Now that the Nikon D7500 has been officially announced, it is a good time to see how it compares to its predecessor in terms of features and specifications. While Nikon definitely improved the D7500 on a number of different areas, whether it is the faster 8 fps continuous shooting, a larger buffer, better metering system or other ergonomic and firmware improvements, there are some definite drawbacks one needs to be aware of before deciding to upgrade. Let’s take a look at these changes in more detail and see how the two cameras tack up against each other.
First, let’s go over the bare specifications:
Nikon D7500 vs D7200 Specification Comparison
|Camera Feature||Nikon D7500||Nikon D7200|
|Sensor Resolution in Pixels||20.9 Million||24.2 Million|
|Sensor Pixel Size||4.22µ||3.92µ|
|Low Pass Filter||No||No|
|Sensor Dust Reduction||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||5,568 x 3,712||6,000 x 4,000|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 5||EXPEED 4|
|Built-in Flash||Yes, with flash commander mode||Yes, with flash commander mode|
|Nikon CLS Radio Flash Control||Yes||No|
|Storage Media||1x SD||2x SD|
|Memory Card Support||UHS-I only||UHS-I only|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||8 FPS||6 FPS, 7 FPS in 1.3x Crop Mode|
|Buffer Size (RAW, 14-bit Lossless Compressed)||50||18|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 to 30 sec||1/8000 to 30 sec|
|Shutter Durability||150,000 cycles||150,000 cycles|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||180,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III||2,016-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-51,200||ISO 100-25,600|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 102,400-1,640,000||ISO 51,200-102,400 (B&W only)|
|Autofocus System||Advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX II||Advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX II|
|Focus Points||51-point, 15 cross-type AF system||51-point, 15 cross-type AF system|
|AF Detection||Up to f/8||Up to f/8|
|AF Detection Range||-3 to +19 EV||-3 to +19 EV|
|Auto AF Fine-Tune||Yes||No|
|Group AF Mode||Yes||No|
|Exposure Bracketing||9 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV||9 frames in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV|
|Video Output||MOV, H.264/MPEG-4||MOV, H.264/MPEG-4|
|Video Maximum Resolution||3,840×2160 (4K) up to 30 fps||1920×1080 (1080p) up to 60 fps|
|Video Recording Crop (in 35mm Equivalent)||2.25x||1.5x|
|Number of intervals in Time-lapse||Up to 9,999||Up to 9,999|
|4K Time-lapse Recording||Yes||No|
|LCD Size||3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD||3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD|
|LCD Resolution||922,000 dots||1,228,800 dots|
|Built-in Wi-Fi / NFC||Built-in, no NFC||Built-in, with NFC|
|Battery Grip Accessory Option||N/A||Nikon MB-D15 Multi-Battery Power Pack|
|Battery||EN-EL15a Lithium-ion Battery||EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery|
|Battery Life||950 shots (CIPA)||1,110 shots (CIPA)|
|Battery Charger||MH-25a Quick Charger||MH-25a Quick Charger|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes, Improved Sealing||Yes|
|Weight (Body Only)||640g||675g|
|Dimensions||135.5 × 104 × 72.5mm||135.5 x 106.5 x 76mm|
|MSRP Price||$1,249 (as introduced)||$1,199 (as introduced)|
Nikon used the same sensor as on the D500, so there is a small difference in both resolution and pixel size, with the D7500 losing a bit of resolution in exchange for a slightly better image quality at high ISOs. It should not make a huge difference for most photography needs, so I do not look at it as a negative. Where there is a definite improvement is in the newer EXPEED 5 processor, which is what helps the D7500 push much faster 8 fps continuous shooting speed, along with the ability to shoot 4K video. But the biggest welcome change on the D7500 is its buffer size – it went up from a very small buffer capable of holding only 18 images to a much more respectable buffer that can accommodate 50 14-bit losslessly compressed RAW images. This means that one can continuously shoot for over 6 seconds without slowing down the D7500 – a big change compared to the 3 second burst shooting on the D7200.
Although the number of focus points remain the same at 51, the D7500 has an added Group AF focusing mode from the higher-end DSLRs, which will aid in capturing erratically-moving subjects like birds in flight. It also gains the amazing 180K-pixel meter from the Nikon D500, as well as the Auto AF Fine-Tune feature from the D500 and D5 cameras. This allows the camera to calibrate lenses in Live View mode.
The Nikon D7500 can shoot 4K videos, but as can be seen from the above table, the video footage has a 2.25x combined crop (relative to 35mm / full-frame cameras). While the crop can be useful for recording videos of far subjects such as wildlife and sports, one needs to be very careful when shooting video with standard lenses due to this video crop. The crop is also an indication that Nikon is utilizing pixel-level data instead of down-sampling so there is no sensor size advantage unfortunately.
The viewfinder magnification went up from 0.91x to 0.94x, which is definitely a welcome change. The D7500 is now able to control radio-controlled Nikon flashes, which is another great addition compared to the D7200 that cannot. The camera also gains a tilting, touchscreen LCD, which is a definite plus, although I wish it was a fully articulating LCD screen instead. The resolution of the LCD screen also went down a little, which is not that big of a deal in my opinion. The size and the weight of the camera also went down, making the D7500 a very lightweight DSLR and Nikon has moved up to a slightly different EN-EL15a battery. Although CIPA numbers state that the battery life has decreased from 1,110 shots to 950, I would not worry about the numbers too much, since CIPA testing takes into account 4K video recording, LCD viewing and other CPU-intensive tests that can drain the battery quickly. If you just take pictures, you should be able to yield about the same number of shots from both cameras.
Ergonomically, the D7500 is slightly improved compared to its predecessor. It has a deeper grip and its ISO button is positioned near the shutter release, similar to the D500. The tilting LCD screen will also be great for shooting at high and low angles, adding to more comfort and versatility in the field.
Now let’s talk about the negatives. Nikon sadly decided to move down from dual SD slots to a single SD slot, which is a huge drawback in my opinion, especially for those who shoot critical jobs. It is clear that Nikon wants to re-position the D7500 as a lower-end camera when compared to its competition and the D500, and it does not want the two cameras to compete with each other for sports and wildlife photography. Another clear disadvantage of the D7500 is the inability to mount a battery grip, which is going to be a deal breaker for many photographers out there that prefer to use a battery grip for improved ergonomics and ability to use more than one battery.