Last night Nikon unveiled the new D7500 DSLR camera. The much anticipated update to the D7200 that was announced back in March of 2015 comes with a few updates that puts it close to the Nikon D500 in terms of features and speed – the same 20.9 MP APS-C sensor and EXPEED 5 processor, fast 8 fps continuous shooting (vs 6 fps on the D7200), a larger buffer that can accommodate up to 50 RAW images, the same 180K RGB metering sensor as on the D500 (although the AF system is still the good old 51-point Multi-CAM 3500DX II), a tilting touchscreen, a deeper and improved grip, Bluetooth + WiFi (SnapBridge), improved weather sealing and 4K video recording. In addition, the D7500 also gains some of the firmware functionality of the D500, such as “Auto AF Fine Tune” that allows to automatically calibrate focus on lenses. Overall, it looks like a very welcome update. Except for two disappointing blunders – Nikon dropped the second card slot and took away the ability to use a battery grip on the D7500.
The Nikon D3x00, D5x00 and D7x00 series cameras is where Nikon makes the money, so it makes sense for the company to make its DX cameras as appealing as possible. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in the past few years, with Nikon releasing meaningless updates to the D3x00 and D5x00 lines for the sake of a refreshing its model numbers and staying up to date with the competition. So it is nice to see that Nikon wants to continue appealing to the enthusiast-level crowd with some desirable features found on the D7500 – the faster 8 fps continuous shooting speed and the larger buffer is everything we wanted to see on the D7500 and it certainly feels great that Nikon added even more features to make the camera highly desirable.
However, Nikon also stripped away a key feature that made the D7x00 series stand above the competition – dual memory card slots. Unlike the D7000, D7100 and D7200, the D7500 only comes with a single, UHS-I memory card slot. It makes sense why Nikon originally pushed for dual card slots, as it wanted people to move from the D300 to the newer D7x00-series cameras (with the D500 severely delayed for many years). However, now that the D500 is out, the message is clear – Nikon is letting us know that the D7x00-series DSLRs should have never had a dual card slot in the first place, and that the camera should be competing directly with other similar cameras on the market that also have a single card slot. To me, this is disappointing to see on something that made the D7x00-series so special – they were great backup bodies for some professionals photographers. I can understand that Nikon did not want the D7500 to compete with the D500, but a dual card slot would not have made much difference! The D500 still has a pro-level body, faster shooting speed, a more advanced AF system and a huge memory buffer, so it would still have been attractive to many photographers wanting a more rugged and serious camera. And it is certainly not a cost factor either – there is very little cost difference between using a single vs a dual SD memory card reader on a camera. Also, with SD memory cards now pushing performance to the limits with UHS-II, keeping an old, UHS-I only slot is another mistake on Nikon’s part.
It is clear that Nikon wants to downgrade the status of the D7500 compared to the D500. In addition to downgrading the memory card slot, the company also did not release a battery grip with the camera either. So if you want a larger grip, the ability to comfortably shoot in both orientations and the ability to host multiple batteries, that option has also been silently removed. Lastly, Nikon added a new “Pet Portrait” scene mode. No comments :)
The ability to shoot 4K video is certainly nice, but I was very surprised to see that it is a 1.5x crop from the center area of the sensor. Combined with the 1.5x crop of the APS-C sensor, you are looking at a crazy combined crop of 2.25x. That’s worse than a Micro Four Thirds crop! While some people might be excited about being able to get closer to wildlife with a 2.25x crop, the footage in low light situations will look pretty bad, since you will be looking at pretty much individual pixels from the sensor, rather than down-sampled footage. This means that the D7500 will not be a good all-around video camera for normal shooting – something like the 24-70mm is going to be a 54-158mm equivalent.
Overall, aside from the UHS-I single memory card slot, lack of a grip option and unimpressive 4K video crop, the D7500 seems like a well-rounded camera with quite a few serious upgrades. The ability to shoot at 8 fps and have a 50 image RAW buffer will allow sports and wildlife photographers to shoot continuously for over 6 seconds, which is impressive for an enthusiast-level DSLR. Also, the new RGB metering sensor on the D7500 should make autofocus even faster and more accurate compared to its predecessor and the ability to automatically focus tune lenses is definitely a worthy addition.
I will be honest with you though – I would much rather see DX lens releases. Nikon is putting yet another nail in its coffin by announcing more DX cameras than lenses…
Below is the full press release from the company.
Exceptional Speed, Precision and Low-Light Ability Has Never Been as Attainable; The New D7500 Uses the Same Powerful Imaging Sensor and Includes Many Features from Nikon’s DX-Format D500 Flagship
MELVILLE, NY (April 12, 2017 at 12:01 A.M. EDT) – Enthusiasts are a distinct type of photographer, who go to great lengths in the relentless pursuit of the perfect capture. It is for this user that Nikon Inc. announced the D7500 today, an advanced-level DX-format DSLR that provides a robust yet lightweight camera with powerful performance and premium features. Using the same 20.9-megapixel image sensor, processor and wide ISO range as the D500, Nikon’s flagship DX-format DSLR, the D7500 incorporates an exceptional combination of stunning image quality, impressive speed, astounding low-light ability and 4K UHD video capture, yet remains within reach for a diverse array of image makers and creators.
“The Nikon D7500 was engineered to be as versatile as the photographer using it, and excels whether shooting fast-action sports, stunning low-light landscapes, distant wildlife, glamorous portraits or multimedia content,” said Kosuke Kawaura, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “This is a camera for the photographers who are serious about their passion, infatuated with the next frame and above all else, want speed, small size and an excellent value.”
Balance Image Quality and Low-Light Performance
The new D7500 features Nikon’s latest 20.9-megapixel DX-format imaging sensor and EXPEED 5 processing engine, the same high-performance heart of the Nikon D500. Designed to excel in a wide array of shooting conditions, the D7500 eliminates the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) for maximum sharpness and clarity, with the class-leading dynamic range flexibility that is a hallmark of Nikon DSLRs. The compact DX-format form factor also gives photographers extended focal length reach that is an advantage for sports and wildlife photography, especially when coupled with the vast selection of available NIKKOR lenses.
Whether shooting a landscape at dawn or sports under indoor lights, the D7500 affords the latitude of low-light capability to consistently nail the shot, time and time again. Even in the most challenging light, users can capture images with minimal noise, thanks to a native ISO range that spans from 100-51,200, and an expanded ISO range up to an astonishing 1.64 million equivalent. Those same stellar image quality and low noise virtues also apply to those shooting video, whether it’s a 4K UHD production or a mesmerizing astro time-lapse of the night sky.
Focus with Precision, Capture with Confidence
The Nikon D7500 DSLR gives photographers many new premium features and advanced Nikon technologies to help create incredible images and video:
- The D7500 is fast enough to keep pace with the quickest athletes or animals; capable of shooting at up to 8 frames-per-second (fps) with full AF/AE, with an expanded buffer of up to 50 RAW/NEF (14-bit lossless compressed) or 100 JPEG images.
- Nikon’s proven 51-point AF system covers a large portion of the frame. A Group-Area AF function has been added, which is a preferred focus mode for those shooting fast action.
- The slim, tilting 3.2” 922K-dot touchscreen LCD can be used to easily control, compose and play back, even while mounted to a tripod. The menus can also be easily navigated using the touchscreen function.
- Like the Nikon D5 and D500, the 180K RGB Metering system is used with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to help ensure balanced exposures and fantastic color rendition in nearly any shooting situation.
- Lightweight DX form factor allows for an agile, comfortable body with deep grip and comprehensive weather sealing. The monocoque body is durable and approximately 5% lighter than the D7200 and 16% lighter than the D500.
- Shoot all day and well into the night with up to approximately 950 shots per charge (CIPA standard).
- Like the D500 and D5, the Auto AF Fine Tune feature when in Live View allows users to automatically calibrate autofocus with specific lenses if needed.
- Through the Retouch menu, users can access an in-camera Batch Process RAW Converter that can handle multiple images to optimize workflow.
- The camera’s pop-up flash can act as a Commander for remote Speedlights, while the camera is also optimized to function with line-of-sight using SB-500, SB-700 and SB-5000. It can even support the radio frequency control system of the SB-5000 when using the optional WR-R10 accessory.
- New Auto Picture Control function analyzes the picture scene and automatically generates a tone curve within the camera.
- Images can automatically be downloaded to a compatible smartphone, and the camera can also be triggered remotely using Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Multimedia Capabilities for Creators
The Nikon D7500 adds in a diverse array of advanced features for multimedia content creators, including 4K UHD (3840 × 2160/30p) video capture and the ability to produce awe-inspiring 4K UHD time-lapse movies in-camera. Video files can be stored as either MOV files or as MP4 files, for greater flexibility and easier playback on a wide range of devices. Like the D500, the D7500 offers 3-axis built-in e-VR image stabilization when shooting 1080p Full HD video, and can be easily focused using the rear touchscreen function.
For the advanced videographer, the D7500 offers simultaneous 4K UHD output to card and uncompressed via HDMI, as well as a headphone and microphone jack for pro-level audio recording and monitoring. To allow for smooth exposure adjustments, the camera also supports power aperture for smooth and step-less depth-of-field transitions while users can also keep highlights in-check using visible zebra stripes in live-view mode.
Price and Availability
The Nikon D7500 will be available in Summer 2017 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1,249.95 for the body only configuration, or with a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,749.95 SRP. For more information on the Nikon D7500 as well as the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
Nikon D7500 Promotional Videos
Below are the Nikon D7500 Promotional Videos released so far:
You can pre-order the Nikon D7500 from Amazon at the moment. B&H and Adorama are currently closed for Passover, so those links are not live yet.