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D800 or D7100 for wildlife
  
 
m.sommers00
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p.1 #1 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


I'm in a bit of a debate of what to do here. I'd ultimately like to replace or add the 300 2.8 VRI(I) to my lineup since I have all three TCs at home but it's quite expensive for me right now, so I'm considering other options. I currently am using the AFS 80-400mm for wildlife. The lens is pretty good for the most part on my D800 which I currently own, however the 1.4xTC really softens things up when any cropping is involved. So here's my dilemma:

Will the D7100 1.5x crop factor be better than the digital cropping + TC use of the D800? AF speed and accuracy should be very similar, if not the same, between these cameras. The one thing I'm kind of concerned about is losing the better ISO and DR performance of the D800, however after digital cropping I'm wondering if these characteristics are still advantageous over the D7100.

Sorry if this is a bit of ramble, hopefully my thoughts are moderately comprehensible! Note I'm not considering selling my D800 at all. Except maybe for a D800e direct swap



Jul 31, 2013 at 04:02 PM
BenV
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p.1 #2 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


You won't see much of a difference. I'd keep the D800 (which I currently own). I'd sell the 80-400, pick up a 300 f/4 and use the 1.7tc. You'd be at 500mm+, with a sharper photo, which will allow better cropping. Unless you like the flexibility of a zoom. But zooms never had a good reputation of taking TC's well.


Jul 31, 2013 at 04:06 PM
OccAeon
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p.1 #3 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


BenV wrote:
You won't see much of a difference. I'd keep the D800 (which I currently own). I'd sell the 80-400, pick up a 300 f/4 and use the 1.7tc. You'd be at 500mm+, with a sharper photo, which will allow better cropping. Unless you like the flexibility of a zoom. But zooms never had a good reputation of taking TC's well.


With my D7100, I haven't found so far that the TC-17E adds much over just cropping the TC-14E on the 300/4. The TC-17E gets closer, obviously, but it loses some sharpness at the same time. I haven't done any scientific tests, though.



Jul 31, 2013 at 04:15 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #4 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Stick with the D800 and use the DX crop if needed ... what you really need is a D400 ... oh wait ...


Jul 31, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Gary Irwin
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p.1 #5 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


m.:you raise some good questions. Here's my random thoughts.

Firstly, a lot depends on what you mean by "wildlife". Obviously you don't need as much reach for larger mammals or zoos as you do for birds.

Personally I shoot a little of everything but mostly concentrate on birds. Although I use a D800 (it's my only body right now), my main wildlife lens is a 500VR which I use with the TC14EII regularly, so I have sufficient reach for most things. I am looking forward to the D400 but mainly for the speed (assuming it will be 8FPS).

If the 80-400G was my only lens and I didn't already own a camera, I'd go with a D7100 for the extra pixel density/reach. Adding the TC14EII to the 80-400VR might be "ok" for certain static shots in some circumstances, but IMO the 80-400G isn't a good lens to use TC's on.

Having owned the 300/4 (excellent lens that takes the TC14EII well), I wouldn't trade my 80-400G for it...VR is too important to me and the 300/4+TC is not sharper than the 80-400G.

But since you have the D800, I'd suggest waiting to see what the rumored D400 looks like. In the meantime you can start saving for a 500VR.



Jul 31, 2013 at 05:07 PM
StrangeTrip
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p.1 #6 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


The D800 being 36mp as you know, basically has a 24mp d7100 sensor within the larger D800 sensor. You will gain nothing that you would not gain by just taking a D800 photo and cropping it.


Jul 31, 2013 at 08:09 PM
DTOB
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p.1 #7 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Actually, the D800 has the same pixel density as the D7000, not the D7100.


Jul 31, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #8 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


StrangeTrip wrote:
The D800 being 36mp as you know, basically has a 24mp d7100 sensor within the larger D800 sensor. You will gain nothing that you would not gain by just taking a D800 photo and cropping it.


That's not correct. D800 in DX-mode is about 16Mpx (D7000 territory) . With the D7100 you "gain" the 1.3x crop over the D800 and have about the same Mpx.



Jul 31, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Chris Dees
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p.1 #9 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


DTOB wrote:
Actually, the D800 has the same pixel density as the D7000, not the D7100.


I think we had this discussion before.



Jul 31, 2013 at 08:15 PM
plnelson
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p.1 #10 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


The D800 is part of Nikon's "prosumer" line; the D7100 is part of their consumer line. I do lots of wildlife photography and cameras in the field can take a beating and get exposed to moisture and dirt, so I'd go with the D800 because it will probably stand up to more abuse.


Jul 31, 2013 at 08:30 PM
 

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OccAeon
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p.1 #11 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Chris Dees wrote:
That's not correct. D800 in DX-mode is about 16Mpx (D7000 territory) . With the D7100 you "gain" the 1.3x crop over the D800 and have about the same Mpx.


Isn't it a 1.5x crop?



Jul 31, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #12 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


plnelson wrote:
The D800 is part of Nikon's "prosumer" line; the D7100 is part of their consumer line. I do lots of wildlife photography and cameras in the field can take a beating and get exposed to moisture and dirt, so I'd go with the D800 because it will probably stand up to more abuse.



No, the D800 is a PRO body and the D7100 is a consumer body with a few pro features.

A body need not have an integrated grip to be a pro body. Would you say the F5 or F6 were not pro bodies ... they do not have an integrated grip?




Jul 31, 2013 at 09:45 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #13 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Here are the numbers:

D800 -
FX (36x24) - 36,152,320 mp
1.2 crop (30x20) - 25,067,520 mp
DX Crop (24x16) - 15,360,000 mp
5:4 crop (30x24) - 30,179,328 mp

D7100 -
DX (24x16) - 24,000,000 mp
1.3 crop (18x12) - 15,360,000 mp

Also, the D7100 is advertised as being weather resistant like the D800's



Jul 31, 2013 at 09:51 PM
DTOB
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p.1 #14 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Chris Dees wrote:
I think we had this discussion before.


Hmmmmm, perhaps.



Jul 31, 2013 at 09:59 PM
m.sommers00
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p.1 #15 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Thanks for the numbers, ckarr. I find it really interesting that from a resolution standpoint, the D800 in DX mode has the same mega pixel count as the D7100 in 1.3x mode, effectively gaining a 2.34x from the D800. That's a lot of extra reach and with no TC either!

Most of this stuff will be larger mammals but getting super close to moose and bears aren't exactly my preference! And I would also like to shoot birds as well - jack of all trades or something



Jul 31, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #16 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


I'd stay with the D800 (or should I say not bother adding a D7100). Not only better high ISO / low noise but the 7100 gains only 1 FPS against the D800 in x1.2 mode but at the penalty of a much smaller buffer than the D800. I use/have used the D800/D800E for all of my bird photography over the past 18 months, it is an awesome tool and files crop superbly.

Keep saving your pennies for the 300/2.8 (just an awesome lens).



Aug 01, 2013 at 01:35 AM
billsnature
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p.1 #17 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


I have D800 and did add a D7100. For birds in flight like fishing eagles the 4 FPS of the D800 is not sufficient, and 5-6 FPS crop mode is not so hot as when trying to track a moving bird, the LCD lines are easy to ignore cutting off feet and wing tips too often.

D4 had great frame rate, but 16MP was disappointing for detail.

The 6 FPS of D7100 seems a whole lot faster than just 2 FPS over D800. Unfortunately the eagle season was pretty much over before camera arrived, so don't have working example of that. Testing on small birds with range of big glass, but still focal length limited shots, the D7100 does add a ton more detail than the D800 cropped assuming good light.

At or below ISO 800 the D7100 is a good add. At ISO 1600-2000 it is OK. Above 2000 stick to D800

If Nikon can't come through with a D400, can they at least deliver a D4x?

Maybe 24MP at 8-10 FPS or 36MP at 7 FPS



Aug 01, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Two23
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p.1 #18 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


plnelson wrote:
The D800 is part of Nikon's "prosumer" line; the D7100 is part of their consumer line. I do lots of wildlife photography and cameras in the field can take a beating and get exposed to moisture and dirt, so I'd go with the D800 because it will probably stand up to more abuse.




The D7100 has much beefed up sealing over the D7000 now. I don't see where a D800 would have any advantage. As a bonus, if you destroy it, it's much less money to cry over. My own philosophy is I'd rather have two $1,500 cameras than just one $3,000 one.


Kent in SD



Aug 01, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Stdon
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p.1 #19 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


Unless the $3,000 camera is superb and is far more versatile. Actually if one goes to BestBuy they will match 42nd.st prices. Got my 800 for 2,465.


Aug 01, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #20 · D800 or D7100 for wildlife


billsnature wrote:
I have D800 and did add a D7100. For birds in flight like fishing eagles the 4 FPS of the D800 is not sufficient, and 5-6 FPS crop mode is not so hot as when trying to track a moving bird, the LCD lines are easy to ignore cutting off feet and wing tips too often.

D4 had great frame rate, but 16MP was disappointing for detail.

The 6 FPS of D7100 seems a whole lot faster than just 2 FPS over D800. Unfortunately the eagle season was pretty much over before camera arrived, so don't have working example of
...Show more

And how are you liking the D7100 buffer Bill ? I'd rather have 4fps (or 5fps at x1.2) and being able to shoot for the full flyby than 6fps that stops after 1 second.

There's not much wrong with the D800/E for BIF, of course you don't get the same wing position options but you get a lot of choice from a full 5-10 second flyby :


















Aug 01, 2013 at 10:33 AM
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