How Idiot Proof is D7100

Started Apr 17, 2013 | Discussions
jpinewoods
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How Idiot Proof is D7100
Apr 17, 2013

I am still in the throes of choosing between a D5200 and D7100 as an upgrade for an old D80.

I have had a look at both and am drawn to the D7100 for the solid build, the superior viewfinder, depth of field preview button and better autofocus in low-light, important for the kind of photography I do. However, I do have some concerns over the complexity of the camera, particularly as it will be used not just by me but for our lighting business by my partner who has no real knowledge of how to operate a DSLR.

By chance he has managed to grab the a few decent images with the D80 but it needs to be set up for him and left on auto or programme modes. What worries me about the D7100 is whether the auto and programme modes are fairly idiot proof and he will still get those odd good shots.

I realise that this is really not what the camera is intended for but does anyone have experience using the camera in auto or at worst programme mode so that he can simply pick the camera up and point and shoot?

Nikon D5200 Nikon D7100 Nikon D80
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stevehughes
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

Depends ...  I think it is only resistant to 'perfect' idiots.

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Steve

 stevehughes's gear list:stevehughes's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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BirgerH
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

Buy yourself a D7100 - and don't let your partner get closed to it.

Buy him a D3200 - makes two people happy

BirgerH.

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stevehughes
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to stevehughes, Apr 17, 2013

Seriously,  'A' mode is very idiot-proof.  It does full auto exposure, Auto-ISO and even automatic focus point selection.  It pops the flash up if necessary - may or may not be a good thing. If you dont want the flash popping up then 'P' mode can be made to do all the rest, and then you could reserve the U1 and U2 modes for yourself.

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Steve

 stevehughes's gear list:stevehughes's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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BirgerH
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to BirgerH, Apr 17, 2013

Aaah - "close" not closed - big fat fingers.

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stevehughes
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to BirgerH, Apr 17, 2013

BirgerH wrote:

Buy yourself a D7100 - and don't let your partner get closed to it.

Buy him a D3200 - makes two people happy

BirgerH.

Actually I'm thinking I may end up doing that for my better half.  When I got my D7100 I figured I'd pass the D50 down to her, but a D3200 is a killer beginners' machine.

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Steve

 stevehughes's gear list:stevehughes's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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Whalligeo
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

jpinewoods wrote:

I am still in the throes of choosing between a D5200 and D7100 as an upgrade for an old D80.

I have had a look at both and am drawn to the D7100 for the solid build, the superior viewfinder, depth of field preview button and better autofocus in low-light, important for the kind of photography I do. However, I do have some concerns over the complexity of the camera, particularly as it will be used not just by me but for our lighting business by my partner who has no real knowledge of how to operate a DSLR.

By chance he has managed to grab the a few decent images with the D80 but it needs to be set up for him and left on auto or programme modes. What worries me about the D7100 is whether the auto and programme modes are fairly idiot proof and he will still get those odd good shots.

I realise that this is really not what the camera is intended for but does anyone have experience using the camera in auto or at worst programme mode so that he can simply pick the camera up and point and shoot?

The truth is, no DSLR is idiot proof, and there is no substitute for putting in time to read and understand the book. If they are not prepared to put the effort in, then forget any DSLR, or any type of camera come to that.

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They said it couldn't be done, so I encouraged my peers not to bother.
HooRoo!

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nfpotter
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DO NOT BUY A DSLR (n/t)
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013
No text.
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jpinewoods
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to Whalligeo, Apr 17, 2013

Thanks for the input but you are missing the point, I fear. I am not a novice and have been using SLRs, film and digital, for around 40 years. I was using an Olympus OM1 in the mid 1970s and my first Nikon was an FE when it was first launched. I will be the main user of the camera by far.

However, my business partner will need to take the odd photograph with the camera for business purposes and I need to decide whether he will be able to get by with a D7100 in auto or programme modes as he has been just about doing with the D80 or whether I would be better reducing my ambitions and plumping for a D5200 if that will be a better solution across the piece.

There is no question of not getting a new Nikon as I already have a significant amount invested in the Nikon system in glass, flash and other bits. I am also not really prepared to consider a second body for him - there would be no justification for such a purchase in business terms and it will be a business purchase.

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stevehughes
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

As a serious photog, i say just get the D7100.  You'll appreciate it, and I'm sure the dummy modes will be just fine for your partner.  really, the auto mode on the D7100 seems just as auto as on the simpler models. Perhaps better - the focus system will probably do better in full auto because of its extra points and more smarts.

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Steve

 stevehughes's gear list:stevehughes's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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Whalligeo
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

jpinewoods wrote:

Thanks for the input but you are missing the point, I fear. I am not a novice and have been using SLRs, film and digital, for around 40 years. I was using an Olympus OM1 in the mid 1970s and my first Nikon was an FE when it was first launched. I will be the main user of the camera by far.

However, my business partner will need to take the odd photograph with the camera for business purposes and I need to decide whether he will be able to get by with a D7100 in auto or programme modes as he has been just about doing with the D80 or whether I would be better reducing my ambitions and plumping for a D5200 if that will be a better solution across the piece.

There is no question of not getting a new Nikon as I already have a significant amount invested in the Nikon system in glass, flash and other bits. I am also not really prepared to consider a second body for him - there would be no justification for such a purchase in business terms and it will be a business purchase.

OK I had a D5200 for about 24 hours, camera broke, waiting for replacement. (To satisfy the curious, the camera fault was with the courier, so to speak.) I get the impression that your partner is more comfortable with point and shoot, however, if as you say they can, with a little luck get something out of the D80, then it follows they should get the same from either the D5200 or D7100, they are still cameras, just like the D80. Looking at your own background, I would think that you might get a little frustrated with the D5200, the D7100 would suit better. The D7100 is going to give better access to camera controls and prove more intuitive to you from day one than the D5200 will. I do understand what its like with business partners, and I had to go it alone some time ago because they wouldn't keep up. anyway that's my story The D5200 is a fine camera btw, it is just not robust enough to survive a game of DHL football.

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They said it couldn't be done, so I encouraged my peers not to bother.
HooRoo!

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RudyPohl
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

Hi jpinewoods:

I would suggest that you get the D7100 for yourself for the reasons you have stated. Let your partner try it on Auto and see how he makes out. If he can't manage it then consider buying him a new point and shoot camera, some of them are producing amazing photos for under $300.

Rudy

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engbert
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

When I used a d3200 for a few days because a d7000 was being serviced, I found that I kept moving the focus point accidentally.  There is no lock as in the d7000.

So in that sense, the d3200 is less idiot proof than the d7000 and the d7100.  At least for this idiot!

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Zlik
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 17, 2013

Am I the only one who thinks the D5x00 and D3x00 are not "easier" than a D7x00 ?

Put them all on auto and I don't see how the D7100 should be more difficult to use. Quite the contrary actually, it will be more difficult to change the settings, once you want to, on a D5200 than on a D7100.

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rexb610
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to Zlik, Apr 17, 2013

i don't have a D7100..i have D7000

i remember looking at the scene and photographed my daughter with a nice bright background..i'm like..dial in exposure compensation, use fill flash, stop down a stop background, set ISO at 100, Aperture mode control my dof, rotate my polarizer to the best color sky and glares are gone, focus (AF-On back focus button) and take the shot! I'm like awesome shot.

I handed my camera to my wife she took a couple of photos and i'm' like..whoa! those are really nice exposed sharp photos every one of them..i looked at the mode dial, it was on Auto Mode, auto ISO and auto AF..oh well!

at certain conditions, these cameras are idiot proof..

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pe1125
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to rexb610, Apr 17, 2013

A technicain who worked for me once said "Dang it, every time I make something idiot proof, they go an change the specs on idiots!"

With that introduction, I have just gone to a D7100 from a D5100 and am quite happy with the upgrade. I can be as much of an idiot as anyone and I don't see any disadvantage to the D7100 in the hands of an idiot. In agreement with a previous poster, the focus lock switch on the D7100 is a real plus as I too often inadvertantly move the focus point with the 4-way rocker on the D5100 and don't notice until too late.

With the advice to always hand the camera to non-experts in Auto mode, either camera will perform as an overkill point and shoot and doo just find. You may have to tell them what a viewfinder is for if they are used to looking at the LCD with the camera held out in fron t of them, but that is solvable.

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stevehughes
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to Zlik, Apr 19, 2013

Having spent my first day with my D7100 I have to say it is a killer P&S.  The  metering and AF is so good that I'm certain you could put it on either Full Auto or Full Auto/No flash and your partner would be thrilled with the results.  I think he would do far better with a D7100 on Full Auto than he would have done with the D80.

Particularly the AF. He may not care about how fast it tracks, but with 51 points covering so much of the frame I don't think he will be getting many OOF shots.

my wife used to struggle with my old D50 because she had to think too much about metering, focus, ISO etc, but the D7100 on full auto does all the thinking for her, so all she has to do is frame the shot.

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Steve

 stevehughes's gear list:stevehughes's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
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DEEWUN
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Re: How Idiot Proof is D7100
In reply to stevehughes, Apr 19, 2013

I would question letting your partner near the D7100 if he is as much of an idiot as you paint him. Keep the D7100 for yourself and dip into the company till for a P & S, like the Fuji F770. You will then have the comfort of knowing that the D7100 will not get screwed up.

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RobCMad
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not very
In reply to jpinewoods, Apr 19, 2013

judging by the state of this forum.

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