I had the D7100 in hand last night and almost bought it, but hesitated due to customer comments and reviews I've read recently on B & H and elsewhere regarding the buffer issue. Have any of you experienced this? How bad is it? Has it had any adverse effects on your wildlife or birding photography?
I pretty much shoot exclusivley birds and I do shoot in crop mode 1.3. I always like to fill the lens with the bird the cop mode of the 7100 helps me do that. I have not had any issues at all in this mode with the buffer.
Whether the buffer size is appropriate for you depends on your shooting style. Shooting short bursts should be OK or if you shoot JPG, you definitely will not have a problem. If you rely on long continuous highest speed RAW frames then it is not the camera for you. The only one that can handle that is the D4 of the current lineup. The D4 coupled with a large bank account is the answer in this later case because not only a $6k body is needed but being full frame, your longest lenses are probably not long enough. Long fast primes are expensive. So you can save yourself a lot of money by using short bursts or single frame shots. Stan St Petersburg Russia
when i went to the St Augustine rookery I felt i was missing from shooting RAW. i had the choice of dropping to standard JPG, Crop mode, or try not to shoot 5 frames. once thing i did was made darn sure i was off CH, because i tend to rip off 5 frames in no time.
I live in SW Florida and shoot a lot of birds. The frame rate has not been an issue because, like others, I tend to shoot in bursts and not long continuous captures. I use CH shutter mode exclusively. It's essential, I think, that you use the fastest card you can (I use SanDisk Extreme Pro Class 10 cards with an indicated write speed of 95 MB/s). You also need to be sure that other camera settings are set so as to not adversely affect frame rate.
My experience echoes some of the other comments in that I've not found it to be a problem. I tend to shoot in CL mode at 4 fps most of the time anyway and only in bursts of a few frames at a time.
Compared to my D7000, the D7100's new AF system gives a higher percentage of keepers, so I find the need to shoot less frames as well.
With the 95 MB/s Sandisk cards, buffer flush time is pretty fast, so even if you do fill it, the camera is ready to shoot again very quickly.
The D7100 has its limitations, however solid photographic technique and lower frame rates will always win out over the 'spray and pray' method with super fast frame rates. In my opinion, a D7100 in the hands of someone who is skilled at using it is a more than adequate tool for wildlife and bird photography.
I also agree about the 95MB/s Sandisk Extreme Pro cards.
My D7100 will pop off 11 to 12 shots (I shoot RAW only) In Continuous High and I shot 40+ in Continuous Low.
Remember, this is a 24Mp camera. That's a LOT more data to transfer for the added resolution. With The D7100 you can also choose 14 or 12-bit RAW format and compressed or uncompressed. I use 14-bit uncompressed with no problems.
I'm am a bird shooter, and often birds in flight. Yes, the buffering when taking in NEF is slower than I'd like, however the overall capability of the camera outweighs any talk of it being unsuitable for bird photography.
The clarity of the images for this genre of photography is superb, helped by the absence of the AA filter. Personally I find much to like about the D7100 for birding and linked with either my 300mm f4 with or without a x1.4TC or Sigma 50-500mm OS I really don't find the slowish buffering a show stopper in any way. Using fast cards helps in the processing.
Whether a new rumoured semi pro DX will arrive and alleviate this buffering problem is anyone's guess, but for me and for now, the D7100 is the best DX currently available. For bird photography the image IQ is top notch and 24Mp allows for reasonable cropping.
I am an avid bird photographer and upon hearing about the abilities of the D7100 I had to have one to upgrade from my D90. Wow, what an improvement. The buffer problem was a potential problem though and after experiencing it in testing I adjusted my RAW settings to 12 bit and lossless compression. This helped and I was not disappointed in the quality of the images. I might add that while it is possible to have this problem rear its ugly head in testing, in practice it has not been a problem. I always use the CH setting for birds in flight and I can't really say that I lost a good shot because of it.