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
: Field Test Part I 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 I

Above ground and below, the D7200 successor performs well in its first real-world test

By | Posted:

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

40mm-equivalent, 1/40 sec. @ f/3.0, ISO 25,600

Some 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.

Given that they're something of an elephant in the room, I think it's good that we get the discussion out of the way right upfront relative to these few shortcomings, because they distract from what's otherwise still a very powerful and capable camera -- just one which doesn't now share quite the same enthusiast camera cachet as its siblings. So what's missing?

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

72mm-equivalent, 1/80 sec. @ f/3.5, ISO 140
No portrait grip, dual slots or metering with old lenses

Well, perhaps the most significant omission for my money is the lack of any provision for a portrait / battery grip accessory. Sure, a third-party grip could potentially be made which would mount using the D7500's tripod socket, but since there's no electronic connectivity with which to interface with the camera (nor even a removable battery door to allow piggybacking off the existing battery compartment), it's very unlikely that a third-party grip could allow for greater battery life or dedicated portrait-orientation controls.

At this level, the omission of such a significant feature surprises me, and with my larger-than-average hands and love for portrait grips, it would probably be enough to make me personally consider buying the D500 instead, despite its much cheaper pricetag. Whether or not it should do the same for you will depend on how much you shoot in portrait orientation, whether you want to avoid changing batteries too often (although as a DSLR, this isn't such a big concern as it would be for an EVF-based camera), and whether you tend to prefer a portrait grip for ergonomic reasons.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

120mm-equivalent, 1/400 sec. @ f/5.0, ISO 100

And there are two other similarly significant omissions which may persuade you to look higher up Nikon's line to a more expensive model, as the company doubtless intends. For one thing, there's only a single SD card slot. That means you can't keep a backup in case of card failure, and nor can you segregate your data by file type as it is captured, should you prefer to do so.

Of course, the extra slot can only protect against failure caused by an individual flash card, and it's possible that you could find both cards corrupted simultaneously for other reasons, but that added layer of belt-and-suspenders safety is nevertheless worth having. And I doubt the extra slot added terribly much to the weight, size or cost of the D7500.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

24mm-equivalent, 1/25 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 11,400

Finally, the Nikon D7500 also lacks an Ai indexing tab on its lens mount. This is an issue which will only be of concern if you want to use older lenses, but also want the camera to be able to meter for you. Where earlier D7000-series cameras could use center-weighted or spot metering with many older lenses, and could even offer Color Matrix metering with AI-type lenses, all of the above will be usable only in fully manual mode on the D7500. Unlike its predecessors, this camera can only meter with CPU lenses. (But if you're only shooting modern glass, this won't be an issue for you.)

Don't let those shortcomings dissuade you unless you'll definitely need them

Do I wish that Nikon had kept all three features in the D7500? Undoubtedly, but I can also understand that the decision not to include them was likely made because the company was concerned about cannibalizing D500 sales. And this is a significantly affordable more camera than that one. Still, the D7500 is if anything just fractionally more expensive than was the D7200 before it, and that camera was nevertheless able to offer all three features. It's definitely a shame that they're not included in the D7500.

But enough of that -- there's a lot more to the Nikon D7500 than those few features it now lacks. And this is a form factor which really appeals to me, I have to say. Although I probably spend more time shooting with mirrorless cameras these days because that's what's been on hand for review, I'm still a DSLR guy at heart, and my own daily shooter is currently the Pentax K-3, a direct rival with similar capabilities to the D7000-series cameras.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

27mm-equivalent, 1/15 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 51,200

I love that attachment which only an optical viewfinder has yet given me to my subjects. Even if electronic viewfinders do continue to get ever closer to matching their optical viewfinder brethren, I still don't think they're quite there yet.

The Nikon D7500 is impressively light for a fully-featured, enthusiast DSLR

So I was keen to try out the Nikon D7500, and got my hands on our sample just as soon as the lab was done with its first round of testing. On taking it out of the box, I was immediately impressed by how relatively light is the D7500, for a DSLR camera. The earlier D7200 was already a noticeably 40g lighter than my aforementioned Pentax K-3. And now, thanks to its new carbon fiber composite body, the Nikon D7500 is another 35 grams lighter than its predecessor, and a whopping 75 grams lighter than the K-3.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

108mm-equivalent, 1/50 sec. @ f/4.0, ISO 51,200

To put that difference in context, consider that the battery packs used in the D7500 and K-3 (the Nikon EN-EL15 and Pentax D-LI90 respectively) each tip the scales at around 78 grams. That means Nikon has managed to remove almost half the battery's weight from its new model, and that a ready-to-shoot Nikon D7500 without its lens weighs almost exactly as much as the Pentax K-3 with neither lens nor flash card included. It's significant, and enough to notice immediately when you pick up the camera.

Yet despite its lighter weight, it still feels very solid indeed. I couldn't detect a hint of panel flex or creak anywhere on the Nikon D7500's body. Really, the only way I could tell that I wasn't handling a mag-alloy bodied camera is that the D7500's body panels don't feel cold to the touch when first you pick it up, as a metal-bodied camera would do.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

120mm-equivalent, 1/125 sec. @ f/4.0, ISO 1250
Comfortable in-hand with intuitive controls (and lots of them!)

The control layout is typical Nikon, and for the most part pretty intuitive. It always takes me a little while to readjust to the fact that the lens unscrews from the mount in the opposite direction to my Pentax bodies, and to the fact that by default, shutter and aperture controls are assigned to the opposite dials, but that's an adjustment I've made many times before, and you won't have to jump back and forth between brands as I do, so it won't affect you unless you're about to switch brands.

All of the main controls are where I want them to be, though, and the buttons have good feel, while the dials have a satisfying click detent and locks to prevent accidental turns. I do prefer Pentax's on-demand mode dial lock when I'm having to make frequent mode adjustments - there's no getting around the fact that at least two fingers are required to spin the D7500's exposure and drive mode dials -- but I'd rather a locking dial than one which cannot be locked at all.

And Nikon's smart button placement, with video capture, ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation easily within reach behind the shutter button, while the AE/AF-lock button falls directly under my thumb, really couldn't be much better.

The front-panel controls are too easy to forget, but handy when you remember them

Really, my only control complaints with the D7500 are that I find it quicker and more intuitive to control playback zoom from dials rather than buttons, as Nikon does, and that the placement of the user-configurable function 1 / 2 buttons makes them rather too easy to forget. They're tucked inside the handgrip, with the function 1 button falling under my middle fingertip, and function 2 just within reach of my little fingertip.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

123mm-equivalent, 1/500 sec. @ f/4.5, ISO 100

I have pretty big hands, though, as I'm 6'1" tall. That meant I tended to press the Fn1 button accidentally more often than I remembered to do so intentionally -- thankfully it just defaults to enabling and disabling the artificial horizon -- but also means that while I can reach Fn2 with my little finger, you may need to adjust your grip a little to do so. (It defaults to changing the image sensor crop, another function which you likely won't use too regularly.)

But those slight niggles aside, I really do like the Nikon D7500's control layout, and I found it very comfortable in-hand, even when shooting for hours at a time without a chance to set the camera down.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

153mm-equivalent, 1/160 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 220

Some great glass for my Nikon D7500 review

Of course, your choice of lens is important here too. When it first arrived, my Nikon D7500 sample came complete with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II lenses, and I've just received a copy of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens which I'll be using in my second field test as well.

Both the 16-80mm and 18-140mm lenses are pretty lightweight, and pair beautifully with this body. The 70-200mm is rather heavier, as suggested by its included, detachable tripod foot. It focuses and zooms internally, and although a two-handed grip is basically a given when shooting with this lens, even it could feasibly be shot one-handed in a pinch, especially towards the wider end of its range.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

217mm-equivalent, 1/250 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 400
Some great lessons learned at Mammoth Cave

As it happened, just shortly after my review sample arrived, I had a quick overnight trip already arranged to visit Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, and so that became my first shooting experience with the Nikon D7500 as well. I really couldn't have chosen a much more challenging subject. Not only are ambient light levels very low once you get down into the incredibly sprawling, 405-mile connected network of caves, but the National Park Service also doesn't allow flash photography, tripods or monopods. So for the duration of my 2.5-hour cave tour, I'd be shooting entirely handheld.

Unfortunately, while attempting to corral an overactive eight-year old I made a couple of slips in getting my gear set up, as you'll see from my shots in the gallery. Firstly, I somehow missed enabling raw capture, although I could have sworn I did so. I also missed enabling VR on the lens, although the Nikon D7500's epic sensitivity range saved the day here, roaming as high as the native maximum of ISO 51,200-equivalent to get the shot. (And yielding reasonably usable results despite needing such a high sensitivity.)

But lesson definitely learned on my part: Wrangling kids at the same time as configuring a new and unfamiliar camera body is a bad idea. Mea culpa! (And fear not, I'll have plenty of raws in my second round of gallery shots, coming soon. Watch this space!)

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

187mm-equivalent, 1/200 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 560
Quiet shutter-release mode is great for avoiding unwanted attention

One feature I did thankfully remember was the Quiet shutter-release mode, which is set using the lower of the two dials which sit, stacked wedding-cake style one above the other, on the Nikon D7500's left shoulder. With the cave being such a peaceful environment, I really didn't want my liberal use of the shutter button disturbing anyone else's experience.

The function works by disabling camera sounds, and by delaying the reflex mirror's return motion until you release the shutter button, as well as by allowing a little more time to prepare the mirror and shutter mechanisms for the next shot. By spreading everything out over a longer period, the effect is that the camera is significantly quieter at any given moment. And despite that, it's available for continuous photography too, albeit at a sedate three frames per second. (But for street shooting, that's likely plenty.)

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

217mm-equivalent, 1/250 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 500

But if you're not shooting sports or other similarly active subjects, three fps is likely plenty. For example, when shooting a wedding you're unlikely to want the full burst performance of the D7500, and you'll by happy to trade off that speed so as not to draw too much attention to yourself. It occurred to me as I was using Quiet shutter-release mode in the caves that it could also be handy for street photography, where you don't typically want your subjects to notice and react to the camera's presence.

The D7500's autofocus system did as well as could be hoped in such difficult conditions

Another thing I quickly realized while shooting in the cave was that it was going to prove an even more difficult subject than I'd realized. With the exception of the people, most everything down there was much the same color, and unless near to a light, there was pretty little contrast as well.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/1,000 sec. @ f/3.2, ISO 100

The D7500 could still manage to autofocus some of the time, if I could find at least a somewhat-contrasty subject at the right distance, but with the best will in the world no camera was going to to a great job focusing down there. And nor could I manage to focus accurately enough through the viewfinder, either, in such dim light.

Sadly, there's still no focus peaking in the Nikon D7500

What I ended up doing was to shoot in live view mode instead, having first turned the display brightness down to its minimum so as not to blind myself of course. I could grab a quick shot or two, then switch live view back off until I was ready for some more shooting, thereby keeping my light pollution to a minimum.

But even once having enabled autofocus assist to zoom the live view image, focusing manually with such low-contrast subjects was tricky. I could really have made good use of focus peaking here, as it can outline higher-contrast edges to make it more obvious where the point of focus lies. Sadly, the enthusiast-oriented Nikon D7500 still lacks this feature, which seems absurd given that these days the function can be found even in sub-$500 pocket-friendly cameras like the Sony RX100.

It's time for a more colorful real-world subject!

While my Mammoth Cave tour shoot was a lot of fun -- and a great opportunity for some father-son bonding -- it was perhaps not the best representation of real-world use, though. There's just not that much opportunity to get interesting shots when you're constantly having to keep moving, and you have to shoot entirely handheld with available light.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

202mm-equivalent, 1/200 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 450

A more realistic real-world subject was called for, and so I headed out to downtown Knoxville, Tennessee at the first chance I got on my return. (And sadly, not yet having had the opportunity to offload my photos and realize I'd missed enabled raw mode. D'oh!)

Great daytime image quality, even in out-of-camera JPEGs

As I wandered around downtown looking for new angles on familiar subjects, I was welcomed by an absolutely gorgeous day that gave me a chance to see how the Nikon D7500 handled some real memory colors. Rich, blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds, lush green foliage thanks to plenty of recent rain, and plenty of warmth between the late afternoon sun and the many brick buildings really let me appreciate the D7500's low-sensitivity image quality, and I loved what I saw from it.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

82mm-equivalent, 1/100 sec. @ f/3.8, ISO 450

And as it happened, I stumbled upon a peaceful demonstration in favor of LGBT rights, complete with TV news crews and a representative from the mayor's office with a prepared speech, a subject which made for some cool shots too. Feeling rather inspired by the lovely day and with my creativity fully unleashed thanks to the new tilting, touch-screen display, I found more than a few angles from which I'd never tried a shot before, and I think that comes across nicely in my gallery.

There's plenty more to come soon in my second field test!

No question about it: The Nikon D7500 is a really fun camera to shoot with. It's responsive, comfortable in-hand and yields great results -- in the daytime, at least. My brief dalliance with high-sensitivity shooting in the cave aside, I've yet to really stretch the D7500's high ISO capabilities, something you can be sure I'll be doing in my second field test.

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

300mm-equivalent, 1/320 sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 320

I'll also be seeking some more active subjects, and filling in for the missing raw files in this first field test as promised. And of course, I'll also be looking at the D7500's video capabilities, too. Got any features you want to see tested? If so, sound off in the comments below and I'll do my best to oblige!

And in the meantime, watch this space...

Nikon D7500 review -- Sample photo

46mm-equivalent, 1/100 sec. @ f/5.0, 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 will be available sometime this summer in body-only and kit configurations. The body alone will cost just under US$1,250. The kit comes with the same AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX lens as the D7200 kit and will retail for just under US$1,750.

 

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