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

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wildlifr
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

RudyPohl wrote:

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

No offense, but I'd have to see identical shots of the same scene side by side at typical shooting parameters before I believed that. Otherwise, there's far too much variability. The fact that its so much easier to obtain shallow DOF with the much larger APS-C sensor is what drives my skepticism, because other than the details of the background, I think the ability to produce shallow DOF is the single biggest factor in obtaining pleasing bokeh. Aperture blade design is in the mix too.

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RudyPohl
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to wildlifr, 7 months ago

wildlifr wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

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

No offense, but I'd have to see identical shots of the same scene side by side at typical shooting parameters before I believed that. Otherwise, there's far too much variability. The fact that its so much easier to obtain shallow DOF with the much larger APS-C sensor is what drives my skepticism, because other than the details of the background, I think the ability to produce shallow DOF is the single biggest factor in obtaining pleasing bokeh. Aperture blade design is in the mix too.

Not a problem wildlifr, no offense taken. I understand your skepticism and unfortunately I don't have identical shots, nor would I be motivated to get some... I couldn't do it anyway because I no longer have an FZ200. I'm just saying that anyone is welcome to rummage through my Flickr gallery and see for themselves what a consistently nice bokeh the FZ200 produced in the 7 months that I used it... what is not to be found in that gallery is the countless images I trashed from from the D7100 + 70-300 combo because the bokeh was so dreadful.

Again, these are only my opinions and my understanding of my experience after shooting 35,000 combined shots with both cameras over a 13 month period.

Rudy

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Timj351
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

RudyPohl wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

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

No offense, but I'd have to see identical shots of the same scene side by side at typical shooting parameters before I believed that. Otherwise, there's far too much variability. The fact that its so much easier to obtain shallow DOF with the much larger APS-C sensor is what drives my skepticism, because other than the details of the background, I think the ability to produce shallow DOF is the single biggest factor in obtaining pleasing bokeh. Aperture blade design is in the mix too.

Not a problem wildlifr, no offense taken. I understand your skepticism and unfortunately I don't have identical shots, nor would I be motivated to get some... I couldn't do it anyway because I no longer have an FZ200. I'm just saying that anyone is welcome to rummage through my Flickr gallery and see for themselves what a consistently nice bokeh the FZ200 produced in the 7 months that I used it... what is not to be found in that gallery is the countless images I trashed from from the D7100 + 70-300 combo because the bokeh was so dreadful.

Again, these are only my opinions and my understanding of my experience after shooting 35,000 combined shots with both cameras over a 13 month period.

Rudy

Hope nobody minds if I jump into this conversation. I think both sides are right. A DSLR with the appropriate lens for wildlife shooting is going to have a shallower depth of field than the FZ200 But since both cameras, at long range, are going to have sufficiently shallow depth of field anyways I would say both systems work very well to produce nice out of focus backgrounds in these conditions. The real issue that Rudy is talking about is the bokeh, which is the quality of the out of focus area. The FZ200 has very pleasing bokeh where many lenses for DSLR's, even some expensive ones, aren't as pleasing.

I just recently took some shots of dragonflies where I was shooting at 600mm on my FZ200 and I was also very impressed by the quality of the backgrounds. Here is one example.

-Tim

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Dan W
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Re: stuck in the dark
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

Depends on what you call modestly priced. I think a DSLR with a 1.5 crop factor (450mm equivalent) does well with a 55-300 or 70-300mm lens for wildlife.

I also own an Oly E-620 with a 70-300 lens that has a 600mm equivalent, same as the FZ200, but with a larger sensor. That combo. cost me about $800, if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, Oly no longer makes small DSLR's like the 620.

DW

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nigelht
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to MoreGooderPhotos, 7 months ago

MoreGooderPhotos wrote:

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.

...

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.

Well, the Nikon 1 has been mentioned once in this thread. It might be something a little better for you. It might not.

Here are some recent wildelife threads including some BIFs

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3549425

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3550239

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3547282

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3544923

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3542528

The Nikon 70-200 f2.8 is pricey but holds value pretty well.  With the Nikon 1 the effective reach is 540mm (2.7 crop factor).  The equivalent Sigma is half the price but still not cheap.

Very fast PDAF in good light.  Very good burst modes with a 20+ shot buffer (depends on model).  Decent EVF.

Burst mode goes as high as 60 fps raw but you're locked into Program Auto on the V1.

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wildlifr
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to Timj351, 7 months ago

Timj351 wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

wildlifr wrote:

RudyPohl wrote:

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

No offense, but I'd have to see identical shots of the same scene side by side at typical shooting parameters before I believed that. Otherwise, there's far too much variability. The fact that its so much easier to obtain shallow DOF with the much larger APS-C sensor is what drives my skepticism, because other than the details of the background, I think the ability to produce shallow DOF is the single biggest factor in obtaining pleasing bokeh. Aperture blade design is in the mix too.

Not a problem wildlifr, no offense taken. I understand your skepticism and unfortunately I don't have identical shots, nor would I be motivated to get some... I couldn't do it anyway because I no longer have an FZ200. I'm just saying that anyone is welcome to rummage through my Flickr gallery and see for themselves what a consistently nice bokeh the FZ200 produced in the 7 months that I used it... what is not to be found in that gallery is the countless images I trashed from from the D7100 + 70-300 combo because the bokeh was so dreadful.

Again, these are only my opinions and my understanding of my experience after shooting 35,000 combined shots with both cameras over a 13 month period.

Rudy

Hope nobody minds if I jump into this conversation. I think both sides are right. A DSLR with the appropriate lens for wildlife shooting is going to have a shallower depth of field than the FZ200 But since both cameras, at long range, are going to have sufficiently shallow depth of field anyways I would say both systems work very well to produce nice out of focus backgrounds in these conditions. The real issue that Rudy is talking about is the bokeh, which is the quality of the out of focus area. The FZ200 has very pleasing bokeh where many lenses for DSLR's, even some expensive ones, aren't as pleasing.

I just recently took some shots of dragonflies where I was shooting at 600mm on my FZ200 and I was also very impressed by the quality of the backgrounds. Here is one example.

-Tim

That's definitely nice. In my opinion, bokeh is the parameter of IQ that is most heavily dependent on what's in the scene, or more importantly, what's in the background of the scene. At moderate levels of background blur, point sources of light will look much nicer than long lines of light (like midday reflections off branches), but extreme blur brought about by shallow DOF will improve even unattractive backgrounds. I really don't concern myself much with bokeh as compared to DOF with respect to evaluating a lens. IMO, complaints of poor bokeh is often the same as taking a picture of an unattractive person and then using that as proof that the lens is no good for portraits. I just think lens and camera have a tiny role in bokeh as compared to the background itself.

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Rodger1943
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

Thanks Rudy, I think you pretty well nailed the differences. I photograph with other bird photographers on a regular basis and they have big cameras and even bigger lenses. I have seen their and your results. There is no doubt that the images that they get are superior to mine, but as you say, unless you print images to a large size, then there's not a lot of difference in the printed form. On screen they show brilliant detail. One area where the DSLR cameras really shine is in their ability to crop the taken image. They can keep enlarging that shot and each time they do, its still sharp, whereas the smaller sensor can't handle a big crop without losing a lot of quality. That said, I really like the FZ200, its a complete package and for its size and price will do most things very well.

Thanks for your thoughts, will speak to you on Flickr.

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doto41
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to Rodger1943, 7 months ago

First of all I'm really happy to hear from you, and your flickr looks great, I miss your help, advise and friendship to say nothing of your wonderful shots.

I'm happy with my fz8 (or FZ50) and lx5 combo. but do fell that I might want better IQ and better low light abilities. If I had the money I would buy an Olympus OMD with a zoom and two primes, and still the overall weight would be less than a kilo. Unfortunately the overall price would be 0ver $2500, and I wouldn't have 600mm equivalent, but for my street shots and night work that could be a great combo, but in the meantime I'm happy with what I have.

all the very best and keep posting here too.

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RudyPohl
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to Rodger1943, 7 months ago

Rodger1943 wrote:

Thanks Rudy, I think you pretty well nailed the differences. I photograph with other bird photographers on a regular basis and they have big cameras and even bigger lenses. I have seen their and your results. There is no doubt that the images that they get are superior to mine, but as you say, unless you print images to a large size, then there's not a lot of difference in the printed form. On screen they show brilliant detail. One area where the DSLR cameras really shine is in their ability to crop the taken image. They can keep enlarging that shot and each time they do, its still sharp, whereas the smaller sensor can't handle a big crop without losing a lot of quality. That said, I really like the FZ200, its a complete package and for its size and price will do most things very well.

Thanks for your thoughts, will speak to you on Flickr.

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Hi Rodger:

Great to hear from you and thanks for your feedback. Yes, you are absolutely correct about the cropping ability. My camera, the Nikon D7100, is specifically designed to maximize the cropping ability. It's 24MP sensor and the absence of its low-pass filter produce a minute resolution that is amazing.

In real-life what this allows you to do is to crop virtually every photograph to to 100% and still end up with a great looking shot with tons of image detail. I never know how to properly state crop percentages (Sherm if your listening..), but in actual pixels it means I can take my original 6000 pixel-wide image and crop that to a final size of 1600 pixels with NO noticeable loss in quality when displayed on a high-end computer monitor.

The extra cropping has the effect of extending the reach of your lenses by a significant amount (Jimmy Brown could probably calculate the exact amount). My guess is that it adds at least another 50% focal length.

One of the greatest strengths of my particular camera that I have not mentioned yet is the auto focus system. The D7100 has the same AF system as the pro Nikon cameras and it is terrific. The because crucial if you want to do a lot of BIF shots, which I do. (BIFs are "birds in flight").

Cheers,

Rudy

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bluemoonman
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

Rudy, Thanks for a very informative post,

As someone who has recently been using various DSLR set ups but just purchased a FZ200 I was very interested to read your thoughts,

I have been comparing my Nikon D80 & Nikon 55-300vr combo with the FZ200 & to be honest even though I am still trying to work out best various settings ie Sharpness & NR on the FZ200 I struggle to see any real difference between the two set ups unless I really start pixel peeping,

Here in the uk both set ups can be purchased used for around £300 so I can only really justify keeping one or the other & although I prefer the handling, & bigger VF of the D80 I think I am going to keep the FZ200 for its all in one ease of use,

Eventually I would love to invest in some serious equipment as you have done but I simply cant afford to at the moment suffice to say your photos are a inspiration (the happy frog is stunning) & thanks again for posting,

All the best, Jon.

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Hatstand
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Better superzoom sensors, yes
In reply to MoreGooderPhotos, 7 months ago

MoreGooderPhotos wrote:

Is it possible that the next generation of F2.8 constant lens bridge cameras (aka "FZ250") could have a better sensor?

Sensor improvements are on the way:
New Fuji/Panasonic organic sensor

It's just a question of "when". I'm hoping that:
a) the successor to the FZ200 will have that technology, and
b) that technology delivers on its theoretical promise, and
c) the reason we haven't had a successor to the FZ200 this year, is because this is all going to happen Real Soon Now

That sensor could in theory make substantial improvements to image quality and dynamic range, for the small sensors which are needed in a superzoom.

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Steve82
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to leerob, 7 months ago

leerob wrote:

 Besides, don't forget that it's photographer that makes a difference and not camera.

This statement is either grossly incomplete or horribly wrong.

Anyone interested in shooting their kids (or grandchildren) doing normal indoor activities knows that an ultrazoom simply won't cut it.

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John Miles
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

Good to hear from you Rudy.

Had Panasonic continued developing the FZ200 they would see the dawn of the small sensor supercamera. But there is a commercial force that caps superzoom quality. All manufacturers seem to comply with this rule, however it is governed.

Your observations demonstrate that the F200 commands very high quality for a  price. In truth it would be easy to keep upgrading the constant aperture to ever better image quality and maybe slightly improved constant aperture. Image quality for these types of camera would then reach the wider buying public, and its sales would rocket; based on that value alone.

Thank you for putting the differences in perspective.

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GeraldW
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 7 months ago

Rudy,

Welcome back!  Nice to hear from you again.

As to your comments on the D7100.  They parallel my DSLR experience quite closely.  My G15, FZ150, and FZ200 equal or exceed what I could do with a DSLR or Sony SLT with lower quality and slower lenses.  Further, there is a huge difference in both weight and bulk, especially, since no one DSLR lens of high quality comes close to the range of the FZ200.  So you're looking at two or more probably three large, heavy, and expensive lenses to cover 25-600 mm.

Most of my photography is travel related, so the weight and portability is of major importance.

As I said, nice to hear from you.  Please don't wait so long before posting here the next time.

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RudyPohl
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to GeraldW, 4 weeks ago

Hello old friends and new FZ200 owners.

This week is my 1-year anniversary of owning the Nikon D7100. I have shot 32,000 shots with this camera (almost all wildlife) in many different situations and weather conditions. It has functioned flawlessly and produced stunning quality images, some of which have won contests, been published and have been printed in medium format (20x30 inches). This is one awesome camera and if your desire is to produce professional quality photos for a reasonable cost, then this is a camera you might want to consider, you need a great lens as well and I have a Nikon 300/F4 that is use sometimes with a 1.4x teleconverter.

However, getting back to my original post in this thread... if you were to ask me to compare the FZ200 and the D7100 after 1 year of extensive us, and you if had to choose between the two, and if you did not need to print medium-to-large format prints, then my original conclusion still hold as true today after one year. Here it is copied and pasted from my original post in this thread.

"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."

Please keep in mind that when I used the FZ200 I alwys shot in RAW and almost always with a monopod. Also, I have been a commercial graphic artists for 25 years and have thousands of hours experience in Photoshop so I was able fortunate enough to be able to squeeze every last drop of quality from my FZ200 images.

(P.S. I have even found myself considering whether to re-purchase the FZ200... I'll let you know if and when I do!!!)

Cheers and happy shooting,

Rudy Pohl, Ottawa

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kkardster
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Re: Nikon D7100 - Six months after joining the "Dark Side"
In reply to RudyPohl, 4 weeks ago

Hi Rudy - glad to see you're still doing well, even after joining the "Dark Side". Congratulations on the impressive work you've been accumulating using your D7100! It's good to hear that you're making the best of your investment [again].

Can you define anything that you've found yourself wanting of your new rig that you had when you shot your FZ200? Or does you D7100 configuration surpass the FZ200 for your needs?

Many of us have been waiting to see what's to come [if anything] as a replacement for the FZ200. As you're aware, a [bigger]/better sensor is #1 on the list for many, but there's also interest in a wider and/or longer lens. Many here are getting along quite well with their new FZ70 and its 20mm wide end and 1200mm long end, so it's possible Leica could work some magic into any FZ200 replacement. The Achilles heel of the FZ70 so far appears to be its poor burst performance, where although it can shoot at a 9fps rate, the burst duration is only 0.3 seconds (3 images max) - difficult for those of us used to the FZ150/200 to accept. Maybe by the time you decide to "see the light" once again the next/better version will be a reality.

The pocketable ZS40/TZ60 is also generating quite a bit of buzz here lately - it essentially being a longer (30x/720mm EFL) version of the FZ150 in the compact ZS/TZ form factor. Looks to be a decent always-with-you camera for when you can't or don't want to bring the brick with you.

Good to hear from you - keep shooting!

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