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In today’s post, we will compare two mid-range Nikon cameras, the Nikon D7100 and Nikon D7200. The D7200 marks the successor to the previously released D7100 and the more recent offering in the Nikon D7000 series lineup of upper mid-range DSLR cameras. In many respects, these are both identical cameras that share much of the same features. And Nikon aims the successor as more of a refinement than a complete overhaul. However, considering that it’s more of an incremental update, are the changes worthwhile for users to forgo the lower, yet, more affordable body? Today, we will answer that question and assess the key differences between these cameras to help you understand which is best for you.
Size & Dimensions
Physically, both cameras are identical in measurements and weight. In this case, both measure at 136 x 107 x 76 mm and weigh 765g.
Physical Controls & Ergonomics
In controls and design, both cameras are also identical. They both feature a magnesium alloy construction for added durability and enough controls for excellent manual control.
Both cameras feature optical viewfinders with 100% coverage of the image area and large x0.94 magnifications.
Both cameras have fixed 3.2-inch wide-angle TFT LCDs with resolutions of 1.23M dots.
Both cameras feature top deck LCDs, useful to display critical shooting parameters.
While both cameras feature 24MP sensors, the successor now includes an updated EXPEED 4 image processor, which boasts 30% faster processing speeds over EXPEED 3. Overall, this added processing power translates into faster camera operation and strengthens the buffer size. Not only that, the successor now provides a two-stop improvement in native ISO range, moving from a maximum of ISO 6,400 to 25,600. Combining this change with the updated processor allows the camera to deliver cleaner images without any banding in low light environments up to ISO 6,400, though subtle. Otherwise, both cameras are mostly identical in raw image quality. Both lack Anti-Aliasing filters, allowing for sharp images with excellent dynamic range and color rendering.
The successor now shoots 1080p Full HD video up to 60 fps, though at the drawback of an additional 1.3x crop. While the predecessor technically also shoots 1080p at 60 fps, it does so in the lower interlaced mode, which doesn’t provide the same quality the progressive mode delivers in the new camera. With that, to shoot in the predecessor’s best format, you do so at 1080p at 30 fps. So while the crop is not ideal at 60 fps, at least the camera now offers the possibility of shooting slow-motion Full HD video.
The successor adds Auto ISO when filming video. Auto ISO automatically adjusts ISO to maintain even exposure throughout video recording, regardless of lighting changes. Overall, it is essential as it compensates for changes in ambient light that would otherwise ruin video recordings.
The successor now adds a flat picture profile, which lends the captured footage to better post-production grading and highlight recovery.
The successor also adds zebras for exposure clipping indication.
Both cameras feature 51-point AF systems, where 15 of their points are cross-type enabled. However, the successor inherits the same autofocusing module as the D750, which delivers better overall AF performance, especially during low light. It can now focus down to an impressive -3 EV. Nevertheless, while not drastically improved, the updated system creates a better overall system.
The successor features improved battery longevity, where it now provides a whopping 1,100 shots per charge compared to the predecessors 950. This change represents a 15% improvement and is one of the key selling point features of the newer camera.
User Interface & Menus
Both cameras feature the same user interface and menus.
While both cameras have identical continuous burst speeds of 6 fps, the successor provides a much-needed improvement in buffer depth. It now can shoot 18 RAW images, instead of 6, or up to 100 JPEGs in a row before buffering. A weak buffer was ultimately the predecessors main drawback for sports applications. However, Nikon improving this now makes the successor a compelling budget-friendly option for fast-paced shooting.
The successor now features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, allowing users to wirelessly connect the camera to a smartphone for image transfer and remote control. The predecessor, however, lacks this feature built-in and requires an auxiliary adapter to enable these functions.
Both camera feature built-in intervalometers for time-lapse shooting. However, the successor now supports exposure smoothing, which removes flickers in exposure over the duration of the lapse, significantly saving time during post-production.
Both cameras include built-in pop-up flashes.
Both cameras have headphone and microphone inputs.
Both cameras are weather sealed.
Both cameras have dual SD cards.
Neither camera offers 4K recording.
Neither camera features image stabilization.
Both cameras have fixed rear screens without touch functionality.
Neither camera offers an AF joystick for more immediate AF point selection.
So which is best?
Well, as you can tell, both cameras are virtually identical. In the end, the main reasons to upgrade to the newer D7200 are if you desire its improved battery life, buffer depth, built-in Wi-Fi, or Auto ISO. For some, these additions will provide the added value necessary to justify its price. Otherwise, the D7100 remains equally capable and an excellent camera that offers better value.