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Photography News

Nikon D7200 Announced: Not a D400, Still a 7D Mark II Competitor?

By Matthew Saville on March 2nd 2015

Nikon’s replacement for the D7100 has been officially announced, so we can finally end all the speculation and wishful thinking about what it might be, or what it should be, or which competition it aims for.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Nikon D7200.

(Available from B&H in early April, at $1,196 body-only, or $1,696 with the 18-140 kit lens. Scratch that, just $1,496 with the kit lens, thanks to an existing rebate!)

nikon-d7200-front-lens-angle

Nikon D7200 Specifications, With Commentary

Newer 24 Megapixel DX Sensor

Considering the image quality I’ve seen from the other 24 megapixel Nikon DX cameras, I’m probably going to be very happy with this new sensor.  24 MP is about all I care to squeeze out of a 1.5x crop sensor, and thanks to the lack of an AA filter it barely hangs on in the battle against diffraction.  Unless there is deep shadow banding like in the D7100, (which is highly unlikely) …this will be an amazing image maker.

New Autofocus System, capable in low-light down to -3EV

Like the D750, this new AF system is definitely going to impress anyone who shoots in low light. It may not be one of the common, excitable specs, but improving from -2EV to -3 EV makes a huge difference for candid and portrait photographers who often find themselves shooting in dimly lit reception halls, churches, or even outdoors after sunset when the light is still beautiful.

nikon-d7200-top-lens

ISO 100-25,600

Again, considering the image quality I’ve seen from the Nikon D5300, D3300, and hopefully soon the D5500, I bet I’ll be impressed and happy with what the D7200 offers.  In fact if you rarely ever shoot higher than ISO 1600-3200, I’d argue that a DX sensor is all you’ll ever need!

[Rewind: The Canon 7D mk2 – A crop-sensor option for wedding photographers?]

How will this sensor compete against the likes of the Canon 7D mk2, or the gorgeous 16 megapixel sensor in the Fuji X100T and Fuji X-T1?  That remains to be seen, of course.

On a related note, for some reason Nikon has only allowed the higehst “HI” setting, 102,400, in black and white mode.  (Presumably therefore a JPG file?) Interesting…

6 FPS, with 7 FPS using 1.3x crop mode

Here is where things start to get disappointing, depending on how serious of an action sports shooter you are.  While 6 FPS is indeed more than enough for almost anybody, it might leave a bit to be desired for sports or wildlife photography.  Especially considering that the “ancient” Canon 7D offered 8 FPS, and the newer Canon 7D Mark II bumped up to 10 FPS. Oh, and the Nikon D300s / D300 could hit 8 FPS when using a vertical grip, too.

We’ll get to whether or not this is a deal-breaker in just a minute, but for now let’s just say most folks will be very happy.

[Rewind: Canon 7D mk2 review: An action sports photographer’s perspective]

No AF-ON Button

Let’s just put this right up there with the 6 FPS number, for the action sports shooters.  Yes, you can re-program the AF-L / AE-L button to perform AF-ON with the D7200.  However its lack of a dedicated, secondary AF-ON button means one less button to re-program, and/or the inability to use BOTH the shutter release and the AF-ON button for autofocus.  (This is something I’ve never minded doing without on my Nikon D750, but many others find it to be a deal-breaker.)

nikon-d7200-back

WIFI: yes. GPS: no. Articulated LCD: no.

I grouped all of these “bells and whistles” into one category, since they seem to all be in the same love-or-hate category.  Everybody is going to be highly opinionated about each one of these features, however personally the more cameras I review the more I actually miss each of these features when they’re absent.  I really, really wish the D7200 had adopted the Nikon D750‘s overall body style, with not just the articulated LCD but also the new battery orientation that allows for the thinner, deeper grip- something I’ve totally fallen in love with.

GPS would have been nice, too.  I actually don’t mind paying for aftermarket accessories, if they’re not too pricey, however the WIFI and GPS accessories I’ve used have always proven to be extremely cumbersome to use, highly impractical for rugged adventure / action photography. That is the real reason why I prefer to have them built-in.

nikon-d7200-front-lens

The Big Question: Is This The Nikon D400?

Yes, the D7200 is a good camera.  Yes, even a sports shooter who owns a D7100 should seriously consider buying this, for its greatly increased buffer.

However, the D7200 is decidedly NOT the offspring of Nikon’s (discontinued) D300s. In other words, it is not the DX D810 (with 8-10 FPS) that some were hoping for.

And yet, with the emphasis in Nikon’s press release about the increased buffer, it seems apparent to me that the message is clear: there will be no D400, folks.

Aside from the general look / layout of the camera, there are really very few things that the D7200 lacks which a DX D810 might offer- a PC sync port and an AF-ON button are all I can think of at the moment.  The D7200 has 1/8000 shutter ceiling, 1/250 flash sync ceiling, a 100% viewfinder, and all kinds of programmable buttons and other pro features.  (A few which even the D750 and D610 lack, actually!)

The D7200‘s Increased Buffer

The increased buffer is admittedly quite significant, especially considering that their measurements are for 14-bit lossless RAW files.  (18 shots)  If you bump the camera to 12-bit compressed RAW, I bet you’d gain 50-75% in buffer depth, giving you a good 4-5 seconds worth of flat-out shutter spamming.  Bump into 1.3x crop mode, and you’ll hit 7 FPS, and the ~15 megapixel images will still have plenty of detail while offering even more buffer space.

Considering these available  space-saving options, and considering how fast SD cards are getting lately, (95 MB/s is almost considered average speed now!) …I’m willing to bet that it’ll be quite hard to “miss the moment” for this reason alone.

Or, if you’re able to shoot in JPG, (in easy conditions where you can nail your white balance and exposure, without needing extreme dynamic range) then you’re in for a real treat: the buffer is ~100 images deep!

Initial Opinion / Verdict

Yes, a DX version of the D810 would have been nice, but considering this camera costs less than $1200, (instead of the ~$1800 that the D300-series lineup used to cost) I’d say it’s the best move Nikon could have made given the circumstances.

Is it a Canon 7D mk2 killer?  Despite the D7200‘s generous buffer, the answer would be NO, not if you crave FPS and that extra versatility that a truly dedicated, pro-grade sports camera can offer.  (The 7D mk2’s autofocus is 100% cross-type, too, by the way)

However, I wouldn’t jump ship for the 7D mk2, nor should 99% of Nikon photographers. The market is currently still to volatile for just this one feature to be a deal-breaker, in my opinion.

Who should buy the D7200?

The Nikon D7200‘s feature set (and image quality, probably) seem to make it a very formidable DSLR.  Advanced amateur photographers who shoot pretty much anything will be thrilled with it, and even pros whose main camera is a D610, D750, or Nikon D810 should consider this to be a highly capable 2nd camera or backup camera.

Disclaimer:  Considering Nikon’s track record of camera recalls lately, I’ll first answer the question “why should buy the D7200?” with one thing for sure:  Only the brave, early-adopter folks! Keep this grain of salt in mind as you read the following final thoughts.

Landscape / adventure photographers who rarely shoot at extremely high ISOs, or fast speeds, or at shallow depths? Do you want dynamic range and sharp detail that will make even (some) full-frame cameras jealous? A new ultimate all-weather travel camera is here.

Part-time portrait and wedding photographers, who do shoot at high ISOs and/or with shallow depth lenses, but are on a budget?  This camera will give its full-frame siblings quite a run for their money, especially in the low-light AF and high ISO departments.

Casual action / sports shooters, photographing their kids’ team sports, or gymnastics, or stage performances? Pair the D7200 with a couple f/2.8 zooms and/or fast primes, and again, you’ve got quite a formidable setup at an impressive low price that will leave room for you to pick up a new lens.

Nikon D7100, Sigma 8-16mm DC (Click here to read our Nikon D7100 review!)

Your Thoughts On the D7200

So, what do you think, folks?  Is the D7200 good enough, or does it miss the mark?  Personally I feel a faint twinge of sadness that we’re nailing shut the coffin of a mythical Nikon D400, just like we did for a mythical high-speed D700 replacement. But if I consider the vast majority of this camera’s intended market, I understand that if Nikon had to pick between two high-end DX camera bodies, this was the better decision considering its incredible price & value.

(Available at B&H in early April, at $1,196 body-only, or $1,496 with the 18-140 kit lens, thanks to an existing rebate!)

Take care and happy clicking,
=Matt=

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Victor Zubakin

    Sounds like a good DSLR.
    I was looking at getting the D7100 but decided to go full frame and buy the D750.
    It’s awesome but I had to shell out some bucks for new glass.
    The D750 replaced my D7000.
    I was going to keep the D7000 as a backup body but have decided to sell it and buy a used D700 instead and sell off all my DX glass.

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks for all the great feedback you guys provided me. Let’s get out there and shoot and stop talking about gear all day long!

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  3. Vince Arredondo

    I think this is a great camera. For me at least, is more important the buffer than the FPS.

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  4. Jason Markos

    Is it just me that’s surprised that this camera has generated such an amount commentary?

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  5. Ben Young

    It seems that every camera that has been released or announced of the course of the last year or so that doesn’t feature an articulated screen or built in Wi-Fi gets blasted for not having these features.

    Are these features really that important?
    I would be interested to see the results of a poll for owners of cameras that have both articulated screens and Wi-Fi where they answer in some way how often these features are used.

    My DSLR camera features an articulated screen but I don’t use it as an articulated screen. It remains folded away at all times. Even when taking landscape photos and the camera is on a tripod.
    And any of the people I go out shooting with don’t make use of their articulated screens either, if they have them. Not even when the camera is mounted on a tripod.
    And they aren’t making use of WI-Fi either. And if I had it on my camera, I doubt very much if I’d use it. I’d certainly try it, but for me, I think it’d end up being yet another “nice to have” feature.

    I’m quite often out taking landscape photos and on nearly every outing I’ll see other photographers, yet I’m yet to see one making use of Wi-Fi out in the field.
    I admit that occasionally I do see someone making use of their articulated screen. But not very often though.

    Why don’t I use the articulated screen?
    Just to clarify, I do use the screen in Live View mode when taking landscape photos, but I don’t fold it out.
    I did fold it out to start with when I was taking landscapes photos, especially if I was trying to get some strange angles.
    But I found that it was better for me to get down to the same position as my camera so I can better see the angles and what I was taking a photo of. I have a better sense of what I’m taking a photo of if I’m seeing everything from the same POV as the camera.

    I’d much rather have GPS on a camera than Wi-Fi or an articulated screen.
    I have a Garmin GPS unit that I take with me on my outings and later sync up the tracklog in Lightroom to the photos. I’d be happy to have my photos already geo-tagged upon import.

    But that’s just me. I only take photos, ie; I don’t shoot video. If you do video, then yes, the articulated screen comes into it’s own.
    Like I said, I’d be interested in seeing a poll of owners of cameras that already have these features (not wish to have) and how often these features are used.
    Preferably the people that answer should have owned said camera for at least 6 months so that they can have chance to get over any novelties.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Look, and just saying – as far as wi-fi, well, I think the social / connectedness aspect is met, with a tad of functionality (the ability to take a picture with your phone / device) – which by the way, I could really care less about, yet, I think it’s about time Nikon get their “stuff” together regarding wi-fi, and pay attention to workflow in the sense of allowing the wi-fi to connect either directly to the pc / mac (peer-to-peer) or through a local area network where the pc / mac sees the camera – just as if it were connected via USB (a.k.a. alternate way to offload images) – that is surely needed more so than the fun / gimmicky factor of wi-fi… right?

      because, as far as wi-fi goes, spending umpteen megabucks to buy a accessory-shoed proprietary device (or set of devices) that looks like a rube-goldberg concoction is, well, OUT

      Now, having said that – I’d rather have a camera that (no pun intended) focuses on it’s image creation ability over any wi-fi… and, the same goes for movie making, I’d give all that up for better imagery even over lower cost…

      as far as GPS, well, I could see using that – maybe I could return to an “exact” spot for a shoot, gee, that’d be great – many uses… like hit the exact same spot more or less for astrophotography, or in a deep forest or field – during different times of the day or seasons – I suppose you could do that with a garmin, right? but to just have the longitude / latitude stamped into the exif, a great convenience…

      and so it goes.

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    • Ben Young

      I was thinking of file transfers when I wrote my post, but I left it out because I know I’m not likely to use it for that purpose.
      Transferring files via Wi-Fi is going to use up the battery – if I didn’t need to charge the batteries prior to upload, I will afterwards.
      Chances are if I’m downloading photos from my camera I’m also charging it’s batteries.
      Maybe I suddenly need my camera to shoot something in the middle transferring a few hundred images – what happens then?
      Or maybe I might be fiddling with some camera settings. Whatever.
      I personally will continue to remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into a card reader directly connected to my PC.
      Once again, that’s just me. I don’t want to deplete my cameras battery just to transfer files, especially when I have a card reader which will do the job faster.

      The most practical use of Wi-Fi for me would be for studio shoots – wireless tethered shooting.
      Though, there one thing that concerns me with using Wi-Fi in this manner. Transfer speed.
      It’s not going to be fast enough to transfer the raw files, so you’d have to shoot JPEG+RAW and transfer only the JPEGs over to the computer for immediate viewing.
      That leaves you to transfer the raw files after the shoot. So really, Wi-Fi tethered shooting is only semi useful.

      But for me, with my current camera that means buying some, as you say, a Rube Goldberg concoction that costs megabucks. Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll just stick with my cable for now.

      I don’t know how other people make use of the built-in Wi-Fi in their cameras, but for my own use, having Wi-Fi built into the camera is nothing to write home about.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Yup, the tethered shooting would be the best feature – and I was thinking of that too, yet did not mention it – just was not at the tip of my “fingers” at the time…

      Power – teetering between what was, and what can be –

      1. Yes, wi-fi could (does) drain battery.

      2. what ALL mfr’s have to consider is smaller footprint (nm) processors which can use way less power and deliver impeccable computing / processing power / speed – this can address the power issues / concerns

      3. MFR’s should abandon use of the existing rube-goldberg wi-fi contraptions and implement the fastest wi-fi architectures (i.e. A.C.) which could achieve higher-end card throughput (125+ mb) rates – there ya go… nice physical platform for wireless tethered shooting. we really do need this in this day and age…

      4. And while they achieved a normalized yet powerful wi-fi architecture – where the camera “IS” visible to the network you might as well implement a web interface available to your PC / MAC / iPad / tablet etc… just open your browser, point to an IP address, and work with an interface that allows you to do file management, setup your tethered shooting relationship (which device to target), provide a means to adjust camera settings, work with profiles, camera / speedlight firmware updates to the devices (attached devices)

      5. the security can be managed – i.e. who can / can’t have access to the camera via wireless, and a nice “safety” feature could be implemented, where when the camera is in shooting mode the web interface is off / unavailable or even implement the ability for tethered management – where in a tethered relationship only the tethered device has web access to the camera, for on the fly file management etc…

      Seriously – if they can work out the power / computing aspect it can answer a lot… it’s a choice of the MFR… they can have the best of both worlds – same / better images and a great workflow engine, while achieving low power consumption..

      Pro’s can totally use these features, yet even the basics of simple file transfer to a PC / MAC should be included, for any wi-fi enabled camera…

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    • Matthew Saville

      No, Ben, they’re not that important, however the more cameras I use, the more I enjoy the features. That’s why I put them all together in the same category.

      You could go the rest of your life shooting with an optical viewfinder, on a camera without wifi, or a flippy LCD screen, let alone a touch screen for that matter. But it would definitely be considered a “traditional photography” path, one that doesn’t do much video, and generally a purist approach. Which is something I appreciate and enjoy doing myself, (the Nikon Df was a delight to review) …however my desire to push the envelope and do new things will always be there.

      All I’m saying is, I have a D750 and a D5300, both of which have articulated LCD’s, both WIFI as well, and one of which has GPS….And yup, the lack of any of these features would annoy me if I were to pick up a D7200.

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    • Dave Lyons

      I had a floppy screen on my sony a550 and HATED it, makes me in no hurry to have another one thats for sure

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  6. Daniel Friedli

    I think this is an interesting camera for me, but am wondering if the community can share some opinions. I have a D750 and am considering a second camera (as a backup and second body for events and weddings). I’m an amateur shooter, and a few times a year shoot a wedding or similar event. I need a second camera, and will buy one. I tried the renting thing, but prefer to have my own (camera) body.
    I was thinking a crop sensor body and was waiting for the D7200 to be announced. I like the similarity to the D750, and actually don’t miss anything except maybe the articling screen. But, for the price, at least in Switzerland, the price difference to a D750 isn’t that high.
    Do I spend my money on the D7200 and a DX body, or do I spend $350 more and get a second D750?

    I see advantages in both… Thoughts?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hey Daniel,

      I personally am a huge fan of a two-sensor combo, but mainly just because I do lots of traveling and backpacking, and having the lighter, smaller crop-sensor lenses is a huge benefit. I really love my Nikon D5300, Tokina 11-16 2.8, and Sigma 50-150 2.8… They’re at least a couple pounds lighter than an equivalent in full-frame bodies and lenses, and thousands cheaper.

      However, having said that, the difference / usefulness will vanish pretty quick if you don’t care about size / weight savings, or if the price difference is very small. Not to mention, if you don’t have any crop-sensor lenses to use with that crop-sensor camera. In that case, you might as well just get a spare D750. The D750 is already a joyfully lightweight camera, and with a couple f/1.8 G primes or an f/4 zoom, you’ve got a lightweight kit that would really take care of business…

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    • Dave Lyons

      For events and weddings don’t overlook a gently used D700, absolutely fantastic! and prices are about $800 for ones with less than 20k actuations

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  7. robert garfinkle

    Here is what concerns me about Nikon…

    In the last few years we’ve seen a shift in products brought to market… and I base some of my commentary in reaction to the comments above, where you guys claim “there was not enough reason to jump from a 7100 to the 7200..”

    It almost feels as if the feature jumps from camera to camera (one being the replacement) are not too much different. There are some nice ones, but mostly feels like little increments – that is evident by everyone’s comments… and it also feels like the frequency of release is sooner. We can cite many groups of cameras which fit this. let’s cite the D800/D800e/D810 as one, the D4/D4s as another, and the D600/D610/D750 as well – almost with the sentiment, and I’ve sometimes heard, “The D810 is what the D800/D800e should have been”, or the “D750 is what the D600/D610” should have been, and I can almost say that about the D4/D4s too, right?

    I mean c’mon guys / gals – the only other company who seems to pattern themselves similarly is, well, Microsoft, who typically takes about 3 full iterations to “get it right”, i.e. (not I.E.) windows 10 is coming out soon, which looks to be great, yet I’m thinking along with some of the other windows users – windows 10 is where 8.0/8.1 should have been – and this has been their pattern…

    I have heard before, in a few forums (photography life, by Thom etc..) that Nikon does not know who it’s marketing to, who is their customer, what’s their plan etc…

    Now, I have only been in this a few years, and most likely have no clue as to what I’m talking about – but, my first exposure to Nikon was about 5 years ago, when my friend handed me, for free, a D1, and when I started enquiring about Nikon, professional vs. pro-sumer vs. basic cams, it seemed like the frequency of release was more spread out / thinner, yet the feature jumps were greater…

    or am I off on this…

    Am I a “victim” of this marketing shift, whereas I went after the D810 giving up my D800, just because it’s newer – admittedly, yes; oh, don’t get me wrong, if you look at the specs between the two, there are some wonderful fundamental differences (reasons to do so) – but had I been working with a D800e, I might have not made a jump to the D810…

    However, I’m saving my pennies for the D900 :)

    rob

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    • Dave Lyons

      Depends on your needs… personally I like what they’re doing, all these people bitching about it but most of my friends shoot canon and you should hear them whine about never getting any good updates or waiting 3-5 years for them and when they do they’re nothing major.

      To me a lot of the improvements I’d rather have quickly (like the better AF system and buffer)… would you prefer or would it make it better if they made you wait 3-5 years to release those after they’re ready? Judging from peoples comments you’d think thats the case. Like the 7dm2’s new light sync feature… they’ve probably had that for 2-3 years just sitting there… do you think the people who use it now would have loved to have it then?

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    • Stephen Jennings

      This isn’t a Nikon thing, it’s just a camera thing. The technology is actually still relatively new, digital cameras, and while we’d expect these things to be perfected in all honesty they are still new technologies. A company will release a camera, it will be awesome, everyone will love it .. then after a few months decide that it needs a few new things, a little change here or there. The company will then produce a follow up with those fixes.

      It’s not like they are building cameras purposefully degraded only to add new features later that they could have added before.

      Besides, that’s why the old saying is “invest your money in glass” .. 50 year old lenses will still produce amazing photographs. The body is something to be discarded after a few years. You’re not really supposed to jump from d600/d610/d750, but rather wait, as you say, for that d900.

      I’d love a d810 .. but my d800 produces wonderful photographs. Maybe the d810 would make those photos look a little better, but I hazard a guess I’m the only one who’d notice.. and $3k towards a new lens would get me far more bang for my buck.

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    • robert garfinkle

      no would not prefer to wait – of course, and I do like the fact that I picked up the D810, I do, no regrets – not mad at Nikon for that matter… just saying

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    • Stephen Jennings

      Hey, gear is very personal. No one judging your d810 purchase =P

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    • robert garfinkle

      Agreed Stephen – You know, I loved the D800, especially with the 28mm N-coated f1.8, twas my favorite combo –

      btw, maybe your lucky you still have the D800. and I’m not implying I do not like my D810 – I anticipate I will just be glad I got it for sure, looking forward to enjoying it in the spring and summer…

      So, why are you lucky…

      I just reported to Nikon today, with images sent, that there are bright spots showing up on exposures around a full second or so… this is for a full frame shot vs. a 1.2 crop (which was reported last year and fixed, yes?) but my serial is outside the group which was effected / after… and the image clearly shows a family / group of bright spots on the images… we shall see what they say…

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    • Matthew Saville

      Rob, fortunately what you’ve seen is no different from what Canon tried to get away with on the front of the 10D thru the 50D, or any of the Rebels. Almost the same exact sensor, and barely adding a few features here and there from time to time just to appease the nay-sayers.

      The reason is, simply put, Nikon is way ahead of the competition in a few respects, so they’re putting some things on cruise control.

      It’s a shame that a few certain things that SHOULDN’T be on cruise control are, but they’re still in the lead, and I still wouldn’t trade the system for any other.

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    • robert garfinkle

      Hey listen Matt (can I call you Matt?) –

      It’s all good. I would not trade it either, for anything…. I am really hoping that my comments come off more as “observation” than complaints…

      I am use to issues with Nikon, unfortunately, yet going with the flow here.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Indeed, that is why I speak up as loudly as I can too, when I think something needs to be known. With each passing year that we don’t see Canon or Nikon offer a direct mirrorless competitor to the Sony A7 series that is now 4 cameras string, I worry. However I still have 100% confidence that both companies can turn things around almost overnight. Nikon may be a slow moving giant, but when they do move, it tends to rock the entire industry.

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  8. Steven Pellegrino

    I’ve been shooting with the D7100 since it came out. It’s a great camera and I really enjoy using it. For months I’ve known I needed a back-up Nikon and was waiting until I heard about what was coming next from them. When I read the early rumors on the D7200 I decided to buy a used D300 (only 7,000 clicks at $400 on ebay) and spend the rest of the cash on a couple of new lenses.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Great move!

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    • Rafael Steffen

      We need to wait and see the DXO scores to see the image quality comparison between the 7D Mark II and the Nikon D7200.

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    • robert garfinkle

      speaking of that – why DXO has not listed / tested the 20mm 1.8 n-coated lens – can’t find it up there…

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Hew Matthew, do you think Nikon could still launch a D400 with a new sensor in September combined with a faster fps together with the new coming AF system in a D810 body? Another great idea to beat the rest of the competition would be to introduce a 1.3 crop sensor and make it 8 fps and 10 fps with the grip. What is your idea on this one?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Rafael, no, I think this is the end of the line for a D400. The Nikon D750 situation tends to agree with me – they clearly wanted to “end” the D700 body design legacy, and this is how they’ve done it.

      I suppose you could argue that, given the naming of the D750, we’re still due a “D350” or something. But like I said in my original report- What does this D7200 really lack that people will miss, that is worth an extra $500-$700? A couple more FPS and an AF-ON button? That’s just not a good decision for Nikon to make.

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    • robert garfinkle

      DXO seems (with caution) to be a trusted test bed, is DXO accurate? or is it that their tests, even if “off”, are the same tests they use for all cams –

      on that note – I have to ask everyone here. Some DXO critics badmouth them, state they favor Nikon or something to that effect… right? I can’t judge.

      Yet, at the same time I notice that Nikon seems to be at the top of the pile – sensor-wise, nicely clustered (for the most part), some stragglers lie below…

      Now, if DXO sensor tests are accurate, when I see some of the major brands with flagship / near-flagship cameras way down the bottom of the ranks, in some cases well below Nikon I have to ask a couple questions…

      What drives your choice in Camera, is it sensor? or what other attribute is it? Because if DXO peppers a high ranking say on a Nikon Sensor for D.R. you’d think people would be all over that before picking up a 7D Mark II which has a current sensor rank of 102… (ouch), where the Nikon D7100 takes a 23 position…

      I will take a stab, for Rafael’s sake – and say the D7200 will take position 16 – displacing the Sony SLT Alpha 99, just one under the D4S… watch… or a couple of notches above the D5200 –

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    • Matthew Saville

      Robert, I think DXO is a very good source for individual measurements, with a grain of salt about real-world results of course. Their overall scores, however, for both lenses and especially bodies, are practically worthless to me though in the real world.

      Mainly, the stats I consider to be most useful are the sensor rankings for dynamic range and high ISO, and the lenses’ individual rankings although their sharpness “MP” rating needs a huge grain of salt to go with it because they put all kinds of weird, semi-crappy lenses much higher than legendary lenses with incredible sharpness: https://www.slrlounge.com/dxomark-collects-the-best-lenses-for-the-nikon-d800/

      In short, yes, I do use them as a benchmark. But then I go out and take pictures and stop caring. :-)

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    • Dave Lyons

      RAFAEL STEFFEN
      I don’t think you need to wait for DXO to see the score compared to 7dm2… the d7200 will kick the bejesus out of it!! My old D90 gets a better score than the 7dm2.

      The 7dm2 is ranked the 108th best sensor… ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTH!!!! LMFAO that’s just pathetic but for some it’s good enough so I surely won’t discount their enjoyment of spending $1,800 on one…

      108th…. I’m actually shocked that its that bad. 108th… good god lol

      So easy choice.. if you want fps get the 7dm2 if you want IQ get the D7200… hell get the D300s which has same sensor score, gets 8 fps and save $1400

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think DXO’s individual sensor scores should be considered much more strongly than overall scores; as I already commented I think their overall scores are borderline worthless. Having said that, yes Canon is doing extremely poorly when it comes to dynamic range, with only one (P&S) camera in the top 100 sensors tested. At high ISO, however, the story is different and Canon has maintained a very healthy level of competition across the board.

      In other words, if you don’t need insane dynamic range but high ISO performance is crucial for you, the 7D mk2 is a killer camera that could run circles around the D7200, potentially. We’ll have to wait and see of course.

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    • Dave Lyons

      The high iso scores are also misleading though Matthew… If you dig into how say Canon and Nikon approach how they deal with ISO.

      Canon’s way of “getting” better ISO results is that they DESTRUCTIVELY merge pixels together which takes away details and sharpness… that has nothing to do with the lens, it’s just how they do it. Then they compensate by adding more sharpening even into raw files which of course doesn’t fix the issue that they’ve destroyed pixels.

      Nikon relies on just getting less noise on the sensor and doesn’t do much to reduce the noise (of course not talking about how long exposure nr works though), instead they leave it and let the photographer decide on how to take care of it. So this makes it appear that Nikons have higher noise at higher ISO’s but if you look at the tests the nikons still retain much more detail at higher ISO, obviously due to the fact that they aren’t destroying to pixels to “trick” you into thinking that there’s less noise. That’s another reason that I dislike canon.

      Apparently most people don’t care about this and that’s fine, get what you like.

      As far as DR goes.. canon people play it off as no big deal but it’s a big deal make no mistake about that. I even notice this big time going from a D7000 (13.9 stops of dr) to a D700 (12.1 stops of dr), I surely can’t do the same types of editing anymore.

      When I went fx and chose the d700 over d610 one of the reasons was so that i wouldn’t have a camera with a bunch of crap in it just a good camera and that would ween me off these boards and discussions because it really doesn’t matter or make me a better photographer or make me enjoy it better.

      For like the last 6-8 months I’ve been saying I wish they’d make us a camera that was a camera, no video or any of that crap just a great camera… I didn’t realize there already was one.

      Regardless the D7200 will be fantastic, more than anyone really needs. It’ll be a fabulous all around camera, it will be class leading in most everything except fps and maybe video but as a camera it’ll be hard to beat.

      The one last thing I noticed (and don’t know if the d7100 had this or not) is that they’ve added the exposure bar to the top lcd, thats one thing that i’d always hated not having after my d200.

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  9. Gurmit Saini

    Well to be frank I really don’t see a point of this camera to much extent, not a big jump from D7100.

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    • John Cavan

      I’m of the school that releasing incremental improvements more quickly offers a better choice to the consumer in the long run. I would rather see small updates over time appearing than waiting years for a big leap. The advantage to that is I can decide when the level of change is sufficient for me to make the upgrade in a more fine-grained and reasonable approach.

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    • robert garfinkle

      It’s funny, at the exact same time, in a post below I was questioning the same type of thing, small increments of release vs. more spread out / larger..

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think the small incremental updates are more and more necessary, unfortunately. We’ve got this with all electronics now, TV’s, phones, etc. etc.

      Sony, the wonder child of everybody these days it seems, is doing this too. They pushed the A7 to market when the A7 mk2 was the camera everybody really wanted. They threw the A7, A7R, and A7s at us with lightning speed just to try and cover as many bases as they could as quickly as possible, and I suspect we’ll see some sort of A7R mk2 and A7S mk2 within just 1-2 years of their predecessor’s release.

      This is catching the slow-and-steady battleships of Canon and Nikon off guard. I hate to say it, and I strongly disagree with this notion, but the truth is that both need to pick up the pace if they want to stay in the lead. Hopefully they can do this, without sacrificing quality control and craftsmanship too much…

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    • Dave Haynie

      I agree about the small jump, and I think that’s pretty much been the trend. But of course, the new model of basically the same camera isn’t usually for owners of the previous model (though I did just add an E-M5II to my OM-D system, wjich also 8ncludes an E-M5). RatHer, its looking fresh in the market.

      It’s kind of a vicious cycle, particularly as you move fro pro to consumer. Consumers see PCs and smartphones and most other electronics get annual updates. So they pretty much expect that. A new model is inherently interesting, but a year or two old model is not to be trusted… because ypu know the new one is coming.

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  10. Dave Lyons

    The HDR folks are going to do backflips for the jump up to 9 bracketed shots from 3.

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    • Scottie Nguyen

      That’s one of those things that’s a meaningless bragging rights kinda deal. I hardly see a difference from a 3-bracketed to a 5-bracketed. Instead of those small improvements, they could have spent the extra development efforts to making it a respectable 8 FPS. With mirrorless going into the teens and the 7d2 at 10, this is kinda weak.

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    • Dave Lyons

      SCOTTIE NGUYEN
      completely disagree, well for one a 5 shot bracket is usually in 1 stops and a 3 shot model is at 2 stops so yes its basically the same but even then you get cleaner, more detailed images not to mention it’s just nice to be able more than 3 for non HDR long exposures of storms and such which I do a lot of.

      “Instead of those small improvements, they could have spent the extra development efforts to making it a respectable 8 FPS. With mirrorless going into the teens and the 7d2 at 10, this is kinda weak”

      Well first of all you need to understand how sensors and fps work. Canon gets away with faster speeds because their images have about 30% less data to move, sure 10 fps is great but their iq is the same as a d300s from 5 years ago and it could get up to 8fps way back then so really the canon isn’t that impressive.

      What you need to understand is about sensors and fps in camera is that you can have all the development efforts in the world and it’s not going to help. For example say Nikon buys a sony sensor… you gotta realize that the actual fps speed is mostly from the sensor and if the sensor nikon just bought from sony is rated up to 7 fps then the max it’s going to do is….. 7 fps ;) Nikon can’t go in and magically make it faster but what they can do is grab the sensors data and decode it then recode it to nikons specs then break it down again and pipe it to the output stage the recompile it and write it to disk faster.

      You really can’t compare these fps to say a mirrorless when they are moving a fraction of the data that a nikon does. If this doesn’t make sense then try this… make folder and put 10 images in it and label it nikon, then make another and put 7 images in it and call it canon and zip each folder and imagine each one is 1 pic and then drag each one to a separate hard drive… which one will be done first? the canon one of course because theres less data even though on a sensor is gathering and sending out numbers instead but same principle .

      For nikon to get those speeds sony needs to make faster sensors… so bitch at sony not nikon ;)

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  11. Masrur Mahmood

    Not a big upgrade. Keep your money folks and save it for a full frame like the D750.

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  12. Greg Silver

    It’s too bad there’s articulating screen. I’m almost thinking it should be standard on all cameras. Those who don’t have the need for an articulating screen can keep it flush pressed in but for those occasions when you’re shooting higher up or really low it sure comes in handy.

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I agree! It’s especially confusing why no one puts articulating screens on “pro” bodies. They put it on the D750 but not the D810 or D4s.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I think it’s the same situation as Canon FF bodies and pop-up flashes- they have to draw the line somewhere, and they know that most “salty old pros” just don’t want such a feature. Even if it wouldn’t get in their way, and even if they’d grow to like it, Canon and Nikon just can’t afford to “dumb down” a flagship camera that much. Some Canon shooters already laugh at the Nikon full-frames that have a pop-up flash, as if it was the worst idea ever. ;-)

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    • Dave Haynie

      Nikon and Canon have decided that the articulated screen is just too weak for pro use.. which I suppose means that they just don’t believe it can be made rugged enough. Personally, I love them in those cases they help.

      Maybe Vanon feels the same about built-in strobes. No one thinks those are a replacement for a real pro strobe. But for triggering off-camera strobes, for fill-in, etc they aren’t bad. Though I like the approach Olympus takes: include a tiny, camera-powered shoe-mount flash with the camera. The one that came with my OM-D E-M5II is even articulated… more useful than a pop up woild ever be.

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    • Scottie Nguyen

      While articulating screens are great, for them to be on a pro body especially when the pro bodies are made to be weather seal, I think the articulation compromises rain water getting into the body. I think that’s why they want to leave it off their weather sealed bodies? Those extra hinges and opening in and out’s got to have decreased weather sealing in those areas no ?

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    • Greg Silver

      Great point Scott on the weather sealing. Hadn’t thought of that.

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  13. Rieshawn Williams

    I don’t know if this is enough to make me switch from my D7100.

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    • Jason Markos

      I confess I’m not sure it’s that much of a leap over my D7000, although the autofocus is somewhat of an improvement…

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    • Stephen Jennings

      I don’t think it’s ever really necessary to switch camera bodies at 1 or 2 upgrades. When the d810 came out I didn’t think it was enough to spend $3k on an upgrade.. it’s better to put that money towards excellent lenses honestly.

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    • robert garfinkle

      absolutely agree – however, for my D800 to D810 upgrade, I had always wanted a D800e, and would have sold the D800 around the time the D800e went on sale, for 2999.99, last year xmas, yet missed the boat… of course I could have gotten top dollar for the D800 and it would have been like I had rented the D800 for a year, maybe taking a $600.00 – $800.00 hit on the sale. So, the jump to the D800e would have been not so bad…

      But, when the D810 came out and went on sale, I did not want to pass the opportunity – yet sold the D800 for way way less, but, that’s how it goes right?

      So, for me, it would not have been a 3000.00 hit to get the D810 –

      But, I do think it’s worth it to sink money into lenses

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    • Rafael Steffen

      I agree with you being a D7100 user. So Far there is not that much of improvement in terms of image quality. We need to wait and find out the DXO mark comparisons.

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    • Rafael Steffen

      Great articles and reviews, but I was disappointed with the FPS being only 6. Can it do 6 in RAW or in JPG? My D7100 does 6 in JPG not in Lossless RAW. I think in the end the better choice would be to invest one thousand more and get the D750 which has better low light capabilities and shoots at 6.5 Full Frame! That is a game changer in my option.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Rafael I think you might have tested your D7100 incorrectly, it should be able to shoot full speed in RAW, it’s just a matter of the buffer being smaller. Unless I’m mistaken. The D300 did have this problem, though you couldn’t shoot full-speed in 14-bit RAW, only 12-bit.

      And yes, the D7200 can shoot full RAW at 6 FPS, however I would still recommend any serious buffer-hungry sports shooter definitely shoot 12-bit compressed RAW. The difference will be impossible to notice, and the buffer will be MUCH deeper. Heck I’d even shoot JPG if the light were predictable enough, say at an air show or something…

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  14. robert garfinkle

    They could have knocked this up to 7fps, right? to put a bit o sugar on it… I don’t think it’d have hurt the D750 folks…

    I know a few people held off on the D7100 to get this one…

    I started off with a D7000, of course moved into the D800 family…

    I suppose I’d either get this, or a D750 as a 2nd cam (probably the latter)… but I first have to learn how to use a cam in the first place… :)

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    • Dave Lyons

      They’ve said they have a 7dm2 competitor coming so I’m sure they don’t want to break their own knees first. I think they learned a hard lesson with with the d700/d300 ones,it spoiled the users but I’m sure profit margins were very low.

      I loved my d7000 and the only things I felt needed improving were the buffer and AF system, I just sold it and was figuring id get a deal on a d7100 but this is tempting.

      Speaking of learning to use it.. I just upgraded to fx and instead of going for bells and whistles I opted to go for a used D700…. no video… no wifi… no gps… none of that crap just a pure picture taking machine that gives you the tools but makes you take the pix and not hold your hand… Just figured I’d get back into “photography” instead of worrying about immediately uploading it to fb.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Dave, unfortunately I suspect that this is it. Unless Nikon truly believes there is room in the market for an $1800 DX camera, the D7200 is missing very, very little that a true 7D2 killer (D810 with a DX sensor and more speed) would offer.

      I’d still love to see a D400 / D350, mind you, but I just don’t see how it’ll happen…

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    • Dave Lyons

      Mathew.. yeah I dunno… but after getting this D700 i see the hoopla over its build and understand why people would want it but I just can’t see it be feasible from a cost standpoint.

      I put my D7000 through hell and it took it all in stride easily and still looked brand new when I sold it. Owned it two years put over 200k actuations on it and i only lost $200 when I sold it but I was never, ever concerned with its build quality. My D90 took on massive florida storms and it kept going with no issues until a swim in the ocean finally killed it.

      When I got this D700 i was worried about shooting birds and the extra reach but each day that fades away as even the old D700 is everyday amazing me. I was out shooting squirrels today and took out both the D700 and a D3300 with a nikkor 70-300mm vr and I was surprised by how much better the d700 pix were. Point is now that i’ve gotten to shoot at will with higher iso and see the dx at iso 400 has more noise than fx at 1600 I’m just not real sure I need a dx anymore. Probably just keep this D3300 to fart around with. Maybe thats why nikon is pushing for fx.. who knows

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