My D300 dwarfs the 7100, I looked at the different weight and dimensions before I bought it but in hand comparison is different.
D7100 felt cheap to me, kinda hollow and to light. Not sure how rugged this body will be compared to the 300.
I will have to get used to the feel of the grip compared to the 300. I tried some shots in very low light situations with the higher ISO and was impressed.
The AF is also impressive from what I have seen. Can't wait to get it out in the daylight. Mode dial/Release mode dial. I didn't like it and knew that before the purchase, I will get used to it. AF mode selection change is no big deal to me. That is what I have noticed so far. I will add to this once I use it more. I can't wait to try it with BIF.... Bro
#1. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 0
I also just unpacked my D7100 &, like you, my initial impressions were a bit of a shock. It seemed awfully light, had a somewhat plastic-like feel to it & my fingers didn't feel comfortable between the grip & the lens barrel. Okay, I thought, it might be because I spent all day yesterday carrying my beloved D200 + 300 f4 + 1.4 TC & a tripod on a 4 km hike into a fairly remote lake for some shots of wood ducks. (I'm 67) After getting rid of my initial, not-so-kind thoughts I started to set up the camera. This was not easy for me. I've had 3 of the 4 shooting banks on the D200 set up for various types of photography...landscape, birding/wildlife & macro & its been about 6 years since I've made any major changes to the basic settings. Off I go to the local Conservation area to see how it performs. Took some pics with the 18-70 3.5-4.5G & 80-200 AF-D f2.8.....Love the clear viewfinder, readouts & the wonderful monitor display. So far, so good but not fond of the main/sub command dials which are not prominent enough & my fingers kept seeking out the AF-ON button & others. Then I mounted my 300 f4 + 1.4 TC &......instant love affair!!! Wow, instant focus at whatever I pointed it at. I shot stumps, rocks, the shadowed side of tree trunks in low light & even spot metered a porcupine in a pine tree....& every time I got that comforting confirmation of in-focus. I loved my D200 but I missed a lot of shots due to focus-seeking...the D7100 is going to be fun. Will I miss the ergonomics, button layout & solid feel of the D200? Remains to be seen but the IQ, sharpness & depth of color I see on my computer from this morning's pics will soon make me forget. After carrying it around on some forested trails for 4 hours this morning it's already feeling like it belongs. The lighter weight didn't hurt either. Let the journey begin!
#2. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 1
>Then I mounted my 300 f4 + 1.4 TC &......instant love >affair!!! Wow, instant focus at whatever I pointed it at. I >shot stumps, rocks, the shadowed side of tree trunks in low >light & even spot metered a porcupine in a pine >tree....& every time I got that comforting confirmation of >in-focus. I loved my D200 but I missed a lot of shots due to >focus-seeking...the D7100 is going to be fun.
Yyyuuupp, it sure will be.
I went from a D200 to the D7000. Don't let the lightness fool you. These are solid bodies... And the image quality is superb.
#3. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 2 Thu 28-Mar-13 07:37 AM by richardd300
As you have gone straight to a D7100, not coming from the D7000, this won't concern you, but caught me out.
Yesterday out shooting wildlife and knowing automatically where every button was on my D7000, I went to change the ISO value. I took a few pictures and noted the D7100 had switched from RAW to jpeg basic! I had inadvertently pressed the quality button and rolled the dial. No problem apart from capturing a few images (some of which would have been keepers).
I have yet to try my 300mm f4 on the D7100, but today I will. As for the ergonomic difference between the D300 and the D7100 then I think it's all relative, my D800 dwarfs my D7100. I think about how lightweight and almost flimsy my D90 was compared to the D7100 and my D300, but how lightweight the D7100 compares to my D800. In my view the D7100 feels much better than the D7000. I think a grip would make the camera feel much more sturdy, but I'm not paying for a Nikon one and I'll await a 3rd party offering.
#4. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 3
Richard, That is a excellent way to look at it. Handling the D7100 a bit more it does not feel as foreign to my hands as I stated earlier. Thanks for the heads up in regards to the changing of the file format with the quality button by mistake I will watch for this.
I had my 300 f4 AF-S on the D7100 and the focus is very snappy quicker it seems than my D300. What I do miss the most is the four different banks of shooting settings that I had setup on my D300. Yes I know we no have U1 and U2... I hope to get out tomorrow and shoot a bunch with it....
#5. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 4
I really like the U1/U2 settings and took to it straight away. I program U1 for AF-S single point focus, Auto ISO and U2 for AF-C, focus tracking and can switch between the two in an instant between static wildlife and birds in flight. I must admit I wish it had this plus the custom bank setting, but Nikon will always keep something back for say a D400, if ever
#6. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 5
Meadow Heights, AU
Hello Richard, Like you I use the U1 for single af-s, and U2 for AF-C, (at the moment 21 point), for BIF, I set it up that way as soon as I upacked it. I also set A with a few other tweaks and it gives me just the 3 options of a 4 bank form the D300 or D2x I've been using.
Good to see that we both are using the U1 U2 in a similar way.
Hope the D7100 is as much fun and produces as great images as it does down here.
.. I set out to discover the inventions of God. -John Muir
#7. "RE: 7100 arrived last night First Impressions" In response to Reply # 6 Sun 31-Mar-13 08:17 AM by richardd300
Just been looking at your gallery and considering Kestrels are the smaller of the Raptors, the pictures are excellent. Those taken with the 300mm f4 which I have, reminds me that I need to practice more!