Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nikon D7100 High ISO Review

Stores in Canada started receiving Nikon D7100 units last Thursday, and by now units will be in the hands of early adopters all around the world. I had a brief amount of time with the new camera the night that it became available, and have been busy working on the full review since. Do I like it? It is a new Nikon after all.... But until then, here's a sample of what the image quality looks like as you rise through the ISO range:

First, here's the full image at ISO 100:

And the following are 100% crops. As will be plainly obvious when you go through these samples, I didn't (and usually don't) have the luxury of being able to use a rigorous setup (there's always DPReview for that...), so there are variations in positioning, focus and camera stabilization, but these should give you a fairly good idea about how the camera behaves as you increase the ISO range.

Since any camera does well from ISO 100 to ISO 800, I skipped the formalities after base ISO and went straight to 1600, which is on the cusp of being acceptable for. Indoor store and poor lighting conditions; exposure isn't great, but I left it like this to try to provoke shadow noise a little. Click on the images to see the files at actual 100% crop size.

ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/6s
ISO 1600, f/6.3, 1/100s
ISO 3200, f/6.3, 1/200s

ISO 6400, f/6.3, 1/400s
ISO Hi.1, f/6.3, 1/800s

ISO Hi.2, f/6.3, 1/1600s

All told, the behaviour is fairly D7000 like; my own preference is to not use it past ISO 3200 in most circumstances, but I would be willing to use ISO 6400 for small-sized output. This is the same comfort level that I have with the D7000. However, this is also being accomplished with more pixels, so that in itself is an improvement.

Once again, I'd like to thank Dave Lai and the staff at Broadway Camera for the time with the D7100.

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