Nikon D7500 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Nikon D7500's image quality to its predecessor's, the D7200, as well as to its big brother's, the D500. We've also included a few recent competitors in this comparison: the Canon 80D, Pentax KP and the Sony A6500.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Nikon D7500, Nikon D7200, Nikon D500, Canon 80D, and Sony A6500 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Nikon D7500 to any camera we've ever tested!

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D7200 at Base ISO

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 100
Nikon D7500 at ISO 100
Nikon D7200 at ISO 100

Here we compare the D7500 to its predecessor, the D7200. As you can see, image quality and processing are quite similar here at base ISO, though the 24-megapixel D7200 does resolve a touch more detail than the 21-megapixel D7500, as expected. Colors are a little more pleasing and accurate from the D7500, though.

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D500 at Base ISO

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100
Nikon D7500 at ISO 100
Nikon D500 at ISO 100

Compared to its much more expensive big brother, the Nikon D500, image quality is virtually identical. This is no surprise, though, since the two siblings share the same sensor and processor with just minor tweaks to default processing.

Nikon D7500 vs Canon 80D at Base ISO

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 100
Nikon D7500 at ISO 100
Canon 80D at ISO 100

Here, we compare the 21-megapixel D7500 its closest competitor from Canon, the 24-megapixel Canon 80D. Resolution is a bit higher from the Canon, but thanks to the lack of an optical low-pass filter, the Nikon nearly resolves as much detail. Both show noticeable sharpening halos along high-contrast edges, but the Nikon's image is much crisper and contrastier. The Canon's image is a little smoother with slightly lower visible noise, but that's mostly due to differences in processing as well.

Nikon D7500 vs Pentax KP at Base ISO

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 100
Nikon D7500 at ISO 100
Pentax KP at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel Pentax KP resolves more detail than the D7500 here at base ISO. Both cameras produce a sharp, crisp image though contrast is higher from the Nikon, giving the D7500 image more "pop". Colors are more pleasing and accurate from the Nikon, particularly noticeable in the pink fabric which is too magenta from the Pentax. Aliasing artifacts are a little more evident from the Pentax, but keep in mind it has an on-demand AA filter simulator (turned off for these shots), which the Nikon does not.

Nikon D7500 vs Sony A6500 at Base ISO

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
Nikon D7500 at ISO 100
Sony A6500 at ISO 100

At base ISO, the 24-megapixel Sony A6500 resolves noticeably more detail than the 21-megapixel D500, thanks to its higher resolution, very weak (or absent) optical low-pass filter, and more advanced processing. The Nikon image is a touch more vibrant with better color, but sharpening halos are quite evident while they are practically nonexistent from the Sony. The Sony shows more obvious moiré patterns in the red-leaf fabric here, but again keep in mind the OLPF-less D7500 could easily show more with different subject matter or the same subject at a different distance.

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D7200 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 1600
Nikon D7500 at ISO 1600
Nikon D7200 at ISO 1600

The older D7200 continues to capture more detail than the D7500 in most subject matter, but noise is a little higher from the D7200, allowing the D7500 to produce slightly cleaner results while doing noticeably better with our difficult red-leaf swatch. Colors are a little warmer and more pleasing from the D7500 as well.

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 1600
Nikon D7500 at ISO 1600
Nikon D500 at ISO 1600

Here at ISO 1600, the two siblings continue to produce very similar results, though the D500 appears to retain slightly better detail.

Nikon D7500 vs Canon 80D at ISO 1600

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 1600
Nikon D7500 at ISO 1600
Canon 80D at ISO 1600

The 24-megapixel Canon 80D manages to resolve a bit more detail than the D7500 in most areas here at ISO 1600, but noise is slightly higher and less fine-grained from the Canon, and noise reduction artifact are more visible. The D7500 continues to produce a sharper, crisper image with slightly warmer colors.

Nikon D7500 vs Pentax KP at ISO 1600

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 1600
Nikon D7500 at ISO 1600
Pentax KP at ISO 1600

The Pentax KP continues to resolve more detail than the D7500 with less obvious sharpening halos, but luminance noise "grain" is higher and coarser from the Pentax, and contrast remains higher from the Nikon. Almost all detail has been blurred away by the Pentax in our troublesome red-leaf swatch, and the Nikon continues to produce more pleasing and accurate color.

Nikon D7500 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 1600100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 1600
Nikon D7500 at ISO 1600
Sony A6500 at ISO 1600

The Sony A6500 still manages to render more detail than the Nikon D7500 with better sharpness yet fewer sharpening halos, though noise levels are a little higher. Contrast is higher from the Sony in the red-leaf swatch, however moiré patterns continue to interfere with detail here. Colors are not as pleasant from the Sony, and noise "grain" does not appear quite as consistent as the D7500's in flatter areas.

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D7200 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 3200
Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200
Nikon D7200 at ISO 3200

The Nikon D7200 still manages to retain a bit more detail than the D7500 at ISO 3200, but the D7500's image shows noticeably lower noise levels and manages to render our red-leaf swatch a little better than the D7200, though both smudge much of the fine detail away.

Nikon D7500 vs Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200
Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200
Nikon D500 at ISO 3200

Once again, very similar images from the D7500 and D500 here at ISO 3200, though again the D500 retains a bit more detail.

Nikon D7500 vs Canon 80D at ISO 3200

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 3200
Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200
Canon 80D at ISO 3200

The Nikon D7500 easily bests the Canon 80D here at ISO 3200, with better detail, much better clarity, lower noise, and fewer noise reduction artifacts.

Nikon D7500 vs Pentax KP at ISO 3200

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 3200
Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200
Pentax KP at ISO 3200

Similar to what we saw at ISO 1600, the Pentax KP retains considerably more detail in high contrast areas, but luminance noise is higher, and our tricky red-leaf swatch is now so heavily blurred by its anti-noise processing, that it appears as almost a flat, solid red.

Nikon D7500 vs Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200
Sony A6500 at ISO 3200

The Sony A6500 still manages to produce a sharper, more detailed image overall than the Nikon D7500 at ISO 3200, but noise and noise reduction artifacts are more noticeable, and the Nikon continues to produce better color. Much of the apparent detail in the Sony's rendering of the red-leaf pattern appears distorted instead of just being blurred.

Nikon D7500 vs. Nikon D7200, Nikon D500, Canon 80D, Pentax KP, Sony A6500

100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 100100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 100
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 3200100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 3200
100% crop from Nikon D7500 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Nikon D7200 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Nikon D500 test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Canon 80D test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Pentax KP test image taken at ISO 6400100% crop from Sony A6500 test image taken at ISO 6400
Nikon
D7500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D7200
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Nikon
D500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Canon
80D
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Pentax
KP
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Sony
A6500
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. High-contrast detail is also important, pushing the camera in different ways, so we like to look at it, too. As can be seen above, the D7500 does a little better than its predecessor as ISO rises, with less image degradation at higher ISOs. Performance here again is quite similar to the D500. While resolution is a bit higher from the Canon 80D and Pentax KP, both degrade more rapidly than the D7500 as sensitivity is increased. The Sony A6500 is the overall winner here, though, with excellent detail and contrast, and the least amount of degradation at higher ISOs.

 

Nikon D7500 Print Quality Analysis

Excellent 30 x 40 inch prints at ISO 50-400; a nice 16 x 20 at ISO 1600; and a good 5 x 7 at ISO 12,800

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageISOs 50, 100 and 200 deliver superb prints at 30 x 40 inches, with rich, vibrant colors and crisp fine detail throughout. Larger prints are certainly fine as well for wall display purposes until resolution becomes an issue at your intended viewing distance.

ISO 400 also yields a nice 30 x 40 inch print. There is perhaps the slightest drop in overall crispness as compared to the lower ISOs, but not enough to keep this print size from an overall good rating.

ISO 800 prints are very nice at a robust 24 x 36 inches, which is a terrific output for this ISO from the APS-C world. As with virtually all cameras of APS-C or smaller sensors, there is now a slight softening in the red channel, most noticeable as less contrast detail in our tricky red-leaf swatch, and mild noise is apparent in a few flatter areas of our test target as well. But otherwise a nice overall print.

ISO 1600 produces images that are quite good at 16 x 20 inches. The 20 x 30 inch prints here can also be used for wall display purposes or less critical applications, but there is perhaps a trace too much noise in some areas to pass our good seal for prints.

ISO 3200 delivers a 13 x 19 inch print that is quite nice, with full color reproduction still on display and little in the way of obvious noise or noise reduction artifacts. There is very good fine detail remaining as well. Overall, this is quite a large print for ISO 3200 in the APS-C world.

ISO 6400 shots are good at 11 x 14 inches, although this ISO is where the D7500 begins to show slight signs of ISO strain. As with most cameras in this class, there is now some noticeable softening in the red channel, and mild noise in a few flatter areas of our target, but not enough to keep this print from attaining the good grade. For your most critical printing purposes a reduction to 8 x 10 is certainly wise here.

ISO 12,800 yields a 5 x 7 inch print that is quite good for this ISO and sensor size. Full color is still represented, and it’s sharp enough to make out a decent amount of fine detail for this size.

ISO 25,600 prints are quite good at 4 x 6 inches. That’s not a large size, but this is a lofty ISO, and at least you know there is something worthwhile for printing purposes.

ISO 51,200 does not deliver good prints and is best avoided, although for less critical applications the 4 x 6 inch prints here are not too bad.

Extended high ISOs are too noisy and discolored, and we question why Nikon continues to include such high ISO settings in an APS-C camera.

The Nikon D7500 delivers prints that rival the best of the best from the APS-C world. You can expect large print sizes up to ISO 1600, and yet can still achieve a good 11 x 14 inch print at ISO 6400. For the price this is very much a camera to be reckoned with for sheer image quality as ISO rises, and it delivers terrific value for the money in that regard. Once again, and as with so many of their offerings we have seen and tested over the past few years, a terrific job to Nikon in the print quality department.

About our print-quality testing: Our "Reference Printer"

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageTesting hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which we named our "Printer of the Year" in our 2015 COTY awards.

The Canon PRO-1000 has a lot of characteristics that make it a natural to use for our "reference printer." When it comes to judging how well a camera's photos print, resolution and precise rendering are paramount. The PRO-1000's more than 18,000 individual nozzles combine with an air feeding system that provides exceptional droplet-placement accuracy. Its 11-color LUCIA PRO ink system delivers a wide color gamut and dense blacks, giving us a true sense of the cameras' image quality. To best see fine details, we've always printed on glossy paper, so the PRO-1000's "Chroma Optimizer" overcoat that minimizes "bronzing" or gloss differential is important to us. (Prior to the PRO-1000, we've always used dye-based printers, in part to avoid the bronzing problems with pigment-based inks.) Finally, we just don't have time to deal with clogged inkjet heads, and the PRO-1000 does better in that respect than any printer we've ever used. If you don't run them every day or two, inkjet printers tend to clog. Canon's thermal-inkjet technology is inherently less clog-prone than other approaches, but the PRO-1000 takes this a step further, with sensors that monitor every inkjet nozzle. If one clogs, it will assign another to take over its duties. In exchange for a tiny amount of print speed, this lets you defer cleaning cycles, which translates into significant ink savings. In our normal workflow, we'll often crank out a hundred or more letter-size prints in a session, but then leave the printer to sit for anywhere from days to weeks before the next camera comes along. In over a year of use, we've never had to run a nozzle-cleaning cycle on our PRO-1000.

See our Canon PRO-1000 review for a full overview of the printer from the viewpoint of a fine-art photographer.

*Disclosure: Canon provided us with the PRO-1000 and a supply of ink to use in our testing, and we receive advertising consideration for including this mention when we talk about camera print quality. Our decision to use the PRO-1000 was driven by the printer itself, though, prior to any discussion with Canon on the topic. (We'd actually been using an old Pixma PRO 9500II dye-based printer for years previously, and paying for our own ink, until we decided that the PRO-1000 was the next-generation printer we'd been waiting for.)

 



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