The company’s most recent upper mid-range DSLR targeted towards enthusiast photographers is the Nikon D7200. It was introduced in March 2015, two years after the D7100, and sits in the middle of the DX-format sensor range, between the D5500 and the D610.
The D7200 and its predecessor, the D7100, are very identical from the outside. So you get a magnesium alloy body that is weather-sealed, 3.2-inch screen with 1229k dots, 6 frames per second burst shooting (boostable to 7 frames per second in 1.3x crop mode), twin SD card slots, and a tonne of ports, such as a mic input, headphone output, and mini HDMI with a clear signal for external monitors and recorders. If you look closely at the specifications, it appears Nikon has switched sensors from the one in the D7100 to the one in the D5x00 range, however the resolution is still 24 Megapixels utilising a sensor that again does not have a low pass filter.
Three major upgrades comprise the new features. The AF system has 51 points, 15 of which are cross type, and while shooting in the 1.3x crop mode, they cover most of the frame. It inherits the Multi-CAM 3500 II AF module of the D750 (or at least the DX version), allowing it to focus in poorer light settings down to -3EV. The second improvement relates to the larger buffer, which can now record up to 100 JPEGs or 18 RAW files (in 14 bit). The inclusion of built-in WiFi and NFC, which enables wireless image transfers to smartphones and basic remote control, is the third significant enhancement.The EXPEED 4 processor, which is speedier, the 9-frame AEB, the 50p/60p video option (albeit only in the 1.3x crop mode), timelapse photography with exposure smoothing, somewhat longer battery life, and a flat picture control profile are additional improvements.
It’s time to talk about the speed of continuous shooting now. When using the 1.3x cropped mode, the Nikon D7200 and the D7100 before it can shoot at a top speed of 7 frames per second. According to reports, the EOS 80D can shoot up to 25 RAW or 110 JPEG shots per second (with a UHS-I card). This is the same speed as the 70D before it, but the 70D claimed a smaller buffer of 65 JPEGs or 16 RAW files, presumably because memory cards were slower.
I equipped the EOS 80D and D7200 with the identical UHS card, adjusted their shutter speeds to 1/500 and sensitivity to 400 ISO, then timed a series of bursts to put them to the test. I was able to shoot 114 frames with the EOS 80D set to Large Fine JPEG in 16.19 seconds before the speed started to fluctuate a little but continued. The rate came out to be virtually exactly 7fps during this initial burst.
The EOS 80D switched to RAW (14-bit), capturing 25 frames at a rate of 7.2 frames per second in 3.46 seconds. I took 90 JPEG images in 13.33 seconds while using Live View in continuous mode, which equates to a 6.8 fps rate.
I switched to the Nikon D7200 and shot 37 Large Fine JPEGs in 5.82 seconds for a 6.4 frames per second pace. By switching to 14-bit RAW with lossless compression, I was able to take 13 frames at a rate of 5.5 frames per second in 2.35 seconds. The D7200 also managed 50 JPEGs in Live View at a frame rate of 3.9 in 12.88 seconds.
Even a cursory look at these numbers shows that the EOS 80D can outperform the D7200, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, the D7200’s JPEGs are nearly twice as large as those from the 80D when set to the highest quality setting (15MB against 7MB in my test), so it makes sense that its buffer fills up more quickly. You could aim for longer bursts if the quality of the D7200 JPEGs were to be decreased—possibly by utilising stronger compression—to nearly match the 80D file size. It’s also important to note that the D7200 can shoot for significantly longer periods of time when the shooting speed is slowed, as it is in Live View.