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In today’s post, we will compare two popular upper-mid digital SLR cameras from Nikon, the Nikon D7200 and D7500. The D7500 is the replacement and successor to the previously released D7200. It aims to better cater the series to enthusiasts who desire to shoot both photography and videography, while also serving as a mediator between their entry-level and professional level cameras. Today, we will cover the key differences between these two cameras to help you understand which is best suited for your shooting demands, as each has its advantages. So then, which of these cameras is best for you? Let’s find out.
Size & Dimensions
In physical size and weight, the successor is slightly smaller and lighter, though not enough to be immediately perceivable in hand. We’re comparing sizes of 136 x 104 x 73 mm versus 136 x 107 x 76 mm, which equates to a 4% reduction in size. And a 640 g versus 675 g, a 5% reduction in weight. In all, these are rather insignificant differences and both cameras are moderately small for digital SLRs.
Physical Controls & Ergonomics
The primary reason for the reduction in weight is the successor is now composed of primarily a carbon fiber composite body without magnesium plates. With this change, Nikon claims the successor now features better weather sealing. While difficult to quantify, the successor does offer a noticeably deeper and more pronounced grip, making it quite comfortable to hold during prolonged use.
From a physical buttons standpoint, both cameras are largely identical. The main changes are, firstly, the swap of the Metering button to a dedicated ISO button instead, a welcomed addition similar to the D500. Secondly, the removal of the Depth of Field Preview button, replaced with an additional function button, FN1, instead. This particular change is good, as it allows for added customization. But, simultaneously, disappointing as the camera now lacks any direct way to perform this functionality, the only option now is using Live View. Otherwise, both cameras have identical button layouts and configurations.
While both cameras feature 3.2-inch TFT LCDs, the successor offers greater flexibility with the addition of a tilting touchscreen display, similar to the D500 and a first for the 7000 series cameras. An articulating screen proves incredibly helpful for low or high-angle shooting, as it removes the backbreaking effort usually required to do so. The display also features excellent viewing angles, ample brightness for composing outdoors, and the touchscreen implementation is well done. Though the successor features slightly less resolution than the predecessor at 922K dots instead of 1.23M dots, the difference is negligible during real-world usage.
Both cameras feature optical viewfinders with 100% coverage and a large magnification of 0.94x.
Both cameras also feature top deck LCDs, which are useful to review critical shooting parameters when shooting at waist level.
In their raw resolving power, the predecessors the stronger of the two cameras, with its slightly larger 24.2MP sensor. The predecessor inherits the same, smaller, 20.9 MP sensor from the D500, but, simultaneously, boasts the updated EXPEED 5 image processor. The new processor delivers improved sensitivity, which gives the camera the distinct advantage of stronger high ISO low light shooting performance. Both cameras do, however, lack Anti-Aliasing filters, allowing them to resolve maximum detail, albeit at the chance of moiré. And overall, both deliver excellent images with accurate color rendering. So, in the end, both cameras excel at slightly different shooting demands, so which is ultimately best in this regard will come down to your specific needs.
The successor now boasts 4K UHD video recording, though it does so with an additional 1.5x crop, effectively making the sensor smaller than a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Outside of that, both cameras shoot 1080p Full HD up to 60 fps, though to do so on the predecessor, you incur an additional 1.3x crop. The successor, however, shoots at this resolution at full sensor width. With these additional crops, you will need wider angle lenses to achieve even standard angles, so neither is truly ideal as a video camera, though they could work if needed. Nonetheless, the movie capabilities on the successor are sufficiently improved, and it makes for the superior camera in this regard.
Both cameras share the same 51-point AF system, where 15 of their points are cross-type compatible. Overall, both systems deliver adequate performance to cover most shooting demands. The difference here is the successor now inherits group-area AF from the D500, which provides better subject tracking performance during still shooting. However, both cameras deliver virtually unusable video focusing, where severe hunting occurs. In short, if you want to shoot video on either camera, manual focus is the only option.
In battery longevity, the predecessor takes the lead by delivering 1,110 shots per charge life compared to only 950, a 13% reduction. The change is due to the redesigned EN-15a battery, instead of the longstanding EN-EL15.
User Interface & Menus
Both cameras feature virtually identical user interfaces and menus. However, as the successor features a touchscreen, navigating the menus is significantly more intuitive. It also supports pinch to zoom during playback, and touch focus. Overall, these additions make it into the superior camera for its ease of use.
The successor boasts faster continuous shooting speeds, now moving up to 8 fps from 6 fps. It also delivers a substantially deeper buffer, providing 50 RAW images instead of only 25 per burst. Overall, the 2x improvement in buffer capacity and faster shooting speeds makes it a more feasible option for sports and wildlife applications.
Both cameras features Automatic AF Fine Tune, inherited from the D500, which automatically micro-adjusts the attached lens to make the focus more accurate. This feature is perfect for those who want to finetune their lenses to ensure precise focusing, as lenses tend to drift with time.
Both cameras have built-in time-lapse modes.
Both cameras have built-in pop-up flashes.
Both cameras have wireless connectivity.
Both cameras have headphone and microphone inputs.
The successor now features an electronic front curtain shutter, which reduces unwanted vibrations when shooting long exposures caused by the shutter mechanism.
Probably the greatest disappointment is the successor now oddly has only a single SD card slot, not dual SD cards like the predecessor.
The successor now lacks connections for use with an external battery or vertical grip, a feature found in the predecessor.
So which is best?
Well, if you’re looking for the strongest imaging performance and resolution, the D7200 is best. It delivers better resolving ability, which makes it the better choice for those strictly shooting photography. It also features better battery life, dual SD cards, and the possibility for an external grip, all of which greatly aid in shooting stills. However, if you’re looking for better low light performance and video capabilities, the D7500 is best. It also makes a reliable option for aspiring wildlife, sports, or action photographers looking for their first capable camera. And it’s an excellent camera that inherits several successful elements from the flagship D500, namely the processor, sensor, screen placed into a smaller and more budget-friendly camera. And overall, it makes the right choice if you want an action-oriented general-purpose camera without breaking the bank.