Nikon D7100 vs D7000 ISO Comparison at low ISOs
Please note that the camera comparisons are only based on image quality. Additional information and differences in camera features is provided in my Nikon D7100 vs D7000 article.
For the below comparisons, I extracted the Nikon D7000 images at their normal resolution (100% crop) and down-sampled the Nikon D7100 images to match the 16 MP resolution. This way, you can see what you can expect from the higher resolution 24 MP sensor, when images are down-sampled to 16 MP.
At ISO 100, both cameras produce excellent images that are very clean.
The same with ISO 200 – both cameras are excellent.
At ISO 400, we start to see some differences between the two – the Nikon D7100 looks a tad cleaner.
Both cameras add a bit of grain at ISO 800, but the images from the Nikon D7100 look slightly cleaner and the grain is smaller (due to down-sampling).
Nikon D7100 vs D7000 High ISO Comparison
Now let’s take a look at what happens at higher ISO levels:
At ISO 1600 we start to see more differences between the two cameras. The D7100 produces less noise throughout the frame with more details.
The same goes with the ISO 3200 – the D7100 looks cleaner.
Both cameras add a lot more noise at ISO 6400, but the D7100 still looks cleaner and shows more details.
Nikon D7100 vs D7000 Boost ISO Comparison
At very high boosted ISO levels, the difference between the two cameras is even more apparent. The Nikon D7100 looks much cleaner, although I personally would not use such high ISOs on either camera…
Nikon D7100 vs D7000 Summary
As you can see from the above crops, the Nikon D7100 has a lot more resolution than the Nikon D7000 and yet produces cleaner images at higher ISO levels when images are down-sampled to comparable resolution. This is a huge achievement for the D7100, because added resolution typically equals more noise. Nikon was able to keep the noise levels under control despite the 8 MP difference between the two cameras. For most people this does not really mean anything, but if you shoot at low ISOs, you now have more crop and down-sampling options than before.
Nikon D7100 vs D800E 1.5x Crop ISO Comparison
One of the requests from our readers was to provide a comparison between the Nikon D7100 and the D800/D800E in 1.5x crop mode. In DX mode, the Nikon D800E produces 15.4 MP images, which is pretty close to the 16 MP resolution of the Nikon D7000. Because of such difference in resolution (24.1 MP vs 15.4 MP), I decided to compare the down-sampled version of the D7100 images that I used for the D7100 vs D7000 comparison. Let’s take a look:
I decided to skip on ISO 100, 200 and 400, because they are all very clean and similar. At ISO 800, I cannot see much difference in noise between the two. But if you look at the top right side of the image, you will see some moire on the Nikon D800E where the amount of fine detail is very high. Now keep in mind that we are looking at 100% pixel level on the D800E and down-sampled on the D7100. If you go back to the previous page and take a look at image samples on the D7100 at 100%, the Nikon D7100 also shows some signs of moire – a normal fact on cameras without anti-aliasing filters.
Down-sampling starts to win a little at ISO 1600, where the D7100 seems to produce slightly smaller grain. But the difference is quite small between the two.
The same goes for ISO 3200 – the D7100 has slightly smaller grain, but the difference is very small.
At ISO 6400, the Nikon D800E shows some small artifacts in the shadows and has slightly less detail than the D7100.
Nikon D7100 vs D800E Low ISO Comparison
Now let’s take a look at how the two cameras differ in performance, when we take a full-resolution image from the Nikon D800E and down-sample it to the Nikon D7100 resolution (36 MP vs 24 MP). This is an interesting comparison, because it shows the difference between modern DX and FX sensors.
The difference between the two is already apparent at ISO 100. While the amount of noise is very low on both cameras, the Nikon D800E has a lot more resolution, so it has the down-sampling advantage here. The amount of detail on the D800E is very high – take a look at the small letters on DVD boxes and other small details.
At ISO 400 the Nikon D7100 adds a little grain, but the D800E still looks extremely clean.
The difference is very evident at ISO 800 – the Nikon D7100 looks noisier and less detailed in comparison.
Nikon D7100 vs D800E High ISO Comparison
The gap in performance between DX and FX grows at high ISO levels. Let’s take a look at how the two cameras render ISO 1600 and above:
At ISO 1600, there is about a stop of difference between the two cameras. The Nikon D7100 looks noisier and less detailed in comparison.
The Nikon D7100 loses some detail at ISO 3200, but the D800E retains all of it and it is visibly cleaner.
The same for ISO 6400.
Boosted to ISO 12800, the Nikon D800E adds quite a bit of noise, but retains plenty of details.
And at ISO 25600, both cameras produce too much noise with too much loss of details and colors.
Nikon D7100 vs D800E Summary
I am very impressed by how the Nikon D7100 stood against the D800E. In 1.5x crop mode, the Nikon D7100 has a slight lead over the D800E when the images are down-sampled to 15.4 MP. At full resolution, the Nikon D800E obviously has the upper hand in terms of handling noise and providing more details, but the difference is only about a stop, not more. Very impressive performance by the Nikon D7100!
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