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Gear Reviews

Initial Impressions on Nikon’s New D7200 | WPPI 2015

By Anthony Thurston on March 6th 2015

I sit here now in the comfort of my usual office, finally home from the whirlwind week that was WPPI 2015. I wanted to share my initial impressions on the new D7200 today, a new camera that I was very excited to see at the show.

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I quickly made my way over to the Nikon booth once I had some free time, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a relatively small crowd. I was able to get my hands on the D7200 in no time, and it did not disappoint. But before I go further, make sure to check out our announcement post for full details on the new D7200.

Initial Impressions on the New Nikon D7200

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Holding a DSLR in your hands after becoming accustomed to something like my Fuji X-T1 is always  a bit of a shock, even a ‘smaller’ crop body like the D7200.

That being said, the camera feels really nice in the hands. It has a good weight to it, not so much that you notice it a ton, but just enough to feel like you are holding something solid and well built. It reminds me a lot of holding the D750, just in a slightly smaller package.

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We were allowed to shoot with the camera, though no images were able to be taken from the booth. The limited amount of pixel peeping I was able to do via the LCD was not super helpful, but I was satisfied with the results I was getting in the poorly lit conference center.

The menu and navigation are pretty much what you would expect from Nikon, and if you are at all familiar with their menu system, then this camera will be a breeze to operate. I was honestly a bit surprised at the lack of a flip screen, given the inclusion of one on the D750, but the LCD on the back of the camera looked brilliant.

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The top dials turned smoothly and were easy to use without having to take my eye off the viewfinder. Having grown accustomed to EVF’s, it was quite refreshing to see things through an OVF for once.

The built in WiFi seemed easy enough to set up and operate, though (like I said) my ability to use it was sort of limited without being able to save images to a card. Overall though, it seemed to work as you would expect, and was easy for me to figure out, despite never having used WiFi on a Nikon SLR before.

I left the Nikon booth feeling quite impressed with what Nikon has put together in the D7200. It may not be the D400, nor the true 7D Mark II competitor that we all wanted it to be, but it should be a solid camera for any Nikon DX shooters looking to upgrade to the latest technology.

If you are interested, our WPPI coverage sponsor, B&H Photo, is now taking pre-orders on the D7200 in both the Body and Kit variations. You can get your hands on the D7200 body only for just $1196, or if you prefer the kit, you can get your hands on that for $1496.

The D7200 is expected to start shipping around the middle of this month, so get your pre-orders in now to get at the front of the line and get your hands on one first!

Were you at WPPI? Did you get a chance to see the D7200? What were your first impressions? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Graham Curran

    Kill the spam

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  2. Servando Miramontes

    Different strokes for different folks… At the end of the day it all comes down to two things… what can you afford and what do you shoot.

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  3. Servando Miramontes

    The price difference between the d610 and d7200 is a little steep but what’s another 800? Especially if you sell your old body to upgrade to the next? FX cameras tend to retain their value pretty well… Everything taken into account, unless I’m in dire need of a crazy long setup for wildlife or sports, FX is a no brainier these days… And yes, lenses are become obsolete these days especially with companies such as Sigma pumping out incredible lenses in the past few years and continuing to do so.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      What’s another $800? It’s the price of a nice lens. I was thinking about it in terms of someone making a decision on buying a new camera. For almost the price of D610 you could get a D7200 and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. That’s like having three fast primes on the D610. And sad to say other than the smaller sensor the D7200 is better specced than the D610.

      If I was looking at cameras from a spec/price point of view and going to buy today, I’d jump on the D7200.

      Personally, I only use DX cameras for testing purposes, so it’s not really an issue for me. I’ve owned pretty much every DSLR camera Nikon has ever released and since it’s a tax write-off for me I don’t worry about the price, but if I was looking for the most bang for the buck I’d go D7200 over D610 any day.

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    • adam sanford

      I’m not convinced that FF is a no brainer. It depends on what you shoot.

      I still think that there is a place for higher end crop body, *even one that costs more than a lower-end FF body*. DXO-dwellers and forum fanatics would bash me for saying that, but some folks would rather a loaded camera with a smaller sensor than a (relatively) stripped-down camera with a massive sensor — they might want a killer AF system, tank-like build and weather-sealing, or a large buffer / high burst rate to capture things that move. Some folks might trade the big sensor for those features, and staying with crop might be the right way to do that.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Adam Sandford:

      Can you imagine the dudes at Nikon Rumors frothing at the mouth with bulging eyes and veins popping out of their heads if Nikon put out a DX D400 and it cost MORE than the D610?

      Man, I wish Nikon would do that just so I could read the insane commentary!

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    • adam sanford

      J Dennis I’ve posited that *exact* same idea on a number of CR Forums’ threads:

      1/3 of them 100% agreed, as they are birders or wildlife or reach-obsessed and would love an integral grip super camera for crop.

      1/3 of them agreed in principle but said that the market wouldn’t sell well if there was a large price overlap between (say) a 7D2 and a 6D. It would be a camera for specialists (see three groups above) and the unit sales would be low.

      1/3 of them thought I was certifiably crazy. They’d rather have a FF rig with a plastic body with one working AF point turning at 1 fps than have a spec-sheet monster of a crop camera with every bell and whistle imaginable.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      @Adam:

      What about the 1/3 that said to give it up and switch to Fuji because DSLR’s are dead and mirrorless is the way of the future? ;)

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  4. Servando Miramontes

    …..and the biggest deal about the 7200 is the high native ISO range… I am interested in seeing how it stacks up in high ISO performance vs. “lower end” FX cameras such as the D610 and, hell, even the older D700! Seeing as how the 7200 is priced right up there with these FX cameras, unless you need the magnification, Nikon isn’t really making a huge price gap between a Cropped and FX.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The D610 is around $2000, right? And the D7200 is about $1200. That’s a good chuck of change.

      I think the biggest obstacle with the D7200 is that Nikon has very few lenses that can stand up to that sensor. The glaring omission is a good fast pro zoom. The 17-55mm f/2.8G is OLD. When I was writing the D7100 guide I was testing the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 | C and that lens was way sharper than the Nikon “pro” lens. I instantly sold the Nikon and got a more versatile and sharper lens and pocketed the difference.

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  5. Rafael Steffen

    I still hope for a D350 or a D400 because Nikon should respond to sports and wildlife photographers. In my opinion the D7200 is like if Canon updated their 70D to a 80D. Who knows, we have to wait and see in September.

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    • adam sanford

      Great analogy. It’s unfair to call the D7200 a 7D2 competitor — it’s a 70D competitor. You are spot on.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      In my opinion, the D7xxx series has always been in between what Canon has put into their X0D and 7D series cameras. Better in most respects than the 60/70D bodies, while being not quite there in most respects to the 7D series. But, being Nikon’s top crop body at the moment, that makes its top competitor Canons top crop, which is the 7D.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The thing to look for is rumors of Nikon updating the 17-55 f/2.8G. They are going to have to do that if they expect to put out a D400. That old lens isn’t going to cut it on a pro-level DX camera.

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    • adam sanford

      J Dennis, you are spot on. Pro quality ‘standard zooms for crop’ are nearly non-existent.

      Canon users are in the same boat as Nikon. 7D2 users have the choice of an aging (and dust-prone) 17-55 F/2.8 IS option or the option to slap on a big and heavy FF UWA 16-35 2.8 zoom that ‘become’ standard zooms when you tack on the crop.

      It’s a big frustration that pushes many crop shooters (the ones *without* reach obsession) to move to FF. I often hear ‘I want a great standard zoom and the ones Canon sell are not wide enough on a crop rig’ or ‘My 24-70 L lens is stellar, but I am always changing it out for the crop UWA option.’

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      16-35 is an extremely limited range on DX (it’s awesome for full-frame). I was using the Sigma 18-35 for awhile, but it’s an f/1.8 so it gets a pass on limited range. You gotta have at least a 24-70 equiv. to be considered versatile. 16-35 is a “normal” zoom. Not wide enough for cool effects, not long enough to get anything relatively far off. it’s like the Leica Tri-Elmar 28-35-50 f/4. Just boring enough to get discontinued.

      It’s like standard fast zooms are stuck in the early part of the millennium. When was the last time anybody but Sigma even tried to put out a really good standard APS-C zoom? Even Tamron and Tokina are chasing the full-framers.

      It’s pretty sad when the best lens out there for a top of the line DX camera is a $500 variable aperture zoom.

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  6. Vince Arredondo

    I think it was a natural iteration of the D7100. Nothing to wow, just upgrading.

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  7. Greg Silver

    There’s nothing really wrong with the Nikon 7200 – but for some reason it just doesn’t WOW me. I think if I was to spend around $1,500 on a kit there are other models (Sony, Canon or Nikon) I’d buy.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      I would agree with that Greg. Its not bad at all, one of those good at everything, great at nothing situations maybe…

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    • Petr Kulda

      18 14bit RAWs buffer, or 27 12bit compressed RAWs can generate some WOW factor compared to old D7100.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The D7200 is a big step up from the D7000, but incremental from the D7100. That’s to be expected. The DSLR is reaching maturity. The AF is much improved with the D750 AF system. It has a new Sony 24MP sensor instead of the Toshiba (although that Toshiba was really good). The buffer was significantly increased. The frame rate boosted a little. EXPEED 4 processor

      Basically all of the things I saw most D7100 users complaining about were fixed. So what’s the problem?

      The funny thing is that the the camera everybody loves to hate, the Df whoops the D7200 buffer even with EXPEED 3. and it’s only a .5 fps difference.

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  8. adam sanford

    Side note: Perhaps Nikon doesn’t offer a 7D2-like rig because they already offer crop modes on their FF bodies, right?

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      The D810 has enough MP to function well in crop mode. And for a full-on pro camera The D3X would be it.

      Unfortunately the pro-build crop body stopped with the D300s. And regardless of what everyone wants Nikon doesn’t necessarily have to put out a direct competitor to everything Canon offers. Nikon does best in their full-frame cameras and I think that’s where they want to keep their market. They don’t want to keep designing new DX lenses. They’d rather commit to making better FX lenses.

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    • adam sanford

      I don’t think this is a keeping-up-Canon thing. Forget Canon and the 7D2 for a minute. *Nikon must have reach obsessed folks as well.* I would argue Nikon shooters need this rig not to compete with Canon so much as serve an unmet need with a chunk of their business.

      As for not wanting to make new DX lenses… I hear you, but the folks I know buying 7D2 rigs already have a pretty healthy bullpen of glass and with rare exception are putting existing EF (i.e. FX) lenses they own on them.

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    • J. Dennis Thomas

      Nikon has a history of not following the vocal few on the camera forums. Who’s really crying for a D300 replacement? A few thousand amateur birding and sports photographers. People are raving about the D750 and it’s nothing but a D650. All of those people that were hating the Df on the forums, but it still continues to sell.

      If Nikon based their decisions on what camera forums say they’d be making a bad business decision. Camera forums are the vocal few, not the actual buying public. If you look at the major camera forums it’s all the same 50 or so people across the board. The Nikon Rumors guys and Canon Rumors guys, and Fuji Rumors are on the DPReview as well and that same small vocal group is making the figures appear skewed. Hell, the Leica Rumors i nothing but Leica haters. If Leica based their decisions around what the nerds on those forums said they’d have been out of business years ago.

      I think Nikon’s people know what they are selling well and they choose what is working for them. Their entry-level cameras offer phenomenal quality at low price, they have some pretty successful affordable FX cameras. They aren’t concerned about a pro-level DX camera.

      Even the Df, was a good business decision. Although the haters claim it was a copy-cat camera it was being designed around the same time as the Fuji X100 and would have been the first “retro-styled” interchangeable lens camera on the market, but the earthquake pushed the release back by almost 3.5 years. Had the Df come out on time I think people would have reacted differently because Nikon’s lineup was pretty solid at the time.

      I have faith that people who have degrees in marketing and work their way up in a huge corporation like Nikon probably have a better idea of what they’re doing than some armchair photography business philosopher.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Nikon had something big up their sleeves. As of right now they’re only making three camera models in Japan and the Df is made in limited numbers (15,000/mth as compared to 30,000/mth for D810). Typically Nikon makes four full production models in Sendai simultaneously. Maybe it is a pro-DX, but I kinda doubt it.

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  9. adam sanford

    I’m just surprised there isn’t a need for Nikon to offer “crop D4s” for reach-obsessives who don’t want to buy the most expensive superteles. As much as we think of crop bodies as being non-pro tools, in birding, action, and wildlife photography, I think there is absolutely a place for a pro-build crop rig.

    For Canon shooters, the 7D2 is (largely) a 1DX minus a grip stuffed into a crop body. If you want a crazy high burst speed with great AF and a large buffer, and would rather pay for a 400 prime instead of buying a 600 prime, the 7D2 serves that need very, very nicely.

    So why doesn’t Nikon offer such a camera? I’m curious how they can offer umpteen FF models and they won’t offer a proper crop flagship. I think a “crop D4s” for $1,600-1,800 — if appropriately spec’d and solidly built — would sell *really* well.

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