d90 to d7100 upgrade - interpreting DXO charts

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klh
klh
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d90 to d7100 upgrade - interpreting DXO charts
9 months ago

Hi, I'm considering upgrading from a five-year-old D90 to a d5300 or d7100.  I know what I get in terms of features, capabilities, more pixels, etc.  But what I'm confused about is sensor performance.  I would have expected a big gain.

But when I look at the DXO comparison charts on dynamic range, tonal range, signal to noise ratio, there's not much difference.  Basically a d90 at ISO 400 beats a D7100 or d5300 at ISO 800.  If you go to the d610, you get a bigger gap, as it takes two f-stops before the d90 overtakes the sensor of the d610.

I've been enjoying taking indoor non-flash photos with nikon primes.  I've been using my D primes at 20 (2.8), 50 (1.8) and 85 (1.8) - using them one stop from wide open.  I like the results, but sometimes my shutter speed gets below 100, and I'm vulnerable to camera shake.  I don't like to go above 400 iso on the d90, and 1600 in a pinch, as I want to preserve as much color, tonal and dynamic range as possible.  It seems like if I move to the d7100, I get one more doubling of ISO.  I kind of would have expected more with five years of sensor development.

Am I interpreting this right, or is the sensor improvement more than I can see in the charts.

 klh's gear list:klh's gear list
Nikon D5300
Nikon D5300 Nikon D610 Nikon D7100 Nikon D90
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