Nikon Z50 Vs. D7500: Which APS-C Camera Is Right For You?

Nikon’s APS-C mirrorless and DSLR camera lines overlap in features and price points, which can make choosing between the two a challenge. The Z50 mirrorless and D7500 DSLR are two great options in this mid-range category. While they share similarities, there are some key differences that may make one model a better fit depending on your needs.

This detailed comparison examines the specs, performance, features and real-world use cases to help you decide whether the Z50 or D7500 is the best APS-C camera for you.

A Brief Comparison Table

CameraNikon Z50Nikon D7500
Sensor Resolution20.9MP20.9MP
Image ProcessorEXPEED 6EXPEED 5
ISO Range100-51200100-51200
Autofocus System209-point hybrid PDAF/CAF51-point AF, 15 cross-type
Continuous Shooting11 fps8 fps
Max Shutter Speed1/4000 sec1/8000 sec
Video Resolution4K 30p4K 30p
Viewfinder0.39-in 2359k dot EVFOptical pentaprism
Rear Screen3.2″ tilting touchscreen3.2″ tilting touchscreen
Card Slots1 SD1 SD, 1 SDHC/SDXC
Battery Life320 shots950 shots
Dimensions126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm135.5 x 104 x 72.5 mm

Overview Of The Nikon Z50 And D7500

The Nikon Z50 and D7500 are both crop-sensor APS-C cameras. This means they have smaller sensors compared to full frame cameras, but are more compact, lighter and more affordable. The Z50 is a mirrorless camera that was introduced in 2019, while the D7500 is a DSLR released in 2017.

Nikon Z50
Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50

  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • EXPEED 6 image processor
  • 209-point hybrid phase/contrast AF system
  • 4K/30p video and mic input
  • 11fps continuous shooting
  • 3.2” tilting touchscreen
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • Single SD card slot
  • Dimensions: 126.5 x 93.5 x 60 mm
  • 505g (with battery and card)

Nikon D7500

  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • EXPEED 5 image processor
  • 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type points
  • 4K/30p video and mic input
  • 8fps continuous shooting
  • 3.2” tilting touchscreen
  • Optical pentaprism viewfinder
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Dimensions: 135.5 x 104 x 72.5 mm
  • 720g (with battery and card)

The two cameras share the same 20.9MP sensor resolution and both offer 4K video, tilting touchscreens, microphone inputs and decent burst shooting. However, there are some differences in focusing systems, viewfinders, continuous shooting speed, card slots and overall size/weight.

Image Quality Comparison

Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500

Since the Z50 and D7500 have the same imaging sensor, you can expect very similar image quality between the two cameras. They both produce excellent levels of detail, dynamic range and high ISO performance.

Photos are sharp with accurate colors straight from the camera JPEGs. The large APS-C sensor allows for good subject isolation for portraits and lots of flexibility for cropping images later.

Low light high ISO performance is also very good. Images are very usable through ISO 6400 with some noise reduction applied. This allows you to shoot in dim lighting without flash if needed.

All in all, it’s a draw for image quality. You’ll get the same great photos and videos from either model. Post processing latitude is also helped by both cameras having 14-bit RAW files.

Autofocus Performance

The Z50 uses a hybrid phase and contrast detect AF system with 209 points. This allows for quick autofocus acquisition and accuracy across most of the frame. Subject tracking for moving subjects like pets, kids or sports is excellent.

Face detection and eye detection also work very reliably to maintain sharp focus on people, which is ideal for portraits. Overall, the Z50 focuses quickly and accurately in both stills and video modes.

By comparison, the D7500 uses a 51 point AF system with basic subject tracking capabilities. While the AF system is responsive, it doesn’t cover as wide of an area of the frame. Subject tracking isn’t on the same level as the Z50 either.

For controlled shooting scenarios, the D7500 focuses well enough. But for moving subjects or fast action, the Z50 has a noticeable advantage for nailing focus consistently. The Z50 also excels for video AF thanks to its on-sensor AF system plus useful touch focus control.

Continuous Shooting And Buffers

If you need to capture fast action or fleeting moments, the continuous shooting speeds come into play. Here the D7500 has a slight advantage with a max burst rate of 8 fps compared to 11 fps on the Z50.

The Z50 has a decent buffer size allowing for about 25 RAW shots in a burst. However, the D7500 has an even larger buffer, giving you up to 50 RAW shots in a burst. This better supports shooting unpredictable action like sports or wildlife.

Both cameras have decent burst rates for the APS-C category. But the D7500 edges out the win for action photography thanks to the faster max fps and much larger buffer capacity.

Also Read: Comparison Among Nikon D3500, D5600 And D7500.

Video Capabilities

For videographers, both the Z50 and D7500 offer 4K video up to 30p. The 4K footage is nicely detailed with accurate colors, and both cameras offer microphone inputs for better audio capture.

The Z50 uses its on-sensor AF system for smooth and fast autofocus during video recording. You also have fluid touch focus control which is handy. Overall the video features are more robust on the Z50.

That being said, the D7500 has nice video quality with smooth exposure control and decent AF. You just have to adjust focus manually before recording. For casual video work, the D7500 gets the job done. But the Z50 is the better choice if video production is a priority.

Viewfinder And LCD Experience

Being a DSLR, the D7500 uses an optical viewfinder with a pentaprism design for bright 100% coverage. This lets you see your shot reflected straight through the lens for better accuracy and realism. The Z50 on the other hand has a digital OLED viewfinder since it doesn’t use a reflex mirror.

Both viewfinders are excellent – it comes down to your preference. Some photographers strongly prefer the natural optical viewfinder experience. The EVF on the Z50 however gives you a preview of your exposure and white balance in real time, which some users find very handy.

For image playback and menu navigation, both cameras have 3.2” tilting touchscreen LCDs with good outdoor visibility. These offer fluid operation for adjusting settings as well as nice versatility when composing your shots from high or low angles. The user experience is very refined on both displays.

Size And Battery Life

The Z50 is slimmer and lighter than the D7500 by a noticeable margin, weighing in at just 505g compared to 720g for the D7500. The dimensions are also smaller overall on the mirrorless Z50. Keeping size and weight down is one of the big advantages of mirrorless cameras.

The smaller body does mean less room for batteries though. The Z50 is rated for 320 shots per charge compared to 950 shots with the D7500. Even with the same battery, mirrorless cameras drain power faster than DSLRs when using the rear LCD or EVF. You may need extra batteries with the Z50 for all-day shooting.

Also Read: Comparison Between Nikon D3500 And D3300

Which Has Better Value?

MSRP pricing is very similar on these two cameras, at around $860 for just the camera body. With the debut of the Z50, you can now find D7500 deals for under $700, though official pricing remains at $1200. The D7500 may represent slightly better value if bought refurbished or used due to its age.

However, Z50 kits with lenses often sell for under $1000, which is very affordable for a capable mirrorless setup. Right now, the Z50 probably offers the most value and bang for the buck if you want a light, modern mirrorless camera. But deals on the D7500 makes it appealing for budget-minded buyers as well.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is best Z50 or D7500?

For most users, the Z50 is the best overall choice thanks to its superior autofocus system, compact size and great handling. But the D7500 remains appealing for its optical viewfinder, bigger buffer and much longer battery life in a DSLR design.

Is the Nikon Z50 good for a professional?

Yes, the Z50 has very strong performance and features for professional use including excellent image quality, reliable autofocus, 4K video and mic input, weather sealing and a fairly rugged body. Limitations to consider are short battery life and one SD card slot.

What camera is better than D7500?

Top options that improve significantly on the D7500 are the Nikon D500, Fujifilm X-T4, Sony a6600 and Canon 90D. These offer better performance for sports, more megapixels, improved video or additional features the D7500 lacks.

Are Nikon Z cameras better than DSLR?

Nikon Z mirrorless models have advantages like faster autofocus, silent shooting, exposure preview, smaller size and newer lens designs. But Nikon DSLRs still offer optical viewfinders, much better battery life, larger used lens selection, and tend to be more affordable. Both systems have pros and cons.

Also Read: Comparison Between Nikon D750 And D7500.


The Nikon Z50 and D7500 are both capable mid-range options with a lot in common. The D7500 excels for optical viewfinder shooting, long battery life, bigger buffer and great value. But the Z50 takes the lead for autofocus, subject tracking, video features, compact size and lens selection for the new Z mount system.

For photographers who value speed, video, size and the latest mirrorless features, the Z50 makes an excellent choice. But budget-conscious buyers who prefer DSLR handling will still be very happy with the D7500.

Carefully weigh your needs and preferences around viewfinder, AF, buffer depth, battery life and video to decide which suits you best. Both Nikon APS-C models can deliver great results in skilled hands, so it comes down to the shooting experience you want.

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