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Nikon D7500 vs D7200: What’s the Difference?

If you're a landscape photographer or shoot products in the studio, if you need two SD card slots and a longer battery life, the Nikon D7200 might be the better choice for you.

D7200 vs D7500: Is It Worth the Upgrade?

Nikon’s recently announced D7500 has a peculiar mix of features from the D7200, the high-end D500, and the less expensive D5600. In some important ways it improves over its predecessor, in others it seems to be taking a step back. How much difference do these changes make, and which camera makes more sense for you? Let’s take a look.

To begin with, this chart shows the main features of both cameras, with the better features highlighted in green, though in some cases “better” is subjective.

 Nikon D7500Nikon D7200

Price (body)
$1,246.95$996.95
Price With Kit Lens
(18-140mm VR)
$1,546.95$1,296.95
Body MaterialPlastic Monocoque BodyPartial Magnesium Alloy Frame, Plastic
Dust/Weather Sealed BodyYesYes
Sensor Resolution20.9 Megapixel24.2 Megapixels
(Sony)
Anti-Aliasing Filter [OLP]
(Reduces sharpness, prevents moire)
NONO
ISO Range100 - 51200100 - 25600
Total AF Points5151
Cross-Type AF Points1515
AF Motor In Body
(For Using Older AF Lenses)
YESYES
AF Light Level Range-3 to +19 EV-3 to +19 EV
Autofocus Fine Tuning
Adjustments
YESYES
Shutter Speed Range1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
Max Frame Rate8 fps6 fps
(7 shots in 1.3x crop mode)
Max RAW Burst
(buffer size)
50 shots 14-bit compressed18 shots 14-bit compressed
Max JPG Burst
(fine, Large)
100100
Flash Sync Speed1/250th sec.1/250th sec.
Wireless Flash With
Built-in Commander
YESYES
Nikon RADIO Wireless Flash CompatibleYESNO
Auto FP Flash Mode
(High Speed Sync)
YESYES
Media Slots1 SDXC2 SDXC
Quick Access User Modes
(Saved U1, U2 programs)
YesYes
LCD Size3.2"
922,000 pixels
3.2"
1,228,800 pixels
LCD ArticulatedYESNO
LCD TouchscreenYESNO
BluetoothYES (v4.1)NO
Built-in WiFiYESYES
Body Weight640g (no battery)675g (no battery)
Body Size135.5 mm x 104 mm
x 72.5 mm
136 x 106.5 x 76 mm
Battery Life950 Shots
CIPA Standards
1,110 shots CIPA Standards
Viewfinder Coverage100% Frame
.94x Magnification
100% Frame
.94x Magnification
Video CodecMPEG-4 / H.264
.mov or MP4
MPEG-4 / H.264
.mov
Video Resolutions3,840 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)
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
YES
(Reduces image area; not available for 4K resolution)
NO
Video Length Limit29 min 59 sec.29 min 59 sec.
Headphone JackYesYes
Internal MicStereoStereo

The Body

From the front, changes don’t appear to be dramatic. The microphones have been moved from the top to either side of the lens mount, and Nikon opted for D5600-style strap loops.

While many of the features of the D7500 have been upgraded to match the D500, the body is now more like that of the less expensive D5600. Having eschewed the magnesium alloy back and top plates found in the rest of the D7000 series, the D7500’s unified frame and body are made entirely of plastics. This makes the D7500 lighter than previous models, and perhaps easier to weather-seal (sealing is very thorough on this model).

D7500 and D7200 sealing diagram
Weather sealing (in yellow) on the D7500 and D7200. Both are well sealed.

Along with the new body material are a variety of changes in design and layout, some minor (like the change in strap connectors and the location of the microphones), and some major, like the adoption of a new battery (EN-EL15a) and the loss of an SD card slot (down from 2 slots in the D7200 to just a lone slot).

Top view of Nikon D7200 and D7500 pointing out differences
Minor changes are visible on the camera tops: the dedicated metering mode button has been replaced with an ISO button, and the microphones have been moved to the front of the body. The top LCD is also smaller.

And, of course, the D7500 is the first in the series to include an articulated, touch-enabled LCD. This LCD is a case of “one step forward, one step back”, though; I had expected the D7500 to get the D500’s nice 2,359,000 pixel screen, but instead it’s been saddled with a 3.2″ 922,000 pixel LCD that has lower pixel density than the 3″ screen in the original D70001. The top LCD is also smaller.

 

The Sensors

Some people were surprised to discover that the D7500’s sensor has lower resolution (20.9 megapixels) than that of the 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 D7200: a full f-stop of difference. 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 D7200 at high ISO. 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. At one stop apart, they’re roughly comparable. 

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.

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.

Speed & Action Performance

The D7200 was Nikon’s best APS-C camera for shooting action until the release of the D500, and while the D7500 does not match the D500, it certainly closes the gap. The D7200 can shoot at 6 frames per second, but if you’re shooting RAW, it can only shoot 18 shots in a row (3 seconds) before the buffer is full and it needs a break to write to the SD card. The D7500 improves on both metrics, shooting at 8 frames per second for bursts of 50 frames in a row (just over 6 seconds). The D500 takes that a step further, shooting 10 frames per second for up to 200 compressed RAW shots, but only when using an XQD card.

Of course, if you’re willing to shoot JPG, then the D7200 has no problem, as it is able to shoot bursts of at least 100 shots in that format.

Nikon AF Point diagram
The Nikon D7200 and D7500 both share the same AF point layout and autofocus module.

The autofocus system in the D7500 has not been changed; it uses the same 51-point (15-cross type) system as the D7200, while the D500’s system has a total of 153 AF points. However, Nikon claims that the same system in the D7500 will perform better than it does in the D7200 because of the new processor in the camera. This seems very unlikely to be a significant difference.

How important is this difference? Journalists, action photographers, event photographers, wildlife photographers, and anyone else who needs to capture images in copious quantities very quickly might find the extra two frames per second helpful, though casual action photographers will probably not need it. Portrait, landscape, product and commercial photographers? Probably not. Similarly, very few photographer (even those who shoot action) shoot bursts of more than 10-15 frames. The ability to do so will be important for the most dedicated action photographers (who should probably be looking at the D500 anyway), but probably not many others2. You’ll know from your shooting style whether this will be important for you.

Video

It is tempting to just say “The Nikon D7500 can shoot 4K video and the D7200 can’t” and leave it at that. While the fact is true, there are some ugly details: I’ve said this all about the Nikon D500, and I’ll say it again for the D7500.

The D7500 shoots Full HD video much as you would expect, using the full width of the frame to capture 16:9, 1920 x 1080 video. You also have the option of capturing that video from a 1.3x cropped section of the sensor (which is, of course, already 1.5x cropped compared to an FX sensor).

However, when the D7500 captures 4K video, you are forced to use a cropped section of the sensor that is even smaller than the 1.3x cropped section that is optional at 1080p. It can be seen in our graphic, below:

Nikon D500 4K video area crop
4K Recording Area: The central rectangle is the only recording area available when shooting at 4K resolution. When shooting HD and Full HD, the full width and 1.3x crop areas are available.

This may be perfectly acceptable for those who only shoot telephoto video; it provides remarkably high resolution video and a roughly 1.5x crop, making a 200mm lens perform like a 450mm lens (1.5x crop + 1.5x crop). However, for those times when you want to shoot wide angle, you’ll need to use an ultra-wide angle lens just to get close; while a 16mm lens might normally give you a full-frame 24mm lens’s field of view, you’ll need an 11mm lens to get something almost equivalent if you’re shooting 4k.

So, if you’re looking for a camera just to shoot 4K video, the D7500 is hardly ideal.

However, if you’re mostly shooting 1080p or 720p, then the D7500 has one more trick up its sleeve: digital image stabilization, which can be used in conjunction with optical image stabilization. You will lose a little bit of the frame, but the sensor has plenty of resolution to spare, so there’s no loss in resolution, and the addition of digital stabilization goes a long way towards giving you smooth, jitter-free video. Like the D500, the D7500 will have electronic aperture control while shooting video, as well as exposure smoothing capabilities when moving from dark to bright areas (using auto ISO and electronic aperture control).

The Nikon D7200, unfortunately, does not have electronic aperture control, nor digital image stabilization. It does, however, have 1.3x crop mode, like the D500, and both can output video to an external recorder.

Flash

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.

The Nikon D7200 does not support the new Nikon radio-controller (WR-R10/WR-A10) and SB-5000 flash system, which can control up to 18 speedlights. However, there are countless 3rd party radio-triggering systems already available on the market, from pro-level Pocket Wizards and the popular Yongnuo TTL models, Nissin Air 1 Commander and the Phottix Odin, so this should be only a minor consideration for most people.

Conclusions

The new features of the Nikon D7500 will primarily benefit photographers who shoot events and long bursts of action, particularly those who shoot them in low light with high ISO. Those photographers will get better performance with the D7500: better speed and less digital noise. This comes at the cost of slightly lower resolution. Photographers who wish to shoot 4K video and/or use a swivel screen may also find reason to choose the D7500.

However, if you normally shoot at low ISO, and if your primary interest is not fast moving action, then the D7200 will give you equally good results, and in some cases, it may give you better image quality. If you shoot with impeccable technique3 with a top quality lens set in its sharpest aperture range, the D7200’s sensor is capable of capturing more detail than the D7500’s.

You Should Buy the Nikon D7500 If…

  • you plan to shoot a lot of action like: sports, news events, weddings, wildlife
  • you plan to shoot events in a dark setting: concerts, clubs, weddings, wildlife
  • you need to shoot 4K video, especially telephoto, or digitally stabilized HD Video
  • you want to use Nikon’s SB-5000 flashes and radio trigger system
  • you want a touch-screen and/or articulated rear LCD

You Should Buy the Nikon D7200 If…

  • you shoot landscapes or other detail oriented genres at low ISOs, including: studio portraits, product images, still-life works
  • you shoot action photography but don’t need a full 10 frames per second (the D7200 is a very capable action camera)
  • you shoot long events (or spend a long time in the field) and want better battery life
  • you want to save money on the body to buy better lenses (which is what I always recommend)

If you do decide to buy either one and have found this article helpful, please support us by purchasing your camera from any of the links found in this text, or from the stores listed here: Amazon.com or  B&H Photo.

Buy the Nikon D7200: From Amazon.com | From B&H Photo | From Adorama
Buy the Nikon D7500  : From Amazon.com | From B&H Photo | From Adorama

Questions? Comments?

I’ve attempted to concentrate on the most important differences between these cameras in practical use for photographers who shoot RAW files, but there are other minor differences. They may or may not be relevant to the way you shoot. However, if you still have any questions about which camera you should buy, please feel free to ask me in the comments section below! I’ll answer as quickly as I can.

  1. The D7000 had a 921,000 pixel LCD, essentially the same, but it was a smaller screen at only 3.0″, making the pixel density greater
  2. When I was studying photojournalism in college in the mid 1990s, we were all still using film. Bursts of more than a few seconds could finish off an entire roll of film. Somehow, even the people who were lucky enough to be shooting Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey Jr. managed to produce amazing images with bursts of just 5 or 6 frames at a time
  3. This means shooting from a tripod, with mirror lock up, and a cable release or timer
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79 Comments

  • Hi Matthew!
    I have been using a Nikon D90 for nine years. I must choose between D7200 or D7500. Great dilemma!! Mainly I use as lens a Sigma 24mm Art 1.4(I love this lens) for portraits and street-social potos. I also use my 50mm 1.8 for close up portraits. I thought about to buy a Fx camera (D750) but I think the focal length (24mm) was less useful for my purposes. For example, the sigma 24mm lens mounted on D750 forced to be closer of the subject in portraits, so It had more distortion in the face. I am interesting in sharpness and image quality. Advise me please Matthew!
    Greats, Jose.

    • Hi Jose,

      It sounds like the D7200 and D7500 will both work well for your purposes. The D7200 can potentially give you sharper, higher resolution images. The D7500 might give you a faster shooting frame-rate and marginally better low-light images, though I haven’t found it to be a significant difference. Doesn’t sound like the D7500 would have many other advantages for you; I’d opt for the D7200. Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Matthew,

    Like a few others on this thread I too have a D90 with an Nikon 18-70. It has served me well, but I feel can do even better with today’s presumably improved equipment. Looking at the D7500 and D7200 led me here, but I now understand you prefer to invest in lenses, and not necessarily a body. I’m not sure how to improve upon my 18-70, and stay with a zoom. I read many great reviews about the performance of the new Nikon 16-80, and thought I would get that lens, but I discovered that it will not work with my D90 :-( Should I be looking at prime lenses, possibly 50mm? I do like the versatility of my 18-70 and rarely have a need for more reach. Do you think I may still need to update the D90? possibly with a 7xxx. And how would be a good lens choice? I take a lot of outdoor pics of my family outings and some outdoor portraits for print.

    I really enjoy reading your comments, and hope to make a better informed decision with your help ;-)

    Thanks, Jackie

    • Hi Jackie,

      That’s right. I’m all for investing in camera bodies, but only when you actually have a need that your current body doesn’t fulfill. If you need more speed or resolution or high-ISO performance, by all means… upgrade :-) But don’t do it just to get something newer.

      Lens choice is a very personal thing. If you’re looking for something versatile, there are a few lenses that come to mind, in addition to the ones you’ve already mentioned: the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 (and the Tamron, they’re both good lenses), the Nikon 18-140, and the awesome Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 (limited range, but great optics). Or, for portraits, you might consider an 85mm prime. The 85mm f/1.8 is reasonably priced, and the quality is excellent.

      – Matthew

  • Hello Matthew,

    I have been using a Nikon D5500 for about 3 years. I have accumulated several lenses over this time which are; AFP Nikkor 18-55 mm (3.5-5.6), AFS Nikkor 50 mm (1.4), Sigma 85 mm (1.4) and AFS Nikkor 55-300 mm (4.5 – 5.6).

    I mainly do portraits, street portraits, street photography and sometimes landscape in both low and bright light situation. I never use the video and rarely take action/high-speed photography.

    I have started using external flash/speedlights, however the D5500 did not have the AP High Speed Sync capabilities for external flash/speedlights. Therefore, I wanted to upgrade to a better Nikon model that allowed that (I needed fill-lights when I take street portraits in sunny/bright light situations which required very quick f-stops).

    As I am also taking photopraphy more seriously, I was also considering submitting some of my photos (which are mainly street portraits of strangers) into competitions.

    Therefore I am considering between D7200 or the D7500.

    I am currently inclined towards a D7500, as I am rather used to the specs from a D5500 (touch screen / adjustable screen /WiFi) but I am a little concerned with the reduction of megapixels to 21 MP.

    Will the reduction of MP compromise the image quality and resolution in comparison to the D7200, especially if I am planning to submit photographs for competitions. Will this difference be significant?

    Is the D7500 good for the kind of photography that I do?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Byron,

      The difference between 21 and 24 megapixels is noticeable if you’re comparing them side to side, for for all practical purposes, 21 is enough. You’ll still get wonderfully sharp, detailed images. For the type of photography that you do, I think you’d be just fine going with the D7200, but if you’re more comfortable with the handling of the D7500, then it might make the higher price worth it. Do keep in mind that you won’t be able to use a battery grip on the D7500. That would be a deal-breaker for me, since I always use one, but if you don’t care, then it’s not an issue.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

      • Matthew, I’m also considering upgrading from a D90 to a D7500 or D7200. I noticed that I rarely shoot above 400 ISO. Will I notice any difference in IQ at low isos between these two cameras? I have read that the D7500 may have nicer color processing. Better color sooc is one of my goals, as I’m trying to cut down post processing time. I also like the idea of having a few less pixels on the sensor, as I feel they will be better quality pixels. Another question I have is what happens when I lower the quality setting on my camera? I assume shooting with the D7200 at a lower setting would be much different than shooting with the D7500 at the highest setting. I hope this all makes sense to you. Thank you, Heather

        • Hi Heather,
          At low ISO, the biggest advantage that you’ll see with the D7200 or D7500 over the D90 is dynamic range; you won’t lose as much detail in the shadows and your highlights won’t get blown out as easily. The breadth of color might be slightly better in the lab, but you won’t notice it probably (and definitely not if you’re using an sRGB monitor like a Mac or typcal Dell/Office PC monitor).

          The difference between 21 and 24 megapixels is small enough that you shouldn’t expect to see any “better quality pixels” advantage; Nikon dropped them to make processing easier and so that they could use less memory and still have a good buffer size… so, mostly for performance concerns for shooting action, not for image quality.

          There would be no advantage to lowering the quality setting on your camera except that it would take longer to fill up your memory card; if you set the camera to capture a 12 megapixel file instead of 24, you won’t get better color or less noise compared to shooting at full resolution and reducing the size later. However, general consensus is that shooting at high resolution and downsizing to a lower resolution will give you better quality than just shooting at a lower resolution to begin with.

          As for good color sooc, I can’t give you any advice there, since it’s not how I shoot. A camera can’t understand color; it can only rely on general rules (eg, whites should be neutral), that are often not true in the best images (eg, anytime during the golden hour or blue hour). Personally, I think that it makes the most sense to shoot RAW, apply a standard preset on import to give the images the sort of color/exposure that a camera would, and then make adjustments as needed from there. I’d rather not fiddle around with the color temperature in the camera as the light changes, and I’d certainly never shoot JPG and throw away 99% of the data that my camera captures, making it impossible to correct color perfectly after the fact.

          Good luck!
          – Matthew

          • Matthew,
            Thanks so much for your quick response! Can you please clarify your first paragraph where you said the breadth of color would not be noticeable. were you comparing the D7500 to the D7200, or comparing those 2 newer cameras to my current D90?

            I thought I wanted to get the D7500 with the latest and greatest sensor and processor, but maybe the D7200 will suit me just as well. Obviously I don’t buy cameras very often, so I want to make the best choice here.

            Gracias, Heather

            • Hi Heather,
              I was talking about the difference between your D90 and the D7000 series cameras. There would be a measurable difference, in the lab, but not noticeable in typical use, and certainly not without an wide-gamut AdobeRGB monitor.

              Really, it’s hard to go wrong with either the D7200 or D7500. Some people really prefer the body of the D7500 (moving back screen, etc). I prefer to spend less on the body and buy the best lenses that I can afford. That’s always my advice… it’s the lenses that will make the biggest difference in your image quality. Good luck!

              – Matt

  • Hi Matthew,
    I have the new D7500. I recently wrote about a new macro lens that I am looking at, however over the weekend, this happened: I am in the middle of a semester of a digital photography class and I had a camera melt down. All the sudden, my digital screen wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t preview the pic just taken and would flash the menu. After a couple of minutes of that happening, then I couldn’t get any thing, just a black screen, this happened intermittently all day Saturday. I changed batteries, and formatted all the memory cards, and changed lenses and it kept doing this. I would take a few pictures and it would start this up again. Finally I just let it rest a while. Sunday it seemed to be working fine again. But what a huge disappointment. Plus when I send it in, they probably will not be able to replicate the problem (like when you have a noise in your car and you take it to the car shop!!!). I am a little concerned that it may have been some loose connection somewhere inside the inner workings. Have you heard of any thing like this happening. I have only had this camera 7 months, it’s never been dropped, I keep it in it’s case unless I am using it….

    • Yikes. No, I haven’t heard of that particular issue… but it’s not the kind of thing that I keep on top of, so it might be worth checking around.

      So, it could be a simple thing. There’s a ribbon cable inside the camera that connects the screen to the circuit board, and it’s possible that the cable itself is bad or that the clamp on on end is loose. If that’s all it is, then you should be able to keep taking photos whether your screen is working or not, which is important (it would be like shooting with film :-) )

      Unfortunately, it could also be something worse. Bad component on a circuit board. Bad LCD screen. Etc.

      Either way, it’s not something that you should just live with. This is something that should be covered under your warranty (especially if you got one of those add-on warranties like a Square-Trade). I’d send it in as soon as possible for repair. If you need a camera during your class, you might consider renting one from a local shop or a place like LensRentals.com while your camera is being fixed (or borrow one from a friend, or get a cheap one on Craigslist, etc). And make sure you let Nikon know what you think of the fact that you have to do so.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help. I remember an old video of a Canon 7D being crash-tested to see how it would hold up to abuse, and it kept working after just about all of it. It’s always really disappointing when a camera died when you haven’t done ANY of that stuff.

      – Matthew

      • Thank you! I am pretty sure I didn’t do anything for that to happen! I will send it in and see what they say. I was reading back through this thread and saw one of my earlier questions about the compatibility of the SB800. Just FYI, yes, it works fine with the d7500 (it is designed to work with the newer SB5000 Nikon flash system) , but as far as I can tell, all the features from the SB 800 work. I have used it by way of on the hot shoe and also as a off camera remote flash. I haven’t used it in any complicated multi flash scheme.

  • Hey Matthew! Great review, and I am amazed by the patience & work you’ve put in the comment feed. That alone has more information than the whole review.

    I currently have this: D5500 + 18-55 AF-P VR + 70 – 300 AF-P + 50 F1.8 +Yongnuo YN685.

    I primarily do portraits and a bit of action, and take a lot of videos, mainly interviews and documentaries. I am very much used to the flipscreen and the touch of D5500. But there are some parts that I hate of that, which include no HSS for Flash (my YN685 has it, can’t use it and shooting wide open at 1.8 in sunlight is a mess); no headphone jack to monitor audio while shooting videos; no weather sealing (I use it quite roughly); low-light focusing inaccuracies; can’t use AF-D lenses, which I really want to experiment with. Said that, I really love the lightness of the camera and would anyday just throw it in my backpack and get shooting.

    I want to upgrade to cover those things, but I am on a budget ($1000, incl. selling the D5500 off, getting the 18-140 for $200).

    Options:
    1) D7200 + 18-140 (or Sigma 17-50 F2.8)
    +HSS +AF-D +Headphone +Weather Sealing +Better AF
    -NO Touch -NO Flip screen -Same sensor as D5500

    2) D7500 + 18-140 (or Sigma 17-50 F2.8)
    +HSS +AF-D +Headphone +Touch +Flip Screen +Better AF
    +Snapbridge +4K (ofcourse 2.25x crop) +Digital Stabilization (FHD)
    -Costlier -20.9MP -NO Grip Support

    3) D500?! Too Costly but has everything

    I am an enthusiast photographer, and I am sort of a geeky and picky about tiny features and that is one for the reasons I want to upgrade. One thing though is, I am not sure if I should go DX or FX. D750 looks very tempting since I am getting a refurb at similar prices, and it is FF. And has almost all the features of D7500 except the 4K and some. I don’t want to regret later that I didn’t get a FF because this upgrade is gonna last few years at least.

    What are your opinions on these?

    Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Vedant,

      It sounds as though you know the important distinguishing characteristics of these cameras, and you know what is important to you, so I’m not sure how much advice I can offer here :-) My choice would be the D7200, but that’s because I don’t care about touch/flip screens, and I don’t shoot much video but battery grips are very important to me… if I were sticking with APS-C. Keep in mind that just by moving to a D7000 series or D500, you’re not going to get any appreciable difference in image quality over what you already have.

      The D750 is a great choice too, especially if you shoot in low light… that bigger sensor really makes a difference at high ISO, and the larger sensor is often preferable for portrait work. Lenses are generally going to be considerably more expensive to get the quality out of it, so you’ll need to be prepared to buy good glass, too. The weight will add up when you’re out hiking around.

      But it all comes down to personal preference at this point, and what is important to you. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

      • That is very helpful of you. I am quite confused with the choice, but I think I will go with the D7500 as it will make the additional $250 on it worth for my video requirements. I’ll save for now and get a full frame once I have enough budget for that.

        Thanks a ton!
        Vedant

  • Matthew, great comparison. I often take action and publicity shots and videos for live theater performances, where lighting and color are so variable. I’ve been using my D300 with limited and inconsistent success. I’m willing to admit that the photographer may have something to do with that inconsistency. But I’m trying to get better at it and I’m really trying to narrow down between the D7200 & D7500 for this. The better high ISO quality of the 7500 seemed like the way to go but there seems to be some disagreement whether it’s enough to spend the extra $$ verses the 7200. What do you think?
    Chris

    • Hi Chris,
      Sorry for the delay, I was out of town all weekend. First of all, both cameras will give you a nice step up in high ISO performance from the D300 (I used to have one and loved it, but high-ISO was not its strong point).

      Personally, I don’t see a lot of improvement in the noise handling of the D7500 over the D7200, at least not where it matters. They look about the same, with the D7500 having a slight advantage when they’re both at full resolution, but I suspect that they’d be about the same if you scaled the D7200’s images down to 21 megapixels. I haven’t tried it, though. Either way, the difference is pretty minimal.

      I’d probably go with the D7200 and spend the money I save on a nice large aperture lens :-)

      – Matthew

  • Matthew, How does a Nikon D610 or D750 compare to the D7200 or D7500 when it comes to image quality? I’m considering these cameras as well. The refurbished FX models are similar in price to the D7500. I am a Hobbyist, and like taking fotos of people and nature.

    Thank you, Francesca

    • Hi Francesca,

      A larger sensor camera like the D750 is always going to have some advantages over a smaller one (of similar age), and that’s definitely the case here. With the D750, you’ll get more dynamic range, better detail with good lenses, better color, better low-light performance, and shallower depth of field (when framing an image the same way with the same lens, which requires being closer with the full-frame camera). This is usually a big advantage for portrait photographers, not always such an advantage for landscape photographers.

      That said, the lenses for full-frame cameras do tend to be more expensive, and it is harder to get perfect edge to edge sharpness on a full-frame camera than it is on APS-C like the D7200.

      If I had the choice, I’d always go with the full-frame camera if the other details are similar, and between the two, I’d go with the Nikon D750. I’ve heard too many bad things about oil-spot problems on the sensors of the D600 / D610 series cameras.

      • Thanks for your advise here. Sounds like you wouldn’t consider a D610. Do you think the Image quality of the D7500 may benefit from that camera being a few years newer than the D750, or does the full frame sensor make up for that?

        Francesca

        • Yes, I do have some concerns about the D610.

          The D7500 and has a newer sensor, but it’s lower resolution (about 21 megapixels). The D7200 is actually better in that regard, but the difference is minimal.

          Even though the D7500 is a newer generation, the advantages of a full-frame sensor are so big that the tiny improvement in the D7500 sensor are heavily outweighed by the larger pixels and collection area of the D750. So, with the D750 you have all the advantages that come with sensor size and still have higher resolution than the D7500.

          The one drawback of the D750 is that the sensor still uses an optical low-pass filter (AA filter). This adds just a touch of blur at the pixel level to keep sharp edges from looking jagged or pixelated, and it reduces moire.

          When you compare the image quality of the D7500 with the Canon 80D (24 megapixel), the Canon is still able to resolve a little more detail, but not by much, even though it has an extra 3 megapixels. So, with a good lens, you’ll still get higher resolution from the D750 by pixel count alone, but also because a larger sensor can resolve more details (because of the physics of light waves).

  • Mathew, I currently have a D90 and 18-70mm. I planning to get a D7200 or D7500 as well as a 16-80mm for a walk around, and a 55-200mm (for little league baseball). I shoot a lot of sunlit outdoor family events, (at the beach, in the garden, etc) , and some indoor (birthday parties, Christmas) also occasionally family portraits. I am looking for the best dynamic range and color quality. I typically don’t shoot really high ISO nor do I require a high burst rate. My D90 has trouble with blowing out skin at sunset and early evening pics, and sometimes struggles with white balance. I often shoot both raw and jpeg so I can edit later, but I much prefer to get the color right with jpeg so I don’t have to spend so much time post processing.
    My question is, will I see improvements with the D7500 over the D7200 in Image Quality, especially color and Dynamic range?
    (I also considered a Canon 80D)

    Thanks so Much for sharing your advice and knowledge, Nelly

    • Hi Nelly,

      The good news is that the D7200 and D7500 will both give you a substantial improvement in dynamic range over the D90. I shot with a D80 for a couple years back in 2006 or so, and it was a great camera, but these cameras did not have a lot of exposure latitude. That said, they had more than slide film (which I had to shoot in college when I was studying photojournalism in the mid 1990s), and we had to learn how to keep skin from blowing out by correctly exposing for the skin rather than the overall scene… and that’s something you can do with any camera (and will still be necessary sometimes even if you have a camera with 15 stops of latitude). You can do it with spot metering or with exposure compensation, and perhaps you’re already doing that.

      Color is a lot more complicated. White balance is always complicated, partly because (at best) cameras have a hard time getting neutral whites, and partly because neutral whites are rarely “correct”. If, for example, you’re in a Colorado plain shooting a picture of a girl in a white dress in the golden light of the early evening, it is the warm color of the light that is going to make that scene so beautiful, and the dry grasses look fiery and the child’s girl’s skin glow with warmth. If your camera (or you) make the white dress a neutral white, it will suck all of that great warmth out of the image. Ideally, that dress should be yellowish in the highlights, and perhaps cooler in the shadows… and that’s an artistic decision that a camera can’t make. But you can always make it, if you shoot RAW.

      I don’t know what to tell you about color more generally, since people mean very different things when they say “good color”. A lot of casual shooters just want bright, vibrant, contrasty colors, and that’s good color for them. Other people want accurate colors, and that’s good for them. Others want the greatest breadth of colors. And these are mutually exclusive, and I don’t know what kind of shooter you are. You’re always better off shooting RAW and JPG, or just skipping the JPG altogether. Yes, you’ll capture more color data if you shoot with a D7200 or D7500, but if you shoot JPG, there’s not much chance that you’ll see a significant difference. I hope that isn’t too disappointing, but it’s the best I say. Also remember that in addition to the camera, every lens that you use will capture color a little differently. Some are warmer, some cooler… some will have more contrast, some will deal with shadows and highlights differently. And your image quality will only ever be as good as your weakest link. My advice is always to buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs and buy the best lenses you can afford… the lenses make the most difference.

      Good luck!
      – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew,
    nice review!
    I have D7000 with DX 17-55/2.8, DX 35/1.8 and 70-200/4 VR Nikon lenses.
    Is it worthy to upgrade to D7200/D7500? I shoot landscapes, family members (portraits and their action too), birthdays in low light in restaurants and weddings. Specially the weddings are hard to shoot – many light changes, indoor/outdoor, dancing, still group photos, etc. I barely shoot wildlife or sports. It was the main reason to chose 70-200/4 for me, and because of its weight and quality too. As holliday lens it is awesome :)
    I am happy with D7000, but these new cameras attract me :D
    Thank You in advance for advice, if it will be a smart step or not.

    • Hi Tom,
      It sounds like you have a nice collection of lenses :-) Whether the upgrade to a D7200/D7500 makes sense will really depend on what kinds of issues you’re having with your current setup. For low light, the newer cameras don’t have dramatically different high-ISO performance, though their autofocus is somewhat improved. Of course, their resolution is somewhat better than the 16mp of the D7000. You’ll really only get a significant jump in low-light performance by moving up to a full-frame camera. I’d probably stick with the D7000 and add another large aperture prime lens (85mm f/1.8 or larger, maybe?) for use in those dark situations. But if you think there’s something about the newer cameras that will help you, I’d be interested in hearing more.
      – Matthew

      • Hi Matthew,
        thank You for Your quick response. And thanks for compliment, it took some time to collect these lenses :) Before I got 17-55/2.8, I have owned 16-85/3.5-5.6 and it was a very good lens with nice and mainly constant drawing thru all focal lengths. It was almost like my magnificent 70-200/4. But 17-55/2.8 is about light and it gives You another dimension in shooting, despite it’s weight. It is almost as heavy as 70-200/4, so I can not tell the difference, when I change them on the camera. Maybe it is better like that and I do not grumble :D I thought about 85/1.8 lenses before, which are perfect for portraits too. It is the good point. With 1,5x crop, it will be somewhere close to 135mm. I know from 35/1.8 what this light aperture can do.
        Yes, You are right. It is about higher ISO quality, more colour and sharpness. I have to admit, that I do not like shoot to NEF, because my credo is more soot, less aftershoot work. So I set everything possible on D7000 to shoot best quality in JPEG. But sometimes I shoot to NEF too, specially on weddings. When cuttig from image, the noise is the most visible. I thought It will help a little on the newer bodies. DxOMark shows some improvement of my lenses on D7100, but D7200/D7500 can not be selected to compare.
        FF cameras are something different to me. I thought about it, but it has many BUTs for me. I have mainly DX lenses, which is a BIG con. I am accustomed with longer focal lenghts with crop 1,5x on DX. I have never solved problems with lenses on FF, like week corners, vignetting, etc., because of the strong center from the lenses, used by DX cameras. And the price of course, it is the big item on the list too.
        Well, It seems, I stay where I am now, with D7000 on my neck. And 85/1.8 could be a new target. Thank You!
        Tom

  • Hi Matthew,

    I have gone through your article & most comments, while I am deciding between D7200 & D7500. The focus keeps coming back at your suggestion in investing more in great lenses and less on body, but I have a doubt about D 7200’s performance in a particular use for my work. I need to capture outdoor sporting events (running specifically) under varied light conditions including night time. Will D 7500 shine above the 7200 in any way in such condition, as you pointed out better low light performance ? Or D 7200 with a wide aperture prime lens and its AF system will do as well ?

    Thank you !

    • Hello Chetan,
      The D7200 and D7500 have the same autofocus system (same AF module, same number of AF points, same low-light range), and I have not noticed any practical difference in their focus performance. The difference in low-light situations with the D7500 is supposed to be better noise handling at high ISO, but even that is a negligible difference, if you shoot RAW.

      That said, the D7500 does have some minor speed and buffer advantages over the D7200, which are both important for shooting sports. The D7500 shoots 8 frames per second while the D7200 only shoots 6.

      A wide aperture prime can be helpful, although sometimes depth of field gets too shallow for fast moving subjects, and you end up being focused on the body but the face is out of focus. I have better luck with an f/2.8 zoom, usually, but it depends on how close you are and the conditions. Good luck!
      – Matthew

    • Hi Nancy,
      Although there should be a slight advantage with the D7500 theoretically, since it has a lower resolution sensor (usually better in low light), in actual use, looking at images side by side, I don’t see any difference in image quality at all at ISO 6400. You can make a big difference by using either camera with a lens that lets in more light… like a 35mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.8 ($215) (or f/1.4 would be even better). So, I’d buy the D7200, and use the money you save to buy a good low-light lens.
      Good luck!
      – Matthew

    • Hi Matthew, I own a D5500 and i have invested quite a lot on lenses (Nikon 18-140, Nikon 16-80, Nikon 35mm 1.8g, Samyang 16mm, Nikon 70-300 af-s, Sigma 100-400 c and Sigma 15-600 c). Primarily i use my camera for travel and landscape photography but I have also used it for airshow, indoor and astrophotography. Although the D5500 has remarkable image quality and I love its small weight and the convenience of its touch screen, I have started to discover the limitations its body. Firstly it does’t support the AF fine tune. I want my images to be as crispy clear as my lenses can allow. I took about 2000 photos from an air show but not many were very clear when I cropped the photos. I suppose that this has to do with the AF system or AF fine tuning. Moreover as a teacher I want to be able to take indoor photos from school events and student performances. Yesterday I was little disappointed from the performance of D5500 + Nikon 16-80 because in low light conditions the photos were not very sharp (Aperture mode, 3200 iso, no flash, f/2.8-4, 1/6- 1/40 shutter speed). Only with good indoor light i was able to take sharp photos. Was this happened due to high iso or the limitation of AF system? I am thinking of selling the D5500 with its kit lens and upgrade to D7200 or D7500. I don’t use the video at all. Which of these cameras do you think that suit me? I am very confused because I would like to have all the new stuff of D7500 (better metering system, better AF, extra 2 fps, vary angle touch screen, easier AF fine tuning) with a 24mp sensor, AIs, Depth of field function and battery grip. Now I have to choose between of them. Am i going to see much difference by moving from D5500 to D7200 in low light and action photography? Is the D7500 worth the extra money? Thanks

      • Hi Nikos,

        This is tricky, and without seeing the images you’re talking about, I can only speculate. However, it sounds as though the AF fine tune is probably NOT the problem with your air-show photos (in fact, it’s rarely a significant problem at all), but if you were shooting planes at a distance, then your lens was likely at infinity or close to it, which is not where you’re likely to see fine tune problems. More likely, you’re seeing camera shake (even with fast shutter speeds and image stabilization); it’s almost impossible to get rid of with long telephotos without a tripod or monopod. However, even though your camera body doesn’t allow fine tuning, you can get the Sigma lens dock, and at least your 100-400 and 150-600 should be adjustable with it. I’ve been testing these two lenses recently, and I’m not particularly impressed with their image stabilization.

        Even with good image stabilization on a Nikon lens, it will be hard to get tack-sharp images at 1/6 – 1/40th sec, so that could have entered into it, but it’s likely that high ISO noise played a part. Unfortunately, having looking at side-by-side images from the D7200 and D7500, I don’t see a significant difference. Really, shooting in low light like that, a full frame sensor will make a big difference, but otherwise, there’s not a lot you can do except use large aperture primes to get your shutterspeed up and ISO down, or use a flash or two.

        Beyond that, I don’t think I can say much more than I’ve already said in the article above. If you think a new camera will help, I’d probably go with the D7500 for the buffer and extra 2fps. The 20 megapixel sensor will out-resolve most lenses as it is. Good luck!

  • Hi Mathew, rock solid article.
    I’ve had the D7000 since 2010 and feel need an upgrade to keep shooting architectural interiors (on tripod) and some outdoor landscape (on tripod) , outdoor sports/people (handheld)
    after reading your article its pretty clear 7200 is a smarter choice.
    i told some BH guys about my D7000 not focusing well on moving objects/people and 2 guys said that camera had some issues with focusing. have you heard that as well? thanks! JP

    • Hi JP,
      I don’t remember any particular focus problems with the D7000, but it’s been a while… I may just not be remembering. I do seeem to recall that its AF points were mostly non-cross type, which could have contributed to problems. Sounds like the D7200 is a good choice for you, at any rate :-)

      • thanks Matt! 2 lenses comparison i would appreciate your comment on . i currently have the Nikon – AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. I want to get a newer lens with bigger aperture for indoor night shooting on tripod. what lens from tokina or sigma would you recommend?im looking at the tokina 11-20 vs tokina 11-16. 2nd one is a zoom…. Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens vs the Tokina AT-X 24-70mm f/2.8 PRO FX…. if you there is another one you would recommend pls throw it in. thanks again

        • Hi JP,
          Unfortunately, I haven’t spent much time with the Tokina 11-20, though I’ve always loved the 11-16, and I understand that they’re very similar in performance. The Tokina 24-70 f/2.8 is also very nice optically, as long as you remember to correct the chromatic aberration (that’s the case with most Tokina lenses).

          My favorite lens of the bunch is the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 ART. Beautiful image quality, good auto-focus, excellent light transmission, though it is a bit big and heavy.

  • Hi Matthew,
    Thanks for your article. I am upgrading from 3300 to D7200. I almost picked D7500 but going through your and several other articles I changed my decision, 7200 is a better fit for my needs at the price.
    My question is about lens. I have following lens – Nikon 18-55 ED and Nikon 50mm f/1.8g.
    I am trying to choose between 18-140mm and 16-80mm.
    I need a zoom lens, at the same time I don’t want to carry multiple lenses when traveling. 16-80 being more expensive, am I sacrificing too much on quality if I go with 18-140?

    Thanks

    • Hi Charles,

      Image quality isn’t really the root of this price difference; the 18-140 is a good, sharp lens. The 16-80 f/2.8-4 has a wider field of view at the near end of the zoom, so it’s similar to a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera, which is a big part of it. The more important part is that the maximum aperture is f/2.8, at least at the wide end of the zoom, and f/4 at the far end, while the 18-140 is a 3.5-5.6. So, when you’re zoomed in all the way, the 16-80 lets in twice as much light as the 18-140 (f/4 vs f/5.6). At the wide end, f/2.8 lets in about 67% more light than the f/3.5 of the other lens. Of course, when you’re taking a picture in low light that makes a difference, but it also means that when you’re looking through the viewfinder of the camera, it will be brighter though the 16-80, at least a little bit.

      Whichever lens you get, you’ll be finished with your 18-55, so you can sell that or trade it in. Really, it will come down to what you’ll be using the lens for. If you need the range of the 140mm, I think it’s an excellent every-day lens. If you can get away with only reaching 80mm (maybe you shoot portraits but don’t shoot outdoor sports or wildlife), then go for the 16-80.

      Good luck!
      Matthew

  • I have Nikon D5300 with 18-140, 35mm, 70-300 & 8mm wide angle. Mainly I shoot family and landscapes. I am thinking to upgrade at least 7200. Is it worth to upgrade to 7200 or 7500 or 500. Please advice me.

    • Hi Jorak,
      Probably not, but it depends on how you shoot. The D7200 won’t give you better image quality. It does have better flash functionality and faster shooting speeds, which can help some people, but I don’t know whether they’ll help you. For landscapes and family, I’d guess probably not. You’d probably see more improvement in your photography by purchasing a professional-level lens: perhaps a 70-200 f/2.8 (the Tamron G2 is a great one for the price) or an 85mm prime? That’s up to you. But if you can think of something that the more expensive camera bodies can do that you feel like you need, let me know :-)
      Good luck!
      – Matthew

      • Thanks for your reply Mathew. From your reply I understood that upgrading from 5300 to 7200/7500/500 I will get the same image quality except some features. According to your last line, if I upgrade to full frame like d750 what will be the impact in image quality? will it be a marginal difference or huge? (Anyway in near future I’m not going to upgrade to full frame).

        • Hello Jorak,
          Stepping up to a full-frame sensor can give you significant differences in image quality, and sometimes improvements if you’re using the right lenses. They will generally give you 2 or more f-stops worth of improvement in noise-handling for low-light shooting.

          My comment before was directed at professional-level lenses, not the camera body itself, though. Adding a better lens to a camera that you already own can dramatically improve your image quality.

  • Thanks, Matthew for your article!
    I wonder why Nikon D7200 is better than D7500 for landscapes?
    I am thinking of upgrading from my current Nikon D3100 because i want to shoot night skies, (star trails, milkyway) landscapes, wildlife.
    What do you recommend?
    Thank you so much for your time, I greatly appreciate your help!

  • Thank you for this comparison. I currently own the Nikon D5300 with the kit lens and the new 70-300 VR. I was attracted to the D7500 bundle with the 16-80 lens. I was thinking those two lenses would be everything I would ever need! I mainly shoot gardens and flowers for my magazine/newspaper articles. I also love taking photos of landscapes and butterflies/birds.

    Last year I tried the Sony a6000 with the kit lens. To be honest, I didn’t think the photos were quite as sharp as the ones taken with my Nikon. I also was a bit confounded by all the settings available. However after reading your article and the comments today, I am wondering about the Sony a6300 with the more expensive 16-70 lens. I could keep the D5300 and 70-300 lens for my butterflies and birds. What do you think? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Lynn,
      Yes, the kit lenses (particularly the 16-50mm) aren’t the sharpest. The 16-70 is certainly better, though I’m not sure the price tag is justified.

      But before getting into that, I’m curious why you are thinking about a new camera? My general advice is always to buy the least expensive camera that will meet your needs, and the best lenses you can afford… and the D5300 can do just about anything that the D7500 can do, unless you’re shooting sports. The image quality, sharpness, and colors should be just as good from the D5300. My recommendation would be to test out a true macro lens or two for your current camera body to get the truly exquisite image quality that you can only get from an ultra-sharp prime lens (Nikon’s 105mm or 60mm micro lenses are among the best made), and look into a higher quality zoom for it (I’m a fan of the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS, but Nikon makes a great model, too). These lenses will make more difference than buying a new camera body.

      However, if you’re looking for a more compact body like the a6300 or a6500, which is understandable, the trick is to find a lens that can match the quality of the sensor. Sony’s 50mm macro lens has horribly slow focus, but good optics. Sigma’s 18-35 f/1.8 is super sharp and great in low light, but a bit bulky and the zoom range is pretty short. The 10-18 has even sharper optics than the 16-70, though it’s also not such a useful range.

      Anyway, I’m interested to hear what you think about keeping the same body, or if you’re set on a new one. :-)

  • Hi Matthew. I just came across this review and just wanted to say thanks for NOT presenting the usual hype that a lot of other camera review sites give. Your review of the D7500 seems very thorough, and I really appreciate the graphic you did demonstrating the extensive crop that occurs when shooting in 4K with the D7500 and D500. I think you just saved me a lot of money. Thanks again and plan on bookmarking your blog. (Also, shout out to toxictobasco who posted above me, since he always has something good to share when it comes to DSLR video).

  • i have not realized before that this is a blog in english, still i hope that you can get to answer my doubts, doesn’t matter in english or spanish i will appreciate very much, hugs.

  • Great comprehensive review. I’ve been torn between these 2 since I sold my D7100. However, which one will do 30 second to 2 min exposures at higher ISOs the best. Seems both have different sensors. I found that long good exposure performance is not always based on the higher rated ISO camera. Because most of those test are with fast shutter speeds. Also, those highly rated ISO cameras like the Sony A7S which do well under 20 second exposures don’t do as good as some lesser cameras when the exposure is bumped up to 2 and 3 min with ISO at 3200. So this is my concern dude. Which one will do best at high ISO and long exposures?
    Thank you.

  • I’ll just add that our local photo store was selling the 7200 with the 18 – 140mm lens for $1550 (Canadian). The 7500 is $2200 for the body alone. That’s quite a premium for most to pay. The 7200 is a pretty nice upgrade from my D80.

    • That’s a pretty good price! I had a trusty D80 for a few years, until about 2010, when the aperture control module died with no warning and it was no longer trusty. Enjoy the D7200 :-)
      – Matthew

  • Hi Matthew, great article as usual. I am thinking of upgrading from my current Nikon D5500 to either the D500 or the 7500. Since the 7500 was announced it seems like the right balance for me. I don’t think I need the pro grade body for my type of photography. I am also pretty well invested in dx lenses (Nikon 18-140, Sigma ART 18-35 1.8 and Tokina 11-20 2.8). I was thinking of adding the Nikon 16-80 2.8-3.5.

    I do have 1 question regarding the D7500. Does the D7500 have a live histogram for stills. This is a feature that my current D5500 does not have and a feature I would really like to have.

    Thanks for all you help

    Dean

    • Hi Dean,

      That’s a good question. I’ve never used a live histogram (I rarely use live-view with Nikons), but I believe that you can press the info button during live-view and bring up a luminance (not RGB) histogram… I just can’t remember whether that was the D7500 or D500. I’m sure that the D7500 manual is available on the Nikon website and will clear that up for you. Good luck!

      – Matthew

  • Hello Matthew,

    Your site has been, by far, the most helpful that I have found! I am still struggling on what to purchase however, but my latest thought process is to get the D7200 (vs the D7500) and purchase a nice lens or two per your advice. We are travelling to NZ in the fall and I want to get use to the camera now. I borrowed a friends Nikon D3300 a year ago and while I got a few great pictures I struggled as quite a few were blurry (mostly wild animals) ones as well on full auto mode. I definitely want a camera that has weather sealing as I know that I will feel more comfortable using it more often instead of just letting it sit in my house :)

    I am absolutely not a pro photographer, however, I am tempted to say that a simple entry-level would be too basic. I love taking photos for my friends and their new babies and at every family event I am the one capturing all of the moments but most of all I love taking landscape and travel photography (i.e. the reason I am looking to buy a DSLR now to practice for New Zealand).

    I have read so many things on your website and LOVE your advice. With that, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. I was leaning towards the D7500 but I am thinking I better (price wise) go for the D7200 and then just get a good lens or two. If you agree, what lens would you suggest for the NZ trip and general Colorado hiking :)?

    Or, if you think based on my thought process there is another camera, Sony, Canon, etc., I totally trust you! I will most likely never use the camera (at least for now) on full manual, but more partial here and there and quite a bit of auto. However, I love photography and the more comfortable I get, since this will be something I have for a long time, I may shift into more manual settings. I know that I have a very good eye, I just need to have more practice with full manual.

    Thank you so much for your time, I greatly appreciate your help! As for pictures, I print some 11×14 for our home but other than that and simple videos I dont need any crazy features. Just a nice camera (would love to spend less with lens + camera than $1600) that is user friendly, would be a good long term camera, and most importantly great to capture everything I discussed.

    • Hi Catherine,
      It sounds to me like you’re really on the right track with the D7200. It’s a great, solid camera and it can take some punishment when you’re out in the field, and it will give you better image quality than most of the other cameras out there today.

      That said, everyone who is getting a camera for travel should also consider a mirrorless, these days… either the Sony a6500 or perhaps the Fuji XT2. Both are significantly more compact than the Nikon, and they generally perform as well or better than SLRs, too… with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, Sony has poor lens choices for the a6500, and the Fuji ends up being pretty expensive. But they’re worth checking out.

      If you want to shoot video, check out the Canon 80D or 77D instead of a Nikon.

      If you go with the Nikon, then lens choice is going to be your hardest decision because there are so many amazing lenses available these days. Unfortunately, lens choice is a very personal decision… much of it is going to be based on personal preference and artistic taste. While traveling in Europe and Morocco last fall, I carried two lenses for the vast majority of the time: a 24-70 and a 70-200mm f/2.8, and between those, I would say that the 24-70 was used 70% of the time. For me, these lenses give me the best combination of excellent image quality, good low-light capabilities, and flexibility of perspective. However, many photographers prefer to use only prime lenses (no zooms), and would instead go with a 35mm f/1.4 and perhaps a 50mm or 24mm with a large aperture. They’re better for low light and create more dramatic background-blur for people who like these stylized photos. Others would just go with an all-in-one type zoom lens, like the 18-140 VR, which has good image quality, you never have to change your lens, and the low-light performance is not as good (though the VR helps).

      For APS-C cameras like the D7200, I happen to be a huge fan of the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 ART series lens. It’s a good combination of having a wide aperture so it’s good for low light, and the optical quality is amazing. It doesn’t have image stabilization, though, and the zoom range isn’t huge. I often carry an older Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS HSM on my APS-C cameras, which is basically the same zoom range as a 24-70 f/2.8 on a full-frame, the image quality is very good, and it does have stabilization… and the price is reasonable. You’d want to compliment it with a telephoto or longer zoom lens, though.

      Part of choosing a lens is going to be deciding on what kinds of images you like and want to take, and then picking the perfect lens to achieve that goal… so it’s not uncommon to start with an all-in-one until you figure out your own particular style. 18-140 is the biggest all-in-one that I’d get (don’t go for the 18-200 or 18-270 or bigger).

      Just a passing note about shooting in manual mode: most professionals don’t do it. What most pros do is shoot in a semi-manual mode (I use aperture priority mode 95% of the time: I choose the aperture, the camera sets the shutter speed), which gives you manual control of just one element of the exposure and lets the camera control the other to give you correct exposure. The only times that I shoot full manual are in the studio with flash, and shooting indoor sports like basketball where the lighting is consistent across the court. The important thing to do is get an understanding of what aperture/shutterspeed/ISO do and how they interrelate, and then make the changes with one of them to control what you want to control. I have a quick video and an article or two about that, if you want to brush up :-)

      Good luck! If this reply has just made your choice more complicated, feel free to let me know your thought process and I might be able to help narrow it down a bit.

      – Matthew

      • Matthew! Wow, again, so helpful. I am very excited as I had not even considered mirrorless but after some quick research it looks absolutely perfect for what I had in mind for travel and keeping with me at family/friend events. Definitely a major upgrade from a point and shoot, with still having the optional lenses and capabilities (image quality wise) of a DSLR without the bulk! With that the Sony you recommended looks good especially at the pricepoint. Would that be your top pick and if so which lens or two would you recommend for just starting out for NZ landscapes?

        Once again thank you for this help. While it changed my thought process completely, it actually helped me dramatically as I had been stressing about the DSLR bulk with travel and it appears the new mirrorless cameras can have just as good image quality!

        • Yes, I think that the Sony a6500 would be a great choice… although it’s really a toss up between that and the Fuji XT2.

          The sensor in the a6500 is the same size (APS-C) and resolution (24 mp) as the D7200, with excellent color and dynamic range. So as far as the sensor is concerned, the image quality from the a6500 will be just as good as the Nikon. And the a6500 has image stabilization built into the body (instead of the lens, like Nikon and Canon), so you’ll always have stabilization, no matter what lens you use. The a6300 and older a6000 also have great image quality, but no stabilization in the body.

          However, the LENS plays just as important a role in image quality, and there aren’t so many choices for Sony (and many of their compact lenses have poor image quality, while their good lenses are big and expensive). That’s one of the reasons I like the Fuji… their lenses are almost all excellent and compact.

          Now here’s the problem: I own Nikon and Canon equipment, but I don’t own a Sony, so I’m not as familiar with their lenses. My best friend (and one of my frequent shooting partners) owns a Sony, so I’ve used the camera, but I’ve been limited to his set of lenses. Of course, I’ve used others briefly at trade shows and camera shops, but not for serious testing.

          Here are the Sony lenses that I’d look at, though:
          Sony 18-105 f/4 (sold out in a lot of places but in stock at B&H)
          Sony 35mm f/1.8
          Sony/Zeiss 17-60 f/4 . This lens would have been my top recommendation except that they seem to have some manufacturing problems… some of them have great image quality, some of them have optical flaws. It’s a bit of a lottery.

          The Fuji body is a little bigger and it’s styled more like a traditional SLR, and I prefer the layout of its controls. But its also more expensive, and doesn’t have stabilization in the body.

          Good luck!

  • I have a D7100 now. I am not happy with the focusing primarily in low contrast situations. I am looking at the 7200, 7500 and 500. I am a small woman, so lighter weight is nice. However, I shoot wildlife (not professionally, but on safaris. Doubt if I need ultra fast bursts though) but also landscapes and anything else in nature. Some street photography. Very little portrait photography. I am leaning toward 7200 or 7500 due to their similarity in function and form to the 7100. However, if the 500 had a flash I think I would grab it and hope the weight and learning curve didn’t bother me. I do have a speedlight but don’t use it for just walking around photography. I think I would miss the pop up flash. I’m not sure about missing the 2nd card slot in the 7500. B and H told me that the 7200 wasn’t different enough from the 7100 to make a difference. I’ve heard that the focusing is much better in the 7200. Would love to know what you think. After reading your comparison, I’m leaning 7200, but it just doesn’t seem like much of a step up.

    • Hi Kay,

      I’m inclined to agree with B&H on this: the D7100 and the D7200 have the same autofocus module, same number of focusing points, same number of cross-type points. The D7200 does use a faster processor, but processing power wasn’t the problem with the system in the D7100, so that doesn’t really matter.

      The only real significant difference is that the D7200 can focus in about 1EV lower light than the D7100. That’s equivalent to 1 f-stop worth of light, and it’s more likely do to a minor improvement in the AF algorithms than (and some wishful marketing) than anything else.

      As you may know, ANY camera is going to have trouble focusing in low-contrast situations, since they basically need a hard edge or line to work. However, cross-type points can be a big help (you might find my video about cross-type AF points helpful, if you’re not already familiar with them) , and using large aperture lenses can help pretty dramatically (and off-brand lenses like the excellent lenses from Sigma and Tamron can also cause issues with some camera combinations).

      I only mention all of this because I’ve used the Nikon D7100 pretty extensively and have found it to be very reliable, so I’m just wondering whether it’s a lens issue, rather than a camera one. But you may already know the answer to that.

      The D500 has 99 cross-type points compared to the D7200’s 15… so if you’re shooting with a group of points, that can really help you pull focus. But it’s a pretty big price difference, so I’d just recommend making sure that the issue you’re having is not lens-related before making the purchase (and finding that you have the same problems with it because you’re using the same lens(es).

      – Matthew

  • Hello
    i read all your commenst with interest .
    I am far from a pro… and I love taking pictures since I am a teenager….And use my Nikon D90 during holidays (a few landscapes + family pictures) and family events. I don’t use burst mode. I take my time for paysage and have tried to feel the right time when takin picture of people. I come back from long holidays with Max 300 pictures, not 3000!

    I started with borrowing my father Contax camera. 35 or 70 mm lens(so great!)
    I received my first camera (pentax SFXN) with my first zoom (35-70I was impressed but AF. It was magic and I still have that feeling.
    My actual camera is a Nikon D90 that I use with Nikon 1.8 lens.

    I would like to buy a new one (better AF, better low-light capture, and probably a bit of a whim for a new toy).

    I don’t care Video, I never had trouble with my one slot D90, I don’t need extra grip, I prefer one slot with a good grip than two slots with a less good shape of grip ..

    It seems that D7500 was made for amateurs like met..(Unless the video that I won’t use).

    BUT it cost 400 euros more than D7200…
    Is it worth choosing D7500? I really don’t know..What would you advise me?

    • Hello Viny,

      For your purposes, I’d lean towards the D7200, or even the D5500/5600. Both are great cameras, though the D7200 will be a bit larger and fit your hand more similarly to your D90. The D5600 may feel a little small and light in comparison, but the image quality is great and it’s considerably less expensive. However, if you want the heft of a bigger camera with a metal body, I’m a big fan of the D7200, and the improvement in high ISO performance of the D7500 is very modest. Unless I’m shooting indoor sports and need to stop action with a fast shutter speed (at 1/500th sec or faster), I rarely shoot at an ISO higher than 3200, and the D7200 performs just fine at ISO3200.

      Good luck!

      – Matthew

      • You will be suprised but here in Europe, D7200 will cost 800 euros and D5600 720 euros, due to nikon cash back offer…
        Light and small camera sounds great to me..but qucik access to speed, aperture and preset ar higher value to me and efinitively worth extra 80 euros.
        Question is therfore betwen between D7500…and I will go for D7200
        Thanks

    • I am choosing a new camera also. I currently have the D90, SB-800, several Nikkor lenses..etc. I have been looking at the D500 and D7500. My concern with the D500 is no flash. I have an sb800 but I am also a lightweight, no arm strength that is, so the weight it a concern. I couldn’t find any info on the Nikon web site what if any external flashes were compatible with the D7500. I broke down and contacted them to ask if I could use the SB-800 with the D7500. Their answer was short: NO. I wrote back and said I was disappointed, and asked for more info. I am not sure what flashes you can use with the D7500. It lists the same modes (iTTL, TTL….) and creative lighting system, has a hot foot…etc. So if you go to a D7500 just be sure it is compatible with all your other equipment that you would like to continue using.

      • Hi Beth,

        I can’t think of ANY reason why the SB800 would not be compatible with the D7500: they use the correct triggering voltage, the eTTL protocol is the same, and the D7500 supports all of the SB800’s features. I have not tested the combination myself, but I’d be very surprised if they didn’t work well together… and the comments that you mention from Nikon are either (a) ignorance of older equipment on the part of the rep or (b) an attempt to sell more flash units. I’ll see if I can get you some more solid info, though.
        – Matthew

      • Thank you, I wrote back again to Nikon asking which flashs were compatible so I will also let you know what they say. I think you are right on all counts. I will look forward to hearing what you find out. Thank you so much!

        • I wouldn’t think that it would be a problem. My SB 700 works fine with my 7200. In looking at tutorials on using single flash off camera, Matt Granger has his own channel and in at least one said that getting brand name flash units was a ripoff and he advocated using $65 knockoffs. As long as they have TTL and slave, you should be good. Others have said the same.

        • Hi Beth,
          I got some further information from Nikon today. Apparently, the only reason that they don’t list the SB800 as compatible is that it doesn’t support Nikon’s remote radio-control operation, while the D7500 does. But they are compatible for all of the functions that the SB-800 does have, as far as I can tell.
          – Matt

          • Matt,
            Thank you for your information. I am disappointed that Nikon told me that it was not compatible apparently not knowing or intentionally misleading. I copied and pasted their only response below. They never responded to my additional question about other flash units.
            I am greatly appreciative for all your help! I am going to go forward with my purchase, I will be happy to let you know how it all works out. Thank you again!
            -Beth

            Nikon Customer Support
            Chardonay G.

            8/1/2017 04:29 PM by Email

            Hello Ms Dwyer,

            Thank you for contacting Nikon, Unfortunately the D7500 is not compatible with the SB-800 I do apologize for the inconvenience, If you have any additional questions/concerns feel free to update me via the reply button at the bottom of this email.

            Kindest Regards,
            Chardonnay

  • You forget one very big difference. The 2,000 pixel metering sensor in the D7200 has been replaced by the full 180,000 pixel metering sensor from the D500. That means D500 levels of autofocus tracking! Sure, there are fewer focus points for the camera to choose from, but the experience is still going to be far closer to the D500 than the D7200.

    This is probably the most significant change, at least for those who shoot any moving subjects, especially sports but also moving animals, children at play, etc, and I think it should be mentioned in this article.

  • Should I purchase a Canon EOS 80D or should I wait and purchase the Nikon D7500? And could you please state the reasons which would hepl me choose one.
    I need a camera for still photography mainly but also for casual videography.

    • For still photography, they’re both excellent cameras. The 80D will have slightly higher resolution than the D7500, but the D7500 may have slightly better noise handling at high ISO and maybe better dynamic range.

      For video, the Canon 80D and its dual-pixel AF system has a big advantage over the Nikon for autofocus while shooting video. The Canon is fast and smooth, the Nikon is slow and hunts a lot. You can use the touch-screen on the 80D to smoothly shift focus between two points in the frame, which is nice, too. Nikon is still catching up when it comes to video AF. However, if you’re willing to manually focus for video, or just be patient with the AF (and not try to catch action or movement), the video quality is OK, and the D7500 finally allows you to change aperture while shooting. I’d still go with the Canon 80D, unless you really want to shoot cropped 4K video.

      Alternatively, if you get a camera like the Sony a6500, you get to use the full sensor for 4K video, you get great autofocus, you get stabilization in the camera body, and you get a great image sensor for still photography. It’s worth considering.

  • This article just enforced my decision to stay with the D7200, which I just purchased a couple of weeks ago. Upgrading from a D3300 and a massive upgrade at that!!! Thank you and excellent article!

    Jeff

  • Thanks, probably the best comparison I’ve read to date. Much better than the side by side spec comparison which doesn’t tell the whole story.

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