This morning I got to test the D7200 in horrible foggy conditions
and all I can say is that I was thrilled with how it performs
I guess I owe my readers a little more in-depth description of why I like the camera a LOT. You’ll get a really detailed, picture loaded field test report tomorrow, but here’s my first go at it : first of all, I love the way it sits in the hand. The dimensions are very sweet for my smallish hands, though I would think larger males will want to add a vertical grip for a little more finger estate.
Let me say it again : the lighting conditions were NASTY. The camera handled them very, very well in my view
The D7200 is perfectly proportionned, and get a little more rectangular shape (like the D7100 did), vs the D7000 which IQ I loved, but that was a little too squarish for my taste (it somewhat looked like it had been oddly chopped in its length). The outer materials are comfortable to hold, though it cannot hold a candle to the premium comfort of the D750’s rubber coating (a dream to handle). Let’s say it’s very nice to hold, if you do have a D750 to compare it to 😉
The number one reason I got a D7200 (other than the rave reviews it has been receiving so far) is that the interface (read : button placement) is strictly identical to that of the D750. Since I intend to swap bodies freely in the course of a same shoot sometimes, it was crucial for me that I could do so without any headache, having to figure out what button does what on each body. Total win here, both cameras have the exact same buttons, which I have configured to perform the exact same functions.
Here the girls were training for horseball, and one of the ponies got scared by the ball being thrown at its rider. The camera caught the moment without a glitch
For the sake of the experiment, I tried the “Auto” AF mode, and the camera always focused on the proper part of the frame ! I probably wouldn’t dare it on a pro shoot, but for a recreational try, it was all good
Same ponies, this time around Phenix had no more concern with the ball flying overhead
So the D7200 looks good, has a gorgeous and vast 3.2″ rear LCD (that, like the D750’s, I have fine tuned at +1 Blue for color balance, as it was natively a little amber/greenish), a 100% coverage viewfinder. The shutter release is way less sensitive than that of the D750 (which will fire a full burt of pics if you’re not light fingered enough…), so I need to mash it more decisively for it to take a pic. It’s nicely dampened and barely audible compared to the already rather quiet D750 shutter. The AF performance, which I briefly testesd with the horseball action, seemed very responsive and capable. I’ll find out more tomorrow shooting a proper horse jumping contest all day long…
I really need to stress how bad the lighting was this morning, and I need to add the pics of the younger riders where taken under the covered arena, which is always pretty severly backlit. The D7200 with Center-Weighted metering handled it with a lot of grace, and very consistently. What had bothered me with the D7100 is that metering seemed a bit more “all over the place”, vs. the D7000 that was more predictable. Seems like the D7200 goes back to that consistency, and might behave slightly better than the D750, with which I have yet to feel perfectly comfortable in backlit situations… The D7200’s dynamic range is nothing short of amazing for an APS-C sensor, please remember that ALL the shots you see in this blog are processed from jpeg files !
At F:2.8 subject isolation is very good. The D750 would yield even shallower depth of field, but I didn’t feel limited by the crop sensor in this regard
As you can see my daughter was very pleased with today’s ride, and her furry friend of the day : Ursule
The D7200 are large and easy to work with. My current Picture Style for both Nikon cameras is Neutral with Sharpness set at 4, +1 Clarity and +1 Saturation, all other parameters being left at default. If the images in this post look a little dim or dull, I garantee it’s a faithful reproduction of the actual light today. Overall I’m superbly pleasef with my acquisition, and will put it to real work tomorrow, stay tuned !