Thursday, 3 September 2015

Nikon D7200 – When a value performer gets more oomph

The Nikon D7200 is Nikon’s latest flagship DX-format camera, building on its predecessor, the D7100, by adding a larger buffer, improved autofocus performance, Wi-Fi with NFC capabilities, better battery life and 60p video. It is also the first DX-format camera to get in-built time-lapse capabilities and even inherits certain features from the D750 such as Nikon’s EXPEED 4 image-processing engine and Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 II autofocus sensor  which is sensitive to -3EV.

The D7200 is modeled closely after the D7100, which means similar weather sealing, build and overall weight. While that’s not a bad thing, we were hoping Nikon would shift more cameras to their new monocoque treatment; like theD5500 and D750 before, it was one of the more significant developments from a traditional DSLR company to negate the size and weight advantages of mirrorless cameras.

There’s also no change to the LCD display, which means it’s fixed and non-touch sensitive. Again, this feels like another missed opportunity, as we really
liked the implementation of touch to quickly adjust settings in the D5500 as well as the flexibility that Touch Fn brings

However, physical features notwithstanding, Nikon’s given the D7200 quite a bit of a boost under the hood. While the D7200 and the D7100 both have a similar 24-megapixel resolution, the D7200’s sensor has 24.2 million pixels compared to 24.1 million on the D7100. This is significant mainly because the D7200 is probably using a newer sensor, explaining its twostop increase in sensitivity performance

The D7200 also seems to have taken the needs of movie makers into greater consideration. There is now an additional menu specifically for movie options like highlight display, microphone sensitivity, frequency response, and the option to enable wind noise reduction. As with before, all the needed ports are easily found behind rubber covers on the right side of the body, with stereo microphones found in front of the camera’s hotshoe

The other noteworthy change to the D7200 would be the inclusion of Wi-Fi andNFC capabilities. Where the Nikon D7100 required the use of a Wu-1a adapter for wireless capabilities, the D7200 now offers it right out of the box.

Start taking pictures and you’ll most feel the difference between the D7200 and the D7100. The internal buffer on the D7200 has been greatly increased, being able to take up to 18 shots in RAW (14-bit compressed) and 100 in JPEG compared to just six RAW and 50 JPEG shots with the D7100. That’s a much more reasonable rate if you are looking to shoot sports
and action, so this is very welcomed update.

Also improved, is autofocus performance. This looks to be a DX version of the autofocus module found in the recent D810 and D750 cameras, and has 15 crosstype sensors with 11 that are sensitive up to f/8. The focus points are now sensitive beyond -2 EV (to -3EV), while the central focus point is sensitive up to -3 EV. So you can now focus in conditions a full stop darker than what was possible with the D7100.

We put both of these to the test along with Nikon’s new AF-S DX Nikkor 55200mmf/4-5.6G ED VR II lens by trying capture some images of birds (mostly yellow-vented Bulbul’s and Olive-backed Sunbirds). The combined autofocus speed of both lens and camera was just about adequate to keep up with our fast moving subjects, and the larger buffer of the D7200 certainly helped when we were shooting in Continuous High mode.

Taking the D7200 out for a shoot at the Gardens by the Bay later on also gave us a better idea of the color reproduction tendencies of the camera, as well as how the camera performed at higher ISOs. It seems the D7200 gives accurate color reproduction but has a slight tendency to underexpose by about half a stop, presumably to preserve highlight information.

Compared to the Canon 7D Mark II, the D7200 seemed to be slightly smaller and lighter. AF speeds seemed to be about even, but the 7D Mark II still has an advantage in terms of buffer size and continuous shooting rate. However, it does seem like images from the D7200 are slightly sharper straight out-of-camera, with a touch more contrast. The D7200 images also hold up better at higher ISOsettings as Canon has a more aggressive noise reduction algorithm, removing noise at the expense of detail.

No comments:

Post a Comment