Nikon’s camera upgrades are often subtle and technical. So, this D7100 vs. D7200 comparison should help you determine which camera is a better fit for your needs.
Many of the specs remain unchanged, such as the max shutter speed, the mount and the continuous shooting rate. However, Nikon did make several key changes to the D7200.
Those allow it to outpace its predecessor. That is the case particularly in low light situations and fast-paced environments.
A larger buffer was added. In addition, the ISO range was expanded and wireless capabilities were built in. Those things all make this camera particularly appealing to wildlife and sports photographers.
This guide will compare many of these key points. We will break down the upgrades to help you make a more informed decision.
Here’s what we cover in the review:
Nikon didn’t change the exterior body of the D7200. The D7200 and the D7100 are the exact same size and weight.
All upgrades were to the interior of the entry-level camera. The improvements haven’t affected the weight of the camera at all.
As far as DSLRs go, both models are relatively compact. They have a length of 136 mm, a height of 107 mm and a width of 76 mm. A bigger consideration when deciding which is better as far as weight is concerned would be the lenses you plan to shoot with.
Both cameras have the same Nikon F mount. Therefore, you could use the same lenses for your D7100 or D7200 interchangeably. This is also a benefit for those considering upgrading from the D7100 to the D7200. New D7200 lenses are not required to use the camera body.
One thing to consider with both of these models is that neither has sensor-based image stabilization. That means you need to purchase lenses with optical stabilization features. There are 287 native lenses currently available for Nikon F mount cameras. However, only 88 have image stabilization built in.
The D7200 does outperform the D7100 when it comes to battery life, though. It is able to take 1,110 shots on a single charge due to the more efficient processor. The D7100 battery dies after only 950 shots.
ISO and Buffer
Both the Nikon D7100 and the D7200 have the same base ISO of 100. However, the D7200 goes two stops further than its predecessor.
The Nikon D7100 tops out at 6,400, while the Nikon D7200 goes to 25,600. Noise is still a problem beyond ISO 6,400. Photographers are unlikely to use the two additional stops very often, though.
That being said, the D7200 handled noise much better than the D7100 at ISO 6,400 and below. Colors are crisper and more accurate. In addition, noise comes through as a finer grain on the upgraded body. That makes it easier to remove during editing.
Frame for frame, the D7200 images appear about one ISO stop better than they actually are when compared to photos shot at the same stop on the D7100.
Nikon also offers “boost” ISO sensitivities, which digitally expands the sensor past its native ISO range. To achieve this, the camera has to meter light at the highest ISO stop and then extrapolate the data to what it could reach if the sensor was able to extend to that number.
The D7100 has an expanded reach of 25,600, while the D7200 expands to 102,400, but again, photographers are unlikely to use this feature since noise makes both cameras basically unusable at this ISO level.
Another area where the Nikon D7200 far outperforms the D7100 is the buffer. One of the biggest complaints about the D7100 was the undersized buffer, and Nikon has largely solved this problem in the newer model.
While the D7100 shoots up to 6 images in 14-bit lossless RAW and 7 in 12-bit lossless RAW, the D7200 can shoot as many as 18 images in 14-bit and 27 in 12-bit. That means the D7200 is three or four times better than the D7100 in this area. The new buffer also performs significantly better in low light.
This is a game changer for wildlife or sports photographers who can now photograph in continuous bursts for a much longer period of time. While photographers who shoot bursts of wildlife or sports plays on the D7100 are likely to miss shots when the buffer reaches capacity, the D7200 buffer clears much more quickly, allowing photographers to capture longer sequences.
Another major difference between the D7200 and the D7100 is the processor: the Nikon D7200 comes with the EXPEED 4 processor, which outperforms the last generation EXPEED 3 processor by 30%. This means photographers will see increased autofocus speed on this camera, particularly when tracking high-paced subjects.
While the D7200 has the same number of focal points as the D7100, the 51-point AF system has been improved in the newer model. Since its detection range goes down to -3 EV instead of -2 EV, the D7200 far outstrips its predecessor when it comes to autofocusing in low light. This also means the D7200 will perform better when using f/4 and other slower lenses.
While these upgrades are likely to make a big difference for photographers shooting in high speed environments, like wildlife or sports, photographers who do event photography, portraiture and landscape are unlikely to notice a big difference.
The built-in wireless capabilities of the D7200 aren’t essential, but they are a fun extra and have obvious benefits for photographers in certain settings.
The Nikon D7200 can be controlled remotely from a smartphone, which can be useful for photographers shooting in low light, those who need to get in the shot and photographers who want to set up their camera and operate it from a different location.
You can always purchase a remote control to use with the D7100, but it’s nice not to have to purchase or carry the extra piece of equipment if you don’t have to.
The D7200 can also wirelessly send images to your smartphone, allowing photographers to access their photos instantly (instant cameras, anyone?) to send to customers or post on social media while on the job. If you typically shoot in RAW and are planning on using this feature, be sure to take a few shots in a smaller size so that you are able to transfer the images to your phone without taking an exorbitant amount of time and memory.
If you are in the market for a new camera and are trying to decide between the two, the D7200 is the obvious choice. It is typically less than $200 more expensive and has a much faster buffer than the D7100, a faster processor and -3 EV sensitivity, making it better in low light and high speed situations. These features also make it a good upgrade if you tend to photograph in fast-paced environments.
If you currently own a D7100 and don’t often photograph sports or wildlife, however, the differences between the two bodies aren’t enough to warrant an upgrade just yet. If you’re still looking for a bit of an upgrade on a budget, check out our $500 or less DSLR guide here.Back to Top