Nikon D7500 DSLR ditches megapixel race for faster performance and 4K video

Nikon’s D7000-series is getting a speed upgrade. On April 12, Nikon launched the D7500, an advanced 4K-capable APS-C (DX) DSLR, targeting the advanced enthusiast photographer. Although the new camera has a lower megapixel count than its predecessor, it steps up the speed and low-light capabilities.

The D7500 bridges the gap between the D7200 released in 2015, and the company’s D500 DX flagship. It has an burst speed of eight frames per second (fps) with a 50 RAW  (14-bit) shot buffer (the max number of uncompressed photos the camera can shoot before it slows or stops to record them onto the memory card), a spec that slides right between the D7200’s 6 fps and the D500’s 10 fps. To reach that speed, the D7500 uses the same 20.9-megapixel sensor inside the D500, not the 24.2 from its predecessor. That megapixel difference means files from the D7500 are 5,568 by 3,712 pixels versus the D7200’s, which are 6,000 pixels wide. The D7500 uses the Expeed 5 image processor found inside the D500.

The sensor excludes the anti-aliasing filter for enhanced detail, a feature now typical with all new Nikon DX DSLRs. Nikon is touting the D500’s low-light capabilities among the camera’s top features. The D7500 has an exposure value of -3, and reaches an ISO of 51,200 (versus the D7200’s 25,600) and can be expanded up to 1,264,000. Having fewer megapixels means each pixel can be enlarged, which tends to translate into less noise at higher ISOs; low-light performance isn’t something that can be gleaned from a list of technical specifications.

Despite the drop in megapixel count, the D7500 is getting a stronger sensor. It allows the camera to shoot 4K video – a step up from Full HD. The camera can shoot compressed 4K UHD at up to 30 fps to the card, or can record uncompressed 4K when outputted to an external recorder via the HDMI port. Like the D500, however, the video files are short – the D7500 can shoot up to almost 30 minutes of video, but those files are recorded in up to eight separate files that need stitching. If shooting in Full HD, the D7500 can enable electronic Vibration Reduction and Active-D Lighting.

The D7500 introduces the new Auto Picture Control, a Nikon in-camera color profile that automatically reads the scene and generates a tone curve – essentially customizing the color profile on each image. Nikon says the D7500 has improved face detection, particularly with smaller faces and moving subject. The 51-point (cross type) autofocus system acquires focus on subjects quickly, Nikon says, especially when they enter the frame really fast. The camera also uses a 180K RGB metering system for more balanced exposures – a feature previously only available in the D500 and D5 – and can handle in-camera batch RAW-to-JPEG conversions.

For connectivity, the D7500 gains Bluetooth, which Nikon calls Snapbridge. The camera can automatically back up files (at a smaller two-megapixel resolution) to the Nikon Image Space cloud storage. The feature requires less power than Wi-Fi, although Wi-Fi connection is still required to download full resolution files and remote shooting.

Battery life is rated at 950 shots per charge, which beats the Canon EOS 77D’s 600-shot life and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II’s 800.

While the D7500’s body retains much of the D7200’s advanced design, including weather-sealing and a status LCD at the top, Nikon is bringing the touchscreen of the lower-priced D5000-line to the D7000-series for the first time. The hinge-style, 3.2-inch tilt screen is also touch sensitive, and, like the D500, can be used in Live View mode to calibrate the autofocus on the attached lens. Despite the addition of the enhanced screen, the D7500 is five-percent lighter than the D7200, weighing 1 pound and 6.6 ounces. The optical viewfinder has a bright OLED for easy-to-read info along the bottom.

The Nikon D7500 will sell for $50 more than the list price the D7200 had when first launched – a slight premium for what is a “baby D500.” Expect a release date of this summer, and a price of $1,250 (body only) or $1,750 with the Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens.

Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.

Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.