It’s time to weigh two of the most popular enthusiast-level cameras: the Nikon D7200 vs. the CanonEOS 70D.
Pound-for-pound, Nikon’s offering is younger and looks the part of a sophisticated powerhouse, with a lightning-fast processor and jaw-dropping image quality.
However, if the D7200 wants to compete with Canon’s flagship EOS 70D, it will have challenge its technical prowess. Will it be able to hold its own against the more composed Canon offering?
Canon EOS 70D Advantages
- Articulating touchscreen display
- Better video mode
- Faster Live View autofocus
- 10% larger pixel area on sensor
- 7 fps continuous shooting
- Excellent Wi-Fi controls
This camera is no slouch when it comes to performance, and its features are dependable and user-friendly.
Though it has far less impressive-sounding autofocus array, the Canon EOS 70D’s 19 points are all cross-type, as opposed to the 15 contained in the D7200’s setup. It still gets the job done effectively with these more reliable autofocus points.
The Canon’s autofocus system shines for videographers, as the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology allows for quicker acquisition of the subject and better continuous autofocus without sacrificing processing power or image quality.
This technology enables each pixel on the sensor to act as both a phase-detect autofocus pixel and an imaging pixel simultaneously. It certainly feels smooth, and occurrences where the autofocus misses the subject entirely before racking back and trying again are far less frequent than on the Nikon.
What’s even better is the continuous autofocusing that the 70D can pull off. You can shoot video or continuous photos and trust it to keep up with your subject, all while you watch on the LCD screen or from your phone.
The 70D’s 3 inch screen is an articulating, touchscreen display, allowing for easy focusing in Live View and simplified, intuitive access to controls.
Its Wi-Fi controls are similarly easy to use, making it much more fully functional than the D7200. This camera is a great option for those planning to use it for video. The image quality is stellar.
Though slightly smaller, the 70D’s sensor has a 10% larger pixel area than the Nikon iteration. The 70D will also shoot continuously at a slightly higher 7 fps.
Notably, the 70D, which came out in 2013, is available widely for around $750 (without kit lens). The Nikon is newer and will cost you closer to $1,000.
Canon EOS 70D Disadvantages
- Sensor lagging behind competition
- Fewer autofocus points
- Unimpressive low-light performance
- Single SD slot
- No headphone jack
Just like the D7200, Canon’s prosumer DSLR left me a little disappointed in some key aspects.
The autofocus array in the 70D isn’t bad—it’s just that after experiencing how quick the D7200 was to focus, I want 51 focus points in all my cameras.
Another didn’t-know-you-needed-it feature is dual SD card slots. It’s great to not worry about your card capacity, and if you already have a high-capacity card you can slip a second one in as a backup! The 70D just doesn’t offer you this peace of mind.
Despite having better functionality while shooting video, the 70D lacks a headphone jack for keeping an eye (so to speak) on your audio levels.
Where the 70D markedly falls behind its competition is image quality, pure and simple. Its color depth and dynamic range simply cannot match the D7200, or many other offerings in its price range really.
Does it look bad? Not at all, until you see what else you could be using.
Its ISO range is nothing to laugh at, but it struggles in comparison to the D7200 when it comes to low-light performance. If you’re okay with touching subjects up in post-production then it won’t be an issue, but again—you could be shooting with the nicer D7200, and the differences between the two become quickly apparent.
Nikon D7200 Advantages
- 32 more autofocus points
- Longer battery life
- Better low-light performance
- Dual SD card slots
- Better colors and dynamic range
There’s a lot to appreciate about the D7200. This a camera is dressed to impress, with a sleek modern styling and polished fixtures.
The D7200 inherits its autofocus system from Nikon’s line of full-frame cameras. The Multi-CAM 3500 II autofocus system has 51 focus points, compared to the 70D’s 19. It’s snappier than the 70D, and with the D7200’s super-fast startup time you can point and shoot practically as soon as you wrestle your camera out of its bag.
The D7200 also has perfect viewfinder coverage when compared to the 70D’s 98% coverage. You aren’t likely to notice a difference day-to-day, but when it comes to setting up that perfect shot, seeing the frame perfectly can help.
The 7100 lacked buffer depth, but this subsequent release solves that issue, giving you the ability to shoot up to 27 RAW images or 100 JPEGs continuously at a frame rate of your choosing, between 1 and 6 fps. The D7200 also supports in-camera time-lapse recording.
Both cameras support up to 1920×1080 30 fps video, but with the D7200 you can also opt for shooting full resolution video at 60 fps if you can accept cropping your shot a bit.
When it comes to shooting video, the D7200’s screen is a bit larger and has 20% more pixels. Colors are crisp and shapes are well-defined—this is a gorgeous screen.
In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, which both cameras boast, the D7200 features NFC capability. It can also connect with compatible smartphones and tablets as soon as they’re in range.
The D7200 natively offers up to 25600 ISO, which is far better than the 70D, and can even shoot 51200 or 102400 in black-and-white. If you are looking for a camera that’s capable of sophisticated documentary work, this is it.
The D7200 closes out its showing with some superior shooting capabilities compared to the 70D: a 20% higher image resolution, a larger ISO range and better low-light performance throughout it, higher color and dynamic range according to DxOMark.com, a larger continuous shooting buffer, longer battery life, and an extra SD card slot to boot.
Nikon D7200 Disadvantages
- Fixed screen
- Slower continuous shooting
- Poor Wi-Fi controls
- Video mode lacking
- Tougher camera to learn
The screen on the D7200 looks great, but I was disappointed to find that it was a non-articulating display. I’ve grown to appreciate the acrobatics that many camera displays can pull off, as they can really help with setting up odd shots.
The display also lacks any touchscreen capability, resulting in a slightly tougher time navigating settings.
If you’re looking to use the remote Wi-Fi options on this camera, prepare to be underwhelmed. Connectivity is not stellar at any reasonable distance from the camera, and you cannot adjust camera settings from your phone—or from the camera, for that matter, since the buttons on the body are locked out while you are viewing the camera feed on your phone.
Live View autofocus is lacking, and you’ll struggle to shoot video without pulling the focus manually. You also don’t seem able to adjust aperture in Live View, even when you’re not shooting. This seems like a big omission for videographers.
Overall, Nikon cameras tend to present a tougher learning curve when it comes to their generous array of controls and options. This camera is no exception, but this should not hinder your performance once you get to know your way around it.
So which is better? If you’re operating on a budget for your next DSLR, the $200+ savings on the Canon EOS 70D are almost certainly worth it. If you have already invested in a lens system, then I wouldn’t switch now.
But if you take all of those concerns out of the equation, the Nikon D7200 certainly seems to be the winner of this bout. Its functionality can sometimes leave you wanting more, but it edges the 70D out in almost every other category, with higher resolution images that boast better color depth, dynamic range, low-light performance, and a better battery life to boot. (I would miss the articulating screen, though.)Back to Top