When Nikon announced the D7500, we were struck by how much the firm had plundered the specification sheet of the flagship D500 for the new enthusiast shooter. But exactly how do the two high-end APS-C DSLRs stack up against each other? Here we compare the key features and specs of the two cameras.
The new DSLR is a bit smaller than the flagship D500 in all dimensions. While a 10 mm difference might not look like much on a spec sheet, it can drastically alter how a camera feels in the hands, and you might simply find you prefer one size over the other.
The D7500 is 140 g (4.9 oz) lighter than its stablemate, which is good news for your neck. However, once you factor in lenses and any other accessories you're going to be carrying, the weight advantage might seem negligible.
The D7500 uses a monocoque design compared to the the structure of the D500 which features some mag-alloy parts. This means the D500 still has the edge when it comes to ruggedness. That said, both cameras offer weather sealing and should survive the odd knock or drop.
Both of these cameras use APS-C image sensors which measure 23.5 x 15.6 mm. As you can see in our guide to sensor size, this is often seen as the middle-ground for interchangeable lens cameras, fitting in between Micro Four Thirds sensors and full frame offerings.
Another draw, with both cameras packing 20.9-megapixels. This should be more than enough for most users, though it is less than the 24.2-megapixel sensor offered by the older D7200 DSLR.
Nikon's EXPEED 5 image processor, which is used in the top-end D5 flagship DSLR, is also deployed in both of these cameras, this allows them to deliver high quality images and high resolution video quickly.
As expected, the two DSLRs use the Nikon F lens mount. This makes both cameras compatible with a wide range of lenses. However, the D7500 lacks an Ai (aperture indexing) tab, which means you won't benefit from metering information on some older lenses.
While the D7500 gained a lot of features from the D500, autofocus is unfortunately not one of them. It's 51 point AF (with 15 cross-type) is somewhat lacking compared to the excellent 153 point system (including 99 cross-type sensors) of the D500.
With burst rates of up to 8 fps (frames per second) the D7500 is certainly no slouch, but the D500 still has an advantage with its 10 fps shooting. This extra 2 fps could make all the difference if you regularly shoot fast moving subjects.
A wide native ISO range of 100-51200 is available on both of these DSLRs, promising high quality images irrespective of the lighting conditions. They can both also be extended all the way up to a crazy ISO 1,640,000, should you happen to be shooting in a cave, at night.
Unlike some of their rivals, both of these DSLRs offer movie recording in 4K resolutions (at 30/25/24 fps).
Full HD video
Once you drop the resolution, frame rate options increase, with both cameras able to shoot Full HD video at up to 60 fps.
Being fully-fledged DSLRs, both cameras use optical viewfinders which cover 100 percent of the APS-C DX frame. This means you can compose shots accurately and know exactly what you are shooting.
While both cameras feature 3.2-inch rear monitors, the one of the D7500 has a considerably lower resolution, which means it won't be as good for composing shots or reviewing them. However, both monitors are touch-screens, and can be tilted for easier use in otherwise awkward shooting positions.
Photo file type
As expected, you can shoot JPEG or RAW images with both of these DSLRs. However, the D500 has the advantage of being able to shoot different sizes of RAW image (large, medium or small) and can also shoot TIFF files.
In a move which has irked a number of potential buyers, Nikon chose to only put one memory card slot in the D7500, compared to the two in the D500 (and the D7200). This means users can't use a second slot as a backup, to separate different types of files, or to simply have more storage.
Wireless connectivity is built-in on both of these DSLRs, making it easy to share images quickly, or control them remotely. While both feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, and work with Nikon's SnapBridge app, only the D500 has NFC for easy pairing with compatible devices.
The 950 shots you should be able to get from a full battery on the D7500 is impressive, but the D500 still has the advantage with its 1,240 shots.
Though both cameras obviously feature a hot shoe for mounting a flash, only the D7500 features its own built-in flash, too. This could be useful if you just need a bit of extra light, or want to use it to trigger external flash units.
The D500 launched just over a year ago, while the newly-announced D7500 is due to land in stores later this (northern) summer.
When purchased body-only, the D500 will set you back US$750 more than the new D7500. The D7500 can also be purchased for $1,750 bundled with an 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens.
The D7500 looks to be a very capable camera, and has inherited a number of key features from Nikon's APS-C flagship, the D500. However, looking at these key specifications it's clear Nikon is aiming the new camera squarely at enthusiasts, rather than the professionals who would also be interested in the D500.
While image quality will be comparable between the two cameras, there are issues such as autofocus, ruggedness, and burst shooting speed which will still make the D500 a better bet for professionals who need those features. There's also the limitation of only having one SD card slot, and the fact there isn't an battery grip accessory for the D7500.
That said, the lower cost of the D7500 will make it appeal to a much wider audience than the D500. For $1,250 buyers are getting what looks to be an impressive APS-C DSLR, and one that we can't wait to get our hands on to try in the real world.
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