Nikon D7100 gets DxOMark tested


DxOMark published their test results for the Nikon D7100 DSLR camera. Surprisingly the $400 cheaper D5200 performed slightly better then the D7100. The current top 3 best APS-C cameras tested by DxOMark are the Nikon D5200, D7100 and Pentax K-5 IIs:


The DxOMark test results of the Nikon Coolpix A compact camera will be published this Friday.

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  • silky

    what a shame,,,,,D5200 stuning

    • Jon McGuffin

      A 1 point difference in the overall score, and the D7100 still ranks among the top 3 APS-C DSL’s in the WORLD and it’s considered a shame?!?!? When you’re looking at images around the web, do you notice this 1-pt difference?

      • DonD

        But this really isn’t about viewing photos on the web, it’s about discussing the test data results. I agree, that photography in general is about the resulting photos, however viewed, but when you drill down to specifics in comparing camera bodies & sensors test results, it’s really about the data. You can’t dismiss the results because of some other truth, even if it is truth. Otherwise, why even ever test anything, just look at the photos. Obviously, the D7100 with great glass will produce a much better image than D600 with lousy (not Laos-y) glass.

  • kk

    The D5200 have the same D7100 sensor why the ISO performance is not equal between them ?!

    • chubbs

      It’s not the same sensor.

      • Jon McGuffin

        How do you know?

        • desmo

          read the posts on this site when each camera was released
          also read Thom Hogans site
          I believe he mentions it there

          • desmo

            that may have been preliminary info
            i just checked chipworks site they claim teardown of d5200 showed its the Toshiba sensor as well

        • chubbs

          Because Nikon has categorically stated it isn’t the same sensor.

    • The RAW ISO performance is equal between them.

    • Sahaja

      For all intents and purposes they are equal. There is bound to be a small margin of error when running tests like this and that would account for the difference.

    • Eric Duminil

      ISO 1284 vs 1256 really isn’t relevant at all.
      That’s less than 1/30 of a stop, and probably much less than the margin of error.

      We shouldn’t give much importance to those tests.

      DxOMark They managed to piss everybody off :
      * Canon because of bad reviews

      * Nikon because they forgot 70-200 f/2.8 and 14-24 f/2.8
      * Fuji because they didn’t review any X-Trans sensor

    • DonD

      That is such a slight difference it’s just noise, uhh, no pun intended.

  • MikeV

    Guess they didn’t improve the D7100’s sensor to be different than the d5200… Its so close its probably the same sensor right? I would imagine the DXOmark test are based on averages and I’m assuming the average could change slightly if the sensor is in a different body… maybe im wrong, just a guess. Either way I’ll stick to FX

    • Yes, I think they use the same sensor. Maybe Nikon left all the improvements for the D400?

      • Minus the AA filter.

      • Jon McGuffin

        I’m not sure what always makes us all believe there is the ability to have “big” improvements in technology so quickly. The 5200 was released what.. 6 months ago? Do we really believe that we should see such big noticeable enhances in such a short cycle? We’re lucky we get enhancements as it is. The main thing is to watch the D7100 over the D7000 as that is the body the D7100 replaces. Just my two cents.

      • tobey

        i understand you’ll be likely pushing the hype, it’s your job. but reasonably now on the market almost eveybody wishing for a dx replacement go for buying a d7100.also the review are stating “top of apc-s”..i really don’t see any point now supporting a D400…beside pure speculation..what do you thing?

        • patto01

          I don’t want to start a D400 war, and will not reply to any rebuttal comments, but there will be a successor to the D300S, whatever it’s called, and it ain’t the D7100!

        • Pure speculation on my part, I have not received a single reliable piece of information suggesting that the D400 is coming.

      • Paul

        The D400 better pack a lot more improvements than the step up from D7000 to D7100.

        • RC

          If I was in the market for a D400, my main concern would be its improvement over the D300/D300s. I would not expect any significant improvement in IQ vs the current generation of DX cameras.

          • Pat Mann

            I am in the market. All I really need is a D300 with a current generation sensor – call it a D300sx if you want, but I do need the frame rate, the new AF to f/8, a buffer than can handle the same operating speed with the higher resolution sensor, and (just dreaming here) a GPS and WiFi with no dongle (it can be in a battery holder/grip of you like), and please, an eyepiece shutter and the threaded pro style finder accessories without needing a fall-off adapter plate.

      • catinhat

        Is this black humor of sorts? I thought Admin didn’t believe D400 was in the works?…

    • Eric Duminil

      I suppose you’re right.

      The differences between D7100 & D500 probably are in the margin of error.
      It looks cooler to write 1284 ISO than just 1200, even though it’s a 10th of a stop.

      Those scores are dependant on so many subjective factors that they should be taken with a ton of salt.

    • DonD

      I would expect the removal of the AA filter to increase the resolution over the D5200. Can anyone explain why it didn’t. Also, I would think the D7100 would be better in low light than the D5200. Puzzling.

      • Remedy

        Why da hell would You think D7100 would be better in low light when both cameras use the same friggin sensor. Dude get some sense to Your head.

        • DonD

          Your asked, do what to hear my answer? Noise is the result of amplification NOT increased sensitivity of the sensor. Increasing the ISO does NOT change the sensitivity of the sensor, it only amplifies the signal. When you amplify a signal you get an increase in noise. I would think that a more expensive camera and one produced later than the prior comparison MAY use better electronics and/or firmware in the performance of said amplification. That is why. Same sensor but different circuitry and firmware.

      • No longer Pablo Ricasso

        Where is the score for resolution? I didn’t know there was one.

        • Pat Mann

          Lenses are tested for resolution on various cameras. There were no lens tests listed for D5200 or D7100 last I looked.

        • DonD

          Well, that’s a good question. Now that you asked, I don’t see it above, but that seems to be what drives the scores of Dx0 Mark primarily with color depth, SNR, and DR being secondary.

  • Candy

    Don’t believe the Canon scored so low
    Don’t trust the result

    • Alwyn

      Yes, it is quite amusing. There is no way the 60d should score that low in the image quality and the high ISO dept. I owned one and it certainly wasn’t as far behind Nikon as Dxo Mark suggests. BS with a capital letter D

    • Erik

      Why not!

  • AAf

    without low pass filter, why still unmatched with d5200?

    • Thom Hogan

      An AA filter will have a slight positive impact on noise reduction.

      • DonD

        Thom, are you saying the noise would be somewhat diffused with an AA filter, so be worse without one?

        • Itai

          Shot noise is diffused by the AA filter but read-out noise is not. At low ISO she shot read-out noise dominates but at high ISO the shot noise dominates.

          • DonD

            Good point, the bulk of the noise is created by the amplifiers not the sensor. I was just trying to understand how the lack of a AA filter would have a “slight positive impact on the noise reduction.” Still not sure I understand that.

      • Wossisname

        Without an AA filter less sharpening is needed, thereby slightly reducing the appearance of noise.

  • Forbs

    Anyone else here suspicious of these DxO mark scores? Not just in this case, but generally.

    • Eric Duminil

      They’re generally useless, especially for comparison between brands or sensor sizes.

      • Robert Ash

        But since that’s actually the point of the scores, that actually does make them useful 🙂

        • Robert Ash

          Also, glaring differences within the same brand are definitely meaningful, e.g. the score differences between a Nikon D200 and a Nikon D4

          • Robert Ash

            or, rather between a Nikon D200 and the Nikon D7100 (same sensor sizes)

            • Erik

              Fully agree!

      • Erik

        Why not? Because they do not show the result that you want?

        • AM

          Exactly, people get on denial when somebody tells them that the D7100 they just bought will not produce the IQ that the D600 produces and they thought it would do, and that a $400 cheaper camera even produces better IQ than the D7100.

        • Eric Duminil

          No, because there’s no way a single score can summarize the quality of a sensor, there’s no way those cameras have 13 stops of dynamic range and there’s no way you can directly compare an m43 sensor and a medium format one.

          • Robert Ash

            That’s wrong. First, there are many components that go into that score, as is clear in the above charts. Second, those cameras *do* have that much dynamic range. I saw it for myself when I bought my D7000.

            The first thing I noticed was that the images looked much better than my D300 images, largely because they had consistently better lighting, especially in the shadows. I dismissed that at first, because I don’t credit equipment for better or worse results. But awhile later I saw on this site that DxO said the D7000 had almost 14 stops of dynamic range. That explained it. I saw it again recently when I bought my D800E. The cameras really do perform like that, — DxO does *very* good reviews.

            • Robert Ash

              Erik, sorry, I was replying to Eric Duminil’s note and the system placed it under your note instead. Eric’s assertions are not correct, yours are. Cheers.

    • I work in the test and measurement industry and yeah, I believe it.

      Does it make a difference? No. Getting your butts out and making art makes a difference.

      I believe that Nikon sensors are more accurate. But if I shot JPEG, I find the Canon sensors more pleasing. Less accurate, sure, but more pleasing nonetheless.

      • ByCanon

        I guess the resulting photographs should be printed with a signature as, “Copyright Canon,” then, because apparently Canon paints an image, whereas Nikon takes the picture the photographer intended. Hm, Nikon would ever include “Canon” as a fun-mode on its entry-level DSLRs with the other trick looks that aren’t realistic. 😉

    • Daniel Watson

      They show dynamic range, but the low light score is essentially a noise ratio in the shadows when boosting so essentially, dynamic range. It means almost nothing in real life. The only thing a high score means is that the sensor likely has better DR. I would ignore the low light score in most cases as it is not a measure of noise at a given ISO value which is how we as photographers would evaluate whether a camera is good at high ISO. It also doesn’t measure the grain pattern and other elements that dictate the quality of an image, even on a purely technical level because obviously a bad picture on a D800E still is a bad picture.

      • 800mm f/2.8 DX VR

        If low light is simply dynamic range, please explain why the D4 has a better noise score AND a worse DR score than the D7000

        • SleeperSmith

          Don’t bother, some people are just completely clueless.

        • Vamp898

          The D4 have less DR because it have a completely different Sensor, but as it have less Noise at High-ISO (and a full-frame for sure), it changes with increasing ISO.

          Easy as that.

          Look at the measures, not just the result. The D4 is actually better in DR, just not at ISO 100.

          Look at the D800 DR, its only good at ISO 100, at ISO >=400 its already worse than the 5D Mark III and continues to get worse.

          According to DxO the Sony A77 is only very slightly worse than the Canon EOS 60D, i had both and the A77 have about 1-fspot more noise. That is not just slightly more, thats a really lot more and the High-ISO Results for the A77 and the 60D are far from reality ar from whatevery you think of when thinking about “High-ISO Performance”

          Thats the problem with DxO

          – The final score is useless
          – High-ISO seems to have nothing to do with image noise

          If the D800 is best at ISO 100 but worse with >=ISO 200, according to DxO its still the best camera.

          So DxO alone, sadly, dont tell you which one is the best Sensor.

    • equus

      Why is this case an exception? What methods did you employ to test the credibility of this and other scores? Be logical and scientific.

      • Dick

        He didn’t say it wasn’t credible, he said he was suspicious of it. I am too given the performance I have seen from some of my cameras. So fuck off.

  • we need a D400 asap!! :-p

  • waterengineer

    With recent FX format cameras from Nikon scoring so high, one would think that intelligence would translate to the D7100. Most here are missing the point of the score(s). The D7100 should no just be better than the D5200, it should be a ton better. Sad. I will be keeping my D7000, no reason to change at this point.

    • Eric Duminil

      Buy an X100s. 😀

      • waterengineer

        Sure, but that camera is for a different reason.

    • R J

      Why should the D7100 perform better in a Dxomark test than the D5200 when they are using the same sensor?!?

      • desmo

        they are different sensors
        d7100 is a toshiba sensor

        • Remedy

          …which is exactly what You can find in D5200. You sir fail.

        • desmo

          I was wrong they are both the Toshiba sensor
          source Chipworks teardown of D5200

        • Cristofer

          D5200 has toshiba too!

      • Robert Ash

        Firmware and signal processing circuitry makes a difference even when sensors themselves are identical.

        • R J

          Not in a major way in this case it seems 😉

    • desmo

      same technology level ,but lot bigger pixel
      or bucket to use water analogy

      • waterengineer

        D600 leaves a (relatively) small resolution file in DX mode.

        • desmo

          if your committed to 1.5 crop your right
          then D7100 would be great better range on your telephotos
          just not quite the low light performance

          • And if someone was buying a camera to generally use in low light situations…perhaps a different model would be more appropriate. If you are a nature / wildlife photographer, and you need to REACH OUT THERE, then being able to shoot at ISO 25,000 isn’t really of much value, by comparison

            • desmo

              yup and throw in D7100’s 1.3x or(4/3 sensor)crop mode and you get 2x pimp on your lenses
              so for your purpose this should be a great camera

            • patto01

              While you could do a lot of shooting in low light conditions and almost never shoot landscape/wildlife, I can’t imagine a wildlife photographer not shooting in low light often enough to not get “much value” from high ISO performance. Of course, if you take into account financial constraints, which may be your point, it may have less value than the extra reach but I wouldn’t think to the degree you seem to be implying. There’re a whole lot of species you could never photograph…

            • iamlucky13

              For wildlife, high ISO actually can be very helpful, depending what you’re shooting. If you’re shooting birds that hang out deep in the woods and move fast, or animals that don’t come out until dusk, good high ISO performance can be a huge benefit.

      • RC

        The main reason the D600 has higher high ISO performance is because its sensor is larger. A larger sensor can grab more light.

    • RC

      The point of buying a D7100 is to get the extra features. There’s really no significant difference in image quality across the line of the same generation.

  • tertius_decimus

    DxO mark scores = bullshit. Period.

    rm/rf that

    • tifkat

      Are you *trying* to look like a Unix geek, or does rm/rf have some other meaning I’m not aware of?

      (rm/rf looks like an attempt at a Unix command ‘rm -rf’)

  • it’s not about the score guys, the D5200 is better in the score but no way one could prefer the D5200 over the D7100 (unless your considering the price!!), and it only a worthy update if you want the resolution of course. by the way for the low pass filter I think we should wait for some lens testing, am I right?

  • Margin of error people, don’t flip out.
    Same sensor generation.

    • D5200vsD7100

      Were they designed by different manufacturers or other Software applied? Because I think so. I have seen ISO 6400 shots taken with the D7100 and the D5200 — while all other ISOs are pretty close — at ISO 6400 (by DPReview’s comparison charts), the D5200 is much cleaner. As ISO 6400 is probably the highest you’d want to be (when over ISO 2000) in this generation, it means that the D5200 has a real-world advantage. Above 6400, the D7100 is slightly better, but the images still look like crud, because its ISO 12800, etc, which looks really poor close up.

      • Twaddler Belafonte

        ISO 6400 is the highest I can be at? I’ll very very fine with that! A clean ISO6400 is way wicked.

      • It seems that it’s the same sensor as the D5200 without the AA filter. RAW looks the same to me. Now with identical DxO results, clear.

        The D7000 and D5100 also had the (exact) same sensor, so it’s not surprising.

    • Martin

      Sure, d7100 and d5200 should have same sensor because d90 and d5000 had same sensor, d7000 and d5100 had same sensor, so d7100 and d5200 should have same sensor too.

  • To give some perspective, this is the conclusion from the DxO site: The new Nikon D7100 is a worthy replacement for the D7000, maintaining its reputation for superior image quality among APS-C-based DSLRs. With an impressive new feature set and the ability to deliver better sharpness and resolution due to the elimination of the anti-aliasing filter from its 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, the D7100 takes over as Nikon’s flagship APS-C DSLR. Not only does it maintain Nikon’s position at the top of the APS-C performance charts, but it also gives full-frame competitors a run for their money, delivering similar image quality results for $1,000 less.

    • DonD

      But DxO’s own test results are contradictory to their words, “the ability to deliver better sharpness and resolution due to the elimination of the anti-aliasing filter”

      • mikegorton

        Do they even rank sensor sharpness? They probably just reused the D5200 sensor, removed the AA filter and thought that would be good enough. It probably is.

        • DonD

          The resolution of the sensor seems to me to be the primary driver for all the DxO camera body tests. Otherwise, a 4mp Camera with better DR, SNR, and CD would outrank the D800, right?

          • DonD

            Another way to look at it is, if the CD and SNR, and DR are essentially the same as the D5200, why wouldn’t in “better sharpness and resolution” proclaimed by DxO make the overall score higher. Am I missing something here. Someone help me see the error in my thinking.

      • keepitsimple

        Not contradictory. They show equivalent performance between the 7100 and 7000 in image quality, iso performance, etc, etc. Equivalent performance across the board at a higher pixel count is the definition of better sharpness/resolution.

        • DonD

          Now I get it. It’s better than the D7000, but not better than the D5200. I still don’t understand how the removal of the AA Filter would not make it score higher than the D5200, even if everything else was equal. Why wouldn’t sharper images score better if you did not introduce any increased noise or reduce the DR?

          • keepitsimple

            aren’t they the same….you can’t actually be concerned with the slop between two scores (difference of one). The 7100 is a much better (or more capable) camera than the 5200, but not because of sensor performance. They are designed to be the same in that respect, the 7xxx series adds other performance features (focus, fps, shutter) not available at the 5xxx level. Pretty simple stuff.

            • DonD

              Ok, so are you saying DxO is just testing the camera sensor therefor e the tests scores are virtually the same? Well, how do you test ISO and not test the electronics of the camera body (more than the sensor… and therefore you would have to also get the results of no AA filter, right? Am I missing something? Do they remove the sensors from these camera and test them? No, they can’t. How would you test any ISO other than native and that is not a function of the sensor in whole, but rather the amplifying circuit, no?

  • desmo

    Holly crap!!!
    the D5200 outscored the D7100
    there’s going to be hell to pay

  • Tracht

    If buying Dx today would get the D7100. Worth upgrading from the D7000? Probably not. Buy the mythical D400 when and if it comes out??? Don’t know.

    • catinhat

      Of course worth! They finally thought of putting a lock on the mode dial. This alone is worth all the money. 😉

  • DonD

    I’m surprised DxO could afford a D7100.

    • DonD

      After all, they already tested the D7000, that should be good for, say, 6 years or so of reference. It’s just a D7000 II, right?

      • DonD…NO! It is not just a D7000 II. Virtually everything in the D7100 is new / different. Fundamentally different sensor, AF system, controls, and so forth. It would be simpler to list the identical things…if I could think of any. And YES, I do own both.

        • No longer Pablo RIcasso

          LOL at Hull. Sarcasm detector was FULL.

        • Calibrator

          Both have two SD card slots.
          Hence the image quality must be the same, too!
          (this was sarcasm, too)

        • DonD

          Sorry to offend you, Terry. This was not so much a statement about the D7100 as it was about the 70-200 VR II and the lack of testing with the VR II lens by DxOMark. Some folks got it, sorry you didn’t. It was just a fecal attempt at wit.

          • I thought it was a pretty good attempt

          • NRA Advocate

            Fecal is a noun, not an adjective.

            • DonD

              Another joke, but sorry, again you missed it. Am I that bad or is it just a big group of nerds?

            • shanganagh

              The latter.

            • No longer Pablo Ricasso

              I’d like to think that NRA was also joking, but I’m not so sure…
              And for the record, I kind of appreciate DXO for showing me the similarity between the two cameras. If you think about it for a while you can see these results validated their methodology.

            • I think you might need to double check your dictionary.

            • Grammar Nazi

              Not a noun.

              Fecal (fkl)
              Of, relating to, or composed of feces.

  • AlphaTed

    Not bad. Though I expected it to to be better than the D5200 in all aspects.

  • Itai

    This is bizarre. Until recently these were quite consistent but the last few batches of test reveal some strangeness with respect to the use of Anti-Alias filter or not.

    The first surprise was that the K-5 IIs did not exceed the K-5 II while the PEN E-PL5 does exceed the OM-D E-M5 and the D800E exceeds the D800. Now, they did it again with the D7100 not exceeding the D5200.

    In theory, the blur causes by the AA filter should reduce the DR and bit-depth of the sensor by a slight amount.

    • DonD

      As well as, increasing the resolution, which according to their data, it did not.

  • garbagelane

    only A D5200 is good enough!!!


    Glad I went with my D600 when I did and took advantage of those huge deals around Christmas time. no regrets 🙂

    • auritus

      Saaaaaame here!

      • Django

        And you guys are also enjoying that extra load of oil on your sensors?

        • umeshrw

          Wow. you should not marry because spouses are a bit of a problem in the first few years. Atleast until you understand each other.

          • patto01

            No. I think he has a valid point. It takes something like $1250 worth of equipment and years of training to clean your own sensor. In fact, is that even possible??

            • First, my sensor doesn’t get oil. Second, cleaning a sensor isn’t that hard or costly, check bythom’s website to know how. But for now, the vibration option and my cheap air blower has removed all dust, there was no oil.

            • patto01

              Sorry. I thought my sarcasm would be apparent. I’ve wet-cleaned my sensors before and I agree, it’s not expensive or all that time consuming. In fact, if you are more than a casual photographer, you’ll have to do it eventually, anyway.

            • RC

              It’s not apparent because people with D600s are very defensive about the oil issue =) I am far more than a casual photographer, and I never had to clean the sensor in my D300 after hundreds of lens changes in the period of about 5 years. I had to return my first D600 because an oil spot kept returning after multiple cleanings. The 2nd body was flawless after one initial wet clean.

            • patto01

              Of course every D600 has varying degrees of the problem, or no problem at all. Did you see the problem on your first D600 in your normal photos or did you have to jump through the same hurdles I did to find it? Had I not heard of, and looked for it, I would have never noticed it. I guess my point is: is it possible that your D300 has some dust, etc. on the sensor but you haven’t seen it because you never looked for it? And more to the point, how much dust is a problem? Depending on the kinds of photos you take, you might never notice a moderate amount or one tiny mote might drive you crazy!
              In any case, I think my sarcasm should have been obvious to all but the most casual observer… 😉

            • RC

              I pre-ordered my D600 literally the second it showed up on Amazon, so I was among the first to experience this problem. I discovered it while visually inspecting the sensor for no apparent reason (i.e. it wasn’t because I read about the oil issue). Once I saw the spot, I confirmed that it had a very obvious impact on my images. It is not dust. It is a huge oil smear. I cleaned it but it came back. This is no minor issue. When I received my 2nd D600, the first thing I did was shoot the sky, and I noticed several flecks of particles moving around from image to image. That didn’t surprise me because I knew of this issue. What I did watch out for was any oil spots. I saw none. That made me very happy. I am at over 7000 actuations, and there has never been an oil spot. The issue with the particles is also gone. The D600 does have (or had) an issue, and it is not normal. Telling someone to clean their sensor is like telling someone with a leaking toilet to just mop up the leaking water.

            • patto01

              Not really. After a varying number of actuations, the issue resolves itself; no amount of mopping will fix a leaking toilet.
              Maybe my attitude is just different from most people: I expect bad things and am pleasantly surprised when good things happen instead.

            • RC

              The point is, the leak (the excess oil) should not be there in the first place. Having to clean up the oil splashes is an unreasonable expectation. You also do not know if or when the issue will resolve itself. The right thing to do is to have it repaired or returned.

              Yeah, I don’t think most people share that kind of attitude. If I’m going to pay Nikon $2100 for a camera, a CAMERA! it had better not have any “issues.”

            • patto01

              You’re right. It shouldn’t…but it is. In my case, I knew about the oil/dust issue before buying the D600 so it was a reasonable expectation. You bought early so in your case, it wasn’t reasonable. But, again, that was the case. Apparently, your last statement is false. You bought the camera, it had the issue, and you either returned it for a replacement or bought a second camera (I can’t tell from your earlier post). You could have returned it and got your money back (depending on how long it took for you to find the problem) but you didn’t. You accepted the issue along with your $2100 camera. And almost three weeks ago, you replied to Django…’nope, my D600 has no oil problems.’
              If you had known about the issue beforehand, would you have not bought it?
              You’re not the only one and I do it myself occasionally so I know, nobody likes a whiner…with the possible exception of other whiners!

            • RC

              I returned my 1st one within the return period, and waited until Amazon had stock again.

              I see what you mean now about expecting bad things. Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you. I thought you were saying that was your general outlook in life.

              Regarding what I might have done had I known about the issue…I may have decided to wait because I didn’t consider the D800 because of the focusing issue.

              I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you mention whiners but I don’t think cleaning a sensor is a big deal but if you have to do it often, it’s not reasonable. I haven’t wet-cleaned my sensor for over 7000 frames, so I expect to not have to clean it for several months, if not years at a time. I already mentioned before that I hadn’t cleaned my D300 for 5 years =), and I use my camera very frequently, changing lenses quite often.

            • patto01

              I, in turn, don’t mean to offend anyone either. We both seem to be enjoying our D600s, despite the oil problem and that’s the important thing. Please excuse my impatience, I’m not a young man and get tired of hearing, and in this case reading about, people complaining about everything that isn’t perfect in their life. Any dSLR is a lot better than the frustration I had trying to learn how to shoot with a film SLR, over thirty years ago. Living in a very rural area, I had no one to help me learn and having a very modest income, it was too expensive to experiment much. I would quietly endure a lot more problems than the oil issue to continue enjoying photography as I have since digital cameras became available.

            • RC

              I started with film as well but I still think the oil problem is unreasonable. With film, you get a clean “sensor” every time (that is as long as you don’t have something jammed in front of the exposure area in your camera – yes this happened to me one time and ruined an entire roll of images).

              I don’t think any talk of the oil issue is complaining. If we are to expect great tools from Nikon, we must demand great tools and accept nothing less. If we let them abuse us, they will abuse us.

        • RC

          nope, my D600 has no oil problems

        • Aldo

          you just jelly… I wish I had a d600

          • Calibrator

            But you have the best macro lens, Aldo!

            • Aldo

              uh? I don’t own a macro lens lol. My arsenal of lenses: 24-70 nikon… sigma 14mm 2.8 😛

        • desmo

          nope mostly enjoying what a great camera it is

  • David B

    Several notes.

    Nikon CAN and SHOULD do better. If they expect me to pay a significantly premium price for a D7100 over a D5200 (via upgrade from my D7000), there should be reasons to do so. The body is essentially the same or slightly better, and the focusing seems to be an. However, the ISO performance numbers are very disappointing. I would have far rather they simply chopped a D800 sensor in half and given me 18MP with that level of performance. Looks like I’ll be passing on this upgrade for now.

    • desmo

      not that big of price difference, the d5200 is a nice camera but it lacks some of the advanced menu items, like the ability to change the file nnaming from the std Nikon DSC .This is useful if you have more than one nikon DSLR so they don’t overwrite each others files.
      More importantly the D7100 has the 51pt Auto Focus which is more accurate and will autofocus under more conditions
      There is a lot to like about the D7100

    • RC

      The reason that the D800 has superior high ISO performance is because of its larger sensor. If you “chop” the sensor, you will not get D800 performance. A DX sensor just can’t grab the same amount of light.

      I don’t know why you think they can do better. The D7100 is a significantly better body based on its feature set (which is what differentiates cameras these days).

      • David B

        It is my opinion that your point is incorrect – I think it is PIXEL size and processing, not the sensor size. The APS-C sensor is appx half the size of an FX sensor – so if you have half the physical size, with half the megapixels, you can maintain pixel density and site size – and thus the light gathering performance should be pretty equivalent. For lack of a better description – cut an FX sensor in half and turn it sideways and you get an APS-C sensor. 🙂 (I know things are a bit more complex than that but the relationship is roughly true)

        • RC

          What we’re talking about isn’t opinion-based, so only one of us can be right =) I’m not interested in being right (i.e. I’m not trying to win an argument), so I will gladly accept the truth.

          The D800 shatters this megapixel myth. For more info, please check out this website.

          • David B

            That sounds like a good argument if you take megapixels out of the equation. But the fact is, BOTH megapixels and ISO performance hold value. A studio professional will value megapixels more. A sports shooter would rather have the ISO performance. The D800 proved you can have both (though not at the frame rate I would prefer!) I don’t care what the article says, even though I get their point – you can look at standard size prints in varying light conditions and understand cleanness on the print. It does not take a genius to realize that there is a great deal of fact and reality to the ISO performance of the D3s. JMHO.

            • RC

              You bring up a very good point (the D3s). I guess I was basing my claim more on theory vs. actual implementations.

              If there is significant demand for another camera like that, I would imagine that Nikon would produce another one. But I think that most people want more megapixels (I know there are those that don’t want more but I believe that they are in the minority). 12MP certainly isn’t enough anymore these days. Maybe Nikon figured that the loss from going up to 36MP isn’t much, so they decided to choose 36MP as the best compromise. Here’s some scientific stuff about S/N ratio and pixels.


              I found that link in this post which is also informative.


            • scottd800

              1:1 image resolution would argue that the d800 image is far superior to the d7000 image, despite similar pixel pitch. remember, its not just the sensor, it is how the image is processed and recorded for a specific sensor. So, low light photos are way, way, better on d800 (i crop 6400iso reception photos down all the time)

        • No longer Pablo Ricasso

          The reason the D800 got the high ISO score was because it was downsampled more to compare the image with other cameras. If there were only 18 megapixels there would be only half as much downsampling and the ISO score would be nowhere near that of the D800. It is said to be kind of rough on a per pixel level.

      • Jacek

        Sorry, but you don’t understand the nature of focusing process and image creation 🙁

        • RC

          Could you please elaborate?

    • No longer Pablo Ricasso

      “There should be reasons to do so.”
      … Well aside from a completely different AF system that is improved in every metric, there IS the ability to meter with my old manual lenses and the ability to use my non S AF lenses, among other things.

      • David B

        Here’s what I want in a D7100 – markedly improved ISO performance compared to my D7000, say at least equivalent to a D700 or so. I don’t think that happened. I would also like at least the equivalent focusing, frame rate, and build quality of my nearly six year old D300. I don’t think that either of these requests are unobtainable by Nikon at all. If they would make this camera, it might well be one of the best sellers ever produced by Nikon.

        • RC

          How does the AF system in your D7000 compare to the one in your D300? I have been using a D300 every since it came out, and I got a D600 last year, and I find that it blows away the D300 in how quick the AF system is, so I was curious about the D7000’s AF performance vs. the D300.

          • scottd800

            it would be hart (for me maybe) to tell the difference between d300 and d7000 for focus speed. d7100 is faster than both, especially when the lights go out.

          • David B

            My D300 is much faster and more accurate, hands down.

        • Plug

          You are talking D400.

        • DonD

          David, what you are asking for is a D400. and your request along with a few hundred thousand other folks is why there will be one. The D7100 is NOT the D300s replacement. But thats been said over and over with data to back it us and some refuse to believe it. Even Nikon said it when pined down.

  • equus

    It seems DxO quickly becomes obsolete among true pros. No one sincerely trust what they are doing these days. I’d rather go with KR than this dubious “scientific” offering by DxO.

    • desmo

      DXO has been good for Nikon Rumours
      the controversy has generated a lot of hits

      • I have been reporting DxOMark results before I had any hits on NikonRumors.

  • Robert Ash

    Quick question – does anyone know what DxO means by 24.2 bits for color depth? A bit is either on or it’s off. How can a “bits” metric be fractional? Thanks!

  • AlphaTed

    The top Canon cameras are now pushed down to 17 and 18, per DxO.

  • Weird, D7100 also scored lower than D7000 and D5100 on Dynamic Range. You’d think that with removal of AA filter both Low light score and dynamic range will be higher (just check D800 vs D800e figures) but not here

  • Erik

    Guys, calm down! The D7100 is a really really good Camera.
    If it is worth upgrading from a D7000 is another question!
    It has a brilliant AF system! Loads better than D7000!!!

    The Sensor Technology does not make gigantic jumps anymore, get used to it. It is normal in the Semiconductor world for a maturing Technology!
    Expect more of incremental steps. The Sensor is important, but not everything!

    FX will simply have an advantage over DX in the same generation, in these tests!!!!
    1: LEX D600vsD7100:same amount of Pixels => Pixel is larger
    2: LEX D800vsD7100:larger amount of Pixels => Pixels will be more averaged when using the same size of viewing!

  • scottd800

    This is kind of strange, because besides my shiny new d7100 focusing way faster (i mean, in the dark its crazy fantastic) the images seem to have way more depth. I use d5200’s mostly for video, but have been using one for stills until i could get my d7100.

    The ergonomics are in two different classes. I shoot weddings nearly every weekend and it would be a challenge to try to baby the pointy little 5200 while a 70-200 was attached. I shoot d800 and dx for second body (higher MP reach). I haven’t shot the 7100 at an actual wedding yet, but i can certainly tell the difference between the two camera’s images in Lightroom!

    • RC

      How would you rank the autofocus performance of your D7100 vs. your other bodies? I’m trying to help my friend decide between the D5100, D7000, and D7100.

      Are you saying your D7100 focuses way faster than the D5200?

      • scottd800

        yes, the d7100 focuses faster, but more importantly it is more accurate. It hits perfect focus more consistently. I have a 5100 too, and i would say do not bother, especially of your friend is interested in doing any kind of video. The d7000 is pretty good too, but 5200 is snappier (as long as the lens you are using is AF-S). Based on use i would rank the whole line this way for focus speed and accuracy:

        D4 (I don’t have this one, just going off what friends say) ;
        D7100; (brand new to us)
        I dont know why the d600 is slower, but after we got it back from nikon (for oil cleaning which was free and only 2wks) i was hoping it would help.

        of course, the lens you use makes a huge difference 🙂

        • scottd800

          our beloved d300 and d700 do not make it out to the weddings much anymore, as IQ is better from other cameras we have.

          • RC

            Thanks so much. That is very helpful. I’m also interested (and pleased to know – that they have improved this area) that the D7100 outperforms the D600. Is it in both speed and accuracy, and is it a small difference?

      • scottd800

        it really depends on how they are using it, I am an event photographer who mostly shoots weddings and sometimes family portraits, so i can only speak to that. The d7k series is far more robust and comfortable to use than d5k. D5200 is better at shooting video than any camera on the list, with a few drawbacks against the d800. the articulating screen and superior image quality get it to the top.

  • Robert Ash

    Quick question – What does 24.2 bits color depth mean? Bits are either on or off, 1 or 0. That should imply 24 or 25, not 24.2. How can color depth state what appear to be fractional valued bits?

    • Itai

      The bit themselves yes are on or off. However if you perform measurements you may find that some combinations of values are unused. By taking the base two logarithm of the colors used (counting linearly), you get a fractional number of bits.

      • Robert Ash

        Ok, so the number itself –> 24.2 is an *exponent*, not a ‘bit’ per se? If so, that makes sense, thanks!

    • Guest

      I assume that DxO just rounds it to a value that humans can grasp. Measurements are usually displayed in an analog way, anyhow.

    • scottd800

      Color sensitivity (color depth) indicates to what degree of subtlety color nuances
      can be distinguished from one another, often meaning a hit or a miss on a
      pantone palette, but are often (nearly)imperceptible variations of them. Maximum color sensitivity reports, in bits, the number
      of colors that the sensor is able to distinguish.

      • Robert Ash

        Ok, so DxO is saying ‘bits’ instead of saying ‘base 2’ per Itai’s response below. Odd choice of terms because the two terms are not equivalent, but at least I understand better what the stat itself means. Thanks!

        • Robert Ash

          Sorry, I meant to say the two terms ‘bits’ and ‘base 2’ are not synonymous. They’re close enough to equivalent that DxO is using them interchangeably, but actually they’re not synonymous terms.

  • The improved autofocus system with 51 AF points (15 cross-type), gives the D7100 the edge over the D5200 in my book.

  • Rhonbo

    The D7100 has the same sensor as the D5200 but just without the AA filter. They both exhibit the same banding in the shadows. I sent my D7100 back. The banding with just 2 stop exposure comp in the shadows was unacceptable. Other reviews have noted this.

  • Daniel Watson
  • Aldo

    man there’s a lot of negativity here all the time… we need more positive thinking in NR

  • Hen Cockwell

    Apparently they haven’t boiled the D7100 before testing it. Fail.

  • keepitsimple

    All these comments are dumb, did the same list of garbage appear for the 5100 and 7000? Dxo basically just verified that the 5200 and 7100 have the same sensor (and probably processing), just like the 5100 and 7000 did. The reason to buy a 7100/7000 over a 5200/5100 is the feature set, for example, tougher weather sealed body, top lcd, larger/brighter viewfinder, much better focus system, more robust/snappier shutter, focus motor. That stuff is what your several hundred dollars more is buying. I think everyone needs to quit looking at the absolute ISO numbers, and actually think about what they mean, all these cameras have great numbers, and they aren’t that different (just looking at the dxo numbers). The ISO numbers between the d600 and d7100 are only about 1-stop. Not trivial, but a really impressive metric considering the pedestal the sensor size police put FX up on. Looking all the way back to the D90 (awesome camera still), only about 1.5-stops to the D600, and the D90 came out 2008-ish.

  • Mo

    I saw the “lab” results from dpreview, I was really disappointed with the IQ and it also seemed that the D5200 was doing better than the D7100.
    Maybe the lack of AA filter isn’t doing much good for the sensor ?

    I also feel that the sensor should have been made by a different company..
    I had high hopes from the D7100 but I guess I’ll go for the D7000.

  • CHD

    ‘The current top 3 best APS-C cameras tested by DxOMark are the Nikon D5200, D7100 and Pentax K-5 IIs’

    The key word in that phrase is ‘tested’. If and when the XPro1 ever gets tested I think it would be in the top 3 for sure.

    • Pete Grady

      DxOMark is a joke and IF they test the XPro1 they will probably prove that assertion to everyone by giving it a score of 19 or something. If you bought an XPro1 and need a score from DxOMark to feel good about your purchase, you bought it for the wrong reasons.

      • CHD

        Pete….I don’t buy cameras based on DXO scores. I bought my XPro1 the first month it was released. DXO could tell me the sensor is rubbish and I could care less (the same way they rated the M8). My point was just that the XPro1 sensor is awesome, certainly in the top 3 APS-C cameras regardless of what DXO says.

  • lorenzo

    More BS from DXO?

  • HA-HA-HA… I am sick of Nikon 24 MP cameras! It is the most useless *innovation* that they’ve made in the company history. (after Nikon 1, of course). They should change company name to “Eat My HDD Corporation”

  • Robert Ash

    Another quick question – How do people here know that the D7100 has snappy, accurate focus? Are there owners here who have done a comparison? are there good writeups on the web somewhere? I was quite surprised and very disappointed with my D7000’s focusing problems so I’m shying away from another D7xxx model. If the D7100 fixes the focus problem and matches the D300 or better, please point me to some proof points and/or tests, would be very glad to see some well done ones!! The price point is right, the IQ is amazing (when it’s in focus) but the auto-focus is very lacking.

  • Funduro

    83 , 1256iso. More evidence that the D400 will be made and released soon. Yes that’s my opinion.

    • AM

      Where’s the evidence? Spill the beans.

  • Marcelobtp

    “the D7100 vs. 3.0-inch 921K-dot model in the D7000), a new viewfinder that utilizes a high-contrast OLED display, and improved HD video recording capabilities (1080/30p or at 60i/50i in 1.3x crop mode). Support for an optional WiFi adapter for easy wireless file transfer and remote control (with a supported smartphone or tablet) also sets this camera apart.” That was written on DXO website, impressive…Now D7100 has an oled viewfinder!

  • Merv S

    Why are there so many “defensive” reactions here for the D7100 for what is basically a statistical difference?

  • mjguex

    The sensor DxOMark gives the pixel performance, not the sensor resolution, so the presence or absence of an AA filter is irrelevant.

  • nikkor guy

    Nikon Canada also lists D7100 as the flagship DX.

    Sorry folks, there will be no D400.

  • Zen-Tao

    DxO MArks Tests are not much reliable.They have proved often not be very impartial or maybe they make the tests hastlily.

  • Jon

    Looks like it may be time to upgrade my D7000 backup camera!

  • Alex

    Hi! Could you give me an advice what camera should I buy – d7000 or d7100? I’m beginner in DSLR. Will it have rather better characteristics? I know that d7000 is older model (2010). But I have doubt about lack an optical low-pass filter (OLPF). I wanna photograph a landscape and portrait. I’ve read many articles about defect in skin tones in d7000, about pink faces. I suppose 24 megapixels is not good idea in d7100. It increase size of files and make slower buffer. So, it’s minus, isn’t it?
    But AF looks nicer than in d7000. Which model is more appropriate for my aims?

  • Alex

    Hi! Could you give me an advice what camera should I buy – d7000 or
    d7100? I’m beginner in DSLR. Will it have rather better characteristics?
    I know that d7000 is older model (2010). But I have doubt about lack an
    optical low-pass filter (OLPF). I wanna photograph a landscape and
    portrait. I’ve read many articles about defect in skin tones in d7000,
    about pink faces. I suppose 24 megapixels is not good idea in d7100. It
    increase size of files and make slower buffer. So, it’s minus, isn’t it?

    But AF looks nicer than in d7000. Which model is more appropriate for my aims?

    • KnightPhoto

      Alex, if you are a beginner in DSLRs, a D7000 would probably be quite sufficient for several years as you learn. However, if you are going to do indoor low-light – the superior autofocus, or any video work, then those improvements in the D7100 would be worth your while. HOWEVER, if the present dollar cost difference (let’s assume $400 now) over the life of the camera (lets assume 4 years) is only $100 per year, then that would pretty easily pay for itself. Personally, because of the low amortized over time cost difference of the newer unit, I’d go that way. Especially since I tend to sell my used cameras and recoup a further half of that differential at time of sale anyway (since D7100 will be selling for lets assume $200 more than the D7000 in 4 years time).

      • Alex

        Thanks, KnightPhoto

  • Are you going to get a better picture if the score is 90 instead of 83… I seriously doubt it. A good photographer can get a good picture with any equipment. It really depends if you are going to nake money out of it. If that is what you are after then go for full frame sensor otherwise just dont bother with meaningless scores.

  • logical thinker

    If you look at what these numbers mean, for instance the low light performance; a 25% difference in the ratings means 1/3rd stop – big deal. The differences are nil and probably due to sample variation.

    But what is not tested is everything else. For instance – the (presumed) increased sharpness of the D7100 due to the removal of the anti-aliasing filter. I suppose you could determine this in the lens tests, but I have not checked to see if the D7100 is listed in those yet or not.

  • Pauline

    Actually All Nikon “D” series are great cameras. But what really interests me now it the AW100, A Nikon Waterproof Camera that is all and everything proof.

    check it out at

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