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Nikon D7100 or Lumix GH3, next investment
  • I am hesitating into my next camera and perhaps other are in the same situation, I use my gh1 mostly for private work, interviews, backstage's and teasers for personal projects, Know I am looking for an upgrade, I have leica r lenses that can be fitter on to nikon or m43 so that is not a concern, from what I've seen so far (not much) the D7100 has more noise on the shadows but that is also with much more flat profile compared to the gh3, so it is not fair to say. Resolution wise I think the gh3 wins here but in the dynamic range area the points go to the d7100.

    What I need is headphone jack and stop doing double sound for unimportant interviews, so the d5200 is out of the question for me.

    d7100 pros The plus is the extra superb photo mode that is great for some stopmotion project I happen to have sometimes. (Communicates with dragon frame) The low gama profiles that combined with a external recorder could develop into something interesting if I wanted to. Low Moire (as far as I've seen) Big Sensor Nice nikon zoom lenses with aperture ring that work with every camera. Aps Sensor 1.5x

    cons The sadness of not getting a swivel screen and the unhackability of the camera nature (a big thing). No timelapse, No silent shutter so shutter wear will be a concern. 730g

    Gh3 pros The video camera wholeness, The screen, and evf, silent shutter and timelapse mode. posibility of combining it with the metabones adapter to make it 1.3x (we would need to wait and see if it is worth it) (add 400$) Crazzy hacking possibilities Nice to have as a compliment to the bmcc, same adapters and lenses. (possible bcam perhaps) 550g

    cons A little moire has been reported Smaller sensor than my gh1 !!!!! need to buy metabones Price is with some big boys. No stopmotion DragonFrame control.

    I would like to know members opinion here,

    questions for the d7100 Does the camera has histogram with manual leica lenses???? this is really important Does anyone know if the hdmi output is 25p or 50i for pal land or is it 60i like the d5200??? and 422 ???? Do the low isos of the d7100 also have so much noise.????



  • 24 Replies sorted by
  • @ andres

    I have the D7100 and I'm liking this camera more and more every day I use it. It does have more options to get you a better image then I have seen from a GH2. The DR is spectacular and you can dial in any gama curve to suit your needs. It can get very clean results with the right settings and exposure. The lack of a tilt screen is not much concern for me as I use an EVF. It does have an internal time-lapse mode . The codec may not have as much resolution as a hacked GH2 but it holds up real good around 20-26 Mbps without any nasty banding, and the blue channel is very strong compared to the macro blocking artifacts of a hacked GH2. I haven't had a chance to run it with an external recorder but I plan to do so some time this week in hopes that it will increase the overall resolution which is not too bad as is. I have not seen any moire our aliasing issues at all from the D7100 and the FPN is controllable with the right gamma settings and exposure. It holds a ton of detail in the shadows. There is not live histogram our peaking functions in live view. But you can rely on an EVF or use the preview image function that will show the exposure meter and values, and is assignable to a function button and available in live movie mode. The colour and DR blow away anything I have seen from my GH2 cameras and the 1.52 sensor crop is a better match with other ( Epic,C300, F5) cameras I use in production. On top of all that its one hell of stills camera and that is a bonus for me. As for the GH3 I don't have one as yet and I'm not interested in it until it can be hacked and even then that could be a long while until we find the best hack setup. Which took over a year after the initial GH2 hack.

  • I wanna like the D7100 but I can't overlook the GH3, which is such a more fully developed Hybrid camera. The main reason that i'd even consider a D7100 is the Color, DR and Gamma adjustment ability. The plus of having the GH3 for me is the overall package is video friendly and i'm beginning to believe that the difference in Color, DR between the 2 cams isn't going to be as great as it seems. Also the upside of the GH3 seems higher with the possibility of a hack. It's really a tough call.

    I get the feeling that in daily use i'd find the GH3 to be faster and more flexible. I do love wide DR and that's what makes me want to give the D7100 a try. It's so sexy to see an image that handles a wide DR looking smoother and more natural. What i'm waiting for is more direct comparisons between the D7100 and GH3 at their best.

  • @rigs Thanks for the response, really clearing my inclination, would be nice to see that hdmi output, if you can please try pal mode to see how it works. Great to know about the intervalometer in the d7100.

    which evf are you using?

  • @ andres

    I can answer you the PAL question. Right now I was in the market and pluged my Ninja2 to a D7100. With the video set to 25p I successfully recorded 1080p25 to ProRes HQ without any black bars or overlays. That was not possible with the D5200. I don't know how much the PAL/NTSC versions of the cameras differ from each other. But my D5200 was a PAL version too and the HDMI out was only 60i/30p.

  • @adl could you post some example of video or at least frame grab of the ninja footage compared to the internal one. It would preferably be with heavy detailed scene and some motion also in a low and high ISO. This camera with an external recorder could be a very good or very best dslr coupled with an external recorder. Thanks

  • @danyyyel no sorry. I do not own a D7100 (not yet) and I was glad to be allowed to plug my Ninja2 to the camera in the market at all. I just had a few seconds and could not do any further test. I just wanted to know if 25p on HDMI out...

  • The D7100 does have an intervalometer, so you can do timelapse if you want. It also has a quiet shutter mode, though it probably won't have too much of an effect on shutter life, and is pretty laggy (almost as bad as shooting in LV).

    I've got a D7100 and GH2, and very much prefer the D7100's color rendering and flexibility with dynamic range. The GH2 is vastly superior in sharpness and detail, though, and probably low light quality when hacked (VERY easy to clean up in Neat Video). Pretty much a tossup, all depending on your workflow and style.

    I don't mind the lack of swivel screen, but the blown highlights function on the GH2 is invaluable. The D7100 strangely doesn't have an on-screen histogram or exposure meter for video, but it does have the exposure meter for photos. Another quirk, turning the LCD's brightness up from 0 makes the screen yellowish. Very odd, since it's an RGBW screen, with the white pixels added for extra brightness. None of those can't be fixed with a decent monitor, though.

    On the bright side, it does have audio meters, a very flexible audio gain setting compared to the GH2, and headphone out. The sound is decent, but needs an EQ adjustment. The GH2's sound was just right out of the box.

    For photos, the D7100 blows me away every time I use it. And this is coming from a previous D7000 and D90 owner. Razor sharp when treated properly, and if you take the time, 100% crops at low ISO can look like scaled down full images from other cameras. Drop a Sandisk 95MB/s card in, switch to crop mode with 12-bit compressed, and the buffer regeneration is just about instantaneous. Incredible for sports at its price. Definitely not regretting the upgrade, even though many say to skip every other generation of camera, since the upgrades aren't that significant.

  • Try the sony vg30

  • Andres,

    I would wait man - let's see some reviews. Hoping some more members here can chime in with the hard cold opinions and facts. As this is not a Canon product - the big bloggers may not do any extensive torture tests. Our Nikon thread is the most active Nikon HDSLR forum and even there can be pretty quiet. If all else fails - just follow @rigs and @squig :-)

  • Also note that Pentax is coming with some stuff and Panasonic announcments in April.

  • @last_SHIFT I am sure those same bloggers will do extensive reviews of the latest Canon cameras like the T5i and will find all sort of little things to tell us how it is a good upgrade. Unfortunately most of those cannot see more than the tip of their nose, or their bank account. The Canon are completely lagging now, they are still using 4 years tech that is just rehashed with a higher number. On the photo side Canon is completely smashed by Nikon nowadays. Now Nikon has a $ 1200 camera, that has no moire, better resolution, better DR, clean hdmi out, weather sealed and nearly on par with the 5d3 in low light and nearly no one is noticing. That is a shame for the community that non of the so called expert are promoting it to the community.

  • @andres @last_SHIFT gives good advice. Unless you are in a hurry wait. If the d7100 fares a bit like the d5200 in low light, then it is not so good in low light. It is wrong to say that these cameras compare favourably to 5dmk3 in that department. The noise pattern is acceptable for some users, and unacceptable for others. So I would suggest to be patient and see what comes out of further testing.

  • @eyenorth from what I have seen the 5200 is very very good in low light. The problem arises when people try to dig too low into the shadows by having some super flat images at high ISO. Another advantage of the Apsc camera is that the DOF is much more manageable. Shooting wide open at 1.4/2 on a full frame at night is near impossible to focus except for some special effect scene. You would need to close at least to a full stop to get the same dof than an apsc camera.

  • Ok the DXOmark score is out and looking at the numbers I'm pretty confident it's the D5200 sensor without the OLPF, a lens cap noise test should confirm this.

    The D5200/7100 doesn't come close to the 5D MKIII in low light, the 5D is clean @ 1250ISO, the D5200 starts to get noisy @ 200ISO in a lens cap test. You can shoot in low light but not without any noise and not as recklessly as you can with the 5D. The D5200/7100 bests the 5D in every other department except for a bit more rolling shutter.

    I'm holding off on buying either a D800 or D7100 until NAB.

  • @squig Does DxOMark do their iso testing with the lens cap on? Did you do an iso test with the lens cap on?

  • @squig Upping the ante to a D800 perhaps? I absolutely love mine.

  • I'm torn between the D7100 and the D800. I suspect the D7100 will resolve more detail than the D800 with a VAF filter but the D800 has less rolling shutter and a more organic noise pattern, plus full frame I can go wide and shallow. I need both!

    I did a lens cap ISO test on the D5200 and the 5D MKIII.

  • @squig I would like to do a lens cap test with my d7100. Could you please provide me with some details on how you did yours, so I can match your settings and post the results. Thanks rigs

  • Guys, do not turn it into D7100 topic copy. Try to focus on comparisons.

  • It was actually a body cap test. With the body cap on set the camera to a 1/50 shutter, 24p, 5500k white balance, standard profile, contrast and sharpness all the way down, colour @ -2. Set the camera to 100ISO, hit record, and every 3-5 seconds dial up the ISO a notch and say the ISO number out loud. When you open the file push the gamma to see the noise more clearly. If you upload the original file I can compare it to the D5200. I tested different profiles and white balance settings which did affect the results but the pattern noise didn't change much between settings. Turn noise reduction off, it doesn't reduce the noise, it just muddies the image a bit.

  • @ Vitaliy, ahh yeah sorry forgot where I was.

    Back on topic. The cadence issue with the Sony sensor has ruled out the GH3 for me. The colours and dynamic range aren't brilliant either.

  • I still don't understand this "cadence" issue that some keep bringing up. I've looked at a ton of GH3 footage and I can't see anything disqualifying about the way the footage looks.

    I would suggest that anyone considering either camera give it more time for the D7100 to be fully investigated. Also do a comparison list and weigh which things mean the most to you and how you work and how you want your footage to look. There's so much that goes into a decision like this.

    D7100 and GH3 are very similar in the basics. Both cameras have Mic and Headphone and clean HDMI. Both Cameras have Weather Sealing.

    GH3 has the edge in terms of Detail, frame Rates and recording Bit Rates and Codec Variety. There are actually a couple of different GH3's depending on whether you choose 50Mbit AVCHD or 70Mbit All I. Some may actually like the in camera over and under crank. GH3 also gives the widest range of Lenses. Also built in WiFi.

    The D7100 has the edge in terms of it's Color, DR and Low Light capability. The question is how much of a real world difference in those areas are we talking about? How do those differences actually effect the final product and do they outweigh all the other advantages of the GH3? We need more research and direct comparison.

  • Posted DxO's sensor comparison chart on the D7100 thread, but thought it might be relevant here as well. Suggests that the D7100 may not be such a bad choice after all, at least from the perspective of the sensor.

    642 x 490 - 35K
  • Just thought I'd add my opinion to this topic re the D7100. I bought this camera a couple of days ago after lots of forum reading/viewing footage and comparing what's available and at what price. I've owned a GH2 (donated for the work done on the hack) and a 5D MK3 (which I returned after several days testing). I have to say that I'm very impressed with the footage from the D7100, IMO the footage is very similar in detail to the GH2. One thing I've noticed re the detail is the lower amount of 'mosquito noise' present in the highly detailed parts of an image, the GH2 footage was indeed highly detailed but IMO was also a little too clinical, the D7100 footage has plenty of detail without any post work and it seems to be 'cleaner' around all the highly detailed areas of an image. The issue with noise and banding IMHO is being blown out of all proportion, I have an FS700 which produces very clean video BUT, if you screw with the settings too much you can destroy the image. The D7100 IMO is VERY sensitive and I think it's comparable to the 5D MK3. bringing-up the black level to fish-out detail in the shadows will produce noise that ordinarily wouldn't be an issue, in my tests (under 'regular' lighting conditions) the images from the D7100 are very clean indeed. At low ISO settings the images are totally noise free BUT, and that's a big but, if you pull up the black level too much you will start to see noise/banding. I would also add that under VERY, VERY low light conditions you can see noise in the image even at ISO 100 BUT again the noise is very low (all things are relative) and you would be asking way too much of a £1000 camera to perform well in such low light conditions. In low light or anything higher the images are very clean indeed, at ISO 1000 there is only a small amount of noise and I'm comparing this full size ENG broadcast cameras. At higher ISO's watch you're white balance setting, this has a dramatic affect on noise levels, I found that taking a proper white balance (as opposed to using any of the presets or the auto WB) produces the best low-noise images. BTW, the colours are fantastic and overexposed areas of the image seem very well controlled...