Upgrading DX Body Decisions...D7100 vs. D7200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ben_hutcherson, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. I don't NEED another camera, but can make an argument for adding a DX camera newer than my D300 to my "arsenal."

    My main use would be for light action photography. Frame rate is not super important to me, but high ISO and AF speed are. I don't want to spend D500 money(as tempting as it is) and as weird as this might sound, the D7000 seems like a step down from my D800(I can get the same resolution in crop mode, and if I throw a grip on the D800 can get a faster frame rate).

    Consequently, I'm looking at a D7100 or D7200. Even if money were no object, the D7500 is out for a couple of reasons. On paper, these seem very similar, but I can make arguments for both.

    The D7100 is tempting, as I can get a VERY low mileage one locally(under 2K) for around $375.

    At the same time, the D7200 can be had(at current sale prices) for around $500 from KEH, and they are $700 new.

    I can't seem to find a whole lot about the difference between the two-it seems as though the D7200 is mostly just a massaged and improved D7100, although I do find comments about the buffer being a bit deeper and the AF perhaps being a tad better. I know that the D7200 goes to higher native ISOs, but from what I can see the "Hi" modes on the D7100 look about the same as the high native modes on the D7200.

    Can someone who has used both tell me if there's some potential make or break feature that I'm missing? If I'm going to buy one I want to make sure I'm making a solid decision on it.
  2. I upgraded from a D7100 (which I had used quite a bit) to a D7200 because of the improved buffer you mention, but also because of the improved sensor performance in deep shadows. I looked for an example of the problem on the D7100 just now, but couldn't find one, either because of all the tweaking I did on some photos, or because some were discarded. Thom Hogan has an excellent description of the improvements which you can find here. The D7100 served me well, but I wouldn't recommend it for you given that the D7200 is available.
    polizonte and Andrew Garrard like this.
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Never had the 7100, but the 7200 has been superb - even putting my D 750 in the shade. DF and D 7200 make an excellent pair - as would D 750 & D 7200, as they are so similar in operation. If I wasn't so fond of the DF that would be the way to go. Nearly all the reviews I searched before buying the D 7200, seemed to indicate that the D 7200 is really kind of a high point - better than both the 7100 and 7500. I would trade the D 750 at need before the D 7200.
  4. I owned both and would only recommend the cheaper D7100 if you really really really don't care about the shallow memory buffer - we are talking 6 RAW images heer before the camera slows down substantially. There's a post here on PN demonstrating the better high-ISO performance of the D7200 as well.
  5. Thanks guys. From the three responses here and Thom Hogan's review, it seems like there is enough of an improvement with the D7200 to make it worthwhile.

    The better high ISO is definitely worthwhile. Also, I do have a D600, which I think has a similar buffer depth to the D7000. I've found myself with a stopped camera at a couple of REALLY inconvenient times(fortunately I don't get paid to do this, but still) waiting for the buffer to clear even using Sandisk Ultras. That happened to me at two different weddings(there again, as a guest, not paid) where I had the camera in single shot mode and was maybe shooting one frame per second or one every second and a half.

    So, now the question is-do I get a used one, or do I figure out how to come up with $700 for a new one-given where used prices are sitting now, new sounds awfully tempting.
  6. Refurbished D7200 at adorama is currently about $50 less than new - hardly any savings at all.
    You may want to consider purchasing some Extreme Pro ones - both the D7100 and the D7200 don't lock up totally once the buffer fills but keep going at a reduced rate.
    polizonte likes this.
  7. Sorry, I mis-spoke about my card type.

    These are what I use in both my D600 and my D800(the SD card in the latter is just the JPEG back-up and almost never comes out of the camera)

    SanDisk Premium Replacement for SanDisk SDSDXXG-064G-GN4IN | B&H

    And, yes, I bought them from B&H. I don't know how big of an issue fake cards are these days, but I pretty much will only buy higher end SD cards from reputable retailers for that reason(I don't worry as much about counterfeit CF anymore, but B&H and Adorama often have the best prices, so they come from there).

    In any case, these are the Extreme Pro UHS-I 95mb/s rated cards.

    The first time it happened with me with the D600 was just a day or two after I'd picked it up off lay-a-way and I had a pair of these cards in it


    That's a mistake I won't repeat-the faster cards DID make at least let it clear the buffer fast enough that I can continue at a reduced frame rate most of the time.
  8. No wonder they were choking on 24MP files
  9. I've long been happily recommending the D7100 to people for budgetary reasons - but only if they don't need speed. Even "light action" feels like you're going to hit buffer problems on the D7100, so I agree with others: D7200, and stick to those 95MB/s cards. Do bear in mind that a D7x00 feels like a toy (not to suggest that they're in any way not perfectly capable) compared with something like a D300 or D8x0, and the handling is more in the style of the D6x0/D750; make sure you're happy with it. Good luck!
  10. So does the D600 Ben seems to be quite happy with.
  11. Oh yes. Sorry, I saw the D800 and D300, but missed the D600 in the later comment. (Although the DX bodies are somewhat smaller still - I can handle a D750 and think "bless", but a D7x00 or my D90 I kind of feel like I'm holding with my finger tips. I suspect those used to the D4/D5 think the same of the D8x0 series.) At least with the D600 experience Ben will be used to the handling style, so that's probably not the concern I was worried it might be. And, again, I'm in no way saying that the D7x00 series aren't perfectly capable photographic tools, they just feel different.
  12. The D750 is a bit of an exception when it comes to handling compared to the D6x0/D7x00 bodies - certainly not the same as the D600/D610 on account of the much narrower and deeper grip on the D750; I recall being pleasantly surprised on how the D750 feels in my hand. The other exception in that comparison is the D7000 - too me the worst of the bunch.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I too have owned both the D7100 and D7200. The D7100 was the first DX body after the D300/D300S to have the then top-of-the-line Multi-CAM 3600 AF module, and it was intended to be the top-of-the-line DX model at the time (2013). The D7100's main drawback is well known, the shallow RAW buffer. The D7200 came two years later in 2015 with a deeper buffer and some inflated high-ISO settings. Other than the buffer, which is IMO a very significant difference, the difference between the D7100 and D7200 is pretty small. There are a number of tiny improvements.

    The big surprise was that less than a year since the D7200 introduction, Nikon came up with the D500 in January 2016 with major improvements all over the place. I definitely wouldn't have bought the D7200 if I knew the D500 was on the horizon. And the value for the D7200, new or used, simply went down quickly.

    If Ben the OP doesn't care about buffer size, I would just get the D7100 to save money. Since Ben also has FX bodies, if he needs better high-ISO results, just use FX.
  14. It's true that the D750 is a bit of a hybrid between the D6x0 and D8x0 series when it comes to handling. Unlike when I last used a D7x00 (and to be clear, I don't own one, this is just impressions) the D750 didn't so much feel small as light - even though the difference isn't that huge. Which makes very little difference in handling, I just nearly threw it in the air when I picked it up because I was expecting to lift something the weight of a D8x0 series. :)

    Worth also saying that the D7500 is extremely capable, and a lot of the objections to it were that it loses a couple of things relative to the D7200 (the resolution drops slightly, and you lose the aperture ring, like the D90, and it's down to one card slot). In return you get a tilting touchscreen, faster frame rate, and 4K. The initial price was quite high, which didn't help - and the premium over the D7200 is still quite substantial. Still, if you're looking to complement FX cameras with very good image quality but which aren't all that fast, I wouldn't necessarily rule out its benefits. The D7100 gets you a smaller body and slightly more reach than a D800, but the D7500 might make, for example, a better wildlife camera. Just a thought.
  15. Good point. I do care about buffer size but thought I could have gotten away with the shallow one of the D7100 - until I confirmed that I couldn't.
    If Nikon only had provided UHS-II support for the single card in the D7500; it does write substantially faster than the D7200 though (2.5x with the fastest cards).
    Andrew Garrard likes this.
  16. A bit late to the party, but I have a D7100 which my wife forsook in favor of a D7200. The main issue for her was the buffer, which can be a pretty big deal if you're shooting raw at things like killer whales, and running out after 6 shots. In addition, though, the D7200 has a stop or more better low light capability, and a couple of higher settings as well, and a slightly faster auto focus owing to software upgrade, The added low light capability is not dramatic but it's real, and noticeable. My wife and I have been shooting these two cameras side by side on a number of trips, and it does show. It also has re-enabled the ability to do trap focusing, which was present in the D7000 but lost in the D7100. A minor issue, no doubt, but one that some people might find useful. It also has wi-fi and NFC built in which might be useful,and seems to have added the ability to do time-lapse video. And finally, it does away with the small but real issue of banding in dark areas which shows up sometimes on the D7100. The exposures from a D7200 are very clean and though it's often very subjective it looks as if the meter is just a little bit more consistently right, which makes me wonder if the color matrix software was also improved.

    I like my D7100 (obviously, or I'd have gotten rid of it by now), and it serves my needs well enough most of the time, but I'd say if you can afford it the D7200 is enough better in those little ways to make it worthwhile, especially if you travel and expect to be aiming at wild life. At this point, despite the newer models, if the D7100 packs up and proves too expensive to fix, I'd be inclined to replace it with a D7200, which seems to deliver the most bang for buck in DX.
    polizonte and Andrew Garrard like this.

  17. What are you shooting with these days, Shun?
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Well, I bought a D500 when that came out in 2016, and sometimes I use a Z6 nowadays, among other Nikons.
    jimmy_s. likes this.
  19. And I was disappointed when you said you didn't pre order the D500. I expected Andrew to get a Z7 before you got the Z6 but he didn't. I think Nikon is in trouble now except that you saved them by getting a D850 recently.
  20. All Z7 (or D5) funding opportunities gratefully received, BeBu, and I'd even write up a review for you.

    Obviously I'm secretly testing the D860 for Nikon, and that's why I've not upgraded. (Because this is the internet, that is a joke, at least by my standards.)

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