Nikon D600 vs D7100 vs D7000 – Comparison

March 11, 2013

When Nikon has announced the D600 affordable Full Frame DSLR, many photographers were able to move on to a full frame camera, ditching their APS-C camera behind.  The D600 costs around $1000 less than the D700 on Amazon ($2000 vs $3000) and $1800 less than the D800.  Some say that the days of the ASP-C format are numbered. Still, many amateur and enthusiast photographers will probably prefer getting a less expensive APS-C camera and spend more money on a high-quality lens. In this article I will be comparing the Nikon D600 vs D7100 and D7000. The D7100 is Nikon’s latest ASP-C camera form Nikon. Let’s start!

 

Nikon D600 – The Full Frame Advantage

Many of you already know the pros and cons of having a full frame DSLR, but for those of you who are still new to this subject, here’s a summary.

The main advantage of a full frame sensor is obviously it’s size. A larger sensor generally means larger pixels, although it depends on the pixel density, the result of the number of pixels on the sensor in relation to the sensor size. The larger the pixel size, the more light is gathered and the more sensitive the sensor is to light. This leads to broader dynamic range, better color accuracy and low light performance. That of course in comparison to smaller sensors.

Other than that, ASP-C sensors have a cropped factor higher than 1x. This means that when you mount a 35mm compatible lens on it, you will get an image with a smaller viewing angle with the multiplication of the focal length of the lens multiply of the cropped factor. So for example, a 50mm on the Nikon e D7000 (1.52x crop factor), will result in an image that looks like it was shot with  a 72mm lens on a 35mm camera.

This can be an advantage for those who mainly shot tele shots, but you won’t be able to take advantage of the very wide angles of ultra-wide angle lenses. So, for example, landscape photographers will certainly prefer a full frame camera over a cropped one, because they can utilize some of the finest Nikkor wide-angle lenses and enjoy the full potential – taking advantage of the widest angle that the lens offers.

Another advantage is the size of the optical viewfinder, which is larger on full frame cameras.  This is another good reason why so many photographers love to shoot with FF bodies,  you get a better visuals of the scene, makes you feel more connected with the subject that you are shooting.

If you are among those one who cares about image quality and low-light performance, you will love the result that come from a full frame DSLR – very low noise at high ISO and the dynamic range is very impressive.

Another reason is depth-of-field. For a given  focal length you will get a more shallow depth of field on a full frame camera. This means that to get a field of view that is equivalent to 75 mm, you will need a 50 mm lens, and if you mount a lens with 75mm focal length on a 35mm and a 50 mm on a crop-sensor DSLR (considering the same aperture and distance from subject), you will get a smaller depth-of-field because the focal length is larger on the FF camera.

OK, we’ve talked about some of the advantages of a full frame vs APS-C, let’s dive in deeper and discuss about the D7100, D7000 and D600 cameras. That’s why you are here after all :)

 

Nikon D600

The Nikon D600 is an affordable Full Frame DSLR camera for enthusiasts photographers. On the Canon side you can find the EOS 6D which is also a Full Frame DSLR that was aimed towards the enthusiast photographer, which a reduced price compare to the 5D Mark III/II cameras.

The D600 has a 24.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, which also has as DX-format crop mode that result in 10.5MP maximum resolution (Takes advantage of a smaller portion of the sensor). The D6100 has ISO 100-6400 sensitivity, can shoot at 5.5 fps, has a 3.2 921K-dots LCD, 1080p30 Full HD videos and support for uncompressed video recording via HDMI.

The D600 shares the same 39-point AF sensor of the D7000, and some say that it’s more resembles the D7000 than the D800 (the more expensive model). The D600 will certainly appeal to both still shooters and videographers alike.

In the picture below you can see the D7000 and D600 size comparison. You can see that the D600 is larger than the D7000.

Nikon D600 vs D7000 size comparison

Nikon D600 vs D7000 size comparison (via camerasize.com)

 

Nikon D600 is 7% (9 mm) wider and 8% (8 mm) taller than Nikon D7000.
Nikon D600 is 6% (5 mm) thicker than Nikon D7000.
Nikon D600 [850 g] weights 9% (70 grams) more than Nikon D7000 [780 g] (*inc. batteries and memory card).

Nikon D600 dimensions: 141x113x82 mm (camera body only, excluding protrusion)
Nikon D7000 dimensions: 132x105x77 mm (camera body only, excluding protrusion)

 

Nikon D7000

The Nikon D7000 needs no introduction, among the most popular DSLR cameras on Nikon’s side. A camera that is very popular among both amateur, enthusiasts but also pros alike.  The D7000 utilizes an APS-C 16.2MP CMOS sensor with 1.5x FOV crop factor.  This camera is well known for its excellent low-light / high-ISO performance and AF speed.  My father shoots with this camera. I had a change to shoot with it quite a lot and enjoyed every minute of it.

Nikon D7000 dslr camera

Many people who bought the D90 upgrade to the D7000 and many camera reviewers recommended this camera over the old D300s. You get everything that an enthusiast need in this camera, very fast AF speed, great ergonomics, 6 fps continuous shooting, excellent battery life, full HD video recording at 24fps, dual SD slot, ISO 100-6400 native (boost up to ISO 25600), etc. This is certainly a camera that can help any amateur and enthusiast photographer get the results he or she wants without any real limitations.  The price went down since it was launched and you can find it under $900 (body only) as for the time of writing this article.

One of my favorite cameras in the Nikon’s DSLR range.

 

Nikon D7100

The Nikon D7100 is the latest in the Nikon DSLR camera’s lineup.  It looks like the D7000 externally, but it’s not. The D7100 utilizes a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, but one without the optical low-pass filter. The optical low-pass filter is also referred to as “Anti-aliasing filter”. This filter is used to eliminate color Moire fringes and result in a smoother image due to the anti-aliasing effect. The D7000 on the other hand, as well as the D600, both have an optical low-pass filter. Without that filter, you get an image that is sharper in some extent, you get more per-pixel details, but of course in the price of moire in certain cases.

That not the only difference of course, the D7100 has 51 AF points vs 30 of the D7000, 15 of them are cross-type and 1 AF point usable throught f/8.  The D7100 features a new 1.3x crop mode on top of  the original crop factor which produces an image that is almost 2x crop (1.8x to be exact) compare to 35mm frame. So a 200mm lens will turn into a 360mm equivalent.

Nikon D7100

Nikon D7100

The D7100 can shoot in more optional frame rates, including 24/30p and 60i (NTSC) at Full HD resolution. It has a built-in stereo microphone, supports for in-camera HDR exposure blending, lockable mode-dial, GPS terminal and enjoys the EXPEED 3 image processor. This is just a glimpse of the differences, and you can clearly see that the D7100 is equipped with many more features, and it’s not just a D7000 without the low-pass filter – much more than that.

 

D600 vs D7100 vs D7000 – Comparison

Three excellent Nikon DSLR cameras, and all are quite different from one another. Let’s look at a specs comparison table before we continue our discussion:

D7100D7000D600Notes
AnnouncedFeb 21, 2013Sep 15, 2010Sep 13, 2012D7000 oldest, D7100 newest
SensorAPS-C
23.5 x 15.6 mm
CMOS

1.3 crop mode available
APS-C
23.6 x 15.7 mm
CMOS
Full Frame
35.9 x 24 mm
CMOS
D7100 features a 1.3x crop mode, D600 a full frame sensor
Max. Resolution (effective)24.1MP16.2MP24.3MPD7000 has less resolution of the three
Image ProcessorEXPEED 3EXPEED 2EXPEED 3D7000 has an old generation image processor
ISO100 - 6400 (up to 25,600 boost)100 - 6400 (up to 25,600 boost)100 - 6400 (50, 25,600 boost)
AF Points513939
LCD3.2"
1,228,800 dots
3"
921,000
3.2"
921,000
D7100 highest resolution LCD
Continuous Shooting6fps (7fps in 1.3x crop mode)6fps5.5 fps
Viewfinder100% coverage
0.94x magnification
OLED Info
100% coverage
0.95x magnification
100% coverage
0.7x magnification
Shutter Speed30 - 1/8000 sec30 - 1/8000 sec30 - 1/4000 secD600 slower maximum shutter speed
Pop-up FlashYes 12m
+ Hot-shoe
+ Wireless support
Yes 12m
+ Hot-shoe
+ Wireless support
Yes 12m
+ Hot-shoe
+ Wireless support
Flash X-Sync1/2501/2501/200D600 slower X-sync
Video1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 24 fps)1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (24, 25, 30 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps)D7100 more flexible frame-rate modes
Battery Life9501050900D7000 longer battery life
Dimensions136 x 107 x 76 mm (5.35 x 4.21 x 2.99″)132 x 105 x 77 mm (5.2 x 4.13 x 3.03″)141 x 113 x 82 mm (5.55 x 4.45 x 3.23″)see camera size for better size visualization
Weight765 g (1.69 lb / 26.98 oz)780 g (1.72 lb / 27.51 oz)850 g (1.87 lb / 29.98 oz)D7100 lightest, D600 heaviest
Built-in Mic / ExternalStereo
+External stereo mic jack
Mono
+External stereo mic jack
Mono
+External stereo mic jack
D7100 has stereo mic

 

The basic specs comparison table shows clearly shows you the key differences between the three cameras. Of course it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Sensor without a low-pass filter – a problem?

When choosing between the D7100 and the D7000 you should certainly consider the fact that the D7100 does not have a low-pass filter.   This means that in certain type of photos you will encounter the moire effect, so for shooting weddings and for architectural photography, this might not be the best solution. There is always the option to remove moire in photo editing software, but you want to ask yourself if that’s what you want to do. for landscape and sports photography that won’t be such a big deal at all. In general you will get a more detailed image as for per-pixel detail.

 

Also see: how to remove moire in photoshop, what is moire on nikonusa.com website.

If you don’t see the absence of a low-pass filter a problem for your type of shooting habits, the D7100 certainly be on top of you list.

Here’s a list of the advantages of the D7100 over the D7000:

 

  • Higher resolution
  • Higher resolution and larger LCD screen (also a wide screen, great for viewing videos on the screen without black borders)
  • In-camera HDR
  • More AF points and AF detection up to f/8 (better for tracking subjects and l0w-light shooting and when using teleconverters with telephoto lenses)
  • Lighter (just a bit)
  • 1.3x crop factor mode
  • Next generation EXPEED image processor
  • Option for fast burst in 1.3x crop mode (7 fps)
  • More frame rate options in Full HD video recording
  • Built-in stereo mic
  • Better placement of buttons, more room for the thumb
  • No low-pass filter (might be an advantage based on your type of shooting)
  • OLED Overlday in the viewfinder for displaying info
  • Optional Wi-Fi connectivity via WU-1a Wi-Fi adapter

 

Here’s a top-view comparison of the D7100 vs D700:

D7100 vs D7000 - Top View

D7100 vs D7000 - Top View (via camerasize.com)

The D7000 advantages of D7100:

  • Longer battery life
  • Cheaper
  • Bigger buffer (can shoot more Raw shot in burst mode): 14-bit 10 vs 6 of the D7000, 12-bit: 15 vs 9 of the D7000
  • Less pixel density

 

The D7100 (without taking the low-pass filter into consideration) is a better camera overall, It’s also a newer model, let’s remember that the D7000 was announced at the end of 2010. Of course it comes with a higher price tag, ~$300 more (Check out Amazon for latest prices).

 

OK, I understand, what about the D600?

The D600 will certainly appeal to those who understand the advantages of a full frame DSLR and those who can take advantage of those. If you enjoy shooting with wide-angle lenses, you will certainly will love shooting with the D600, because it will give you the exact field of you of the lens. So if you shoot with a 24mm lens, you will get the field of view of a 24mm lens.

The Hig ISO performance of the D600 is EXCELELNT! – Check out those sample images at photographylife.com and see for yourself. ISO 3200 images looks amazingly clean with noticeable noise mainly in the shadow areas and at ISO 1600 noise is almost not evident. It’s looks similar to the Nikon D3s when it comes to noise performance – which is excellent news of course.

The D600 performs better than the D7000 in terms of noise (see this comparison on Disney tourist blog here) – much better in fact! This means that the D600 is a better low-light photography tool than the D7000, especially if you shoot without an external flash. Just put a fast prime in front of the sensor and you get a ‘killer’ low-light machine. The D600′s sensor will also result in a better dynamic range and color depth.

The D7100 has more AF points and cross-type focus points which means that it should perform better for subject tracking.  The D7100/D7000 cheaper price is what makes the D7000 so attractive.   The D600 will certainly attract photographers who are searching to upgrade to a more capable model in some aspects and want to dive into the world of Full Frame photography.

I personally enjoy shooting with telephoto lenses, and I enjoy having an APS-C sensor because I can get closer to the subject. I usually shoot in daylight and not in low-light, so I will probably won’t take advantage of the great high ISO performance of the D600. So you see, it really depends on your needs.

 

Final Words

I love the fact that there is an affordable option for amateurs and enthusiast to upgrade to a full frame. I know many photographers that wanted to upgrade, but the D700/D800 was too expensive for them.  It’s important that you understand the pros and cons of having a full frame camera. No doubt that having a Full Frame camera opens a new world of creative possibilities, especially for outdoor photographers. If you already have some wide-angle Nikkor lenses, you will certainly experience a new way of shooting things. If not, there are amazing wide and ultra-wide Nikkor lenses in the Nikkor lineup.

The D7000 still offer the best value for those who want an excellent all-around performer. The D7100 might not fit to anyone’s needs, but it certainly worth a look, especially if the absent of the low-pass filter doesn’t cause any issues with your type of photographic needs. all are excellent DSLR cameras, among the best we have on the market today. It’s important that you understand the differences in order to make a better buying decision. Good luck!

More Reviews and Articles

Related posts:

  1. Should You Upgrade from Nikon D7000 to D600 (APS-C to Full Frame)?
  2. Nikon D600 Unboxing Video (inc. 24-85mm lens)
  3. Nikon D600 Video Impressions (sample videos)
  4. Nikon D600 vs D800 vs D700 Comparison – Full Frame DSLR Cameras
  5. Nikon D600 Features – Fun Tour
  6. Nikon D600 Cons and Pros with High ISO Performance Analysis
  7. Canon 6D vs Nikon D600 Comparison / Differences
  8. Nikon D7000 vs D5100 vs D90 Comparison
  9. Nikon D5200 vs D3200 vs D7000 Comparison