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Subject: "Low light performance in D7100" Previous topic | Next topic
goodguy Registered since 01st Sep 2013Sun 01-Sep-13 02:40 PM
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"Low light performance in D7100"


CA
          

Hello everybody, new here and hope to enjoy this forum.
I own a D7100 which I bought roughly a month ago.
Before I had the D7000 which was great but was constantly plagued with back focusing issues.
First I sent camera to Nikon spa and they actually helped a lot but still not to the degree I was expecting, then I fine tuned my lenses to the camera which improved it even more but still not 100% that I was looking for.
Eventually I gave up and got the D7100, I think at the end I simply lost faith with my d7000 because in most cases it actually was very good.
Anyways thats just a prelude to this issue I want to talk about.

If there was one thing I pride myself when I had the D7000 was how amazing this camera was in low light!!!
I used to use it on 3200ISO with only little noise, below 3200ISO it was simply a sweet, sweet shooter(except the back focusing issue that I spoke before).
When I got my new D7100 my focusing issues were 100% resolved, this camera is as sharp as a surgeons knife but the low light high ISO performent I found to be not at the same level as the d7000, actually not even close.
At 400ISO I can already see a bit noise, 1600ISO is getting notisable and 3200ISO is a setting I will not use unless I have no other choice.
My D7000 simply was a champ compared to the D7100.
I took the camera back to the store and asked the seller to see if there is a problem with the camera, he took it and shot few pictures with it but said it looks normal and ok to him, he said he think that the lack of AA filter is the reason for having more noise then the D7000.
I wasnt satisfied with the answer and so I took my camera to a friend of mine who bought a D7100 a week after me, we went down to his basement turned the light off a shot few pictures of a tripod with same lens.
I found results to be identical which was good/bad news.
The good news was that my camera is A-O.K and the bad news was that unlike what I read in all reviews comparing the D7000 to the D7100 low light performance (the D7100 is supposed to be slightly better) the D7100 is not very impessive in low light.
In that respect I feel I took a step back, low light performance is VERY important for me.
Still I am very happy with my new camera, most of my photography is in good light condition so its not such a huge deal and the cristal clear sharp picture I am getting now is so worth it compared to my D7000 but still I do wish the D7100 was indeed better in low light as I expected it to be.
My next camera will be FX body

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
jbloom Gold Member
01st Sep 2013
1
Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
RLDubbya Silver Member
01st Sep 2013
2
Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
jbloom Gold Member
01st Sep 2013
3
     Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
RLDubbya Silver Member
01st Sep 2013
4
          Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
jbloom Gold Member
01st Sep 2013
5
               Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
briantilley Moderator
01st Sep 2013
6
                    Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
elec164 Silver Member
01st Sep 2013
7
                    Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
goodguy
02nd Sep 2013
8
                    Reply message RE: Low light performance in D7100
jbloom Gold Member
02nd Sep 2013
9

jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sun 01-Sep-13 05:18 PM
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#1. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 0


Wethersfield, US
          

I haven't found that to be the case. I have both bodies and have done some A/B comparisons. If there is a difference, it's in favor of the D7100 but, really, it's too close to call.

I wonder how you are making the comparison? Are you shooting in RAW? Are you processing the RAW without any noise reduction? And are you comparing the two images at the same output size? NOT both at 100%, for sure.

Really, the best comparison would be made by producing the shots in whatever output medium and at whatever size you wish to compare. For example, you might make 20x30 prints of the shots from the D7000 and D7100. Or whatever your "max" needed size is. I'd be a little surprised if you could tell a noise difference between them.

I agree that the lack of the AA filter really has nothing to do with it. If it enters into the discussion at all, it would only be to say that the D7100 requires a little less sharpening of the image due to the lack of the AA filter. That helps the D7100 over the D7000 in that sharpening tends to exacerbate noise. But it's not a big factor.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sun 01-Sep-13 06:46 PM
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#2. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Amir,

Welcome to Nikonians.

What you have noticed is going to be somewhat debated, I think. There's some engineering data and "real world" data that suggests the D7000 does have better dynamic range, and better low light performance. See, for example, this thread: http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=329&topic_id=29392&mesg_id=29392&page= . In particular, read through km6xz's (Stan - a moderator) replies, in which he confirms that the D7000 outperforms the D7100 in low light. See also elec164's (Pete) post, in which he demonstrates pulling a great degree of detail from 6 stops underexposed. Pete also provides links to some of the more technical reference work done on the D7000 dynamic range by Bill Clapp and Marianne Oelund.

There seems to be another group of users who have upgraded to the D7100 and just deny (or ignore) this work. I haven't seen anybody put together similar tests, nor refer to them, and even Stan says he doesn't understand why people claim better dynamic range for the D7100.

So, as much as I've lusted for a D7100 (or an FX body, but which one?), I'm holding off for a bit. I've had to fine tune some of my lenses, but I'm OK with that. I think the D7000 does a credible job. Attached is a shot from this morning, taken at ISO 1000.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sun 01-Sep-13 07:35 PM
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#3. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 2


Wethersfield, US
          

>There seems to be another group of users who have upgraded to
>the D7100 and just deny (or ignore) this work. I haven't seen
>anybody put together similar tests, nor refer to them, and
>even Stan says he doesn't understand why people claim better
>dynamic range for the D7100.

Some people have assumed better DR for the D7100 just because it's newer, but assumptions aren't very useful. To date, I don't think Bill or Marianne have done similar tests on the D7100, so there is nothing in their work that speaks directly to a comparison between the two. DxOMark gives a slight edge in DR to the D7000 and a slight edge in low-light ISO performance to the D7100. Make of that what you will. That slight difference is consistent with what I've seen in my limited experiments, but I emphasize the word slight in both cases. You have to look really carefully to tell the difference, and it varies a bit depending on the image content. Bottom line, in terms of IQ the two bodies are in the same class.

>So, as much as I've lusted for a D7100 (or an FX body, but
>which one?), I'm holding off for a bit. I've had to fine tune
>some of my lenses, but I'm OK with that. I think the D7000
>does a credible job. Attached is a shot from this morning,
>taken at ISO 1000.

There is no reason to upgrade to the D7100 for IQ purposes. It does have more resolution than the D7000, but 16 megapixels is still more than adequate for most purposes. The other benefits of the D7100, especially the AF, but including improved video (which I haven't had a chance to use) may make an upgrade worthwhile, but the IQ is nearly a wash.

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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RLDubbya Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Dec 2011Sun 01-Sep-13 07:53 PM
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#4. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

>
>There is no reason to upgrade to the D7100 for IQ purposes. It
>does have more resolution than the D7000, but 16 megapixels is
>still more than adequate for most purposes. The other benefits
>of the D7100, especially the AF, but including improved video
>(which I haven't had a chance to use) may make an upgrade
>worthwhile, but the IQ is nearly a wash.
>

The only other upgrade issue is ergonomics. The mode dial on the D7000 is a clear weak point - it's burned me. I'd love to have the locking feature of the 7100's mode dial.

Which brought me to an interesting point: if I'm upgrading for ergos, I should really consider the larger FX bodies, with less menu-driven functions and more buttons.

Anyhow: I'm still firmly in the "glass first" camp. I don't have nearly all the glass I want - so I'm going to keep sating the NAS with good glass, and see what Nikon does with bodies over the next couple years.

Thanks for a nice, reasoned reply, by the way. We're more in agreement than not, I think.

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Sun 01-Sep-13 08:21 PM
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#5. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 4


Wethersfield, US
          

The D800 doesn't have any buttons the D7100 doesn't other than AF-ON. (Which is a big "other" to some people.) If you really like lots of buttons, you need a D4. The D800 also doesn't have the U1/U2 dial functions... you have to use the menus to save/restore settings. Is that an ergo win or a loss?

I agree that good glass should be your focus (pun) unless you have some specific, compelling reason to upgrade the body. For me, the AF system of the D7000 was limiting the number of keepers I was getting in sports shooting. Not unusable, just limiting. That argued for a D7100 upgrade for me, but that's me.

Oh, and if you think the D7000 mode dial is a pain, try a V1. I don't think it has ever come out of my bag with the photo/video mode dial set the same as when it went into the bag!

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sun 01-Sep-13 09:59 PM
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#6. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 5


Paignton, GB
          

>The D800 doesn't have any buttons the D7100 doesn't other
>than AF-ON.

The D800 does have buttons for direct control of Image Quality/Size, ISO and White Balance, that I think the D7100 lacks?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Sun 01-Sep-13 10:53 PM
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#7. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 6


US
          

>The D800 does have buttons for direct control of Image
>Quality/Size, ISO and White Balance, that I think the D7100
>lacks?

The D7100 (as well as D7000) does have buttons to change Quality/Size, ISO and White Balance. I believe the main difference is that while the D800 has dedicated single purpose buttons,the D7100 has dual purpose buttons on the back.

Pete

Pete

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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goodguy Registered since 01st Sep 2013Mon 02-Sep-13 01:18 AM
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#8. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 7


CA
          

My comparison between the D7000 and D7100 is not scientific nor was it done side by side.
The day I got the D7100 was also the last day I had my D7000 so I couldn't compare the 2 side by side.
My only impression is from 8 months of experience with the D7000 and then using the D7100.
The ISO difference is too strong to be (for me anyways) just a feeling, I am taking about noise already in 400ISO, my D7000 experienced roughly same noise only at around 1600ISO.
BTW I shoot RAW only!

Other few differences I found between the 2 cameras

1.D7100 is sharper then the D7000
2.DR on D7100 is slightly better
3.D7100 is lighter
4.Feels like D7100 AF slightly faster
5.D7100 is hunting less in low light condition

If I didn't have my AF on the D7000 I wouldn't trade it, trading the D7000 (if you are happy with it) is only for an FX body (or that's how I see it).

  

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jbloom Gold Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments in several forums. Nikonian since 15th Jul 2004Mon 02-Sep-13 06:45 AM
6162 posts Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin    Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this authorClick to view this author's profile
#9. "RE: Low light performance in D7100"
In response to Reply # 6


Wethersfield, US
          

Ah, you're right, Brian. I forgot about the ones on top!

-- Jon
Wethersfield, CT, USA
Connecticut High School Sports Photos

  

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