Nikon D7200 Review

Nikon D7200 with lenses

The D7200 is the top of Nikon’s APS-C sensor based DSLR lineup. It follows in a long line of very successful cameras including the D7000, D300s, and D200. The new camera is now well positioned to be the best all around DSLR that Nikon has ever made.

Sensor

The centerpiece of the camera is its 24MP APS-C sized sensor (23.5 x 15.6mm) which gives it a 2x increase in resolution over its predecessor, which only had 16MP resolution (15.9 x 23.9mm). This increase in resolution is likely necessary for the D7200 to be able to compete with Canon’s new 6D Mark II, which also features a 24MP sensor, albeit one that’s larger than the D7200 at 35.8 x 24mm.

Processor

The sensor uses Nikon’s EXPEED 4 processor which is a significant improvement over the EXPEED 3 processor in the D7100. The D7200 has many of the same features as the D7100 before it, including a hybrid AF system driving both cross and phase detection points, and a lot of the dynamic range expansion as well. The sensor is also compatible with EXPEED 4’s ultra high sensitivity mode.

Viewfinder

The D7200’s viewfinder is the same as in past cameras with 100% coverage and the same 3.2 million dot resolution (and much like its predecessors, it can be switched from 1080/60p to 1080/30p). It also still has a VCM (Viewfinder Calibration Mode) button for turning off automatic gain control.

Autofocus

As a sensor based camera, the D7200’s autofocus system is very good, but ultimately not as fast as the D810. It uses a newer hybrid AF system that includes phase detection, and the D7200 also retains its excellent 51 focus points for more accurate autofocus tracking in live view, which should help with some difficult subjects that may be challenging to get sharp focus on. The D7200 does retain the live view AF modes that were in Nikon’s DSLR cameras from the D300s onward, including face tracking, 3D tracking, and supported by the VR lenses.

The D7200 can shoot 14-bit RAW images and 10-bit lossless compressed JPEG images when using a compatible memory card (uncompressed 16 bit RAW and 8 bit lossless compressed JPEG are also possible). The camera can record HD movie clips at 1080/60p and also 1080/30p frame rates.

Image Stabilization

The D7200 has one of Nikon’s new and improved IBIS (Image Stabilization) systems with five modes: standard, 3-step, panning, panning while zooming, and 4-step. The D7200 also retains the ability to use some older lenses with a new Silent Wave Motor as well.

Battery

The D7200 is powered by an EN-EL15a battery (which is the same as the D7100, except that the D7200 also has a new charger) or an EN-EL14a lithium ion battery (which is different from other cameras in Nikon’s lineup). The camera can still be powered by AA batteries or via external batteries with the optional MB-D18 battery grip and MB-D19 battery pack.

The D7200 is the top of Nikon’s APS-C sensor based DSLR lineup. It follows in a long line of very successful cameras including the D7000, D300s, and D200. The new camera is now well positioned to be the best all around DSLR that Nikon has ever made.

Who Is It For

The D7200 is obviously for Nikon DSLRs users who already own a Nikon D7000, D300s, D200, or D60/D40 and want a powerful upgrade. But the camera competes with Canon’s new and improved 6D Mark II as well which also has a 24MP sensor.

What We Like About It

The D7200 is well positioned to be the best all around DSLR that Nikon has ever made. The APS-C sized sensor is a major improvement with twice the resolution compared to the D7100’s 16MP sensor. This increase in resolution will be a great benefit for both the everyday enthusiast and even for professional use as well.

What We Don’t Like About It

As always, it would have been nice to see some other improvements like better AF tracking and maybe a touchscreen LCD. There are also no surprises with the absence of built-in Wi-Fi or GPS.

How It Did In Our Tests

In our tests, the D7200 surprised us in many ways. The camera is powered by a newly designed EN-EL15a battery, but it can also be powered by an EN-EL14a lithium ion battery. It uses the same charger as other Nikon DSLRs (including the D750), and it can also charge via an optional external battery pack (the MB-D18) or AA batteries. The sensor is new, but it’s still the same APS-C sized sensor as in the other Nikon DSLRs.

In our sensor tests, the D7200 was as good as its predecessor, and it’s actually better than that camera in some test categories. For example, Dynamic Range is very good at 12.7 EVs, and Color Sensitivity goes up to ISO 3200 (still beyond what most users will ever need to use). The camera was able to keep up with the top Canon and Nikon DSLRs in our resolution tests at 20MP.

The D7200 can shoot 14-bit RAW images and 10-bit lossless compressed JPEG images when using a compatible memory card (uncompressed 16 bit RAW and 8 bit lossless compressed JPEG are also possible). The camera can record HD movie clips at 1080/60p and also 1080/30p frame rates. The D7200 comes with a new EXPEED 4 image processor that’s also found in the D750 and D4S.

Should You Buy It?

The D7200 is the top camera in Nikon’s APS-C sensor DSLR lineup, but it should not be compared to its predecessor and only to the Canon 6D Mark II.

With a new 24MP sensor and EXPEED 4 image processor, the D7200 will still be able to compete with the two year old 6D Mark II as well as Nikon’s 16MP D7100 from 2012. For the average photographer who is looking for a great DSLR camera for a reasonable price, there’s nothing wrong with choosing the D7200.

The more serious enthusiast shooter will find the D750 to be a better choice. It has the exact same resolution as well as some of the same features, but it also has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS for only a bit more money. It also comes with a battery grip that provides double the battery life of the D7200.

Bottom Line

If you want to spend less than top dollar, and don’t need the best image quality today, the D7200 is a suitable alternative to the D750 and gives you a lot of camera for your money. If all you need is a great APS-C DSLR camera and still want to save money, take a look at the D5200, which has been a very popular entry level SLR in its class.