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vitalishe

Los Alamos, US
445 posts

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vitalishe Registered since 27th Dec 2012
Tue 16-Apr-13 05:30 AM | edited Tue 16-Apr-13 05:39 AM by vitalishe

I recently upgraded from D90 to D7100 and still kept D90.
Ever since I got it, I was looking for that one shot where I would be able to say that D90 wouldn't be able to do it. It would justify the expense of $1200.
Unfortunately, so far, I am not finding it and it is disappointing

The way I understood the potential advantages of D7100 over D90, they are:
- better reach capability due to higher pixel density,
- better performance at higher ISO
- Mirror lockup, which together with removed low-pass filter should lead to sharper images.

After days of bird photo-hunting my results were not as I expected.
I am using Nikkor 70-300 VR, typically at 250mm, f/8, ISO 400-800, shutter speed 1/200-1/500.

I thought my disappointment was due to the fact I was hand-holding the camera. So, I decided to make a small experiment in a more controlled environment.

I placed a little statue about 6 feet away from a sturdy tripod (Manfrotto) on which I placed in turn D7100 and D90.
I used the above mentioned lens at 195mm, f/5.3 (not optimal), ISO 800.
On D7100 I used Mirror lockup with 2 second delay triggered by a wireless remote.
On D90 I used 2 second self-timer with exposure delay mode.
Both cameras were positioned in the landscape mode with the face of the statue in the center of the frame.
Both cameras were auto-focused with the focus point at the center of the statue.
The images were cropped to about 70% by height.
Both pictures were taken in RAW and simply cropped in Lightroom 4.4 without any corrections or noise-reduction.
The small difference in the angles in the pictures is due to the battery grip I use on D90.

Based on the pictures I can see finer pixels of D7100, but at a pixel level noise of both cameras is very comparable.
Moreover, I percieve details better on the D90 image.
I wonder if this is due to autofocus issues or D7100 secretly does noise reduction that wash out the details.

Bottom line:
So far I am dissapointed. If I had to decide all over again, I would not get D7100
https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/ppuser/474270/cat/500

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