March 28, 2019

Nikon D7500 DSLR Updated Review

If you’d like to read why I bought the Nikon D7500 instead of replacing my Nikon D750 with another D750, then please read the original review that I wrote in December 2017 as I explained in great detail why I chose the D7500 instead of the buying another D750. HERE > Nikon D7500 Review 3rd December 2017

I’ve written this updated review after using the D7500 for 16 months and having photographed a wide variety of images both during the day and at night. I've pushed the D7500 to its limit during this time and it's met all my needs and expectation as a photographer.

This review is based on the images that I've taken with the D7500 while using either the Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX lens or the Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR Lens. I also use the Nikon AF-S 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens, but this is mainly when I'm travelling or on family outings.

The Nikon D7500 was released in mid-2017 and is Nikon's newest prosumer DX-format DSLR cameras and fits in between the D7200 and the D500, and has some of the features found on the D500, but at a more affordable price point.

According to Nikon, the D7500 doesn’t replace the D7200 and slots in above it, but below the D500. In my opinion though, the D7500 does replace the D7200 has Nikon’s prosumer APS-C (crop-sensor) DSLR camera. The D7200 was released in mid-2015, and the D7500 was released in mid-2017, which makes the D7500. In that time technology, has greatly improved and the D7500 benefits from this.

Specification of the Nikon D7500
  • 20.9 Megapixel CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 5 Image Processor
  • No Optical Low-Pass Filter
  • 8 Fps Continuous Shooting
  • 51-Point AF System
  • 3.2-Inch LCD Monitor with Tilt/Touch Screen
  • ISO 100 to 51,200 >
    Extendable to ISO 50 (Lo_1) to 1,638,400 (Hi +5)
  • Single SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Blue tooth using SnapBridge Connectivity
  • Comprehensive Weather Sealing
  • Nikon D7500 Full specification

The D7500 is weather sealed (Not Waterproof), so taking photos in inclement weather isn’t a problem, and I’ve photograph some intense thunderstorms where my camera got very wet, and it just kept on going. But when it gets wet, I try to dry it off as quickly as possible. Also remember that your lens should also be weather sealed or it may malfunction in inclement weather.

I’ve stated that I’ve been using the D7500 for nearly 18 months now and I’m impressed at how good this APS-C (crop-sensor) DSLR camera is for Landscape, Wildlife and Astrophotography.
The colours are well rendered and images are crisp and clear no matter what you photograph.

Many photographers say that the reason they chose a Full-Frame DSLR was that APS-C DSLR cameras at much lower ISO settings than a Full-Frame DSLR. Well, I’ve found that the D7500 handles high ISO setting very well. I use ISO 6400 for Astrophotography without issues, and for wildlife using ISO 2500 still produces images with limited digital noise that is reduced to a manageable level in Adobe Lightroom CC or Photoshop.

The D7500 and ISO
  • ISO 100 to ISO400 > digital noise isn’t noticeable.
  • ISO 800 > digital noise is just noticeable.
  • ISO 1600 > digital noise is noticeable, easily reduced in post-processing.
  • ISO 2500 > digital noise is noticeable, can be reduced in post-processing to a very manageable level.
  • ISO 4000 > digital noise is slightly more noticeable, can be reduced in post-processing to a manageable level.
  • ISO 6400 > digital noise is quite noticeable, can be reduced in post-processing to a manageable level.
  • ISO 8000 > digital noise is very noticeable, even with post-processing the digital noise is noticeable in images.
  • ISO 10,000 and above> I only use these ISO values to setup my camera for either Astrophotography or long exposures when using ND filters.
Disclaimer about the above ISO settings:

Digital noise can be amplified if you capture an under-exposed image and then increase the brightness of the image in post-processing.
You should always capture images that are correctly exposed, and you’ll find that using higher ISO settings doesn’t mean more digital noise in your captured image.

ISO comparison in day time photography

This image of a Cactus was taken with the Nikon D7500 and Nikon 18-140mm f3,5-f5.6 lens @ 130mm
It shows the full size image, as well as showing the cropped area for the rest of the images displayed below it.

The images below were taken to highlight how good the D7500 is at controlling digital noise as well as retaining image clarity/sharpness at ISO 100 to ISO 10000.
The only editing done in Adobe Lightroom was cropping the original raw files images and resizing them for this article.

The images below have been cropped to show a 250% larger view of the image to enable people to see the Digital Noise more clearly.

What I don't like about the Nikon D7500

The only two negatives that I found in the D7500 are that!

  • There’s no option for a battery grip
  • **But I’ve found that the EN-EL15A battery has nearly 30% more battery life than the older EN-EL15 that the D7200 and D750 use, so I don’t really miss the battery grip.
  • It only has one SD card slot, which means that you can no longer shoot JPG’s on one SD card and RAW files on the other.
  • **Nikon does recommend using an SD card like the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC with a write speed of 90mb/s and a read speed 95mb/s, which will allow you to shoot at close to 10fps and take around 40 RAW images, before the buffer fills up and the camera will stop for a few seconds until the buffer clears to store more images.

These two negatives were on my mind at the start, but nearly 30% more battery life than my old D750 I'm still able to shoot Time-Lapses, and the SanDisk 128GB Extreme Pro SDXC hasn’t missed a beat in 16 months. So I'm quite content with the D7500.

Quick note on Memory Cards for the Nikon D7500

I’ve found that using a SD card with a fast write/read speed, like the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC with a write speed of 90mb/s and a read speed 95mb/s will pay off, as the D7500 will clear its buffer quicker than the D7200 or D750 when using the same type of SD cards.

For example, when I did a time-lapse sequence with the D750 (using a 32GB SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC) there would be about a 2 to 2.5 second delay while the camera wrote the file to the SD card. On the other hand, with the D7500 that delay is now reduced to between 1 and 1.2 seconds, which makes a huge difference when shooting time-lapses, or action images where you could miss that crucial moment due to the camera being busy writing the image to the card.

Nikon D7500 with Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX lens

The Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX is just about glued to my Nikon D7500, unless I'm photographing wildlife, then I use the Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 lens. The Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX is rated as one of the best lens for capturing ultra-wide landscape images or night-time images of Milky Way, and 80% of my Landscape images and all of my Night-time Photography are taken with this lens which has allowed me to capture stunning Landscape and Nightscape images.

My thoughts!
  • The look and feel of the D7500 with its more pronounced grip is a joy to hold and having a large hand, I find that it feels more comfortable than the D7200 or even the D750.
  • Having been accustomed to using the tilt screen on the D750, I find being able to tilt the screen when setting up the camera low to the ground make is very beneficial.
  • So when photographing wildlife low to the ground, there’s no need to lie down. It’s just a matter of flipping the LCD screen and using Live-View to frame what I’m photographing.
  • The rear LCD screen on the D7500 is a touch screen and most people like using this Feature, as it means you don't have to press any buttons.
  • but I’ve turned it off due to the fact of modifying some setting by accidently touching the LCD screen.
  • Also trying to use a Touch Screen at night in winter is difficult as your wearing gloves to keep your hands warm.
  • Having the ability to reducing the ISO from ISO100 to 50 (Lo_1) reduces the EV by 1 stop.
  • I’ve used this feature numerous times and haven't noticed any loss of image quality when I’ve use it to lengthen the exposure time instead of using a Neutral Density Filter to do the same thing.

Click on either of the images below for a larger view of this image that was taken at ISO 50.

Should you buy the D7500!

Definitely if you're looking at buying a Prosumer APS-C (crop-sensor) DSLR camera. I wouldn't even look at the D7200, as it's 2 years older than the D7500 and technology has improved so much in that time.
**If you own a D7200 though, and you’re content with your camera, then I’d keep it. Unless you really want a faster frame rate or a rear LCD tilt screen.
**If on the other hand you own a Nikon D7000, D7100 or even a D90 and use it for the following:

  • Photographing Action images; motorsport, birds in flight, then the faster frame rate and higher ISO tolerances will result in sharper/clearer images.
  • Photographing the night sky (Milky Way or Time-Lapse images) and using ISO setting of 3200 > 6400
  • Photographing people, models or weddings in low light where using a high ISO (above ISO4000) in the previous D7XXX series resulted in grainy image. The D7500 will stand out and give you images with little digital noise at ISO setting from 100 to 1600.
  • You’d really like a tilt or touch LCD screen.

Then the Nikon D7500 is for you and you’ll have DLSR that is going to meet your needs as a photographer well into the future.

In closing

Personally, I have no regrets about buying the D7500 as a replacement camera for my D750. It’s already proved itself as an outstanding camera at sunrise, day-time and shooting at night. I’m confident, that if you were shown images taken with this camera that you’d be hard pressed to tell that it was a DX (crop-sensor) DSLR camera.

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