Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions
Drew5100 Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

What you may be experiencing is the trade off between increased resolution and noise as ISO increases.  Be sure that your D90 comparisons are 1:1 - lenses used, ISO, aperture/SP, etc.

Also, the intent and understanding is that most photographers (with exception maybe of sports pros) will shoot in RAW (NEF) and do at least some post-processing when necessary prior to conversion to jpeg.  Think of it as working with film - post-processing is required to get the best results.

The increased MPs/resolution of these newer sensors demand the very best in lens resolution - you may want to think about your lens choices/use, and see if that makes a difference, and also do some adjustments in camera for noise reduction when you raise the ISO.

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Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,280
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO
2

edo21 wrote:

After hundreds thousands of shots with the D90 I can get what I expect, knowing that the usage limit for the D90 is ISO 400. I rent when i need D700 or D3s for works at 800 iso and more.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.
In some photos I posted here after trying the manual settings i tried the aperture priority. Up to now all the images that I use for my works are jpgs, converted and not modified NEF files with View NX
Again, this forum now iis full of D7100 pictures at 3200 ISO that appear perfect.
Unfortunately, these are not the results that I got.
What I would like to share with you is to know if after 5 years from the release of the D90 from a new camera concepts like the D7100 might be expected to arrive in 1600 with good iso files.

The D7100 has lower noise than the D90 at equivalent reproduction sizes. The only way you're going to convince yourself of this reality if you shoot the exact same scene with both cameras using the same exposure and do the comparison yourself. Noise is 99% dependent on the absolute exposure and looking at low-key exposures from one camera and comparing those to the noise you remember seeing from a high-key exposure on a previous camera is a surefire recipe to convince yourself the new camera has more noise; i can show you a D3s ISO 1600 image that is noisier than a D3s ISO 6400 image, where the difference is simply the absolute exposure (ie, the amount of light that the camera allowed to reach the sensor).

Nexu1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,746
Re: less
1

Mako2011 wrote:

edo21 wrote:

Just my way of living photography, nothing to say with other way of living it.
On the other hand my d7100 up to now is not clean at 1600 iso, may be is a bad copy.

I 'm trying to understand it from your experience on the field.

The noise in your examples...is much less than had you taken the exact same picture with your D90. The way you are zooming in to look is what causing the difference in perception.

Would it be appropriate to zoom to 200% on the D90 to compare to 100% on the D7100 (12 MP vs 24 MP)?

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Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,747
same FOV

Nexu1 wrote:

Mako2011 wrote:

edo21 wrote:

Just my way of living photography, nothing to say with other way of living it.
On the other hand my d7100 up to now is not clean at 1600 iso, may be is a bad copy.

I 'm trying to understand it from your experience on the field.

The noise in your examples...is much less than had you taken the exact same picture with your D90. The way you are zooming in to look is what causing the difference in perception.

Would it be appropriate to zoom to 200% on the D90 to compare to 100% on the D7100 (12 MP vs 24 MP)?

No...better to zoom in to the exact same FOV (Fiels of View) on both.  Instead of 100%...you just fill the screen with the same part of the picture. Both camera take a pic of a lady standing with camera at the same distance to subject...zoom in so just the head fills both (same FOV).  If I have it right...I always get it turned around

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mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

Horshack wrote:

edo21 wrote:

After hundreds thousands of shots with the D90 I can get what I expect, knowing that the usage limit for the D90 is ISO 400. I rent when i need D700 or D3s for works at 800 iso and more.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.
In some photos I posted here after trying the manual settings i tried the aperture priority. Up to now all the images that I use for my works are jpgs, converted and not modified NEF files with View NX
Again, this forum now iis full of D7100 pictures at 3200 ISO that appear perfect.
Unfortunately, these are not the results that I got.
What I would like to share with you is to know if after 5 years from the release of the D90 from a new camera concepts like the D7100 might be expected to arrive in 1600 with good iso files.

The D7100 has lower noise than the D90 at equivalent reproduction sizes. The only way you're going to convince yourself of this reality if you shoot the exact same scene with both cameras using the same exposure and do the comparison yourself. Noise is 99% dependent on the absolute exposure and looking at low-key exposures from one camera and comparing those to the noise you remember seeing from a high-key exposure on a previous camera is a surefire recipe to convince yourself the new camera has more noise; i can show you a D3s ISO 1600 image that is noisier than a D3s ISO 6400 image, where the difference is simply the absolute exposure (ie, the amount of light that the camera allowed to reach the sensor).

But edo21 has already shot "hundreds of thousands of amazing photos" for his professional work with the D90, so why isn't he getting them with the D7100?

edo21, can you post some photos that might look similar to this shot from Italy?  Correct me if i am wrong, but you shoot in RAW but you don't PP???  Might as well shoot jpeg, no?

i was kind of like you in the begining, why the hell PP??  why should i have to do that and not the camera itself i said to myself ??  Unfortunately like others have already said, these newer more modern sensors/micro chips DO HAVE their own little built-in dark room in them, where YOU or us, are the ones that have to process the photo as in older film days, but now that's done with programs.  One option you have is pay some else to do it for you, that would be like taking your film rolls to the store and have them do the PP

me, personally, i am also getting used to shooting RAW more and more.  Is just the way it is nowdays.  I know is a pain on the butt (literately) and i have to go to Office Depot one of this days to "upgrade" my super hard chair to a more confortable one since i am spending a lot more time in PP now.  What else can i say??

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jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,796
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO
1

nfpotter wrote:

First, most or all of those look under-exposed, which is just asking for noise.

Second, if you're not willing to do any PP, you are missing out BIG TIME. PP is to digital as the darkroom was to film.

Third, I don't think they look that bad, really.

Underexposure would explain the noise in the darker areas, but how would you explain the sky noise? I see a lot of chroma noise, especially upper left sky in the first image.

- Jon

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BradM73 Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

edo21 wrote:

Thank you for your replies.
There is no trolling here cause after spending 1.300 euros, in this moment in italy, i just expected something more from the nikon d7100.

I don't hate post processing, simply i don't like it, but i'm very able to manage files if needed.

My choice not to modify the pictures helped me to learn a lot about how to use a camera.

After hundreds thousands of shots with the D90 I can get what I expect, knowing that the usage limit for the D90 is ISO 400. I rent when i need D700 or D3s for works at 800 iso and more.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.
In some photos I posted here after trying the manual settings i tried the aperture priority. Up to now all the images that I use for my works are jpgs, converted and not modified NEF files with View NX
Again, this forum now iis full of D7100 pictures at 3200 ISO that appear perfect.
Unfortunately, these are not the results that I got.
What I would like to share with you is to know if after 5 years from the release of the D90 from a new camera concepts like the D7100 might be expected to arrive in 1600 with good iso files.

Honestly, I think it might just be something were you need to spend more time with the camera to get it set up to your preferences.  The first picture you posted (shown below) was incredibly underwhelming.  The lower half is underexposed and there is some kind of hazy gradient below the horizon line, almost like there was condensation on the lens?  The camera seems to be exposing for the clouds and not the city.  Then there is the extremely poor lighting.  I'd like to see a side by side comparison of the D90 taking the same shot, just to rule out camera/user error.  To me, this just looks like a tourist shot on a rainy day.  Please don't take that as an insult, but just a critical observation of the photo.

In the crop, it looks about as I'd expect an underexposed image to look, but there is still a lot of detail in those images.

So far, my D7100 has exceeded my D7000 in every way, so I'm thinking you either are doing something wrong or the camera might have a defect.

D7100 + Tokina 16-50 F8 1/250 - Iso 1600 - Matrix

Horshack Veteran Member • Posts: 6,280
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO
2

mistermejia wrote:

But edo21 has already shot "hundreds of thousands of amazing photos" for his professional work with the D90, so why isn't he getting them with the D710

Unless you compare two photos taken at the same time and same exposure it doesn't matter how many photographs were taken before. Human memory is frail, subjective, and prone to confirmation bias.

scokill Veteran Member • Posts: 4,991
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

I agree with you. This is not good at all. I have the D7000 and it does JPEGs much better with less noise at high ISOs than the D7100. As it is right now, it appears the D7100 is for RAW shooters only, and not a good choice for JPEG only shooters. I suggest the D7000 instead if you do not want to shoot RAW and post process for noise.

Here is an example of a D7000 out of camera JPEG (no additional noise reduction done), shot at 2800 ISO.

Out of camera D7000 JPEG, 2800 ISO

That is a nice shot and no question the d7000 is a strong performer at higher ISO, and even better from RAW and/or solid noise reduction software.  I've shot the d7000 a lot at high ISO and shot the 7100 this weekend and just my view it is no better or worse in general and perhaps easier to clean up above 3200.  You could get scientific and debate the numbers and the finer points at pixel level, but for similarly sized photos as above and apples to apples comparison I don't believe you would see much difference.

This was shot at ISO ~10,000 (Hi .5) JPEG and one button clean in topaz denoise.  There are some others in my gallery.  The ops photo is apples and oranges though.

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tko Forum Pro • Posts: 12,569
yup, a good way to put it
1

Agree completely. Too many people want to push the button and have the camera record the scene the way their brain remembered it. Even if this could be done, where's the skill and participation?

toomanycanons wrote:

I'm only going to reply as regards this statement by you: "I don't like the post processing of any photo, i consider the post processing something different from photography."

I post process EVERY worthy photo. The camera just records data, why would you think it then outputs the very bestest version of the scene you captured? That's where post processing comes in. Post processing IS digital photography.

As far as the D7100 not being good at ISO 1600, I'll let others tell you what you're doing wrong because it has to be better than my D5100 and my D5100 is clean at ISO 1600.

Gary Fischman Regular Member • Posts: 215
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO
1

edo21 wrote:

I don't hate post processing, simply i don't like it, but i'm very able to manage files if needed.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.

This makes somewhere close to zero sense. You don't post process, but you shoot RAW? Those two concepts are pretty much mutually exclusive. The "conversion to JPG" *is* post processing - the only difference is that you're accepting whatever defaults your software chooses. Your white balance, saturation, sharpening, etc. - *is* post processing.

Why would you ever want to shoot RAW if you're never going to post process? Its just a waste of storage space.

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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,920
Have you tried Dr. Brown's Stack-O-Matic?

In a very timely post on sansmirror.com, Thom Hogan shows what one can do with a lowly V2 by exploiting burst mode shooting and an exposure stacking utility.  A deeply underexposed and noisy shot suddenly looks - well - superb - when, in this example, 30 identical exposures are averaged:

http://www.sansmirror.com/articles/technique/reducing-noise-the-mean-way.html

All of you sports shooters are out of luck here, so I won't feel hurt if you move on to the next post.  But for landscapes such as the OP is shooting, a good tripod and a 1-2 second burst of shots at typical shutter speeds combined in - gulp - Photoshop - or, when Adobe decides it's a good thing, Lightroom.

As I stated, we've only just entered the era of computational photography.  If you photograph still subjects, you can get much of the performance of FF cameras with a good fast, stably supported burst.

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oklaphotog Senior Member • Posts: 1,093
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

edo21 wrote:

Thank you for your replies.
There is no trolling here cause after spending 1.300 euros, in this moment in italy, i just expected something more from the nikon d7100.

I don't hate post processing, simply i don't like it, but i'm very able to manage files if needed.

My choice not to modify the pictures helped me to learn a lot about how to use a camera.

After hundreds thousands of shots with the D90 I can get what I expect, knowing that the usage limit for the D90 is ISO 400. I rent when i need D700 or D3s for works at 800 iso and more.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.
In some photos I posted here after trying the manual settings i tried the aperture priority. Up to now all the images that I use for my works are jpgs, converted and not modified NEF files with View NX
Again, this forum now iis full of D7100 pictures at 3200 ISO that appear perfect.
Unfortunately, these are not the results that I got.
What I would like to share with you is to know if after 5 years from the release of the D90 from a new camera concepts like the D7100 might be expected to arrive in 1600 with good iso files.

Photography is a process from capture to print. It uses a complete system of tools and doesn't stop at the camera. Not post processing is limiting your abilities as a photographer to produce good work. A good way of thinking about it is comparing to film.

With film, you could shoot it, take it to your lab and have minilab machine prints made. These prints were always average and considered a proof. Good work was always made with a real darkroom print which has better control over color balance, contrast, density, and is dodged and burned with multiple exposures to the paper. The difference in quality vs. a single exposure machine print with a rougher set of controls for color and density is substantial. Part of what made Ansel Adam's work as good as it was, was simply his ability to use the darkroom and his printing techniques. He used a method to produce a negative that was exposed in a way that gave him the most flexibility in the darkroom to achieve his previsualized and wanted outcome at print time.

These days post processing is the equivalent of the film darkroom, hence why it's called the digital darkroom. The difference now is that you make all of your finite adjustments to the image on the computer, then output it to a digital printer like a modern minilab, inkjet, lightjet etc...

If you accept that your camera is just one piece of the photographic process, expose in a way to get a flatter raw file that has maximum flexibility, and use the darkroom to it's potential.. The final photographic result will be superior. Simply put, you can try as you might to get a perfect in camera shot but it will never have the quality of an image that was made using the complete photographic process and tools available.

As far as noise is concerned, different raw processors produce different noise structures. Try a different one like ACR/Lightroom. With less than 2 min of work on the jpeg of that first shot it would look a ton better. With the current file, little to no noise would even show in a 12x18" print at 300dpi. With some slight basic work, none would show and it could have a ton more pop.

Danel Senior Member • Posts: 2,905
Nice first post
3

You have what appears to be a slightly foggy, underexposed image, in poor lighting.  You then shoot the image at ISO 1600, refuse to post process it, and then blow up the 24mp underexposed image to a 100% crop and complain that it looks noisy in comparison to a D90 that you didn't take the same shot with at the same time.  Not much more to say about that.

Next time, bring along your D90 and shoot the same images with it, at the same time that you are shooting with your new camera.  Make sure to use the same settings and lenses on each camera.  Then compare them at the same sizes and see what you get.  If the D90 blows away the D7100 in some substantial way, or even matches it, then you will have something that will generate a lot of forum interest and conversation.

Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me a bit to find out that the D90 held its own very well against the D7100.  I shot with a D90 for a couple of years and it served me very well.  It was and is a very fine camera.  It has half the resolution of the D7100, but at normal print sizes it would likely be hard to tell the two apart.  I wouldn't mind seeing a well done real world comparison though, I'll tell you that.

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john Clinch Veteran Member • Posts: 3,630
Re: Nice first post

Looking on DXO at the RAW graphs for a D90, D7000 and D5200 it look like there really isn't much difference in an 10 inch print for noise at iso 1600. Per pixel the noise is worse in the D5200

The D700 is a good deal better than all of these cameras. As you have of course observed yourself

It sounds like you know what you are doing. Maybe you'd be better off buying a used D700

fotolopithecus Senior Member • Posts: 1,699
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

Gary Fischman wrote:

edo21 wrote:

I don't hate post processing, simply i don't like it, but I'm very able to manage files if needed.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.

This makes somewhere close to zero sense. You don't post process, but you shoot RAW? Those two concepts are pretty much mutually exclusive. The "conversion to JPG" *is* post processing - the only difference is that you're accepting whatever defaults your software chooses. Your white balance, saturation, sharpening, etc. - *is* post processing.

Why would you ever want to shoot RAW if you're never going to post process? Its just a waste of storage space.

He's for lack of a better term, "a purest." He shoots raw because it contains all of the info, and he doesn't like adding subjective touches to it, so he leaves as is in its pristine, if somewhat blander state. I think I understand him, because I hold some of the same feelings, but I do minimally boost contrast, saturation, and sharpen where needed. I think what hes trying to do is accurately document what he sees. I could be full of it, but that's my guess on where he's coming from.

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mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,920
Re: Serious doubts on the D7100 at high ISO

fotolopithecus wrote:

Gary Fischman wrote:

edo21 wrote:

I don't hate post processing, simply i don't like it, but I'm very able to manage files if needed.

I shoot in NEF and all settings (all) are manual. I have thousands of stunning images taken with the D90 also in critical condition.

This makes somewhere close to zero sense. You don't post process, but you shoot RAW? Those two concepts are pretty much mutually exclusive. The "conversion to JPG" *is* post processing - the only difference is that you're accepting whatever defaults your software chooses. Your white balance, saturation, sharpening, etc. - *is* post processing.

Why would you ever want to shoot RAW if you're never going to post process? Its just a waste of storage space.

He's for lack of a better term, "a purest." He shoots raw because it contains all of the info, and he doesn't like adding subjective touches to it, so he leaves as is in its pristine, if somewhat blander state. I think I understand him, because I hold some of the same feelings, but I do minimally boost contrast, saturation, and sharpen where needed. I think what hes trying to do is accurately document what he sees. I could be full of it, but that's my guess on where he's coming from.

I'd tend to agree with this. The fact that edo21 moves from D90 to D700 to D3 (all 12MP cameras) when he wants to get better noise performance suggests that not only is he a "capture it right in camera" sort of photog but that he hasn't explored the computational possibilities of the higher resolution DX bodies. If one wants to maintain pixel-level noise quality at a constant resolution, then either a larger sensor or exposure stacking are the options you have available.

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Gary Fischman Regular Member • Posts: 215
Well, if he likes it...
2

If he does it because he likes his bland images, power to him.

But if he's doing it because of some philosophical objection to post processing (e.g., people who say "post processing isn't really photography"), then he's just misguided.

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edo21
OP edo21 New Member • Posts: 12
Re: Another picture for your comments

It'seems that we can't live without post processing.

Before shooting i normally think, evaluate the light, the scene, i'm not a casual shooter.
Shooting in raw allows me to store all the best of a photo in a file.
So if a print is needed i can use the best of it

The first sample i posted in this thread was just for testing the basic features of the camera, nothing else.

If someone would like to see what does it means for me photography without post processing consider that at the moment i mantain almost 100 sites that i've built, and the images are a relevant part of them. You can see some example here www.ortodilucania.it or www.basilicatanet.com or www.lalocandadipietra.com

I don't need to compare the images of my D90 with those of the new camera.
I know very well the limits of the first. I just expected 2 stop of better high iso performance after 5 years of innovation. Don't ask for a 3200 or 6400 clean results, just 1600.

Dpreview has now posted the samples of the D7100 that confirms exactly all the serious doubts i've on the high iso performance of this camera.

I've read some very interesting post in this thread and would like you to consider this picture
that's a crop of a photo of my son at 1250 iso with the nikon 300/4 AF-S, very far from the perfect samples of this forum and much more similar tho worst samples of DPreview gallery.

Thank you.

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john Clinch Veteran Member • Posts: 3,630
Re: Another picture for your comments

edo21 wrote:

I don't need to compare the images of my D90 with those of the new camera.
I know very well the limits of the first. I just expected 2 stop of better high iso performance after 5 years of innovation. Don't ask for a 3200 or 6400 clean results, just 1600.

I think the technology hasn't moved on that fast. We are looking at well under a 1 stop gain D90 to D5200 and presumably D7100 in RAW. The trouble is that the D90 was pretty photon effecient leaving very little room for improvement. Alhough I'm really into post processing it can't really change the amount of noise or information in an image so its affect on noise isn't huge in my opinion.

It would like to distance myself from any commnets about your photographic ability. People seem to enjoy being rude and the comments don't change the argument.

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