April 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm #50147
Greetings and salutations!
I’d like to upgrade from my Nikon D5000 to a pro grade DSLR in the next few months. I’m currently looking at the Nikon D7200, and D7500 (both crop-sensor) as well as the D600, D610 and the D800 (all full-frame). One of the larger factors in my decision is ISO (that’s what the first two question are about).
1st Question: Does anybody know what expanded ISO is? I have some guesses but that’s all they are…. guesses!
2nd Question: I’m very interested in how full-frame and crop-sensors handle ISO. For instance, the D7200 has a non-expanded ISO range of 100-25600 while the D800 has a non expanded ISO range of 100-6400. But if I can’t take the crop-sensor (D7200) past say, ISO 3200, should I consider ditching crop-sensors and go with full-frame, even if the crop-sensor camera is newer?
3rd Question: If I do decide to go with a crop-sensor it comes down to the Nikon D7200 vs D7500. Both are priced within 80$ of each other used. I would just go with the newer camera (D7500) except for a couple of things. The D7500 has 20.7 MP, D7200 has 24 MP (also has a higher quality LCD). The D7500 has one card slot, D7200 has two (who wants to tell their client that you lost all the photos of their wedding because your card failed?). And finally, the D7500 can take 950 shots, D7200 can take 1110 shots. But, on the flip side the D7500 has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 5 vs EXPEED 4). It also has a better ISO range, (100-51200 non-expanded) double that of the D7200.
I would really appreciate any advice, especially if anyone who owns one of these cameras could weigh in.
Thanks, and God bless!
Ethan RambeckApril 14, 2020 at 9:20 pm #50148John MachenParticipant
Answering your third question, I own a Nikon D7100 and the dual SD card slots is definitely one of the things I like about it. The second card can be used for backup, overflow, or even a different file type. Really comes in handy!
As far as the age difference between the D7200 and D7500, it’s only about two years newer. I wouldn’t feel like you need to buy the D7500 just because it’s the newer one. There’s also the difference of flip-out LCD screen if that matters to you. Battery life difference isn’t very significant, as I would recommend keeping an extra battery on hand always anyway. That being said, here’s a good comparison between the two. Nikon D7200 vs Nikon D7500
I don’t have a full-frame camera but I’m sure someone else here can answer those questions!
Take care, JohnApril 14, 2020 at 9:29 pm #50149Nathanael & Samantha FrazerModerator
TLDR: if high iso is your priority, go full frame every day all day. I’m Canon guy so I can’t speak from experience of these models
1 Expanded iso is just this: it uses the highest native or real iso and brightens up the image after the fact in its image treatment. It’s done at a hardware level so you’re raw images will also be brightened not just jpegs. In other words if you use an extended ISO 25000 the camera actually captures the image at ISO 12500 and lifts the whole image a stop in brightness. You would get basically the same effect by taking the image at 12500 and brightening it in post. That’s because the camera sensor only has a given amount of analogue gain possible.
2. At high ISO’s a full frame camera will almost always outperform a crop sensor camera for noise, dynamic range, and colour accuracy. That simply is because the full frame sensor gets 2.6 times more light than the crop sensor. The official ISO range of a camera speaks only to how far the sensor can be pushed, not to what the results will look like. It’s basically a marketing gimmick (this one goes to 11 instead of the others ones 10) All cameras image qualities degrade at high iso. As to the d800, it basically has no analogue gain due to the analogue-digital conversion being done on-chip which gives very low read noise resulting in breathtakingly large dynamic range. (This has basically become a staple across the board of high end digital cameras.) It was basically the first of its particular breed and analogue gain was hard to come by, so they couldn’t make the ISO go very high. However at iso 6400 it will still beat any crop camera like a tied up goat. You just need to decide if iso 6400 is enough for your needs. That would be a sticking point for me personally.
3. Between the d7200 and d7500 it’s six to one half dozen to the other. The megapixel difference is a wash, you couldn’t possibly tell the difference in a real life situation. I would personally see the 20 mp sensor as the better one but that is for more technical reasons. Battery life has more to do with how you use a camera than it’s actual specs. I’ve gotten around 3000 shots on one battery with a camera rated for 1100. The ISO difference is just marketing hype. You’ll probably not want to use over 12500 on either of these cameras if you’re thinking of printing larger than a 4×6 and even that’s pushing it. Yes the newer *can do a higher iso, but it will not be that much use as the image quality will be quite low. These two cameras performance will be very similar at high iso with maybe a tiny edge to the 7500. It’s just that the higher ISO’s available on the newer model will continue to look worse and worse as you continue to push it up. As to newer processing engine it’s a bit of a moot point if you shoot raw- look rather at how the newer processor is translated into camera performance in real hard boiled ways such as AF tracking, exposure metering shooting speed etc.
April 15, 2020 at 2:15 pm #50154David FrazerParticipant
- This reply was modified 51 years, 9 months ago by .
+1 on the response from @nasa !
I just thought I would add a bit, as I recently upgraded from the D5300 to the D750 (full-frame).
1) I love the two card slots!
2) I love how easy it is to change settings. With the D5000 series you constantly have to go under the menus to change things like iso, automatic iso, white balance, bracketing, ev compensation, drive mode, etc. These can all be done so much faster with the D750, and I assume any camera in the D7000 series, due to the hold-button method and two rollers. It takes a bit to get used to all those buttons, but I would not want to go back now – especially for faster types of photography like animals, sports, and children.
3) The biggest thing I noticed with the full-frame is the image quality and iso performance. With the D5300 I tried to stay below iso 1600 and never shot above iso 3200, and even that was a stretch. With the D750 I get significantly less noise at iso 6400 than I did with the D5300 at iso 3200.
It looks from your previous posts that you are interested in portraits. If you are getting paid for portrait photography and your budget allows, I would definitely try to go full-frame. (Be sure to take a look at your lenses and see how many are full-frame lenses.) If you are shooting mostly in studio-type settings, I would say keep your D5000 and invest in lighting equipment.
The bigest difference between the D5000 and D7200 is the controls, though I am sure the image quality will be slightly better.April 16, 2020 at 5:31 pm #50158
Thank you for the advice @hayhand02! With your Nikon D7100, how high can you take the ISO and still achieve good quality results?
@nasa, thank you for the very in depth answers, especially answer two! Are there any resources where I can learn more about analogue-digital conversion, and analogue gain? Here are two more questions I have. : )
1: What ISO range would you consider adequate in a full-frame camera?
2: I’ve been looking at the Nikon D610, and if I went full-frame I think that’s what I would buy. However I’m slightly hesitant because it’s top shutter speed is 1/4000. Should I be worried about that? The fastest subject I shoot is songbirds, and I’ve never needed more than a 1/2500 to a 1/4000. But is it better to have the extra shutter speed?
Thank you for bringing up lenses @dfrazer! I currently have one FX lens and two DX lens. I know that some FX cameras can automatically crop photos taken with a DX lens, but that’s going to decrease your image quality and restrict the size of your prints. But can you get away with it? Have you experimented with this at all?April 16, 2020 at 5:56 pm #50159Ezra MorleyModerator
Looks like you’ve got some excellent advice already, @erambeck!
Just a bit of perspective… 20 years ago, none of us had ever heard of a camera that could take usable pictures at ISO 6400, much less anything higher! We modern photographers are spoiled with our fancy sensitive equipment that can get details out of murky shadows that would have made Ansel Adams swoon! 🙂 Any DSLR made in the last 5 years will do better than most photographers throughout history have ever had. Certainly you want to get the best camera for the price, but you can be assured that clean high ISO ratings aren’t going to be what makes or breaks a picture. If that was true, then good pictures could never have happened till the Nikon D610 came on the scene! See what I mean? 🙂
All that being said, I was blown away by how much better dynamic range and noise control my Pentax K-5IIs (equivalent to D7100) had compared to my cheapie entry level Canon Rebel T3. I would never want to go back! Just don’t buy into the fib manufacturers push that high shutter speed or ISO ratings are important. They’re NOT! Not compared to the human skills that go into making a good picture. Otherwise monkeys could be photographers. 😉 🙂April 18, 2020 at 11:00 am #50169
Thank you for the reminder @buddingphotographer! It’s easy to become discontent with the camera you have and want something “better”. But that’s just it, no matter what you have there will alway be something better.April 18, 2020 at 11:50 am #50170John MachenParticipant
@erambeck, I don’t like going over 6400 in low-light situations. I’ve gotten plenty of great pictures using ISO 5000, at a dimly lit convention center I was covering. It depends on how much light is already available. I’m not totally thrilled with how the D7100 handles ISO, but it does very reasonably.
no matter what you have there will alway be something better.
Yes, especially if you have a Canon… 😏
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