20.90
Megapixels
Nikon F APS-C
size sensor
image of Nikon D7500
Front side of Nikon D7500 digital camera Front side of Nikon D7500 digital camera Front side of Nikon D7500 digital camera Front side of Nikon D7500 digital camera Front side of Nikon D7500 digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Nikon D7500
Resolution: 20.90 Megapixels
Sensor size: APS-C
(23.5mm x 15.7mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 51,200
Extended ISO: 50 - 1,638,400
Shutter: 1/8000 - 30 seconds
Dimensions: 5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9 in.
(136 x 104 x 73 mm)
Weight: 25.4 oz (720 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 06/2017
Manufacturer: Nikon
Full specs: Nikon D7500 specifications

Nikon D7500 Review -- Now Shooting!

by and
Preview posted: 04/12/2017

Updates:
06/02/2017: First Shots posted
06/09/2017: Performance page posted
06/21/2017: Field Test Part I posted
07/02/2017: Field Test Part II posted
: Field Test Part III posted

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Nikon hopes to make exceptional speed, low-light performance and video features accessible to many more photographers with the new Nikon D7500 DSLR. The D7500 borrows numerous features from the D500, including its 20.9-megapixel sensor, EXPEED 5 image processor, metering system and 4K UHD video recording capabilities, all while cutting down on size and cost.

Nikon D7500 Key Features

  • Redesigned monocoque body with improved weather-sealing
  • 20.9-megapixel DX CMOS image sensor
  • Native ISO range of 100-51,200, expandable to 50-1,640,000
  • EXPEED 5 processor
  • Continuous shooting up to 8 frames per second (fps)
  • Auto Picture Control
  • In-camera batch RAW processing
  • 4K UHD video recording up to 30p
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • SnapBridge functionality
  • US$1,250 body-only price

Best Lenses for the Nikon D7500

What lens should you buy?

Want the full overview of the Nikon D7500? You'll want to click here for our complete rundown of what's new and what's not. Just want to know how it shoots in the real world? Read on for our first field test below!

 

Nikon D7500 Field Test Part III

Sports shooting, videos and reader questions: My final field test has them all!

By | Posted:

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

40mm-equivalent, 1/160 sec. @ f/6.3, ISO 100

Over the last few weeks, I've posted two field tests looking at how the Nikon D7500 performs in the real world. In my first field test, I took Nikon's enthusiast DSLR on the road to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, then followed up with a daytime shoot back home in Knoxville, Tennessee. In the second field test, I continued with a sunset and evening shoot, rounding things out nicely with a raft of gallery shots across the sensitivity range.

If you've not already read those two field tests, I recommend you start there to get the full benefit of my real-world shooting experiences. Click here to read the first field test, or click here for the second one.

For the third test, I want to move the focus away from still image quality for a bit, and take a look at sports shooting performance and movie capture, as well as answering a few reader questions that cropped up since my previous reports.

The Nikon D7500 focuses quickly and confidently; shoots swiftly too

To get a feel for the Nikon D7500's performance, my son and I headed to the nearby tourist town of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to the Xtreme Racing Center, a go kart track which has previously featured in some of my other DSLR reviews, as it makes for a good test of autofocus capabilities. A couple of reasonably long straights are coupled with the fastest karts I've found in the area, and there's easy access near the end of the straights without crossing any barriers.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

262mm-equivalent, 1/500 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100

After making some measurements off the map in comparison to my own photos and their EXIF timestamps, I've previously estimated them to have a top speed of somewhere around 25mph, a little shy of the claimed 40mph, but still somewhere in the ballpark. A few years after the track first opened, the karts themselves might be starting to look decidedly scruffy and second-hand now, but they still give me a reasonably predictable subject which is fast-moving and can come very close to the camera. And at other points around the circuit I can shoot the karts from oblique angles for an even tougher challenge.

Unfortunately, the weather hasn't been terribly cooperative lately, with a lot of rain and thunderstorms -- invariably right when I was available to go shooting. And as luck would have it, it had apparently rained fairly heavily not long before our arrival, as the karts were all parked and switched off.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/500 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100

A little patience paid off, though, as within an hour or so, the track had dried back up and the tourists were back out turning laps once more. And in the meantime, I was able to while away the time testing out the D7500's face detection capability when shooting through the viewfinder, answering a reader request in the process. (We'll come back to that in just a moment.)

So what did I think of the Nikon D7500 after shooting the karts for an hour or two, predominantly using the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens? I have to say, I came away very impressed indeed. For a DSLR at this pricepoint, continuous autofocus was very swift and confident, and most of the time very accurate as well.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/100 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100

And when other, closer karts passed between me and my subject, the D7500 wasn't too quick to shift focus to the closer subject, meaning that most of the time I didn't lose more than the frame where my view of the kart I was focusing on was partially obscured. And on those occasions where, say, a couple of karts in quick succession meant that focus did leap to the new foreground subjects, it never took more than a frame or two to reacquire a focus lock on the correct subject once they'd passed.

And it wasn't just the autofocus performance that was swift, either. The Nikon D7500's burst capture speed also satisfied, and its buffer was generous enough that even shooting in raw+JPEG mode at the maximum JPEG quality, I could still rattle off a burst of shots following my subject almost all the way from one end of the straight to the other.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/500 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100

And I was seriously impressed with just how well the Nikon D7500 handled subjects very close to the camera. The last camera I shot with at the same track, Ricoh's Pentax K-3 II, definitely wasn't able to keep up as well in this respect. Thanks to its ability to keep up to fast-moving subjects so relatively close to the camera, the D7500 actually scored me some shots where the single kart I was shooting extended well beyond the image frame on both sides.

I have to say that in terms of autofocus and burst capture performance, shooting with the Nikon D7500 is a very satisfying experience indeed!

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/400 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 100
A mixed bag in the video department, but great-quality videos are certainly possible

With sports shooting out of the way, let's talk about video capture for a moment. The great news here is that the Nikon D7500 is capable of recording ultra high-definition 4K video in-camera, and it does so with great quality.

I watched a generous selection of day and night 4K videos on my 55-inch Sony 4K TV, and came away very impressed with the D7500's ability to hold onto fine details in daylight, as well as its reasonably fine-grained noise in night shooting. I did notice some rolling shutter effect in panning shots, with skewed verticals noticeable when panning fairly swiftly across a scene, but I don't think it's enough to be too objectionable.

Daytime video, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels @ 30 frames per second

Daytime video, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels @ 60 frames per second

So what's the bad news? For 4K shooters, one potential concern is that the Nikon D7500 applies a 1.5x focal length crop, presumably as it cannot clock sufficient data off the full sensor width quickly enough to shoot without a crop. (You can see this in my sample videos, which were shot from the same locations and at the same focal lengths for both Full HD and 4K clips.)

What this means is that shooting wide-angle 4K video on the Nikon D7500 will prove challenging, as you will face an additional 1.5x crop on top of the 1.5x crop caused by the use of a DX-format image sensor instead of a full-frame one. And even for non-4K movies,you can also find yourself facing an additional crop, depending upon your camera setup. That's because the D7500 pairs any lens-based image stabilization with an electronic stabilization system, and this too will cause a crop, although the function (and the crop which it causes) can be disabled through the menu system.

Night video, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels @ 30 frames per second

Night video, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels @ 60 frames per second

The crop when using electronic stabilization is absolutely necessary, though, as it's what provides the leeway for the camera to move the active area around the sensor and thereby counter motion. But if you want the widest possible field of view, you'll want to disable this.

And the presence of electronic stabilization is also worth noting for tripod shooting, where I was initially a little perplexed as to why the D7500's Full HD videos showed a little choppiness when panning -- until I realized that although I'd disabled mechanical stabilization on the lens, electronic stabilization was still active. Once disabled, panned videos were as smooth as I expected them to be.

Night video, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels @ 30 frames per second

Time-lapse video, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels @ 30 frames per second

Also, autofocus during movie capture is a weak spot on the Nikon D7500, as it relies solely on contrast-detection, and isn't the fastest contrast-based system we've seen either. Of course, AF performance is going to vary from lens to lens, but unless you're happy with very obvious focus adjustments and hunting -- probably accompanied by some noise from the lens, as well -- then you're not going to want to rely on autofocus during video capture. You can pull focus manually, of course, but unfortunately just as for still imaging, there's no focus peaking in live view mode, so manually focusing accurately during capture isn't the easiest task, either.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

84mm-equivalent, 1/800 sec. @ f/7.1, ISO 100
Face detection isn't just limited to live view mode

And that brings me to the end of things I'd planned to investigate myself, but I did get a few reader questions which I wanted to quickly answer, too. The first such question related to face detection, and specifically to the Nikon D7500's ability to locate and focus on faces when shooting through the viewfinder, not using its live view mode.

This functionality is active by default, although there's no indication of this other than the fact that focus points over the detected face will show a lock as you trigger an autofocus cycle. However, that's different from the typical behavior of focusing on the closest object, which would be the case were face detection disabled. (And you can choose to do that, if you want.)

As I mentioned earlier, I tested this out while waiting for the go kart track to dry out and racing to recommence. My son gamely assisted with the test, standing at various distances as I shot photos of him with a couple of different lenses, having him stand near to or behind other objects, turn his face at an angle, etc.

So long as his face was mostly or entirely covered by the AF area and both eyes were visible, the system seemed to detect his location pretty robustly. You don't get to choose *where* on the face the D7500 will focus, but it did reliably put the point of focus on his face somewhere, and at least with the lenses I had on offer, that was always close enough that his eye was reasonably sharp. (You do need to bear in mind that it's possible neither eye will be beneath a physical focus point, though, so if you're using a really bright lens wide-open, you may want to rely on manually placing a focus point over the eye instead, if possible.)

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

210mm-equivalent, 1/250 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 560

Given that there are already a couple of shots of my son in the already-extensive gallery which were shot at default settings -- and hence with the feature already enabled -- I've not added any more in my final round of gallery photos.

Active D-Lighting and Picture Controls are old features, but useful ones

One final request I received was for feedback on Nikon's Active D-Lighting and Picture Controls functions. These features have been included on Nikon's DSLRs for very close to a decade now, since they were first introduced with the Nikon D3 and D300 back in August 2007.

I must admit, with so much to discuss in reviewing Nikon's DSLRs, these very useful tools tend not to get so much coverage these days. For those of you who want to see what they can achieve, though, I've shot three full picture series showing all of the different default Picture Control settings, plus two series showing the effects of Active D-Lighting.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Auto
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Standard

Picture Control: Neutral
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Vivid

Picture Control: Monochrome
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Portrait

Picture Control: Landscape
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Flat

Let's look at the Picture Controls first, where the effect of the function is quite obvious. There are a total of eight picture controls to choose from: Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape and Flat.

Each applies different levels of brightness, contrast, clarity, hue, saturation and sharpening, much as you could do in Photoshop on your computer, and each preset allows you to adjust the look to your own tastes as well. (For monochrome images, you can also simulate the effects of different color filters on the lens, and add a tint to the final monochromatic image.)

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Auto
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Standard

Picture Control: Neutral
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Vivid

Picture Control: Monochrome
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Portrait

Picture Control: Landscape
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Flat

IR reader and new D7500 owner Bruce Fenster reported in our comments that he finds the Auto and Standard settings to be a bit much for his tastes, compared to his earlier Nikon D7100. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a D7100 body myself to confirm that, but even though these effects are intended to provide commonality across Nikon's DSLRs, I wouldn't be too surprised if there are some minor variations from model to model, especially in the ~4.5 years since the D7100 arrived on the scene.

In my own shooting -- and I captured a couple of dozen Picture Control series, not just those which appear in the gallery -- I found that the Auto and Standard controls were near-indistinguishable from each other, suggesting that the Nikon D7500 strongly favors the Standard picture control when set to Auto.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Auto
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Standard

Picture Control: Neutral
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Vivid

Picture Control: Monochrome
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Portrait

Picture Control: Landscape
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Picture Control: Flat

For my own personal tastes, I felt the saturation of the Standard control was a bit on the high side, a look consumer photographers tend to favor, but that the contrast was a little lower than ideal. I personally prefer the Neutral profile, which yield most realistic, less punchy color, but this setting has a little lower contrast than I'd like, by default.

The solution, for both Bruce and myself, is to remember that we can tweak these presets, which really just offer a starting point from which to work. To do so, highlight the Picture Control which is closest to your desired look in the menu system, then hit the right arrow and tweak the various options for that preset.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Off
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Low

Active D-Lighting: Normal
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: High

Active D-Lighting: Extra High
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Auto

User-modified presets are indicated in the Picture Control menu with an asterisk, and you can easily return to the defaults by repeating the same procedure to access the options, then hitting the Delete button to return them all to their original setup.

Active D-Lighting, meanwhile, is rather more subtle, at least unless you opt for the strongest effect levels, so it's harder to see what's happening at first glance. What it does, though, is to identify areas of clipped highlights and blocked shadows, and then pull the highlights back and open up the shadows a little, restoring more detail in both areas.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Off
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Low

Active D-Lighting: Normal
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: High

Active D-Lighting: Extra High
Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

Active D-Lighting: Auto

If the Active D-Lighting strength is too high, though, this can have the unwanted side effect of introducing color gradients where they shouldn't be, something which can be especially noticeable in buildings. (The walls appear to get gradually darker towards the top of the building, which can look rather unnatural.)

Again, I shot a good couple of dozen different series using all of the Active D-Lighting settings, then compared them back in the office. Personally, I felt the Auto setting tended to offer a nice balance between restoring highlight and shadow detail, and yet still yielding a pretty natural-looking image. I did find the effect much more noticeable in highlights than shadows, though, perhaps because Nikon is trying to avoid introducing objectionable noise by lifting the shadows too much.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

183mm-equivalent, 1/500 sec. @ f/5.6, ISO 100

And with that, we come to the end of my third and final field test. As for the rest of our review, there's still plenty more to come as the Nikon D7500 finishes its trip through our lab. Watch this space for the remainder of our lab samples, and our in-depth analysis of image quality as well as direct comparisons to the D7500's predecessors and rivals!

To make a long story short, I've greatly enjoyed shooting with the Nikon D7500, even if it lacks a few features like portrait grip support, dual flash card slots and support for metering with Nikon's older lenses. It's a really good sports shooter, offers great image quality, and can also yield very good videos if you don't mind the sensor crop associated with 4K footage, and don't need unobtrusive full-time autofocus. If you can't justify the additional cost of the DX-format flagship Nikon D500, which lists for close to twice as much, I think you'll be very pleased indeed to own the Nikon D7500!

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

78mm-equivalent, 1/400 sec. @ f/10.0, ISO 100

 

 

Nikon D7500 Review -- Overview

by Jeremy Gray
Preview posted: 04/12/2017

Camera body: Smaller & lighter than the D7200 but with new features

The Nikon D7500 has a redesigned body compared to its predecessor's. Gone are the D7200's magnesium-alloy top and rear panels. The D7500's new monocoque carbon fiber composite body has a deeper grip and includes "comprehensive" weather sealing. As a result, the camera is 5% lighter than the D7200 and is also slimmer and a bit shorter. Its dimensions are 5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9 inches (135.5 x 104 x 72.5 millimeters), and it weighs 22.6 ounces (640 grams) body-only. The D7200's dimensions are 5.3 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches (135.5 x 106.5 x 76mm) with a body-only weight of 23.8 oz or 676g.

Looking at the top of the camera, there is a mode dial to the left of the built-in flash and hot shoe. The drive mode dial is underneath the locking mode dial. Speaking of the built-in flash, the flash has a guide number of 39 feet (12 meters) at ISO 100. The camera's max flash sync is 1/250s (up to 1/320s at reduced range) and flash compensation is available for -3 to +1 EV in 1/3 and 1/2 EV increments. Auto FP High-Speed Sync up to 1/8000s is supported with compatible external flash units.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Moving to the right of the built-in flash and viewfinder pentaprism, the D7500 has a slightly rearranged button layout. Like the D500, the D7500 includes all exposure controls within the reach of your right index finger, including dedicated ISO and exposure compensation buttons. There is also a dedicated movie record button on the top of the camera. Adjacent to the buttons is an informational display that can be illuminated.

The rear of the Nikon D7500 is dominated by its 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen display with about 922,000 dots of resolution. Using the touch capabilities, you can control menus, setup, playback with swiping through images, as well as being able to tap-to-focus in Live View mode. Both its touch and tilt functionality are new additions when compared to its predecessor. To the left of the display are a wide array of buttons, which are very similar to those found on the D7200. The right side of the back of the camera is similar as well, with a lockable directional pad, AE-L/AF-L button and rear command dial above a Live View button and switch. The D7500 swaps the Info button for the 'i' button, which are now on the left and right side of the display respectively.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Like its predecessor, the D7500 includes a pentaprism optical viewfinder with 100% coverage. The viewfinder has 0.94x magnification, which is a 35mm equivalent of 0.63x magnification. Eye relief is 18.5mm and there is a -2.0 to +1.0m-1 diopter adjustment.

Overall, the Nikon D7500 body has a refined design that is very similar to the D7200. We will need to wait until we get one in our hands to see how it feels in the field, but its new tilting touchscreen display and relocated ISO button should prove to be improvements for overall usability. The D7500 continues to be aimed at enthusiast photographers and looks to be rugged enough for many users.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Nikon D7500 Shooting Features

The same 20.9-megapixel APS-C sensor as the Nikon D500

As hinted at by its name, the Nikon D7500 comes equipped with the same image sensor as last year's flagship DX camera, the Nikon D500. The sensor at the heart of the D7500 is a 20.9-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with a focal length multiplier (or "crop factor") of about 1.5x, like other Nikon DX cameras. Distinctly, the 20.9 megapixel count is less than 24.2-megapixel sensor found in its predecessor, the D7200. This marks the first time Nikon has dipped below 24 megapixels in the D7000-series since the original 16-megapixel D7000. So why decrease megapixels? In order to improve high ISO image quality as well as burst performance.

Our Exposure test results of the D500 should be an excellent indication of the image quality performance you can expect from the D7500 given the identical image sensor. Although the dynamic range at base ISO is higher for the D7200 than the D500's sensor, dynamic range performance at higher ISOs is better with the newer 20.9-megapixel sensor.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

The D7500 offers a native ISO range of 100 to 51,200, which is wider than the D7200 ISO range of 100-25,600. When you extend the ISO, the D7500 widens its lead over its predecessor. The D7500 can extend down to ISO 50 and up to a whopping ISO 1,640,000 equivalent. In contrast, the D7200 offered an extended ISO up to 51,200 and 102,400, but only in black and white modes.

Additional image sensor features include built-in sensor cleaning as well as the lack of an optical low-pass filter, which will result in sharp, although more moiré-prone, images (the D7200 also lacked an anti-aliasing filter). There is one difference between the D500 and D7500 in the imaging department: the D500 offers 14-bit or 12-bit uncompressed, lossless compressed and compressed RAW shooting in three image sizes: large, medium and small (medium and small always use 12-bit lossless compression) whereas the D7500 only offers large RAW files and doesn't include an uncompressed option.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Overall, the Nikon D7500 looks to offer very impressive imaging performance from its 20.9-megapixel DX sensor. Compared to its predecessor, it has traded in a few megapixels of resolution for a much wider ISO range and improved dynamic range at higher ISOs.

Autofocus and Exposure

Although the image sensor is new, the autofocus system in the Nikon D7500 is not. The new DSLR utilizes the same 51-point Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 II DX system as its predecessor. The autofocus system includes 15 cross-type sensors, of which the centermost point is f/8 compatible -- ideal for working with long lenses and teleconverters. The low-light working range of the autofocus system is rated for -3 EV, which is impressive but is 1 EV higher than the D500's autofocus system.

Autofocus modes include dynamic area autofocus (9, 21 or 51 points), single-point AF, 3D-tracking and group-area autofocus. The group area autofocus is a relatively new advancement for Nikon cameras and is found in their pro-oriented models. The mode uses 5 autofocus points for tracking a subject through the frame.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Introduced in the Nikon D5 and D500 last year, Automatic AF Fine Tune comes to the D7500 as well. This feature allows the user to automatically calibrate autofocus for their lenses to help ensure that autofocus performance is accurate. Some lenses require AF micro adjustments, which has traditionally required the user to manually calibrate their lenses, but Auto AF Fine Tune is a much faster process.

Live View autofocus continues to rely on contrast-detect autofocus. The Nikon D7500 does allow the user to touch the rear display to move the autofocus point around the entire frame. Live View-exclusive autofocus modes include wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF and Face-Priority AF in addition to an AF-A mode, which is a full-time servo autofocus drive mode.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Metering is another area where the D7500 borrows from the D500. The Nikon D7500 uses the same 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor found in the D500 and D5 DSLRs, whereas the D7200 utilized a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor. The more sophisticated metering sensor in the D7500 should also help with subject recognition and AF tracking.

Metering modes include matrix (3D color matrix metering III), center-weighted (75% weight to an 8mm central circle, the size can be changed by the user), spot (centered on the selected focus point when using a CPU lens, center point otherwise) and highlight-weighted metering. The D7500 also offers +/-5 EV exposure compensation and exposure bracketing up to nine frames in 1/3 or 1/2 steps. Note that the D7500 dropped the D7200's mechanical AI coupling lever, which means metering and aperture-priority is no longer supported with older non-CPU AI Nikkors, though you can still use manual exposure mode without metering. We doubt most D7500 users will care, but it is something to keep in mind if you plan to use old AI lenses.

The shutter speed range is the same in the D7500 as the D7200: 30s to 1/8000s, plus bulb and time modes. The fastest shutter speed of 1/8000s is good for shooting action or using fast lenses in bright light. A faster all-electronic shutter mode is not offered, however an electronic front-curtain shutter is now available for reduced vibrations, but only in mirror-up release mode. The shutter unit is rated for 150,000 actuations, the same as the D7200, but now includes a shutter monitor, which automatically corrects shutter speeds for improved accuracy.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image
Performance has improved considerably thanks to EXPEED 5 image processor

Performance is an area of focus for Nikon and their new D7500 enthusiast DSLR. Paired with the new sensor is the EXPEED 5 image processor found in the D5 and D500 DSLRs. This sensor claims 30% faster performance than the D7200.

Taking a look at Nikon's specs for its new camera, the D7500 is said to offer up to 8 frames per second with full AE and AF functionality. This is over 3fps faster than the D7200 with RAW capture and over 2fps faster when shooting JPEGs. Shooting faster is great, but buffer depth is very important for sports and wildlife shooters and the D7500 aims to impress there as well. The D7500 claims a 50-frame buffer depth when shooting 14-bit RAW files and over 100 JPEG frames. Compared to its predecessor's lab results, this is 32 additional RAW files and over 44 more JPEG shots.

Clearly, continuous shooting performance is an area Nikon where wanted to step up their game for their D7000-series. The inclusion of the EXPEED 5 processor in the D7500 and its resulting performance gains over the D7200 should surely excite sports and wildlife photographers in particular. Hopefully when we receive the D7500 to run through our lab, it will be able to meet its impressive specifications.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image
Shooting Modes: New Auto Picture Control adjusts tone curve on the fly

In addition to the standard suite of exposure modes -- such as aperture and shutter priority, manual and programmed auto -- the D7500 also includes scene modes and special effects modes. There is also a multiple exposure mode, which lets you capture up to 10 images and create a composite. The D7500 lets you lighten and darken each individual frame, too, as well as save the individual frames as standalone images.

An exciting new feature for the D7500, and one which Nikon told us we should expect to see in future Nikon cameras, is Automatic Picture Control. This mode leverages the new metering sensor with its advanced scene recognition capabilities to deliver Picture Control functionality which changes on the fly depending on what you are shooting. The camera recognizes your subject and adjusts the tone curve accordingly. It will be interesting to see how well this new feature works in the real world when we get the camera out in the field. If you would like to use a traditional Picture Control, you can select from Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait, Standard and Vivid.

Active D-Lighting returns in the D7500, offering Auto, Extra High, Normal and Low modes in addition to Active D-lighting bracketing. You can process images with Active D-Lighting after capture as well. Additional in-camera processing includes a new RAW batch processing feature.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image
Nikon SnapBridge

Continuing Nikon's connectivity trends, the Nikon D7500 comes with built-in Bluetooth (4.1) in addition to Wi-Fi for full Nikon SnapBridge compatibility, but it loses NFC. Nikon SnapBridge allows users to connect their D7500 to a compatible smart device and have their images automatically downloaded to their device as they shoot, even when the camera is powered off. Nikon SnapBridge also offers remote shooting capabilities.

Video Features: Nikon D7500 is their most affordable 4K camera yet

If you thought the Nikon D7500 introduced plenty of new still image capture features, you should also be impressed with its video capabilities. Whereas the D7200 topped out at Full HD video, the D7500 can now capture 4K UHD video (3,840 x 2,160) at up to 30p.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Beyond sheer capture capabilities, the D7500 includes an array of exciting features for videographers. The camera can simultaneously record 4K UHD video to an external recorder and the internal memory card. In this usage case, the camera sends an uncompressed 4K UHD signal out to the external device via HDMI -- which has been optimized for 4K UHD video -- and a compressed video is recorded to the memory card. Further, the camera includes microphone and headphone jacks, which are critical for serious video shooters looking for the best audio recording and monitoring capabilities. The D7500 also includes zebra stripes in Live View, support for power aperture for smoother aperture changes during recording and Auto ISO functionality. For time lapse fans, the D7500 can create 4K UHD time lapse movies right in the camera.

The D7500 includes exciting features for Full HD video recording as well. Unlike its predecessor, the D7500 can record up to 1080/60p video across the full image sensor (the D7200 was limited to 1.3x crop for 1080/60p video). Additional Full HD video features include a new 3-axis electronic VR image stabilization system and Active D-Lighting video.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Video files are recorded in MOV or MP4 file format, and the maximum movie recording time is 29 minutes, 59 seconds. Each movie is recorded in up to eight individual files, each up to 4GB in total size. Video compression comes in the form of H.264-MPEG-4 advanced video coding. If you aren't using an external mic, the D7500 records stereo audio using built-in mics.

Storage, ports and power

The Nikon D7500 records to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and unlike the D500 and D7200, the D7500 offers only a single card slot. This camera supports UHS-I cards but does not include UHS-II support. The D7500 includes an Accessory Terminal, a Type-C HDMI port, a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Micro-B port, a 3.5mm stereo mic jack and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. The camera is compatible with Nikon's GP-1/GP-1A GPS unit and WR-1 and WR-R10 wireless remote controllers, meaning that the camera is also fully compatible with Nikon's radio-equipped SB-5000 flash unit in addition to being able to control Nikon speedlights via line of sight with the built-in flash. The Nikon D7500 also supports Nikon's MC-DC2 remote cord and ML-L3 infrared remote, though it only has a front IR receiver (the D7200 had front and back receivers).

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Regarding power, the Nikon D7500 relies on an EN-EL15a lithium-ion battery, which is the same size, has the same 7.0V 1900mAh rating, and is backwards compatible with the EN-EL15 used in the D7200. The battery provides up to 950 shots per charge which while excellent, is less than the D7200's 1,110 shots from its battery. A dedicated MH-25a battery charger is included but in-camera charging via USB is not supported. An optional EH-5c AC Adapter is available and requires an EP-5b Power Connector. Sadly, the D7500 is not compatible with the D7200's MB-D15 battery grip and Nikon doesn't list a battery grip that is.

Similarities with the Nikon D500

The Nikon D7500 shares many features with the D500, hence its model name of D7500 instead of D7300. The similarities between the D7500 and D500 (and in some cases even the flagship full-frame D5) include:

  • 20.9-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • Electronic front-curtain shutter (in mirror-up mode)
  • 180k-pixel RGB metering sensor
  • Tilting touchscreen display
  • 4K UHD video recording at up to 30p
  • Nikon SnapBridge

Compared to the Nikon D7200

Despite the interesting naming convention, the D7500 is the successor to the D7200. Nikon's newest DX DSLR includes a wide array of differences compared to its predecessor, including:

  • Camera body: The D7500 body is smaller and lighter than the D7200 despite a deeper grip and comprehensive weather-sealing. Further, the D7500 includes a tilting touchscreen display whereas the D7200 had a fixed non-touchscreen display.
  • Different image sensor: The D7200 relied on a 24-megapixel DX sensor, whereas the D7500 employs the same 20.9-megapixel sensor as the flagship D500 DSLR. This may be a decrease in megapixel count, but the sensor in the D7500 offers a wider ISO range than the one found in the D7200.
  • New processor: The D7500 pairs its sensor with an EXPEED 5 image processor, which offers much improved continuous shooting performance compared to the D7200 (the slightly lower megapixel count also helps).
  • Autofocus: While the same 51-point Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 II DX module is used, group-area autofocus mode has been added, the new exposure metering sensor and faster processor should improve AF tracking, and Auto AF Fine Tune is now supported.
  • Shooting features: With in-camera batch RAW processing and the new Auto Picture Control capabilities, the D7500 offers more shooting modes than its predecessor. There's also an electronic front-curtain shutter option and a new shutter monitor.
  • Video features: Whereas the D7200's video recording was capped at Full HD resolutions, the D7500 can record 4K UHD video at up to 30p. Further, the D7500 has advanced videography features such as simultaneous 4K recording to an external device and the internal memory card.
  • Connectivity: Like other recent Nikon cameras, the D7500 adds Bluetooth to its Wi-Fi capability to offer full Nikon SnapBridge functionality. NFC has been dropped, as well as the rear IR remote receiver.
  • Storage: The D7500 only gets a single SD card slot, while the D7200 had dual slots. Both cameras support UHS-I but not UHS-II types.
  • Power: Despite a new battery, CIPA battery life has dropped slightly from 1,110 to 950 shots. Unlike the D7200, a Nikon battery grip for the D7500 is not available.

Our Nikon D7500 outlook

It is difficult to evaluate a camera based on its specifications and press information, but the Nikon D7500 shows a lot of promise. We are excited by the inclusion of many features from the Nikon D500, including the image sensor, processor and metering sensor.

The D7500 should also please users with its new tilting touchscreen display. 4K UHD video recording is obviously an area where Nikon wants to improve its accessibility, as the D7500 is now the most affordable DSLR in their lineup to include 4K UHD video recording.

Nikon D7500 Review -- Product Image

Its promised specifications showcase faster continuous shooting performance and improved buffer depth, making this Nikon's fastest camera in this price range and not much of a step down in that regard from the flagship DX camera, the D500. All in all, we are certainly looking forward to getting our hands on the Nikon D7500, and you can look forward to continued coverage of Nikon's latest enthusiast DSLR!

Nikon D7500 pricing and availability

The Nikon D7500 begins shipping from June 2017 in body-only and kit configurations. The body alone lists for just under US$1,250. The standard kit comes with the same AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens as the D7200 kit and lists for just under US$1,750. The Nikon D7500 will also be available bundled with the AF-S 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR or the AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens with list prices of about US$2,320 and US$2,000 respectively.

 

Nikon D7500 Field Test Part I

Above ground and below, the D7200 successor performs in the real world

by Mike Tomkins |

Nikon D7500 field test photoSome seven years ago, Nikon plugged the gap between its professional DSLR lineup and its more consumer-friendly offerings with the launch of a brand-new, mid-range DSLR camera series. The Nikon D7000 was the first product in that line, and it was aimed with laser-like precision at enthusiast photographers.

With no replacement as of then having been offered up for the earlier D300 and D300S, and full-frame as yet still only available in pro-grade bodies, the D7000 became the company's de-facto flagship enthusiast DSLR from late 2010. And the same was true of its DX-format successors, the D7100 and D7200, which launched in early 2013 and 2015 respectively to bear the APS-C flagship crown themselves.

Let's banish the elephant from the room, first of all
But we're in 2017 now, and things have changed significantly -- both in the marketplace, and for the D7000 specifically. The Nikon D500 finally made its arrival on the scene last year, taking over the D7200's throne as the preeminent Nikon DX-format DSLR. That has necessitated a shift in positioning for the subsequent Nikon D7500, and has thus brought a few feature changes which have raised hackles among Nikonian enthusiasts who cut their teeth on the earlier cameras.

Nikon D7500 Field Test Part II

Once more unto the breach: We head back out for more day and night shooting!

by Mike Tomkins |

Nikon D7500 field test photoA week or so back, I posted my first Field Test for the Nikon D7500, an enthusiast-oriented followup to the extremely popular D7200. (Not already had a chance to read that first report? If so, you'll want to start here and then return to this page when you're done.)

At the time, I noted that an unfortunate mistake on my part meant that I'd missed capturing any raw files for my first batch of shots, instead recording only compressed JPEGs. Hence, I wanted to return as quickly as I could with a second field test rectifying this.

Two more shoots, one in the day and one spanning sunset
With an overnight road trip to Cincinnati, Ohio planned anyway to take my son to see a show by his favorite YouTube celebrity, I took the D7500 along for the journey and shot a bunch of daylight photos. (After very, very carefully double-checking to be sure I enabled raw capture this time.)

 

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