camera.
Color accuracy is a must, and it’s a feature I rarely see discussed. Curious as to why that is, by the way!
To make things more complicated, I also need to take product photos of small hand painted items, (as small as a 3″ square.) Which lens(s) will allow me to photograph both the paintings and the very small products?
Thank you so much in advance for your help!

Last edited 3 years ago by Christine Feehan
Christine Feehan

Thank you – you answered my questions and more!
I’m going with the Nikon D5600 and the 40mm f/28 Micro lens.
The information and links about color are a great help.
Appreciate your help and for breaking me free from a state of analysis paralysis.

bill griffith

Hi Mathew
Great comparison. With no intent on criticism I would reiterate what my father told me when I wante to upgrade my class one drivers licence to a class 3. We had a five class drivers licence system in Australia back then. He suggested I go for the class five and then I would have other class under it, ie’ 4.3.2. i was thinking about this while reading your comparrison of the 5600 and 7500 . Could it be said that the 7500 has everything, and more than what the 5600 has. Just a thought.


Hi Mathew. I’m a wildlife and bird photographer with a D5600. I use a Tamron 150-600mm lens GII. I want in the end to have a cropped camera to be able to use maximum lensreach (up to 900 mm) and a full frame to be able to to shoot pictures uinder low light camera conditions. For the full frame I consider the D750. Does it still make sense also to upgrade the D5600 to a D7500 (speed and weather resistance)?

Last edited 3 years ago by Olaf

Hi. Thanks. The D750 as full frame is a good choice next to the D5600?


Hi. Thanks again. Prices in Europe are still much higher, with FTZ adapter 1850, euo so around 2000,- dollar. Also it requires the XQD cards which are much more expensive than SD cards. I can get a D750 for around 1000,-. So price difference here is still significant. Kind regards,



Hi, in the Netherlands the price is 1850,- Euro for a Z6 including a FTZ adapter, even more for a Z6 II.. And you also need much more expensive memory cards. I can get a D750 for around 1200,- Euro here. So here the difference is quite big that’s why I was looking still for the D750.


this was good EXCEPT for you bringing in a bunch of other cameras into the review of the 5600 and the 7500. You brought in the d500 the 7200 and a bunch of others that I have no interest in and it ended up confusing the heck out of me.
the 7200 is as expensive as the 7500 btw.


Just how much better is D7500’s iso handling than D5600 in less-than-ideal light? I’m talking from in-room, dusky outdoors to nighttime, where you’ll crack your iso from 1600 on. Is it worth the upgrade?


Hey, thanks for the reply! This makes me feel better about my purchase from nearly a year ago too. :D

Though I gotta say, I’m overall a bit disappointed with low-light photos on a cropped sensor. Not much better than a phone’s, unless you’re shooting on low shutter speeds, which limits the usability as well.


Thanks very much for the comparison! I currently have the D5600 and was hoping to upgrade it. I mainly shoot sports and wondering if the D7500 will be a big enough step up or would I be best to spend a bit more and go with the D500? What do you think.. thanks


Hi Matthew; Thanks for the description. After a recent trip to Yellowstone, I have decided to upgrade from my Nikon D80. The lenses I have are the Nikkor AF_S 55-200 ED/DX that I purchased and the Nikkor DX 18-55 ED ii that came with the camera. What I am mostly interested in shooting is landsape and wildlife. I thought I would buy the camera body first and then upgrade lenses as I become more adept with the camera. Will these lenses be compatible with either camera and which would be a better choice for what I would like to do?



Hi Matthew. Thanks for such an awesome comparison and overview of both cameras.
I am brand new to photography looking to get my first camera. I love photography, but have always just used my cell phone. Recently though I grew tired of all of the “flat” and relatively plain pictures a cell phone camera takes. I feel I did really well with my phone, but want more. I travel a lot, and frequently hike and backpack, so I think my primary goal is something ideal for landscapes and the dramatic scenery.
It seems the 7500 might be a little better, but as I’ve seen you say several times, go with the cheaper body so I think the 5600 covers all my needs, would that be correct?
Second, as I said I am brand new to this world and would really appreciate some advice/recommendations on lenses in such a huge market. Do you have recommendations on good quality all around lenses or good lenses to set up shots of my friends and I while hiking? But more importantly good lenses for the landscapes. When I had looked, most seemed to be over $1,000. Are there quality lenses under that price point?
Lastly, I am interested in tryin to capture the night sky/milky way on some of my backpacking/camping trips. Do you have advice/recommendations for lenses that can accomplish that? (assuming that the 5600 is capable of this that is.)
Thanks in advance and thanks again for your great content!


Thanks for the response!
I have 2 follow up questions.
1- Do you have advice of a good (more affordable for a beginner) lens that’s really focused on landscape type photography?
2- Are there any tips to sifting through all the noise and numbers of the hundreds of types of lenses out there? Distinguishing which ones are actually going to give me quality photos versus not as good/worth buying.
Thanks again!


Not sure if this query from 4 months ago is still relevant, but I wanted to butt in with an opinion because I share your story in the way that I also loved taking photos with my cell phone before finally deciding to go full in. You can find great vintage lenses for as low as ~40 bucks. Like a 50mm f2.0. The only thing with those is manual focus, which is a pain in dynamic scenarios and can be frustrating in general, but the results, man… For that you’d also do well to get a few good aperture lenses *with* auto-focus. I got a brand new 35mm f1.8 for under 200 bucks. Reason for it being cheap is probably that it’s made for an APS-C sensor, which are generally just cheaper, but it’s really good and taking pictures with it is a joy. I also got the 18-140mm kit lens and the rest of the lenses (covering from fisheye to telephoto) I got in a used shape as they’re usually half the price then, but not half the quality – more like brand new quality. Happy photographing!


Hi Matthew!
Thanks for such a great in depth comparison.
I travel a lot and take a lot of pictures of landscapes and a lot of pictures of everything I find. I recently decided I wanted something more than just the “flat” pictures my phone takes.
From what I’ve read, I take it the d5600 would meet all my needs and I wouldn’t get much extra benefit out of the 7500, is that correct?
Second I am brand new to this world of non-cell phone photography, so I was hoping you could advise on what kind of lenses I need? What are the options for quality all around photography? My priority I think is landscapes, so what kind of lenses do you recommend for that? Are there quality affordable options for these as well?
Lastly, I am interested in trying to capture some of the night sky on some of my backpacking trips. Is that feasible with this camera and a certain lens?

Thanks in advance, and thanks again for your great reviews ad comparisons!


Is there any difference in jpeg colours straight out of the camera between these two. I heard that d7500 had more punchy colours with better contrast.


I want to upgrade from my d5600 and i was thinking the d7500 because it is a little cheaper than the d7200 on B&H actually. I shoot lots of landscapes but I am trying to get into portrait. the d5600 was my first camera and I don’t want to spend a lot on a new one but would you recommend the d7500 as the next one I should buy?


Brilliant description. thanks! Now I know what to buy for my business!!


I have read lot of comparisons for these two camera….. Finally I have found D5600 is suitable for me after reading this,…. Thank you author for the simple but effective writing
I would like to know which lense will be more suitable for me? I am an realistic artist and I am using camera only to get reference photo for my painting subject like landscape, figures, animals, birds etc. I selected Nikon 18-300mm VR Lens OR Tamron 16-300mm. Which one is better? Or any other lens?


In your opinion, which camera and lens would be best for night sky photography?

Dinesh Shekhawat

Depth in article…

Electra Radioti

You really helped me make up my mind and I appreciate it. I was in a bind but not anymore! Thank you very much!!

John Holcombe

Hello Matthew, my name is John and I am a local Phoenix based photographer. I usually shoot portraiture on the side for money such as weddings, some events like corporation sponsored golf events, family portraits, and couples. I also have a passion and enjoy doing fashion/glamour modeling for trade shoots. I usually like to bring my wife along as an assistant. She is a graphic designer and better than I am at editing though I am better at photography. I shooy aperture priority or shutter priority mainly. My gear is as follows favorite lens and one I use mainly 50mm f1.4, 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6, 18-55mm f3.5-5.6, 85mm f1.8, a SB 850 speedlight. I primarily like to shoot early in the morning or late afternoon for best natural light. I also enjoy landscape, nature, and wildlife photography.

Here is my long winded question I want to get a DSLR for my wife a Nikon that she could be a second shooter and assistant with me for weddings and portrait work that she can learn on and develop her craft as I help instruct her as well. I am between a D5600, D7200, or D7500, the Kit lens packages one or two lenses. For the paid portrait work what would you recommend. I shoot witth a Nikon D7000 and really enjoy it. I thought about switching to full frame but I love the perspective of a cropped sensor for my fast 50mm Prime lens. Any suggestions would be wonderful please thank you. Feel free to view my updated work on Instagram I am always looking to add and talk with more photographers


Please help me out. I want to buy a d5400 or d7500. I travel a lot and I love taking pictures. I love to take pictures of my kids and nature. I love to mess around with the lighting and I like a real crispy picture. What would u advice ?


Hi Matthew,

Love your review, but I am still torn between purchasing the 5600 and the 7500. I’m a previous Canon user and ready to make the leap into the Nikon world! I shoot many low-light night-time marching band competition/football game/dance team photos, I also photograph greenhouse flowers/plants and outdoor landscapes in daylight However, weather conditions are a major concern for me because I have photographed many weather related issues. Recently I ended up photographing (and videoing) the NYGiants halftime show with my iPhone because I didn’t want to ruin my camera due to the continuous downpour of rain. I am equally concerned about the humidity in the greenhouses- cameras have stopped working on several occasions. In addition, I want the luxury of being able to photograph portraits and day to day happenings from the same camera. Any suggestions for a body and/or lens(es)? Originally I was leaning toward the 7500, but if I heard you say it once, I’ve heard you say it throughout your responses, to buy the least expensive camera that will meet my needs and buy the best lenses for optimum quality. I just can’t tell what would be the right decision in this case. What do you recommend here? Just to be clear, videoing from my camera isn’t my number one priority because I think iPhone videoing is just as good a job as any other device on the market.
Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Ni Forde

Hello Matthew, this review is very helpful. I am very confused about what I need at the moment. I recently purchased a D5600 and haven’t learned the camera well yet. It was a two lens kit and I purchased a 50 mm f2.8 lens to use for general use. It has worked great at parties and even taking photos of my dogs. My concern is that I should get the d7500 as my primary goal for the camera is to take pics of my son’s soccer games and my daughter playing volley ball. I can’t determine if I should get a better lens such as the Tamron G2 or get the upgraded camera and eventually get the G2 in a few months. I just don’t want to regret not buying the faster camera. What are your thoughts?



Patrick Terrel

For me the biggest advantage of the 7500 is the larger brighter and very clear optical viewfinder. I have less than great vision and want the largest clearest viewfinder possible without going to a professional level camera.

Subhasan De

Hi Matthew,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your valuable review on the subject. I currently have a Nikon D3100 and 2 lenses: Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6. My goal is to get high quality and sharp photos. I use basically my camera for taking pictures when I travel to different location from Sea beach to Hilly areas ( for both in daylight and also in night light) mainly landscape for natural beauty and bit of family picture. Could you tell me please if you think that for my needs I should upgrade to a Nikon D5600 or a Nikon D7200 or D7500? Also can I ask you which lens you think will give me high quality and sharp pictures (the 18-55 or the 18-140) since I am also thinking to buy the next one in addition?

Thanks you again
Subhasan De


What do you think the d5200 is as good a camera as it is D5500 D5600 ?
I read that the extra filter is not relevant in any case for worsening the photos.
I have Nikkor: 35/1.8 18-55VR2 55-300 10-20/4.5-5.6
All of them work great, clear and sharp.


Matthew, this article is fantastic and your responses are very helpful. If you don’t mind one more, here is my question. I have a D5300 with 18-55 kit lens & the newer Tamron 90mm w/VC macro (very happy with this lens). Primary use is for shooting mechanical watches and their movements up close and macro, but the hobby is growing on me in general. I’ve been torn between trading up to the 5600 (touch screen & Bluetooth) or 7500 because it’s supposed to be the “better” camera. As an amateur enthusiast, would you trade into the 5600 (and put money towards a better all-purpose lens) or jump to the 7500? Most important is the quality/detail/sharpness in macro and close up photos, for which I will keep using the Tamron 90mm. Travel would be the secondary usage. Please respond if you can! Thank you! – Chris

Sharleen Campbell

Matthew, many thanks for this view. However I still can’t make a decision. Years ago I purchased the D70. 6.1 effective megapixels! Before that I had film Nikon cameras.! Which means I have a number of lenses, some are old. Nikon VR Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 G, Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8D, Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5-5.8D, VR Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G, AF Nikkor 75-240mm 1:4.5-5.6D, AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 1:3.5-4.5G ED, Vitacon 100-400mm 1:4.5-6.7 MC. The old D70 weighs 630g compared to the D320 which seems very lightweight at 467g. With the motor for the lenses being inside the D7200 would this be a better choice for me? Looking forward to your reply.


Hi Matthew,
Thank you very much for the review. I would like to have your advice, I currently have an Nikon D3400 and 2 lenses: Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 and Nikon 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6. My goal is to get high quality and sharp photos. I use basically my camera for taking pictures when I travel to another country (mostly in daylight) such as family pictures of my wife and daughter for example in front of the Eiffel tower or in front of the Colosseum, so basically still subjects. Could you tell me please if you think that for my needs I should upgrade to a Nikon D5600 or a Nikon D7200 or D7500? Would this be a good investment or should I stay with the D3400? I was also thinking in buying the Nikon lens 16-80 f/2.8-4E, do you think this would make a difference with the lenses I have if I use it with the D3400? Also can I ask you which lens you think will give me high quality and sharp pictures (the 18-55 or the 18-140)?
Thank you very much in advance


Thank you very much, Matthew for the advice. Just a quick question, I read that the Nikon 16-80 f/2.8-4E is “too much” for the D3400 and it will not reflect the good quality of the lens (as per the author of the post, is like installing high quality tires on an old car), what do you think of this?
Thank you once again


Perfect! Thank you very much, Matthew. I am sorry for abusing, last question, please. You mentioned that you are a fan of the 18-140mm. In your opinion, other than the 2 m,m difference in zoom, would the 16-80 mm give me better pictures (sharpness and high quality) than the 18-140 mm or I will not notice any difference, given the type of pictures I take or since the optics are better then the pics will be better? As you can understand, I do not want to spend a lot of money in a lens if I can have similar results with the one I have


Hey there! Thank you so much for all your information!
As a content creator at work I now use a 5600 with a standard lens. As I’m gonna be freelancing from nex month I have to buy my own camera. I will be creating content for social media, all sorst of gentres (food, product, bloggerstyle) but mostly sport related content. So pictures and video’s from workouts. Most of the time inside of gyms. I was thinking about just buying the same cam as work cause I’m already used to it but maybe with a lens upgrade. But also very much impressed with the d7500. Which one would you recomand in my situation? Looking forward to your reply!

Jacq Orto

Hi, I really enjoyed this article as well as your comparison between the 5300/5600 and 7200. I am looking for the best cost effective (under 1,000$) DSLR that will do well taking images of tomb paintings, thus low light. Each space measures approx 7′ x 8′ so smaller spaces. I originally planned on getting a FX but that doesn’t seem poss. in my budget. But then again, it seems that a FX camera can be purchased for about the same as the 7200. I am wondering what you would recommend between the 7200, the 5300 vs. something like the Canon 6D or Sony A7 (older models but the only FX cameras in my budget). Thanks in advance for your help!

Jacq Orto

Dear Matthew,
Many thanks for your response! Unfortunately flash is not allowed because of the delicate nature of the paintings, so I will be relying on pretty bad LCD lighting. Regarding lenses, I have to avoid ultra wide angle ones (and fish eyes). Would these restrictions change your opinion regarding FX vs DX? Or 5300 vs 7200? Thanks again, really appreciate it!


Thanks so much Michael, I really appreciate your help w/ this! :)


Hi Matthew,
Thanks a lot for all your articles and responses!! I currently have a D5100 but I’m considering to upgrade to a D5600 or D7200.
I’d like to start learning about astrophotography (e.g. milky way shoots) so I just want to make sure my decision takes that into account. Would you say that the D7200 will work better than the d5600 in that sense? Should I consider even the D7500 due to the higher ISO range? I just don’t want to buy a body that won’t allow me to learn and shoot that kind of photos.
I have some budget constrains so I don’t mind waiting some time after upgradeing my camara to buy a good lens for this purpose.
However I will appreciate if you can suggest a few options for buying this type of lens.

Thanks in advance for your help!


Thanks Matthew!! apologies for the basic question: Can I use those lens in both cameras with no problem?


Thank you for the great article. Very informative! I am looking for a replacement for my old Nikon d40x. I most take pictures of family and during travel. Most of the time my old Nikon with the 18-200mm lens worked fine, especially for travel. But now that I need to occasionally take pictures of my daughter riding horses I want a faster camera and possibly a faster lens. I was doing to get a 7500 and use the lens I have. But now I am not sure if I should get the 6500 and use the money saved toward a better lens. One thing I read everywhere is that 7500 performs much better in low light condition. What is exactly low-light? Sometimes horse riding occurs in an indoor arena with artifical lights or big opening on the sides letting in natural light. Will that be considered low light condition? Also will 7500’s better AF and 3 extra fps make a big difference in the situation above? What kind of lens would be able to compensate for the slightly lower performance of the 5600? If I need a lens that costs $2500 to make the 5600 perform as good as the 7500 in the setting I mentioned it wouldn’t make sense to save $600 to get the cheaper camera. ☺ Thank you in advance for your input!


I am told that files created in the D7500 are not compatible with Photoshop. Is that true? If so what are my options?
Thank you for your professional advice.


Hi Matthew,
Thanks for the great article and responses to all the questions! I’m wondering what you think is the best camera/lens for shooting artwork which will be then enlarged to giclee prints of at least 24×36…and as large as 40 x 60 inches. I’m thinking the D5600 with the 40mm prime is good, and I will stitch 2-4 shots if necessary. Obviously resolution is my main concern since I’ll be getting large prints from a print shop. My artwork is all watercolors on paper (no texture), and the size of the originals range from 8×10 to 22×30. I shoot outside (on a tripod) in shade or on grey days at this point. Any help with this would be much appreciated!!


Hi Matthew,
Just wanted to thank you for these great ideas. I got the camera from Beach Camera (delivered in 1 day!) and went with the 40mm for now.
I didn’t realize the importance of using LiveView for focus…and your other ideas are very helpful as well! ( I happened to finally install the Spyder color checker recently…a real necessity, I now realize).
I shot some photos in RAW, but Photoshop Elements couldn’t open them since apparently Nikon saved them as NEF files. I converted the photos to JPG individually in the camera, but there must be an easier way…and a way that doesn’t reduce the resolution when converting to JPG.
It’s a really great camera so far though!! Thank you again.


Dear Matthew,
Thank you for your excellent and honest review and comments.
My Nikon D5100 & Lens became too expensive to repair about four months ago and I have been searching for a replacement. When I enter our local camera store, the salesmen groan and become over powered with the urge to dust or take inventory or answer the phone that didn’t ring. I think they all run to the back of the store and draw straws to determine who will finally get stuck with me and my endless questions and “what-ifs”.
After reading your comments I will probably purchase the D7500 even though it is probably more camera than I need. Your comment on the 18-300 f/3.5-6.3 lens (“ ….more zoom range that you try to pack into a single lens, so you end up with mediocre quality optics at best”) will now send me back to my camera store.
What sort of performance will my old Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED lens produce with the D7500. Which other telephoto zoom lenses do you recommend to complement the 18-140mm?
I consider myself an amateur. As for subjects, in the summer months subjects are mostly wildlife, birds, scenery, flowers, bugs, golf, ranch life (horses, sheep, cows, & dogs). In the winter mostly photograph people at a variety of activities, e.g. dancing, bowling, parties, golf, plays, etc.
Thank you again for your advice.


Hi Matthew!
Thank you for your prompt & detailed answer to my question. I now have a list of lenses to research. I am looking forward to “Light and Matter”. Thanks again! Linda


Hello Matthew, your article is quite useful. May i ask whats the best for shooting street shots and travel timelapse videos. Im a small person though i try not to bring as bulky as possible but im thinking about the quality i can get, what is better?

Mace Church

Hi Mathew, my name is Mace and I have a few questions if you have the time to respond. It may seem obvious, but I am wondering if the full frame FX buys enough of an advantage over the DX, I currently have, less than full frame, to justify the cost difference. I have already purchased a D7500 from Costco/with 2 nice lenses F/3.5-5, AFP DX NIKKOR 70-300mm full frame, AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm . I was contemplating returning it to Costco with the idea of getting a full frame Nikon. Which Nikon would you recommend as best for overall,/general photography allowing for the most flexibility. This next purchase, will take it’s place along side my COOLPIX995. When I purchased the 995, I had a tight budget and couldn’t afford the DSLR I wanted, with all of the flexibility provided by the extensive suite of NIKOR lenses available. Many years ago, while on active duty with the USN, I was stationed in Norway and the scenery there is amazing, so bought a Nikon F2S Phatomic and several lenses..I used the 55mm F1.2 as my main lens and the zoom lenses I had for special, when needed the longer focal length was needed. I had to sell that system many years ago and regretted it, as I couldn’t afford to replace it until now. I have been getting by with the COOLPIX until I could afford the Nikon of my dreams. In light of the new cameras available now, maybe it’s good I waited, So, this will likely be the last camera I purchase, as I’m nearly 70years old now but I’m hoping to get another 20 years out of this old body and my new Nikon. I guess I am asking for a recommendation as to whether I should return the Nikon D7500 and pursue a full frame camera or do you think what I have is enough camera for my needs. I am not a professional photographer, by any means, however I do like the high tech hardware. I spent most of my working years as a network engineer for a couple firms, Honeywell Bull Worldwide Information Systems and others, as well as a local university. Currently I am a support consultant/engineer for a local ISP but will likely do some photography for weddings for my grand children etc…. I know that it is not easy give advice, seeing we don’t really know each other

Any feedback will be appreciated thanks.



Vedant Raval

Hey Mace, was going through the comments and saw yours. Honestly speaking, I am inspired by your enthusiasm at your age, and I wish you all the luck for your years to come. I hope I am as enthusiastic as you are when I am your age.



Great comparison. I’m looking for a camera for my wife and I… Her necessity is automatic syncing to the cloud of some sort for access on her phone, pc, cvs photo printing etc. I have a sony nex5 which has wifi and syncing but its not very clean.

I started my search on consumerreports which pointed me to the D7200. I went to nikon and learned about their snapbrdige app and nikon image space which makes the syncing very easy. Some of the snapbridge compatible cameras even come with unlimited cloud storage (reduces images to 2mb).

Only issue is the 7200 is not a snapbridge camera. the D5600 and the D7500 are.

The camera is for purely personal use, but i’m a tech geek and love better hardware…will probably go with the 7500 unless its too heavy for my wife

Do you have any reviews on the best image/cloud sharing offerings that come with cameras? or third parties?


Hello Matthew,

Excellent article. I currently have the Nikon D5600 and been in the market for the sharpest wide angle lens for an APS-C body. I currently have the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 and the new Nikon 10-20mm, but at the wide end they leave more to be desired. I’m wondering if there’s possibly a prime lens worth looking at or a sharp wide angle lens with a low amount of chromatic aberration. I’ve considered upgrading to a different camera body, however upgrading to a higher quality glass might do the trick.



I’m an amateur aviation photographer who currently uses a D3300 with AF-P 70-300 dx lens. In your opinion which Nikon dx camera would be a better upgrade for aircraft in flight?


I’m wondering if the 18-300 Nikon zoom might be too heavy for the D5600. Any opinion?


Thanks much for your prompt response. I’ve been using an 18-200 on a d200 for many years so am used to the weight. Good to know there are no structural issues. Bad to know the image quality is not great.
Thanks again,


Exactly what I needed to read. I had D90 for the longest time and recently sold it in preparation for an upgrade. Hard to let it go, it’s served me very well! Thank you for the detailed, well thought out review of both. It’s helped make my decision firm.


Hi, very good article! I need your opinion in this regard. I have a Nikon D5600 with an AF-S DX 35mm 1.8G. As I really like to shoot with Primes, I am looking forward to buy AF-S 50mm 1.8G & 85mm 1.8G. But I am wondering about the benefit of an FX Lens on the DX camera. As for DX there are not much Primes, apart from a 40mm Micro from Nikon. Should I go for them or not!?


Hi, Mathew thanks for the reply! So there is no problem going for these FX Primes(50 1.8 & 85 1.8), instead of 16-85/16-80 right!? And why the comparison of focal lengths with a Full Frame for these lenses. It’s a bit confusing. A 50mm is 50mm and 85 is 85 on a DX right!?


Hi Matthew,

I read this article AFTER I bought the D5600 for my wife yesterday.

Surprisingly I went to buy the D7500 but the shopowner advised: if she isn’t a photographer of sportevents or a multiflash type: buy the D5600.

Nice to read you advise the same.

The D5600 has another pro: the grip!
Where the D7500 has a button in the grip which is distrubingly pushed when you don’t want it to be pushed, the D5600 has a robust firm grip without any buttons.

Thanks for your article, I enjoyed reading it.


Thank you for the very informative review!

I’m actually contemplating on an upgrade from a Nikon D60. I usually take photos of kids (preschool teacher) and mostly indoor stuff. I travel once in a while, though. I’m still not quite sure between the two though as I heard from somewhere that an upgrade should be vertical and not horizontal. With the D5600 coming from the same “family” as my D60, would it still be a reasonable upgrade or should I bump up to the D7500? To add, I don’t plan on buying lenses in the very near future as I’m still set with the pair I currently have. Thanks again!


Oh yes I forgot to mention that budget is a big consideration. Again, thanks for the prompt and extensive reply! You definitely placed things into perspective and these are very helpful. :)


I am trying to find out if the SB 800 is compatible with the new D7500. I like all the features of the 7500, but would like to be able to use my old flash, I know how to use it and don’t want to buy another, as I have my eyes on a new lens too. I do use it for fill flash shooting outdoors. The D7500 is not on the list posted on Nikons website for any flash. I think they just haven’t updated the list.


Hi Mathew,

I enjoyed the review and found it very informative. I would like to ask a slightly unrelated question. I was originally contemplating between the D5600 and D7200. I understand the d7500 is out but is out of my price range. I would like to know which would be better to buy between the d7200 and Canon 80d?

Many thanks



Hi Mathew,

Thanks for replying, it was really helpful. I managed to get a hands on trial run with both before purchase and as you say the 80d is a great camera for reasons mentioned above but the Nikon fit the bill for me.

Many thanks,



Matthew, this is an amazing review: Informative, educational.
Dare I say entertaining?
Can’t- wait-’til-the-next-screen engaging.
Thanks a bunch.


Good article. Been on the fence playing the waiting game. Want to buy a Nikon for all round use. Would like to use for real estate listings but also for just general pictures nothing special. Figure if I am going to spend the money I don’t want to regret what I buy. Prices had come down and I am closer to getting off that waiting fence. My back ground is novice. I know just enough to make the wrong choice. I keep looking at the D5300 to the D7200 and the D750. I figure it will be one of those.


Hi, Mathew
Thank you for writing this great article. It really helps a lot. Although I’ve read it three times, I still can’t make a decision. I have a D60 and a 18-55mm
kit lens plus an 125mm f2.8 old school lens. Last month I went shooting birds in the mountains with a friend. She just bought a Canon D80 and a Sigma 100-400mm. She posted her photos on FB the next day, I was totally blown away by the result, You can see the tinest feathers on the birds. So my question is: If I buy a D5600 and maybe buy a 100-400 mm lens, can I get photos like my friend did?
My other concern is if I buy the D6500, I can’t use the 125mm lens on it. Is that a big loss?
Last week I just bought a 50mm f1.8G. I took some pictures of my colleagues. It works great! Love it!
Thank you for your time.