Photography News Issue 46

Photography News | Issue 46 | absolutephoto.com

Camera test 37

ISO 100

ISO 12,800

Performance: ISO

The D7500 is an excellent performer when it comes to digital noise – something that becomes increasingly obvious when moving into the higher ISO settings. This is, in part, thanks to the drop in resolution from its predecessor and the use of Nikon’s most advanced image processor, Expeed 5. To test the noise performance we shot throughout the range, leaving High ISO NR at the off setting (NR performance is tested on the following page). Images appeared very clean up to ISO 800, and from there to 12,800 the grain built but wasn’t much of a

problem, with only a minor loss of sharpness at the topend. Colour noise was well marshalled up to 6400, but beyond that started to become more disruptive, where a loss of ‘real’ saturation was replaced by blotches of false colour. The top-end 51,200 setting is a bit grungy but quite usable at a push, especially if you can work the shot in mono. Jumping into the Hi settings, Hi1.0 was respectable but quality quickly falls off after that. Beyond Hi2.0 I felt pictures were unusable. That’snot a surprise, and in its regular ISO range the D7500 is excellent.

Images For the ISO test images I shot in Rawmode, so that no noise reduction was applied, giving a true impression of interference. The D7500 performed very well overall. It was only beyond ISO 12,800 that noise became a problem, but even up to ISO 51,200 pictures were usable. You’d need to be desperately short of light to use the Hi settings though.

ISO 400

ISO 25,600

ISO 1600

ISO 51,200

Original image

ISO 3200

ISO Hi1.0

ISO 6400

ISO Hi5.0

settings, such as metering, image quality and white-balance, falling easily to hand. There’s a dedicated ISO button, which sits behind the shutter button and between the exposure compensation and movie rec buttons, but only one SD card slot, so you can’t back up your shots- or extend capacity. The D7500 has a good level of customisation: for instance, I set the AE-L/AF-L button on the rear to AF- On for back-button focusing, and there are two Fn buttons on the front supporting such changes, too. The Fn1 button sits where you’d expect to find a traditional depth-of-field preview button, naturally under the middle finger; the Fn2 button, closer to the lens mount, is a bit more of an uncomfortable stretch. The D7500 has two User modes accessible from the mode dial, and makes full use of Nikon’s SnapBridge feature for sharing photos via your phone or tablet. The overwhelmingly good handling and lightness add up to a comfortable and responsive camera. The viewfinder is really good. Unlike many APS-C bodies it’s a proper pentaprism, not a pentamirror, and has 100% coverage with a 0.94x magnification, so composition is accurate and it doesn’t feel like looking down a tunnel. On

the downside, the lack of contacts on the basemeans nobatterygrip for the D7500. If you’re used to the benefits of vertical shooting with a grip, or an integrated second shutter button and associated controls, this is going to feel like a loss. Nikon don’t list a grip for this reason, but some third-party boffinmay invent one if we’re lucky. The flip-out touchscreen is a definite plus point. I found using it formenus took a little getting used to, but it’s soon second nature and you start to miss things like swiping and pinch-and-zoomon non-touchscreen models. There’s also touch-focusing, which works faultlessly and I found this helpful for still life in particular, and on landscapes for focus stacking where you can focus at the frame edge without recomposing. Battery life is very decent: the D7500 uses a new EN-EL15a cell, which has been upgraded from the EN-EL15 and is quoted at 950 shots. In practice, of course, energy consumption depends on how you shoot, so the number will vary, but I found performance was excellent, far outstripping many others. You can still use an EN-EL15 cell in the camera, so in terms of the D7500 being a second body there’s excellent commonalitywithotherNikons such as the D810, D610 and D750.

Battery life is very decent: the D7500 uses a new EN-EL15a cell, which has been upgraded from the EN-EL15 and is quoted at 950 shots. In practice, of course, energy consumption depends on how you shoot

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