“One for the photography enthusiasts”
With the D7200, Nikon is updating its mid-range mode,l the D7100 to help the company better compete with similar products, such as Canon and Sonys’ cameras. The body-only version is available for $1,200 which. While not cheap, it has a good price when compared with similar models.
Nikon has opted for an incremental update instead of a major change. The sensor has been improved a bit (24.2MP vs 24.1MP), and now it has a better image processor, buffer, AF system, Wi-Fi and even NFC support. It has the same 51-point AF sensor seen in higher-end full frame models by Nikon, which makes the D7200f the first APS-C camera to be capable of focusing even at -3EV.
Like most modern DSLRs in this price bracket, the D7200 also lacks the anti-aliasing filter which helps it capture more detail and produce sharper photographs. The tradeoff is that images have a higher chance of developing interference effects. But according to Nikon, the high pixel density of the camera’s CMOS sensor makes it less likely to suffer from patterning, and there is no claim or evidence that this may be wrong.
Let’s take a closer look at the camera and see if it lives up to the high standards set by its predecessor, and whether it has what it takes to be successful in the mid-range segment.
Lately, Nikon changed the way they design their cameras. The D750 was one of the first cameras to use the new style which provides a better grip and feel. However, the D7200 retains the old design ethos which, while perfectly all-right, doesn’t feel as good as the new style. This is one of the many things which show that this camera is just an iterative upgrade.
It is designed just like any other enthusiast-level model and even has a secondary monochrome LCD on the top panel to provide quick information about battery life and various settings. Because of the additional screen, the mode dial is on the top-left of the camera. Buttons are arranged just like the earlier model – split between both sides of the display. The lack of an articulated LCD is a bit disappointing though.
The D7200 is a well-built camera. It weighs around 680g and feels solid to hold. The body is made of a magnesium alloy with polycarbonate elements which give it the same air of quality as higher-end models. It is also weatherproof – there are rubber flaps covering all the ports –meaning that you can use the camera in a variety of conditions without worrying. Assuming you get a suitable lens, of course.
Nikon has added an EXPEED 4 image processor to the D7200 which improves general performance. Even though burst speed remains the same at 6fps, the camera has better burst duration – it can capture 27 RAW files before the buffer runs out, which is better than the 16 RAW files managed by the Canon 70D.
AF performance is excellent. It uses the 51-point system seen in the Nikon D810. The AF points fill up almost the entire frame when using 1.3x crop mode. This could come in handy for wildlife photographers who want to get a bit closer to their subject. 15 of these AF points are cross-type which improves overall speed and sensitivity.
The center focus-point works at -3EV (as opposed to -2EV in the D7100) which is excellent for low-light photography. While focusing is slow in low-light conditions, it does work. The camera tracks objects well too with the 3D tracking mode doing a good job.
Live View performance is nothing to write home about. When using the LCD, the camera switches to contrast detection mode which is accompanied by a reduction in speed. Sometimes it takes a little more than a second to lock on to a target, but still remains accurate.
Image Quality and Video
The D7200 produces some of the most detailed images in its class. In fact, I would say that the only other APS-C camera which takes better images is the 28MP Samsung NX1, and even then, there is little to separate the two. The lack of an anti-aliasing filter makes images more detailed even in the 1.3x crop mode.
Dynamic range is great – it manages 12.6EV at ISO 100. ISO performance is very good with and there isn’t a lot of noise even at ISO 6400. The camera even extends to ISO 102,400 in a monochrome-only mode. Needless to say, the higher ISO settings are for emergency use only. White balance isn’t as good as it could have been. Even though there are plenty of preset modes, images end up having a slight cast at times. But it’s not a big deal since you can adjust the settings easily.
There is no support for 4K video yet, which is a bit disappointing. But, the camera does support 1080p video at 60fps in the 1.3x crop setting, and a clip is limited to around 10 minutes. It has a ‘flat’ mode for video which captures bland footage but retains as much dynamic range as possible. The aim is to give more leeway during post production when the color can be fixed anyway.
- 2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- No anti-aliasing filter
- EXPEED 4 image processor
- 6fps burst speed
- 51-point AF system (with 15 cross-type points)
- Can focus at -3EV
- ISO 100 – 25,600 (extendable to 102,400)
- Maximum shutter speed – 1/8000
- Dust and water resistant
- Dual SD slots
- 1080p video @ 60fps
- 100% viewfinder coverage
- 2-inch 1.2MP fixed TFT LCD display
- Fast AF
- Excellent image quality
- Doesn’t follow Nikon’s newer design philosophy
- No articulated display
The D7200 produces great images and has a high-end weatherproof body and focusing system making it great for enthusiasts. It adds a few necessary features like Wi-Fi and NFC too. It is a great option for people who are looking to upgrade to a mid-range offering. But, if you already have a D7100 (or similar) the upgrade may not be worth it.