D7100 - Face close-ups test images, harsh lighting, ISO 1600-6400

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 9,103
Re: D7100 - Face close-ups test images, harsh lighting, ISO 1600-6400

RudyPohl wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

Since I do not own one, I will suggest that you try another set but, this time, in slightly more forgiving light.  In other words, give your lens enough light to operate but use your camera settings to regulate the light.  Then, create a decent but difficult high iso exposure.   Shoot late in the day so you can watch the light dip, shoot outdoors to give yourself some room, and zoom out to a reasonable portrait fl like 135. That will also add some speed to your lens.  Borrow the blond from the store and you are set!  You want to be close enough with enough light to grab focus clean and precise.

Just because the light levels were beyond the limit of your gear in the first set does not mean that the D7100 cannot be an all around camera with consumer type lenses.  I would love to give it a go and compare the results immediately with my D90 and the rest of my kit.  My suspicion, from what I have seen, is that the results would be 1-2 stops better at the higher iso's (shooting more comfortably between 800-1600 instead of considering 400-800 the upper range) with finer grain in the lower registers.  Noise would not completely disappear.  I think you have to weigh the iso benefit with the other features of the camera.  Judging by noise alone, why not just get a D7000?  I think the 1.3 crop mode, the lack of an AA filter, and the revamped af system must be thrown into the stew (no frogs) of your judgment.

What other lenses are you considering at this point to get the most out of your new camera?

Hi Brev00:

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Perhaps you will understand what I'm trying to do when you understand my photography context... I'll give a few details...

After many years of absence from photography I bought a Panasonic FZ200 super-zoom camera last Fall and happily discovered the world of wildlife photography. After taking about 15,000 shots and going as far as I felt I could with this type of equipment I recently opted to buy a DSLR rig costing me $1800 instead of $600, this is with the 70-300 G VR lens. I am not prepared or able to immediately spend an additional $1000 on a better lens unless and until I can demonstrate to myself that I will be any good at DSLR wildlife photography. Thus, I have set myself the limitation of NOT buying anything else until I master the equipment I now have - which is alleged a top-rated wildlife camera (sharp as all get-out and great AF), plus a not great, but moderately "half-decent" zoom lens).

To sum up, if I can't consistently get nicely-coloured, properly exposed, in-focus images of birds and animals with this rig that means that wildlife photography can't possibly have $2000 as it's entry level, and really requires $3000 expenditure before the images are actually worth looking at. If that is the case, then I'm definitely in the wrong hobby.

And what's more, I'm not satisfied with the D7100 if that shoots only birds well; I want it to do a few more things besides that. I'm not expecting it to shoot flawless portraits in low light like a Canon 5D MKII would do, but I am expecting it to do a wide variety of things reasonably well  under reasonably challenging conditions. That's one of the reasons I shot these images in the camera store under the harsh florescent lights.

Anyways, I have 3 more days left on my trial period and I'll do my best to try various scenarios and see how things come out. Thanks for your help.


There is another option open to the many on this forum who have expressed doubts about the value proposition of the D7100 - rent.  A $100 investment buys you 5 days of use through folks like LensRentals.  The downside is that that rental simply adds to the acquisition cost of the new equipment should you choose to buy. But it does have the advantage of removing the purchase pressure from your testing - thus allowing you to think a bit about the protocols.

The downside of renting, of course, is that it takes a lot longer than 5 or 6 days of use to learn a completely new tool and develop the perspective sufficient for you to evaluate its worth.

Therefore, the other way to go about this is to purchase, but expect to sell if you aren't satisfied. You will lose perhaps 20% of what you paid, but using your situation as an example, you get a LOT more use out of the equipment than what you'd get by renting.  $400 is not a lot by DSLR photographic standards.

There is a big difference between the ease of picture taking with a super-zoom and that of a DSLR.  The DSLR can work wonders, but it will also expose any flaws in your technique or the light.  The D7100 is a fabulous camera, but it is not a miracle worker. You are coming from one of the best super-zooms made, and it has something that you can't get on a DSLR for 50 times the price: an f2.8 600mm equivalent telephoto.  In fact, across the board, that FZ-200 has a lens that knocks down the 4-5 stop image quality differential between it and a DSLR sensor by a good 2 stops, particularly with the lens you're using on your D7100. You give up DOF, sure, but a bright lens is a wonderful thing.

I sense a bit of urgency in your posts.  I don't think that you can make this sort of equipment upgrade without the potential for some opportunity risk, or learning cost.  Slow down, take the time (and the workshops) to thoroughly learn your new equipment, keep it if 6 months down the road you like what you're turning out, sell it and move on if you don't.

I still don't have the hang of my still excellent though not top-end equipment...and you can bet I'm doing the acquisitional calculus for this next step up at the highest level I'm capable of, because the improvements become more subtle and more dependent upon personal technique to fully manifest.  People like Horshack are helping with the deep measurements; and those like Jim Pearce are showing what is possible.  And people like Mirceau remind me that it's the light ya gotta get right first.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Sony a6400 +7 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
MOD Mako2011
MOD Mako2011
MOD Mako2011
MOD Mako2011
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow