Nikon D7100 and Good Dynamic Range

Written by: Sean Hall

Sony, Panasonic, and Fuji are making a lot of noise in the camera business these day. Sony with the a7Rii and the recently release a9, Panasonic with the GH5, and Fuji with the XT-2 and the mirror-less medium format GFX. By contrast the big two, Canon and Nikon, have been relatively quiet. Yes there has been some new announcements of lenses and even a camera body or two, but nothing that shows any signs of moving the market.

Being a Nikon shooter I particularly look out for what they plan to bring to market. As far as their latest products go I'm not that excited by what I see. Nikon has announced 3 lenses. An 8-15mm f3.5-4.5 Fisheye, 28mm f1.4, and 10-20mm f4.5-5.6 DX VR. They also have a new body, in the D7500.

Let's focus on that new body, a DX (crop sensor) shooter. This one feels strange to me because it seems like Nikon is overloading the market for the mid-tier shooter, causing confusion of which product to buy, and potentially cannibalizing the sale of their own products. It seems as if Nikon was not confident in the sale of the D500. From the way the price points are positioned it looks as if they were not secure in thinking that they could convince a DX consumer to make the $500 jump to that camera body so instead inserted the D7500. Then as a last minute decision decided to pull away some features, such as a 2nd memory card slot, in an effort to find a way to protect the position of the higher priced DX shooter. Below I've included the current prices for these offerings from Nikon as seen on the Amazon:

If you're not overly concerned with always only buying the latest camera gear, with some additional scrutiny you may discover that the upgrades made to the newer bodies may not be worth the asking price. The following DX shooters can be had for hundreds of dollars cheaper and your savings can be put toward other accessories.

One day soon I plan to play around with these new bodies from Nikon and even possibly see for myself what the Sony's can do. For now I continue to be happy with the flexibility, the dynamic range, of the files that my Nikon D7100 continues to produce. In the two image below you will see a before and after. In the edited shot you can see that I've been able to dramatically bring up the exposure of a shot that was taken only with what light was available. That light being street lights off in the distance and what little light was left from a sun that had already disappeared beyond the horizon.

Basics edits made in Adobe Camera Raw include raising the exposure, cropping, white balance, and some noise reduction.

This straight out of camera RAW file was converted to a JPEG with no post production edits.

A few prominent photographers that I follow on social media have abandoned the mirrored shooters and have jumped on the latest mirror-less offerings from Sony. Some of these professionals have stated that they have left Nikon and the mirrors behind and currently they have no intention of looking back. While it does seem that the grass is looking quite green on that side I hope Nikon very soon does offer us something exciting in a new body whether it does or does not have a mirror.