Nikon D7100 Studio Sample Photos

DSLR Featured Nikon Samples

I love it when a camera surprises me, and so far the Nikon D7100’s image quality has done just that. I’ve been a skeptic of Nikon’s DX-format (APS-C) 24-megapixel sensor since it was announced. This is actually the first time I’ve had a chance to test it though, and I’m really impressed. I still think it’s more resolution than most people need and it has hidden costs in the form of larger memory cards, more hard drive space and higher computer processing demands. However, the image quality *is* excellent. Since you can’t fairly compare a 24-megapixel file to a 16-megapixel file by pixel peeping on the computer, I made prints to see how the D7100 matched up to other cameras. I compared it to its predecessor the Nikon D7000, and the Nikon D300S; and at the same print size the D7100 walks all over the other two cameras. This was especially clear when I made 20×30-inch test prints from ISO 3200 sample photos. The D7000 and D300S both had obvious noise, but the D7100 print was creamy smooth and pretty much noise-free. That just blows me away. I am really amazed to see that kind of performance from an APS-C sensor and it gives me a lot of hope for the crop sensor format. Based on my 20×30 inch test, I expect that ISO 6400 is probably pretty useable with the Nikon D7100.

Update: Our Nikon D7100 Pro Review is live! It was written by professional sports photographer Rob Norbutt, with a special emphasis on low light and auto focus performance:

Nikon D7100 Pro Review >>

Nikon D7100 Studio Sample Photos

Thanks a lot to Rob Norbutt, a.k.a. zerodog, who bought the D7100 and loaned it to us for these studio sample photos. It seems he got one of the first D7100s to hit the street so we’re hustling to get photos out and a full review done. Rob is a pro sports photographer who shoots mostly MMA fighting and motorsports with a Nikon D3S (visit Rob’s Web site: He pre-ordered the D7100 as soon as it was announced to replace his Nikon D300S backup camera. Rob’s gonna write our D7100 Pro Review and he’s already posted a few real world sample photos on our Nikon Cameras Forum. The cheeseburger photo below is one of those photos. Click on it to go to see more of Rob’s Nikon D7100 photos.

Nikon D7100 Cheeseburger Photo - by Rob Norbutt

Our Nikon D7100 studio sample photos were shot RAW with the Nikkor AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8G lens at f/8 in aperture priority mode, using the tungsten white balance preset. Since the camera just came out and there’s no Lightroom support yet, the NEF RAW files were converted to 16-bit TIFFs with the latest version of Nikon’s ViewNX 2 software. The text, graybar and logo were added in Photoshop and the sample photos were then resaved as maximum quality JPEGs. No adjustments, noise reduction or sharpening were applied at any point. Please feel free to download, print and compare any way you see fit. If you want to compare to cameras with dramatically different resolution, making prints is the right way to do it because that equalizes the resolution differences.

Warning: these files are big – be patient while they download.

Nikon D7100 Sample Photos

Nikon D7100 ISO 100 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 100 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 200 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 200 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 400 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 400 Sample

Nikon D7100 ISO 800 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 800 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 1600 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 1600 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 3200 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 3200 Sample

Nikon D7100 ISO 6400 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 6400 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 12,800 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 12,800 Sample
Nikon D7100 ISO 25,600 Sample Photo - click for full-size image file
Nikon D7100
ISO 25,600 Sample

Nikon D7100 Pro Review >>
All Digital Camera Sample Photos >>

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Martin says:

    I bought already about two month ago Nikon D7000… But I’m very curious about D7100… In my mind want to upgrade… This one thing another thing is: I already bought 18-105 vr len and want to change it because is not to fast as I want (I had trouble in focussing in low light)… in my mind want to buy 17-70 OS sigma or 16-85 VR Nikon (not good if I want to upgrade to full fram camera) or 18-200 VRII Nikon… on this one the image quality is not good as 16-85 vr Nikon len … this one is good för travel lens… and has very quick focus. Any advice or prepossession it well be welcome from you John or from others… most matter for me is image quality…thanks

  • Gajendra Kumar says:

    Thanks for the feed back.I will be upgrading from Cannon 400 D.Confused amongst Nikkon D7100 and Nikkon D600.If I buy D7100 now for less money and upgarde later with some Full Frame camera ( I may afford a better Full Frame at alter stage) will my lense collection be useless by that time.Or Shall I invest in D600 (Little more now) so that even If I upgarde later again,my lense collection will remain useful.
    For now,photography is just a Hobby for me,but I am looking forward to make acareer in it. My love for shooting is not limited with landsacpe or portraits etc..I love to shoot everything which interests me.

    • Photo-John says:

      Happy to help, Gajendra. To answer your question, if you have DX lenses, they will not give you full coverage with a D600. But any non-DX lenses you own will work fine with the D600. What kinds of stuff do you take pictures of? If you shoot sports, you may find that the D7100 turns out to be a better camera for you than the D600. The general belief is, you need to have a full-frame camera if you’re a serious photographer. While you will get better image quality from a full-frame camera, I don’t believe you have to have one to make great photos. And frankly, I am really amazed at the D7100′s image quality. The D600 is sharper, but I’m not sure if it will make a real difference for most photographers, in most situations.

  • chris k says:

    I am in a quandary over getting the d7100 or d600. currently I have d200 and feel it is time to upgrade. in comparing the sample shots I note the d7100 was shot a f8 whereas the d600 at f11. would that make a difference in the sharpness as the d600 is sharper. it also appears there is more chroma noise in the d600 at 6400 iso, did you notice that?

  • Chris Henry says:

    Supposedly there needs to be a stop difference between DX and FX to obtain equal DOF. However, IQ at f11 has already declined noticeably due to defraction, so the D600′s somewhat handicapped performance in this comparison is praiseworthy indeed. At ISO 3200 and 6400 the detail and contrast visible in the D600 shots is much better. Surprisingly the D7100 holds its own in terms of noise (look at the color chart; the D7000 appears to have less noise). However, the D7100 suffers from pattern noise (banding) especially at ISO 6400. By contrast the D600′s noise is more random, grain-like, which in my opinion provides a more appealing film-like look. Therefore, in my opinion, the D600, not surprisingly, wins this high-ISO battle even though it was handicapped with a refraction-limited aperture.

    A couple of points, I own a D800 and D7100, so I am overjoyed to see how well the D7100 performs. It’s my backup, and it’s good to know that the compromise isn’t major. Although I did detect “banding”, it’s not nearly as bad as Canon cameras (with Canon, forget about pushing detail from the shadows). I’ve accidentally shot my D7100 at ISO6400 (beware auto-ISO! do limit it to ISO3200 or lower), and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the result. Not great but far superior to anything I ever shot with my Canon 7D (since sold) and at least as good as my D5100 (also sold).

    Finally, I’d love to see a comparison at f8, or even better, f5.6 where most lens have peak IQ. I understand that DOF issues prompt testers to shoot at such high F values, but I’d like to see a test that allowed the cameras to truly flex their wings and soar.

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