Sony a7R II Review

Nikon D7200 Review: Is it a valid option for landscape photographers?

The Nikon D7200, introduced in March 2015, is one of the best crop-sensor cameras for landscape photography.

This medium sized, weather sealed DSLR body comes with a 23.5 x 15.6 mm, high resolution (24.0mp) CMOS sensor, a long battery life of 1110 shots and an exposure delay mode.

Combine this with the lack of a Low Pass Filter and improved autofocus, this camera is a worthy follow-up to its older brother the D7100.

Nikon D7200

PROS

  • No Low Pass Filter
  • ​Amazing Autofocus
  • ​Improved weather sealing on body
  • ​Extremely sharp images
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No touch screen
  • No articulating screen

The Nikon D7200 detailed review

Low Pass filter

The first thing that stands out about this great camera, is the lack of a Low Pass filter. Like many newer cameras, Nikon has decided to leave the OLPF out of this model.

The initial function of the OLPF was to reduce moiré, and thereby give your image a slightly softer look. Leaving this filter out means that your images might be slightly noisier on high ISO’s, and some patterns might create moiré.

However, with a high quality sensor like this one, moiré is really the last of your concerns (and those patterns are rarely found in nature, anyway).

Leaving the filter out in this case just means more pixel detail, which means a sharper picture.

That’s great if you’re trying to shoot a landscape that you’re far away from, and can’t quite get the perfect composition so want to bring the landscape closer by using cropping.

With most cameras, this would mean a huge loss of quality, but not with this camera! The D7200 outperforms even the D810 on this department, which has a full frame sensor!

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The workings of a Low Pass Filter

Autofocus

Another area in which the D7200 outperforms basically all of its older relatives, is the amazing auto focus functions.

Even though you will probably have the opportunity to take your time and use manual focus while shooting landscape, the AF on this camera could come in very useful sometimes. 

This Nikon will do that job for you. Although the actual system used for AF is the same one as that of the d7100, Nikon has managed to improve the autofocus not only in speed, but also in low light performance.

This makes the D7200 a very suitable camera for shooting those gloomy, moody mountain landscapes, without worrying your image will be out of focus.

To help you even more along the way, here’s a video going back to the basics of low-light photography to refresh your memory and ensure high quality low-light shots.

Weather Sealing

​Other than a sharper image and a better autofocus, there is another improvement on the D7200 that makes it even greater for landscape than the D7000, and that is the improved weather sealing on the body.

Although the D 7000 also had a pretty decent coating, the D7200 is even more resistant to rough weather circumstances.

Design

It also changed slightly in design, which makes the grip on the camera more comfortable and gives it a more professional feel overall – for the still affordable price of a DX sensor camera we’re used to with Nikon.

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​Image source

This image clearly shows the design changes between the three Nikon models.

The video recording button, that was crowding the back of the 7000, has been moved out of our way to make space for a more ergo dynamic design.

The navigating wheel has been moved up slightly, making it easier to reach with you thumb.

I also like the fact that the live view is a button now, instead of a switch, and is combined with the video/photo choosing wheel.

The handle is also slightly bigger, which gives it a more firm and sturdy feel in your hand.

Articulating Screen

One thing that is a big con for me with this camera, is the lack of an articulating screen.

I personally like to be able to rotate my screen in case I’ve managed to place my tripod in impossible places again, and can’t properly see the live view going on on my screen anymore.

I also would have preferred a touch screen, simply because it makes it easier to place your focus (call me lazy, but it’s true!).

The D7200 kind of makes up for this by allowing you to use your smartphone as a remote control, but with this feature does not let you change the ISO or shutter speed.

Still, it is useful to see what you’re doing, after you’ve gotten your exposure right. Here’s a video demonstrating (amongst other things) how to use your phone with a D7200

Alternatives

​This camera has quite some competition. It’s a crowded field, but here are some similar cameras to the D7200

​The Canon EOS 7D Mark II

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A highly praised camera and one of Canon’s most popular models. And not without reason – this camera has some great AF going on, high quality video, and also does a way faster continues shooting than the D7200 with 10.0 fps.

But, since we’re all into landscapes here, these really aren’t the most interesting features for us.

And when we look at the features that are important we will find that the D7200 might offer more advantages to our field of photography.

The 7D also does not have an articulating screen, but doesn’t offer the Wi-Fi connection the D7200 does have either.

The sensor is of lower resolution (20mp) and this camera does have a Low Pass filter – so an overall less sharp image detail than the D7200 would offer.

Not as suitable for landscape photographers who like to print their images, but more suitable if you enjoy the occasional video shoot or are more into wildlife- and sports photography and want fast continuous shooting.

PROS

  • Great Autofocus
  • Fast Continous Shooting
  • 20mp Sensor

CONS

  • No Articulating Screen
  • No wi-fi Connection

Pentax K-3

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This 2014 model from Pentax has more similarities to the D7200, with the same high resolution sensor (24.0mp), highly praised auto focus and high quality, 3.2” screen with a 1.037k dots resolution to watch your live view on.

The screen still does not rotate or respond to touch though, and like the Canon 7d this Pentax is not set up for wireless connection.

But, the K-3 did leave out the OLPF, and comes closer in image sharpness to the D7200.

PROS

  • High Resolution Sensor (24 mp)
  • Good Autofocus
  • No Low Pass Filter

CONS

  • No Articulating Screen

Sony SLT – A77 II

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Another one from 2014, this Sony model replaced the SLT-A77. This newer version comes with an articulating screen (finally!), that has the highest resolution of all cameras in this list: 2359k dots for you live viewing.

What I like about this one is the fact that the ISO can be expanded down to 50, lower than the D7200, and the auto-ISO is customizable.

It is also slightly lighter than the other ones, with a weight of 647 grams, great if you travel a lot to find the most beautiful landscapes.

The AF is not as amazing as the one of the D7200 though, and to be able to use the great NIKKOR lenses you will have use an adaptor.

This camera is great if you value your articulating screen over auto focus capabilities, and prefer your camera to be more of a lightweight

PROS

  • Articulating high resolution screen
  • ISO expandable to 50 - 51200
  • Light body

CONS

  • Autofocus

Conclusions

Nikon D7200 is a great camera if you’re shooting landscape on a budget, enjoy outstanding autofocus features and want to be able to bring your image closer by cropping – without losing your image sharpness.

It certainly has a lot of competition, and might not be the best option for other kinds of photography (I would not recommend this camera for wildlife- or sports photography, for example, you’ll be better off with a camera that can do faster continuous shooting and has a bigger buffer).

But for landscape photography, almost all the important features are there. I am certainly willing to forgive the lack of a rotating screen if it means I get the image sharpness and details this camera provides.

And, an additional  good positive point is the wide variety and amazing quality lenses that go with this Nikon camera. 

Nikon D7200 review

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About the Author Luca

Hi, I am Luca, founder and editor in chief at photographyambition.com. I am crazy about photography and I always have a camera with me. When I am not busy with my day job, enjoying my family or taking photos, I am on Photography Ambition to share what I have learnt so far.

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