Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...

Started Apr 19, 2013 | Discussions
mosswings
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Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
Apr 19, 2013

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D7100/

In day to day shooting, the D7100 and D7000 and D5200 perform basically the same.  Noise is very similiar, the D7000 might have a bit of advantage at 100% at higher ISOs. Resolution wise, the AA filter appears to make no difference, echoing what DPR has said.  In tightly controlled studio shots we have seen differences, but that is not how people usually shoot. For the typical use case, one could argue that the removal of the AA filter is essentially a marketing feature.

Again, the old rule holds: skip a generation.  D80 shooters will definitely see an improvement; D90 shooters, less so but still; D7000 shooters, not so much.  The buy decision needs to be made on more subtle IQ metrics and operational features like AF, viewfinder, ergonomy.

Weighed against this must be the acquisition cost of memory cards and increased post processing time for maximal quality.

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ajamils1
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

Read the review earlier and conclusion for me is that.. unless you really need the extra features of D7100, D5200 is a better detail with same (sometimes better) IQ.

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mosswings
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to ajamils1, Apr 19, 2013

ajamils1 wrote:

Read the review earlier and conclusion for me is that.. unless you really need the extra features of D7100, D5200 is a better detail with same (sometimes better) IQ.

Again, that's always been the tradeoff equation between the top-end DX and the 'tweener: essentially the same image quality, less "enthusiast" features, less ability to field-maintain, lesser build.  This is nothing new.  The big question in many forum members' minds is - is the IQ practically better than the D7000?  That question is more nuanced.  For Rudy Pohl and Jim Pearce, the answer is pretty clear; this is an excellent camera...for Jim, probably, as long as the D400 doesn't show up soon. For folks like myself, a bit trickier.  I can get better results out of it than I can my D90, but I'll have to work at it in post.  The RAWs will permit heavier postprocessing.

Looking back, we can see the workflow costs of acquisition mounting over the recent generations.

D80-D90, very slight file size and processing penalty but a big increase in bulk performance with a change from CCD to CMOS technology;

D90-D7000, 50% increase in file size and processing, good increase in bulk performance, cleaner and finer noise, highly robust images requiring little cleanup.

D7000-D7100, 55% increase in file size and processing, slight to no increase in bulk performance, still finer noise, excellent color, some deep shadow flaws under very extreme conditions, readily correctable in RAW postprocessing.

It still remains that at this level of resolution the camera needs to provide some method of performance field-maintenance, and that capability is reserved exclusively to the D7000 and D7100. Again, one needs to weigh the notable operational advances against the more subtle IQ improvements.

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fotolopithecus
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

A very well done review, which is probably the most serious thus far, and pretty much what you predicted mossy.

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mosswings
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to fotolopithecus, Apr 19, 2013

fotolopithecus wrote:

A very well done review, which is probably the most serious thus far, and pretty much what you predicted mossy.

Kirk Tuck over at VisualScienceLab had this to say about imaging chains in a recent blog post about the A58:

Sony is the sensor maker of the moment. What they've chosen to offer in their cameras is not necessarily the least noisy sensor but the result of a different outcome in the typical design compromise. Seems you can have detail, saturated color, accurate color, low noise and wide dynamic range but, like everything else in real life each engineering choice in sensor design tugs at some corner of this inventory of attributes. If you want the ultimate in high ISO low noise you may just have to give up color accuracy and wide DR. If you want the highest amount of detail in your files  you may have to put up with a bit more noise.

Nikon appears to have taken a different course in this latest generation, perhaps to distinguish itself from Sony, perhaps for other more pedestrian reasons.  In any case it's up to us whether we accept it and buy in.

It does seem to me, though, that Nikon is now going to have to focus more on improving the photographic experience rather that raw (RAW?) IQ; it will need to address QC, field-maintainability (or the design of cameras that don't require it), more effective integration with computer communications, programmability, customer service.  These are not sexy and don't sell cameras to the geeks, but they  over time keep the masses coming back.  Toyota for decades sold cars that weren't sexy but never broke down, and got you there relatively comfortably.  Appliances to be sure, but Toyota was able to sell them at a premium over other sexier brands.  Now they're at the point where they have to start adding back the sex, the character.  Character alone, though, can take you only so far.

Yep, we're passing the knee.

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ajamils1
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

I can understand the compromise to achieve better IQ but the problem i that it looks like Nikon try to go over board with it with too much focus on AA filter removal and AF system, everything else seem to be of previous generation. Also, to achieve better IQ Nikon seem to have compromised on the noise and that's why D7100 exhibits a lot more noise compared to same sensor D5200.

mosswings wrote:

fotolopithecus wrote:

A very well done review, which is probably the most serious thus far, and pretty much what you predicted mossy.

Kirk Tuck over at VisualScienceLab had this to say about imaging chains in a recent blog post about the A58:

Sony is the sensor maker of the moment. What they've chosen to offer in their cameras is not necessarily the least noisy sensor but the result of a different outcome in the typical design compromise. Seems you can have detail, saturated color, accurate color, low noise and wide dynamic range but, like everything else in real life each engineering choice in sensor design tugs at some corner of this inventory of attributes. If you want the ultimate in high ISO low noise you may just have to give up color accuracy and wide DR. If you want the highest amount of detail in your files  you may have to put up with a bit more noise.

Nikon appears to have taken a different course in this latest generation, perhaps to distinguish itself from Sony, perhaps for other more pedestrian reasons.  In any case it's up to us whether we accept it and buy in.

It does seem to me, though, that Nikon is now going to have to focus more on improving the photographic experience rather that raw (RAW?) IQ; it will need to address QC, field-maintainability (or the design of cameras that don't require it), more effective integration with computer communications, programmability, customer service.  These are not sexy and don't sell cameras to the geeks, but they  over time keep the masses coming back.  Toyota for decades sold cars that weren't sexy but never broke down, and got you there relatively comfortably.  Appliances to be sure, but Toyota was able to sell them at a premium over other sexier brands.  Now they're at the point where they have to start adding back the sex, the character.  Character alone, though, can take you only so far.

Yep, we're passing the knee.

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Mako2011
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no need
In reply to ajamils1, Apr 19, 2013

ajamils1 wrote:

I can understand the compromise to achieve better IQ but the problem i that it looks like Nikon try to go over board with it with too much focus on AA filter removal

Talking to the Nikon reps at NAB...they went without a filter in the D7100 for not the reason most would think. They learned from the D800E that none was required even though the math said they should need one for all the old obvious reasons like moire and such. Because of what the learned from the D800e...they simply didn't put one in the D7100 because there simply was no need...It wasn't to bump resolution.

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stuntmonkey
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Re: no need
In reply to Mako2011, Apr 19, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

ajamils1 wrote:

I can understand the compromise to achieve better IQ but the problem i that it looks like Nikon try to go over board with it with too much focus on AA filter removal

Talking to the Nikon reps at NAB...they went without a filter in the D7100 for not the reason most would think. They learned from the D800E that none was required even though the math said they should need one for all the old obvious reasons like moire and such. Because of what the learned from the D800e...they simply didn't put one in the D7100 because there simply was no need...It wasn't to bump resolution.

Translation: "From here (24mp) on afterwards, all sensors will eventually remove the AA filter and we will look back on 2013 wondering what all the fuss was about."

I still think the real benefit of the filter removal is more a subjective thing than an outright performance thing, but you got to admit, the enthusiast echo-chamber made filterless the monster that it was. Deflating it was probably inevitable.

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evan47
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

mosswings wrote:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D7100/

In day to day shooting, the D7100 and D7000 and D5200 perform basically the same.  Noise is very similiar, the D7000 might have a bit of advantage at 100% at higher ISOs. Resolution wise, the AA filter appears to make no difference, echoing what DPR has said.  In tightly controlled studio shots we have seen differences, but that is not how people usually shoot. For the typical use case, one could argue that the removal of the AA filter is essentially a marketing feature.

Again, the old rule holds: skip a generation.  D80 shooters will definitely see an improvement; D90 shooters, less so but still; D7000 shooters, not so much.  The buy decision needs to be made on more subtle IQ metrics and operational features like AF, viewfinder, ergonomy.

Weighed against this must be the acquisition cost of memory cards and increased post processing time for maximal quality.

my thoughts exactly! i have been thinking along the same lines even before the d7100 was released.

the main advantage for most people seems to be the af system. but, seeing as i have no problems with either of my d7000s af i cannot see a big enough reason to upgrade. going for better glass instead.

that said, if i was in the market for a new dslr the i would put the d7100 at the top of the list.

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photoreddi
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Why I disagree with the verdict ...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

mosswings wrote:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D7100/

In day to day shooting, the D7100 and D7000 and D5200 perform basically the same.  Noise is very similiar, the D7000 might have a bit of advantage at 100% at higher ISOs. Resolution wise, the AA filter appears to make no difference, echoing what DPR has said.  In tightly controlled studio shots we have seen differences, but that is not how people usually shoot. For the typical use case, one could argue that the removal of the AA filter is essentially a marketing feature.

While Cameralab has produced a decent D7100 review, it leaves some things unsaid and probably shares some of the flaws in DPR's reviews, especially where the studio images are concerned.

First, it must be said that the D7100 is to the D7000 as the D800 is to the D600 in that the DX crop area of the D800 pretty closely matches the pixel pitch and resolution of the D7100 and the DX crop area of the D600 similarly matches that of the D7000. So if the difference in resolution of the D7100 vs the D7000 is little to none, then the same should be true for the difference between the D800 and the D600. Maybe even more so, since unlike the D800, the D7100 has no AA filter.

Cameralabs said that the photos were shot using a tripod with f/5.6 for the aperture, but didn't mention whether mirror up was used or a remote release. They may have, but it would be nice if this could be known. If mirror up was not used and the self timer was used instead of a remote release, image quality would suffer at least slightly. Also unsaid was whether PDAF or CDAF (Live View) was used, and like many others I've consistently gotten more accurate AF using Live View.

Finally, DPR's studio photos can't be used to compare the D7000 against the D7100 because a smaller aperture was used, f/8 for the D7100 and f/9 for the D7000. This isn't the first time DPR has gotten things wrong in their studio photos. Some of their studio photos misreported the apertures used. They did this for the first go through of the NX200 when in their wisdom, a pentax manual focus lens was used with a lens adapter that didn't pass the aperture information to the camera. But even Cameralabs' use of f/5.6 was flawed based on Thom Hogan's comments in his D800/D800e review.

Here's the thing: certainly when we were at 12mp and lower we were living in a sort of Disneyesque world where everything was slightly sharper than reality. What do I mean by that? Diffraction wasn't getting fully recorded or seen in most cases. A D3 at f/16 was just starting to show visible differences on edges at 100% view for most people (though diffraction was already present, it wasn't clearly destroying edges enough for people to get upset). Some of this has to do with the way Bayer sensors record data. I've been saying for a long time that diffraction really only starts to be fully recorded by a Bayer camera when the Airy disc becomes about twice the size of an individual photosite. It's not a perfect predictor, since there's an optical system that sits above the photosite (AA/IR filter, which may have a waveplate in it, microlenses on the sensor itself). But it's been a "good enough" predictor for some time now.

So what do we see on the D800 and D800E? At and above f/8 diffraction is being fully recorded (at f/8 the Airy disc diameter is 10.7 microns, while the D800 sensor photosite implied diameter is a bit less than 5 microns). Even at f/5.6 the Airy disc is big enough to be producing clearly visible diffraction.

Okay, so what about the AA (D800) or lack of an AA (D800E)? Does that make a difference. At f/8 and above, not really. Diffraction is a worse sin than anti-aliasing, at least when you use the "visible" criteria. Technically, I measure a bit more resolution on the E than the non-E in these mid-range diffracted apertures. But looking at pixel views of images, the diffraction kills the edge acuity that the E normally provides you. I'm not convinced there's enough gain to warrant the difference if you're shooting at f/5.6 or above all the time. That shouldn't surprise anyone, considering that I concluded the same thing with a D3x (24mp) with and without an AA filter. In that case, the "without" was optical glass, with no fuzz/defuzz system like the D800E has.

Below f/5.6, things are completely different, and surprisingly so. From f/1.4 to f/4 the D800E has crisp, clean edges and is clearly gaining something from the lack of an anti-aliasing filter. But the D800 is different. While the D800 has what I would characterize as a weak AA filter (I've got plenty of moire examples from it, and can produce color fringing with it, too), it exhibits a different pattern than the D800E. From f/1.4 to f/4 there's a small but steady degradation of edges, almost like some form of weak diffraction were in play. That's actually entirely possible, as Nikon claims that there is a waveplate involved in the AA filter, and it may be the culprit.

So basically the conventional guess about who would want an E and who would want a non-E are exactly backwards. If you shoot wide open or near wide open with your lenses all the time (portraits, wildlife, sports, etc.) there's something to be said for having the D800E. If you shoot landscapes and are going for depth of field, diffraction will be your real enemy, not the AA filter.

http://www.bythom.com/nikond800review.htm

If this is true for the D800e it should also be true for the AA-less D7100. I can understand why DPR did their studio photos at f/8 and f/9. The 3D nature of the studio scene benefits from a wider DoF, but it does no favors to very high resolution, diffraction limited cameras. At least in DPR's D7100 preview that compared it with the D5200, the studio scenes were shot at wider apertures, and f/3.5 was found to produce the best results.

The samples below were shot at an aperture of F3.5. In repeated tests with the 50/1.4 optic, this gave the greatest amount of center sharpness on the D7100. At apertures wider than F3.5 and narrower than F5, we struggled to see any relevant differences in output.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-d7100/6

DPR only provided the f/3.5 crops in the preview. It was clear that the D7100 provided more detail. It would have been better if DPR also provided comparison crops at f/4, f/4.5, f/5 and f/5.6 so we could determine for ourselves whether any observed differences were 'relevant'. Until some well heeled photographer here (not me) is able to do some tests using Nikon's "exotic" f/2.8 and f/4 telephotos showing that I'm wrong, I'm going to assume that at apertures below f/5.6 the D7100 will produce higher resolution photos than the D7000 and that it won't require struggling to see the differences.

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BryceM
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

As a D7000 shooter, the only feature in the D7100 that truly stirs the envy is the little lock button in the middle of the exposure mode selector dial:

I've had the mode dial spin unbidden just often enough to make me wish Nikon had included this (or a stiffer spring detent) on my D7000...

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RudyPohl
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

mosswings wrote:

ajamils1 wrote:

Read the review earlier and conclusion for me is that.. unless you really need the extra features of D7100, D5200 is a better detail with same (sometimes better) IQ.

... For Rudy Pohl and Jim Pearce, the answer is pretty clear; this is an excellent camera...

Hi mosswings:

Yes, for me the matter is exactly how you've stated it. I bought the camera based on the specs,  I tested it extensively during my two consecutive 15-day trial periods, and in the end it was not a difficult decision for me to keep it as I found it to be an excellent camera, and do so each day that I use it.

My existing camera of 7 months, a Panasonic FZ200, also an excellent camera, had persistent mechanical issues and I was given the choice by the store manager to get all my money back to put towards a new camera of my choice, so it took the opportunity. The only camera on the market at the time that I had an interest in that was near my price point was the Nikon D7100. Having been a previous owner of a Canon 5D MKII and currently using a Canon pro video camera in our web design/video production business, I was partial to Canon but the upgraded Canon models that I've been waiting for, most notably the 7D MKII and the rumoured 70D, were not available and still aren't. So I thought, what the heck, I used to own Nikons back in the 1970s and 80s, let's give the D7100 a try.

As you can see, my personal context and my subsequent buying decision is quite different from someone who presently owns and is happy with the D7000. Add to this the fact that we own a monster computer workstation, high-end monitors, and a room full of hard drives that are needed to edit and store videos for our business, so handling 200 of the largest RAW files from the D7100 is like child's play for our equipment... this is an important consideration. There is no doubt in my mind that if I were a happy D7000 owner and my computing equipment was at or near its capacity, I would pass on the D7100 and wait for the next generation. That decision would be repeatedly reinforced with each new credible review that appears, as is happening now.

However, the world has a lot of folks in it like me who are new to Nikon or who own Nikons older than the D7000 and are looking to upgrade, and my message to them would be that I believe they can buy the D7100 with confidence and look forward to a great ride with a great camera that can do a lot of things very well.

Contrary to the impression I might be leaving here by all my fur and feather postings over the last few weeks I am interested in shooting much more than just birds and critters, as enjoyable and challenging as that is.  I am interested in shooting almost the full gamut of photographic subjects from faces to events to sports to landscapes to cityscapes to macros and more, except for maybe doing studio portrait work, and so I want and need the D7100 to be MUCH more than simply a wildlife camera. I plan to share photos of each of these genres as I am able to turn my attention to them over time, something which I'm really looking forward to.

... my 2 cents...

Rudy

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JasonED
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Re: Why I disagree with the verdict ...
In reply to photoreddi, Apr 19, 2013

photoreddi wrote:

mosswings wrote:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Nikon_D7100/

In day to day shooting, the D7100 and D7000 and D5200 perform basically the same.  Noise is very similiar, the D7000 might have a bit of advantage at 100% at higher ISOs. Resolution wise, the AA filter appears to make no difference, echoing what DPR has said.  In tightly controlled studio shots we have seen differences, but that is not how people usually shoot. For the typical use case, one could argue that the removal of the AA filter is essentially a marketing feature.

While Cameralab has produced a decent D7100 review, it leaves some things unsaid and probably shares some of the flaws in DPR's reviews, especially where the studio images are concerned.

First, it must be said that the D7100 is to the D7000 as the D800 is to the D600 in that the DX crop area of the D800 pretty closely matches the pixel pitch and resolution of the D7100 and the DX crop area of the D600 similarly matches that of the D7000.

Um, no.  The pixel pitch of the d800 is very close to the D7000.   The pixel pitch of the D600 is close to the D200.

No current Full frame camera matches the pixel pitch of the D7100 - it would require around 54MP...

So if the difference in resolution of the D7100 vs the D7000 is little to none, then the same should be true for the difference between the D800 and the D600. Maybe even more so, since unlike the D800, the D7100 has no AA filter.

Cameralabs said that the photos were shot using a tripod with f/5.6 for the aperture, but didn't mention whether mirror up was used or a remote release. They may have, but it would be nice if this could be known. If mirror up was not used and the self timer was used instead of a remote release, image quality would suffer at least slightly. Also unsaid was whether PDAF or CDAF (Live View) was used, and like many others I've consistently gotten more accurate AF using Live View.

Finally, DPR's studio photos can't be used to compare the D7000 against the D7100 because a smaller aperture was used, f/8 for the D7100 and f/9 for the D7000. This isn't the first time DPR has gotten things wrong in their studio photos. Some of their studio photos misreported the apertures used. They did this for the first go through of the NX200 when in their wisdom, a pentax manual focus lens was used with a lens adapter that didn't pass the aperture information to the camera. But even Cameralabs' use of f/5.6 was flawed based on Thom Hogan's comments in his D800/D800e review.

Here's the thing: certainly when we were at 12mp and lower we were living in a sort of Disneyesque world where everything was slightly sharper than reality. What do I mean by that? Diffraction wasn't getting fully recorded or seen in most cases. A D3 at f/16 was just starting to show visible differences on edges at 100% view for most people (though diffraction was already present, it wasn't clearly destroying edges enough for people to get upset). Some of this has to do with the way Bayer sensors record data. I've been saying for a long time that diffraction really only starts to be fully recorded by a Bayer camera when the Airy disc becomes about twice the size of an individual photosite. It's not a perfect predictor, since there's an optical system that sits above the photosite (AA/IR filter, which may have a waveplate in it, microlenses on the sensor itself). But it's been a "good enough" predictor for some time now.

So what do we see on the D800 and D800E? At and above f/8 diffraction is being fully recorded (at f/8 the Airy disc diameter is 10.7 microns, while the D800 sensor photosite implied diameter is a bit less than 5 microns). Even at f/5.6 the Airy disc is big enough to be producing clearly visible diffraction.

Okay, so what about the AA (D800) or lack of an AA (D800E)? Does that make a difference. At f/8 and above, not really. Diffraction is a worse sin than anti-aliasing, at least when you use the "visible" criteria. Technically, I measure a bit more resolution on the E than the non-E in these mid-range diffracted apertures. But looking at pixel views of images, the diffraction kills the edge acuity that the E normally provides you. I'm not convinced there's enough gain to warrant the difference if you're shooting at f/5.6 or above all the time. That shouldn't surprise anyone, considering that I concluded the same thing with a D3x (24mp) with and without an AA filter. In that case, the "without" was optical glass, with no fuzz/defuzz system like the D800E has.

Below f/5.6, things are completely different, and surprisingly so. From f/1.4 to f/4 the D800E has crisp, clean edges and is clearly gaining something from the lack of an anti-aliasing filter. But the D800 is different. While the D800 has what I would characterize as a weak AA filter (I've got plenty of moire examples from it, and can produce color fringing with it, too), it exhibits a different pattern than the D800E. From f/1.4 to f/4 there's a small but steady degradation of edges, almost like some form of weak diffraction were in play. That's actually entirely possible, as Nikon claims that there is a waveplate involved in the AA filter, and it may be the culprit.

So basically the conventional guess about who would want an E and who would want a non-E are exactly backwards. If you shoot wide open or near wide open with your lenses all the time (portraits, wildlife, sports, etc.) there's something to be said for having the D800E. If you shoot landscapes and are going for depth of field, diffraction will be your real enemy, not the AA filter.

http://www.bythom.com/nikond800review.htm

If this is true for the D800e it should also be true for the AA-less D7100. I can understand why DPR did their studio photos at f/8 and f/9. The 3D nature of the studio scene benefits from a wider DoF, but it does no favors to very high resolution, diffraction limited cameras. At least in DPR's D7100 preview that compared it with the D5200, the studio scenes were shot at wider apertures, and f/3.5 was found to produce the best results.

The samples below were shot at an aperture of F3.5. In repeated tests with the 50/1.4 optic, this gave the greatest amount of center sharpness on the D7100. At apertures wider than F3.5 and narrower than F5, we struggled to see any relevant differences in output.

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikon-d7100/6

DPR only provided the f/3.5 crops in the preview. It was clear that the D7100 provided more detail. It would have been better if DPR also provided comparison crops at f/4, f/4.5, f/5 and f/5.6 so we could determine for ourselves whether any observed differences were 'relevant'. Until some well heeled photographer here (not me) is able to do some tests using Nikon's "exotic" f/2.8 and f/4 telephotos showing that I'm wrong, I'm going to assume that at apertures below f/5.6 the D7100 will produce higher resolution photos than the D7000 and that it won't require struggling to see the differences.

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AdamT
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to BryceM, Apr 19, 2013

I find those lock buttons more of a Liability than a help and find a stiffer dial the best compromise  (canon style) ....... the D7000 one is a bit on the loose side, adding an annoying button whicj you always forget to press in the heat of battle isn`t the answer

The best method is a Mode "Button" like the Pro cameras , that way more User modes can be added (namable ones even better)  and even the Mode selected can be saved in the User modes

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photoreddi
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Re: Why I disagree with the verdict ...
In reply to JasonED, Apr 19, 2013

JasonED wrote:

...

First, it must be said that the D7100 is to the D7000 as the D800 is to the D600 in that the DX crop area of the D800 pretty closely matches the pixel pitch and resolution of the D7100 and the DX crop area of the D600 similarly matches that of the D7000.

Um, no.  The pixel pitch of the d800 is very close to the D7000.   The pixel pitch of the D600 is close to the D200.

Aaack. You're right. I've posted this resolution equivalence correctly several times before and garbled it this time. I still think that my other conclusions hold, mainly that Cameralabs probably didn't do their photo tests carefully enough to be able to observe the resolution difference that the D7100 is capable of, and that an FX sensor having the same pixel pitch as the D7100 (54mp, as you identified) would be able to produce slightly higher resolution images vs the D800, but only with excellent lenses used at their widest apertures, lenses such as the 200mm f/2, the two 85mm G lenses (f/1.4 and f/1.8), etc.

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Shunda77
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The take home message here..
In reply to mosswings, Apr 19, 2013

....is that the best DX camera at the moment is probably the D5200. If the balance of features to cost is what it is all about, then this camera offers quite a lot for the money.

The simple truth is that unless you have a regular use for the resolution and powerful focus point system, the D7000 and D5100 effectively offer equivalent image quality to the new cameras for a bargain basement price.

It would seem that the prior generation is still very much in the game, and this is nothing but good for enthusiast photographers.

If you base decision making primarily on image quality, then it's hard to justify the extra cost of the new camera bodies compared to the extra glass you could buy along with an older body.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to ajamils1, Apr 19, 2013

ajamils1 wrote:

I can understand the compromise to achieve better IQ but the problem i that it looks like Nikon try to go over board with it with too much focus on AA filter removal and AF system, everything else seem to be of previous generation.

I'm not sure what mission you're on here, but that statement is false.  Try comparing the autofocus for a start. If you think you can track birds in flight with a D5200 or a D7000, you're in for a rude awakening.  The D7100 can, because it has the same AF as the D800.

Also, to achieve better IQ Nikon seem to have compromised on the noise and that's why D7100 exhibits a lot more noise compared to same sensor D5200.

No, it doesn't.  It's about the same as the D7000, only with better capability to handle noise reduction owing to finer grained noise. Show us the samples that prove otherwise.  We have many examples of incorrect processing from brand new users which show grain, but we also have some real stunners when the correct procedure was used.  These samples are entirely consistent with reality:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/studio-compare#baseDir=%2Freviews_data&cameraDataSubdir=boxshot&indexFileName=boxshotindex.xml&presetsFileName=boxshotpresets.xml&showDescriptions=false&headerTitle=Studio%20scene&headerSubTitle=Standard%20studio%20scene%20comparison&masterCamera=nikon_d5200&masterSample=dsc_0019.acr&slotsCount=4&slot0Camera=nikon_d5200&slot0Sample=dsc_0019.acr&slot0DisableCameraSelection=true&slot0DisableSampleSelection=true&slot0LinkWithMaster=true&slot1Camera=nikon_d7100&slot1Sample=dsc_0180.acr&x=0.007204892222778225&y=-1.1887592656171661

The D7100 shows less blurry details, stronger color and better contrast, all owing to the lack of an AA filter.

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Whalligeo
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to ajamils1, Apr 19, 2013

ajamils1 wrote:

I can understand the compromise to achieve better IQ but the problem i that it looks like Nikon try to go over board with it with too much focus on AA filter removal and AF system, everything else seem to be of previous generation. Also, to achieve better IQ Nikon seem to have compromised on the noise and that's why D7100 exhibits a lot more noise compared to same sensor D5200.

Removal of the AA filter is probably seen as a landmark for pro-sumer/consumer products. It would be rather rude of the marketing boys not to make much of this. For the future, the aa filter may (will) become a thing of the past. I cannot agree that the D7100 exhibits a lot more noise than that the D5200, that simply is not true.

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Chuvarsky
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Re: Cameralabs D7100 review up: verdict...
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Apr 19, 2013

Amen!

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: no need
In reply to stuntmonkey, Apr 19, 2013

There is a benefit in terms of increased detail and microcontrast, as Leica, Phase One, Fuji, Pentax, Hasselblad et al have been doing for years and years.  They aren't wrong. Microcontrast is a foreign concept to most APSC users, simply because there's never before been a DX camera that can pull it off on a regular basis.  The D7100 does, and how.  Put a gold ring Nikkor or even a 50G on that guy and go shoot some pictures with detail then report back.

The fact that someone at a particular website can't tell the difference shooting jpg should have been a red flag and shouldn't prevent all of you from downloading identical raws from Imaging Resource and doing your own work.  Serious shooters who are after best quality do not shoot jpg on a Nikon DSLR.  Might as well use an OM5 if you're shooting jpg.

Please, someone.  Show me a pic from a D7000 with this kind of 3rd dimension, microcontrast and intricate detail.  My rough guess is that it's about 20% better than any DX camera I've seen and pretty close to a D800e.  Nikon has hit it out of the park with this one .

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