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Low light performance in D7100


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goodguy Registered since 01st Sep 2013
Sun 01-Sep-13 02:40 PM

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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