Steve's Conclusion

SPEED & AF PERFORMANCE

| Aperture Priority mode | f/3.8 | 1/500 sec. | ISO 400 | 23mm |

The D7500 DSLR has the newest Nikon image processor, the EXPEED 5. This represents an upgrade from the Nikon D7200, which used the EXPEED 4. Performance levels with the D7500 are very strong, including a maximum burst rate of eight frames per second.

Nikon gave the D7500 face recognition, making it the first Nikon DSLR with an APS-C sized image sensor to include this capability.

When coupled with the excellent AF and AE performance of the D7500, this model is more than adequate for action photography. The autofocus system does an excellent job of maintaining the autofocus on the subject you've selected.

With 51 autofocus points, the D7500 carries the same basic autofocus system of the D7200. For comparison, the Nikon D500 has 153 autofocus points.

An autofocus/manual focus toggle switch is on the back of the D7500 as well as on the kit lens.

Shutter lag basically is non-existent with the D7500.

Timing Test Results:
  • Power up to first image captured: 0.3 seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused: less than 0.1 seconds
  • Shutter lag with autofocus: about 0.1 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay with flash: 0.6 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay without flash: 0.2 seconds
  • Continuous shot, low: 10 frames in 1.8 seconds at 21M
  • Continuous shot, high: 10 frames in 0.9 seconds at 21M
METERING

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | 1/320 sec. | ISO 100 | 18 mm |

Metering results are accurate in nearly all shooting conditions. The D7500 uses the same 180,000-pixel RGB sensor as the D500, which helps explain the strong performance in this area. The D7500's metering options are matrix, center-weighted, spot, and highlight-weighted. The auto white balance is also extremely accurate while shooting exteriors, but slightly less so while shooting indoors. However, these inaccuracies are minimal.

The EV setting is adjustable between -5 and +5 in 1/3 steps. The D7500 does not have a dedicated EV dial. Instead, you'll press the EV button on the top of the camera near the shutter button and then spin the command dial at the back of the camera.

STILL IMAGE QUALITY

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/7.1 | 1/200 sec. | ISO 100 | 23 mm |

Don't be disappointed in the fact that the D7500 has only 20.9 megapixels of resolution. Its image quality is outstanding in all kinds of lighting. Even though this camera doesn't offer the large megapixel counts of some other DSLRs, the quality of its photos is very strong.

We appreciated the color accuracy and exposure levels in the D7500's JPEG photos. And RAW photos are exactly as good as you'd expect them to be. Because the D7500 shares the same APS-C sized image sensor of the older, but higher priced, D500, we expected excellent image quality with the D7500, and we received it.

Flash photography works well with the popup flash unit included with the D7500. You can pick from multiple flash modes, including Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye Reduction, SlowSync, Rear-Curtain Sync, and Red-Eye Reduction/SlowSync.

Through the camera's mode dial, you have the option of recording in four advanced shooting modes -- Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Program Auto. But there's also a fully automatic mode and some special effect modes, such as Super Vivid, Pop, Toy Camera, Photo Illustration, and Selective Color.

For more sample images, please check out our Nikon D7500 Sample Image Gallery.

ISO PERFORMANCE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | ISO settings between 25,600 and Hi 5 (1,640,000 equivalent) (full-size images on Samples Page) |

High-level ISO performance is one area where the Nikon D7500 struggles a little bit.

The D7500 has a native ISO performance of between 100 and 51,200. You'll see a little bit of noise begin to appear in photos at between 6400 and 12,800. Still, it's not until you go into the extended ISO range that you'll have almost unusable photos.

The extended ISO range runs as high as an equivalent ISO setting of 1,640,000, but such photos end up being a mashed-up mess.

VIDEO QUALITY

Video quality with the D7500 is adequate, but it could be a little better. This camera is able to record at a 4K video resolution, which is nice, but you have to figure in a 1.5x crop, which limits your options a bit. There's no problems with crop when shooting in HD resolution.

The video quality is good when the subjects aren't moving a lot, but the camera's autofocus mechanism slows down a bit in Live View mode, meaning you may have a few segments of your video stream that blur slightly while the D7500 tries to regain the focal point.

That isn't to say video quality is bad -- it works adequately in many situations -- but if you're looking for an interchangeable lens camera that excels for video, there are better options on the market.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/16 | 1/125 sec. | ISO 100 | 56 mm |

If you like using wireless connections with your camera, you'll appreciate the inclusion of the SnapBridge format in this camera. SnapBridge is Nikon's low-power Bluetooth technology that allows you to transfer photos to your smartphone in an efficient manner for sharing on social media.

Because SnapBridge doesn't occupy much battery power and is always on, this is a great idea versus some of the battery hogging wireless connectivity options that exist with other cameras. However, SnapBridge does drop connections from time to time without giving you a warning, so you may think you've transferred a photo that actually was halted in mid-transmission.

We didn't mind using it, but some reviewers of the D7500 didn't like the SnapBridge app interface.

We do like the fact that you can automatically have SnapBridge downsize your photos to no more than 2MB when transferring them to save storage space on the smartphone and to reduce the amount of time required to move photos.

BOTTOM LINE

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | 1/20 sec. | ISO 100 | 24 mm |

I loved shooting with the Nikon D500 during my review last year, and I also loved shooting with its little brother, the D7500, recently. Nikon shrunk the D500 camera body when creating the D7500, but the smaller, newer DSLR still remains easy to hold and use.

Best of all, many of the interior components that helped make the D500 such a great camera have been included in the D7500. Importantly, the D7500 has both the same image sensor and image processor as the D500, which results in excellent image quality across the board. The D7500 is a fast performer with a strong burst mode and autofocus system.

The D7500's ergonomics are very good. You can hand-hold the camera steadily, thanks to the perfectly shaped right-hand grip. All of the camera's various buttons and command dials are well-placed. It doesn't take long to figure out how to use the D7500 efficiently. I also am a big fan of the small LCD screen on the top of the camera that shows the current key settings.

Whether you're shooting with full manual control or with one of the Nikon DSLR's automatic modes, this camera is very easy to use.

The camera does have a couple of drawbacks. ISO performance is just OK; higher native ISO settings have noticeable noise, and extended ISO settings are basically unusable. 4K video recording also works OK, but there's nothing exceptional about it. There are better DSLRs on the market for those who want a really strong video recording model. The SnapBridge wireless feature is nice, but it's not the most reliable option.

Still, the D7500 excels in the areas where most enthusiast photographers want it to excel, with great image quality in both JPEG and RAW in a variety of shooting conditions and extremely fast performance levels.

Considering how many similarities the D7500 has with the D500 -- and considering how much less the D7500 costs versus the D500 -- the latest Nikon DSLR offers great performance and an excellent value.

PICK THIS UP IF...

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| Aperture Priority mode | f/11 | 1/250 sec. | ISO 100 | 50mm |

You want an easy-to-use enthusiast DSLR that offers excellent photographic quality, fast performance levels, and a good price, but you aren't seeking a DSLR with top-shelf video results.

WHERE TO PURCHASE

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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.