Review D7100 vs. D90 - first impressions

Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
947
For what it's worth, after a week of using the D7100 here are my casual impressions.

General handling, ease of use. I much prefer the D7100, shutter seems quieter, viewfinder brighter and the information display easier to see. Controls are pretty much the same, although I really don't like were they assigned the AF/A-S-C, but this is something easily overcome by use. The camera "feels" boxier and small in my hands, with the D90 I never felt I needed the battery grip I will definitely by adding one to the D7100. Using the AE-L lock button for AF is comfortable, no issues with other controls for me. Lens focusing is fast with less hunting using a long telephoto then with the D90 - a big plus.

Image Quality. Once AF fine tune is locked in, nice clear and sharp resolution. Colors seem well controlled , image almost has a "film like" quality (I don't mean grainy!) but all my testing so far has been with a 300mm f4 AFS, so a lot of this also is a quality if the lens. The biggest issue I have so far is there is more then expected color noise in shadow areas, compared to the D90, however this was easily and well controlled by turning off noise reduction in Capture NX2 and using Noise ninja (only a touch needed - dialing back from the profile value of 10 to 7) and judicious careful sharpening. Combating noise from this sensor somewhat negates the extra sharpness gained, but not enough to be a deal breaker, just be aware that you will be doing more file processing to achieve excellent results. Noise in shadows was evident in ISO settings greater then 800, thus I am dialing back auto ISO settings from 1200 to 800 on this camera, which is where I was at with the D90.

Below is an image (admittedly somewhat soft as it was before Ifine-tuned focus) taken with a 300mm +TC 1.4 shot in the 1.3 crop mode and then further cropped by appx. 40% still yielding an image of around 26 Mpx at 300 dpi. ISO 1100 F6.3 1/800s. For my needs the D90 could have come close to this image quality but the resulting file size would have been around 8-10 mgpx, much too small to up-size to use for stock photography, so the D7100 is a big help in creating more keepers because of resulting image size, not necessarily image quality.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
527
Location
Sweden
For what it's worth, after a week of using the D7100 here are my casual impressions.

General handling, ease of use. I much prefer the D7100, shutter seems quieter, viewfinder brighter and the information display easier to see. Controls are pretty much the same, although I really don't like were they assigned the AF/A-S-C, but this is something easily overcome by use. The camera "feels" boxier and small in my hands, with the D90 I never felt I needed the battery grip I will definitely by adding one to the D7100. Using the AE-L lock button for AF is comfortable, no issues with other controls for me. Lens focusing is fast with less hunting using a long telephoto then with the D90 - a big plus.

Image Quality. Once AF fine tune is locked in, nice clear and sharp resolution. Colors seem well controlled , image almost has a "film like" quality (I don't mean grainy!) but all my testing so far has been with a 300mm f4 AFS, so a lot of this also is a quality if the lens. The biggest issue I have so far is there is more then expected color noise in shadow areas, compared to the D90, however this was easily and well controlled by turning off noise reduction in Capture NX2 and using Noise ninja (only a touch needed - dialing back from the profile value of 10 to 7) and judicious careful sharpening. Combating noise from this sensor somewhat negates the extra sharpness gained, but not enough to be a deal breaker, just be aware that you will be doing more file processing to achieve excellent results. Noise in shadows was evident in ISO settings greater then 800, thus I am dialing back auto ISO settings from 1200 to 800 on this camera, which is where I was at with the D90.

Below is an image taken with a 300mm +TC 1.4 shot in the 1.3 crop mode and then further cropped by appx. 40% still yielding an image of around 26 Mpx at 300 dpi. ISO 1100 F6.3 1/800s. For my needs the D90 could have come close to this image quality but the resulting file size would have been around 8-10 mgpx, much too small to up-size to use for stock photography, so the D7100 is a big help in creating more keepers because of resulting image size, not necessarily image quality.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e249/califlefty/20130403025.jpg
The D7100 has less noise than the D90 both in the midtones (SNR) and the shadows (DR) at all ISO settings according to DXOmark:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/(appareil1)/865|0/(brand)/Nikon/(appareil2)/439|0/(brand2)/Nikon
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,049
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
Congrats

All this AF fine tuning continues to baffle me

Anybody just go shoot 1st ?

Consider that I have NEVER fine tuned a single lens on any body and btw your posted pic looks OOF
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
3,499
Location
North East, UK
Congrats

All this AF fine tuning continues to baffle me

Anybody just go shoot 1st ?

Consider that I have NEVER fine tuned a single lens on any body and btw your posted pic looks OOF
i will second that Randy.

No one seems to go out taking photos anymore except to test their latest fine tune experiment.

Ive never fine tuned a camera or lens either.

I did try it once, just to see how much you could really mess things up if you dont really know what you are doing.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
947
I can appreciate some may not agree with my opinion, which I base on shooting thousands of D90 images, and while Dxo information is relevant, (you may also want to compare d7100 vs D90 in screen mode data points) it is too broad with too many variables, I rely on my own experience with my specific cameras. And for those unable to find the focus point in the accompanying photo - this may be of assistance. I recognized the image could be sharper, but that wasn't what I was basing most of my comments on. I will be dialing in focus later.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,049
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
I shoot between 50 and 100 thousand pics a year on 5 bodies (d4, 2 d800s,d3200, and a d7100) and on 10 lenses and my OOF % is 1....I shoot football, soccer, basketball, volleyball,lax,...., birds in flight, people, landscapes, you name it.......
So all I am saying is make sure you got a problem before you try to fix it and if a brand new body needs AF adjustments send it to Nikon and let a professional tech fix it
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
3,039
Location
Wilmington, NC
Congrats

All this AF fine tuning continues to baffle me

Anybody just go shoot 1st ?

Consider that I have NEVER fine tuned a single lens on any body and btw your posted pic looks OOF
That completely baffles me that you have never had to do that ever? Either you are the luckiest son of a gun or you are a post processing wizard... Or all of us fine tuners could be crazy. :biggrin: I need to get a hold of some of your nefs to see if they are really in focus... LOL
 
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,049
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
That completely baffles me that you have never had to do that ever? Either you are the luckiest son of a gun or you are a post processing wizard... Or all of us fine tuners could be crazy. :biggrin: I need to get a hold of some of your nefs to see if they are really in focus... LOL
Trust me Dave when I say this: It's not just me and frankly the guys I shoot with have also never done a single AF adjustment

And no pp wiz (and I'm not one anyway) can fix OOF
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
3,039
Location
Wilmington, NC
Trust me Dave when I say this: It's not just me and frankly the guys I shoot with have also never done a single AF adjustment

And no pp wiz (and I'm not one anyway) can fix OOF
I don't get it. I have had very few fast lenses(1.4 and 1.8) that have not benefited from at least a little lens fine tuning, not as much from the f/2.8 and smaller apertures. Maybe it's just those 1.4 lenses that are making us all nutty. Come to think of it I don't think I have seen you post a lot of stuff at 1.4. I think that may be the secret to enjoying photography, staying away from those lenses...:rolleyes:
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,391
Location
Eden, NY
We're getting off track here but I think the vast majority of camera/lens combinations work fine without AF Fine Tune. If they didn't Nikon (or Canon, etc) would have a nightmare on their hands. That said there is no denying that certain combinations of gear do front focus or back focus. At least now the AF Fine Tune capability means you don't have to send it off to Nikon for adjustment - IF the fine tune procedure is done properly (which I would not bet on based on some posts I've read). To add to Dave's post, my 85/1.8G has a -3 FT value.

The photo in the OP looks OOF to me as well but it looks like the focus point was not the eye of the bird. Then again even the focused point shown in post 5 looks soft to me but it was heavily cropped and a TC was used.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
97
Location
Romania
@califlefty:

While I apreciate the intent, I've seen much more detailed bird images shot with the D90. Basically, your image lacks the crispness factor.

And the AF point might be there in the XY axis, but on the depth axis, it might be several inches behind the target.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
3,499
Location
North East, UK
I don't get it. I have had very few fast lenses(1.4 and 1.8) that have not benefited from at least a little lens fine tuning, not as much from the f/2.8 and smaller apertures. Maybe it's just those 1.4 lenses that are making us all nutty. Come to think of it I don't think I have seen you post a lot of stuff at 1.4. I think that may be the secret to enjoying photography, staying away from those lenses...:rolleyes:
I use the 24, 35, and 85 f1.4 Nikon G primes and have never needed to make any micro adjustments on any of my bodies and I use them at f1.4 all the time for weddings etc. I even use them at f1.4 for landscapes with no problems whatsoever. I've got about 80,000 shots on my d800 and had 450,000 on each of my d3's and d300's. before that I was with Canon and had their 24 and 35 f1.4's, and 50 and 85 f1.2's and they didn't need any adjustments either.

So it's not the fast lenses that are the problems, unless, as you say Randy and myself are just extremely lucky but I doubt it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
42,049
Location
CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
I don't get it. I have had very few fast lenses(1.4 and 1.8) that have not benefited from at least a little lens fine tuning, not as much from the f/2.8 and smaller apertures. Maybe it's just those 1.4 lenses that are making us all nutty. Come to think of it I don't think I have seen you post a lot of stuff at 1.4. I think that may be the secret to enjoying photography, staying away from those lenses...:rolleyes:
could be since I only have the 50 & 85 and rarely use them but Colin shoots the 24,35, and 85 with no problems
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
5,451
Location
Chicago "burbs"
Fred Miranda himself commentated that an af fine tune value varies with distance and if you set up your lens/body at a short distance, focus will be off at longer distances and vice versa. I have found that some of my lens/body combinations benefit from af fine tune while others not so much. I've found that adding a TC usually results in an af tune adjustment. Even Thom Hogan suggests "touching up" lens/body combinations before any important trip fwiw.

The way I feel is that Nikon (and Canon for that matter) implemented this feature for a reason. If there was no reason, it wouldn't be there. But I envy people like Colin and Randy who achieve stellar results without having to fine tune because doing it properly (at least what I perceive to be properly) is a real pain.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
143
Location
California
Fred Miranda himself commentated that an af fine tune value varies with distance and if you set up your lens/body at a short distance, focus will be off at longer distances and vice versa.
This has been my experience with AF Fine Tune on my old D300. The only thing which really worked was having the body recalibrated to factory specs.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2006
Messages
947
Gentle people -

It was my intent in the original posting to praise the D7100 compared to the D90 as overall I find it superior in many ways and the only thing I expressed any concern about was some chroma noise in the shadows. The image I posted was primarily designed to show how well noise cleaned up, and even after heavy cropping had sufficient amount of image data for posting to stock sites. Unfortunately the thread took an immediate left turn because the image I used was the result of using a TC and a slow shutter speed, so it wasn't crystal sharp. Let me be clear; after fine tuning my long primes, this camera produces excellent results as I expected. Focusing is easier and more reliable in low light then the D90. I should have been clearer at the onset so that the thread did not become another AF/focusing argument because of the quality of the image posted. Those of us who don't want to use fine tune, that's OK by me!

I'm sorry if my opinion may have put some people's nose out of joint, like I said it was an initial casual impression. I have no issue with the focusing of the D7100 and I am completely satisfied with the results.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2006
Messages
423
Location
southern England
With respect guys(Colin and Randy) it is a fact that some lens body combinations do absolutely need af fine tune adjustment depending on the actual examples owned,
they all vary to a lesser or greater degree.
Also some of us are suitably experienced to know when it is needed, your general
suggestion that it is not needed can be misleading.
Absolutely agree that anyone with a new camera lens should try it at factory default
settings extensively if necessary before attempting calibration.
For example my 300 afs 2.8vrII &D7100 requires a +10 adjustment, fact.

kind regards

Tony
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom