Nikon D7500 Review
The Nikon D7500 supersedes the D7200 with a new imaging pipeline. Unlike its predecessor which enjoyed flagship status in the Nikon APS-C DSLR lineup, the D7500 slots itself below the D500 reviewed right here
Nikon D500 which is the ultimate professional APS-C offering from Nikon.
The D7500 takes the ultra-sensitive 20 megapixels image sensor of the D500 and places it in a weatherproof body with ergonomics taken from the D7200 while adopting some refinements from the more advanced D500. The result is an APS-C camera with ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range, expandable to 50-1,638,400 that can shoot continuously at 8 FPS for an impressive 100 frames.
Although there is a higher-end offering, the Nikon D7500 is a fully professional DSLR with dual control-dials, a traditional Mode-Dial, a Drive-Mode dial, a large 0.94X magnification 100%As per the specifications published by Nikon. Our review unit showed less coverage. coverage OVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a illuminated top status LCD screen. It offers a standard hot-shoe plus a built-in popup flash plus a large number of connectivity options: Wired Remote, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI and, USB, plus stereo mini-jacks for both input and output.
A 51-Point Phase-Detect AF system with 3D Tracking allows the D7500 to keep focus locked on moving subjects. 15 of those points are Cross-Type with a many focusing modes available. The D7500 boasts plenty of advanced features such as 9-frame AEB, built-in HDR, Time Lapse Video, an Interval Timer and Multiple Exposure. This DSLR is also capable of capturing 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS or 1080p Full-HD video at 60 FPS.
This review describes the ergonomics, image quality and performance of the Nikon D7500. Differences between the D7500 and D7200 are highlighted in green on this page.
Nikon D7500 Features
- 20 Megapixels CMOS sensor
- No Anti-Alias Filter
- 1.5X crop-factor, Nikon DX
- ISO 100-51200 standard sensitivity range
- Expanded ISO 50-1,638,400 sensitivity range
- Customizable Auto ISO
- Built-in Dust-Reduction
- JPEG, RAW or JPEG+RAW Output
- PASM exposure modes with Program-Shift
- 1/8000s-30s Selectable shutter-speed, plus Bulb
- Exposure-Compensation, ±5, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
- Flash-Compensation, -3...+1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
- Matrix, Center-Weighed, Average & Spot metering
- AEB, 2-9 Frames, ±3 EVMax ±1 at 7 & 9 frames., 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
- AE, AE & Flash, Flash, WB, ADL Bracketing
- ½ or 1/3 EV Exposure and ISO steps
- Exposure fine-tuning, ±1 EV, 1/6 EV steps
- Optional Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
- 51-Point autofocus, 15 cross-type, -3 EV sensitivity
- Single-Shot, Continuous or Automatic focus-drive
- Single-Point, Dynamic-Area or Auto focus-point
- 3D, 51-Point, 21-Point, 9-Point Tracking AF-C
- Face-Detect & Tracking Live-View autofocus
- Optional Autofocus Fine-Tuning
- Optional AF-Assist lamp
- 8 FPS Drive, Max 100 JPEG or 50 RAW
- Customizable Self-Timer, 1-9 Shots, 2-20s Start Delay, ½-3s Interval
- Quiet-Shutter with delayed mirror-return
- Exposure-Delay, 1-3 seconds
- Multiple-Exposure, 2-10 shots, 4 blending modes
- Timer, 1-9 shots, 1-9999 times, 1s-24h interval
- Built-in HDR, 4 blending levels
- AutomaticTwo types, neutral or warm-preserving., PresetIncandescent, 7 Fluorescent types, Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy and Shade., Kelvin and Custom WB
- White-Balance Fine-Tuning, 25-steps along B-A axis, 49 steps along G-M axis
- 7 Built-In Picture Styles
- Automatic or Manual Sharpness, 37 steps
- Automatic or Manual Clarity, 41 steps
- Automatic or Manual Contrast, 25 steps
- Automatic or Manual Saturation, 25 steps
- Manual Brightness, 13 steps
- Manual Hue, 25 steps
- Optional High-ISO Noise Reduction, 3 levels
- Optional Long Shutter Noise Reduction
- Optional In-camera Distortion-Correction
- Optional Vignetting Removal, 3 levels
- Optional Active D-Lighting (ADL), 4 levels
- 3840x2160 @ 30 FPS 16:9 4K Ultra-HD
- 1920x1080 @ 60 FPS 16:9 Full-HD
- Time-Lapse Video, 1s-10m Interval, 1m-7h59m Duration, optional Exposure-Smoothing
- MPEG-4 or Quicktime with H.264 codec
- Two quality levels
- Contrast-Detect AF
- Flicker Reduction, Auto, 60 or 50 Hz
- Stereo microphone, 20 levels
- Wide or Vocal Frequency Response
- Optional Sound Recording
- Optional Wind-Filter
- Dual control-dials
- Combined configurable AE-L/AF-L button
- Independent AEB button
- Modal Exposure-Mode dial
- Modal Drive-Mode dial
- Two Customizable Function buttons
- Customizable Direct Video-Recording button
- 8-Way Controller with focus-point lock
- Live-View button with Video switch
Viewfinder & Displays
- 100% Coverage viewfinder, 0.94X magnification
- 3.2" LCD, 920K Pixels, Tilting Touchscreen
- Illuminated top LCD status display
- Dual-Axis Digital-Level
- Depth-of-Field Preview
- Optional ISO Display
- Optional Viewfinder Grid
Body & Construction
- Nikon F-mount
- Metal tripod-mount
- Built-in pop-up flash (GN 12)
- Hot-Shoe for external lighting
- Wireless Flash Control
- Wired remote connector
- Stereo input mini-jack
- Stereo headset mini-jack
- Single SDXC memory card slot
- Proprietary Lithium-Ion battery
- Built-in WiFi and NFC
- USB 2.0 connector
- 4K HDMI output
As successor, the Nikon D7500 inherits nearly every feature of D7200. The only real regression is that the D7500 has a single SDXC memory slot, while the D7200 has two. Of course, the higher-end D500 now has two. The rear LCD has lost 30% of its resolution. The Easy ISO feature is gone too.
Usability - How easy is it to use?
The Nikon D7500 is externally very similar to the D7200. The back has a nearly identical layout, except that the Info and i buttons have been swapped. The top plate is a hybrid between controls of the D500 and D7200.
This advanced DSLR looks and feels the part. Its traditional shape with a sculpted grip, viewfinder hump and top-mounted popup flash is instantly recognizable. The body is splattered with a high number of dials, buttons and switches. The camera feels very solid. Even the battery and memory compartment doors are quite sturdy. With a quality lens mounted, the D7500 feels relatively heavy for its size.
The Nikon D7500 has a comfortable size and provides an excellent grip with the index finger landing perfectly on the shutter-release and the thumb on the rear control-dial. The shutter-release has a medium amount of travel with a very soft halfway point, making accidental shots a possibility, particularly while using gloves. Below the shutter-release, one finds the front control-dial within easy reach.
The top-plate combined a traditional Mode-Dial stacked above a Drive Mode dial, like on the D7200, plus the same buttons behind the shutter-release as the D500. This keep the modality of the former while refining usability. Both dials are self-locking and neither can be turned without holding down its respective lock, making accidental changes impossible. The mode-dial is fairly traditional with the usual PASM modes plus several Custom and Automatic exposure-modes.
The drive-mode dial offers typical Single-Shot, Continuous, Self-Timer and Mirror Lock-Up modes. There are three Continuous modes, Continuous High always shoots at 8 FPS while Continuous Low can do anything from 1 to 7 FPS. Quiet Continuous shoots at 3 FPS while reducing shutter and mirror vibrations. The Self-Timer is extremely customizable with a delay between 2 and 20s, 1 to 9 shots and a ½s to 3s between.
MLU locks the mirror up first and then takes a shot on the second press. Camera shake is still possible when not using a remote-release. This is solved by the Exposure-Delay mode which is hidden deep in the Custom Settings menu. Thankfully, one can now assign it to a Function button but it would have been better to have it directly on the Drive-Mode dial. Quiet mode allows the mirror to move quietly and delay its return for lower noise albeit slower operation too.
Skipping over the viewfinder hump which hosts a popup flash and a hot-shoe, one finds a nice monochrome backlit status LCD. It shows all exposure parameters, the metering mode, battery-life, frames remaining, exposure-compensation plus a other informational icons. The LCD can be permanently backlit or it the back-light can be toggled by turning the spring-loaded power-switch to the light bulb position. When the camera is off, the status LCD shows the number of frames remaining and which memory card is present which is extremely useful despite a slight additional power-drain.
The D7500 has three button at the top of its grip. Close to the outer-edge is the Exposure-Compensation button. Push EC down, turn the rear control-dial and let the button go to set Exposure-Compensation modelessly. This is how all cameras should work. Its short distance from the shutter-release puts this extremely useful control at hand. One can dial ±5 EV of EC in 1/2 or 1/3 increments.
A second button right behind the shutter-release is dedicated to changing ISO. It functions modelessly two and can change sensitivity in 1/2 or 1/3 increments. They should really add a full-stop option to prevent using digital gain. The last button on the top-plate is a minuscule Video-Record button finds itself in a premium location behind and to the left of the shutter-release. Luckily, this time the Video Record button is customizable and can be used to change White-Balance, Metering or Image Area. There is probably never a reason to change the image-area since that is only a fixed crop but Metering is an extremely useful option to have there.
The front of the camera offers two customizable buttons, one typically for DOF-Preview and the other most likely to access the Virtual Horizon which cannot be enabled directly otherwise. A focus switch below the lens release selects between AF and MF. At its center, a button allows the control-dials to control focus. The front dial selects the focus-point selection mode while the rear dial sets the focus-drive.
Higher up, above the lens release, are well-implemented Bracketing and Flash buttons. For bracketing, the front dial sets the increments and the rear dial selects the number of frames. Available values depend on which type of bracketing is being done which is controlled by the Custom menu. For flash, the front dial sets between -3 and +1 of Flash Compensation and the rear one sets the Flash Mode.
The back of this DSLR is dominated by an extra-large 3.2" LCD with a standard 920K pixels of resolution. The display is a touchscreen mounted on what must be one of the most sturdy tilting hinge of any digital camera. The screen is surrounded by no less than 9 buttons and two rotating switches, one around the 8-way controller plus OK button, the other around the Live-View button. These controls operate the camera as follows:
- Delete: Prompts for image deletion on first press, deletes on second press. Does not thing in Capture mode.
- Play: Enters or exists Playback mode.
- Menu: Enters or exists the menu system.
- WB/Lock: Selects white-balance in Capture mode, protects images from deletion in Playback mode.
- Qual/Zoom-In: Selects image quality except in Live-View and Playback mode where it zooms in the preview or image, respectively.
- Metering/Zoom-Out: Sets Metering except in Live-View and Playback mode where it zooms out the preview or image. Metering cycles between four settings: Matrix, Center-Weighed, Spot and Hightlight-Weighed. The center of Center-Weighed metering can be customized between 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 13mm or the entire-frame.
- Info: Brings up a status display on the rear LCD, except in Live-View where it cycles over display modes.
- I: Brings up and closes an menu of 7 items in Capture mode or 4 items in Playback mode.
- AE-L/AF-L: Customizable button which locks exposure, focus or both in Capture mode.
- 8-Way Controller: Navigates the menu system, images or moves the active focus point or area, depending on the mode.
- Lock Switch: Locks or allows the focus point or area to be moved using the 4-way controller.
- Mode Switch: Switches between Still and Video mode in Live-View.
- Live-View: Enters or exists Live-View.
The Nikon D7500's dual controls-dials are somewhat underused. In Manual mode, one uses both but other exposure modes count on just one dial. Both dials are used when changing focus settings, bracketing and white-balance though. One of the ISO settings in Auto modes provides automatic ISO sensitivity, just like nearly every digital camera. In PASM modes, Nikon sticks to their tradition of offering an unusual auto ISO interface which lets the user select a base ISO which may be raised to maintain a certain shutter-speed. This is enabled in the menu which makes it hidden an unintuitive.
The rear LCD is very sharp with a good anti-reflective coating. It does not have an anti-fog layer though, so it gets fogged up often. Since this is a touchscreen too, wiping the fog changes settings which is inconvenient. Luckily, the touchscreen can be deactivated to avoid accidental changes. In Photo mode, Live-View makes no attempt to simulate exposure, greatly limiting its usefulness, yet it is Exposure-Priority in Video mode! A very odd choice which can hopefully be corrected via a firmware upgrade.
Above the 3.2" screen, there is an optical viewfinder which looks small in comparison. This is only an impressive due to the massive size of the LCD. This OVF actually has a magnification of 0.94X which large for an APS-C camera. The viewfinder should have 100% coverage as expected from a camera of this caliber and price. Our review unit though fell short of 100% coverage vertically. There is a simple status line showing shutter-speed, aperture and, optionally, ISO below the view. Exposure mode and metering though are not shown and so require moving the eye away from the camera to change.
At the bottom of the camera, there is metal tripod-mount aligned with the optical center of the lens which is idea for making panoramas. The battery compartment door is also accessible from the bottom and is sufficiently far to allow changing batteries without removing the camera from a tripod.
Usability of the Nikon D7500 is very predictable. Its interface is clearly familiar to Nikon users and generally quite simple. Live-View which is not Exposure-Priority is the biggest disappointment, followed by the loss of the Easy ISO functionality. It would be nice to have more items in the status line to keep the camera at eye-level longer.
Nikon D7500 Facts
|20 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 50-1640000|
|Nikon F Mount|
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Automatic Eye-Start sensor||Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|2 Axis Digital Level||Spot-Metering|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Stereo audio input|
|8 FPS Drive, 100 Images||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|3840x2160 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
|3.2" LCD 920K Pixels|
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