Save 10% On Pictar Home Studio Pro Photography Kits With Code: EPHOTOZINE10

second body for wildlife D7100? D800? D600?

13 Jun 2013 3:15PM
I think you may find the D7100 is currently available at Amazon and Mathersoflancashire at below 890.00.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Steppenwolf 8 1.2k
13 Jun 2013 4:00PM


D3x actually. Quite a different beast. (The camera Nikon admit may have been a mistake in their rush to get out an FX camera with the Sony 24Mp sensor),

Nikon don't seem to mind using a Sony sensor in their D800 (or the D7000, D3s, etc etc). Sony have made a huge investment in their sensor R&D and probably make the best sensors available at the moment. Nikon don't make sensors to the best of my knowledge. They seem to be using Toshiba sensors for some of their latest cameras (e.g. D7100). Whether the Toshiba 24Mp APS-C sensor is better than the Sony one I don't know yet - from the reviews it doesn't look like there's much in it.
RavenTepes 10 226 United States
13 Jun 2013 8:25PM
I'm inclined to agree with going with the D7100. Since it seems you would already have FX glass, that'll give you an automatic +1.5 modifier to your lens. Add the body's 1.3 crop, that's nearly doubling your focal range (at 1.8) for anything you might put on it. Say you already have a 70-200mm lens. The scenario would give you an effective 126-360mm, not to mention if you have something like a 1.4 teleconverter, which would in turn, turn it into a 3.2 modifier, giving you an effective 224-640mm focal lenth, if I did the math right in my barely awake state.

The drawbacks are going to be in its low light capabilities, in comparison to something like the D800, which the D7100 can still offer respectable results, but the full frame has advantages over crop sensor. Also, it's worth mentioning that the D800 is lightyears ahead of the D7100 in terms of dynamic range. But on the flipside to that, you just don't need nearly god-like technique for the D7100. Smile
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
14 Jun 2013 7:56AM

I think you may find the D7100 is currently available at Amazon and Mathersoflancashire at below 890.00.

The D7100 seems never in stock at Mathers when I contact them.
It is also currently difficult to find anywhere in stock as body only, though easy with the 18-105 lens package. The launch of the D7000 followed a similar supply pattern.
On dynamic range although the D800 has more, at low ISO's the D7100 exceeds that of printing paper by a significant margin and many monitors by a small margin, though by about 3200 ISO dynamic range (and colour gamut) start to fall significantly.
annettep38 8 219 42 Germany
15 Jun 2013 8:36AM
To be honest, I am mainly worried about the small buffer and the many soft-ish photos I have seen of the d7100 My d3x is good enough for me at night , took some pics at 3200 and 6400 and found the result better than expected.
Wex and got the 7100 in stock, naked body, futek is better placed of course.
Nick_w Plus
13 4.3k 99 England
15 Jun 2013 9:38AM
As its your back up, and it's wildlife I would say D7100, if it was your main camera I would go with D800. The crop sensor will be advantageous for your application. Tho the D800 crop sensor option gives ca 18mp (from memory).

The D800 has one disadvantage for what your looking at, that's the write speeds, it soon hits the buffer limit and locks up - yes you can get very fast sd or cf cards but they are expensive.
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
15 Jun 2013 10:06AM

Quote: I am mainly worried about the small buffer and the many soft-ish photos I have seen of the d7100

There is not a lot you can do about the relatively small buffers on the D800 or D7100, other than to note most wanting highest quality shoot 14 bit RAW for better shadow detail. In 14 bit the D7100 has a faster frame rate than the D300.
On "softish" photos having shot FX alongside DX for years I find both equally sharp with good technique.
DX single point AF covers a bigger percentage of the viewfinder area sometimes needing a slightly different technique, and when you use DX to get more image magnification (common in wildlife situations) more magnification needs a faster shutter speed for sharp images.
Although I do not yet own the D7100 I have used it 3 times at Nikon pro events. Like the D800, the D7100 AF seems a little faster especially in low light, no less accurate, and works to f8 to Nikon's minimum standard whereas older generation Nikon's do not.
I can see no reason, based on my experience of both formats, why a competent photographer cannot get equal sharpness to a D800 using a D7100.
annettep38 8 219 42 Germany
19 Jun 2013 10:44PM
Hi Len, thank you for your advice..
Yesterday I was at the point of entering my credit card number... and then I thought.. HANG ON! can I fit a grip to the D7100? Oh, not sure, started searching... then wanted to proceed to order.. last camera gone!
Today I went to shoot whatever came during lunch break and spotted some juvenile swallow. Oh yes ( see today's shots) the begged to be photographed. I had set the D3x to full size as I am so used to it, then tried the crop version. Now that was already very tricky to focus.. well shot my birds and went back to work. Found a moment an hour later to copy the pics on the HD..
oh dear there were some great shots that never would have fitted in the crop sensor, although I cropped a lot on one side.
Moral.. let there be space. And plenty to cropped. Bought the D800 today, second hand. Soon to come I hope. If only lighroomt could crop them as you import
Nigeve1 7 1.4k 101 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2013 8:17AM
Consider the high ISO performance for the wildlife work. D7100 would be a step down in this respect from what you are used to on your d3x (due to high pixel density). D800 and D600 both better in this respect.
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
20 Jun 2013 12:43PM

Moral.. let there be space. And plenty to cropped. Bought the D800 today,

As I said in an earlier post Nikon give you choices and sometimes it is a tough call between D800 and D7100, especially when you already have a D3x.
Each photographer works in a different way. One problem with the disappearance of many high street photo shop and no annual trade shows in the north apart from Preston is the lack of opportunity to try out equipment to see which works best for you.
With your D800 (same for a D7100) if you have not already done it practice holding the AF mode button (bottom left of camera bayonet) with one fing and rotating front and rear command dials to get familiar with the new way of selecting AF options. As I switch a lot between static and moving subjects the first thing I do on switching the camera on is spend a couple of seconds selecting a good AF combination for the result I want.
To Nigeve1 are you confusing D3x (high resolution, not good noise) with the D3s (amazing high ISO noise)? The D7100 surpasses the D3x for high ISO and dynamic range.
annettep38 8 219 42 Germany
20 Jun 2013 4:49PM
Len, in case you don't mind, what do I have to watch out for, using the D800's AF on birds ( i.e. b...y fast moving little beggars!) with the new body? Guess it will arrive some time next week! I hardly ever use AF on static objects, I rather trust my eyes.
BTW unlike what many people think, the D3x is much better on noise than you imagine.
photofrenzy 13 424 2 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2013 7:58PM
The D800 would be the perfect choice to go for , Because it eliminates the use of carrying two cameras with two different formats. You can use its full 38 mp sensor and if you need to get in closer you can at the touch of a button switch to the DX which get you closer. However is the frame rate on the D800 fast enough for wildlife !!!!!!Wink
Andy_Cundell 9 1.1k 5 England
20 Jun 2013 8:35PM
I had a play with a D7100 the other day. I walked into my back garden and took these within 2 minutes:




These were taken with a Nikon 105 macro, not on the crop function and with no prior planning. I am choosing the D7100 as an upgrade to my D90..........I can't justify the extra cost of the D600 over the D7100 (after comparing the models on paper) and the D800 is just too heavy to carry around all day!

LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
20 Jun 2013 9:41PM

Quote: what do I have to watch out for, using the D800's AF on birds ( i.e. b...y fast moving little beggars!) with the new body? Guess it will arrive some time next week! I hardly ever use AF on static objects, I rather trust my eyes.
BTW unlike what many people think, the D3x is much better on noise than you imagine.

As you do not yet have the camera you can download the instruction manual as a pdf from Smile
The following might at first sound complex but most learn it in a couple of minutes.
These notes are intended to help anybody learn fast when the camera arrives, though much will be familiar to 51 AF camera users.
The bottom left of bayonet switch is now AF or manual focus only, plus press it with a lens attached to select AF choices from front and rear command dials.
It is useful to start with instruction book pages 48 and 49 for the basics of what does what compared to your D3x. For detail see pages 91 to 101. There is yet more detail on pages 281-6.
For relative Nikon novices, predictive autofocus can detect a fairly small object and hold it in focus to just beyond the next AF point. If you have selected 9, 21 or 51 points autofocus is then handed over to the next autofocus point above or to the side - provided one is available. The plus (as you already know) is, if you cannot hold the subject steady in the viewfinder, AF moves from point to point. The minus is AF speed slows up a little each time the number of AF points in use goes up.
On the D800 the top LED helpfully reads d9, d21 and d51 to confirm you have focus tracking via AF-C set on the rear dial
For your birds in flight you want AF-C.
Single point is available but of limited use as flying birds usually move about a bit in the frame.
9 or 21 points should be right for most bird shots.
Focus tracking with lock-on is only useful where something might get between you and the subject - football is a good example.
If you select AF-S (single point AF) on the rear dial you have either a single point or auto. In auto the camera decides where to focus - not for you very often but it can be good for detecting faces.
In single point AF the D800 (also D4, D3s and D600) reads from a smaller area of the viewfinder, and can detect a smaller AF subject.
On your other points if working from a tripod shooting a static subject I almost always focus manual.
When it comes to high ISO noise if the yardstick is an A3 print I agree the D3x is very good, the D7100 seems a little better, the D800 is even better despite the extra MP, and D3s/D4 are best. I think comparing different MP cameras each at 100% is like comparing apples to oranges.
Enjoy your D800 when it arrives.
annettep38 8 219 42 Germany
20 Jun 2013 9:57PM

Quote: ...D800 is just too heavy to carry around all day!

with a 105? Smile Bet that is a lot heavier than a d3x and a 200-400 or a 500 mm ..
actually, I was a bit worried about the d7100 being too light. I like a bit of balance.... and exercise Wink. Seriously, in my experience it is good to have a heavier body if you rarely use a tripod. Which is my case,as it is usually the tripod I find too heavy.

The camera will get on its way tomorrow and I can't wait. better order an external hard disk and a grip now.
Special thanks to Len for the detailed instructions.. I think I got the essence of it, the rest is RTM and try. I can be a bit daft at times, I can find my way through 50 pages of wiring diagram and figure out why where is no 12v on an ECU input but still haven't worked out how to get some buttons on my 200-400 to work, in spite of having read through it 3 times Blush

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.