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Nikon pumps up its enthusiast DSLR with enhanced image and movie capture

With the Wedding Photography Association’s WPPI tradeshow about to begin, Nikon is unveiling a new affordable enthusiast APS-C (DX format) DSLR, the 24.2-megapixel D7200. Priced at $1,200 (body) and available in early April 2015, the D7200’s highlights include the removal of the optical low-pass (anti-aliasing) filter, built-in wireless, and the latest image processor.

A successor to the 24.1-megapixel D7100 (a DT Editors’ Choice camera that takes great photos and has very fast autofocusing), the D7200 has a lot of major upgrades. With no OLP filter, the camera can capture more detailed images. Now, in our review of the D7100, we noted the photos were really sharp; the D7200’s image quality could theoretically be even greater. The image processor has been bumped up to the EXPEED 4, giving the camera a wider ISO range of 100-25,600 (versus a max of 6,400 in the D7100); Nikon says the D7200 has 30-percent faster image processing than the D7100. Nikon is also introducing two new expanded black and white ISO modes. The D7200 now has Wi-Fi and NFC built-in, moving away from the optional wireless adapter that Nikon employed with older models.

Nikon made some improvements to video performance. The D7200 now supports Full HD 1080 video capture at 60p, but only with the 1.3x crop mode (which extends the focal length and gives you autofocus of the entire frame) turned on; otherwise, the camera records up to 1080/30p. For more advanced videographers, the D7200 offers zebra stripes on the LCD to show exposure, as well as auto ISO in manual mode. Nikon says the D7200 is also the first DX-format DSLR to have a time-lapse mode with exposure smoothing, which allows for nice exposure transitions during something like a sunset shot.

Continuous shooting remains at 6 frames per second – 7 fps in 1.3x crop mode – although it drops to 5 fps when shooting in 14-bit uncompressed RAW. However, the camera’s increased buffer capacity allows it shoot 18 consecutive images in 14-bit RAW, 27 in 12-bit, and 100 in JPEG. Like the D7100, the D7200 has a 51-point autofocus system, with 15 cross-type sensors for focus on moving subjects; the center point is sensitive down to f/8. There’s also Nikon’s latest Picture Control system for adding artistic effects to images.

The D7200 has a similar look to the D7100. The 1.5-pound magnesium-alloy body is weather- and dust-sealed. There’s a 3.2-inch high-res LCD (1,229k dots), and the optical viewfinder has an OLED overlay that displays shooting parameters.

The D7200 will also be available as a kit bundled with an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens for $1,700.

In addition, Nikon is introducing a new wireless microphone compatible with Nikon cameras with a microphone input, such as the D7200, as well as Coolpix models like the P7800 and the Nikon 1 V3 mirrorless camera. The weather-resistant ME-W1 is powered by two AAA batteries, and has a wide wireless distance of 164 feet. The microphone captures mono audio natively, but stereo is supported when connected to the ME-1 microphone. The ME-W1 is available this month for $250.

Nikon is also releasing a new version of its browsing software. View NX-I lets users view RAW files adjusted in the Capture NX-D RAW processing software, as well as easily upload images to social media networks. The software is a free download via Nikon’s website.