D7100 vs D600 do you see what I see ?

Started May 4, 2013 | Discussions thread
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d3xmeister
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D7100 vs D600 do you see what I see ?
May 4, 2013

I'm going to upgrade my camera this month. The D600 looked like the winner for me, but now that the D7100 came out, I'm starting to think about getting that instead.

I played with both at the store, and here are the things I like about the D7100

- Instant zoom to AF point. My old Olympus E-5 was doing this, and I missed this function so much. The D600 doesn't allow this.

- Better AF system. From my brief test: A bit faster, better at tracking, and much, much more area covered by AF points. So much better in actual use.

- D7100 more responsive, faster trough menus, changing options, etc.

- Video looked much better to my eyes on the D7100

- Camera costs half as much, and also the lenses.

On the other hand I noticed that with the 50mm f/1.8 G the D600 is sharper at every aperture, I'm guessing because the lens have to resolve more than twice the resolution on the D7100.

But reading reviews, like the ones from thecamerastore or users on forum, they say it is about 2 stop difference at ISO performance between the 2 cameras. 2 stops is a lot.

Made my own (I hope correct) calculation, and judging by the sensor area, an APSC sensor should have about 0.6 stops advantage over m4/3, and FF should have about 1.3 stops advantage over APSC, given the same sensor technology.

Then I downloaded many samples from preview, IR and others and started comparing. Long story short, to my eyes there is less than 1 stop difference between the D7100 and D600.

Even when doing blind tests, comparing for example ISO3200 on D7100 with ISO6400 on D600, I always picked up the ISO3200 file as the best. That mean there is less than a stop difference.

I also liked the colours on the D7100 better, but that's subjective.

I guess my question is, am I seeing this correctly ? Where is that 2 stops difference many are talking about ? I cannot see even 1 stop difference.

My decision will be base on that, for less than 1 stop performance loss, the D7100 seems like the better camera. For 2 stops better performance, I will seriously considering the twice expensive D600 even with its shortcomings.

Nikon D600 Nikon D7100 Olympus E-5
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