D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ? Locked

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions
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jonikon
Senior MemberPosts: 4,871Gear list
D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
Mar 29, 2013

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, and in fact you need to zoom in using a  monitor to see the detail  difference between 16 and 24MP, (assuming a quality lens sharp enough to resolve the differences).

For those of you who think you will probably pass on the D7100, what improvements in image quality would you  like to see in the D7200, if any?

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

Nikon D7000 image

Dear Nikon,

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

- Jon

 jonikon's gear list:jonikon's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D5100 Nikon 1 V1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +10 more
Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100
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herbymel
Senior MemberPosts: 3,991Gear list
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

Really...already 7200 thread...aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself at this point.

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 16,233
There is
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

But there is...what you could once do with 16 you can now do with 24. You may be disappointing but it is what I expected all along looking at how the tech was progressing.

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, ...

If that were true...then why would anybody upgrade from 12mp?

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

The D7100 seems an upgrade from the D7K in most every way when you look at the pics in terms of equivalency. Not as huge a step as the D90 to D7K but that's expected given how pixel density and QE works. I'm surprised you take issue with that. I think we have another winner in a long line of winners.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Bailey151
Senior MemberPosts: 1,116
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

So many factors, but it's evolutionary better. First is more dynamic ranged needed? High ISO is in fact a bit better. The single biggest advantage is the level of detail - and along with detail comes a bit more noise, the beauty is the extra detail allows more noise reduction without impacting the overall image quality.

And really one can't rely on forum postings without knowing the shooter - I've seen known people photos & they're superb. From birds to a fox (simply stunning) to a series of model portraits. The sensor appears to be very good & the lack of AA filter is great.

And the focus system is a large improvement - it's simply very good, much better than the D7000.

Is it revolutionary? No, but as an overall package it's a nice step forward.

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 16,233
D8000
In reply to Bailey151, Mar 29, 2013

Bailey151 wrote:

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

So many factors, but it's evolutionary better. First is more dynamic ranged needed? High ISO is in fact a bit better. The single biggest advantage is the level of detail - and along with detail comes a bit more noise, the beauty is the extra detail allows more noise reduction without impacting the overall image quality.

And really one can't rely on forum postings without knowing the shooter - I've seen known people photos & they're superb. From birds to a fox (simply stunning) to a series of model portraits. The sensor appears to be very good & the lack of AA filter is great.

And the focus system is a large improvement - it's simply very good, much better than the D7000.

Is it revolutionary? No, but as an overall package it's a nice step forward.

Very well summarized.  I agree. I think People were expecting the D8000 or looking for issues that really aren't issues. That's in itself proves the viability of the D7.1K.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

Isit13
Forum MemberPosts: 60
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to Bailey151, Mar 29, 2013

This might sound really weird, but is there some sort of actual physical limitation in lenses so that the density of projected light on a small sensor becomes so small that it starts to "leak" into other pixels? Something like diffraction effect occuring more and more in the lower stops?

Roar Arne Velle
Forum MemberPosts: 59Gear list
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to Isit13, Mar 29, 2013

24Mp DX is very demanding on all supporting systems in camera. With todays production plants, maybe 20Mp would give a better ballance? But what we realy needs is some better DX lenses, at least up to the lenses one want for D800. Zooms needs smaller throw. A new 10-16, 16-46, 45-130, a new good 32 1,4. To get the quality the new 24 Mp sensor can give, you realy need better lenses. They will not be cheap, near the same as FX, but lighter. In the long end, use FX.

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anotherMike
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,147
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

Dear Nikon,

You're getting a lot of mail from guys in the forums who have never shot with the camera that they email about, so, as a solution to this madness, I suggest that when you come out with the D7200, you include a Neural-Investigator feature so that ONLY people who have actually properly worked with the camera are permitted to write opinions about it on these forums. This would cut down on the mass hysteria and unfounded opinions being flung about so often.

Thanks!

Reilly Diefenbach
Senior MemberPosts: 8,387Gear list
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

There may not be a stop improvement in noise level, that's what FX is for :^)

But the D7100/D5200/D3200 clean up better and maintain better detail from ISO 100 to infinity.

The D7100 looks almost as good as the D600 when processed.  Not too shabby.  The D7000 doesn't.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51747496@N08/sets/72157632037385165/

Shunda77
Senior MemberPosts: 1,681Gear list
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 29, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, and in fact you need to zoom in using a  monitor to see the detail  difference between 16 and 24MP, (assuming a quality lens sharp enough to resolve the differences).

What this means is for those that just want to focus on image quality, the D7000 and 5100 represent an absolute bargain.

Quite simply, the D7100 offers no advantage in image quality (and possibly a reduction with the shadow banding) but a modest increase in resolution.

Image quality doesn't appear to be a valid reason to upgrade from the prior model, but the 7100 does have quite a few other features that could make upgrading worth while for some people, you basically get a D300 in a D7000 body.

For landscape photographers on a budget the 7100 could represent a bit of a bargain (compared to full frame cameras) with the loss of the AA filter and high resolution, low ISO landscapes could become a bit of a niche for this camera. For this purpose it could be argued that image quality has been improved quite a bit.

john Clinch
Senior MemberPosts: 2,818
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, and in fact you need to zoom in using a  monitor to see the detail  difference between 16 and 24MP, (assuming a quality lens sharp enough to resolve the differences).

For those of you who think you will probably pass on the D7100, what improvements in image quality would you  like to see in the D7200, if any?

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

Nikon D7000 image

Dear Nikon,

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

- Jon

High iso started to top out on the D300. DR jumped on the D7000 thanks to a lower iso setting.

I'm not sure that much more can be done in a sensor this size

As a physicist I really really hate the tone of posts like this. A huge team of very clever people dedicate huge time, expertise and experience to pushing back what is possible. Then some one on website says "Hey Nikon where is the extra dynamic range"

Lets just say that Dr now exceeds what DXO mark thought they'd ever have to measure

" We use filters having different light absorption levels ranging from 0% to 99.99% in order to test across a dynamic range of 4 density steps (= 13.3 f-stops — a dynamic range much greater than today’s digital cameras). When shooting such a chart, the sensor of the camera being tested sees a wide range of light levels, with a 1/10,000 ratio from minimum to maximum. For comparison, a printed target dynamic is typically 2 density steps (6.65 f-stops), which is inadequate to simulate high dynamic range or back-lit scenes."

$1200 dollars. I think you'll need $2500 to change the law of physics. Or a few bucks more for a D4 with a larger sensor and space for micro lenses

_sem_
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,310
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us? ...

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

I think there actually is some improvement regarding noise, but you need to downsample and give up the gained resolution to see it. But usable DR at low iso for single-shot HDR-like use has in fact deteriorated due to banding. Maybe in the next generation they could at least fix banding  For the following one, they could bring back another lost thing, the fast global electronic shutter   And by the next one, they might pull through the diffraction colour filtering that supposedly increases sensor efficiency by a stop... but who knows what the adverse side-effects will be and how many generations would be needed to sort them out   

And there are many things they could do in processing...

  • Better wide-DR processing (ADL extension), with a choice of different presets that could be applied over a taken NEF, for instance to emphasize the highlights, the shadows, or the midtones
  • ADL which wouldn't underexpose raw data 
  • In-camera HDR which would align images, and which would store source NEFs & let you re-process them with modified tonemapping parameters (the way some smartphone HDR apps do)
  • Highlights recovery to improve the look of blown highlights, the way it is done in LR4/ACR or RT4 
  • Smart low-iso NR, which could easily fix noisy skies with the current sensors, and cure banding in wide-DR processing too
  • An additional ETTR metering mode
  • Some sort of raw RGB histograms
coudet
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,814
None so blind than those who refuse to see.
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality

There is an improvement. You've been shown this several times now, no?

fotolopithecus
Senior MemberPosts: 1,699Gear list
Re: There is
In reply to Mako2011, Mar 30, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

But there is...what you could once do with 16 you can now do with 24. You may be disappointing but it is what I expected all along looking at how the tech was progressing.

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, ...

If that were true...then why would anybody upgrade from 12mp?

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

The D7100 seems an upgrade from the D7K in most every way when you look at the pics in terms of equivalency. Not as huge a step as the D90 to D7K but that's expected given how pixel density and QE works. I'm surprised you take issue with that. I think we have another winner in a long line of winners.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

There apparently are noise, and dynamic range improvements on the D7100, though they are probably slight, they are visible from what I've seen posted in a thread or two. So if you consider the improved resolution (certainly not a bad thing) it's quite remarkable. The only think I'm not so happy about is this banding, and green color in shadow areas, which might have a fix, who knows. Now if you ask what the D7200 has I say keep the mp count to about 18, and use that leeway to improve the noise, and dynamic range in an impressive way.

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coudet
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,814
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to Shunda77, Mar 30, 2013

Shunda77 wrote:

the D7000 and 5100 represent an absolute bargain.

Cheaper items typically do, regardless of their performance.

the D7100 offers no advantage in image quality

D7k/D5100 has only one area where it's better - DR at ISO 100. Everything else, D7100 is better.

coudet
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,814
Re: There is
In reply to fotolopithecus, Mar 30, 2013

fotolopithecus wrote:

Now if you ask what the D7200 has I say keep the mp count to about 18

No chance of Nikon going back on progress they made with D7100. 18mp is not happening ever again.

Personally, I'd go for 200-250mp.

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD
Forum ProPosts: 16,233
easy
In reply to fotolopithecus, Mar 30, 2013

fotolopithecus wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

But there is...what you could once do with 16 you can now do with 24. You may be disappointing but it is what I expected all along looking at how the tech was progressing.

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, ...

If that were true...then why would anybody upgrade from 12mp?

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

The D7100 seems an upgrade from the D7K in most every way when you look at the pics in terms of equivalency. Not as huge a step as the D90 to D7K but that's expected given how pixel density and QE works. I'm surprised you take issue with that. I think we have another winner in a long line of winners.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

There apparently are noise, and dynamic range improvements on the D7100, though they are probably slight, they are visible from what I've seen posted in a thread or two. So if you consider the improved resolution (certainly not a bad thing) it's quite remarkable. The only think I'm not so happy about is this banding, and green color in shadow areas, which might have a fix, who knows. Now if you ask what the D7200 has I say keep the mp count to about 18, and use that leeway to improve the noise, and dynamic range in an impressive way.

It's a very easy thing to down-sample the D7100 files to the 18mp size you're after with all the benefits you suggest. DR improvements aren't always associated with just a lower pixel density through.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

mosswings
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,055Gear list
Re: easy
In reply to Mako2011, Mar 30, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

But there is...what you could once do with 16 you can now do with 24. You may be disappointing but it is what I expected all along looking at how the tech was progressing.

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, ...

If that were true...then why would anybody upgrade from 12mp?

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

The D7100 seems an upgrade from the D7K in most every way when you look at the pics in terms of equivalency. Not as huge a step as the D90 to D7K but that's expected given how pixel density and QE works. I'm surprised you take issue with that. I think we have another winner in a long line of winners.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

There apparently are noise, and dynamic range improvements on the D7100, though they are probably slight, they are visible from what I've seen posted in a thread or two. So if you consider the improved resolution (certainly not a bad thing) it's quite remarkable. The only think I'm not so happy about is this banding, and green color in shadow areas, which might have a fix, who knows. Now if you ask what the D7200 has I say keep the mp count to about 18, and use that leeway to improve the noise, and dynamic range in an impressive way.

It's a very easy thing to down-sample the D7100 files to the 18mp size you're after with all the benefits you suggest. DR improvements aren't always associated with just a lower pixel density through.

-- hide signature --

My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

It fascinates me that the folks that are drooling over the exquisite pictures of birders like Jim Pearce and that have taken a look at anotherMike's galleries don't recognize that they are actually seeing what a high resolution camera can do for downsized (i.e., pictures as typically viewed) images. OK, that and excellent lenses  

John Clinch noted the essential point: DR began topping out with the D300/D90. The D7000/D5100 reduced absolute noise levels perhaps 1/2 stop over the D300, but gained its vaunted 1+ stop of absolute DR by adding an ISO100.  Much of the rest of its advantages came in the increased resolution and the change in noise character that permitted more aggressive NR in post.

The D7100 has taken the only road left to sensor manufacturers until the mad scientists in the labs concoct some new sensing paradigm that is manufacturable: high resolution. If you keep the noise per unit area the same or nearly so, and the well capacity the same or nearly so (as the manufacturers have), the result is a file that can be processed into something far better than the raw per-pixel noise performance would suggest.  The penalty you pay is that you have to postprocess the file, or hope that the in-camera processing has been kicked up a notch.

The D7100 is a camera designed to support computational photography.  It's not all about absolute noise levels as much anymore. It's about the options that you have in working with the file.

  • Need super-low noise levels for a landscape? Do a 16 shot high speed burst and align and average in post for another stop or so lower noise level.
  • Got minor pattern noise? Pattern-aware NR plugins make short work of it.
  • Worried about loss of perceived sharpness in a print by downsizing?  It doesn't quite work that simply. Higher resolution means better estimation of the edge brightness levels in the print.
  • Got greenish deep shadows?  Er, well, uhm, get Nikon to stop clipping its blacks. THAT's a potential problem with the D7100.

For those who absolutely need minimum noise levels and maximum per-pixel DR, there is FF.  Hence the manufacturer's push.  They're not dumb.  But for those of us who stay DX the MP monster needs to be recognized as an ally, although one that needs to be carefully watched and controlled.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
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stuntmonkey
Senior MemberPosts: 2,677
You have to try really hard not to see an improvement
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2013

I honestly didn't think that there would be much of a discernible improvement in real world usage over the D7000. I was wrong and pleasantly surprised by the difference. The headline feature is the lack of AA filter. You don't notice the resolution, you notice the contrast, and you don't have to pixel peep to do it.

evan47
Contributing MemberPosts: 700Gear list
Re: D7200: More Megapixels, more DR, or improved high ISO IQ?
In reply to jonikon, Mar 30, 2013

jonikon wrote:

OK, the D7100 and it's 24MP sensor is a done deal, and there is no improvement in dynamic range or high ISO image quality, which I found disappointing after all the pre-release hype. There are  just more megapixels to make birders and pixel peepers happy, but what about the rest of us?

Grainy noise and dynamic range are image characteristics that are readily seen at most viewing sizes, but more megapixels are not, and in fact you need to zoom in using a  monitor to see the detail  difference between 16 and 24MP, (assuming a quality lens sharp enough to resolve the differences).

For those of you who think you will probably pass on the D7100, what improvements in image quality would you  like to see in the D7200, if any?

Personally I would like to see virtually no noise (grainy or otherwise) at lower ISOs, even in out of camera JPEGs,  while still retaining sharpness, color accuracy, and also some improvement in dynamic range. I don't think this is too much to ask for in a $1200 body!

Nikon D7000 image

Dear Nikon,

The D7000 image quality was a step forward and encouraging, so let's see more DR and less grainy noise for the D7200 than the D7100 has please!

- Jon

yes, my sentiments re image quality to a tee. at the end of the day, unless you are pixel peeping or heavily cropping with a peerless lens you would be pushed to see that much difference.

the improved weatherproofing, mode dial lock and AF improvement along with the auto crop and finer screen resolution are small but arguably useful.

the lack of apparent "issues" so far is a surprise considering nikons recent history.

if i were in the market for a new dslr body right now i would most likely go for the d7100.

however i think i will wait until the end of the year before upgrading as i need more use out of my current bodies to justify an upgrade. plus the fact that the recent uk weather has severely limited my photographic activity! (sorry, but i cant even blame nikon for that)!

in a nutshell, if i have a good year i may upgrade. if i have a bad year then i will not. if the d7200/d400 is rumoured by then i will give them due consideration too.

all in all the d7100 seems like a nice capable camera its just that for me and a lot of other people it is not really that big a deal.

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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
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