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Subject: "IQ: D7100 vs D800" Previous topic | Next topic
PamWyss Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2012Thu 04-Jul-13 07:17 PM
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"IQ: D7100 vs D800"
Thu 04-Jul-13 07:17 PM by PamWyss

Seattle, US
          

Hi guys. I currently own a D800 but am considering "downsizing" to a D7100 (I miss my D300 and I think the D800 is more camera than I need). Can anyone comment on the relative difference in image quality between the D7100 and D800? How significant is it?
Thanks.

Pam

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
Clint S Silver Member
04th Jul 2013
1
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
xis
05th Jul 2013
2
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
guitarbts Silver Member
05th Jul 2013
3
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
PamWyss Silver Member
06th Jul 2013
9
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
km6xz Moderator
05th Jul 2013
4
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
PamWyss Silver Member
05th Jul 2013
5
     Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
dm1dave Administrator
05th Jul 2013
6
          Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
PamWyss Silver Member
06th Jul 2013
8
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
blw Moderator
05th Jul 2013
7
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
PamWyss Silver Member
06th Jul 2013
10
     Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
blw Moderator
06th Jul 2013
11
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
xis
06th Jul 2013
12
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
RRowlett Silver Member
06th Jul 2013
13
     Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
sabbey51 Silver Member
07th Jul 2013
14
Reply message RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800
greyface Gold Member
07th Jul 2013
15

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011Thu 04-Jul-13 07:43 PM
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#1. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 0


Chula Vista, US
          

There is a lot more to cameras than IQ.

I had both a D7000 and D800 stolen. A D7100 followed quickly while a waited for a buy on the D800. I sorely missed the D800.

The D7100 is a an excellent camera. But the size, layout of controls, and how all of the systems of the D800 work in conjunction with each other makes the D800 my choice.

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xis Registered since 01st Jul 2013Fri 05-Jul-13 08:53 AM
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#2. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 1


Porto, PT
          

hi,

i'm very much interested in your opinion because i'm about to buy a D7100.
from your experience, and since you where used with a D800 and then you can compare both, is noise a concern with the D7100?

thanks,
Francisco

  

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guitarbts Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Jan 2013Fri 05-Jul-13 09:38 AM
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#3. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 1


Charlotte, US
          

>There is a lot more to cameras than IQ.
>
>I had both a D7000 and D800 stolen. A D7100 followed quickly
>while a waited for a buy on the D800. I sorely missed the
>D800.
>
>The D7100 is a an excellent camera. But the size, layout of
>controls, and how all of the systems of the D800 work in
>conjunction with each other makes the D800 my choice.
>
Does your choice include the D800E or do you prefer the D800 and why? I am considering the 800E and wonder on pros and cons. Thanks!

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PamWyss Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2012Sat 06-Jul-13 03:10 AM
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#9. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 1


Seattle, US
          

Clint, I understand what you are saying and I agree. Right now my thoughts are very much on IQ since the D800's is clearly outstanding. Thanks.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Fri 05-Jul-13 06:41 PM
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#4. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

Seeing a difference is only revealed when dealing with extremes. For 90++%(made up number) of shots people take, and how they view, no difference. In fact, little difference would be seen viewing from normal distances of prints of normal size, exposed to normal light between any Nikon cameras made.
There is remarkable little difference in screen displayed images regardless of resolution and dynamic range because the camera produces files with greater detail and dynamic range than a display can reproduce.
Zooming in and pixel peeping however can show differences but that is not really related to photography for presentation.
Where a D800 comes into its own is at the extremes. Low light, wide tone range, color bit depth etc, if pushed to the limits can do things the D7100 or any other camera can't do.
Those additional capabilities really impact very few photographers. I would suggest the camera that fits your hand, your weight and size tolerance in the hand, with controls that are up to the shooting you do, are better criteria than ultimate resolution or available darkness lighting.
Take a look at people's galleries and you will see a wide range of quality and interest and note the ones you like and go back and check what camera was used. You will see more difference in shooting syle and subject selection between photographers than you will between camera models. Most people have galleries with photos taken with more than one camera model after upgrading a few times it is natural to expect improvement. The improvement seen will not be based on technical traits of the camera and more based on increased experience and learning new techniques.
This is a long winded comment that can be summed up by "shoot with what you feel comfortable holding, and feel like taking with you most". The D7100, being the best crop sensor camera available, can do anything you wich a camera to do, and is a good choice, if you like the way it feels in your hand or after a long hike, compared to the D800.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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PamWyss Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2012Fri 05-Jul-13 06:49 PM
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#5. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 4


Seattle, US
          

Thank you, Stan, that's encouraging and helpful advice.

Pam

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dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Fri 05-Jul-13 08:43 PM
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#6. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 5


Lowden, US
          

Stan is correct – the differences in overall IQ are going to be very small. Over ISO-1600 or so the D800 will have a slight advantage but it will not be a dramatic difference and probably not visible without pixel peeping or printing very large.

The big differences in these bodies will be in size, weight & handling. There will be difference in controls and options one or two of those differences may be important to you depending on your shooting style.

If you can try to get your hands on a D7100 to see how it feels. You list “street” as you main interest so the smaller D7100 may be the perfect fit.

PS Look in the wildlife forum for examples of D7100 IQ. Birds are a good test of a cameras high ISO capability – noise really messes up the feather detail. I have seen some high ISO birds shots with the D7100 that have amazing IQ.

A couple of quick examples...

This one @ ISO-800

This one @ ISO-1250

Another @ ISO-1600

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Lowden, Iowa
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PamWyss Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2012Sat 06-Jul-13 03:08 AM
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#8. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 6


Seattle, US
          

Thank you, Dave, for your helpful insights. I understand the two cameras are different machines and I agree, it would be good to get my hands on the D7100 and try it out (and I can do that here in Seattle). I am also looking for the insights and opinions of fellow Nikonians like yourself, too, as I trust what you guys have to say.

Your images of the birds are beautiful in themselves but from my eye-looking-for-noise or other artifacts I see none. They are great examples of what the D7100 is capable of; thank you for posting those, Dave. I'll do as you suggest and look for other bird images for examples, too.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply with helpful information! Much appreciated!

Pam

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 05-Jul-13 09:52 PM
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#7. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

> relative difference in image quality between the D7100 and D800?

Depends on what you mean by image quality, and under what conditions. It may come as a big shock, but for sharpness and resolution, the D7100 is superior to the D800 and even the D800e. That's because the D7100 packs its 24mp into a much smaller area - the D800 puts "only" 15+mp into that same DX crop area. So right from the beginning, the D7100 has the inherent capability to outresolve the bigger cameras. Moreover, compared to the D800, the D7100 also has the advantage of no antialiasing filter, again an improvement in resolution for most cases. (The D800e is at least similar in this regard.)

If IQ means something else, such as dynamic range or high ISO capability, as others commented above, the D800 has some advantages in specific extreme cases. For most photography, I seriously doubt that anyone will be able to identify prints on a table, particularly if they're not of the same subjects. OK, if the prints are 40x60, sure. But most of us don't print that way. If the print is "only" 24x36, it'll be very difficult to tell - either way.

_____
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PamWyss Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2012Sat 06-Jul-13 03:16 AM
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#10. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 7
Sat 06-Jul-13 03:17 AM by PamWyss

Seattle, US
          

Good points, Brian. I guess by IQ I am referring to the final aesthetic value of the finished image, after cropping, noise-reduction, etc. It does come as a surprise that the D7100 would outperform the D800 in sharpness and resolution. In fact, that blows me away. I don't think my eye would catch the difference in dynamic range unless I were comparing side-by-side images and gee I would never print something 40x60. This helps even more, Brian. I MUST get my hands on a D7100 and see this now for myself. Thank you, thank you for your guidance!

Pam

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sat 06-Jul-13 09:52 AM
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#11. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 10
Sat 06-Jul-13 09:54 AM by blw

Richmond, US
          

IQ is surprisingly hard to distinguish, actually. Consider the following:






Other than the sensor dust being different, and the angle of view being somewhat different, it isn't so obvious as to which of these is which, is it? But one of them is essentially the entire frame from a 12mp camera, the other is a severe crop (probably 35% of the original image) coming from a 6mp camera. In other words, this is probably 11mp vs 2.5mp or something approaching that.

I don't even know if they're shot with the same lens, because the one on the D100 shows no lens EXIF information. The D2x file was shot with the 200/f4 AFD Micro-Nikkor, certainly one of the best performing macro lenses available. Since that is a CPU lens, it would have registered as such if it had been used directly on the D100, so perhaps this was the 200/f4 with an extension tube, but rather I'd guess that this was probably the 55/f2.8 AIS Micro-Nikkor on the D100. That's no slouch of a lens either, of course. I certainly cannot remember - these were captured six years ago.

Can you tell which is which?

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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xis Registered since 01st Jul 2013Sat 06-Jul-13 11:58 AM
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#12. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 0


Porto, PT
          

hi,
as i'm about to buy a new camera but unable to make my mind whether i should buy a D7100 or a D600, this topic has been a major help.
i'm nearly convinced that i wouldn't go wrong with the D7100 even if my biggest concern is the high iso noise.
even because in terms of size, weight & handling i do prefer the D7100.
thanks,
Francisco

  

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RRowlett Silver Member Charter MemberSat 06-Jul-13 06:25 PM
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#13. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 12


Hamilton, US
          

>my biggest concern is the high iso noise.

Depends on what you are used to. Compared to decade old cameras like the D100 any modern Nikon DSLR has amazingly good high ISO performance. I'd rate the D7100 from ISO 100-800 as practically insignificant difference, from ISO 800-1600 as minimally noticeable difference, and ISO 1600-3200 as quite usable. Unless you do a lot of shooting at ISO 3200+, there will be little practical difference between DX and FX in image quality of ISO performance. Shoot, my D100 produced great images up to ISO 400, and it was only 6 Mpixels and suffered from noticeable sensor noise.

I'm so little concerned about ISO for most shooting that I typically set my D7100 to AUTO ISO up to 800 max, and could probably get away with 1600 max to get the shot. If not using fast lenses, enabling AUTO ISO allows getting a better shutter speed for those sharp hand-held grab shots. You could never get away with that with a D100 as image quality degraded noticeably as ISO was cranked up.

Cheers.

  

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sabbey51 Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010Sun 07-Jul-13 12:43 AM
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#14. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 13


Saddle river, US
          

One more consideration is lens availability. If you have a sense of what lenses you would like to use, you can see if that selection is available for DX. Generally speaking, you have a better selection of wider FoV lenses with FX, and can get narrower with DX. However, if what you really want is available in DX, then the lenses you will never buy anyway don't add a lot of value.

For instance, if your heart is set on the FoV and aperture/DoF provided by the 24-120/f4 on FX, then you have to struggle to achieve it on DX using several lenses. The closest is the 16-85/3.5-5.6, which gives up a stop of light and 1.5 stops of DoF for the same FoV.

On the other hand, the 7100 will put more pixels on a given subject using, say, the 70-200 compared to the D800.

All that aside, I agree with the general tenor of this thread: both cameras take technically outstanding pictures and the difference in your satisfaction with any given shot is much more likely to depend on your skill than which one you use. That is certainly my assessment of my own photography.

  

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greyface Gold Member Nikonian since 30th Jul 2008Sun 07-Jul-13 06:42 PM
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#15. "RE: IQ: D7100 vs D800"
In response to Reply # 0


New Bedford, US
          

I find this discussion interesting as I am considering the D7100 to replace my D300. I also own the D800. Due to the high megapixels in the D800 I am using a tripod to get the sharpest image. Having shot handheld with a D700 for a couple years I find, speaking for myself, using a tripod a bit restrictive. I am interested to see how my handheld shooting with the D7100 will compare to the D800. I know the D800 is less forgiving than the D700 on handheld shooting. Am hoping the D7100 will be a little more forgiving than the D800. I will continue to use higher shutter speeds, boosting the ISO if necessary, as I do with the D800 when shooting handheld.
As far as image enlargements, the use of applications like onOne Perfect Resize gives me the ability to enlarge an image to the size I want. I have enlarged a cropped 12 MP file to a 20x30 print with no loss of quality.

  

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