Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"

Started Sep 21, 2013 | Discussions
Timj351
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Hey Rudy, it's great to here from you. Your gallery is filled with amazing work so I see that you are getting along very nicely with your Nik....N...Niko...err DSLR. Bringing the chair along with you seems like a very sensible idea that makes the experience more enjoyable.

I'm still greatly enjoying my FZ200 and LX7 and don't plan on changing anything anytime soon. I might add an LF1 at some point when the price settles a bit more.

Keep up the great work and don't be a stranger.

-Tim

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jderrico
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Rudy,
Nice article--thanks.  I have a D700 with all the trimmings and five good lenses.  It's a fantastic camera, but I, too, have become addicted to my recently purchased (May 2013) FZ200.  The FZ200 still photos and photos of nearby birds are amazingly sharp at 100%.  I was at the Publix-Atlanta Cup soccer tournament on 31 August 2013, and the handheld action photos I was able to take at considerable distances with the FZ200 were great.  Many of them were not tack sharp at 100%, but acceptably sharp nonetheless, and I do not intend to print large posters of them.  I also bought a Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR and haven't been able to get a sharp photo yet.  For all my still photos, I use a beanbag, monopod, or tripod.  I haven't given up yet on the Fujifilm HS50.  I'm blaming myself for the lack of sharp photos, and I intend to keep trying until I either hit the right combination or realize that it's just not going to deliver.

I enjoyed your article.  Keep up the good work.

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Robiro
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Please participate in your weekly threads
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Hi Rudy,

Please feel free to participate with your Nikon images in our regular weekly threads we run here (landscapes, macros, B&W, animals, art...).

I would love to see your work and compare it to others.

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windmillgolfer
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Good post Rudy. First, bitingly sharp/crisp imagery with the D7100, superb.  Your narrative is exactly my experience, except that, having recognised that I needed to spend much, much more on glass to get great IQ with the Canon 600D, I didn't. I sold it and have recently replaced the FZ150 with the FZ200.  The 600mm end is not the priority for me (architecture, stained glass and landscape for me) but when I want it I need the shutter speed that comes with the f2.8. The LX5 is still great but the dark side beckons in the form of the very modestly priced NEX 3N, with  24-75mm, looking like a good substitute for the non-existent LX9 with articlulated screen

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Mr Ichiro Kitao, please upgrade the FZ50

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Florida Nature Photographer
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

RudyPohl wrote:

I agree completely, as I wrote in my original post, my conclusions are for wildlife photography only... people shots, architecture, and especially indoor shooting are a whole different story. For these and similar types of shooting a modestly priced DSLR with a good wide aperture lens will do wonders, and at an affordable price.

Rudy

The thing that started me looking beyond my beloved FZ200 was my budding interest in Night Photography. I'll never regret buying the FZ200, however. I expect there will always be times when it is the perfect camera for a given situation.

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Florida

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MoreGooderPhotos
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

This is a very interesting thread! I've read every word. Thanks to all of the contributors who have taken the time to post.

I'll now add my tidbits.

I've been shopping around for "something even better" than my FZ200. I've learned from these forums that a small sensor is essential to long reach unless you don't mind big glass. I've struggled to spec out a DSLR kit that has the same reach as the FZ200.

I am lucky enough to own the "unicorn" lens, the Nikon TC-E17ED 1.7X. Since there is no noticeable light loss through it, that takes the FZ200 reach to 1020 at F2.8. Price that up in DSLR and your getting very expensive.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, I find that the chromatic aberration of the FZ200 to be pretty horrible at times (with and without the 1.7 TC). I can get rid of most of it in PP, but never all of it. Secondly, there are often times when the FZ200 simply won't focus on what I want. I primarily photograph birds. This means manual focus with the tiny little switch on the side while keeping up with a bird in a tree is impossible. Oddly, birds that are mostly yellow are exceedingly difficult to get into sharp focus. This is likely because there isn't enough contrast for the camera to detect.

I was hoping to upgrade to something with more pixels, better auto focus, and less CA. But I simply can't find anything that isn't going to be extremely expensive and too heavy to carry on long birding hikes.

Is it possible that the next generation of F2.8 constant lens bridge cameras (aka "FZ250") could have a better sensor? I would gladly pay double for what I paid for my FZ200, and still wind up paying less than a DSLR rig, and have less glass to carry too. I think Panasonic needs to develop and market a professional grade super-zoom. The time has arrived!

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Sometimes I feel like 2/3'rds Rice Krispies. Past "Snap" and "Crackle" but just shy of "Pop".

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bolador
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to MoreGooderPhotos, Sep 23, 2013

This is a very interesting thread! I've read every word. Thanks to all of the contributors who have taken the time to post.

I'll now add my tidbits.

I've been shopping around for "something even better" than my FZ200. I've learned from these forums that a small sensor is essential to long reach unless you don't mind big glass. I've struggled to spec out a DSLR kit that has the same reach as the FZ200.

I am lucky enough to own the "unicorn" lens, the Nikon TC-E17ED 1.7X. Since there is no noticeable light loss through it, that takes the FZ200 reach to 1020 at F2.8. Price that up in DSLR and your getting very expensive.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, I find that the chromatic aberration of the FZ200 to be pretty horrible at times (with and without the 1.7 TC). I can get rid of most of it in PP, but never all of it. Secondly, there are often times when the FZ200 simply won't focus on what I want. I primarily photograph birds. This means manual focus with the tiny little switch on the side while keeping up with a bird in a tree is impossible. Oddly, birds that are mostly yellow are exceedingly difficult to get into sharp focus. This is likely because there isn't enough contrast for the camera to detect.

I was hoping to upgrade to something with more pixels, better auto focus, and less CA. But I simply can't find anything that isn't going to be extremely expensive and too heavy to carry on long birding hikes.

Is it possible that the next generation of F2.8 constant lens bridge cameras (aka "FZ250") could have a better sensor? I would gladly pay double for what I paid for my FZ200, and still wind up paying less than a DSLR rig, and have less glass to carry too. I think Panasonic needs to develop and market a professional grade super-zoom. The time has arrived!

-- hide signature --

Sometimes I feel like 2/3'rds Rice Krispies. Past "Snap" and "Crackle" but just shy of "Pop".

Technology will help eventually. Olympus is using a fase contrast focus sensor in one of the new cameras for example. So it should be posible to get FC focus in a bridge, today.
But the market segmentation rules than your wishes are impractical unless they discover something expesier to sell you.
Basically they want your money not your happiness.
If the could made a camera with the same performance but lighter and smaller, it won't be cheaper.

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RudyPohl
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Re: Please participate in your weekly threads
In reply to Robiro, Sep 23, 2013

Robiro wrote:

Hi Rudy,

Please feel free to participate with your Nikon images in our regular weekly threads we run here (landscapes, macros, B&W, animals, art...).

I would love to see your work and compare it to others.

Hi Robiro:

Thanks for the invitation, I do feel very welcome and at home here, the problem is I am already pretty actively involved with my Flickr community and with the Nikon dpreview forum that I just am not able to be anymore involved anywhere else.

Thanks again and all the best,

Rudy

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J C Brown
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Re: Yellow birds
In reply to MoreGooderPhotos, Sep 23, 2013

MoreGooderPhotos wrote:

This is a very interesting thread! I've read every word. Thanks to all of the contributors who have taken the time to post.

I'll now add my tidbits.

I've been shopping around for "something even better" than my FZ200. I've learned from these forums that a small sensor is essential to long reach unless you don't mind big glass. I've struggled to spec out a DSLR kit that has the same reach as the FZ200.

I am lucky enough to own the "unicorn" lens, the Nikon TC-E17ED 1.7X. Since there is no noticeable light loss through it, that takes the FZ200 reach to 1020 at F2.8. Price that up in DSLR and your getting very expensive.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, I find that the chromatic aberration of the FZ200 to be pretty horrible at times (with and without the 1.7 TC). I can get rid of most of it in PP, but never all of it. Secondly, there are often times when the FZ200 simply won't focus on what I want. I primarily photograph birds. This means manual focus with the tiny little switch on the side while keeping up with a bird in a tree is impossible. Oddly, birds that are mostly yellow are exceedingly difficult to get into sharp focus. This is likely because there isn't enough contrast for the camera to detect.

I was hoping to upgrade to something with more pixels, better auto focus, and less CA. But I simply can't find anything that isn't going to be extremely expensive and too heavy to carry on long birding hikes.

Is it possible that the next generation of F2.8 constant lens bridge cameras (aka "FZ250") could have a better sensor? I would gladly pay double for what I paid for my FZ200, and still wind up paying less than a DSLR rig, and have less glass to carry too. I think Panasonic needs to develop and market a professional grade super-zoom. The time has arrived!

-- hide signature --

Sometimes I feel like 2/3'rds Rice Krispies. Past "Snap" and "Crackle" but just shy of "Pop".

With regard to the difficulty you've experienced with your FZ200 having difficulty focussing on mostly yellow birds, though it won't help with your FZ200's ability to focus, you may find the results of my TZ30 colour resolution tests and the discussion which followed kkardster's post of some interest.

See http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51229168

As the tests that I've done using my colour resolution test charts with an FZ20, FZ50, TZ7 and TZ30 have all shown a problem with poor resolution of the cyan and yellow Es I suspect that it is related to the arrangement of the red, green and blue pixels in the Bayer matrix and to the demozaicing process.

As discussed by ianperegian in the following post it may also be related to optical crosstalk in the small sensors used in these cameras. See: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51413871

Jimmy

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J C Brown

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kkardster
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Good to hear from you, Rudy - thanks for checking in! I'm glad to see that you are still getting seriously good results no matter which camera you choose to explore.

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You learn something new every time you press the shutter

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trac63
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

RudyPohl wrote:

Now I'm sure there will be some who will disagree with me, so please know that these are just my own personal opinions and I still consider myself somewhat of a novice. Anyways, some of you asked me to write about this so finally I have managed to sit down and do so.

Hope you find this helpful, and all the best to everyone!

Rudy

Hey man, you're producing some great photos, so whatever your preferences are I'm cool with it.

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Midwest
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Re: stuck in the dark
In reply to James Pilcher, Sep 23, 2013

James Pilcher wrote:

Enjoy your life with Nikon. It could be worse; you might have jumped to Canon.)

Oh please. I love reading those posts where brand N users say 'ALL cameras get oil spots and shutter debris on their sensors..." LOL

I do agree that the FZ200 is easily the best bridge camera on the market... Panny cleverly gave it a fast lens, taking at least 2 or 3 stops of the small-sensor noise penalty away, giving it a huge advantage over the rest of the bridge cameras (which are more concerned with ultra mega zoom numbers on slow lenses, pfeh).

Panny got this one right in a meaningful way. As a DSLR user I have to say I have been impressed with the FZ200's images.

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antoineb
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Thank you very interesting
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

RudyPohl wrote:

Good evening old friends and new FZ200 owners that came on board after I "defected!"

As you know I was, and still am, one of the most vocal supporters of the awesome Panasonic FZ200. I was one of the first people to buy one here in Ottawa and I shot about 15,000 shots with mine before I bought a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera and went over to the Dark Side. Some of you said that you would like to hear back from me from time to time to see what my specific comparisons would be between these two cameras and between bridge camera and DSLRs in general. After 3 weeks on the other side I wrote a post to give you a sense of my first impressions and here's the post http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3467885 .

It has now been six months since I traded in my FZ200 for Nikon's latest DSLR, the D7100, and what has turned out to be their best and most problem-free crop sensor camera to date (That's the general consensus among users). After a reasonable length of time using the camera to gain some credibility I was planning to write a full, comprehensive and meaningful comparison for you and now half a year and 19,000 shutter clicks later I am actually fairly stumped as to what I should write. I could write almost a book on the subject, but for one thing I don't have the time, for another, who would want to read all that stuff, and for still another, I can say it all in just a few sentences anyway.

So here is my verdict after one heck of a lot of shooting with both cameras in all kinds of conditions... also keep in mind that my comparison is restricted solely to wildlife photography because as it has turned out that is about 95% of everything I do.

My bottom line has not changed from before... in my opinion, when you take everything into account the Panasonic FZ200 is simply the very best photographic solution on the market today. Dollar for dollar you cannot buy a more versatile, high-quality, usable camera, and dollar for dollar there is not a DSLR package, mid, low or high-end that can come anywhere near to giving you the images that the FZ200 can FOR THE PRICE.

Now please understand what I'm saying here. I am not saying the FZ200 will give you the same image quality of mid to high-end DSLR like the one I currently use or DSLRs going all the way up to pro cameras. These cameras, of course, can produce considerably higher quality images than the FZ200.... BUT this increase in image quality comes at an EXTRAORDINARY increase in cost. Let's just talk bokeh for example, one of things I really miss about that awesome F2.8 Leica lens. To get FZ200-quality bokeh in the DSLR world you have to buy an F2.8 DSLR lens, and these all start at $2400 (in the Nikon and Canon worlds) and they rapidly skyrocket in price up to $10,000 and more! I'm not kidding, anyone who thinks they can go on the cheap and get great bokeh with entry level or even mid-range DSLR gear is dreaming, it's not possible. But the FZ200 produces "to-die-for" bokeh, something that is key for good wildlife images so you can isolate the subject.

As you may recall there are two reasons why I swapped my FZ200 for a mid-range DSLR. The first was that I got an early release model last August that had a number of glitches and I had to return two units and my third unit had to go for repairs. And while the images it produced were great, the store manager felt so sorry for me for all the hassles I'd had he said that if I wanted to he would refund all my money toward another camera of my choice, so I took his offer. The other reason was that I really wanted to see for myself, firsthand, what kind of IQ I could get with some good DSLR gear. So I bought the new Nikon D7100 and their 70-300mm zoom lens ($500) which produced some pretty nice images. Recently I purchased a used, totally refurbished pro-level 300mm prime wildlife lens which retails for $1600 taxes included, plus a high-end teleconverter ($500) which gives me 420mm and with the crop factor it's 630mm, and with the extra resolution of the 24MP sensor my reach is effectively over 1000mm... and as before, I upgraded just to see what kind of IQ I could get from what is now about a $3500 semi-pro kit (almost 7 times as expensive and a huge jump from the $520 I paid for my FZ200!).

Well, I'd be lying if I said that my present gear doesn't produce some exceptionally good quality photos - it does for sure (see my Flickr account for samples: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudypohl/ )... however at what cost??!! Unless I were to print my images in fairly large format, which I'm not going to do, these images are definitely not 7 times better in image quality. See my point?

Therefore, my advice to those considering joining me on the dark side is this: unless you are really unhappy with your FZ200, plus you have some serious money to burn, or you have some other really good reason for going DSLR you should think seriously about sticking with your amazing bridge camera and forget about a DSLR. On top of that, bridge cameras can only get better as micro-technology advances but this is not so much the case for DSLRs.

Now I'm sure there will be some who will disagree with me, so please know that these are just my own personal opinions and I still consider myself somewhat of a novice. Anyways, some of you asked me to write about this so finally I have managed to sit down and do so.

Hope you find this helpful, and all the best to everyone!

Rudy

Hi Rudy,

thanks for posting this!

I have been following the same road though earlier namely with a D7000 not D7100 and coming from an old FZ-18 not the FZ-200.  Now mind you, the FZ-18 had a not bad f2.8-4.2 lens (vs. f2.8 all the way on the FZ-200).  And it weighed just 360 grams vs. the 537 grams of the FZ-200 or 33% less (or conversely the FZ-200 weighs almost 50% more!

I think I would largely agree with your conclusions.  My FZ-18 was the best most versatile photographic tool I ever owned, bar none.  And its IQ in many situations was really quite comparable with that on my D7000 (and its AF was often faster, yes).  Actually if Panasonic again made a similar smaller lighter superzoom (closer to 360 grams rather than 600) with good controls, I would happily buy it (I own a pocketable superzoom from them but the IQ is clearly lower).

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teseg
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Very nice post.  One intangible I don't think was mentioned when upgrading to a high quality system it forces the user to stop blaming the equipment "if I only had...." and focus on improving their own photographic skill.  Unfortunately, invariably one must spend thousands to truly believe in this concept.

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wildlifr
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

RudyPohl wrote:

Good evening old friends and new FZ200 owners that came on board after I "defected!"

As you know I was, and still am, one of the most vocal supporters of the awesome Panasonic FZ200. I was one of the first people to buy one here in Ottawa and I shot about 15,000 shots with mine before I bought a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera and went over to the Dark Side. Some of you said that you would like to hear back from me from time to time to see what my specific comparisons would be between these two cameras and between bridge camera and DSLRs in general. After 3 weeks on the other side I wrote a post to give you a sense of my first impressions and here's the post http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3467885 .

It has now been six months since I traded in my FZ200 for Nikon's latest DSLR, the D7100, and what has turned out to be their best and most problem-free crop sensor camera to date (That's the general consensus among users). After a reasonable length of time using the camera to gain some credibility I was planning to write a full, comprehensive and meaningful comparison for you and now half a year and 19,000 shutter clicks later I am actually fairly stumped as to what I should write. I could write almost a book on the subject, but for one thing I don't have the time, for another, who would want to read all that stuff, and for still another, I can say it all in just a few sentences anyway.

So here is my verdict after one heck of a lot of shooting with both cameras in all kinds of conditions... also keep in mind that my comparison is restricted solely to wildlife photography because as it has turned out that is about 95% of everything I do.

My bottom line has not changed from before... in my opinion, when you take everything into account the Panasonic FZ200 is simply the very best photographic solution on the market today. Dollar for dollar you cannot buy a more versatile, high-quality, usable camera, and dollar for dollar there is not a DSLR package, mid, low or high-end that can come anywhere near to giving you the images that the FZ200 can FOR THE PRICE.

Now please understand what I'm saying here. I am not saying the FZ200 will give you the same image quality of mid to high-end DSLR like the one I currently use or DSLRs going all the way up to pro cameras. These cameras, of course, can produce considerably higher quality images than the FZ200.... BUT this increase in image quality comes at an EXTRAORDINARY increase in cost. Let's just talk bokeh for example, one of things I really miss about that awesome F2.8 Leica lens. To get FZ200-quality bokeh in the DSLR world you have to buy an F2.8 DSLR lens, and these all start at $2400 (in the Nikon and Canon worlds) and they rapidly skyrocket in price up to $10,000 and more! I'm not kidding, anyone who thinks they can go on the cheap and get great bokeh with entry level or even mid-range DSLR gear is dreaming, it's not possible. But the FZ200 produces "to-die-for" bokeh, something that is key for good wildlife images so you can isolate the subject.

This statement is a bit off Rudy. DOF at 300mm f4 on D7100 (450mm in 35mm terms) at 5 meters = .04 meters DOF. This field of view is equivalent to 81mm (also 450mm in 35mm terms) on your FZ200, which, at 5 meters, has DOF = .11 meters. In fact even the nikon 70-300 at f5.6 has shallower DOF (.06 meters). In a nutshell, its quite a bit easier to obtain shallow DOF and subject isolation with the APS-C sensor size than with the FZ200. And DOF is one of the most important factors that contributes to bokeh for a given scene. Lens design is also important.

As you may recall there are two reasons why I swapped my FZ200 for a mid-range DSLR. The first was that I got an early release model last August that had a number of glitches and I had to return two units and my third unit had to go for repairs. And while the images it produced were great, the store manager felt so sorry for me for all the hassles I'd had he said that if I wanted to he would refund all my money toward another camera of my choice, so I took his offer. The other reason was that I really wanted to see for myself, firsthand, what kind of IQ I could get with some good DSLR gear. So I bought the new Nikon D7100 and their 70-300mm zoom lens ($500) which produced some pretty nice images. Recently I purchased a used, totally refurbished pro-level 300mm prime wildlife lens which retails for $1600 taxes included, plus a high-end teleconverter ($500) which gives me 420mm and with the crop factor it's 630mm, and with the extra resolution of the 24MP sensor my reach is effectively over 1000mm... and as before, I upgraded just to see what kind of IQ I could get from what is now about a $3500 semi-pro kit (almost 7 times as expensive and a huge jump from the $520 I paid for my FZ200!).

Well, I'd be lying if I said that my present gear doesn't produce some exceptionally good quality photos - it does for sure (see my Flickr account for samples: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudypohl/ )... however at what cost??!! Unless I were to print my images in fairly large format, which I'm not going to do, these images are definitely not 7 times better in image quality. See my point?

Therefore, my advice to those considering joining me on the dark side is this: unless you are really unhappy with your FZ200, plus you have some serious money to burn, or you have some other really good reason for going DSLR you should think seriously about sticking with your amazing bridge camera and forget about a DSLR. On top of that, bridge cameras can only get better as micro-technology advances but this is not so much the case for DSLRs.

Now I'm sure there will be some who will disagree with me, so please know that these are just my own personal opinions and I still consider myself somewhat of a novice. Anyways, some of you asked me to write about this so finally I have managed to sit down and do so.

Hope you find this helpful, and all the best to everyone!

Rudy

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wildlifr
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Just saw DOF comparison was covered in thread..
In reply to wildlifr, Sep 23, 2013

wildlifr wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

Good evening old friends and new FZ200 owners that came on board after I "defected!"

As you know I was, and still am, one of the most vocal supporters of the awesome Panasonic FZ200. I was one of the first people to buy one here in Ottawa and I shot about 15,000 shots with mine before I bought a Nikon D7100 DSLR camera and went over to the Dark Side. Some of you said that you would like to hear back from me from time to time to see what my specific comparisons would be between these two cameras and between bridge camera and DSLRs in general. After 3 weeks on the other side I wrote a post to give you a sense of my first impressions and here's the post http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3467885 .

It has now been six months since I traded in my FZ200 for Nikon's latest DSLR, the D7100, and what has turned out to be their best and most problem-free crop sensor camera to date (That's the general consensus among users). After a reasonable length of time using the camera to gain some credibility I was planning to write a full, comprehensive and meaningful comparison for you and now half a year and 19,000 shutter clicks later I am actually fairly stumped as to what I should write. I could write almost a book on the subject, but for one thing I don't have the time, for another, who would want to read all that stuff, and for still another, I can say it all in just a few sentences anyway.

So here is my verdict after one heck of a lot of shooting with both cameras in all kinds of conditions... also keep in mind that my comparison is restricted solely to wildlife photography because as it has turned out that is about 95% of everything I do.

My bottom line has not changed from before... in my opinion, when you take everything into account the Panasonic FZ200 is simply the very best photographic solution on the market today. Dollar for dollar you cannot buy a more versatile, high-quality, usable camera, and dollar for dollar there is not a DSLR package, mid, low or high-end that can come anywhere near to giving you the images that the FZ200 can FOR THE PRICE.

Now please understand what I'm saying here. I am not saying the FZ200 will give you the same image quality of mid to high-end DSLR like the one I currently use or DSLRs going all the way up to pro cameras. These cameras, of course, can produce considerably higher quality images than the FZ200.... BUT this increase in image quality comes at an EXTRAORDINARY increase in cost. Let's just talk bokeh for example, one of things I really miss about that awesome F2.8 Leica lens. To get FZ200-quality bokeh in the DSLR world you have to buy an F2.8 DSLR lens, and these all start at $2400 (in the Nikon and Canon worlds) and they rapidly skyrocket in price up to $10,000 and more! I'm not kidding, anyone who thinks they can go on the cheap and get great bokeh with entry level or even mid-range DSLR gear is dreaming, it's not possible. But the FZ200 produces "to-die-for" bokeh, something that is key for good wildlife images so you can isolate the subject.

This statement is a bit off Rudy. DOF at 300mm f4 on D7100 (450mm in 35mm terms) at 5 meters = .04 meters DOF. This field of view is equivalent to 81mm (also 450mm in 35mm terms) on your FZ200, which, at 5 meters, has DOF = .11 meters. In fact even the nikon 70-300 at f5.6 has shallower DOF (.06 meters). In a nutshell, its quite a bit easier to obtain shallow DOF and subject isolation with the APS-C sensor size than with the FZ200. And DOF is one of the most important factors that contributes to bokeh for a given scene. Lens design is also important.

As you may recall there are two reasons why I swapped my FZ200 for a mid-range DSLR. The first was that I got an early release model last August that had a number of glitches and I had to return two units and my third unit had to go for repairs. And while the images it produced were great, the store manager felt so sorry for me for all the hassles I'd had he said that if I wanted to he would refund all my money toward another camera of my choice, so I took his offer. The other reason was that I really wanted to see for myself, firsthand, what kind of IQ I could get with some good DSLR gear. So I bought the new Nikon D7100 and their 70-300mm zoom lens ($500) which produced some pretty nice images. Recently I purchased a used, totally refurbished pro-level 300mm prime wildlife lens which retails for $1600 taxes included, plus a high-end teleconverter ($500) which gives me 420mm and with the crop factor it's 630mm, and with the extra resolution of the 24MP sensor my reach is effectively over 1000mm... and as before, I upgraded just to see what kind of IQ I could get from what is now about a $3500 semi-pro kit (almost 7 times as expensive and a huge jump from the $520 I paid for my FZ200!).

Well, I'd be lying if I said that my present gear doesn't produce some exceptionally good quality photos - it does for sure (see my Flickr account for samples: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rudypohl/ )... however at what cost??!! Unless I were to print my images in fairly large format, which I'm not going to do, these images are definitely not 7 times better in image quality. See my point?

Therefore, my advice to those considering joining me on the dark side is this: unless you are really unhappy with your FZ200, plus you have some serious money to burn, or you have some other really good reason for going DSLR you should think seriously about sticking with your amazing bridge camera and forget about a DSLR. On top of that, bridge cameras can only get better as micro-technology advances but this is not so much the case for DSLRs.

Now I'm sure there will be some who will disagree with me, so please know that these are just my own personal opinions and I still consider myself somewhat of a novice. Anyways, some of you asked me to write about this so finally I have managed to sit down and do so.

Hope you find this helpful, and all the best to everyone!

Rudy

 wildlifr's gear list:wildlifr's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +4 more
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RudyPohl
Senior MemberPosts: 2,990
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to wildlifr, Sep 23, 2013

wildlifr wrote:

This statement is a bit off Rudy. DOF at 300mm f4 on D7100 (450mm in 35mm terms) at 5 meters = .04 meters DOF. This field of view is equivalent to 81mm (also 450mm in 35mm terms) on your FZ200, which, at 5 meters, has DOF = .11 meters. In fact even the nikon 70-300 at f5.6 has shallower DOF (.06 meters). In a nutshell, its quite a bit easier to obtain shallow DOF and subject isolation with the APS-C sensor size than with the FZ200. And DOF is one of the most important factors that contributes to bokeh for a given scene. Lens design is also important.

Hi wildlifr:

I realize what the calculations appear to say, however, having examined a couple of hundred of my shots with the FZ200 and a similar number with the D7100 + 70-300 VR combo, I can say without hesitation that my bokeh was consistently much better with the FZ00, in fact the bokeh of the FZ200 while using F2.8 (which was a lot of the time for me) was fabulous.

Rudy

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leerob
Contributing MemberPosts: 927Gear list
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, Sep 23, 2013

Hey Rudy,

Guess what I knew all this all along, but thank you for confirming it. I'll stick with FZ200 until better bridge camera comes out. Besides, don't forget that it's photographer that makes a difference and not camera.

Thank you and good luck!

 leerob's gear list:leerob's gear list
Nikon AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
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Dan W
Senior MemberPosts: 2,125Gear list
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Re: stuck in the dark
In reply to bolador, Sep 23, 2013

bolador wrote:

Hi.
I agree with most of your statements but in bokeh being easier in FZ200...
DOF at f2.8 is not directly comparable between both sensor sizes..
In fact you have shallower DOF with at 300mm f5.6 using the 16MP 2X mode in the D7100 (600mm eq ) than with the FZ200 f2.8 at 600mm equivalent... (I've just calculated it to be about 20m vs 27m).
More light sure, but in terms of speed you can use much higher ISO in the Nikon..
So. To be clear I agree that FZ200 gives results good enough in terms of IQ a really good experience in its use. Portability and a good price making it an excellent combo...
Comparing performance/price a D7100+18-105kit+70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR should give you same reach, better IQ, better DOF control. At about x3 the price..
I may be wrong but my ears are all open...

Regards

You're not wrong, including your statement about DOF.

As for price, A 55-300 VR is less expensive and almost as good as a 70-300 VR. A D7000, still available and a bargain at under $900 currently, would save additional $ for one who wanted to try a DSLR. A D5200, also an excellent camera, is currently under $700.

So DSLR's are not as expensive as some think and not all of them are heavy. My D7000/55-300 combination weighs all of 3 pounds.

Superzooms have their place too, of course. I had an FZ18 and gave it away, but sometimes wish I still had it and will probably replace it with another Panasonic superzoom at some point.

DW

 Dan W's gear list:Dan W's gear list
Canon PowerShot D10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 Nikon D7000 Sony a6000
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RudyPohl
Senior MemberPosts: 2,990
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Re: stuck in the dark
In reply to Dan W, Sep 23, 2013

Dan W wrote:

bolador wrote:

Hi.
I agree with most of your statements but in bokeh being easier in FZ200...
DOF at f2.8 is not directly comparable between both sensor sizes..
In fact you have shallower DOF with at 300mm f5.6 using the 16MP 2X mode in the D7100 (600mm eq ) than with the FZ200 f2.8 at 600mm equivalent... (I've just calculated it to be about 20m vs 27m).
More light sure, but in terms of speed you can use much higher ISO in the Nikon..
So. To be clear I agree that FZ200 gives results good enough in terms of IQ a really good experience in its use. Portability and a good price making it an excellent combo...
Comparing performance/price a D7100+18-105kit+70-300 f4.5-5.6 VR should give you same reach, better IQ, better DOF control. At about x3 the price..
I may be wrong but my ears are all open...

Regards

You're not wrong, including your statement about DOF.

As for price, A 55-300 VR is less expensive and almost as good as a 70-300 VR. A D7000, still available and a bargain at under $900 currently, would save additional $ for one who wanted to try a DSLR. A D5200, also an excellent camera, is currently under $700.

So DSLR's are not as expensive as some think and not all of them are heavy. My D7000/55-300 combination weighs all of 3 pounds.

Superzooms have their place too, of course. I had an FZ18 and gave it away, but sometimes wish I still had it and will probably replace it with another Panasonic superzoom at some point.

DW

Hi guys, please try to remember that all my statements are for WILDLIFE shooting ONLY and not for other genres of photography.

If you had to shoot a lot of indoor events, whether family birthdays, sports, conferences... the FZ00 is no match at all against any modestly-priced DSLR with a 35mm F2 or 50mm F1.8 lens.

I'm taking wildlife shooting here because the FZ200 with it's awesome focal range of 25-600mm is a favourite of wildlife shooters. I want to draw people's attention to the reality that if you want to do wildlife shooting, which is very demanding on the camera and lens, then you're not going to be able to get away with modestly priced gear.

Rudy

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