Nikon D7100 In-Depth Review
The Nikon D7100 inherits the live view functionality seen in recent Nikon DSLRs like the D600 and D5200. The most obvious improvement over the Nikon D7000 is a dedicated 'Lv' button on the rear of the camera surrounded by a lever that toggles between still image and movie mode.
|The D7100 has a dual mode live view system. You can compose still images or preview framing for video with precision. A press of the 'Lv' button at the hub of the switch activates live view for either stills or movie mode.|
When live view is activated, the camera's mirror flips up and a through-the-lens view is displayed on the rear LCD. The lens is automatically set to the aperture selected at the time live view was activated, giving you an accurate depth of field preview. It's important to note, however, that the actual Depth of Field preview button is inactive in live view. So should you change the aperture while in live view mode, you'll have to exit and then re-enter live view in order to preview its effect, behavior we saw and found fault with in our D600 review. Neither does the D7100 offer a histogram overlay in live view, a feature that is present in the high-end D800.
Manual exposure mode
You can set exposure compensation of +/- 5EV and the image preview will update to reflect the change in exposure, although Nikon cautions that values beyond +/- 3EV will not be previewed. Studio photographers who use strobes will be happy to know that in manual mode the D7100 - like the D600 - seeks to maintain a 'normal' exposure for the image preview rather than mimicking the brightness of the final image. This allows for composition and focus adjustments using a well-exposed onscreen preview in low ambient light scenes that will be illuminated by flash at the time of exposure.
The flip side of course, is that when shooting with continuous lights you cannot preview the effect that shutter speed or aperture adjustments will have on the final image. In these situations an exposure indicator scale - if enabled - is your only guide as to how far you've deviated from the camera-derived optimal exposure value. Whether this behavior is a plus or minus for you depends on the type of shooting you do while in live view. But we see no reason why Nikon simply could not have provided the option to choose between a 'normal' and simulated exposure view (as other manufacturers do).
Even more confusing - and as we've seen on previous Nikons - is that with Auto ISO disabled, adjusting exposure compensation changes scene brightness in the onscreen preview, even though the final exposure will (obviously) remain unchanged. Nikon's implementation of exposure compensation in manual mode is that it is used to change the metered target exposure, and it is precisely this target exposure that is simulated on the display. If you then adjust your exposure settings to match the camera's exposure compensation-enabled target exposure, the brightness level you see onscreen is indeed an accurate preview of the final image.
After taking an exposure in live view, the rear LCD remains blacked out until the image is written to the card, a delay that can last several seconds when shooting even single images in RAW+JPEG mode, let alone continuous bursts. While access to all of the menu screens is locked out during this period you can, however, change parameters available via the camera's top and rear plate controls such as shooting and drive modes, ISO sensitivity, white balance and exposure compensation. These can all be verified on the camera's top plate LCD.
In live view you also have the option of using the D7100's 1.3x crop mode. And we're pleased to report that unlike on the D600, you can toggle between standard and crop modes on the D7100 without having to disable live view, resulting in a much more efficient way of working.
The D7100 offers four separate information displays. You cycle through these views by pressing the Info button. The AF rectangle turns green when the camera has achieved focus.
|Here is the image only view.||A grid view is available.|
|A single axis virtual horizon can be shown.||An 'information' view displays key camera settings.|
In live view mode the D7100 uses contrast-detection autofocus, which allows for a continuous live view feed that doesn't black out during focus acquisition. The trade-off, however, is that the D7100's contrast-detect AF is much slower than the phase detection AF used in its through-the-viewfinder shooting mode. In fact, like all current DSLRs, the D7100's contrast-detection AF acquisition in live view is sluggish compared to most every mirrorless camera we've used recently. To be fair though, we imagine that for many D7100 users, live view will be reserved primarily for critical focus applications like landscapes, still lifes and product photography, where maximum AF speed is much less important than accuracy.
|The D7100 offers a choice of AF Area modes. You can choose between Wide...||...and Normal modes for a larger or smaller AF area box respectively...|
|or choose a subject tracking mode that attempts to follow the subject you've indicated inside the frame.|
The AF point can be manually positioned anywhere inside the frame via use of the multi selector arrows. You can choose between static and full-time AF modes, with the latter option allowing the camera to continuously adjust focus until the shutter button is pressed. In addition you can select one of four AF area modes. In Face-priority mode, the camera attempts to detect and lock focus on the face positioned closest to the camera. This works as advertised with faces that are fully turned towards the camera and can actually be quite useful for quick snapshots, although we doubt full-frame DSLR owners will be using live view in Auto AF mode much of the time.
A Wide-area AF mode provides a larger focus point than the Normal-area AF. A subject tracking mode allows you to identify an element of the scene for the camera to follow as it moves within the frame. With the slow autofocus performance we cited above, we find subject tracking to be eminently more useful in non-live view shooting modes. This matches our findings on the Nikon D800, which you can read on our AF performance page of that review.
Live view manual focus
As with image playback, in live view the zoom buttons on the rear of the camera can be used to change magnification of the image preview. You scroll through magnified areas of the image by using the multi selector's left/right up/down arrows. There are six levels of magnification available and unlike in image playback, the maximum zoom setting in live view (though a bit less magnified) does not show any pixelization.
|Here is the image preview at normal magnification.||This is the highest magnification, which offers the clearest view for critical focus adjustments.|
As we saw with the D600, the D7100 does not offer live aperture control during live view viewing. When using live view, your lens is stopped down to the taking aperture at the moment live view is engaged. So if you want to shoot a scene at F8 for example, you're best off opening the aperture as wide as you can before entering live view, focussing at that aperture, then exiting live view and setting F8, and activating live view again to get the shot.
This is annoying, since it positively encourages focus errors until you realize what's going on. We'd much prefer the ability to accurately preview DOF adjustments without the time consuming steps of having to exit and re-enter live view mode.
Apr 6, 2016
Mar 14, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
Mar 9, 2016
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.