Quantcast

Nikon's new D7200 DSLR

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

MikeScone

Mike - Camera Corner Mod
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
287
Location
Harford, New York, USA
I've had a Nikon D7000 for five years or so, and I've been very happy with it. You can find my notes on that camera here on the Camera Corner forum.

This spring Nikon announced the second-generation improved version, the D7200, and the new features in the new camera seemed worth upgrading for. The camera shipped a week or two ago, and I've had some time to try it out. Here are my first impressions:

- Operationally, it's very much like the D7000. It feels heavy and stable, and very smooth and intuitive to use. There are a few new controls, and some buttons are moved around, but no really major changes.

- Like the D7000, the D7200 will work perfectly with any Nikon lens which has a computer chip (not just the ones with focus motors, as in the less-capable D3300/5500), and will also work and meter properly in aperture priority (A) or Manual (M) modes with any manual Nikon-mount AI lens (basically, nearly anything made since the 1970's). That's great if you have older lenses or some of the more expensive Nikon lenses which don't have the built-in focus motor.

- The resolution is increased - up to 24MP - but that's not a big deal. Unless I'm planning to print at poster sizes, I use the lowest resolution anyway.

- The exposure bracketing feature will now allow up to nine exposures - up from three in the D7000 - which should make taking HDR images easier. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is where you take a series of pictures at different exposures, then merge them together, so that those parts of the image which might be overexposed or underexposed in one picture are replaced by properly exposed segments from other pictures. There's also a built-in HDR feature which I haven't played with yet, where the camera takes multiple images at different exposures and merges them internally.

- There is a lock button on the mode dial, which prevents accidentally changing to some other mode than the one you wanted. That was an annoyance with the D7000 - I'd often grab the camera from its bag or on the passenger seat of the plane, and change the mode without realizing it. I'd only notice after I'd missed a few shots. With the lock button, you just have to push the lock button in the center of the mode dial while changing modes, otherwise it stays where it belongs.

- There's a built-in WiFi system which lets you control the camera and download pictures to a smartphone or tablet. I can't find any software to let me use that feature with a desktop or laptop, but it works well with my iPhone and iPad. I can see using it to download and e-mail pictures in the field.

- The WiFi feature is also a good substitute for the somewhat erratic infrared remote control, with much greater range and no sensitivity to ambient light. The ability to use the Live View through the phone or tablet allows setting up the camera on a tripod and using it without actually looking through the camera. I can see using that at the bird feeder - set up the camera and walk away, and I can take pictures without disturbing the birds. I took this self-portrait using the WiFi as a remote:



- The D7000 had an internal gyroscope, and you could display an artificial horizon on the back LCD to make sure you had the camera level. The horizon could be displayed in the viewfinder, too, but only temporarily - and it replaced the readout below the image when it was in use. On the D7200, you can turn on the artificial horizon as you want, and it appears on the viewfinder image as a dark line on the bottom of the picture without affecting the information readout. That's much more useful.

- The high-ISO performance is greatly improved compared with the D7000. The D7000 topped out at ISO 25,600, and pictures taken at that ISO were noisy and lacking in contrast - it was great having that ability if I needed it and couldn't get the picture any other way, but the quality was noticeably degraded. The D7200 is capable of fairly clean images at ISO 25,600 - not perfect, but nearly as good as the D7000 at 6,400, or the ten-year-old D300 at 1,600. Here's an example, the same picture taken at ISO 25,600 in the two cameras:

Picture taken by the D7000 - notice the color noise and the unsharpness of the CD's in the rack in the detail, and the somewhat "flat" colors:


The same picture taken by the D7200, with the same detail. Notice the improvement in sharpness, reduced noise and improved color rendition.


Having the higher ISO available for "clean" pictures allows you to take pictures under available light, rather than having to use flash - although the D7200 is also very good metering flash. Here are examples of two pictures taken under the same conditions, first with flash and then without:






- The higher ISO capability also lets you use a higher shutter speed under marginal light conditions if you need it.



- In addition to the improved performance at ISO 25,600, the D7200 is capable of taking monochrome (black and white) pictures at an incredible ISO 102,400. Yes, the pictures are grainy and not as sharp as they are at lower ISO's, but at that level you can take pictures under conditions where it's hard to see what you're taking a picture of. I took this picture out my front door on a dark, cloudy night. The only illumination was a little light spill from the lights in my living room and the outdoor light on the neighbor's house about 1,000 feet away across the street.



That's enough for now. I'll post some more thoughts as I get more used to the camera. I'll be off to Florida next month for the Sun'n'Fun fly-in. I'm going to be one of the volunteer photographers at the event, so I expect to give the new camera a real workout.
 

pani

Bunny servant Lotte
Joined
Dec 5, 2013
Messages
1,766
Reaction score
555
Location
Perth, Australia
I can't say I'm incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to cameras, but those Wi-Fi features definitely seem super useful. :) Looking forward to seeing more pictures from you posted with your new fancy camera!
 

MikeScone

Mike - Camera Corner Mod
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
287
Location
Harford, New York, USA
I've had the D7200 for six months now, and have given it quite a workout - something over 11,000 pictures. So, an update is in order.

I really like the D7200. It just works, and works really well. In this post and the next, I'll give some examples of the sorts of pictures the D7200 can do at the extremes (any camera can take ordinary pictures).

My first long session with the D7200 was at the 2015 Sun'n Fun airshow in Lakeland, Florida in April. I was one of the volunteer Official Photographers. Here are a few shots I took.

First, some examples of high-shutter-speed photography:

The Breitling Jet Team was on its first visit to the USA. Here, the four jets in the diamond formation are circled by one of the solo jets, doing barrel rolls around the diamond. This was shot at 1/2000 second, ISO 640, with an 18-300mm zoom at 300mm.


The Geico Skytypers fly WWII trainers - SNJ-2's. Shot at 1/1500 sec at ISO 400


The USAF Thunderbirds were there for the Thursday to Saturday airshows, doing their usual high-energy aerobatics. Pictures shot at 1/1000 or 1/1500 sec, ISO 640.




On Wednesday and Sunday nights, there are evening airshows, starting at sunset and running for a couple of hours of full dark.

This is Jive Kirby, flying his Vans RV-7, doing a Cuban-8 at sunset. Shot at 1/15 sec, ISO 25,600, zoom at 18mm. The image stabilization (VR) in the lens really helps in minimizing any shake at such a slow shutter speed.


Gene Soucy, flying his Grumman Ag Cat with pyrotechnics on the wings and LED lights in the cowling - how he can maintain any night vision at all while doing aerobatics close to the ground is a miracle. 1/250 sec, ISO 16,000, 300mm. At night. Amazing.


Dan Buchanan does aerobatics in a motorized hang glider - also with pyrotechnics. He's a paraplegic who says "I fly because I can't walk" - and boy, can he fly.


In my first post, I mentioned that I thought the wi-fi feature would be useful. It is. Here, I've taken a self-portrait with B-17 Aluminum Overcast using the wi-fi. I set the camera on the ground, propped up on my photo vest, and then watched the view on my cell phone until my friend Jerry and I came into view. Then I shot the picture from the iPhone app.
 

MikeScone

Mike - Camera Corner Mod
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
1,833
Reaction score
287
Location
Harford, New York, USA
Now for some non-airshow pictures. This is RO, so of course I need a rabbit pictures. Here's Natasha Rabbitova, with her stuffed friends Marge and Borders. This is an example of the D7200's clean images at high ISO - 11,400 in this case.


I took pictures through last month's lunar eclipse - this is the full moon at the very start of the eclipse. 1/2000 sec at ISO 7200, Celestron 1600mm mirror lens.


A candlelight procession, leaving the campfire at Cub Scout Resident Camp in August. 1/50 sec at f/3.5, ISO 22,800, zoom at 18mm.


Balancing fill flash with natural light is hard - but the D7200 makes it look easy. I used flash to illuminate the cattails in this sunset shot of my pond. 1/180 sec at f/3.8, ISO 100, zoom at 22mm.


I mentioned merging multiple exposures for HDR in my first post. With the D7200, I can take seven or nine pictures in a row at varying exposure, and then I use PhotoShop to merge them into one image. The result can be somewhat psychedelic, but interesting...


Another interesting variation on ordinary photography is to take pictures by Infra-Red light - the filter looks black, and you can't see anything through the optical viewfinder. By using the "live view" feature, I could see the IR image on the LCD screen to compose the picture, which is my road with summer trees. Most digital cameras have filters to prevent IR from hitting the sensor, but the D7200 allows enough IR through for such photography (albeit at a low level, so you need a slow shutter speed or a fast lens). 1/50 sec at f/1.4 and ISO 2800, 50mm prime lens.


A final few pictures showing the D7200's ability to capture vivid color images.

A day lily. 1/50 sec at f/8 and ISO 500, 105mm macro lens.


Two aerial shots from the last week or two - fall has arrived in Central New York. These rows of flaming red maple trees certainly stand out:


Fall Corn Harvest
 

Latest posts

Top