March 2nd, 2015 by Brendan Wiltse

Nikon D7200 Announced

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Nikon has announced its new flagship DX crop-sensor camera, the D7200. There are numerous improvements over the two-year old D7100. If you are looking to upgrade your DX body now would be a good time to do so.

The D7200 has a 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter (OLPF). Removal of the OLPF became popular with the Nikon D800E, which is a full-frame 36.3 MP camera. The OLPF reduces moire and false color, but sacrifices image resolution. For landscape photography, you are better off without the OLPF. The D7100 was the first DX-format camera to have the OLPF removed. The D7200 has the EXPEED 4 Image Processing engine, which is also found in D5300 and D750. The new D7200 sensor also boasts higher ISO sensitivity and reduced noise. The native ISO range is now 100-25,600 compared to 100-6,400 in the D7100. That is a big jump in the ISO range and presumably will produce much cleaner high ISO images.

The EXPEED 4 processor also allow the D7200 to shoot faster, which will be particularly useful for wildlife and sports photographers. The Nikon release states:

Courtesy of EXPEED 4, the D7200 features 30% faster image processing than its predecessor, the Nikon D7100, and provides an increased buffer capacity that now allows the camera to shoot 18 consecutive RAW 14-bit lossless compressed images, 27 12-bit compressed shots or 100 JPEG frames. Additionally, this powerful DX-format DSLR offers users the versatility to shoot at 6 frames-per-second (fps) continuously or up to 7 fps in 1.3x crop mode, a popular shooting mode for both sports and wildlife photographers.

Another feature that will be useful for all shooters, but again will specifically benefit wildlife and sports photographers is the upgrade autofocus system. The Advanced Multi-CAM 3500II DX autofocus system is similar to the system found in the D750. This new system will allow the D7200 to obtain focus faster and more accurately in extreme low-light situations.

The D7200 also supports built-in Wi-Fi and NFC which is a new feature over theD7100. This will make pulling images off the camera easier, particularly for those traveling or spending lots of time in the field. One of the most useful features of a Wi-Fi enabled camera is remote shooting. This will allow for somewhat remote wildlife shooting and better control when taking group shots where the photographer is also in the frame.

What's Missing?

There area few features that I really wish Nikon would have included with this upgrade, some were rumored but didn't come through. The first is a tiltable rear LCD screen. This feature may seem trivial and most times I don't use the rear LCD to frame shots, but when I do its often because I am at an angle that isn't conducive to putting my eye on the viewfinder. In those situation, a tiltable LCD would be immensely useful. The last feature I would really like to see built-in is GPS. As a landscape photographer, geotagging photos is extremely useful. I understand the decision to leave this feature out because battery life will take a huge hit, but I would rather have the option built-in than have to deal with plugging in a dongle.

Should You Buy This Camera?

Like most camera line upgrades the improvements over the D7100 are incremental. For almost all devices I don't recommend jumping on board each incremental upgrade. If you have D7100 I would keep shooting with it and wait to see what Nikon does over the next two years with the DX line. If you have a D7000 or a lower end DX camera in the D3000 or D5000 line then this is an upgrade worth giving consideration.

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