Last Updated: January 3, 2018
Nikon fans, get excited: the following is our updated Nikon D7100 vs Nikon D7200 comparison.
The D7100 has been very popular since it was first announced in February 2013. And despite the passing of time, it’s still a favorite for many.
In 2015 Nikon released an upgraded version, the D7200. It came with some notable improvements. However, depending on how you plan to use your camera, it’s debatable whether those improvements are worth the slightly higher price tag.
If you’ve got your eyes set on one of these cameras but don’t understand the differences between them then fear not because we’re here to guide you through the terminology and specifics.
Nikon D7200: Advantages
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- NFC connection
- Improved ISO sensitivity
- Higher color depth (24.5 vs 24.2)
- Expeed 4 image processor (vs Expeed 3 in D7100)
- More telephoto lens reach (210 mm vs 158 mm)
- Less shutter lag (0.17 vs 0.25)
- Bigger JPEG buffer (56 vs 12)
- Bigger RAW buffer (18 vs 5 shots)
- Improved battery life
When performance is compared the differences then become more apparent. The battery life of the D7200 has been significantly increased, allowing you to capture up to 150 images more than the D7100. Not a bad thing at all, especially considering it also has a higher buffer range, something the avid street photographer will love.
The AF system on the D7200 looks identical to the D7100 with its 51-point array but is far more sensitive in low light with a much faster focus time. Compared to the Expeed 3 on the D7100 the Expeed 4 is 30% faster which can make a big difference when tracking subjects
Continues shooting runs at the same speed but for far longer with the D7200. On testing, the D7100’s 6fps lasted for 18 jpegs or 15 RAW frames. With the D7200 it lasted for 48 jpegs and 13 Raw frames before slowing to the speed of the card. This is by far its biggest improvement over the D7100.
ISO has also seen a significant improvement, thanks in part to the slightly modified sensor and improved processor (Expeed 4 vs Expeed 3). You’ll still get some noise but compared with the D7100 it’s much less noticeable and easier to remove.
Nikon D7200: Disadvantages
- Slightly more expensive
- WIFI app is very basic
- Still no aperture control in LiveView or video
- HDR functionality is very basic
The D7200 has a lot going for it and the passing years have only proved its reliability. Is it perfect? No (nor is any camera). For reasons unknown, you still can’t control the aperture in LiveView or when shooting video. A limited WiFi connection and only-decent 4K is something that no modern DSLR should be without in this day and age.
Still, these are minor problems and don’t distract from some killer capabilities and performance. If you already own a D7100 there may not be enough incentive to justify upgrading but you will certainly enjoy all the improvements mentioned. If your upgrading from an older model the D7200 is a great all-around choice as a midrange camera.
Nikon D7100: Advantages
- Less expensive
- Faster startup
The easy to use control system offers a wide range of functions such as ISO speed, white balance, metering, bracketing and auto-focus mode. Each of these can functions can be adjusted by simply holding down the button and turning the command dial. The whole design is made to be as ergonomic as possible, with most of the buttons activated by your left hand while your right works the dials.
The D7100 was an upgrade on the D7000 and Nikon have kept the same tough body as its predecessor with the top and rear of the camera made from magnesium alloy while the front and bottom are made from plastic. This strong build quality also gives it impressive weather sealing making it very suitable for travel and outdoor adventures.
Compared with cheaper model SLR’s, the D7100 has many helpful features you won’t find on other cameras in the same price range. A nicely sized optical viewfinder, a 950-shot battery life, a passive LCD screen for displaying the settings and twin SDXC card slots all combined in a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body make the D7100 a top choice for any budding photographer today.
Nikon D7100: Disadvantages
- Becomes sluggish on continues shooting mode
- Can’t change aperture in LiveView or Video
Unfortunately, there is much room for improvement with the live view mode. Over time, autofocus becomes increasingly sluggish while in LiveView mode with shot-to-shot times going down from 0.45 to an unacceptable 4.8.
You cannot adjust the aperture while in live view or when shooting video. Something which can be a nuisance.
The sensor for the autofocus has 51 points, including 15 cross-type points for increased sensitivity. A dense cluster of these points takes up almost the whole screen making it easy to focus on the subject without having to line it up with an autofocus point.
For continues shooting, as needed in action or street photography, the D7100 falls well short. The high resolution of 24-megapixels has taken quite a toll on the camera’s endurance, which is quoted at 6fps. On testing, it only got 18 frames at 5.9fps before slowing to 3.4fps. While not a terrible result it should give you an indication of the camera’s limitations.
Continues RAW shooting was even slower, starting at 4.9fps and slowing to 1.4fps after only 5 frames. Shooting speed takes another hit when Auto distortion control (for counteracting lens distortion) is enabled. While on jpeg shooting slowed to only 1.9fps after only 7 frames. Clearly, this is a limitation you’ll need to take account of when choosing to buy.
On first glance, the differences between the D7100 and D7200 seem to be non-existent. On closer inspection though it’s clear that Nikon has paid attention to some of the user complaints about the D7100. The improved buffering of the D7200, increased ISO sensitivity, faster focus and longer battery life all combine to make it an impressive improvement over the D7100.
Nikon has kept the exterior design the same, something the D7100 earned much praise for due to its ease of use and handling. If you’re looking for a good midrange camera the D7200 is a perfect choice and only about $150 more than the D7100. Considering what you get in improved performance it’s well worth paying that bit extra (note: for cheaper options, check out our $500 or less DSLR guide here).
However, if you already own a D7100 it’s hard to justify investing in what is really a minor upgrade. Unless you really enjoy the feel of the D7100 but want greater shooting capability you may be better off getting a newer model like the D810.