Nikon D7500 High-ISO Examples

To give a sense of the Nikon D7500's high-ISO performance, I've put together a some example photos shot at a range of ISO settings.

The Nikon D7500 has a very wide ISO range. In its standard range, it goes from 100 through 51,200. There are also extended settings on both ends, from Lo 0.3 to Lo 1 (Lo 1 is equivalent to ISO 32) on the slow end and from Hi 0.3 to Hi 5 (Hi 5 is equivalent to ISO 1,638,400) on the fast end.

The catch with ISO, of course, is that while the higher numbers are better for capturing subjects in very low light, they also bring the risk of degraded image quality. Firstly, there’s the problem of grainy, noisy images that is the digital equivalent to the old film grain. Secondly, as you get into the very high ISOs the sensor’s response to color degrades. So you tend to end up with images that have both noise and harsher colors. Whether that’s a problem depends entirely on what you’re shooting and the look you’re aiming for.

This is an area that the leading camera manufacturers have been improving constantly for a long time now, and the latest cameras are very impressive. The D7500 is no exception, and I’ve been very impressed with the results up to at least ISO 6400 from the D7500, and, in practice, even all the way up to an extreme setting like ISO 51,200 can result in surprisingly usable images in the right circumstances. As you can see from the example below, once you get up into the extended range above that, particularly up around the Hi 5 setting, the images start to become much less useful for anything other than quite niche uses.

To give a sense of the D7500’s high-ISO performance, I’ve put together the shots below. And related to this, I’ve also put together a quick guide on how to change the ISO on a Nikon D7500.

How These High-ISO Examples Were Shot

There are no fancy setting settings here-deliberately so. To get a consistent exposure across the frames, I mounted in on a tripod and put it on Aperture priority setting. So the aperture remained constant, with the shutter speed adjusting to compensate for the ISO I was setting.

But there is an important aspect to note. By default, the Nikon D7500 applies noise reduction to high-ISO photos in camera. You can turn that setting off or change it’s aggressiveness, but by default it’s turned on. That in-camera noise reduction doesn’t, technically, affect RAW images as such, just JPGs. But it is applied to the JPG preview images that are embedded into the RAW files and that are the versions you see when you view the image on the back of the camera. Those are also the initial versions you’re seeing when you import the images into apps like Lightroom or PhotoMechanic. If you open a RAW file and see obvious effects of in-camera noise reduction, that’s why. To bypass that, I’ve made sure to regenerate the images below directly from the underlying RAW file. That was done in Lightroom, and I disabled Lightroom’s noise reduction and sharpening functions.

ISO 100

ISO 200

ISO 400

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 2500

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 10000

ISO 16000

ISO 25600

ISO 32000

ISO 40000

ISO 51200

Extended High ISO

Hi 0.3 / ISO 64508

Hi 0.5 / ISO 81275

ISO 102400

ISO 204800

ISO 409600

ISO 819200

Hi 5 / ISO 1638400

Where to Buy the Nikon D7500

You can find the Nikon D7500 at B&H Photo and Amazon.

It’s sold in a variety of configurations, from the body only to bundles with kit lenses and accessories.

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Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2021-08-04 at 22:39. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

View Comments

  • Bought a D7500 because of the decent AF for birds - I had a Fuji XT20 and the files from the D7500 are so much more noisy.. I can't believe it the Raws are not easy to work with (eg: if I lift the Shadow it creates amazing amount of noise (even under ISO 1600). Maybe my expectation were too high but it looks a lot less manageable than Fuji (with less megapixels...)

  • Hi there. Thanks for this post! I have a Nikon D7500 and when shooting at ISO L1.0 or even ISO 100, my images are extremely noisy/grainy when I open them as RAW files in Photoshop. I have the Long Exposure NR "on" and ISO sensitivity on.

    Reading your article suggestion, how do I "to bypass that, I’ve made sure to regenerate the images below directly from the underlying RAW file" in Photoshop?

    Would love your help! Thanks,

    • When you open the RAW files in Photoshop, it's bypassing the generated JPG thumbnail images that are embedded with the RAW data and creating new versions directly from the RAW data. Processed tools like noise reduction and sharpening and other effects only apply to the JPGs, not the underlying RAW data. So you're losing the benefit of that by opening the RAW file.

      So there are two options: change the file mode to RAW+JPG or apply the effects in Photoshop or Lightroom afterwards.

      • Hi David. Thanks SO much. Super appreciate you responding.
        I realize that the RAW files don't get the various pieces applied to them, but why are my RAW files so incredibly grainy with the Nikon D7500 when I'm shooting at ISO L1.0 or even 100? Also, my Nikon D300 used to process Noise Reduction and my RAW files (at similar ISO) were not nearly as grainy.

        Either way, I've never experienced RAW files so grainy as on the D7500. Wondering what I can do about it - since doing the NR in post (Photoshop) is not helping much at all. I just wonder if I have some setting wrong, because they're really bad.