Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 46 | absolutephoto.com

Camera test 36

Nikon D7500 Nikon’s most recent DSLR release is the D7500, an APS-C format body that fits snugly into the line-up just below its flagship DX camera, the D500. While the latter is like a baby D5 in its looks, the D7500’s design sharesmorewithNikon’s enthusiast- level bodies such as the D7200 it supersedes, and also the full-frame D750 – in fact, cover up a zero on the D7500’s logo and those two would look almost identical. In that regard, it has a lockingmode dial instead of a single mode switch, belowwhich sits a drive mode selector. On the rear, the layout is familiar, too, with a slew of inputs surrounding a large, 3.2in tilting touchscreen. The latest in Nikon’s DX line-up reads like a D500 lite on paper, but how did it get on in an extensive PN field test? Words and pictures by Kingsley Singleton

Specs

Prices £1299 body only, £1599 with AF-S DX 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Sensor 20.9-megapixel CMOS Sensorformat 23.5x15.6mm (APS-C), 5568x3712 pixels ISOrange 100-51,200, 50-1,640,000 extended Shutterrange 30secs to 1/8000sec Drivemodes 8fps allowing up to 50 Raws, or 100 JPEGs Meteringsystem 180k-pixel RGBmetering sensor, multi (3D Color Matrix Metering III), spot, centre-weighted, highlight weighted Exposuremodes PASM, plus auto, scene, effects and User 1/2 options Exposurecompensation +/-5EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps Monitor Tiltable touchscreen 3.2in, 922,000 dots Viewfinder Pentaprism type, 100% coverage, 0.94x magnification Focusingmodes 9, 21 or 51 point Dynamic-area AF, single-point AF, 3D-tracking, group- area AF Focuspoints 51 points (15 cross-type; f/8 supported by one sensor) Video Up to 4K UHD 3840x2160 at 30fps or 1920x1080 at 60fps. Up to 29min 59sec or 4GB file Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Hi-speed USB, HDMI Type Cmini, 2x3.5mm mini-jacks (microphone and headphones), remote Storagemedia 1xSD, SDHC, SDXC Dimensions(wxhxd) 135.5x104x72.5mm Weight Body only 640g Contact nikon.co.uk

Although there are no plans to discontinue the D7200, the D7500 is certainly a significant upgrade to that two-year-old camera. Kicking off with a glance at the resolution, though, you might not think so. The pixel count has been lowered to 20.9-megapixels, but the D7500’s image quality proves that’s a sensible move. The slight drop in resolution has led to better noise performance, and you can still make prints up to 47.14x31.42cm at 300ppi, which is larger thanA3and thereforeplentiful for most shooters. That 20.9-megapixel sensor is borrowed from the D500, as is the Expeed 5 processor, and therefore the two are matched in terms of image quality. Like most modern DSLRs, the traditional optical low- pass filter has also been removed in favour of increased sharpness, which results in rich detail. The D7500’s ISO spans 100-51,200 (expandable to 50-1,640,000) and noise is well controlled up to about 12,800. Take a look at the image quality panels for more on that. Of course, being a DX camera, the D7500 has a crop factor to recognise, with traditional focal lengths being extended by roughly 1.5x. Therefore a 70-200mm f/2.8 becomes a 105- 300mm f/2.8 – an advantage in that you canget the look of a 300mmf/2.8 without theweight such a lenswould add. If you want further extension, The D7500 is well crafted and weather sealed. It lacks the metal, but saves 120g in weight that way

Above The D7500 is very similar in looks to the D7200 it supersedes, boasting a tough, reliable build and buttons where Nikon users would expect to find them. Below The back is dominated by a clear, 3.2in tilting touchscreen. The touch- focusing came in particularly useful for still life and landscape.

the D7500 has is own 1.3x cropmode on top, cutting file size to 4272x2848 (12.1mp), but turning that 70-200mm into an effective 135-390mm f/2.8 lens. The D7500 also boasts decent autofocus and shooting speed. It can’t quite keep pace with the D500 in that area, but it’s close, with a very zippy feel, and little slowdown to be found anywhere. It uses the same Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 II 51-point array as in theD7200, which is accurate to -3EV, and building on this adds theGroupAreamode, as on the D500 and higher-end full-frame Nikons such as the D810. Therein you get five points in a diamond, helping to prevent misfocusing. It’s highly effective, as is the now- familiar 3D tracking mode; I tried both out on some fast-moving dogs during agility training, together with the AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens, and got a lot more hits than misses. Switch to the Auto area and the system does a really good job of picking out human faces, too. TheAF Fine Tune mode has also been added from the D5/500. Allied to the strong AF performance, the 8fps burst mode is rapid enough for most situations. I got 100 large-fine JPEGs and 50 Raws in a burst, though that was

with a fast 90Mb/s card; with an 80Mb/s card this fell to 35 Raws and 86 JPEGs. Compared to the D7500, the D500 uses the same -4EV sensitive 153-point systemas theD5 andshoots at 10fps for about double the frames. Whether you need the extra oomph depends what you’re shooting. For video, the camera shares identical specification with the D5 and D500, having a maximum res of 4K (at 30p), with up to 60p in Full HD mode. Like those other bodies, the D7500 also features the all-important 3.5mm mic input and headphone ports for recording and monitoring high-quality sound. There’s uncompressedHDMI output and electronic vibration reduction for steadier movies, too. The D7500 scores well here. In terms of build quality, it’s not so long ago that the D500 set the benchmark for DX cameras, using full weather-sealing and a magnesium alloy/carbon-fibre shell. The D7500 is less of a brute, but still well crafted and weather sealed. It lacks the metal, but saves 120g in weight that way. The grip is deep and comfortable to hold for extended periods, and the rubberised contact points are clutter-free. Button layout is good, too, with the most common

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