Comparing my D7200 with my D610
Anyway, I started wondering if I would get the same images with my D610/24-85. I thought the D610 might be at a disadvantage as the D7200 doesn't have an AA filter so maybe it would be sharper and more detailed.
I can't help you on the colors, contrast, etc. Both cameras have the ability to set to various picture controls and to customize each different picture control, and if you're going to PP then OOC JPG really don't matter anyway.
But regarding sharpness I managed by coincidence to do a similar comparison. I was using a D7200 with Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and a D750 with Tamron G1 24-70 f2.8. I took photos of our city skyline with both combinations from the same location using equivalent zoom settings. Comparing the OOC JPG files at 100% the D7200 appears to have more fine detail and this is what you would expect by it not having the AA filter. On the D750 the AA filter appears to soften fine detail a bit. If you zoom out a bit the images look pretty much the same.
I posted these comparisons here a couple of years ago and in the resulting discussion I learned that some of the apparent fine detail in the D7200 images was false detail due to aliasing. I did a little sharpening of my D750 images and that made them look much more similar to the D7200 images.
You liked the 24-85, and I've read good things about it from other people, but apparently there is a lot of sample variation. I would question the lens that you used on your D7200, it should have done better.
Your conclusions are what I've read from other people- the DX camera can capture detailed images so it is not a handicap in that regards, it all depends on the lenses. But the FX camera can capture colors better, and probably has a little bit more headroom if you are trying to recover shadows. I've seen people post comparison images of the colors and to me it didn't seem to be much difference.
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