Nikon D7100 Digital SLRs

Nikon D7100 Digital SLRs 


Nikon's new flagship DX-format digital SLR has a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter, pro-level full HD video features, a 51-point AF system with f/8 lens compatibility, and a new 1.3x Crop Mode that doubles the reach of your lenses, speeds up the burst rate and expands the auto focus array.


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[Jan 21, 2014]


1) Great image quality
2) Fast focus
3) Price
4) Size


1) Limited buffer -- bogs down when shooting fast
2) Slow maximum continuous high speed shooting
3) Speed is dependent on image quality setting, size and content that you are shooting. Varies pretty significantly.

I bought this camera when a client requested images with pixel size greater than my D700 or D300S can deliver. I shoot primarily sports now and the D800 is a bit too slow as a sports camera (my D700 with grip and fast battery was just about perfect) and I can't quite afford the D4.

I ordered a Nikon USA refurbished unit and a grip and had it delivered the next day where I used it in rotation with the D700 and D300S at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. I was using it with the AFS 200-400VR to catch fairway action for the extra reach and tons of megapixels.

Since that event I've used it to shoot professional bowlers, model sessions, fine art and sculpture and downhill mountain bike racing.

The Good:
1) The little body really surprised me. The image quality has me giggling when I zoom into an image to check focus and lighting in the details.
2) Having 24 megapixels is really awesome when shooting portrait and fine art sessions. I even shot the pro class at the 2014 KHS Nevada State Downhill Championships at full resolution (everything else was shot at the medium 13.5 megapixel setting).
3) Focus is fast, even when shooting moving mountain bike racers.

There are only a few things that I don't like:
1) It's continuous capture speed is a little slow -- up to 6 fps under ideal conditions (most of the time it's lucky to get 3 fps).
2) When shooting RAW the buffer fills at 4 to 5 shots before packing up and dropping frame rate to 1 shot a second. When shooting full size fine jpg images it'll only get 10 or 12 shots before the buffer fills and pauses and slows to 1 frame a second. If you shoot normal quality medium sized jpgs the D7100 will happily shoot up to 25-30 frames before packing the buffer. Those are best case samples -- in the field where texture, color and various detail fill your shots the burst speed and number of shots to fill the buffer will drop by half.

Some things that are different than my other bodies:
1) It does have slightly different button layout on the body. The buttons that always catch me are the OK button has been moved to the other side and the ISO button has been moved from the top to the back. Those two catch me all the time when I don't normally have to think about where my fingers go. Some of the other buttons have been moved or replaced -- but that hasn't bothered me.
2) It a little bit smaller that my other bodies -- I have big hands and don't mind a larger bodies.
3) It's lighter than my other gear bodies and grips.

My over all impression... My D300S has relegated to desk duty or handed off to my daughter when she accompanies to a shoot. My D700 is now only primary body for low light situations, sports where I need speed and places where I might need to be carrying pro gear for appearances. Everywhere else, the D7100 and it's 24 megapixels has become my camera of choice. Now if Nikon will take the D7100 and put a real pro buffer and processor in it to make a D400 -- I might just buy several of them and forget about full frame pro bodies.

Customer Service

I'm an NPS shooter -- no complaints with service. The D7100 has needed no service.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon D80, Nikon D300S, Nikon D700, Nikon D3, Nikon D3S

[Jan 08, 2014]


Feels just like the D300
Excellent autofocus and exposure
Nice viewfinder
Right weight, good solid feel
Remarkable resolution
Remarkable low-light capabilities
Overall it's pretty close to my D800


There are some differences in the user interface compared with the D300/D800 that you just have to learn:
1. The D300/D800 have 2x4 "Menu Banks" that you can set up with options for your favourite shooting situations (in my case "Walkabout", "Studio", "Low Light", "Flash" etc). The D7100 has U1 & U2 settings on the control dial. However on the D800 you set a value and it is memorized while on the D7100 you have to choose an option to memorize the setting. This is how I found myself shooting JPG at 100 ISO when I thought I was shooting RAW at 3200 ISO
2. I couldn't figure out how to set the ISO at first
3. The D7100 has the Exposure Mode button just where I thought the Exposure compensation button was. This is how I spent an afternoon doing spotmetering when I thought I was doing Matrix Metering. Took me quite a bit of adjustment in RAW to get the right result

And then there is the small buffer which limits fast shooting to 4-5 RAW images before the camera stalls and then carries on more slowly. This doesn't bother me but I found a solution just in case I need to shoot an air display or something:
a) I have the fastest SD card on the market
b) If necessary I can shoot JPG. In this case I can get a long burst of 20+ images without the camera stalling

I bought the D7100 to replace my D300 after realising that the D300 images at 3200 ISO looked awful compared with what I was getting on my D800. And hey, perhaps the D7100 could match up to the D800. Everybody said it was brilliant

First victim was my 18-200VR which I used as my travel lens. When I looked closely at the images there were green lines along sharp edges. Plus the contrast and look of the images was not good as I zoomed out. Lots of disappointments with my 18-200. So I replaced it with the latest 18-140, and now I am happy. I have a little less reach but at least I have a lens that doesn't disappoint me.

I was delighted with the feel of the D7100, it was just like the D300. With the 18-140 I had a compact, versatile solution with a good zoom range that let me go from wideangle to telephoto in one swoop - unlike the D800 where I have stuck to limited zoom range lenses or even primes.

After shooting for a few weeks I would say:
- make a print from a D800 image and a D7100 image and it's very difficult to tell them apart
- however put the D7100 images in a bunch with D200 and D300 images and they don't really stand out as being better
- when I count the number of knockout images where I say to myself "that's really nice - how did I do that one?" then the D800 frequently comes up wth this sort of image but with the D7100 it's much more rare

So the D800 remains as main camera and the D7100 is stand-in for some situations only

Similar Products Used:

Nikon D200, D300, D800

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