The Big Eye

One thing a lot of people don't notice at first is the eye detection system on the D7500. Just above the viewfinder and below the hot shoe you'll see a big rectangle on the back of the camera: that's the eye detector. 

So why does the D7500 have one and the D500 doesn't? Isn't that backwards?

No, it's not. It has to do with something Nikon did way back with the pre-D3000 consumer DSLRs: introduce the Shooting Information display. If you're not looking through the viewfinder on (most of) the Nikon consumer cameras, half pressing the shutter release puts up the Shooting Information display on the rear LCD. Given the minimal information on the top LCD, this is a pretty useful addition.

But you don't want that rear LCD lit up when your eye is at the viewfinder, thus the detector. When the early Nikon DSLRs didn't have this, people complained about brightness in their eyes (especially during night shooting). 

I guess the question here is this: is the D7500 a consumer camera (lots of hand holding) or a prosumer/enthusiast camera (lots of capability). Nikon seems to have punted a bit on that. The D7200 didn't have this auto Shooting Information display bit, while the D3xxx and D5xxx models tended to. It seems clear that Nikon was intending the D7500 to be more of an upgrade option for D3xxx and D5xxx users than D7200 users (who would more naturally gravitate to a D500, I think). 

Yes, this is a small thing, but it's an important one in determining just who Nikon was thinking about in terms of selling upgrades to. Throughout the D7500 there are little tell-tale signs like this that Nikon wanted to make D3xxx/D5xxx upgraders a bit more comfortable, but wasn't as concerned with D7200 upgraders. 

One nice touch from Nikon: the detector is above the viewfinder eyepiece. I've got a few cameras with eye detectors in the eyepiece. What happens when you use the tilt screen on those cameras is that the screen gets detected instead of an eye and the display is turned off. That really doesn't happen on the D7500. Even at max upward tilt with the rear LCD the eye detector doesn't trigger. A subtle thing, perhaps, but one that shows that the Nikon engineers weren't just looking for the simplest place to put the detector.

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