Nikon D7500 real life review

Klaus Tan (FacebookInstagram | Flickr) shares his quick review of the Nikon D7500 DSLR camera ($1,246.95):

Nikon Singapore recently invited me to have a hands-on experience with the D7500. The event was held at a wake park, basically an enclosed cable ski park for wakeboarders. The camera packs a punch within its almost featherweight mass of 640 grams, considering the powerful features it packs. It inherits many features once unavailable in enthusiast-level cameras from its professional range cousins. It indeed lives up to the claims of a more ergonomic design with deeper grip - I could exert a more firm grip on the camera than its D7200 predecessor.

One of the most celebrated features in this new body is the full touch screen feature. Previously, the D500 and D5 models already had a nifty touchscreen however, it was only activated for live view and browsing of photographs, and couldn’t be used to navigate the menu. Now with the new touchscreen functionality, I’m able to key in important details with much ease, for example, copyright information and captions. It’s a sleek two-axis tiltable screen of a sturdy build.

The D7500 uses the same powerful EXPEED 5 image processing engine and image sensor as it’s bigger brother the D500. I could count on its fast autofocus to deliver sharp focusing on all subjects, regardless of however small an aperture used, at times f5.6. The lenses Nikon Supplied for testing were the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR. AF-S NIKKOR 300mm F2.8G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II. Admittedly, the camera’s small body size is both a boon and a bane. For portability, it scores with enthusiasts. However, it is unstable when mounted on these huge professional telephoto lenses that cost 5 times its price! (Then again, it’s not built for this kind of use, we’d rather use a D5 or D500 instead).

There was evidently strong backlight from the bright afternoon sun, and I’m impressed with the D7500’s performance under such dynamic conditions. The buffer of 50 raw frames (14-bit lossless compressed) was huge and incredible for an enthusiast level camera, however, there was regrettably the lack of support for XQD cards. I found my SD card write speed struggling to keep up with the D7500’s insane fps trigger, at times taking about 30 seconds to completely store all images captured after a full out 50 frames burst. The 8fps continuous shooting rate was a much-welcomed improvement (even faster than a D750). The group area autofocus was able to nail the subjects for most of the time and works nicely to complement the 8fps rate.

The average JPEG file sizes at full resolution and Fine quality is at 15mb, and I’m pleased as those of my D750 normally lie in the 30mb range.

In conclusion, the D7500 is the camera perfect for all enthusiasts, packing a punch worth more than its humble price. For anyone deliberating which DSLR to start their photography journey with, the answer is straight: Get the D7500.

Nikon D7500 sample photos can be found on Flickr:



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  • TheInfinityPoint

    You could always attach a grip to balance the camera out just when you use it on the tripod– oh wait it doesn’t support grips 😉

    • LeGrandOrangeAndBlue

      It doesn’t?

      Deal breaker alert.

  • j cortes

    Single SD card , no PDAF. Thumbs down .

    • Antonio

      Can you pls elaborate a bit on your indication of “no PDAF”?

      Is Nikon cheating us when they indicate “Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX II autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection”?

    • Delmar Mineard Jr

      Agree, thumbs down for me as well.

    • BVS

      What do you mean “no PDAF”? All Nikon DSLRs have through-the-viewfinder PDAF and no Nikon DSLRs have Live View PDAF. It’s exactly like every other Nikon DSLR.

      • j cortes

        you’re right it has PDAF and exactly like every other Nikon and no live view PDAF. Just saying it could use it. Doesn’t mean Nikon can’t introduce just because all other Nikons don’t have it.

    • paige4o4

      No 4k. Fuji and Sony have better cameras at this price point IMO.

      • j cortes

        I really like Nikons , but I have to agree with you at least as far as the Fuji go. However, the Sony’s may have more features and have EVF , but i dislike their ergonomics and lens selection for the DX bodies .

      • ITN

        The D7500 does have 4K for what it’s worth.

        Fuji and Sony don’t have much in terms of selection of fast long lenses. DX is great for long lens action.

  • Isaac Fulford

    I bought the D7500 recently and have tested it out. I can verify that all around it is a much more nimble, and well rounded camera than the D7200. The Autofocus nails 95% of the time. The metering system no doubt the reason why. The images are pleasing to work with as well.

  • Rob

    Perfect camera for enthusiasts (who need an extensive feature set) and for heaps of professionals who want something small, light and or a cheap backup camera.

  • Aldo

    conclusion: an exceptional camera when the dust settles and it sells for 700 dollars used/refurbished/gray/black etc

    • Allan

      Brand new today at $1250 is a fair price. In 6-12 months, it might cost less.

      • Aldo

        but you can get a mint d500 with that money. It makes no logical sense to buy a d7500 at that price.

        • bobgrant

          Size is a factor for a LOT of shooters.

          • Captain Megaton

            If you lucky to find a D500 for the price of a D7500 … get the D500.

          • Aldo

            Then buy a d750… it’s almost the same size as the d7500

        • tobi

          Cant understand why people lie….. there are no new d500 for the price of a D7500

          • Pippo

            Right, but outside US, D7500 costs 1549 euros, same time D500 – 2000, gray -around 1700. D7200 – 800 and less

            • The D500 at Amazon in Germany: 1878 Euros.

          • Aldo

            They sell often in local ads for 1300-1400… same with ebay? Maybe you ought to learn the art of finding good deals instead of calling stuff ‘fake news’

        • ITN

          There isn’t much of a market for used D500s. Basically nobody is selling. I am sure there would be a lot of demand but not enough supply to make this a realistic option for many.

          • Aldo

            sell the lens get a d500 for 1000-1200? Really not difficult to find deals. It’s a weak argument for the d7500

            • ITN

              Sorry, I don’t buy used from someone I don’t know personally (either seller or the store).

            • Spy Black

              Don’t change the subject. There’s a D500 that you said wasn’t for sale.

            • ITN

              My guess is that the D7500 will outsell the D500 by a factor of 3. So how is every D7500 buyer supposed to be able to get a used D500 instead, when basically everyone who got a D500 is keeping theirs (with few exceptions)?

      • I saw them in huge piles at Costco for $1500 with dual lens kit (18-55, 70-300 DX). Pretty compelling actually (for the first-time buyer who gets a high end camera).

    • silmasan

      …and when you can’t find a good deal on a D7200.

  • Andrew

    The D7500 is indeed an exceptional enthusiast camera. But Nikon needs to adjust their product planning quite a bit. Why not stuff every imaginary feature including professional level feature into another variant of the D7500 and sell it at a $300 to $400 premium. Then those that want to spend less could choose the cheaper model. Why should we have to move up to a bigger, heavier D500 class body in order to get all of the desired features.

    When we buy an automobile various choices are available and even the cheaper luxury cars have the premium package option. The outcry we hear from some prosumers and professionals who desire the D7500 is an indication that Nikon needs to rethink its marketing. They really should stop thinking about restricting certain features only to “big, heavy, and unapproachable” professional level cameras and start thinking more like a consumer products company. Even the pros like to travel light.

    • Hans98Ko

      So true about professionals like to travel light. Just finished shooting Mercedes and Porsche at Stuttgart and will be moving to another city later in this morning to shoot for tourism scenes.

    • Piooof

      Your super-beefed up D7500s already exists at that price point, it’s called a D500. In Europe your $400 premium gives you exactly the price of the D500 (indeed a version with every imaginable feature –well, nearly– including pro level ones).
      You’ll tell me it’s different in the US. But then they’d have to move the D7500 price down in Europe, and apparently, they don’t want/need to. Unless it ends up being a commercial failure there, of course.

      • Andrew

        I know, I know, but… the weight and size of the D7500 is ideal for all day trips and vacations 😉

        The D7500 weighs 640g versus the D500 at 860g which is about 35% heavier. Having a philosophy about product positioning and pricing without catering to the different needs of their broad range of customers is poor strategic thinking and inept marketing.

  • Allan

    Is the write speed to an appropriately fast SD card that bad? Did Nikon purposely do this? Why have 8 fps and slow write speed?

    • James Michael

      The SD write speed is half of the D500, so it seems like Nikon cheaped out. The D500 could have been 50% faster than it is as well, even without XQD.

    • Spy Black

      The card slot is UHS-I, which in 2017 parlance translates to crippleware. In other words, get a D500 if you want speed.

      • Captain Megaton

        UHS-I means max 95 MB/s write speed if you have a card that supports it. That’s more than enough for most situations.

        • People don’t buy a camera for today, they buy it for the next 4-5 years (or more) Shipping a new body with already aging technology may not hurt you now, but it will come back to bite you when the user is buying their next camera. I remember how annoyed I was that my D50 maxed out at 2GB cards.

        • Spy Black

          Yes, but we’re not talking about most situations. We’re talking about shooting full tilt into an SD card with a limited bus speed. Tonio also makes a legitimate point about putting out a “new” product with a dated interface.

        • What are the actual sustainable write speeds for those cards? Those may be quite less.

          • Captain Megaton

            The actual sustainable write speed is about 90 MB/s. I’ve confirmed that with a USB3 card reader and crystaldiskmark. Cards like the Samsung PRO+ are limited only by the bus speed. My D750 can write to the card at 60 MB/s.

      • Exactly. I’m testing the D7500 now for an upcoming review and it’s interesting to note that the D500 and D7200 get roughly the same number of images in the buffer with a 95 MB/s SD card – roughly about 45-47 (or so). UHS-2 would have made the number much higher. I thought the same thing – crippled – when I noticed this. Still, the buffer is big enough for most uses.

        • Spy Black

          It’s my understanding that the D500 has a UHS-II bus that been deliberately crippled to run at half speed, which pretty much puts it in UHS-I territory. Apparently this has been done to make XQD look fantastically better, at the expense of being able to perform any high speed redundant shooting. I do wish the photographic press made more noise about this, as it’s to no end-user’s benefit.

    • Hans98Ko

      I will take the OP’s remarks about how the camera handles the file storage with a pinch of salt because he didn’t mention what type of card he was using, and I am sure he is using the provided free gift 30MB/s SD card and not one that he brought along like the latest SanDisk 300MB/s SD card.
      I was there too but the earlier morning session.
      Now, Pete knows why I didn’t border to write a short and quick review. Always afraid of criticism for those who didn’t know what was actually going on there at the time. I looked into the LCD display in the OP’s pictures and noticed that the lighting that day was horrible like I mentioned in my post.

  • A. F.O.

    I´ve a D7200 and I’m glad with the pictures I can get from it; anyone with the D7500 should get even better photos; the no grip thing is for sure annoying but the “only one slot SD card” was really strange at the time the D7500 was announced…
    or not if we think that…perhaps Nikon heard some rumors about Lexar’s ending XQDs cards production?… Does Peter knows anything about it?

  • kazziz

    Camera for enthusiasts that costs 60% more than D7200 and 25% less than D500… what went wrong?

    • Hrvoje Crvelin

      Nothing went wrong… it is typical market price for newly released stuff. I suspect some folks might be happier to invest a bit more and buy either D500 or D750, some might take D7200 and some will go for D7500 and that’s it.

      • Pippo

        Yep, right. I’m waited for anouncement and price. In fact, its too pricey at start, invested more and grab D500.

  • Gilles Charette

    “packing a punch worth more than its humble price”… are you kidding? Get a used D500 for a couple hundred more and that is a deal… where is the affiliate link?

  • Aphidman

    Whether you consider this camera to be a step backward or a step forward depends on where you are standing before you start stepping. Here is my perspective, as a D5300 user who is seriously considering upgrading to a D7500 (and who has spent some time handling the camera at my local dealer).

    I like my D5300 a lot, but the small buffer for raw images (6 shots) has caused me to miss shots many times in sports and wildlife situations. The D5300’s tilt screen has been great in outdoor concert situations. The D5300 isn’t weather-sealed and that has often been a concern (as recently as yesterday). The D5300’s lack of a grip, or AI indexing, or a second slot, are things that have not bothered me.

    The 7200 is an excellent camera by all accounts, and very affordable right now, but an 18 shot buffer does not sound big enough, and I don’t want to give up a tilting screen (and operating menus by touch is significantly faster; even the D500 doesn’t have that). The D500 is more camera than I need; in my situation, the price differential would be better spent on lenses (or classes).

    So I don’t see this camera as an “epic fail;” I see it as one that appears to be very well suited to the kind of photography I enjoy.

    • dpreview just gave the D7500 a 91% score and recommended it over the D500 for most people. That’s dpreview (which has its faults, but the reviews are written by people who know their shit and give a shit), not C|Net or some other generic tech review site.

      I love the idea of dual card slots — number of times my primary slot has failed on either of my dual-slot Nikons? Zero. Number of times my primary slot has failed on any camera I’ve owned? Zero.

      Battery grips? They used to be motor drives. Number of battery grips I own? Zero. Number of people I’ve seen using a battery grip, ever? Can’t think of one.

      But I tell you what I do notice every time I do anything with my gear. How much the damn stuff weighs.

      • Andrew

        Agreed. The D7500 is an amazing camera and an exceptional value. Enthusiasts getting this camera are getting flagship features found in the D500.

        The comprehensive weather sealing is quite exciting which means you can take this camera into the interior of the damp Amazon Rainforest without concern. It is the ideal travel camera; it’s small, lightweight, and advanced.

      • BVS

        I’m not seeing that review on their site. Do you have a link to it?

        • Find it by looking through their camera database. It’s part of a survey review.

    • Get a D5500. The grip is so much better than the D5300. D5600 is a D5500 with snapcrap so no need for that model at a higher price.

    • Max

      You just nailed it. Until just recently I was also a D5300 user who wanted to move up that way, but didn’t want a much bigger body. Certainly couldn’t care about a grip. So I follow that thinking and a lot of people do and Nikon knows that.

      Just more performance, speed, and af with old lenses. My D7200 is just the right size and shape and the D7500 shape is a bit better I think.

      Nikon repositioned the D7xxx series and I think they did it the right way.

      The D500 is the pro body, and grips, dual card slots are decidedly pro features.
      I do however feel the D5xxx and 3xxx cameras are too close.

  • So sad, too bad

    Is this a serious review or just another pro Nikon PR ad?
    Could Klaus Tan please explain how you “could exert a more firm grip on the camera”???
    Did you forget that there is a Fn1 button that prevents your middle finger from griping the camera without constant pressing it every 2 min

    • This is a guest post – for sharing ideas and triggering a discussion. I have been posting guest posts for years. Nikon does not pay me to advertise their products. You are welcome to submit a guest post anytime.

  • Nikon provides a Trial & Test tour here around Germany at different federal states for the new D7500. Is that worth for a news article? This photo walk is for free. You can test or basically rent the D7500 together with a lens for free. The link about the road show is here:

    To me this is new or has Nikon done this for other cameras before?

  • DaveyJ

    I personally see nothing that would make me buy the D7500 over a D7200, or certainly over a D500.

  • Wade Marks

    So it turns out the D7500 is really a great camera that will fit many people’s needs, in spite of the internet critics.

    But seriously, isn’t this one more example of what seems to happen with just about every new camera release from Nikon or Canon these days?

    A new camera comes out that is in reality fantastic, is a wonderful mature product that can satisfy many consumers. But internet commenters bash the camera before it even hits the market, without even handling it, based on specs and often unrealistic expectations of what the camera should be.
    If the camera isn’t some incredibly leap forward then it’s trashed in online forums. Or if the camera doesn’t offer what a more expensive camera available does, but at a significantly lower price, then it is trashed online.

    In reality, both Nikon and Canon are kicking butt these days, in terms of the actual quality of their new releases. They are all fine, mature products that still get the job done with better consistency than other competing brands, which are usually mirrorless offerings.

    • BVS

      Yeah, I seem to remember everyone bashing the D7200, D750, and D810 when they were released too, and now everyone loves them.

  • Nikos Delhanidis

    I hope Nikon noticed and fixed the AF accuracy degradation that plagued D7200. Even if they have though, they price is so close to D500 and will be probably even close in near future, while the capabilities are so much more that its maybe more worth to “invest” in D500 even if you don’t use or need all of its potential

    • Could you explain more what AF accuracy degradation you read about and where? No offense, I am just curious since I have just bought D7200.

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