Which would you choose as your day-to-day camera: the Nikon D850 or the Nikon D7500? Both are technically outstanding semiprofessional cameras. They have similarly robust feature sets, intuitive functionalities, and sophisticated designs.
These two cameras are closely matched in almost every category. Which one do you think will come out on top? Read on to get the scoop on each model’s strengths, weaknesses, and unique quirks—and to hear our final decision.
Here’s what we cover in the review:
The Nikon D850 has a luxurious 45.7 megapixel 35mm sensor. It produces crisp, vibrant images in any situation.
The Nikon D7500, with only 20.9 megapixels, lags a little further behind its rival. However, it still delivers the crisp images and vibrant colors that you would expect from any high-performance Nikon.
The hefty price tag on the Nikon D850 doesn’t just buy you a plethora of megapixels. It also delivers one of the best 35mm sensors on the market right now.
The ASP-C sensor in the D7500 is solid and dependable. However, a full-frame camera will always produce the most stunning images. It performs better in low light. It also gives you more control over your depth of field, and renders lush colors and intimate details in every shot.
Every photographer, from the inexperienced amateur to the seasoned professional, knows that the quality of an autofocus system can make or break a camera. The D7500 is equipped with the excellent Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus system with 51 focus points, 15 of which are cross-type. You can swap easily between 9, 21, or 51-point dynamic areas to get the perfect view of your subject.
Even considering the D7500’s impressive resume, however, the 850 wins this contest handily. It utilizes the Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 20K autofocus system, which expands to 153 focus points and 99 cross-type sensors. An impressive 55 of these sensors can be independently selected as your focal points, giving you unprecedented control over your composition.
To its credit, the Nikon D7500 does offer a wide array of autofocus modes. Choose from contrast-detect mode, face-priority mode, wide-area mode, and subject-tracking mode to find the one that best suits each situation. Although the D850 does offer the most popular of these options, contrast-detect autofocus, it doesn’t give you quite the same level of flexibility.
Finding your way around the D7500 and navigating the D850 feel essentially the same. Both cameras feature a lush, articulating 3.2-inch touchscreen that responds instantly to pinches, taps, and swipes. Both also have a top deck display that allows you to quickly check your exposure, white balance, and other critical image settings.
Nikon beefed up the resolution on the D850’s screen, however, fitting it out with 2,359,000 gorgeous dots in comparison to the D7500’s 921,600 dots. Those extra pixels make a world of a difference when you’re trying to figure out whether to shoot again or move on.
Landscape, event & wedding photographers, rejoice: both of these cameras were built for you. The Nikon D850 boasts a respectable ISO 62-25,000 range, extending to ISO 32-102,400 if necessary, which allows you to think creatively no matter the situational limitations.
That’s a truly impressive range, although image quality will severely deteriorate at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Dimly lit shoots are where the Nikon D7500 truly comes into its own. It covers ISO 100-51,200 with ease and extends to ISO 1,640,000 while retaining remarkable detail and dimension.
The D850 undercuts its solid low-light specs a bit by completely eliminating its built-in flash. You’ll will need to figure out another method for illuminating dim scenes and subjects, whether it’s a full lighting kit or a hot shoe flash. If you prefer to shoot with an onboard flash, then the D7500 offers plenty of options: front- and rear-curtain sync, red eye reduction, and high-speed sync are all supported.
Who doesn’t want to kick back and enjoy themselves a bit during a stressful shoot? The D850 features helpful illuminated buttons that eliminate bumbling and fumbling through menus in the dark. You’ll never squint to locate that obscure dial or unlabeled menu button again.
The D850 also offers a nifty 8K time lapse mode that is impractical for most purposes, yet wildly fun to experiment with and explore. Although both cameras shoot stunning 3840 x 2160p video, the D850 adds a few additional frame rates and an expansive set of compatible d850 lenses.
Neither camera has built-in image stabilization, but the D7500 does offer a digital stabilization system that does a decent job keeping your shots clear and crisp.
No matter which of these cameras is strapped to your hip, you’re sure to stay connected round-the-clock. Both the D850 and the D7500 connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to effortlessly share your location, photos, and image tags to the web and other devices. If your current camera doesn’t have an efficient wireless upload feature, then beware—once you’ve become accustomed to this function, it’s difficult to go back.
The D850 has a slight edge in the connectivity competition because it adds Near Field Communication to your list of wireless sharing options. If you often want to share images with nearby devices, but hate to drain your battery with Bluetooth, NFC will soon become indispensable.
Ergonomics and Comfort
Even to the experienced observer, the D850 and D7500 could easily be mistaken for the same camera. Both have the same durable hand grip, the same intuitive controls, and the same handy top-facing LCD screen.
The D7500 is a bit lighter, however, at just 1.41 lbs. in comparison to the D850’s 2.01 lbs. That might not seem like a gigantic discrepancy, but it makes a world of a difference after a long day of toting your camera around.
It’s every photographer’s worst nightmare: you’re stranded in the field with a low power warning, no spare batteries, and a lot of unfulfilled ideas. If you love long shoots—or always forget to pack extra batteries—then the Nikon D850 is probably a smarter choice.
The newer camera offers an impressive 1840 shots per charge, in comparison to the D7500’s 950 shots per charge. That’s nearly 900 more frames more, which could easily buy you a few extra hours on your next lengthy shoot.
Both of these cameras are fantastic examples of what modern semi-professional cameras can do. In the end, however, one comes out far ahead of its rival. It might leave your wallet feeling quite a bit thinner, but the Nikon D850 is worth every extra penny. It’s more sophisticated, more capable, and more powerful than the D7500 in almost every category. Months after you take it home, you’ll still be discovering how much this powerhouse can do.Back to Top