Why Nikon Went With D500 Sensor In D7500 ?

Started Apr 14, 2017 | Discussions thread
Reilly Diefenbach
Reilly Diefenbach Forum Pro • Posts: 12,677
Re: Why not use a new sensor if you have it?

How much "better" is the sensor of the D500/7500 compared to the already really good D7200? If you pixel peep at 100-200% the new sensor will better by what, a hair?? And in what conditions?

Seeing as you ask... The D7200 sensor is very good indeed. From my experience:

- There's not much in it at all up to ISO400 that I can see on my 27" 4K screen or large prints (A3+ is my max printed size). If that's all you use then I don't see the added value.

- Around ISO800 the D500 starts nudging it and I prefer D500 images but I'm not that fussed.

- At ISO1600 I would use this on the D7200 but with reluctance, I'm ok with it on the D500 but really fine bird plumage suffers a bit.

- At ISO3200, very very rarely on the D7200. D500 I've many good ones at this level and I'm ok to use this for the 'right' subjects.

- At ISO6400 D500 still gives me keepers here but that's about its top where I'm comfortable. D7200 I'd be using stupid low shutter speeds on lower ISO in 'Hail Mary' mode.

- Above IS06400, arguably the D500 can still get images ok but, not for me really. Maybe for a completely unique situation.

Now, I know that the measured sensor difference on all the tests is less than that. I wont argue with that. What is different is the quality of the rendering. On the D500 noise has, as ISO increases, to my eye, a pleasing and more natural smoother graininess (lets call it 'film-like') and less nasty 'digital' artefacts. And, for me, that means the D500 sensor is a good 1 stop better than the D7200's.

You might get some heat from the technos for writing this, but that's about how I see it on my screen.

What's the value of that? Well, for me who shoots lots of long lenses and lives in the UK with frequently poor light, it's worth a lot. In fact I can quantify it. That's worth around $8000 which is the difference between my 200-500mm f/5.6 and a Nikon 500mm f/4 (though the new Sigma 500mm f/4 would be a fair bit less). I'm quite serious in that valuation for my needs.

Or my 300PF plus t.c. at 5.6.  No need for the jumbos, at least for what I'm doing.

So, depending on your needs, having the D500 sensor in the D7500 is fantastic value. But, as they say, YMMV. That's not to discount the rest of the package in the D7500 either.

This post is spot on describing the noise difference at various ISOs.  The D500 files are a pleasure to work with.

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