Friday, February 22, 2013

Nikon D7100 sensor appears to be the same as the D5200

Nikon claims that the sensor in the D7100 is completely new.  DPReview has said that it is not the same as that of the D5200.  However, I compared the specifications of the sensors in the brochures:

Effective pixels: 24.1 megapixels
Sensor size: 23.5mm x 15.6mm CMOS
Total pxels: 24.71 million

Image sizes (pixels):
Large: 6000 × 4000
Medium: 4496 × 3000
Small: 2992 × 2000

Effective pixels: 24.1 megapixels
Sensor size: 23.5mm x 15.6mm CMOS
Total pxels: 24.71 million

Image sizes (pixels):
Large: 6000 × 4000
Medium: 4494 × 3000
Small: 2992 × 2000

I also looked at the sensor specifications for the D3200 (which, like the D5200 and D7100 has 24mp):

Effective pixels: 24.2 megapixels
Sensor size: 23.2mm x 15.4mm CMOS
Total pixels: 24.7 million

Image sizes (pixels):
Large: 6,016 × 4,000
Medium: 4,512 × 3,000
Small: 3,008 × 2,000

(Note: the D3200 sensor is indeed different from that of the D5200, and they have different performance, with the D5200 having better high ISO performance.)

The similarity in specifications between the D5200 and D7100 sensors seems to show that they are in fact the same sensor, except that the D7100 doesn't have a low pass filter.  I'm therefore expecting that the DXO scores will be practically identical (just like the similarity of scores between the D800 and D800E).  We'll see soon enough.

If you are interested in the Nikon D7100, you can join the Nikon D7100 group on Flickr for discussions and samples from the D7100. I will be posting there regularly.


  1. 4496 vs 4494 could be a typo. Even then, pixel count match under various settings doesn't mean they're the same sensor (until the DXO results prove, as you suggest). Both sensors may be based on same base design. Does that mean this one could be from Toshiba? Wow, that will be some serious competition for Sony!

  2. You cannot assume that by comparing a few mechanical dimensions the two sensors are the same. For one, the pixel pitch is different, not to mention electrical charisterics. They are clearly different.

    1. Hi! Thanks for visiting our blog. How did you find that the pixel pitch is different? The resolution and physical size of the sensor are the same so the pitch should be the same. I also don't know how you determined that the electrical characteristics are different.

      In any case, as further evidence that they are the same sensor (except for AA filter), you can use the Lightroom raw profile for D5200 on the D7100 (after changing the exif to fool LR into thinking it is a D5200 file) and the result will be the same as the native D7100 raw filter for Lightroom.

      I could be wrong, but the evidence strongly suggests that they are using the same sensor (except for the AA filter).

      Best regards,

  3. This is a nice academic question, and I would certainly be interested in hearing an answer to it.
    On the other hand, the performance of the two sensors is probably more practically important.
    And it seams they are extremely close with D5200 having a slight edge.


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