Nikon D7500 Review
|Full model name:||Nikon D7500|
(23.5mm x 15.7mm)
|Viewfinder:||Optical / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Extended ISO:||50 - 1,638,400|
|Shutter:||1/8000 - 30 sec|
|Max Aperture:||2.8 (kit lens)|
5.3 x 4.1 x 2.9 in.
(136 x 104 x 73 mm)
includes batteries, kit lens
|Full specs:||Nikon D7500 specifications|
It's no longer the DX-format flagship, but the Nikon D7500 is nevertheless an extremely capable camera, and comes with a pricetag that's much more affordable than the D500, despite including the same imaging pipeline and many of the same features. Its light and comfortable carbon fiber body packs in serious performance and great image quality, but should a few feature subtractions sway you in favor of its flagship sibling? Find out now in our in-depth Nikon D7500 Review!Pros
New carbon fiber body is light, compact and very comfortable; Same excellent image quality as the flagship D500; Quick 8.2 frames per second burst shooting with generous buffer; Very fast, accurate autofocus; Tilting touch-screen display; Very good battery life; Records ultra high-def 4K and 60fps Full HD too.Cons
Only a single flash card slot; Doesn't support portrait / battery grip accessories; No rear infrared receiver any more; non-CPU AI lenses will be manual only; 4K video comes with a heavy crop; Movie AF is prone to hunting, Extended ISO sensitivities are a gimmick.Price and availability
The Nikon D7500 began 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 is also available bundled with the AF-S 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR or the AF-S 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR lens with list prices of about US$2,320 and US$2,000 respectively.Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
Nikon makes exceptional speed, low-light performance and video features accessible to many more photographers with the D7500. 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.
- 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 8.2 frames per second
- 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, just $50 more than the D7200 at launch
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.
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 a status display that can be illuminated.
The rear of the 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.
Like its predecessor, the D7500 includes a pentaprism optical viewfinder with approximately 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 D7500 body has a refined design that is very similar to the D7200, but its new tilting touchscreen display and relocated ISO button are improvements to overall usability. The D7500 continues to be aimed at enthusiast photographers and appears to be rugged enough for many users.
As hinted at by its name, the 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.
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 results 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.
Although the image sensor is new compared to the D7200's, the autofocus system in the 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.
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 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.
Metering is another area where the D7500 borrows from the D500. The 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 helps 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 are 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.
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 claim was confirmed by our Performance lab tests, with the D7500 even managing a slightly higher frame rate of 8.2fps. 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 managed a 47 frame buffer depth when shooting lossless 14-bit raw files, and 100 best quality JPEG frames. Compared to its predecessor's lab results, this is 29 additional raw files and 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 will surely excite sports and wildlife photographers in particular.
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. If you would like to use a traditional Picture Control, you can select from Standard, Landscape, Monochrome, Neutral, Portrait 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.
Continuing Nikon's connectivity trends, the 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: D7500 is their most affordable 4K camera yet
If you thought the 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. However, just like the D500, the D7500's 4K video has a 1.5x crop factor (on top of the camera's 1.5x APS-C crop).
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.
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.
The D7500 records to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, but unlike the D500 and D7200, the D7500 offers only a single card slot. Like the D7200, this camera supports UHS-I cards but does not include UHS-II support like the D500 does.
The D7500 includes an Accessory Terminal, a Type-C Mini 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 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).
Regarding power, the 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 D7500's battery life is CIPA-rated at up to 950 shots per charge when using the optical viewfinder which while excellent, is less than the 1,110 shots the D7200 is rated at.
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 doesn't have the necessary connections and support for a proper battery grip.
Similarities with the Nikon D500
The 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.
Field Test Part I
Above ground and below, the D7200 successor performs in the real world
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.
Field Test Part II
Nikon's enthusiast DSLR heads back out for more day and night shooting!
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.)
Field Test Part III
Sports shooting, videos and reader questions: My final field test has them all!
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.
Image Quality Comparison
See how the D7500's IQ compares to its siblings and rivals
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...
Print Quality Analysis
But how does it look on paper?
The 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.
The latest in a well-loved series of feature-rich enthusiast DSLRs
The Nikon D500 now rules the roost as the company's flagship sub-frame (or DX-format, in Nikon parlance) DSLR, and the D7500 is positioned directly beneath it in the line, offering many of its features at a significantly more affordable pricetag. Perhaps understandably, though, the D7500 lacks a few of the features found in its predecessors, as Nikon has reserved these for the flagship model instead.
In the Box
The Nikon D7500 bundle (as tested) contains the following items:
- D7500 camera
- Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR lens (kit)
- HB-75 lens hood
- Front and rear lens caps (kit version only)
- EN-EL15a lithium-ion battery (7.0V, 1,900mAh)
- Battery terminal cover
- MH-25a Battery charger
- AC wall adapter or power cable (varies by region)
- DK-28 rubber eyecup
- DK-5 eyepiece cap
- BF-1B body cap
- AN-DC3 neck strap
- Warranty cards
- Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. Faster UHS-I types are recommended.
- Additional lenses
- Extra EN-EL15a battery pack
- Speedlite external flash strobe such as the SB-700 or SB-910
- Camera bag
Buy the Nikon D7500
$829.99 (8% less)
24.35 MP (14% more)
Also has viewfinder