View 272: Nikon D7100 Camera

I have had a need for a backup camera since the incident when my Nikon D700 had to be sent in for repair.  The old, injured D70 filled in for my personal photography but I could not do any work for clients.

Rumors of a new camera from Nikon had been swirling for months.  People wanted a replacement for the Nikon D300s.  A professional level DX camera.  I wanted to have a DX camera again which crops FX (full frame Nikon) lenses by a factor of 1.5. Something I missed and find myself needing again.

Nikon had other ideas in mind and, instead of the hoped for D400, they replaced the consumer level D7000 with the D7100.  After reading the specs of the new camera and being intrigued with the new 1.3x Crop mode, I decided to pre-order the Nikon D7100 dSLR Camera the day it was announced.

It arrived last week and I must say so far I am impressed.  The DX sensor has come along way the last five years.  There are a lot of differences between the D700 and the D7100.  I spent a few hours with the manual this weekend and set it up.  Here is one of the first photos I took using the Nikon 50mmG f/1.8 lens aka Nifty Fifty (or, in DX-land, Nifty Seventy-Five).

A portrait of Gus, the cat, taken with a Nikon D7100 camera.

A portrait of Gus, the cat, taken with a Nikon D7100 camera using a 50mmG f/1.8 lens, 1/250s, f/4.5, ISO 1000, EV 0.

The D7100 has a new in camera crop setting which increases the crop an extra 1.3x or nearly 2x of a lens’ focal length. This increase in crop comes without a loss in light or f-stops like when a teleconverter is used.  To test this, I used the camera during a Syracuse Crunch game last weekend.  This photo is cropped to an 8×10 ratio otherwise the magnification turned the Nikon 70-200mm VR f/2.8 lens into a 140-400mm f/2.8 lens.

Albany Devils Keith Kinkaid (35) in goal against the Syracuse Crunch in the Onondaga County War Memorial on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Albany Devils Keith Kinkaid (35) in goal against the Syracuse Crunch in the Onondaga County War Memorial on Saturday, March 16, 2013.
Nikon D7100/70-200VR, 1/1250, f/2.8, ISO 1250, EV +1.3, 200mm focal length (400mm cropped).

It was not all fun and games.  I had trouble with the continuous focus during the hockey game. I went back to the manual and found the correct setting and how to do set it. I will have more success at the next game.

Now that I got the D7100, you can be assured Nikon will soon come out with the D400 DX Pro camera.  Until then, I have a backup camera to use for field sports like lacrosse and football and to use for wildlife.  Remember, this will make the Nikon 80-400VR lens into a 160 to 800mm one. :)

Scott Kelby has an eight minute video review of the Nikon D7100 camera and the new Nikon 80-400VR Lens here:

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21 Responses to View 272: Nikon D7100 Camera

  1. mylifeincny says:

    Mine comes Wednesday!!! So excited!

  2. Giiid says:

    Congratulations and “god fornøjelse” (enjoy).

  3. Nate says:

    Congrats on new D7100! How was the focusing for moving hockey players moving towards you? Thanks

  4. john says:

    Hi
    How do you activate the AF-C setting on the D7100? I’m having a hard time with this deep menu system.
    Thanks

  5. john says:

    Will take a while to get used to, but a great cam nevertheless.

  6. Hi Scott, nice review. I just received my new D7100, moving up from a D200. So many new shiny things to play with! For sports shooting, I’m covering mostly rodeo, so lots of fast action. I read that you’ve settled on d51, which surprises me. I thought the d9 setting would make for faster lock-on. I guess I just need to get out there and test this thing out. I can think of worse ways to spend a sunny weekend.

    • I was surprised, too. I use d9 on my D700. However, the focus points for the D7100 are clustered around the center. On the D700, they are spread out through the frame. I think the AF is so much better on the D7100, the d51 works fast enough. I have been very happy with it though two hockey games and a lacrosse game.

      • Cool. It’s amazing how “smart” these cameras get year after year. You mentioned using the camera’s extra 1.3x crop. I’m going from 12 megapixels (on the D200) to 24 megapixels, which I thought would allow me more room to crop tight when needed. The thought of going an extra 1.3x was nice, but since it reduces pixel real estate down to 15 megapixels, I figured it would even out either way. But then I realized at 15 megapixels per shot, the buffer wouldn’t fill up as fast. Have you been satisfied with the number of frames you can shoot before filling the buffer?

  7. Ken Ambrose says:

    Thanks for all the good advice, I just sent you a question about the raw vs jpeg issue for buffer in ice hockey. I have a D700 D7000 and just picked up the D7100. I have had good results with the first two mentioned, but I do a lot of cropping and I want to see if the 24 mp improves my photos. I shot hockey for 8 years in jpeg but have gone to raw for the last 2 years so I hope I’m not disappointed going back to jpeg for the 7100. Looking at your hockey photos they are fantastic and you shot them in jpeg, so that’s good news . I shoot from on the bench and shoot the action from end to end so I have better results from closer distances with my 80-200 2.8 Nikon depending on what body it’s up to a 300 2.8 on the crop body. In most cases I’m between 1600 – 3200 ISO
    Shooting in shutter priority with + exposure compensation added. I have always used the single continuous centre focus mode and moved the focus sensor up to get the helmets rather then the crest on the jersey . I’m also mainly shooting in landscape lately. I use Lightroom 4 and thinking of upgrading to 5.
    I have had great results from a Tokina 100 2.8 macro as well ,
    As I said your pictures are fantastic , I have looked at others beside hockey as well. I will now be checking back to see more of your postings to see future work you do.
    I like the way you show the camera settings and the equipment you used.
    If you have any tips you can me me for the ice hockey , It would be appreciated .
    thanks …. Ken. Toronto Canada

    • Shooting inside the glass gives you an extra stop of light. With the crop factor of the D7100 the 70-200VR I have gets extended to 300mm and 400mm in the 1.3x crop mode. Have you tried that yet? Works great and saves on cropping time later.

      Good to know about the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro. It is much more affordable than the Nikon 105mm which I loved when I rented it a couple of years ago.

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