Nikon D7100 Review

 
Camera Reviews / Nikon Cameras / Nikon D i Review

Nikon D7100 Performance

Updated 07/24/2013 with 1.3x Crop mode burst performance timing.

Timing and Performance

Mixed performance for a prosumer DSLR.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~0.3 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Shutdown

~1.3 seconds

How long it takes to turn off.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds *
after 12 L/F JPEGs

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.

2 seconds *
after 5 RAW frames
5 seconds *
after 5 RAW + L/F JPEG frames

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times.

The Nikon D7100's startup time was fast, though shutdown was slow due to sensor cleaning. Buffer clearing times were good with a fast card, especially considering the 24-megapixel files, though buffer depths were shallow.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

~0.8 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.3 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was pretty fast.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Optical Viewfinder

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF (Center AF point)

0.251 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture. (All AF timing measured with Nikkor 18-105mm kit lens).

Full Autofocus
Single Area AF, Flash enabled

0.297 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, Auto Flash enabled.

Full Autofocus
Auto Area AF

0.522 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Continuous AF
0.055 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.055 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Pre-focused

0.054 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter Response (Lag Time), Live View mode

Full Autofocus
Live View
Single-servo AF

1.935 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Full Autofocus
Live View
Full-time AF

1.823 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture.

Pre-focused
Live View

0.248 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

The Nikon D7100's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was a little slower than average for a prosumer DSLR. The D7100 required about 0.25 second for full AF using the center focus point. Enabling the flash raised shutter lag to about 0.3 second, with very little delay was added for the metering preflash. Shutter lag increased to about 0.52 second in the D7100's 51-point Auto-area AF mode. Continuous autofocus shutter lag was only 0.055 second and Manual focus shutter lag was the same at 0.055 second, which is very fast. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped a bit to 0.054 second which is also quite fast for a DSLR.

Full autofocus was much slower in Live View mode, as expected. The Nikon D7100 only offers contrast-detect AF in Live View, which took a leisurely 1.94 seconds to focus in our tests in single-servo (AF-S) mode. (How fast the lens can adjust focus makes a big difference here.) Switching to full-time AF mode (AF-F), shutter lag reduced slightly to 1.82 seconds, which is still quite slow. Prefocused shutter lag was about 0.25 second in Live View mode, which is pretty good for Live View mode.

To minimize the effect of different lens' focusing speed, we test AF-active shutter lag with the lens already set to the correct focal distance. We also use the same Sigma 70mm f/2.8 macro with most interchangeable lens cameras (on all platforms except NX, Four Thirds/Micro Four Thirds and Nikon models lacking an in-body focus motor), to further reduce variation, and because our tests showed that focus-determination time with this lens was close to the fastest, across multiple camera bodies from different manufacturers. Being an older design with a non-ultrasonic motor, it wouldn't be the fastest at slewing from one focus setting to another, but that's exactly the reason we measure focus determination speed, which is primarily a function of the camera body, vs focus adjustment speed, which is primarily a function of the lens.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.54 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 1 second to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW (14-bit, lossless compressed)

0.53 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 2 seconds to clear.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.52 second

Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots, 5 seconds to clear.

Early shutter
penalty?

No
(Yes with Flash)

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous H mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.17 second (5.85 frames per second);
12 frames total;
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 12 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.28 seconds (3.53 fps) when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW (14-bit, lossless compressed)

0.19 second (5.26 frames per second);
5 frames total;
2 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 5 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.49 seconds (2.05 fps) when buffer is full.

Continuous H mode
RAW + L/F
JPEG

0.20 second (4.92 frames per second);
5 frames total;
5 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over 5 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 1.13 seconds (0.89 fps) when buffer is full.

1.3x Crop mode
15.4MP Fine JPEG

0.14 second (7.07 frames per second);
23 frames total;
3 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 23 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.21 seconds (4.71 fps) when buffer is full.

1.3x Crop mode
15.4MP RAW (14-bit, lossless compressed)

0.17 second (6.03 frames per second);
8 frames total;
3 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 8 frame buffer. Slows to an average of 0.31 seconds (3.27 fps) when buffer is full.

Flash recycling

4.0 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s UHS-I SDHC memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as Active D-Lighting or NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times were about average, at 0.54 second for Large/Fine JPEGs, 0.53 second for RAW files, and 0.52 second for RAW + L/F JPEG frames. There were no signs of slowing after 20 L/F JPEGs or RAW files, though the D7100 slowed after only 5 RAW + L/F JPEG frames.

Continuous H mode speeds were good for the class and resolution, ranging from 4.9 for RAW+L/F JPEGs to almost 5.9 frames per second for L/F JPEGs. The D7100's 1.3x Crop mode managed just over 7 fps for 15.4-megapixel Fine JPEGs, and just over 6 fps for 14-bit RAW files.

Buffer depth in full-resolution continuous mode was fair with JPEGs at 12 L/F JPEG frames, though with RAW files, buffer depths were shallow for a prosumer model at 5 RAW frames and 5 RAW+L/F JPEG frames. 1.3x Crop mode had significantly deeper buffers at 23 JPEGs and 8 14-bit RAW files.

Note that all JPEG timing was performed with Optimal Quality files and buffer depths/clearing times would likely improve with Size Priority (not tested). Although we didn't test other RAW mode options (12-bit and lossy compressed), Nikon claims you can expect full-resolution buffer sizes to increase by 1 frame switching to 12-bits, and 2 frames switching to lossy compressed.

The built-in flash took 4 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is a touch slow for an SLR.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

15,953 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds were very fast.

Bottom line, the Nikon D7100's performance ranged from below average to quite good in our tests. Startup was fast, as were mode switching, manual and prefocused shutter lag, and continuous mode performance. Autofocus speed however was slightly slower than average, and full-resolution buffer depths were shallow for a prosumer model, particularly with RAW files.

Battery

Battery Life
Very good battery life when using optical viewfinder.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Optical Viewfinder,
(CIPA standard)
950

The Nikon D7100 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life when using the optical viewfinder is well above average. Nikon does not specify battery life for Live View mode, but it will certainly be a lot lower. Although battery live is quite good, we still recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, or when using Live View a lot.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

 



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