Hi Nasim, thanks for the great review. Obviously a lot of patience and dilligence have gone into it.
I have a few questions:
a) There is a microphone on top. Is this a weak spot in the weather sealing? b) I’ve read about sample variation in iso performance, and varying leeway in post-processing. What is your experience? c) How does it stack up against the D600? Especially if people already own a D800?
I apologize for a late response – just came back from Florida.
a) At first, I didn’t like the idea of having small holes on the top of the camera. But after a close examination, I doubt water would easily go through those tiny holes. And even if it does, that section seems to be sealed from the rest of the unit, so if moisture does get in, it might only damage the stereo mic, but nothing else. Again, I very much doubt that water will go through there in first place. b) Not sure where you read about sample variation in ISO performance – I think that would be impossible, given that all D7100 sensors are made the same way. I can understand variation in autofocus performance, but not in sensors / ISO. c) The Nikon D600 will obviously perform better than the D7100 – same number of pixels, but more than 2x the surface area. The result will be similar to what you see between the D7100 and the D800.
Thanks very much for your answer (and your judicious discretion in your replies, it’s warmly appreciated). It’s great to hear from you. I imagine that you have little time left with everything in your life.
Still, I remain a little puzzled. I understand the FX D600 has better IQ. But considering that the D7100 has better AF, most final output stays at 10 MP (and thus with less noise), shadows are not likely to be lifted beyond 1.5 stops, and noise reduction will be employed, then… would you recommend the D600 or the D7100 for low light?
I hope I am not harping on.
Tim, > 2x sensor size and same number of pixels mean cleaner images at not only higher ISO values, but also base ISO. However, if you down-sample to 10 MP mostly, then that one stop of difference might not make sense for you. It is hard to make a call on FX vs DX without understanding the two formats in detail – see my DX vs FX article for more details. Smaller sensor impacts DoF, diffraction and there are other considerations. Personally, I would pick the D600 over the D7100 for everything but sports and wildlife.
Hi Nasim I agree with you choosing the D600 seems a better alternative, only if the oil spots problems are corrected at this time. Costco.com now sells the D600 and many many peoples returning theirs still today for that same problem. You can read their comments at
Have a nice day Luc PS: I am holding my money up to the time this issue is really corrected.
Awesome review as always!
One question. For the 1.3 “crop” mode, is there any additional benefit to using this mode as opposed to simply cropping the image in post processing?
Only the increased continuous shooting speed of up to 7 frames per second, I’d say.
Does the extra concentration of the 51-point autofocus system not also help?
It also cuts down on file size.
I wonder also, if it speeds up processing so the 7 frames per minute is achievable with more ‘auto’ options swiched on?
I am a dedicated V2 shooter, so am well used to ‘only’ 14 Mp (!). I shoot my D7100 in 1.3x crop mode all the time since I use it mainly for wildlife, air shows etc. I have my 70-200 f/4 plus TC1.4 attached most of the time – I have to say a superb compromise on quality against weight! Well done Nikon.
So if my comments above are incorrect, should I consider returning to normal DX mode?
Yes, the 1.3x crop makes the 51 AF points pretty much border the frame and the files would indeed be smaller. I guess it depends on what you want to do – if speed is important, then the 1.3x gives better fps and faster writes. Otherwise, I would shoot in DX mode and crop later.
In 1.3x node you are getting precisely cropped sweet spot from center of sensor even with “dog” lenses which are pretty much good at center.THIS WILL NOT EFFECT IMAGE QUALITY. But if you insist on cropping an image in PP then better compose n shoot subject in center while shooting. And In camera cropping is also there in edit mode in camera btw.
With the 1.3x crop mode you can also shoot up to 14 RAW before filling the buffer. This is due to the RAW files being slighter smaller than even the D7000 RAW files. This feature combined with the new 80-400 would be very useful for birding.
+1 And one gets a fully focused picture which in terms of hit n miss ratio vs D300s pretty much equals the keepers and the throwaways :) =================== Just off topic .. But I’m 90% sure that a D400 type Dx body with D800′s meter and 51 focusing points with 1.3x crop utility with a larger buffer with a price tag of 1800 to 2200 is on it’s way BUT only if the Canon 7D’s new model surpasses D7100 in some crucial areas. Nikon might announce within days after Canon’s announcement or might do it before they do.
When one of my die hard Canon fan friend found out that my old D7000′s pictures were better than his newly bought 650D ,he immediately took me to my dealer and sold all of his Canon stuff including his “beloved” 100-400 and bought a D7100 + 35 1.8 G + 50 1.4 G + 85 1.8 D and ordered a 80-400 VR II :) … holding the camera his first words were ” I love the 2 dial wheels it feels so perfect ” …… and I’m keeping a very basic Canon film camera for just old times sake :)
Comprehensive review of the D7100 with superb imgaes as always in your reviews. I currently shoot with a D5100 which is my carry around everyday camera as well as a D7000 which is my more serious camera for my main passion which is portrait photography and secondly action photography.
Whilst the D7100 is a considerable upgrade from a D7000 I don’t see myself upgrading just yet, I think your advice of skipping a generation might be the way to go. I think sometimes as photographers we get caught up in the emotion of upgrading and contagious afflictions such as GAS and even worse TUB we seem to catch very easily.
I personally think Nikon got it pretty close to the mark with the D7000 in terms of megapixels, look at the D4 sitting on the same number .. ok ok its not a fair comparison but it does make you scratch your head and think .. it wasn’t that long ago Nikon touted 12MP was all you need.
I don’t see myself moving to FX in the near future, and the reason is what you highlighted in another thread, the weight, cost etc of upgrading to high end FX lenses is not for the faint hearted. My lens budget for FX would run into around 10K+ for the lenses I wanted .. perhaps if it was lenses I needed then the shopping list would be lower.
Always enjoy your reviews and this very handy and informative website. Keep up the great work and happy shooting.
Ross, yes, I would skip a generation – do not be caught up in GAS/TUB :)
Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it!
There is one more thing to keep in mind if you decide to skip a gen and don’t plan to keep your old body – resale price will most likely drop significantly for 2 gen old body… I sold my beloved D7000 for like half the price I got it for (to a good friend) after almost 2 and half years and now I’m waiting for D7100. And this friend struggles to find a buyer for his D90. Not to mention I will have another 2y warranty when it arrives.
Thank you for your great and informative review of the D7100. I was however surprised that you did not do an ISO comparison between the D7100 and the D600 ? They both have 24 Mpix, one being FX and the other being DX. I think that would give people some useful input if they have to make a decision between these two camera’s.
Keep up the good work ;-)
The D600 is the second most high ISO capable camera after D3s in all of the digital cameras.
Yes both have 24MPx but the size of pixels in DX and FX is different so D7100 has a much lower level of high ISO capability ,the D600 scores 2980 ISO and D7100 scores 1256 ,the 2005 model FX Canon 5D is 1368 and this is one of the full frame advantage, the standard 35mm format.
Remco, I forgot to include the comparison, you are right. The Nikon D600 has about the same IQ as the D800 when the D800 is down-sampled to 24 MP. So you can take a look at the shots where I show the D800 down-sampled and assume it is the D600 at pixel level…
Thank you for the sugestion. That will certainly help people to decide between the D7100 and the D600 ;-)
Hello Nasim again an extremely well done, fine balanced review a pure pleasure to read and with very important observations on the pro and less pro side of this camera. Also like your well phrased words concerning the potential D400: potentially the camera to complete my armamentarium of 2 Fx bodies. The 7100 camera is for me an interesting semi-professional Dx body: and not more than this. I think it will work extremely well with the 80-400mm, you already pointed that out. One question remains: has the camera also the 3 D AF feature like the the D4? with my very best regards from Switz
Martin, thank you!
Yes, the 3D AF feature is exactly like on the D4. I am not a huge fan of 3D AF, but it works great for very fast/erratic movements (birds in flight). I used the 3D AF at Bosque Del Apache quite a bit…
I wouldnt worry about getting a defective camera anymore. Nikon seems to be stepping up their customer service. I sent my d600 in a second time for dust spots and they gave it a complete over haul. I was quite impressed. Hoping I am free of issues now. Here are some of the things they did:
rpl ccd rpl shutter mechanism clean low pass filter genreal check & clean
If I keep having issues after that I assume they will just send me a new unit. Also the repair time was less then 3 weeks!!!
Great to hear that Randall!
I am an NPS member and Nikon repaired my broken 70-200mm in 3 days. I was quite surprised to see the box when I arrived from Florida yesterday…
I own the D7100 for two weeks now and very pleased but the ISO.
Sensor is noisy at the pixel level from ISO 200!!! (RAW),When shooting at 300mm the boken became grain so i used topaz plugin.
Nikon choose 24mp to encourage us to migrate to FF since its a noisy sensor.
Thanks for the nice tip about the OK for instant 100% magnification and focus point. Hope to get more regards the assign button functions. I
Glad it helped – I love this feature and enable it on all of my cameras (except the D600, which doesn’t have it!).
If you compare both the D7000 and the D7100 at 100% resolution yes the D7100 will have more noise as it has more pixels and also tinier pixels. When you crop both down to the exact same size (and since most people don’t go past 8×10 or 8×12 prints…and realistically you can go quite a bit higher with the D7000 if you wanted to and still have great prints) you will see crisper and cleaner images with the D7100 as the noise you see at 100% will be hidden by all the pixels when shrunk down. How large are you making prints? If you are not creating large murals then looking at it at 100% magnification is pointless as no one will ever see that except you.
This camera is great for most uses and wonderful for stock photographers since they need as sharp and as clean as possible and downsizing a 24MP sensor to the equivalent of a 16MP sensor produces much better images than just shooting right from a 16MP sensor since the D7100 sensor captures a lot more detail anyways.
The only time I ever look at an image at 100% is to determine if I nailed the focus and to decide where I want to crop and how much wiggle room I have. I have never printed at 100% and likely never will.
Nikon is not encouraging anyone to go anywhere (other than to buy at least one of their cameras) as both their DX and FX lines are quite reachable now by the people who want one or the other. When you add more megapixels to a sensor without increasing the size it greatly increases detail but also has the chance to greatly increase noise. Start shoving more pixels on the D800 sensor and you would run into the same problems eventually. Having said that the advancing technology allows for higher MP sensors while still minimizing the noise and allows for people to crop down to print and produce much better images.
Also the D7100 is missing the AA filter. If you were to remove the AA filter from the D7000 you might see ore noise as well since the AA filter slightly blurs the image to reduce the chance of moire. You don’t have that blurring in the D7100 so any noise that is present would be more noticeable as there is nothing to hide it.
I believe you are wrong with this point. AA filter blurs details captured through the lens – it sits between the sensor and lens in the way of the light. As light passes through the filter, it gets diffused slightly. Noise is a result of increased image sensor sensitivity and has nothing to do with light that goes through the lens and AA filter – it “appears” directly on the image sensor and thus looks the same regardless if there is one or not.
There is a workshop type company doing this job in USA on D800 i.e removing the AA filter and turning other cameras into infrared also , someone who is doing commercial video work gave me the link on previous posts (sorry don’t remember) but I think it was in D7100 vs XXXX posts. :) One can always Google and find it :)
Pixel noise occurs beyond the AA on the photosite, I believe. the AA filter sits on top of the photosite cells if it’s there and blurrs the photons before they get to the photosites to be picked up and translated into digital signal and hence noise if the photosite misbehaves or picks up stray electrons, I think.
Max, yes, the pixel level performance is not great on DX sensors – something I already pointed out in my “DX vs FX for wildlife photography” article. However, don’t judge the performance looking at 100% pixel view. The biggest advantage of a high resolution sensor is the capability to down-sample images to reduce noise and improve sharpness…
Excellant review Nasim- as you know I have been waiting patiently for you to write this, so thank you very much. I don’t know how you find the time to do all of this and actually have time for your family life, so A big thanks!
A couple of questions for you: Would you upgrade to the D7100 if you were a current D5100 owner? And, what lenses would you recommend for the D7100 to make that sensor shine? I’m thinking the Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX prime and the new Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 with macro to use as a walk around lens.
Appreciate your thoughts,
I’m upgrading from my D5100 to a D7100 as it’s a huge jump. I considered the D7000 but for only ~$300 more get a vastly superior AF on the D7100, 2 more brackets for HDR (from 3-5), sharper images downsized to 16MP (to compare with the 16MP images of the D7000 which actually has the same sensor as the D5100), a faster processing engine (Expeed 3 instead of Expeed 2), better weather sealing, slightly smaller, the 1/3 crop which is great for small fast moving wildlife as you can zoom in a bit more and have the AF cover the whole screen, and some other things. I also love the dual SD card slots for backup during important shoots (although this is mute as the D7000 also has this).
I own the 35mm f1.8g as well as the 85mm f1.8g (which I am so looking forward to using on the D7100 as it’s such a beautiful lens) and the 70-300 and the kit lens. I realize the latter two are not quite as good as the first two but downsized to the same image size of my D5100 I’m still expecting better pictures provided I can nail the focus and learn how to use the new camera.
From what I read if you are not going to increase the final print sizes that you make or final images sizes that you use to post online then the D7100 should produce better images than the D5100 or D7000 at the same sizes. If you want to start printing larger prints and fully utilize the D7100′s extra 8MP then you will likely notice a much bigger difference with better glass. Be aware though that with DX you are only using the center part of the lens and some of the difference between some higher end glass and some lower end glass is the way the corners and edges come out as many of the super cheap lenses are sill crazy sharp in the center and then rapidly degrade towards the edges. You still want the best glass you can afford but it will be much more affordable to get glass that performs really well on a DX camera than glass that would perform just as well on an FX camera.
Just my thoughts but I look forward to what Nasim has to say on this subject.
Thanks Scott, I agree with your decision process. Some of the other reasons for me are also the fact that you can lock the focus point when you use single point focus. I seem to bump it with my palm when walking around which brings me to another reason which is having a bigger hand hold (larger body). Also the fact that you can jump through the menus quicker with all of the button options and the fact that it is weather sealed and has better auto-focus.
My wife and I were shooting the World Cup Kite Board competition yesterday in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and it sure would have been nice to have a better focus system when they would do their jumps!
It sounds like you may have looked at our website. So, Emily is the writer for our travels (she writes for RV and Sailing magazines) and we both contribute with the photographs. We’ve even gotten quite a few magazine cover photos so image quality is important. We do sell our photos but I have limited it so far to 18″x12″ since the D5100 was only 16.1 MP, but maybe I can go larger if I get the D7100! :)
Thanks again Scott,
Opp’s… sorry Allen… I don’t know why I said your name was Scott??? Mark
Haha no worries. The D7100 AF will be a lot better for tracking moving subjects and although you can go larger print wise if you stay the same size your image quality will likely be much better and more detailed due to the added MPs and the removed AA filter. I have not looked at your site but I will when I have some time.
I just took a look at your photos. Great work. :)
Mark, I apologize for a late reply – just got back from Florida.
Yes, I would upgrade from the D5100 to the D7100, it is a big step up. As for lenses, the 35mm f/1.8G DX is great for this camera. If you want a good wide-angle zoom, I would go for the 16-35mm f/4G – it can resolve plenty of detail for the D7100 sensor. I do not know much about the Sigma…
Nasim,I see that you have been to Vegas (specifically the Bellagio hotel lobby) because I took that very same shot of the glass ceiling in the lobby. Mine is just a little different but pretty close to yours. Who could resist all the color in this picture. I am going to hang a 30X20 of it over my fireplace. I love all the abundance of colors and vibrant colors. Here is the shot I took July 2012.
/Users/brucerandall/Desktop/NIKONIANS/COLOR EXPLOSION (3).jpg
Bruce, you are right – that shot was taken in the lobby of Bellagio. Been there many times and I take picture of the same glass ceiling every time!
As for your shot, you pasted the link to a local folder on your computer – I cannot see it. If you want to share pics, the best way is to upload them to Flickr or 500px and provide the link.
Dear Nasim (or anybody else from team photographylife)
Thank you very much about the review. D71000 seems to be a fine camera. Nevertheless I have an important question about low light capability, when comparing it with a full frame camera. I would be very happy to get a short info:
Comparing with D7100, how many times can you double ISO on a full frame camera like D600 till the noise would be the same like on D71000? 1x doubling, or 2x doubling, or even 3x doubling?
Thank you very much for a quick answer, Jana
Jana, the D7100 is excellent when down-sampled. At pixel level, the D600 is obviously going to look better – about a stop of difference. Also, images at low ISOs on the D600 will look cleaner.
Thank you for the quick reply. One stop, that is less than expected. It speaks for the good quality of D7100.
It seems to me that the difference in low light ability between DX and FX is getting smaller. In 2010 you wrote in the photography FAQ #1:
“When it comes to both image quality and low-light capabilities, FX has a huge advantage over DX. There is a 2-stop difference between low-light capabilities of FX versus DX. For example, shooting at ISO 3200 on Nikon D700 is comparable to ISO 800 on Nikon D300s.” .
On the other hand comparing D7100 with D600 is a special case, since the D7100 is the very best of all DX cameras and D600 the most affordable of all FX cameras. So your above mentioned rule from 2010 may still be valid in general. But in this very situation I will go for the D7100. Therefore thank you very much for your much appreciated reply, Nasim.
D7100+35 1.8g or D600+50 1.8g ?
@Gustavo: If your question concerns my question: Yes, or any similiar combination with same aperture and same field of view.
I don’t know if doubling was the right question; maybe I should better have asked more precisely for the quotient “Q = Max_OK_ISO_D600 / max_OK_ISO_D7100″. Which number would Q be?
I hope it’s not producing a mess now. For instance if someone answers now “2″, it must be mentioned if this means according to the former question “2x doubling” or according to the latter question “quotient Q = 2″
It’s not the question of “doubling” ,on D7100 do not go beyond ISO 1600 and on D600 do not go beyond ISO 2500 if only you are selling photos on stock sites or doing commercial work or wedding PGy. However you can shoot both cameras at the highest boost mode 12K 0r 25K ISO and re size the image to 1 or 2 MP to get a rather cleaner looking 4×6 printed photo. In general PGy ISO 8000 photos with noise cleaning and slight sharpening look pretty much good at 12MP on D600 and 4 MP on D7100. If you use sharp primes on both cameras you will however have more detailed image at higher ISO levels.
Gustavo, it depends. For everyday photography, I would pick the D600 + 50mm f/1.8G. For wildlife/sports, the D7100 is a better camera overall because of its AF system.
Hello Nasim. Fantastic review, as always, with ample dose of great pics!
I upgraded my d90 to 7100 couples of weeks ago and I am totally in full satisfaction with this toy ! By reading your review, I am so happy that I have made a right decision ! ;)
Thank God he did the review then :)
Yeah ,been a long time as per our expectations it was due around March 30th :) and Hung Vietnam your so lucky that any Hogan D90 cult member did not stop you ;) Congratulations! and good light :)
thanks for your detailed review, particularly taking the time to consider 2 cameras for evaluating potential quality control issues.
Quick question – in the summary, reference is made to the forthcoming D400. You have been fairly consistent in stating that the D7100 will be (is) the DX flagship and that a direct replacement for the D300 isn’t in the cards. Are you now leaving a little more room for a D400 introduction or are you operating on more concrete information? Any insight (to the extent that you can share) would be appreciated. Thanks!
Nick, I have some information that I cannot share yet, but to give you a clue – wait until the end of the summer / September time frame. At this point, I am 99% confident that Nikon will release a D400 to compete against the 7D Mark II.
Well done Nasim and thankyou once again for a fine review!
Tongue in cheek …. “Do you still think that DX is dead?”
KSPGM, you are most welcome!
I never said that DX was dead – I said that DX DSLRs had no future :) And yes, I still think that mirrorless will eat up DX DSLR sales within the next couple of years. Nikon might come up with a next-generation DX mirrorless and end its DX line. Canon will probably do it earlier with their upcoming M camera.
I am using D5000 for the past two years and I know it is time for upgrade. I do mostly fashion/modelling or Portrait photography indoor. So which I can go for D7000/D7100?
Depends or your budget , D7100 is certainly better but D600 will be the camera in limited budget in this type of PGy.
Go for the D7100.
When you read the summary, and then read the article “DX is dead”, would you believe that the writer is the same person :)
When DX is dead was written there were and still are no good lenses coming out for DX and still a very few good DX lenses except the 35 1.8 G are good but expensive as DX shooters cry a lot for lenses but after looking at the price tag they scream a lot too :). Basically DX is a non standard version in least size of PGy i.e 35mm and was intended for general shooting at a budget but as Pro Pgers wanted a light weight but superior models so they added high end models ,over the years the strategy of making and target marketing has changed in DX ,now video shooters also buy DX as it doesn’t matter if it’s FX or DX in video as long as they give the same high quality video. For serious Pgy a full frame camera is still top choice of any Pger provided they can afford it. Now with high MP DX cameras it is better to use FX lenses ,the D line is cheaper and even the mediocre zooms or primes get the better part of picture hence delivering good quality pictures. But going too far on high MP on DX is not a good idea.If this D7100′s pixel size is cramped in FX then we will see an above 50 MP FX camera after 2 yrs. It’s a very long subject to discuss ,in short DX has very little advantages over FX.
The same person said that the D400 will not come ans there is nothing to be improve over the d7100
Who ? me or Nasim ? It was Nasim who first broke the news long ago and those specs match 95% on D7100 that a new D400 is on it’s way and Nikon Rumors’s site even used his reference.
Neither me or Nasim owns Nikon or have very close relations with Nikon’s camera engineers ,these “rumors” are practically released from Nikon on purpose in a vague level , they first start to appear in Japanese mags and this is a total marketing strategy for rivals and product users. It might never release or it might surely be released as in Sep. to Oct. they usually announce new models , now it’s up to Nikon whether they want the D300s line going or concentrate more on cheaper D600 type full frame cameras. But D300s is the only old camera left now which needs an upgrade. Personally if I’d own Nikon I’d release a powerful D400 and release another new basic FX line below D600 to win over Canon and concentrate more on cleaner ISO cameras than higher MPxs ones as Nikon’s own developed D3s’s sensor is still on top in high ISO quality but I think they are getting more cheaper chips n sensor’s from 3rd parties ,so basically it all ends up in profits. :) If the D300s model did not sell as Nikon expected then it’s a financial issue and they know that maybe selling more 1000 to 2000 cameras more than the number of D300s’ numbers is not feasible then it’s a bleak chance that we see a new D400 with same guts but high buffer in the now rumored D400. But if an entirely new sensor , say 18MP with much cleaner ISO with D4 battery and D300s type body is released then in DX it will be really a game changer and of course it might be expensive than D600 as being a top level DX camera. Personally i like the later ,the new 18Mp pumped up one ;)
Max, true, I did state that in my D7100 announcement article – that’s because Nikon used the words “flagship” and “high-end” in their announcement. I then published another article, where I analyzed the buffer of the D7100 in more detail and I made a conclusion that there was still room for a D400 and the fact that current D300s owners do not like the D7100 for its tiny buffer. I think Nikon confused many people with the D7100 and we have not seen any updates from Nikon staff regarding the positioning of the camera.
At this point, however, I can say with a high confidence level that the D400 is coming. I have a post ready, but can’t quite publish it until I get the permission to do it.
Nasim, There will be a D400 just becacose this is what Nikon does. Sell cameras!! There is always a room to improve not just the buffer. They will introduce 1080-60p with a newer sensor design.
Nasim ,can you please just give a hint that it has same guts of D7100 in higher buffer capacity or totally new sensor ? :) The word “Permission” is very powerful here :)
Actually it is not completely out of order calling the D7100 a flagship camera as it is most high-end DX-camera currently produced and for sale. The few D300s still being sold must be old stock from before the flood in Thailand.
Nikon usually release at least one camera in summer/autumn. (Except 2011 because of the flood.) But what will come this year? The FX camera trio came last year and will not be updated this year. A 50+ MP D4x is possible but will hardly be presented until end of the year like D3x, but more likely beginning of 2014.
D7100 and D5200 are both very fresh. The entry level model before was updated on a yearly basis. But that was when technology moved fast. With 24 MP and video D3200 doesn’t feel old yet. it is of course possible Nikon will bring out an answer to the small Canon D100/Rebel SL1, creating a new entry level with a D1000. But that is just speculation.
That leaves us with the D300s replacement, the “D400″. (or D9000 in line with the other DX-cameras?) Why didn’t we see a D400 yet? Well, first we had the flood and no place to produce it. Nikon may also have had the opinion going from 12 to 16 MP was not enough reason to make a new DX semi-pro camera as it may not be enough upgrade to sell well. There were also other cameras expected to sell better that needed updating first. The technique may also not have been ready yet.
What would then the selling point of a D400 be? Except for the obvious, better build, similar to D800, SPEED is what the target group for the camera want. Both much better buffer and higher fps than D7100. But how will Nikon accomplish that with a 24 MP sensor (propably same as D7100) and current top processor in Nikon cameras? The only answer I see is that Nikon will debut a new Expeed (4?) processor or use dual processors in D400. As D7100 now use Nikon’s current top AF system it is also possible the D400 will have a new AF-module. Improved AF in live-view and other small improvements are naturally also possible. To sell Nikon must make the D400 as desireable as possible!
Adnam you said “in short DX has very little advantages over FX”
… hows about cost and weight?
Compare Nikon’s topline FX with their topline DX in the UK:
D7100 about £1000, D800 about £2000 – 100% more expensive
D7100 about 675g, D800 about 1000g – 50% heavier.
For, me these facts must be taken into account. IQ is not the only arbiter of a camera and one’s reasons to purchase it. Most of us have to respect cost and many of us weight (or size if you like) as well. Thus for me, £2000 and 1000g (not mentioning the physical size) are too great for me to ever consider buying a D800.
Man,it’s not my problem if your Govt. adds more taxes on imported goods which they can’t make in their country.You can file a petition against it with at least 1000 signatures and give it to your MP and start a blog about it.After all UK was making good if not the best film cameras years ago ;)
If weight is the issue then you have endless models to choose from or get a reasonably priced phone with good camera ,whatever. You claim to shoot wildlife or birds as I recall ,well ,ppl. are lifting,carrying and shooting D4+600mm F4 VR+ 3 to 4KG of tripods n heads.Same goes with Canon gear.
If IQ is not a major issue then just get a good new model 20x PnS from Panasonic ,Canon or Fuji. BTW match the weight of D300s vs D600 ,here’s an interesting project for you as I don’t remember their weights.
And what is with this KSPGM thing is it a company ? or are you a wanted person? I will not answer you until you show me your pictures ,really no body is judging you and certainly not me as I’m not good PGer , just one of my hobbies is PGy and I don’t take it seriously.
I look At it like this. The 7100 weighs 675g, the D800 weighs 900g. (Nikon) that’s 25gm per megapixel for the D800 versus 31.8gm per megapixel for the 7100. You could argue It is not 50% heavier. It is around 25% heavier.
Does DX have a future? I hope so. The question is will Nikon actually put money into developing it? Based on the range of lenses and the compromised bodies available, it does not look like it.
Ertan, I never had an article that said “DX is dead” – it was called “why DX has no future”. I still believe that DX DSLRs will be replaced by their mirrorless counterparts in the near future. The D7100 is Nikon’s best DX camera to date, but that doesn’t change what I think about DX.
Dear Nasim and Romanas
Thanks for the article.
If you would choose the maximal ISO on D7100 which is still okay, and then the same for D600/D800 (same aperture), how many times higher would you find your ISO setting?
Jana, I provided a response above earlier today regarding this.
The short cut to image review zooming using the “OK” button doesn’t seem to apply to the D800e. Do you know of a way to do the same thing on the D800e? I’ve checked the manual, plenty of options to customize controls, but not the “OK” button.
Craig, of course it does – I have my D800E set up that way.
i don’t recall what were the default settings as I customized them a lot, until I again recall default settings ( which I do not intend to) If you are referring about the Multi Selector Center Button on right then ,Menu/Controls/Pencil – Multi Selector Center Button and choose your options. If OK button on left of LCD ,well in playback mode it brings up he retouch menu. in Menu it acts like the center button on dial as mentioned above and is used in formatting cards as just pressing the Multi Selector Center Button by mistake it acts as a fail safe button and until one presses it the cards cannot be formatted. Other than that I have no idea of other uses of it or customizing it.
Thank you, Nasim!
Your reviews are authoritative and well balanced! I am planning to purchase a D7100… Keep up the good work!
Best regards, Jules
You are most welcome Jules!
Great review, thank you,I have intention of buying the D7100. I have a D200 and don’t know if I will be able to use the D200 lens on the D7100 without losing any of its features ? .
OMG! What lens you have for your D200 ? Well, the sensor is same in size ,so ,YES you can use your lens on any Nikon camera Film,FX or DX digital as long as it is made from 1977 to 2013. And NO you will not loose any features. The Nikon F mount is same in these 3 types of cameras excluding 2 or 3 old film cameras and the new CX in digital but with adapter one can mount FX or DX lenses on cameras like J1,J2,J3 and V1 or V2 ,I think it’s called the A mount or maybe CX mount. Though there are few limitations on certain lenses ,which I’m sure you will never use or see in your life :) and Manual film cameras where you can’t use G type lenses as they lack aperture control ring.
William, all of your lenses will work perfectly fine on the D7100.
This is the most complete review I have seen so far. Thanks Nasim for your great reviews as always. I presently use a D3100 (2 years now) and thinking of upgrading. Over the past months many options have been presented; D3200, D5200, D600 and the such and now the D7100. Since I don’t have the budget to go to a FX camera, what would be the next serious choice to upgrade to? I mostly do portraits and landscape and just got myself the Nikon 105mm macro lens as I enjoy very much photographing colorful flowers.
Thank you for help. Regards
Is it worth purchasing the refurbished D7000 for Portrait and Indoor shoots, if the budget is a constraint?
Yes ,refurbished = new ,any minor defects the camera had are checked by Nikon service center and sometimes replaced with new parts.so one can get it cheaper but in perfect condition.But no warranty usually. And D7000 is still very much good to go in any field of PGy if budget is an issue. I bought it new for $1250 and now it’s around $750 or so I think. You can check my set at Flickr of D7000 ,I used many lenses on it if not all ,though I’m not a good PGer ;)
Thanks a lot for the quick reply Adnan Khan. I am going to get a new D7000 with 18-105, hope I am making a good choice. I already have 35mm 1.8G, 18-55 and 55-300, so this kit lens would be another good addition I guess.
Prakash you are most welcome :) ,I read your reply in mail but can’t find it here. If you are going to buy new D7000 ,I’d like to add a bit more regarding lenses as you mentioned. I’d buy the body only and skip the 18-105 kit it’s not that good lens and you already have this whole focal length covered with 18-55 ,35mm and 55-300. I’d rather sell 55-300 DX and get the 70-300 VR FX instead ,trust me that lens is tried and tested on D7000 and gives much better results on DX cameras. It’s not a must have to cover every mm in PGy.
This is straight out of camera result from D7000 + 70-300 VR
Thanks alot Adnan. I will get the 70-300 instead 18-105.
Adnan, Are you saying that the D7000 would be a better choice over the D7100?
I have the same set of lenses as Prakash and was planning got get a body only for the upgrade and also change to 70-300 VR.
So are you still suggesting I get a D7000 over the newer D7100?
Gio ,it would have been better if you have given a figure about budget ,from your post I got the impression that you cannot afford D7100. If you can afford it sure buy D7100 but as it is 24MP ,your weak lenses will be pushed to the limit. 105 Micro will be the best and the 35mm 1.8 but all of the zooms including the 70-300 VR will give weak performance. Sell all of your DX zooms and 70-300 as well either get the new 18-35 G for landscapes or 16-35 VR if there is money to spare. If you are doing commercial portraits then get a 135 F2 DC only or your Micro can also take portraits. 85 1.8 D is a very good choice for portraits. 70-300 works great with D700 ,D7000 type cameras (10 to 16MP) ,I haven’t mounted it on D800 but will give a try in DX mode.
NO I’m NOT suggesting D7000 is better than D7100 .
Hi Adrian , could you please explain why you don’t think that the 70/300 lense is not a good choice for the d7100? And what would be your equivalent choice? Thank you.
Thank you very much Nasim :)
Now this is very interesting …
” It turns out that the Nikon D7100 can push only 6 frames in lossless 14-bit RAW format, which is literally a second before the buffer gets full.”
This means it shoots really fast! I mean literally 6 or 7FPS ,which I recall somebody pointed out that the D300s if calculated FPS vs buffer shoots at 2.5FPS in real ,though having a larger buffer but is way slow if compared to D7100 and all 6 shots are in focus.Not to mention double file size, WOW!
Moose shot 80-400 with D4 and according to him AF locks in pretty good with 80-400 as with D4 he was able to make a still shoot movie of flying geese ,just to show that how good the 80-400 is. D7100 + 80-400 is a great budget combo for WL or birding.
14 bit is not going to give any more than the 12bits and customized settings for JPGs in color n sharpness are 100 in number :)
So for ppl like me buffer is not an issue ,but ppl. who like to shoot 14bit in machine gun mode it is a big issue ;) I’m not buying it yet ,let’s wait until Oct. ;) I love the colorful shot of Casino ceiling ;) ,looks like somebody did try their luck ;)) =================== I’m so tempted towards Fuji X100S ,a great camera for street n travel PGy.
Adnan, the D300s can push a lot more images than the D7100 – see my D7100 vs D300s comparison for buffer info. The 2.5 fps speed is for 14-bit RAW files only. Most people shoot at 12-bit RAW to get the speed.
The D7100′s AF system should have gone into the D600…I would have bought 2 for $3,000 a piece. Went the used route instead and picked up a D700 with a grip and battery for $1,600. Your loss Nikon!
Ha ha :) . 2 ? Better AF system is in D800 in less than 3K ,and you still bought a Nikon ,so it’s not Nikon’s lost but your limited budget seems to be a problem here :)
Jacob, I so agree with you!
Splendid review and great pix, Nasim. I’ve been hoping you’d review this camera, and you did not disappoint! I usually wait a year after a new product comes out from Nikon to make sure there are no major problems and/or the bugs are fixed. I finally got a D800E back in February 2013, but returned it after the camera seized up several times, both when reviewing shots and even when just going into the menus. That’s not good for a new camera that costs $3,200.
But I jumped on a D7100 from B&H in late-March, taking a chance because the cost was only about $1,200 and knowing I could return it if major glitches popped up. None so far, and I’m having a lot of fun with this camera – especially in what I call the “sub-DX” crop mode that turns my 300mm f/4 into an 840mm f/5.6 with a 1.4x TC mounted behind it. I figure the pixel density at 24MP on a DX sensor is about the same as 36MP on an FX sensor (and same at 15.2MP in the sub-DX crop mode). Great for wildlife shots!
Big improvements I see on the D7100 vs. D7000 are greater resolution (I like the no AA filter too), better autofocus, review zoom button, high ISO performance, and the sub-DX crop mode. My only complaint is the puny buffer which severely limits shooting bursts for sports shooting.
If Nikon releases a D400 later this year with the same 24MP sensor and 51-point AF, a sub-DX crop, no AA filter, and a better buffer in a more rugged body, I might go for it. Otherwise, this will do.
Roger, thank you for your mini-review, I appreciate it!
The lcd screen is scratch resistant, true?
Yes, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t scratch. The new iPhone 5 also has a scratch-resistant surface, but it does get scratched. I would recommend to apply a screen protector just to be safe…
Thanks for the fantastic review. After Adnan’s previous responses to my Qs, I went out and got myself the D7100 + AF-S 300mm f/4 IF-ED + 1.4x TCEII, mainly for bird photography. I’ve also immensely enjoyed your article on bird photography, especially the settings for Nikon cameras. I tried out some birding shots with these, but somehow find that with the aperture wide open at f/5.6 (with the TC) as suggested by you (and with all other settings as recommended) I’m getting images that aren’t as tack sharp as they ought to be. But with aperture at f/8 and ISO set at 640 or similar higher values (and with all other settings as recommended), I get great tack sharp images. So what am I doing wrong at f/5.6 etc?
Hi Sunder, Congratulations on your gear :) I’m not an expert on birding but sometimes do try to shoot if the tele lens is mounted :) As you know Photography means writing with light, so it’s all about light conditions ,sometimes I get tack sharp photos with TC14 at F5.6 wide open and some times at F13. When you enter the shooting area or even if it’s your back yard or before you start to shoot ,first take some test shots of leaves on trees or something that might be close enough to give you a rough idea how the lens will perform at that time at different apertures. E.g let’s say it’s 9 AM with ample light that your SS can be 2000 or above in ISO 400 to 800 with F8 to F13 so shoot some test shots and look closely in LCD by zooming in maximum and check the histogram also ,but sometimes Sunlight is behind birds and the histogram might show you a perfect exposure but the bird’s face n front might be too dark so for this kind of condition one must see by stepping up or down the EV. A few days ago i shot Maynas at +2 to +3 EV as there was so much backlight that their face was nearly dark black with no details and though the pictures were sharp enough but after only stepping up +2 EV I was able to see some light on face as one can’t shoot a fill flash in this situation. On cloudy days I see the pictures are more good looking at most apertures. You can also try to set the ADL at full high or Auto setting ,see which suits you better but again it’s all about light :) Whatever the animal or bird I try to focus at eyes only :) On flying birds see if 3D works fine or AFC 21 or 9 or all 51. I guess using 51 AFC would be better in 1.3x mode as it’s nearly filled with focus points so very rare chance of missing.
Here is a Purple Sunbird I shot at F13 using the TC 14 with D800 in DX mode with spot metering and using single AF center point as I knew I had to crop the picture ,around 25 feet away ,this tiny bird was so restless that I could not get a better composition and it was not coming in open or high branches. Due to the DoF getting very tight at this AoV I usually shoot at F8 to F13 as the subject is very small not more than 4 inches in length but bigger birds can be shot at larger apertures depending on light :) The Auto ISO straight away jumps to max setting ,I think Nikon needs to give more flexible options in auto ISO settings as this one went up to 2500 ,where in IMO it should be 1600. The D7100 has more flexible options compared to D800 and is really fast if you get the focus locked in right there will be more keepers. I personally assign the AE-L/AF-L button to focus lock only on D7000.
I hope you practice more and get it right :) good light n happy shooting Cheers!
Thanks a ton for your response. Just one more quick question – in Nasim’s article on bird photography, where he lists settings, for AF-C he suggests “Release + Focus”, and for AF-S he suggests “Focus.” Am still trying to figure out how I can set Release + Focus for AF-C. As far as I can tell from the manual, I can select either, not both. How do I do this?
Hi Sunder :) No problem ,you are most welcome :) I haven’t looked at the D7100′s menu thoroughly just had a quick look when my friend was buying it but if it’s in D7000 it ought to be in D7100 for sure. Press Menu One step down with multi selector wheel button Pencil The heading on top in capitol letters should read CUSTOM SETTING MENU on top highlighted a – (red in color) Autofocus Press it and you will see all kind of AF settings and on top are the AFC and AFS settings and by pressing them in sub menu you can select your choice of focus setting.
BTW , Nasim is here online now ,so he might shed some light on your wide open at 5.6 problem :) As it was with his recommendation I got the TC14 for 300mm and it’s the best TC for 300 F4 no doubt about that.
Sunder, Release + Focus is only available on older Nikon DSLRs I believe. For the D7100, you set AF-C to Release and AF-S to Focus priority.
Sunder, that’s strange – probably your lens needs to be calibrated. See my tutorial on how to calibrate lenses for more info. My 300mm f/4 + 1.4x setup makes amazingly sharp images.
Thanks Nasim. I’ll do another range of checks to see if it is I who have goofed up on a setting or if the there indeed is a focus issue and the lens needs calibration. I’ve read through your article on LEns Calibration, and for good measure, I’ve got myself Michael Tapes’ FocusTune software yesterday. Will let you know what transpired when I’ve run the tests :)
i hope you get to read this i believe you should mention which lens you have used to take the photos that form the evidence for and with the camera at the start of the review. me i have learn’t just how much of a difference there is in lens and how they work or not on a camera. i bet you shot all pro lens not the cheap kit lens that will be offered with the camera. most people think there is no difference so get confused when they see poor shots out of a camera out of poor lens but cant see the point in spending the money of better lens. not a criticize just i hope a bit of timely advice to improve and make the review 100% real. that way an apple can be compared to an apple by the prospective purchaser, before hand. keep up the good work. me i am waiting for the 80-400mm G lens review to maybe add to my list…on reading the review.
Steve Perth WA
Yes ,I agree the lenses should be mentioned in the review as with Nasim’s previous recommended exif app I wasn’t able to see the lens info i.e if one hovers the mouse on any picture the basic aperture ,SS and ISO turns up on top of the picture but no lens info. However in this review the new 18-35 G , new 80-400 VR ,the 14-24 2.8 zoom and 300 F4 were used.
Steve, I always embed EXIF data to images when I publish them, so you can see which lenses were used for the shots. As Adnan pointed out, I used a bunch of lenses including the new 18-35mm and 80-400mm VR.
Nasim, i always thought you would have but i have never been able to find it , EG if i hover over a photo above i get only “Nikon D7100 review” or which ever review i am looking in no shot info. why i think a very good idea to have them written in. just how can i find the data if its there ?
Have you had trouble with moire (especially on bird feathers)? It’s hard to tell viewing on the web but maybe there’s some moire showing up on the mallard’s gray feathers? If you have had moire issues with the D7100 how have you handled them?
Verm, no, moire is never a problem for bird photography – textures are typically scattered and not 100% uniform. Moire often occurs on fabric.
Also, are there additional issues with cleaning the senor one’s self if you are cleaning dust off the sensor directly and not off an AA filter covering the sensor? I.e. is the sensor surface more fragile/sensitive than the AA filter?
There is a protective layer ,the sensor is not in the open directly and personally I’d use the rocket blower and avoid touching it.While changing lenses face down and use the blower just before mounting lens. If you are getting moire then either decrease contrast 1 step or use smaller apertures. A high quality Heliopan or B+W anti scratch scotch glass haze filter can sometime act as a buffer but depending on light.
Does anyone know if it is safe to use the Artic Butterfly sensor cleanor on a sensor which does not have the AA filter (D7100 in my case)?
KSPGM, yes, it is perfectly safe to use all the same tools for cleaning, including the Arctic Butterfly. The protective filter is always there in front of the sensor, so it is not like the new sensor is more “fragile” :)
Verm, no, you do not have to worry about damaging the sensor itself – there is always protective coating in front of it. Just use common sense and some good tools that won’t scratch anything (see my tutorials on how to properly clean sensors). The AA filter is another filter that goes behind the protective filter – in this case, Nikon excluded it.
Adnan and Nasim many thanks for your reply I am very greatful for your help . Just reading the Questions and answer I am learning a lot .many thanks for the great work you are doing. William
You are most welcome William :) cheers!
Nasim , I’m just wondering that why would you allow somebody to clean a brand new camera’s sensor? without even asking what really happened or inquiring about the history of the problem ? and I just found about this product at B&H Photo as I have bought many items from them over the years.
Here are the mixed customers’ review and verified reviewer’s words too :)
I just got off the phone with my dealer and my D7000 is still in the 3 yr warranty ,according to him he said Nikon service center will do it in free as long as your both cameras are under warranty. I asked him about a tiny oily dot I get on very top center left part of D800′s sensor which by the way is only noticeable when I increase contrast and can be easily cloned in LR. He said that in 4 working days you will get your camera free from any kind of dots or specs for free but please do not do it yourself as according the warranty statement if any “foul play” on customer’s behalf is found then warranty will be void and you have to pay for it. On out of warranty products for a full service they charge near about $30 and it includes everything including focus checking and many other things and sensor cleaning is the very basic part. However if a part needs replacement they do charge extra for the specific part depending on it’s price.
I personally know a guy who was given a brand new F100 as his camera’s autofocus died and he used it over 2 yrs.He sent it to Nikon service center and after one month and many phone calls ,it turns out that the camera was sent to Japan and I think they thought it would be better to just deliver a brand new camera as the faulty camera might have got a new AF system and might have been sold as refurbished item.
But, each to their own ,I personalty will never do it and avoid answering questions like that even if it was a reply to my reply to Vern. I hope I did not use exclamation marks in this comment :)
But it might turn as a disaster to newbies ,so here I draw a line by learning from someone and blindly following on a delicate issue and part where a newbie tries it to DIY. And I’m a guy who repaired my own Nikon FE’s pressure plate in early teens :)
Adnan Khan, I think you are being overcautious here I own a D3 and do studio portraits only.D3 is the only DSLR I bought after F5.I have used a fine soft painting brush (cost is less than $15) on D3′s sensor for several times it is just wide enough for the sensor and I do one gentle wipe only. I rarely change lenses and it was after a long time that I used a brush on D3′s sensor for the first time.The Rocket blower is a really good product which I got for $7 and use it frequently. I agree on new products with warranty better safe than sorry,after reading comment#47 and your reply I had a good laugh but quickly realized that William can certainly afford D200 a top DX camera of it’s day and is now considering the top DX D7100 as of today but is mostly naive about lenses and many people like him can be confused over cleaning sensors themselves.People like me or Nasim might get it right or anyone with this practice but it is certainly not for everyone. I think the price of $126 is outrageously high for a cleaning brush which does not have a 100% guaranteed satisfaction.
Recently I bought a 200 F2 G VRII,great glass for studio portraits btw :) and before that I was using 135 F2 DC on F5 and 85 1.4 D and 85 1.8 G on D3. Now for the first time I have decided to buy a DX camera and after going through many models I think the Nikon D7100 is the best DX camera as of today.I have read many reviews about it overall all of them say it’s good,I don’t care about the buffer as I’m not going to use it for action. It can be my outdoor camera and for travel photography. What normal wide zoom or wide prime will you suggest for outdoor photography? I don’t shoot commercial portraits outdoor.I’m buying this camera for my own use,won’t be doing any commercial work with it. Budget is not an issue but light weight is :)
How did you come up with the lenses in this review ? (comment # 69) I agree with Steve Paxton that lenses used in this review should be mentioned in beginning of the review or under every photo and readers should be told that the cheap kit lens will not give as good performance as shown in the review. My very first camera was Nikon FA :)
Nasim Mansurov ,which lenses were used in Nikon D7100 vs D800E High ISO Comparison shots ? Good review but can be even better with lens recommendation in final conclusion.
regards John S
John, if you look at the second page of the review titled “ISO Performance”, you will see that I used the Nikon 24-70mm to compare the D7100 with the D800E.
As for mentioning all the lenses used for a review, I will try to add that info to all the reviews going forward, on the last page (already updated this review). I cannot add that info under each picture – that would take me too much time and there is no good place to place that info. I have mentioned a few times that you can get the info from looking at the EXIF data (see what is exif?) on each image – there are lots of plugins for Chrome and Firefox that let you see the embedded EXIF data.
I read the whole article Nasim just thought you might have used primes for this specific comparison like 35 dx on d7100 and 50 1.8 on fx. Thanks for the update ,I know “what exif is” :) btw,there is no app that shows lens info or lens name to be exact with max aperture and focal length there can be a lot of wild guessing with so many zooms used.
Thanks for replying. John S
John I was hoping someone else would answer you but I feel I can as this is just want I was going to do. I had D90 with 18-55mm and 55-200mm and was thinking of getting a D7000 and noting the shot from the D90 where not quite as sharp as I would have like. As I don’t have money I started reading to get someone else money working for me. I read from this site and other to get what I wanted in the way of info. You say “Budget is not an issue but light weight is” me I went down the line of the sharpest best image production to get the best out of the sensor. Best lens are the 14-24mm F2.8 24-70mm F2.8 70-200mm F2.8 but the weight. So I started with the best around lend I could find you can read review here as well 24-120mm F4 (DX =36-180mm) so I was going to add to that as a wide, AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED to get the wide angle and as my new big AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR middle weight and all tack sharp. My choice and where I was going. If you want light weight quaintly of photo not important AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and the big AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR. Now my father has a D7000 he uses AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR and as big AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. No matter what as a DX shooter you normal 50mm lens is the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G.
Like say this is what I was going to do then I saw Nasim spoke of a hybrid just up my ally D600, D7000 weight FX sensor. Best camera I have ever used. If You want more info… firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your reply and feedback Steve :)
Adnan, the standard warranty period for a camera is 1 year, so I am not sure who told you that Nikon will service it for free. Nikon might clean the sensor for free during the 1 year warranty, but you will have to pay for shipping. Not sure about you, but for someone that takes pictures constantly, my sensor needs to be cleaned every 1-2 months. I cannot afford to send my camera to Nikon every time it needs to be cleaned – it is not even the postage, but the time that it takes to do the whole shipping back and forth + time for service that bother me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with cleaning sensors. Unless you are being stupid, there is very little risk of damaging the sensor. As long as the right tools are used, you can do it very quickly and painlessly. See some of my tutorials on how to do it. You will see that it is a very simple and straightforward process.
First, thank you for this site. I honestly believe it is the best website of its kind.
You reviews of of the NIkon D7000 and D7100 are scaring me a bit. I need to upgrade and your writings about these sensors exposing cheaper lenses are making me nervous.
What type of glass are you talking about ? I use the Nikon 16-85mm, Nikon 70-300mm, Nikon 18-200mm, and Nikon F 1.8 AF-s 35mm.
Regards, Marty J.
Am I ok with these ?
Marty, what I wrote only applies if you like to look at your images at 100%. Most people won’t notice any sharpness differences otherwise. Your lenses will do fine, except for the 18-200mm that struggles with resolution above 135mm.
Thank you, Marty
Marty J , I don’t think it is “the best” site ,if you Google there are many more and much better reviews and some were written way before this one. Since nobody cared to answer my questions,I did some research of my own and am still searching for my best combination on D7100 and I think your prime lens 35mm will give you certainly better results,have no idea about the zooms.D7100 has 24 Mega Pixels and has no AA filter ,it means it can deliver very sharp images and will squeeze out every bit of resolution a lens can deliver. Get the body only and try every lens in same room light,check the pictures closely if they satisfy you keep the lenses.I think most of the pictures are post processed in this review where writing a review does demands straight out of camera pictures usually. Check out http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d7100.htm http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d7100 For lens tests,reviews and pictures checkout this site,very helpful http://www.photozone.de/Reviews/nikon–nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests
The reason that I believe this is the best site is because these guys live with these cameras and lenses before posting a review. Dpreview is fine, but I find Rockwell’s casual approach towards his reviews not very informative.
I am trying to decide whether or not to upgrade. So, the question is whether or not this body will expose weaknesses in my lenses. Some folks may be able to buy the D7100 body and then see if the lenses are good enough. I cannot afford to do that.
John & Marty i can assure you that unless you start with decent glass the camera will show you just how weak the lens are. having seen that for my self on the D600 AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED did not work very well , sold away. i have tried to answer your question John in lens choice from an the right point of view Quality and a person with not the money but to do it right first time. Marty i 100% agree with your first paragraph i have yet to find better. my only complaint not enough info on lens used or camera used both are 100% important in the equation and image manipulation to be zero for the end view result to be judged correctly as apple verse and apple. from one nikon user thanks for the info.
Steve perth WA
Hi Steve About your comments of the 70-300 f4.5-5.6, I am not sure if your are right on this. Jay Maisel a N,Y. very well know photographer is saying in the Kelby training video in “A day with Jay Maisel (in N.Y)” to Scott The 70-30 f4.6-5.6 is the lens I prefer for street photography”. I know he uses a D3 (12 MP), so maybe the D600 (24 MP) can have a problem with this lens, and he shhots at 1600 iso. By the way photozone.de recommanded this lens as beeing sharp from 70-200 mm. Please add your comments on this.
I though how to answer your comment best is straight up I can’t comment about others but what I can see myself on my camera and computer screen. The 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 VR crossed paths with my walk around lens I have on the D600 70-120 mm which is right in the middle or most of the 70-300 sharp range. When comparing images within that range and even beyond compared to my walk around lens there is no comparison to crispness of focus, colour and total image. The 24-120mmm F4(check Nasim review) far out shines the 70-300mm but don’t get me wrong it’s still a not bad lens as long as you only go to 200 but I want 300 all I paid for. I am praying that the 70-300 gets the same F4 treatment that the 24-120 got. I also think that there is a difference in technology 70-300 circa 2006 & 24-120mm F4 circa 2010 that may explain why there is a difference, we all know just how far we advance year by year. I check daily on Nikon Rumors for a hint that the F4 upgrade is about to happen as I like the feel and handle and weight of the 70-300 to the 80-400mm G which I am waiting on review to come out here o see which way I go for a big lens to go with the 24-120. Hope this helps you
How about the screen? I find it sad that Nikon don’t see that the screen has a green tint. Its so clear when say, you take a picture in jpeg on the Nikon and then u place it on a Canon. But they keep making their new screens have a green tint. How does the screen colour and saturation compare with the D7000?
Michael, the whole “green screen” phenomenon is a myth, as far as I am concerned. Why would anyone look at the LCD of the camera and judge the colors is beyond me. I hope people are not expecting Nikon to provide calibrated LCD screens on every camera – that would be a pretty much impossible task. Shoot in RAW and only use the LCD on the camera for reference. Real image quality should be judged on your PC :)
I got the D7100 just about a month ago. There is absolutely no green cast to the LCD at least on my unit!!
I’m not new to photography and have had several Nikon DX bodies over the years including my much beloved D300. My initial findings are that Nikon has hit the ball out of the park with this one.
This is a fully featured well made camera which simply does what it’s meant to and that is take excellent pictures with the minimum of fuss.All in all a great camera which sits at the top of Nikons consumer camera range. If you’re upgrading to a DSLR from either a bridge camera or one of Nikon’s entry level DSLRs then go for it: you’ll love it as it will give you space to grow creatively.
Thank you very much for this review, it was really helpful. I was searching for a d5200 one – are you planning to do one?
The 7100 is simply to expensive although a much better camera than the d5200 but I think a good photographer can achieve very similar results with both cameras. It’s “only” a tool. One other question that is going through my mind before buying the d5200: are camera manufacturers like Nikon producing cameras in different levels of quality, for instance for the western/eastern Europe or do you think they are all the same?
I appreciate your reply!
Nice review, but it seems odd that you have tested the D7100 with lenses that not many owners would use, if I could afford and/or carry those lenses I’d use a D800 or similar Why not test with the12-24, 18-105, 16-85. 70-300 etc?? to give a better idea of this machines real life capabilities??, which is what prospective users will be interested in…
Because many DX lenses are not up to the task to resolve all 24 MP of resolution at pixel level. Plus, I don’t own any DX glass unfortunately…
A very well written review, n thanks for it. I am planning to buy my first dslr and have almost zeroed on this one, but can you let me know how is the color accuracy of this camera? How good is this at reproducing skin tones, as I like doing portraits? I am also one of the pixel peepers and I worry if the large resolution will keep on bothering me. Or do you suggest to wait for a while until canon comes up with 7d mark ii or 70d or nikon with d400? Awaiting your suggestions.
Mohit, I find colors from the D7100 to be superb. Unless you need the speed of the D400, I would go for the D7100. Make sure to take advantage of these deals if you choose to upgrade.
Hi Nasim, Good honest advise and a good mixed bag of questions and answers, queries here! I specialise in architectural interiors and location, which also includes people orientated images. Currently working a sigma 10-20 and a nikon prime 14mm. What are your views about upgrading from a D7000, to a D7100? I am very competent in PS and get the best out of my RAW files. I am looking to get the best possible images. I usually shoot at 400 ISO. Everything is lit professionally and I cut in window views etc when needed. I would appreciate your thoughts as I am poised to buy the D7100 body.. Read every review on the net and driven myself crazy doing so.. :-) Many thanks, Murray
Murray, I would not upgrade if I were you. Aside from the additional resolution, there is not much benefit for you to move up to the D7100. The superb AF system is useless for architectural photography. Now if you were a portraits/sports/wildlife photographer, then it would make perfect sense to move up from the D7000…
Instead, I would recommend to invest in some good quality lenses and other accessories useful for architectural photography!
Hello Nasim! Have you heard about the banding issue in D7100? If its true, how to avoid it? Is it correctable using any software? Thanks for your nice articles and reviews.
I didn’t see any banding issues on the D7100 that I tested. Not sure where you heard about it being a problem…
Hi Nasim! Here are some links regarding the banding issue.
I was so interested in buying this camera, but now I am reconsidering my decision. Is banding really going to be a huge problem? I do want to do night photography. Can banding be corrected in post processing? Please help. Thanks
Hi Nasim After reading an article on DXO optics site about the best lenses for the D600, I am confused when I see that most if not all lenses can not achieved near the resolution of todays camera, specially true for the DX format and the D800 resolution. For instance the D600 with the Nikon 70-200 f4G ED VR resolved only 18 P-MPIX on a 24 MPix sensor. Worst THe Nikon 50 F1.8D on a D7000 resolved only 9 P-MPIX , while resolving more than double on the D600 17 P-MPIX, If this is the case why spend money with high quality glass ($$$) on DX format camera when they can not achieved better than approximately half the resolution of the sensors ?. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy an FX body (D600) and look for cheaper FX lenses, while acheaving better reslotion than on high end DX cameras such as the D7100 with expensive glass ? Have a good day
I wouldn’t worry about what DxO says with their resolution figures – those often don’t mean much. First, DxO provides a subjective number and does not fully explain what goes behind that number. To my knowledge, only the center performance of a lens is assessed, which only shows one part of the whole picture. Second, their resolution figures are not equivalent to the resolution of a camera – so you cannot say that their 18 MP figure for a lens is less than the 24 MP of resolution of a camera and therefore is not sufficient to resolve sufficient detail on a 24 MP sensor. That number is probably only good to use a comparison between lens performance and even then I would be careful.
While DxO does a good job with measuring dynamic range (historically, they have been pretty close to my own measurements), their lens testing methodology is not very convincing as far as I am concerned. For one, their definition of aligning a test chart with the camera using a mirror is very flawed – I can easily prove that such methods do not work. Also, the whole focus bracketing deal and picking the best shot doesn’t sound right to me. I cannot imagine getting good focus accuracy without using Live View with a combination of contrast detect (which doesn’t always work, but could be a good starting point). There are many other issues that would take me too long to explain. In short, don’t just use one site as a reference point for lens tests. Look at 3-4 different sites and then make a conclusion :)
Don’t think that cameras have too much resolution and lenses are not good enough. Most lenses we use today (especially pro lenses) would easily cope with 60 or more megapixels.
For this quick response. May I ask, if we don’t consider low-light pics can we say that the same pro lens use on the D7100 and D600 should show similar or near similar results in sharpness and resolution for enlargements approching 6 feet at iso lower than 400 ?
Your site is the most informative of all, with real outstanding photos to match your comments .
Have a nice day and thanks again
Dear Sir, I’m new in photography. But I have D7100. Today only I got the English manual of it. Could you kindly let me know the camera lenses that you used to take those beautiful photographs?
Hi Nasim, This article is very helpful me to move from D7000 to D7100 and still need to know which DX lenses perform very well with Sharpening and high details image quality as you mensioned in no3.Image sensor part! or the FX lenses are performing better than any DX lense? Is Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G(DX) will perform well? What about AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II ? I need to get the maximum details and Shrpness from the sensor..! Can you please tell me the best lenses for D7100?
Thanks and Regards, Ishara
Thank you very much for this in-depth review.
I’m a wildlife photographer that uses a D7000 and was thinking on changing to the D7100. I normally use a 300mm f2.8 plus a TC-20E III. Have you done any test of D7100 with 2X teleconverters? This is my biggest concern, to know if a 24Mp sensor will perform correctly with a big teleconverter. How about 800E with 2X?
Thank you again Jose
Hi there Jose and Nasim,
I am interested in this same combo but I have the 300mm VR II instead plus the TC-20E III on a D7100. Would that do any good or should I exclude the TC-20E III?
I had my first problem with the D7100. The AF button quite working. I shipped the camera back to Nikon for repair. They sent me a quote and say that they need to replace a major part and there will be no charge. I will reply when I get it back.
You saved my day.
Today I got the D7100 and tested it – no AF-problems, no back- or frontfocus, no dust/oil, no dead pixels.
But this was only “lab-test”
And then my long time preferred place to test the camera – real life test – have testet all my cameras and lenses this place the last many years, and it never fails, and I used a top-lens, which was 100 %
This D7100 was not sharper than my other cameras !!! – also not my 16MP cameras – D7000 and D5200 and certainly not my D3x.
Then I tryed again and changed cameras and lens fast, so the light did not change.
The same, it was OK, but the sharpness was not better than e.g. my Nikon D5100 (16MP)with the same lens
I closed down, but then I remembered that you wrote (it was some days ago I read it), that the camera was optimized for faces (but I did n o t remember, that you wrote it could overexpose.
Then I went into your test, and then I afterwards looked at the pictures again and carefully looked at the histogram, and you are so right.
This overexposure just rubbed the last sharpness away.
Of course I would have found out later, but this was my first day with the camera and you saved my day ;)
Dear Mr. Nasim,
I love your reviews. I would like to ask, what particulars lenses would you prefer on D7100? from micro to telephoto? Hope to hear from you. I love micro, landscapes, cityscape, portrait and sports photography. I’m a newbie, I admit.
Soon (in october) I’m going to buy my first DSLR, and my plans were to get the Nikon D7100. What a great camera: one of the top sensors in the DXOmark ranking, great dynamic range, sharpness, detail resolving power, shadow recovery power, low light performance, and more latitude for cropping.
However, on the past few days I’ve been reading about oil issues on the D7100 too, wich let me really disappointed and worried. Right off the bat I remembered your article “Nikon Quality Assurance and Marketing Gone Wrong”. I recall reading it and thinking “Hope these issues stoped with the D600″. Well, at first it seems those issues persists.
That’s when I began thinking: “What’s the use of having a great sensor like this if I’ll have to clean it up every 1000 or 2000 shots?” I learned that wet cleaning is a intrusive and last resort method, not a normal/mundane procedure. Again, it will be my very first SLR, and I wouldn’t be confortable doing wet cleaning so frequently.
What scares me the most is the fact that I’m going to buy this camera overseas, during a Europe trip. So, even if I accepct doing the wet cleaning, it would be a real hassle for me to send the camera for repair or even do a replacement.
So, I began to consider the Canon EOS 7D, instead. The problem is, I know the 7D isn’t a bad camera (and I’m already accepting the idea of buying it), but I’m much more into low light performance and image quality than performance itself.
The question is: Those oil/dust issues are happening with the D7100 as well?
Thank you so much.
Hi After reading your comments, I decided to write my 0.02 cent comments: I own a D90, D7000, D7100 (bought two weeks ago). All of my cameras gave me great shots when great lenses were attached to them. The D7000 was sometimes a nightmare while focusing in low-light specially under tungsten light. After reading my manual and the D4 (via internet download) I found that even the D4 under low contrast situation can be mislead and show the focus circle at the bottom of the viewfinder even if its not focusing on the intended focus point. Coming back to the D7100 it is a much better AF system than the D7000, and the 24 mpx without the low-pass filter is giving me much sharper pics that I never need to sharpen in LR4 to display at the screen. I took 200 pics of balloons at our international balloons festival in saint-jean-sur-richelieu, Qc, Canada this weekend with the Nikon 70-300 F4.5-5.6 VRII at F7-9 iso 100-200 1/250 sec, most of them at 300 mm where the lens is far from beeing at its best and they appear to be sharper than anything I took with the other two cameras with this lens attached at focals between 70-200 F7-9. I wanted to go FX prior to own the D7100 but now its out of the question, sure an FX sensor can give you an extra 1-1.5 stops in low-light, but you will have to carry heavy expensive lenses and camera such as a D3x , for me its out of the question but for you maybe its an option. I was afraid the noise in dark area would be worst than with the D7000, I had a pleasant surprise, it is not worst and even better if you downsize your pics to 16 MPX . You can see many of the shots I took at http://www.flickr.com/photos/91226474@N08/sets/72157635106892387/ For the oil or dust problems, I have not found many people complaining on the nikonians.org site and even after googling for oil or dust problems for the D7100. As Nasim wrote, there will always be a few having different issues with any camera. Sometimes they use the internet to write their frustration. Regards and good luck Luc
Hi if Luc gave his 0.02 cents worth i hope mine is worth the same at least . i have a D600 by all accounts a very bad camera one you should not own in a million years. i hope you enjoy the shots on my panoramio site what you see is what i take i just don’t have time for editing bar straightening horizon. i have come from PanasonicFZ20-FZ28 and D90 to D600 would i look back or go back, not a chance . if you ever get time to read about diffraction on the net and come to understand just what that means to your photos . i don’t shoot much under F11 for that reason and the biggest benefit you don’t see spots even though they are there and you get sharp photos. have i shot below yes i have done trials and can see the two problems creeping in. in Oz we have natural dust and i am not afraid to change lens so i will always have a mix of both natural and camera dust even on the D90. i have great shot from great lens my camera kit has been built from this site and a few others. 24-120mm F4, 70-200mm F4 next will be 16-35mm F4 stunning group of lens.
so whats my advice don’t ever hold back from what you can get from a camera just learn to live with it and get the most out of it. i can tell you believe half of what you read on the net. judge by looking at there results.
cleaning i leave to the experts so far cost me $70 a time and i will only do that every 4 months. like i said look at the photos and try and find a problem apart from time to take the photos. D7100 is not a bad place to start but the real question is what lens are you going to start with to get the most out of that sensor the biggest question as a poor lens will not get much out of the sensor.
keep thinking and enjoy taking photos .
Hi guys. I decided to go with the D7100. I also chose a set of lenses: Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, and Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 DX.
Do you have any suggestions on other lenses within the same price range?
Firstly, I do enjoy reading your site not only the reviews but also the articles that you and your team take the time to write so thanks to you and your team for that. Much appreciated.
Secondly, first you said : “Nick, I have some information that I cannot share yet, but to give you a clue – wait until the end of the summer / September time frame. At this point, I am 99% confident that Nikon will release a D400 to compete against the 7D Mark II”.
And then you said: “I find colors from the D7100 to be superb. Unless you need the speed of the D400, I would go for the D7100. Make sure to take advantage of these deals if you choose to upgrade”.
Ok so the D400 is fast. I’m guessing a smaller version D4 but with the D4 16mp sensor (less MP than the 7100 which would give it the fps speed and buffer capacity).
What else can’t you tell us………….
im confuse right now between D7100, D600 and D4. my present DX body now is D7000, on daylight i think its enoght for me, but when i use it on nighttime/lowlight, im not satisfied with that.
im planning to buy second body that powerfull on lowlight, my choice is between D600 and D4. D600 is more megapixel than D4, D4 is faster than D600 but low in megapixel,D600 sensor not perfect because the oil issue but cheaper than D4,
so im really cant choosing which body should i buy.
Hi Nasim, how well does this camera pair up with the Nikon 24-120mm F4 VR as a wedding photographer’s do-it all lens ? while a specialist( prime) is used on another body ( i am a canon shooter but this camera looks like it can be a good do it all camera paired with a semi fast super versatile lens).
Not very well – 24-120mm is too long on the short end for DX cameras in my opinion (the equivalent field of view is 36-180mm). If you have no plans to go wider, then the setup could work.
There is a lot of excitment around Canon 70D’s autofocus and video recording. Which camera would you buy now, if you were to choose one between Canon 70D and Nikon D7100? Do you think Canon 70D’s still image quality matches Nikon D7100?
Larry, the 70D is excellent, but cannot match the dynamic range of the D7100. For everyday photography, either way is good. For landscapes, the D7100 is a better choice IMHO.
Thank you for your reply. I wonder, whether you will review Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100? They are in the same category and your opinion would be appreciated. When I look at the review list of the cameras on your website, it seems to me like you have a bias towards Nikon products.
A very interesting camera, The D7100. Looking at the pictures that you have taken, The clarity cannot be argued with. I have used the D90 and D300s for a while and have been happy with both. I beleive that they both use Sony sensors. So I wonder why Nikon have now decided to install the D7100 with a Toshiba sensor instead..Is this a cost cutting exercise or have they fallen out of favour with Sony..
Mark, in all honesty, the maker of the sensor is not the most important thing. A lot of people do not understand that what goes behind a picture is not just a sensor – Nikon’s proprietary image processing pipeline, which reads the data, digests it and modifies it for the RAW output is far more important than the actual sensor. If you look at Nikon and Sony cameras that use exactly the same sensor, you will find that the images from the Nikon cameras have different colors and they handle noise differently (often better). That’s all coming from the pipeline, not the sensor…
Well, we are now near the end of 2013 and a d400 is definitely not coming this year and I doubt it ever will. As a D200 user with 17-55mm and 70-200mm lenses, what would you recommend as an ‘upgrade’ – d7100 or d610?
David, full-frame is the future of DSLRs – go with the Nikon D610 (see my review).
There is still a small probability of the D400 coming – Q1 of next year, in preparation for the winter Olympics.
Thanks Nasim, I was afraid you were going to say that LOL :-) D610 is approx £1000 more expensive than the D7100 at the moment – and that’s before you start upgrading lenses! So, I’ll have to have a serious think about whether I can stretch the budget that far. Thanks, David
Hi Nasim, I’ve recently found your review site – thank goodness and thank you for great reviews. I am upgrading from a Nikon D80 to a D 7100 and want to get a second body as well. I am looking at a used D 7000, 3 years old. Would this be a wise choice, in terms of the age of the D 7000, possible quality problems back then and the fact that there are differences between the D 7000 and the D 7100 (functions, buttons etc.) ? I would be using two lenses for wildlife / birding, the Nikon 300 f4 and the Nikon 70-200 f4, one on each body, with 1.4X TC. I’d appreciate some advice. By the way, I’m from Richards Bay, on the east coast of South Africa.
Nice review to understand more about D7100. I am toggling to decide between D7100+18-140 or D7000+18-300. Both priced same with ongoing sales. Please suggest the better combo to start with. My main interest is nature photography and wildlife. I appreciate your advice on this.
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