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Thread: Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

  1. #1
    GrahamS's Avatar
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    Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

    When it comes to travel, I am not too fussy about pixel numbers and don't really care how many pixels a camera's sensor has. So long as it's more than six million, I'm a happy bunny. I am far more picky about the viewfinder image than I am about the pixel count. Most of my best work has been done using a 10 Mp Pentax K10D. The Pentax was upgraded to a K7, which, in hindsight, I should have kept as my travel camera but good glass was just far too expensive at the time and of limited choice apart from the 3rd party brands and the autofocus performance was pretty dismal. And then Nikon introduced the D7000. Wow! Fairly lightweight, superb specification, lenses to die for and autofocus with more settings than one could ever want. Out with the Pentax, hello Nikon.


    I put my initial doubts concerning the image quality down to my lack of familiarity with the camera and it's many set-up options. After 1000 or so images I was still doubtful about the sharpness, and conducted an auto focus accuracy test. There didn't seem to be any focus accuracy at all and focus was all over the place. My supplier, Digital Depot, returned the camera to Nikon U.K. on my behalf for attention to the AF system, and it was returned within two weeks with a re-calibrated AF module.
    A repeat of the AF test revealed that the focus point was now consistent, at least when set to AF-S and single point selection. Over the following couple of months and after another 1000 images, my go-to camera for trips and travel was still my Canon 7D, despite it's greater weight and bulk, and which I normally use for studio work. I just could not make friends with the Nikon D7000. Image quality seemed to be up to scratch, but my confidence in the camera just wasn't there. I just couldn't put my finger on the reason but driving it seemed to be hard work.


    A discussion with the guys at Digital Depot led to an offer I couldn't refuse. They couldn't replace the D7000 with a new one because it was no longer available, so they gave me a deal I couldn't refuse on a new D7100. Great guys to deal with are Digital Depot in Stevenage.

    I haven't yet reached a frame count of 200 on the D7100, but to say that I am satisfied is an understatement. I have no explanation for the difference, but the D7100 just responds like my film Nikon's did - without me having to think about it. It does what I want, how I want, when I want. The resulting image is as I visualised it would be when I pressed the shutter release. Focus is always tack sharp where I intended it to be, and image quality is superb. I don't have to think about how to drive the camera. Considering that most of the features and controls are the same as those of the D7000, those changes that Nikon have made, make all the difference. Even the position of the AE-AL button, which I use for AF-ON, is slightly different, making it easier to reach with my thumb without changing my grip on the camera.
    Autofocus performance is simply wonderful. I had the camera set on AF-C, 3-D Auto, all points active in shutter priority mode at 1/250th with a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR AF-S lens mounted, when this critter, Rattus norvegicus, ran across my path. I didn't have time to compose or track it, I just panned in the direction of flight and hit the shutter release. The camera's AF locked onto the critter with no problem, and here's the shot.


    I haven't had the opportunity of using the camera under more strenuous conditions yet, but doubtless it will not disappoint. Later in the year it will accompany me on a trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Australia and Arizona. My Best Beloved will take her Nikon D3100 along, which is probably one of the best travel cameras around, and I will be envious of it's light weight to performance ratio, but I will be fully confident of bringing back very good images with my Nikon D7100. Thank you Digital Depot.

    Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

  2. #2

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    Siggi-short for Siegfried

    Re: Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

    Interesting-I tend to get better images with my D90 and D5100 than my D7000,was avoiding buying the D7100 to make it my body number 7.

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

    My own personal experience with the D7000/7100 is very similar. I had the 7000 for about 18 mos. and though I captured some excellent images with it, I just never "bonded" with it. Can't really explain it because the results that I achieved don't support my impressions. Then again I learned/grew a lot as a photographer during that time frame so the results may be due more to improved skill level than to the equipment I was using at the time.

    The D7100 on the other hand was instant love. I think primarily due to the fast/spot-on focus which is critical for wildlife. Also the sharpness of the images is astounding. I'm not sure how much is due to the missing AA filter and how much is due to pixel density, but it is incredibly sharp when used with quality glass.

    With all of the features that Nikon put into the D7100 one has to wonder what they can/will do next in the DX line. My single major gripe with the 7100 is the small buffer capacity when shooting RAW. Improved high ISO performance is another area that could be improved as a selling point for the next gen DX. Other than that it is an amazing camera.

  4. #4
    New Member Webbo51's Avatar
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    Steve Webster

    Re: Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

    Given that I'm currently tossing up between a 5200 and a 7100 (I know, there's a reasonable discrepancy in cost), this thread has been most helpful, thankyou.

    Steve
    P.S., I'm currently using a P510 which, although a beaut camera, has its limitations.

  5. #5
    GrahamS's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D7100 and the Rat.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    My own personal experience with the D7000/7100 is very similar. I had the 7000 for about 18 mos. and though I captured some excellent images with it, I just never "bonded" with it. Can't really explain it because the results that I achieved don't support my impressions. Then again I learned/grew a lot as a photographer during that time frame so the results may be due more to improved skill level than to the equipment I was using at the time. The D7100 on the other hand was instant love.
    Dan, based on my experience, I doubt if your instant bonding with your D7.1k was due to improved skills. Mine certainly had nothing to do with skill level, as I have been at the game long enough to be forgetting things that I learned 40 years ago. I'll bet that the camera just becomes a transparent extension of your creative process because it is more than the sum of it's parts.

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