D7100 Banding Issue...

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Glen from Bedford
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D7100 Banding Issue...
6 months ago

I know the D7100 review has been out there for some time now but I don't see any evidence of "banding" in the samples provided by DPReview when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness in LR. That really puzzles me, because I can create the "banding" issue in almost every one of my D7100 images when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness. Don't get me wrong, it's not my intention to find fault w/the D7100 but I have a lot of good pics where "banding" is evident w/out pushing the exposure. And like others, it's now really bugging me to the point where I feel the D7100 is a faulty piece of equipment... much like the D600 was. My D7000 produces no such issues when the exposure or brightness is increased. Furthermore, I read where the sample images of the D7100 at The Imaging Resource do not display banding either. So here's the question... did DPReview and the The Imaging Resource get D7100s w/an improved sensor over production models or are many D7100 faulty and need service?  And if many of us do have cameras w/bad sensors, perhaps we should push Nikon to fix the problem like they did w/the D600!!

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GaryR57
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

I have used my D7100 now for 11 months.

I have yet to notice any banding in my images but I rarely push the exposure sliders in LR5 or CNX2 more than +/- 1.5 - 2 stops - mostly in the +/- 0.3 - 0.7 range.

Is it when you are you pushing the exposure in PP that you are having the problem and if so, by how much?

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Mako2011
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In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

I know the D7100 review has been out there for some time now but I don't see any evidence of "banding" in the samples provided by DPReview when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness in LR.

The DPR samples seem to have little detail in deep shadows that exhibit the issue. It does show up and can be seen, but often scene specific.

That really puzzles me, because I can create the "banding" issue in almost every one of my D7100 images when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness. Don't get me wrong, it's not my intention to find fault w/the D7100 but I have a lot of good pics where "banding" is evident w/out pushing the exposure.

Any examples of the issue? Always interesting to see and under what circumstances. Also helps to tell if your case might be a unique one.

And like others, it's now really bugging me to the point where I feel the D7100 is a faulty piece of equipment... much like the D600 was. My D7000 produces no such issues when the exposure or brightness is increased. Furthermore, I read where the sample images of the D7100 at The Imaging Resource do not display banding either. So here's the question... did DPReview and the The Imaging Resource get D7100s w/an improved sensor over production models or are many D7100 faulty and need service?

I didn't think so. They may also be shooting in 14-bit RAW which exhibits far less banding than shooting in 12-bit. Also, most of the DPR and IR samples are JPEG. I think JPEG photos may simply not have enough fine tonality recorded in the shadows to show this banding when the exposure is lifted this much.Ther is also the "not all RAW convertors are created equal" CNX2/VNX2 showed far less, IMO, than the first versions of ACR. HAve not looked in the lated ACR versions though. Have also seen examples where it showed up in LR while far far less when same file used by Raw Therapee. Lots of NR software makes it a non-issue with the debanding slider. Much easier to get rid of than was the case with banding in other manufactures cameras a little while back.

And if many of us do have cameras w/bad sensors, perhaps we should push Nikon to fix the problem like they did w/the D600!!

Again, do you have examples. It comes up so rarely now that I don't think it ever was due to sensor sample variation.

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philharris
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

There is no banding issue with my D7100, none at all.

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Glen from Bedford
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to GaryR57, 6 months ago

I see subtle "banding" in normal pictures. By increasing the exposure, you can really emphasize how prevalent the issue really is. I can do the same w/my D7000 and nada… no “banding” whatsoever. It really irks me. The Nikon service representatives that I’ve shared this information will not admit to an issue but it appears to be quite common w/D7100 users… especially for indoor shots.

If you do the same, do you see “banding”? I’m curious. All I want to know… is this just a sensor related issue common to all or do I have a defective unit?

To me the release of the D5300 w/a different sensor says a lot because the D5200 and D7100 both share the same Toshiba sensor and the D5200 is also well publicized to having the same "banding" problem.

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Mako2011
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In reply to philharris, 6 months ago

philharris wrote:

There is no banding issue with my D7100, none at all.

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Pass me a 12-bit NEF file of a very high dynamic range scene...one with lots of detail in very deep shadows...and I bet I can show you the issue even with your copy Even then, might not be a real issue regards final output.

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Glen from Bedford
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to philharris, 6 months ago

Humm... thanks Phil... must be my unit and many more.  I guess I need to pay the piper and send it in for service.

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Mako2011
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In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

Humm... thanks Phil... must be my unit and many more. I guess I need to pay the piper and send it in for service.

Doubtful it's actually a issue uniquer to your sample. Again, what format are you shooting and what software?

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blue_cheese
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Banding yes... Issue no
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

I have the D7100 a lot of scrutiny before I decided to buy, fully aware of the "banding issue" it was the first thing I tried and here is my take...

Extreme shadows show noise in a horizontal (wide side) striped band like pattern when pushed 3EV or more. 3EV is where I can notice it, but I am good with that since it is a non issue for any reasonably exposed image. If you are hoping to recover an image from total black then this may not be the right camera.

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mosswings
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

Humm... thanks Phil... must be my unit and many more. I guess I need to pay the piper and send it in for service.

You would be very pleased to own a d7100 if you had owned a Canon...which are known for more visible banding. That being said, the d7000 uses a Sony Exmor sensor the D7100 a Toshiba. The Toshiba offers better tonality and resolution, but does not employ the patented sensor circuitry that makes for such clean shadowed RAW files. The D5300 has yet a different sensor with much less banding than the d7100, which the d7200 will very likely use. In most situations, banding is not an issue, but if you push shadows or underexpose significantly to preserve highlights it will show up, so the rule with a d7100 is get the exposure right, and ETTR - just like a Canon, but again more tolerant than a Canon of high DR scenes - oh yes, and some advanced NR that can remove any residual banding, like NIK's plug-in. You could be really lax with a d7000. Your camera is almost aßuredly NOT faulty and Nikon won't - can't - do anything to fix it. The solution, alas, is a new and different sensor architecture and imaging chain, which is essentially the next gen body. Or buy a d5300 instead.

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RRowlett
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Banding is an artifact of (a) expecting too much of shadow detail in 14-bit digital images and (b) expecting to underexpose HDR images by 3-5 stops and expecting to pull up shadow detail that is not really there. Some sensors are better at this kind of extreme image-pulling, but the D7100 is not among them. On the other hand, the D7100 will give you 24 Mpixel detail. In properly exposed real images that you are going to show on real media it is really not a significant problem. Digital photography has in some sense made us very lazy about proper exposure and overconfident about dynamic range.

Cheers.

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rhlpetrus
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to mosswings, 6 months ago

I wished my D7000 had the AF of the D7100 and a deeper buffer, almost the perfect DX camera. Maybe the D9300 some said is coming will be it. Or just the D7200. But by then I may have already moved (which way I'm not sure).

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Tbolt47
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I get banding on my D7100
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

I know the D7100 review has been out there for some time now but I don't see any evidence of "banding" in the samples provided by DPReview when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness in LR. That really puzzles me, because I can create the "banding" issue in almost every one of my D7100 images when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness. Don't get me wrong, it's not my intention to find fault w/the D7100 but I have a lot of good pics where "banding" is evident w/out pushing the exposure. And like others, it's now really bugging me to the point where I feel the D7100 is a faulty piece of equipment... much like the D600 was. My D7000 produces no such issues when the exposure or brightness is increased. Furthermore, I read where the sample images of the D7100 at The Imaging Resource do not display banding either. So here's the question... did DPReview and the The Imaging Resource get D7100s w/an improved sensor over production models or are many D7100 faulty and need service? And if many of us do have cameras w/bad sensors, perhaps we should push Nikon to fix the problem like they did w/the D600!!

When I was trying to work out how much advantage there is with 14-bit raw over 12-bit I underexposed a scene and pushed it several stops and I get banding, more so with 12-bit.

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Shunda77
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The typical apologists are out in force again
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

This issue is constantly downplayed, but yet it is constantly annoying new users of the D7100/5200.

Criticizing the photographers exposure 'competency' is particularly offensive, the issue appears in shots that are not pushed as hard as some suggest, and for certain types of photography it is a constant headache requiring extra post processing which always has a deleterious effect on image quality to some extent.

It is a reduction in performance over previous models, it is as simple as that, downplaying the issue just doesn't cut it.

I will not touch either of these cameras because of this issue, better to go for the D5300, or wait for the unreleased D7200. Sticking with the older models is also an option.

The suggestion that "canon sensors do it" as some sort of defense is just utterly absurd, canon sensors are so far behind the game that they are hardly the place to be placing image quality benchmarks.

Nikon know they screwed up, so why don't we just accept the problem exists and be honest about it instead of the usual fan boi nonsense.

To the OP, sorry mate, but this issue can't be fixed on your D7100, you will either have to live with it or work on the post processing techniques that others can advise you on. It is not your fault and ultimately you have to decide whether the issue frustrates you enough to take other measures with your equipment.

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swimswithtrout
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Re: The typical apologists are out in force again
In reply to Shunda77, 6 months ago

Shunda77 wrote:

This issue is constantly downplayed, but yet it is constantly annoying new users of the D7100/5200.

Criticizing the photographers exposure 'competency' is particularly offensive, the issue appears in shots that are not pushed as hard as some suggest, and for certain types of photography it is a constant headache requiring extra post processing which always has a deleterious effect on image quality to some extent.

It is a reduction in performance over previous models, it is as simple as that, downplaying the issue just doesn't cut it.

I will not touch either of these cameras because of this issue, better to go for the D5300, or wait for the unreleased D7200. Sticking with the older models is also an option.

The suggestion that "canon sensors do it" as some sort of defense is just utterly absurd, canon sensors are so far behind the game that they are hardly the place to be placing image quality benchmarks.

Nikon know they screwed up, so why don't we just accept the problem exists and be honest about it instead of the usual fan boi nonsense.

To the OP, sorry mate, but this issue can't be fixed on your D7100, you will either have to live with it or work on the post processing techniques that others can advise you on. It is not your fault and ultimately you have to decide whether the issue frustrates you enough to take other measures with your equipment.

Not only is the banding horizontal, it comes in spirals and other weird shapes ! I can't say for sure if it's the D7100 or lens aberrations in the 70-300 VR zoom but Nikon should be ashamed !

This is what I consistently end up when I try to push my exposures !

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Shunda77
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In reply to swimswithtrout, 6 months ago

You clearly have some great post processing ability and some nice lenses.

Banding is still an issue and a performance reduction from previous models.

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sshoihet
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

I know the D7100 review has been out there for some time now but I don't see any evidence of "banding" in the samples provided by DPReview when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness in LR. That really puzzles me, because I can create the "banding" issue in almost every one of my D7100 images when increasing the exposure or increasing the brightness. Don't get me wrong, it's not my intention to find fault w/the D7100 but I have a lot of good pics where "banding" is evident w/out pushing the exposure. And like others, it's now really bugging me to the point where I feel the D7100 is a faulty piece of equipment... much like the D600 was. My D7000 produces no such issues when the exposure or brightness is increased. Furthermore, I read where the sample images of the D7100 at The Imaging Resource do not display banding either. So here's the question... did DPReview and the The Imaging Resource get D7100s w/an improved sensor over production models or are many D7100 faulty and need service? And if many of us do have cameras w/bad sensors, perhaps we should push Nikon to fix the problem like they did w/the D600!!

Banding in shadows is common when pushing exposure more than about 3 stops and even worse if you push the shadow slider.  Having done quite a bit of testing with this recently, here what I decided were my options:

1 - shoot brackets with my D7100, blend exposures into a 32bit tiff and process in LR.

2 - shoot single raw, process and correct banding using Nik define or topaz denoise as required

3 - shoot single raw with my D600 which has much more latitude for pushing shadows.

All three methods produced very acceptable results with the blended exposures producing the best detail in the shadow areas.  I expect blending the D600 exposures would be even better but the result from the single raw was good enough so for most images, i wouldn't go to the extra effort.

I still prefer my D7100 over my D7000 for most images; the detail it can resolve is amazing, I like the colours better (esp in bright sunlight) and i find the highlight rolloff is much more pleasing.  Sony sensors are great when lighting is controlled but I find they suffer in bright, contrasty sunlight.

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lock
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What I would do.
In reply to Shunda77, 6 months ago

If it is true that in a properly exposed shot (which doesn't always mean the histogram is perfectly centered) you can see banding on screen and in print without changing the exposure, then send it to Nikon and ask them to fix it.

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_sem_
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Re: D7100 Banding Issue...
In reply to Glen from Bedford, 6 months ago

Glen from Bedford wrote:

I see subtle "banding" in normal pictures. By increasing the exposure, you can really emphasize how prevalent the issue really is. I can do the same w/my D7000 and nada… no “banding” whatsoever. It really irks me. The Nikon service representatives that I’ve shared this information will not admit to an issue but it appears to be quite common w/D7100 users… especially for indoor shots.

If you do the same, do you see “banding”? I’m curious. All I want to know… is this just a sensor related issue common to all or do I have a defective unit

Do show some samples. You can find a few by searching old threads, but the magnitude of the problem is relatively small and seems to be context-dependent (blown highlights seem to spill over somehow to somewhat amplify banding, "streaking"). I don't recall if anyone verified that the banding is the same on all D7100 cameras or perhaps some are worse than others.

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mosswings
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Re: The typical apologists are out in force again
In reply to Shunda77, 6 months ago

Shunda77 wrote:

This issue is constantly downplayed, but yet it is constantly annoying new users of the D7100/5200.

Criticizing the photographers exposure 'competency' is particularly offensive, the issue appears in shots that are not pushed as hard as some suggest, and for certain types of photography it is a constant headache requiring extra post processing which always has a deleterious effect on image quality to some extent.

It is a reduction in performance over previous models, it is as simple as that, downplaying the issue just doesn't cut it.

I will not touch either of these cameras because of this issue, better to go for the D5300, or wait for the unreleased D7200. Sticking with the older models is also an option.

The suggestion that "canon sensors do it" as some sort of defense is just utterly absurd, canon sensors are so far behind the game that they are hardly the place to be placing image quality benchmarks.

Nikon know they screwed up, so why don't we just accept the problem exists and be honest about it instead of the usual fan boi nonsense.

To the OP, sorry mate, but this issue can't be fixed on your D7100, you will either have to live with it or work on the post processing techniques that others can advise you on. It is not your fault and ultimately you have to decide whether the issue frustrates you enough to take other measures with your equipment.

My reference to Canon was not an apology for the D7100's lesser shadow performance relative to the d7000 or any other Sony-sensored Nikon, but rather pointing out that Canon's sensors perform appreciably worse than Nikon's, yet produce stunning images almost as well. I have been able to create banding in my D7100, but in 10,000 images with it I've yet to notice it under normal use. That counts for something.

Would I like to know that the Toshiba banding, streaking, and pulled shadow color shifting is gone? Yeah. Would it have been better for Nikon to wait on a D7100 until the next-gen Sony 24mp sensor were available? Yeah, but they'd have to wait a year and until after Sony's new-gen bodies were released. Like until about right now.

But I would be less than truthful if I didn't acknowledge that even though in some aspects the sensor is a step backwards and requires more attention to technique to get maximal results, it's a very small step, and in almost all other respects the D7100 is a significant improvement upon its predecessor and class-leading at the time of its introduction. The D7100 is more about operational versatility and AF competence than balls-out sensor superiority, about pushing the consumer lineup closer to pro. Perhaps that was in compensation for its sensor's limitations - I don't know. But it is a better sorted out camera than its forebears.

For what the OP is trying to do, the D7100 is not the right tool.

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