The Nikon D7200 is the latest and greatest incarnation in the Nikon APS-C line of cameras. It replaces the extremely popular D7100.
For some reason Nikon has always stopped shy of giving full-frame like features to their smaller cropped bodies. Canon, on the other hand came up with the fantastic 7D Mark II and the 7D before that. Both are great APS-C cameras with features that even pro DSLR users would love to use, both for shooting stills and for video work.
The Nikon D7200 comes in the same upper-entry level / prosumer segment as the Canon 7D Mark II and the Pentax K3, being the top two cameras that would be its rivals in the segment.
Looking across the boundary that separates DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras, there are also a bunch of mirrorless cameras that are potential rivals too. The D7200 and the D7100 both look and feel very similar and thus some amount of reference is unavoidable in this discussion.
The D7200 is powered by a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with no optical low pass filter. The sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and 14-bit RAW files, at the size 6000 x 4000 pixels.
The sensor itself is sized 23.5mm x 15.6mm. Being an APS-C sensor, the crop factor is 1.5x. In other words when you mount a full-frame lens on this camera the image is going to be ‘cropped’ giving the illusion that you are using a lens that has a focal length 1.5 times that of its original focal length.
Image processing is powered by Nikon’s EXPEED 4 image processing engine. EXPEED 4 results in better contrast detection auto-focusing and live-view auto-focusing than compared with the older EXPEED 3.
Another result of the better processing engine is directly seen in the buffer capacity of the new camera. The older D7100 that it replaces had a smaller buffer capacity. The D7200, in comparison, has a much faster speed and better buffer. You could shoot around 17 14-bit RAW frames and nearly a hundred full resolution JPEGs at a fast burst rate of 6 fps before the camera starts to stall. This is significantly better than the older D7100 which used to tap out at only about couple of dozen RAW frames and about 4 dozen JPEGs.
Absence of the optical low pass filter
The D7200 does not have an optical low pass filter. The optical low pass filter slightly blurs the sharpness of the images which reduces the chances of getting moiré and false colors, especially when shooting repetitive patterns. The absence of the optical low pass filter means images produced by the camera will be extra sharp. This is ideal for product photography, for food and fashion where you need greater detail and higher contrast. However on the flip side some of your images are likely going to be affected by moiré and false colors.
The D7200 has a 51-point auto-focusing system that is dependent on a phase detection sensor array. 15 of these sensors are cross-type. Cross type sensors can detect contrast across two axes. That means when shooting with the camera held at 180 ˚ to the vertical axis you will still be able to get a sharp focus lock.
Additionally, with single line sensors, contrast sensitivity being limited to a single axes, when shooting portrait images it is difficult to get a good focus lock.
With the same 15 cross-type AF points, the D7200 sounds similar in auto-focusing prowess to the older D7100. However, the D7200 brings the advantage of the Multi-CAM 3500 II into the system, thus upping the AF performance a notch. Each of the AF point are now capable of working even at -3EV giving you a far greater shooting liberty than the older D7100.
The large 24 megapixel sensor produces uncompressed RAW files and JPEGs of the size 6000 x 4000 pixels. That is the same as the older camera.
The D7200 has a much higher native so range than the older D7100 that it replaces. The older camera had an ISO range of 100-6400. The D7200 has a native ISO range of 100-25600. In its extended mode the ISO range of the D7200 goes from 51200-102400 compared to 12800-25600 on the older camera. However, ISO 51,200 and 102,000 is available only for black and white shooting. Good thing too because the amount of noise at ISO 51,200 and 102,000 would surely make color images absolutely unusable.
Viewfinder & LCD Screen
The D7200 has the same 3.2” LCD screen with the 1,229,000-k dots resolution as the older D7100. We would have loved to see a tilting screen to give photographers and videographers some extra option when using the camera.
The viewfinder is powered by a pentaprism. It gives 100% frame coverage. Unfortunately there is no face detection as yet.
Magnesium alloy constriction gives the D7200 a lot of strength and durability. It can take the odd bumps and knocks and would continue to shoot. Nikon’s D7000 series cameras have fairly good build quality and reasonable weather sealing. Though, not in the same category as the Pentax K3, the D7200 too is capable of being used outdoors in moist and dusty environments. It is pertinent to mention here that in order to complete weather sealing, and this goes for any camera, the lens too must be weather sealed.
The video shooting features of the D7200 are similar to that of the D7100. However, there are couple of exceptions; features you might want to say.
One of them is the availability of full HD (1920 x 1080p) video capabilities at 60 fps; albeit in 1.3x crop mode. The older D7100 could shoot at full HD at only 60i max.
A new feature on the D7200 is the flat picture control. A flat picture control allows videographers the maximum leeway for processing. Sharpness, color grading etc. can be easily tweaked in flat picture better than in a high contrast image straight out of the camera.
The camera has a dual SD card slot. The two card slots can be programmed in several ways. Such as to simultaneously record the same captures on two cards. To record RAW in one and JPEG in the other. They can also be programmed in a way so that one starts recording as soon as the first one is filled out.
Both wireless and NFC connectivity has been given in the D7200. This makes it easier for photographers to back up their work in a studio via available wireless systems as well as to connect to any compatible device share images and further transmit over the internet.
Slightly better power performance as the camera can now shoot 160 extra frames to a full charge.
The D7200 is definitely a great choice for stills as well as for video work. Definitely the stand out features are the improved auto-focusing, better video quality and faster processor, resulting in better continuous shooting and better noise handling. The familiar D7000x series designing with excellent build quality and good weather sealing makes it a good choice for outdoor shooting.
Even if you have a pro camera the D7200 makes ample sense as the crop factor extends the focal length of all your FX lenses by a factor of 1.5x.
Video work is a lot more gratifying as well. You get full HD with 60p rather than 60i albeit at 1.3x crop. Plus, you now have a much needed flat picture control.
The D7200 has NFC connectivity, again an offshoot of the stiff competition that DSLRs are currently facing. The pricing is very alluring for someone upgrading from a point & shoot. However, with the D500 around, the D7200 does seem kind of underpowered. But when you compare the prices of the two cameras, the D7200 is a bargain.Check Current Price