Nikon D7000 and D3100 for Testing

I received both D7000 + 18-105mm VR and D3100 + 18-55 VR kits for testing yesterday. Planning to get out and take some pictures this weekend with both cameras. I also asked Lola to help me out with the testing, so she will be taking the D7000 with her on her photo shoots.

Nikon D7000 and D3100

Let’s see how both perform. A full review will be published within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!


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Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) [Gm]

    Humm… it’s interesting to see that D3100 box is bigger than D7000 box … not that important though… haha!

  2. 3
    ) Teng Chelsea

    Great … waiting the output ( comparison -d3100 vs d700) :-)

  3. 4
    ) Bruno

    I got my D7000 in the end of December and I’m loving it. ^^ ..But anyway, I’m waiting your pro review about it. :]

  4. 5
    ) Daya

    As you know, I too have recently bought the D7000. Looking forward to hearing your opinions/thoughts. Also, I hope you’ll get time to put some of the lenses like 10-24, 35 1.8G, and 70-300 VR on it! :) :).

    • 10
      ) RMT

      Second that, please do not test with the kit lens only, I don’t think many people wil be using that combination. Please include 24-120mm f/4

  5. 6
    ) Karl Reitschuster

    Nasim,
    pls test back fokus and focus accuracy of D7000 in low contrast and indoor situations :-)
    /Karl

    • 11
      ) Daya

      While you are at it: how about your comments on:

      a. over exposure issues
      b. auto-iso selecting too high values in ‘A’ and ‘M’ mode compare to ‘Full Auto’ (green) mode
      c. Skin tones being too orange/pinkish/magenta…

      :) :)

      Rather than trusting the forums on these a once for all opinion that you might have on this will be awesome for all potential buyers and recent ones too.

      Thanks a lot,

      Daya

  6. Finally! Have been waiting for this..

  7. i think, now, if u compare middle class dslrs – d7000 burn with napalm =))

  8. 9
    ) moi

    Can you check d3100 with 18-105 and d7000 with 18-55?

  9. 12
    ) Michael

    Hello Nasim, are you going to test Nikon D7000 with new firmware which deals with “hot dots” issue you may have during making movies?

  10. 13
    ) Pepe Peraza Contreras

    i just bought a D3100.. looking forward to read your opinion.. also i would like to buy good lens to get some ” X’s ” i think the 3X zoom isn’t enough, which lens would you reccomend

    • 21
      ) Swarna Prasad

      Pepe,

      70_300VR is a great lens to buy and its the only zoom that Nikon dropped price.
      Its good for Portraits,Sports in daylight and Wildlife.

    • I agree with Swarna – the Nikon 70-300mm VR lens is a great zoom lens for the D3100.

  11. 14
    ) Rahul

    Great ! Looking forward to a D90 vs D7000 and D7000 vs D300S comparison.

  12. 15
    ) edi

    Looking forward for the review

  13. 16
    ) andy

    будет интересно почитать

  14. 17
    ) Peter

    The current digital camera world cycles remind me of two other electronic eras: stereo/hi-fi systems and computers.

    Year after you you get hit with incremental changes and are urged to buy, buy, buy. Great for business; a hit on your credit card.

    In the digital camera world today it’s the same thing. One year it’s 10 MP cameras, then as soon as you understand that camera they come out with a 12-14MP camera. On and on it goes…one incremental change after another.

    When are new cameras going to have real, substantial changes? A sensor that can deal with dynamic range like the human eye can, for example. A noiseless sensor would be a real change, too. A 100 MP 35mm camera would be substantial.

    For me personally, I have a 12 MP Nikon D700 that has everything I need. I have a D300 with an 18-200mm lens which I use as a snap-shot camera. I am NOT going to buy another digital camera until I see one that has a very serious substantial and meaningful change in it. Why should I?

    • 22
      ) Peter

      Answering my own question above, a quote from recent Digital Pro Photo:

      “The models designed for the most demanding users generally have a longer product life. Entry-level models seem to come out yearly, and midrange models every year-and-a-half, while pro models often stay in the line for several years. This is a good thing because it means your pro DSLR likely won’t be obsolete a year after you buy it, but it does mean that occasionally improvements in technology will appear first in lower-end models. “

    • Peter, I agree – but those substantial changes are not happening very fast. We are seeing more pixels and higher dynamic range on new cameras, but something like 100 MP on 35mm film is not going to happen within the next several years…

      We’ve come a long way though – I remember back in 1998, my first Digital Camera was twice bigger than my D700 and it only had like 1.6 MP. I was shooting happily with it, using 16 MB compact flash cards :)

      In terms of resolution, I think 12 MP is enough for most people. I personally would not mind more resolution, since I do landscape photography and megapixels do matter for print size, but other than that – I really don’t care about the added 2-3 MP either :)

  15. 18
    ) Khaled jdeed

    heyyy all,,, i have a dilemma! about two choices NIKON D90 or NIKON D3100 the different in the price is about 350 $ for the D90 but if its much better i can offered it, my only concern for the D90 is the size and the weight and for the D3100, i m afraid that after using it for couple of months i will fell that i don’t have real DSLR camera that have good pic quality and range of features that allow me to step forward ,,,,, this is really confusing me.

    ps
    I am quite new in the DSLR,and using it only as Hobby.

    so what do you think is the better choice for me!???

    • 20
      ) Swarna Prasad

      Dear Khaled,

      D3100 is an excellent camera that you will be happy with.Its got a guide mode to help you take good pictures.Image Quality IMHO is better than D90.High iso performance is great! upto 6400.
      Low light photography without flash is possible…!!D3100 is also very light..Lighter than my old D40.
      D90 will be useful if you have a collection of AF lenses with screwdrive focus as D3100 only focuses with AFS lenses as it does not have a in built motor.

      To top it all, D3100 has descent HD video.I feel you can put the extra money on lenses if you go for D3100..

      I presently have D3100, 18 55VR kit lens, 70 300 VR, Nikkor 50 mm F2 manual lens & Hoya 28mm F2.8 Manual lens.

    • 23
      ) [Gm]

      D3100: new and better sensor, new and better processor, AF in video mode, better ISO performance (for low light) BUT doesn’t have motor on the body so you cannot use auto-focus with old lenses (AF, AI, etc). Well, the new lenses are all AF-S, but more expensive. It’s also design for entry-level photographer, so it’s lack of ‘buttons’ to control your settings. You have to go to menus to change a lot of settings.

      D90: good processor, good sensor, good ISO performance, motor on body, lots of button for easier control on your settings and exposure BUT it’s a 3 years old technology, bigger and heavier than D3100

      What I would do if I were you:
      I would buy Swarna Prasad’s D40 with kit lens hehe :D (or any second hand D40/entry level camera) and try to play around with the camera to understand the basic photography. This also to check whether photography is the right hobby for you, before spending so much money in it. After awhile you will learn what you want and what you need (what lens, what kind of camera, what photography genre that you like most, etc) and then you can start ‘investing’ by buying the ‘good and right stuffs’. You then might want to upgrade the camera… perhaps skip D3100 (similar to D40) and D90 (it’s old), and go to D7000 … or maybe even full-frame.

      Photography, to me, is a journey. You better start from the very beginning to really appreciate and grasp the concept :D.

      Here’s a funny and interesting article about starting this hobby and buying a dSLR: “Letter to George” (http://bit.ly/azunhR). I don’t completely agree with all he’s saying; but some of them are just spot on :D…

      Good luck!

      • 38
        ) Khaled Jdeed

        many thanks all for ur advice,,,
        i have decided to buy the NIKON D3100 Body and i have two choices of lense !!??
        NIKKOR 35mm AF-S 1.8 + 55-200mm AF_S VR
        or
        NIKKOR 50mm AF 1.8+ 18-55mm AF-S VR + 55-200mm AF-S VR!!!!!!!!!!!?

        i would like to get the second one but my concern is abt the 50mm AF so i don’t know how it will work on D3100 without auto focusAF-S

        • Khaled, get the 35mm f/1.8 + 18-5mm AF-S VR and you will be good to go.

  16. 19
    ) Swarna Prasad

    Hey Nasim,

    I have just bought a D3100 after selling my d40( though i din’t want to sell it)
    Here are my thoughts so far on D3100.The Camera is lighter than D40!! Iso100 is very clean!! Noise handling in higher iso’s is better than d90 inspite of 14 mp. 14mp is a great jump for me from 6 mp D40.My friend with D90 is envious..:)Upto 3200 noise is kept under good control.6400 is quite good for small prints.Focus speed with 70 300vr is very good.Kit Lens is slower.Expeed 2 is quite powerful giving fast response.Over all I loved the Image quality.

    Video: I actually liked the HD video Quality on D3100. There are a few bad comments on the net on D3100 video.I personally think if you know how to shoot a video with smooth and steady pans,you will appreciate the quality..The Best part is you can have full control on Aperture and Iso…with AE Lock.The rolling shutter problem exits in very fast pans only..Hope its fixed on D7000.

    I am currently testing the camera on various situations.Will soon post some pics…:)

    I am waiting impatiently for your review on D3100…

    Thanks…in Advance..

  17. 24
    ) RMT

    Yesterday I tried to take some pics of the moon with the D7000 and a sigma 150-500mm. I tried to use live view to finetune the focus, but the camera could not give me a clear (focussed) picture in Live View. The LCD just kept the moon as a bright white blob. Using the viewvinder would give perfect results. I tried diffent options for metering, for focus mode and area, manual and autofocus… nothing worked (not even manual focus on infinity). It was a clear sky with a nicely lit moon.
    Some help please?

    • 27
      ) Rahul

      Do you mean to say the camera didn’t auto-focus in Live view ? In AF-S, if it doesn’t focus, it won’t click (no shutter release either). I’m assuming you took some pictures outside of Live view and the review image on LCD was shown properly exposed. If so, that could be some undocumented implementation details of Live View/contrast detect focus .

      • 32
        ) RMT

        I tried AF-S and AF-F AND manual focus in Live View, none would get me past a smaller or bigger white blob. Using the Viewfinder I got nice results showing mountains along the edge of the moon. I wanted to use live view to test Nasim’s “How to Shoot the Moon” article to fine tune the autofocus in contrast mode.

  18. 25
    ) Seher

    I just bought the d7000 as well, and I am anxious to read up on the review. Please show us some examples as well with photos and the lens you used. Thanks

  19. 26
    ) Peter

    Quote from Edward Weston on the subject of annual new camera equipment purchases.
    I know you don’t want to hear this because you like buying new stuff, but here it is anyway from a stupid 70 year-old photographer.

    “…few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.”

    • 28
      ) Rahul

      +1000

      While I admit photography gear is far from perfect and for some situations even the best is inadequate, the craze for latest and greatest gear doesn’t really polish our skills, and the sea of gadgets isn’t very environmentally helpful either.

    • 29
      ) Swarna Prasad

      Dear Peter,

      I completely agree with you on your thought..I owned a D40 and really enjoyed shooting with it.
      But the sensor was getting dirty due to frequent Lens change and eventually I upgraded to d3100
      by selling my 2 year old D40 for the same price I bought( as its in great demand in India!!)

      D3100 is doing great!!!!

      • 31
        ) Rahul

        @Swarna Prasad,

        just curious – how much did you buy/sell the D40 for ?
        Why do you think it’s in great demand ? Given its vintage, a D3000 new/used would be much more popular.

        • 34
          ) Swarna Prasad

          Hi Rahul,

          I bought and sold my D40 for Rs.22,500 with VR18_55 Lens.

          D40 is in great Demand in Hyderabad and probably in other cities in india..
          This is mainly due to its fame amongst the Wedding photographers circle
          and they all love the ease of use and the Picture Quality.Infact D40 produces superior
          images at 1600 iso compared to D3000. As D40 is quite old now and since it has proven its abilities ( easy to handle plus Good IQ )and word of mouth publicity has made it a Great Hit.In fact 6 MP image is good enough for weddings!

          • 35
            ) Rahul

            That’s interesting. I’ve seen wedding photographers use D40 and D60, and I have a D90 !
            The D40 being cleaner than D60/D3000 should be due to lower resolution resulting in larger pixels, but I’d like to see some samples/full size crops at 1600 ISO. I don’t find the D90′s 1600 too much, and until the D7000 it was the king of high ISOs, or so it seemed. Is the CCD sensor better than CMOS at high ISO ? I read the opposite being a strong factor in the popularity of CMOS besides the cost and power advantage.

  20. 30
    ) Billy

    Do you mind testing the D7000 against e.g. D700 or D3X/S and see whether the D7000 has gradually blurred the line between DX and FX? Thanks in advance!

  21. 33
    ) Edi

    I just got the d7000 a few days ago and I’m loving it. Can’t wait to read your thoughts

  22. 36
    ) Rashmi

    I am planning to buy either of the 2 models…am inclined towards D3100 though….would appreciate ur help in the matter…please recommend

    • 37
      ) Rahul

      Like always, you have to define your requirement – what kind of photography will you be doing ?

      The D7000 is definitely the better of the two, so the only reason to choose a D3100 over D7000 is for limited budget and/or if you want a lightweight/compact DSLR. But this does not take lenses into consideration, which is why the type of shooting you do is important.

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