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Nikon D500 vs D7500

The Nikon D500 and the Nikon D7500 are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2017. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C 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 D500 versus Nikon D7500
Nikon D500 Nikon D7500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.7 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 1,640,000) ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 1,640,000)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.2 LCD, 2359k dots 3.2 LCD, 922k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
1240 shots per battery charge950 shots per battery charge
147 x 115 x 81 mm, 860 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 D500 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 D500 and the Nikon D7500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D500 vs Nikon D7500
Compare D500 versus D7500 top
Comparison D500 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 notably smaller (16 percent) than the Nikon D500. Moreover, the D7500 is markedly lighter (16 percent) than the D500. 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D500 gets 1240 shots out of its EN-EL15 battery, while the D7500 can take 950 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15a power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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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 D500 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7500 5.4 in 4.1 in 2.9 in 25.4 oz 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon 80D 5.5 in 4.1 in 3.1 in 25.8 oz 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Nikon D5600 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 16.4 oz 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3400 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 14.8 oz 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D750 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299i
 
Nikon D7100 5.4 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 950 Y Feb 2013 1,199i
 
Nikon D610 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i
 
Nikon D600 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D7000 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 27.5 oz 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D300S 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 33.1 oz 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
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 naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D7500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 35 percent) than the D500, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D500 and Nikon D7500 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 20.7 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the D500 and the D7500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the D7500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the D500, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Nikon D500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-1640000. The Nikon D7500 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

D500 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 D500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
 
Nikon D750 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693
 
Nikon D7100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.213.7125683
 
Nikon D610 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
 
Nikon D600 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 326410800/24p23.513.9116780
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D500 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 D500 has a higher magnification than the one of the D7500 (0.67x vs 0.61x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D500 and Nikon D7500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 D500optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n n
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7200optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D750optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y 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 D600optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n
 
Nikon D7000optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D7500 has one, while the D500 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 D500 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 D500 writes its imaging data to SDHC or XQD cards, while the D7500 uses SDXC cards. The D500 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D7500 only has one slot. The D500 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the D7500 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

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 D500 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 D500YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7200YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D750YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D7100YstereomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D610YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D600YmonomonoYYmini2.0---
 
Nikon D7000YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D500 (unlike the D7500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D500 and the D7500 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The D500 replaced the earlier Nikon D300S, while the D7500 followed on from the Nikon D7200. 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 is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D500 better than the Nikon D7500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D500:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.67x vs 0.61x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 922k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1240 versus 950) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • 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.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).


Advantages of the Nikon D7500:

  • More compact: Is smaller (136x104mm vs 147x115mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 140g or 16 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (35 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D500 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 5 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D500 10:05 D7500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D500 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D500 or the D7500 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 D500+ +91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D7200+ +84/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
 
Nikon D750+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299i
 
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 D600+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099i
 
Nikon D7000..80/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499i
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D500:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D7500:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D500 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 D500 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 1,999 USD 1,299
    Sensor Specs Nikon D500 Nikon D7500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 368.95 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20.7 Megapixels 20.7 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5568 x 3712 pixels 5568 x 3712 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.22 μm 4.22 μm
    Pixel Density 5.60 MP/cm2 5.60 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 1,640,000 ISO 50 - 1,640,000 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 EXPEED 5
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 83 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.0 24.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.0 14.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1324 1483
    Screen Specs Nikon D500 Nikon D7500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.67x 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 Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D500 Nikon D7500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC or XQD cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D500 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 Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D500 Nikon D7500
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15 EN-EL15a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1240 shots per charge950 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 147 x 115 x 81 mm
    (5.8 x 4.5 x 3.2 in)
    136 x 104 x 73 mm
    (5.4 x 4.1 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 860 g (30.3 oz) 720 g (25.4 oz)

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