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Nikon D5 vs D7500

The Nikon D5 and the Nikon D7500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (D5) and an APS-C (D7500) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 20.7 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D5 versus Nikon D7500
Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
20.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-102,400 (50 - 3,280,000) ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 1,640,000)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 2359k dots 3.2 LCD, 922k dots
Fixed touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
3780 shots per battery charge950 shots per battery charge
160 x 159 x 92 mm, 1415 g 136 x 104 x 73 mm, 720 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D5 and the Nikon D7500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D5 and the Nikon D7500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D5 vs Nikon D7500
Compare D5 versus D7500 top
Comparison D5 or D7500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D7500 is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Nikon D5. Moreover, the D7500 is substantially lighter (49 percent) than the D5. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor (as in the D5) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D7500). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D5 gets 3780 shots out of its EN-EL18a battery, while the D7500 can take 950 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the D5 has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power. In order to provide similar functionality for the D7500, there are third party battery grips available as optional accessories (see here on eBay).

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D5 160 mm 159 mm 92 mm 1415 g 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D7500 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Leica SL 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D6 160 mm 163 mm 92 mm 1270 g 3580 Y Feb 2020 6,499 i
 
Nikon D500 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 860 g 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D4S 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1350 g 3020 Y Feb 2014 6,499i
 
Nikon D7100 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D610 141 mm 113 mm 82 mm 850 g 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D4 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1340 g 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999i
 
Nikon D7000 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D3X 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1260 g 4400 Y Dec 2008 7,999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D7500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the D5, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D5 features a full frame sensor and the Nikon D7500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D7500 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D5 and Nikon D7500 sensor measures

Even though the D5 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 20.7 megapixels. This implies that the D5 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 6.44μm versus 4.22μm for the D7500), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the D7500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the D5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D7500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Nikon D5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400, which can be extended to ISO 50-3280000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D7500 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-1640000.

D5 versus D7500 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon D5 Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Canon 1D X Mark II Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188
 
Nikon D6 Full Frame 20.7 5568 37124K/30p........
 
Nikon D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Nikon D4S Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/60p24.413.3307489
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
 
Nikon D4 Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
 
Nikon D3X Full Frame 24.4 6048 4032none24.713.7199288

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D5 and the D7500 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the D5 has a higher magnification than the one of the D7500 (0.72x vs 0.61x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D5 and Nikon D7500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon D5optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 16.0 n n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D6optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n
 
Nikon D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D4Soptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D7100optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D610optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D4optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3Xoptical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D7500 has one, while the D5 does not. While the built-in flash of the D7500 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The Nikon D5 and the Nikon D7500 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D5 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or XQD cards, while the D7500 uses SDXC cards. The D5 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D7500 only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D5 and Nikon D7500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon D5YstereomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 1D X Mark IIYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--
 
Nikon D6YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D4SYmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D4YmonomonoYYmicro2.0---
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3XY----mini2.0---

It is notable that the D7500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D5 does not provide wifi capability.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D5 (unlike the D7500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D7500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D5 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D5 was succeeded by the Nikon D6. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D5 better than the Nikon D7500 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Nikon D5:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.7 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.72x vs 0.61x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (3780 versus 950) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D7500:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.7 EV of extra DR).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (136x104mm vs 160x159mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 695g or 49 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5 comes out slightly ahead of the D7500 (11 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D5 11:10 D7500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D5 and the Nikon D7500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D5 or the D7500 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D5..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon 1D X Mark II..89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450i
 
Nikon D6....4.5/5..4.5/5 Feb 2020 6,499 i
 
Nikon D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D4S....4.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2014 6,499i
 
Nikon D7100+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D610+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D4....4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999i
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D3X..86/1004/55/55/5 Dec 2008 7,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D5:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D7500:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D5 vs Nikon D7500

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 April 2017
    Launch Price USD 6,499 USD 1,299
    Sensor Specs Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5588 x 3712 pixels 5568 x 3712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.44 μm 4.22 μm
    Pixel Density 2.42 MP/cm2 5.60 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 102,400 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 3,280,000 ISO 50 - 1,640,000 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 EXPEED 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 88 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.1 24.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.3 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2343 1483
    Screen Specs Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.72x 0.61x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy400 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or XQD cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D5 Nikon D7500
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL18a EN-EL15a
    Battery Life (CIPA)3780 shots per charge950 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 160 x 159 x 92 mm
    (6.3 x 6.3 x 3.6 in)
    136 x 104 x 73 mm
    (5.4 x 4.1 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 1415 g (49.9 oz) 720 g (25.4 oz)

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