The Nikon D7500 is slightly smaller than the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. While the overall size difference isn't all that much on paper, it is going to mean that the two cameras feel quite different in the hands.
The D7500 also weighs less than its Canon rival. Without a lens mounted (but with battery and a memory card) the weight difference is 190 g. While this might sound like a lot, once you've mounted a lens and are carrying various other accessories, the difference will become less noticeable.
The Canon 7D Mark II has the advantage over the D7500 in terms of ruggedness, thanks to the use of magnesium alloy parts in its construction, which also helps to explain the extra weight it is carrying. Both cameras are described as being weather sealed.
Both of these cameras use APS-C size image sensors.
You'd probably need to have a keen eye to notice the difference between the 20.9 and 20.2-megapixel images produced by these DSLRs. This level of resolution should be plenty for most users, for most of the time.
Both cameras feature high-end image processors which have also been deployed in higher-end devices such as the Nikon D5 and Canon 5Ds. This enables the duo to produce high quality images and videos at speed.
Unsurprisingly, the two DSLRs use the standard lens mount from their respective manufacturer. This means there are plenty of lens options whichever of these cameras you are using.
The Canon 7D Mark II has slightly more to offer over the D7500 in terms of the total number of AF points, and all of those are cross-type, compared to just 15 on the D7500. The 7D Mark II also offers autofocus customization options which you can change depending on your subject matter.
Both of these cameras have more than respectable continuous shooting speeds for capturing fast action. However, the Canon 7D Mark II is able to shoot two frames per second more than the Nikon D7500, which could make all the difference for some subjects.
The Canon 7D Mark II begins to show its age when looking at its available ISO range. While a top native ISO setting of 16,000 (expandable to 51,200) was fine when the Canon was first released, we've recently seen ISO ranges reach much higher, such as the astronomical settings available on the D7500.
If you want to shoot 4K video, it's going to be an easy decision between these cameras. Only the Nikon D7500 is capable of shooting 4K footage, which it can do at up to 30 fps (frames per second).
Full HD video
If your video resolution demands don't quite reach 4K, both cameras shoot Full HD 1080p footage at up to 60 fps. It's worth noting that the Canon also benefits from Dual Pixel CMOS AF which enables fast and smooth focusing when shooting video.
The duo both offer optical viewfinders which cover 100 percent of the APS-C frame. This enables users to frame their shots and know exactly what they are shooting.
While the rear monitor on the Canon 7D Mark II is a standard 3-inch offering, the one of the Nikon D7500 has a couple of advantages. At 3.2-inch it's slightly larger, but also benefits from being a touchscreen and tilting for easier shooting at otherwise awkward angles.
Photo file type
Both cameras shoot the variety of JPEG and RAW images you would expect for quality DSLRs. However, the Canon is the more versatile because it can shoot different size RAW files depending on your needs.
The Nikon D7500 has just one SD memory card slot, while the Canon 7D Mark II has one SD slot and one CompactFlash slot. This means users of the Canon can shoot different file types to different cards, instantly backup, or simply increase storage space.
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity give the Nikon D7500 the edge here for users who want to share content quickly or control their camera remotely. That said, the Canon 7D Mark II has gained a few additional skills since it was launched. Inserting the optional W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter into the SD slot enables wireless sharing and shooting.
The battery in the Nikon D7500 will keep you shooting for longer than the one in the Canon 7D Mark II.
Both of these cameras pair a built-in flash with a hot shoe. The addition of the built-in flash can be useful for times you need a bit of fill flash, or to control external flash units.
Nikon's D7500 is due to launch later this (northern) summer while the Canon 7D Mark II was released back in November '14, which explains why some of those specifications are feeling a little dated now. However, the 7D Mark II is currently Canon's flagship APS-C DSLR, and arguably still the most comparable to the D7500, despite the newer EOS 80D.
The Canon 7D Mark II has come down in price since it was initially released, and currently costs $300 more than the Nikon D7500.
The comparison between the Nikon D7500 and Canon 7D Mark II is an interesting one because the timing of product release cycles means the new enthusiast-focused Nikon outclasses Canon's flagship APS-C DSLR in a number of ways. ISO range, 4K video recording and the rear touchscreen all give the D7500 an advantage, despite it also being the cheaper camera.
That said, the Canon 7D Mark II still has a few things in its favor, such as a faster top shooting speed, and a more comprehensive autofocus system. These factors, along with the solid build quality and dual memory card slots, mean the camera will still appeal to some professionals as well as demanding enthusiasts. It should still be enough camera to keep them happy until we find out what Canon has got planned for its next flagship APS-C DSLR.