Nikon D7200 Review

The Nikon D7200 is Nikon’s top-of-the-DX-line DSLR. The Nikon D7200 is not really that much different compared to the D7100 which was a popular choice when it came out and it still is. Though the major improvements that the D7200 has over the D7100 is first of all the processor. The D7100 had to make due with a Expeed 3 where as the D7200 has been fitted with a Expeed 4 processor. Expeed 4 uses a processor with ARM central controller, and is used in the Nikon D810, Nikon D750, Nikon D5300, Nikon D3300 and Nikon D7200. It offers full HD (1080p) video capture at 50/60 fps with improved contrast detection autofocus and live preview autofocus. It includes all of the features of the Expeed 3 (FR) and older versions of Expeed, plus it consumes less power.


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Key Features and Specifications

– DX-format DSLR – 1.5x crop factor
– 24 MP CMOS sensor without an optical low pass filter
– Up to 5 fps continuous shooting in 14-bit RAW
– Up to 6 fps continuous shooting in 12-bit RAW or JPEG
– 1.3x crop mode gives 13.5 MP images and up to 6 fps in 14-bit RAW or 7 fps in 12-bit RAW
– Buffer: 13-22 shots in 14-bit lossless RAW
– Multi-CAM 3500 DX II AF system with TTL phase detection, 51 points/15 cross-type sensors.
– ISO Range: 100 – 25,600 (full color), boost to 51,200-102,400 (black and white only)
– Metering Sensor: 2,016-pixel RGB (3D Color Matrix) sensor
– EXPEED 4 processor and 14-bit A/D Conversion
– Twin SD Card Slots with SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory card compatibility
– Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder with 100% frame coverage
– Full 1080p HD video recording at up to 30p (1x mode) and 60fps (1.3x mode)
– Up to 9999 shot in-camera time lapse with exposure smoothing
– Detection Range: -3 – +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
– Body Type: Magnesium-alloy body, superior weather/moisture and dust seals.
– Shutter: 150,000 cycle-rated shutter system
– LCD: 3.2 Inch, 1,229K-dot LCD Monitor
– Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
– Prices body only check Amazone or Adorama for current pricing.

 

Build and Handling

The overall look and feel of the D7200 is not at all different compared to the D7100, although the D750 got a new grip design it sadly didn’t happen on the D7200. The grip it self is smaller then am used to (coming from a Canon 70D) and seeing I have big hands it does take getting some use to. I do plan to get a batterygrip for it so that I have room for my pinky, then again the overall handling will improve as well using a batterygrip.

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Poduct Overview

Starting on the left side, here are the connectivity ports. There’s a microphone jack, a usb port, hdmi out port, a accessories connector and a headphone jack. And above it you see a WiFi logo and that’s it.

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The connectors are accessible by opening up the rubber flaps. Which open up really easy and close securely.

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On the right side you you have access to the sd-card slots, yes I said slots. The D7200 has 2 SD Card slots which can be used to configure you storage needs. You can set it up to write RAW to one and JPG to the other, write pictures to one and movies to the other, write to one sd card and copy its content to the second card or you can set it up to start storing data to the second card when the first card is filled.

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On the back you will find the most of the controls including the 3.2 inch viewfinder display (1,228k dots), which is fixed. While some might prefer a flip out / tilt screen (or however you wanna call it) for getting those images where you need to be low to the ground or when you need to get a image like shooting over a crowd. For me having a fixed screen is not such a big deal. I do prefer a fixed screen seeing it make the camera more durable, but that just mu take on it. The D7200 does not have a tough screen, so you will have to navigate through the menu using the buttons.

All the buttons on the back feel good though I am still getting used to the fact that I need both hands to operate the camera, with the Canon 70D a lot of functions can be set using one hand. I do get the feeling to be more in control seeing am using both hands.

They only thing I don’t like is the placement of the AE-L/AF-L button, I would have preferred having it next to the command dial for easy access. I setup the AE-L/AF-L button as my back focus button but seeing my left eye is the dominate one I keep getting in the way of my thumb while using back button focusing.

But apart from that I like the layout of the rest of the buttons. Seeing its pretty much the same layout as on the D750 and D810 would make this perfect for those considering stepping up to full frame in the future. I know a lot of people use the D7200 as a backup camera right next to there full frame camera because it easy to grab either one because of the same button layout, which in turn makes your workflow go smoother as well.

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Another cool feature is the night and day setup of the back display screen, you ca set this setting to either black on white for day time use or white on black for night time use. I have it set to auto so the camera switches these setting automatically.

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The menu system is easy to use because of its colored layout, every function has its one color so its easy to learn even if you never worked with a Nikon before.

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The display on the top of the D7200 is small but shows all the information u need. In dark situation simply switching power switch all the way to the right activates the light in the display.

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On the top left of the D7200 you will find the bottom MODE DIAL which can be used for single shot, continues low, continues high, quiet shutter mode (which is not that quiet at all), self timer mode and Mup (mirror up). As you can see in this shot as well as in the second shot both mode dials have a lock. Illustrated in the shots is the way to use them.

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On the top left of the D7200 you will find the top MODE DIAL which can be used for 10 different settings (like MANUAL, APERTURE etc.) 2 of which (U1 and U2) can be programmed and customized to your own needs.

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The exposure compensation button as well at he metering mode and movie start button are located near the power switch. Another nice feature is the AF-assist illuminator which is the light on the front of the D7200 that automatically kicks in sometimes to help the D7200 to focus. It happens when there’s insufficient light for the camera to focus. While its great for focusing, it can be something of a nuisance in museums, tourist attractions, historic sites and at weddings. I have mine turned off, and if auto-focus struggles, I’ll try to focus manually. If the circumstances “allow it”, then I can always turn it back on anyway.

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On a side note, when attaching a lens to a Nikon remember to turn the lens counter clockwise instead to clockwise same goes for the lens caps. I used a Canon before so I took me a day or so to get used to it :-) So when you get your hands on a D7200 of Nikon for that matter for the first time don’t try to remove the body cap by turning it to the left because it going to take a while getting it off :-)

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Features

The Nikon D7200 has loads of features on its hood so let’s check them out.

Rich 24.2-megapixel detail: achieve a new level of image quality. Specifically designed without an optical low-pass filter (OLPF), the D7200’s DX-format image sensor makes the most of its 24.2-megapixel resolution to sharply capture images with wide dynamic range, low noise, and rich color gradation.

EXPEED 4: Boosts the camera’s overall performance for extraordinary results. Enables superb image rendering and ISO performance, and allows high frame rates when shooting movies.

Multi-CAM 3500 II 51-point AF: with an autofocus system inherited from Nikon’s professional cameras, the D7200 offers phenomenal precision. The system is sensitive down to -3 EV (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F), so you can shoot sharp, even in the dark. Fifteen cross-type sensors in the center deliver superior subject acquisition. One center point is f/8 compatible, enabling more lens/teleconverter combinations.

1.3x crop: gain extra reach, speed, and wider AF coverage. Crop mode extends the reach of DX lenses by 1.3x, almost doubles the telephoto effect of FX lenses, and lets you shoot at up to 7 fps. This mode also enables the AF system’s 51 focus points to cover the entire frame.

Picture Control 2.0: take complete control over sharpening, contrast, brightness, hue, and saturation when shooting stills and video. Ease post-production with Flat setting for maximum dynamic range; achieve crisp detail with the Clarity setting. Settings can be visually adjusted as you shoot, and you can streamline the shooting process by saving different options for movies and stills in a dedicated menu.

Multi-area D-Movie: shoot broadcast-quality video with markedly reduced noise in multiple frame formats. Record DX-format Full HD movies at up to 25p/30p, or switch to 1.3x crop mode for extra telephoto reach and record at up to 1080/50p/60p. The camera offers clean HDMI out, plus simultaneous capture of full-resolution footage in-camera and on an external recorder.

Moviemaking freedom: as Nikon puts it, let’s you take complete control over footage. Transition smoothly between dark and bright areas with Auto ISO control in M mode. Shoot in Zebra mode to see exactly where highlights are blown on the camera monitor. Apply Flat Picture Control for easier color grading in post. A dedicated movie menu lets you store all movie settings in one place. One thing to note is the fact that you cant change aperture setting in live view mode.

High-fidelity audio: record movies that sound the way you want with the D7200’s superior options for audio control. You can select the sound range (wide/voice), and wind noise can be reduced when recording with the built-in microphone. For maximum freedom to record sound direct from the source, the Nikon ME-W1 wireless microphone records high-quality audio from up to 50 m away.

Bright viewfinder: offers approx. 100% frame coverage and exceptional visibility outdoors, even with harsh backlit situations. Boasts an organic EL display element for a bright, high-contrast information display with low power consumption.

Colour-tune monitor: push the colour balance and brightness of the screen in any direction to suit your personal preference. The anti-reflective 8.0-cm (3.2-in.), 1229k-dot RGBW LCD screen enables easy operation under all conditions.

Tough and durable: Built to withstand diverse conditions, the D7200’s body is dust, weather, and drop resistant. Magnesium alloy top and rear covers enhance durability, and the shutter unit is tested to 150,000 releases.

NIKKOR lenses: the D7200 is compatible with the Nikon’s full range of DX-format lenses and a wide range of FX lenses. With their exceptionally high resolving power, NIKKOR lenses deliver exceptional results, and the compact size of DX-format lenses is a real advantage when you want to travel light or shoot telephoto. Shoot in 1.3x crop mode and you can extend the telephoto reach of a lens like the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–300mm f/3.5–6.3G to 390 mm, equivalent.

Built-in flash: with intelligent i-TTL flash control and a commander function that lets you wireless trigger and control up to two groups of remote Nikon speedlights from the camera.

Creative Lighting System: use the D7200 with a range of versatile Speedlights for creative flash photography on- or off-camera. Nikon’s industry-leading Creative Lighting System includes fast high-end flashes like the SB-700 as well as flash units like the SB-500, which boasts an onboard high-intensity LED light that’s ideal for movie recording.

Remote operation: dedicated accessories give you multiple options for wireless control and image transmission. Release the camera remotely via a smart device using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and the dedicated WMU app.¹ To take further control over wireless shooting, use the WR-R10 Wireless Transceiver and the WR-T10 Wireless Transmitter, or control your camera settings with the WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller. To connect to Ethernet and wireless LAN, use the optional UT-1 Data Transmitter together with the WT-5 Wireless Transmitter.

NFC support: easily transfer images to an NFC compatible smart device (currently android devices and I believe iPhone as of the 6 and up. Simply touch the D7200 with a smart device and you can transfer the image that’s showing on the camera’s LCD screen.

Energy saving design: shoot for longer on one charge. Capture up to 1,110 still images and up to 80 minutes of movie footage³ on a single charge of the ultra-compact and lightweight lithium-ion rechargeable EN-EL15 battery.

Storage media: two SD card slots enable a smooth shooting experience. Both card slots are compatible with high-capacity SDXC and UHS-I cards.

 

Performance

Like I stated before putting a lens on the Nikon takes some getting used to if your used to a different setup like for example Canon. First thing I had to do is find a lens, the one am using is a Nikon AF-S 18-70mm f3.5-5.6G ED DX. It’s not the best lens and has no VR, but for the testing purposes it did just fine. To be honest I didn’t have any other lens to throw on it at the time of writing this review :-)

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I started doing some landscapes first and seeing I kinda like the HDR look I wanted to test out the HDR built-in feature, sadly that only worked with JPEG’s and I don’t do JPEG only RAW so I decided to do it the old fashioned way. Taking 3 images (using the bracketing function on the D7200) with a low, normal and one over exposed image then merged them in photoshop and there you have it :-)

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Here is a normal RAW shot at ISO 100, I must admit it does’nt look that bad even with this lens on it. I used VIVID picture style setting, normally I just use NEUTRAL then post process. Due note that JPEG’s take up about 12MB of storage while RAW files uses 30MB. Why RAW and not just shoot JPEG? That’s going to be a future article trust me :-)

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Here are some ISO test shots made under decent lighting circumstances ranging from ISO 100 to 25600. These were all taken in my living room with windows curtains closed leaving me with a decent amount of light. As you can see the shots hold up really well even with high ISO, though the test result heavily depend on the lighting situation.

 
Doing tests with a camera is always tricky, it not just the camera body that’s responsible for the quality of a picture. Its like lots of people say, it’s all about “glas, glas, glas, glas, glas”. The lens I used to test out the Nikon D7200 was a Nikon AF-S 18-70mm f3.5-5.6G ED DX which is not the best lens to a decent test but it was they only one I had. The lens has no VR and but does work nicely as a walk around lens. This lens has aged a bit (from 2004) but is sold used in the EU for about 80 euro’s which is not a bad deal.

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Conclusion

I have been playing around with the Nikon D7200 for a about 2 weeks now and I must admit I am liking a lot. The body itself is a bit smaller than more former Canon 70D but also has a better battery life. The maximum fps is slower then my Canon 70D which is 5.5 fps (shooing RAW 14bit) compared to the 7 fps of the 70D. The way I use burst mode is to shoot in small bursts, this way the camera has no problem keeping up with me and the buffer doesn’t run out on me at all. The D7200 can shoot faster but then you’d have to switch to crop mode (1.3) which will leave you with about 16 MP image to work with, or you can switch from 14bit to 12bit RAW or shoot JPEG only to achieve 6 fps ( but why would you wanna do that?).

The only two things I would have liked to have changed on the D7200 is the position of the AE-L/AF-L button. I wanted to setup this button to use as my back button focus but seeing my left eye is the dominate one the button gets in my way. Secondly the body grip it self, I would have love to see it have the same grip size of the D750.

The image quality is good, excellent dynamic range, didn’t have any moire issues, its packed with useful features some of which are also present on the D750 and D810 making this the best APC DSLR on the market today. Sure there are DSLR’s that shoot faster, are bigger, and heavier and have a touch/tilt screen but if you don’t have need for it like me the choice is easy. Just make sure You think about your shooting preference before you buy a camera, having more fps or touch screen or tilt or what ever wont make your pictures look better. Its all on you :-)

Buy the Nikon D7200 at Adorama, Amazone or CameraNU.nl.

Our Rating

9 Features

9 Build Quality

9 Handling

9 Focus Speed and Accuracy

9 Image Quality

8 High ISO Performance

10 Size and Weight

10 Value

Overall Rating