Anyone else displeased with the D7000's low light performance?

CaptainNapalm

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Hey everyone.
I've had my D7000 for quite a while now and I couldn't be happier with it in all departments, except for it's low light performance. To me, everything up to ISO 1600 is acceptable but unfortunately this doesn't cut it when I'm roaming out and about at night in the City. Bumping ISO up to 3200 or 6400 makes the photos too noisy and when noise reduction is applied in post processing too much detail is lost for my liking. I don't mind using a tripod for longer exposures at night for things like Cityscapes and Landscapes but obviously they're not possible when trying to shoot people. I've seen photo comparisons online on how much better FX sensors are in handling low light situations but I was wondering what everyone else here thought? For those of you who switched from DX to FX (or those who shoot both), just how much better is low light performance of FX at high ISO, for example ISO 6400? I'm considering picking up a D600 just solely for it's low light performance. After doing some research I conclude I'd be happy with it considering how similar it is to my D7000 which I really like. Do you guys think I'll be impressed with this camera at high ISO?
 

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I never had problems with my D7000 even up to 6400 (sometimes even above that). A new full frame will be an improvement... I love my D800 for low light. Keep in mind that you really will need to get rid of ALL your DX glass, and go FX lenses to optimize that FX sensor.

Your main problem is probably that you have no fast, constant aperture lenses, except that 35mm (which I have always considered to be a marginal lens).
 

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I am happy with my D7000 in low low light situations. But then again I shoot mainly with my Nikon 70-200 2.8 VRII or my 50mm 1.8G as well.
 
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I never had problems with my D7000 even up to 6400 (sometimes even above that). A new full frame will be an improvement... I love my D800 for low light. Keep in mind that you really will need to get rid of ALL your DX glass, and go FX lenses to optimize that FX sensor.

Your main problem is probably that you have no fast, constant aperture lenses, except that 35mm (which I have always considered to be a marginal lens).

Yeah I realize that about the glass. I already have the 70-300 which is an FX lens and thinking that if I went the D600 route, I'd grab the 24-70 f/2.8 and I'd be okay for a while until I save up for a real wide angle. You're right, I don't have fast lenses for night photography, but even with my 35mm I find I have to stop down to about f4 to get the IQ and DOF I'm looking for. Maybe I'll pick up a fast (good quality) lens first before I decide for sure the D7000 isn't capable of good night pics. Can you recommend a good lens? Thanks in advance.
 

cgipson1

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I never had problems with my D7000 even up to 6400 (sometimes even above that). A new full frame will be an improvement... I love my D800 for low light. Keep in mind that you really will need to get rid of ALL your DX glass, and go FX lenses to optimize that FX sensor.

Your main problem is probably that you have no fast, constant aperture lenses, except that 35mm (which I have always considered to be a marginal lens).

Yeah I realize that about the glass. I already have the 70-300 which is an FX lens and thinking that if I went the D600 route, I'd grab the 24-70 f/2.8 and I'd be okay for a while until I save up for a real wide angle. You're right, I don't have fast lenses for night photography, but even with my 35mm I find I have to stop down to about f4 to get the IQ and DOF I'm looking for. Maybe I'll pick up a fast (good quality) lens first before I decide for sure the D7000 isn't capable of good night pics. Can you recommend a good lens? Thanks in advance.

That DX 35 is a soft lens.. IMO! Even F4 is not enough for that lens to be as sharp as it should be.. ( I know others feel differently).

The 24-70 2.8 , 70-200 2.8, and the 14-24 2.8.. you can shoot them wide open with gorgeous IQ! Or pick up a 50 1.8 or 1.4, or the new 85 1.8 .... they rock, and are much less expensive!
 
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CaptainNapalm

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I never had problems with my D7000 even up to 6400 (sometimes even above that). A new full frame will be an improvement... I love my D800 for low light. Keep in mind that you really will need to get rid of ALL your DX glass, and go FX lenses to optimize that FX sensor.

Your main problem is probably that you have no fast, constant aperture lenses, except that 35mm (which I have always considered to be a marginal lens).

Yeah I realize that about the glass. I already have the 70-300 which is an FX lens and thinking that if I went the D600 route, I'd grab the 24-70 f/2.8 and I'd be okay for a while until I save up for a real wide angle. You're right, I don't have fast lenses for night photography, but even with my 35mm I find I have to stop down to about f4 to get the IQ and DOF I'm looking for. Maybe I'll pick up a fast (good quality) lens first before I decide for sure the D7000 isn't capable of good night pics. Can you recommend a good lens? Thanks in advance.

That DX 35 is a soft lens.. IMO! Even F4 is not enough for that lens to be as sharp as it should be.. ( I know others feel differently).

The 24-70 2.8 , 70-200 2.8, and the 14-24 2.8.. you can shoot them wide open with gorgeous IQ! Or pick up a 50 1.8 or 1.4, or the new 85 1.8 .... they rock, and are much less expensive!

Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to consider grabbing the 24-70 to see how it does on my D7000 and if I'm still having issues at least it will be a good lens to carry over to an FX body.
 

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The D7000 is now a 1 generation old entry-level DSLR. Plus if you don't control exposure using the ETTR method you're not maximizing the cameras potential.

It wasn't that long ago that ISO 400 was the max for even prosumer grade DSLR's.

Getting a flash unit or 2 is a lot cheaper than getting a different camera body. Plus learning how to use flash opens new creativity doors.
 
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CaptainNapalm

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The D7000 is now a 1 generation old entry-level DSLR. Plus if you don't control exposure using the ETTR method you're not maximizing the cameras potential.

It wasn't that long ago that ISO 400 was the max for even prosumer grade DSLR's.

Getting a flash unit or 2 is a lot cheaper than getting a different camera body. Plus learning how to use flash opens new creativity doors.

I realize the D7000 is a bit aged but the ISO performance of the recently released D7100 is not much better, just minimal improvement from what I read. ETTR method is not easy in practice when taking photos at night. I tend to under expose my images while shooting RAW in hopes that I can adjust the exposure in post, this allows me to shot at lower ISO's but it has it's drawbacks too.
 

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http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adob...e/en/products/photoshop/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf

Under exposing digital images is the wrong approach, because of the way luminosity data is distributed in a digital image.
Under exposure reduces the overall amount of data in a digital image and also reduces the overall editing headroom.

Raw files can have over exposure reduced to a varying degree, but adding exposure almost always makes image noise more visible.

While an over exposed Raw file can have about 2 stops of over exposure corrected, that can only be done if one or two of the 3 color channels is not maxed out at 255.

An even better source for this information is - Attributes of a digital negative - in the front part of - The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop
 
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CaptainNapalm

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http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adob...e/en/products/photoshop/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf

Under exposing digital images is the wrong approach, because of the way luminosity data is distributed in a digital image.
Under exposure reduces the overall amount of data in a digital image and also reduces the overall editing headroom.

Raw files can have over exposure reduced to a varying degree, but adding exposure almost always makes image noise more visible.

While an over exposed Raw file can have about 2 stops of over exposure corrected, that can only be done if one or two of the 3 color channels is not maxed out at 255.

An even better source for this information is - Attributes of a digital negative - in the front part of - The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop

Thank you sir. I'll put that into practice in hopes of improvement.
 

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Nope, My D7000 performs as should. I'm even planning on doing some long exposures with my Jeep tonight.
 

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It's all in the method ( for the most part.) Your d7000 should be fine at ISO 1600. Practice ETTR and get some glass. My 35 1.8 barely gets touched but you may want to try to AF fine tune and see how you like it. It may help you get sharper shots at wider apertures.
 

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I never had problems with my D7000 even up to 6400 (sometimes even above that). A new full frame will be an improvement... I love my D800 for low light. Keep in mind that you really will need to get rid of ALL your DX glass, and go FX lenses to optimize that FX sensor.

Your main problem is probably that you have no fast, constant aperture lenses, except that 35mm (which I have always considered to be a marginal lens).

Yeah I realize that about the glass. I already have the 70-300 which is an FX lens and thinking that if I went the D600 route, I'd grab the 24-70 f/2.8 and I'd be okay for a while until I save up for a real wide angle. You're right, I don't have fast lenses for night photography, but even with my 35mm I find I have to stop down to about f4 to get the IQ and DOF I'm looking for. Maybe I'll pick up a fast (good quality) lens first before I decide for sure the D7000 isn't capable of good night pics. Can you recommend a good lens? Thanks in advance.

That DX 35 is a soft lens.. IMO! Even F4 is not enough for that lens to be as sharp as it should be.. ( I know others feel differently).

The 24-70 2.8 , 70-200 2.8, and the 14-24 2.8.. you can shoot them wide open with gorgeous IQ! Or pick up a 50 1.8 or 1.4, or the new 85 1.8 .... they rock, and are much less expensive!

Absolutely!

My 50mm 1.8D is like night vision and their dirt cheap. Pick one up and try it out before you go spending $1,000's on a new camera system. The same can be said for the rest of the fast glass, well barring cost. I picked up a used 28-70mm 2.8 and it'sunbelievable. It stays mounted to my D7100 and I don't need anything close to the ISO settings you're mentioning. I would post something but I'm on the road. I've got what appears to be a cool lightning shot using my D3100 & 50mm I'll see about posting next week...no trigger either.
 

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I love my d7000 with a 50mm 1.8d on at night. Pick up the 50, you can get one for about 100 bucks.
 

SCraig

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Go shoot some 100 ISO film for a while. After that you'll always be able to find enough light at ISO 1600.

To answer your question, no. I'm perfectly content with the low-light performance of my D7000 and I don't even own a fast lens. The fastest lens I have is an f/2.8 17-70 zoom.
 

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