Nikon D100 review

To create a review, I bought this camera here.

The Nikon D100 was introduced on January 21.01.2002, 1 and became the fourth full-fledged digital SLR camera from Nikon (after Nikon DXNUMX, D1H, D1X).

Nikon D100

Nikon D100. The camera is shown with a lens. Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4D


The Nikon D100 uses an APS-C sensor to form an image that is exactly the same physical size as any other Nikon DX series camera, such as Nikon D500 or Nikon D7500... The large sensor size is one of the few advantages of the Nikon D100 these days.

Nikon D100 has a sensor CCD sensor Sony ICX-413-AQ, which can create an image with a maximum size of 3008 x 2000 pixels (i.e. 6 MegaPixels). This sensor is used only in the Nikon D100. At the cameras Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40 used very similar but still different sensor Sony ICX-453-AQ (CCD, 6 MP, 3008 x 2000).

Key features of the Nikon D100, especially its matrix, are:

  1. ability to use RAW ('.NEF') files with 12-bit color depth without compression. Subsequent cameras Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40 could use RAW files only with compression (like all models amateur and advanced amateur cameras to this day). One RAW (NEF) image weighs without compression 10 MB.
  2. ability to use format TIFF (without compression, 8 bits per channel, 24 bit color). This format is not supported by cameras Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40 (as with all models amateur and advanced amateur line) The format avoids data loss that occurs during the formation of JPEG images (JPEG FINE uses 1: 4 compression). Unlike the RAW format, the TIFF format is the same displayed in any third-party image processors (Lightroom, ACR, etc.) and does not require a camera profile. True, recording a picture in TIFF format takes about 25 seconds (the time does not depend on the speed or size of the memory card). One TIFF image weighs about 17 MB
  3. ability to expand ISO base range to ISO HI-1equivalent to ISO 3200. и ISO HI-2equivalent to ISO 6400. (TOP Nikon D1 can do the same, Nikon D1h, Nikon D2h and Nikon D2hs). The amazing thing is that the subsequent model Nikon D200, which appeared 3 years later, had a basic maximum ISO threshold, the same as the Nikon D100, which was all the same 1600 units. And here is the extended ISO range for Nikon D200 became lower (regression). Camera Nikon D200 could only use ISO HI-1, equivalent to the value of ISO 3200. More surprising is the fact that Nikon D300and later Nikon D300s used the extended ISO HI-1 value, which is equivalent to the same ISO 6400 value. Only the ISO 6400 level could be overcome Nikon D3100 (among Nikon DX Cropped Camera Series), which appeared already in 2010 (8 years after the Nikon D100). Situation with Nikon D1x, Nikon D2x и Nikon D2xs Even worse, these cameras are much newer Nikon D100, but their base maximum ISO threshold is only 800 units (2 times lower than that of Nikon D100), and the maximum extended threshold is only 3200 (ISO HI-2).
  4. large or, as it is also called, bold pixel. The Nikon D100 sensor has a low pixel density (the same as Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40) Density comparable to full-frame cameras such as Nikon D700, D3, D3s и Kodak DCS PRO 14n... The large pixel makes it easy to get sharp images even from 'weak' lenses. True, on-camera JPEG with Nikon D100 does not shine in sharpness and it is best to use RAW format for maximum detail.
  5. Nikon D100 is the only early model camera that uses full mechanical shutter. Shutter for similar 6 MP models Nikon D70, D70s, D50, D40as well as Nikon D1 models, D1h, D1x uses a combined mechanical and electronic shutter (the first curtain is electronic, the second is mechanical).
  6. the D100 sensor is really not like that Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40. This is easily recognized by the total amount. pixels (subpixels) from the instructions. Nikon D100 has 6.31 million pixels / subpixels, Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D40 has 6.24 million pixels / subpixels. Most likely the same sensor as the Nikon D100, or slightly modified, is used in cameras Konica Minolta Dynax 7D (she Konica Minolta Alpha 7D и Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D) and Konica Minolta Dynax 5D (she Konica Minolta Alpha Sweet Digital и Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D) and Pentax * ist D, Pentax * ist Ds, Pentax * ist DS2 и Samsung GX-L1 (copy of Pentax * ist DL2), Samsung GX-1S (copy of Pentax * ist DS2), Epson r-d1, Epson r-d1s, Epson r-d1x, Epson r-d1xg
  7. pixels on the Nikon D100 sensor may stop working over time, from which they appear broken or hot pixels. Non-working pixels can appear at any ISO value and any value. excerpts. This ailment is automatically masked by popular RAW converters (ACR, Lightroom, etc.). This ailment affects all Nikon cameras built on the basis of the CCD sensor.
  8. color space first appeared in the camera sRBG III... Turns on in Shootin Menu-> Color Mode-> III III (sRGB) -> OK. Allows you to get more saturated colors, which is useful for shooting nature, landscapes. Preceding cameras Nikon D1X, D1H had only two color spaces I (sRBG) and II (ADOBE RGB). The first mode gives natural color without color shifts and should be well suited for all types of photography, including portrait photography. The second mode has a wider color gamut and is useful for further processing by experienced users (if you do not know what ADOBE RGB is, do not use it at all, this recommendation applies to all digital cameras)
  9. Nikon D100 uses a sensor created by technology CCD (CCD). This technology is outdated. It was replaced by CMOS sensors (the first camera with a CMOS matrix - Nikon D2xSeptember 2004). The last camera with a CCD sensor has become Nikon D3000, presented in July 2009 and discontinued in 2010. It is believed that despite its archaic nature, CCD sensors have very good color reproduction, which is appreciated by some amateur photographers. On this topic, I advise you to look into the review Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro (Super CCD SR II sensor).
  10. Yes long exposure noise reduction... CSM MENU-> 4 Long Exp. NR-> F4 Long Exposure Noise Reduction-> ON ON-> OK. With the function enabled, the camera will subtract noise for each shot, but only if excerpt will be 1/2 c or more (long excerpts, from which such a name of the function). Noise subtraction time is done using an additional shot with the same shutter speed and with the same ISO value, but with the shutter completely closed (it might seem that nothing is happening, since there is no standard shutter release). Eventually double shot time... During the additional shot and noise subtraction, the prompt 'JOB NR' blinks on the monochrome display (noise reduction work in progress). When this function is enabled frame buffer halved.
  11. Nikon D100 requires a Nikon MB-D100 battery grip to clean the sensor. The menu item responsible for raising the mirror to clean the matrix on the camera without the battery handle is inactive. This is a serious inconvenience. True, in service centers the matrix is ​​cleaned without a battery handle.

The ISO base range is 200-1600 units in 1/3 steps. The maximum basic ISO equal to 1600 units is used by all cameras on the CCD-sensor: Nikon D1, D1h, D1x, D100, D50, D70, D70s, D40, D200, D80, D40x, D60, D3000 and all cameras on the JFET-LBCAST-sensor: Nikon D2H, D2Hs. Thus, I want to emphasize that the Nikon D1 and D100 immediately set a high bar for two or three generations of cameras.

Basic properties

  • Nikon D100 is based on a film camera from which the Nikon D100 has a large full-frame mirror and part of the body design
  • for JVI the camera uses a pentaprism
  • focus module 5 points, exactly the same as the Nikon D50, D70, D70s
  • silicon metering module, on 10 segments. Only Nikon D100 from all Nikon central control centers uses this module, it is the most primitive, but at the same time there are no problems with exposure
  • the display is only 1.8 inches and 118.000 dots. View the captured material on the display is extremely difficult
  • Nikon D100 has a focus motor and will work correctly with non-motorized lenses
  • excerpt from 30 to 1/4000 seconds. Unfortunately, at ISO 200 (the lowest possible ISO value for the camera) is the shortest excerptsequal to 1/4000 of a second may not be enough when using high-aperture optics and bright lighting
  • flash synchronization is only possible with shutter speeds up to 1/180 s (if you use the step exposure 1/2 steps) or 1/160 s (if using a step exposure 1/3 steps). Of course not high speed sync modeas well as no mode automatic remote control of external flashes through built-in
  • The Nikon D100 only supports older D-TTL external flash units. The new I-TTL flashes will not work (or will not work in all modes).
  • the built-in flash can be operated in manual 'M' flash control mode, but in this mode only full flash output is always available (cannot be set to 1/2, 1/4, etc.)
  • the Nikon D100 uses the same battery as the Nikon D70, D70s, D50. Also, in the Nikon D100, you can use the battery from D80, D90, D200, D300, D300s, D700 (but not vice versa)
  • no diaphragm rheostat, and, as a result, there is no measurement exposure with manual optics. This is the only camera in this line that does not have such a function.
  • no RAW + JPEG simultaneous shooting function
  • Nikon D100 supports CF cards of any size, but on capacious memory cards (more than 16 GB), the camera can only use about 3 GB of memory, which allows you to place about 300 RAW files without compression or 900 JPEG files with a maximum quality of 'Fine' and a maximum size of 'L'. I recommend using memory cards up to 2 GB2 GB CF memory cards Nikon D100 works fine, cards with a capacity of 4 GB or more are formatted and initialized for a very long time when the camera is turned on / wake up). Important: a camera with 1.x firmware can only work with memory cards up to 2 GB; to work with more capacious memory cards, firmware 2.0 is required.
  • the camera has an additional monochrome display with which you can quickly configure the camera
  • insufficiently thought-out system for changing ISO, BW, image quality and focus method, which is located on the shooting control mode dial (on the drive where PASM modes). Configuring a separate parameter is simple, but you need to constantly transfer the disk back to one of the modes PASM... If this is not done, the camera will not respond to the shutter button.
  • The Nikon MB-D100 battery pack can run on 6 AA batteries (or rechargeable batteries) or on two EN-EL3 batteries
  • there is no camera orientation sensor, as a result, pictures in portrait (vertical) mode on a computer need to be turned over (set orientation) manually.
  • there is no Russian language in the menu

Frame buffer

Nikon D100 can shoot at a maximum speed of 3 frames per second. Wherein frame buffer the camera is small.

With the shutter function off at slow shutter speeds:

  • 4 frames RAW (compression or without compression)
  • 6 TIFF frames with L / M / S size
  • 6 JPEG L frames with any Fine / Normal / Basic quality and any L / M / S size

With long exposure noise reduction function enabled:

  • 2 frames RAW (compression or without compression)
  • 3 TIFF frames with L / M / S size
  • 3 JPEG L frames with any Fine / Normal / Basic quality and any L / M / S size

The write speed to the memory card is about 6 seconds per 1 RAW file no compression (independent of speed or memory card size).

Compressed RAW files are 4-5 megabytes in size. The compression method is set in the camera menu: MENU-> Shooting Menu-> Image Quality-> NEF (RAW) -> RAW NEF (RAW) -> OK. Compressed RAW (NEF) photographs use lossless algorithm.

Important: Nikon D100 records RAW files with compression for a very long time (about 40 seconds per file). The recording speed is little dependent on the speed of the memory card. Most likely, such a slow recording of compressed data is due to the fact that the weak Nikon D100 processor compresses the data for a very long time. Files without compression are written about 5 times faster

Sample Photos

All photos below were taken with a lens. YONGNUO 40mm 1: 2.8 (model YN40mm F2.8N).

The original .NEF (RAW) photos from the Nikon D100 can be download from this link.

You can find more photos on the Nikon D100 in my gallery here and in the gallery here.

My experience

The Nikon D100 is a nice old camera, but unfortunately it is very outdated.

Getting the finished result right away in JPEG from Nikon D50, D70, D70s cameras is much easier.. In general, the Nikon D70 / D70s can do the same thing as the Nikon D100, but in addition they also have a better display, a shorter minimum shutter speed (1/8000 s), support modern I-TTL flashes, can remotely control external flash units through Nikon CLS, have much more settings for adjusting image quality, shoot in RAW + JPEG mode, digest memory cards with large volumes well, have a camera orientation sensor (horizontal / vertical), write data to memory cards faster, weigh easier, cost less to clean sensors do not require a battery pack, excerpt synchronization with the flash is much lower (1/500 s), are easier to set up and operate, show the shutter speed, have a larger frame buffer, have a better exposure metering module ... and many more little things.

I would recommend Nikon D100 only to fans to dig deeper into RAW files from a CCD matrix.

I recommend to look at the section 'Legends go to battle'. Prices for modern Nikon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


Nikon D100 - An interesting instance of the camera from those times when camera building was only gaining momentum. Nowadays it’s very easy to find many flaws in the Nikon D100, since now the most unpretentious amateur cameras have gone far ahead in their development. In any case, the Nikon D100 can please with its picture and the fact that the camera has been around for many years, and it has been working and working, does it a great honor.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 147, on the topic: Review of Nikon D100

  • Roma

    Thank you!

  • Alexey

    Arkady thanks for the enlightenment! Misunderstandings with the recording of the 1st rav as long as 6 seconds. In a review on utuba, the owner unsubscribed about 0.3 seconds. records of the 1st rabbi .. I’m confused .. Please explain ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      well, let him show how it looks like 0.3 seconds per 10 MB RAW :)
      Everything is as described here in my review

      • Dmitriy

        Hello, I'm going to take a budget camera and the question is whether to find a camera with a maximum matrix size and good color rendering at a relatively low cost. The choice fell on the d100. Interested in your opinion on the topic of choosing a budget SLR and maybe you can tell me something about choosing a lens for it. And then as a beginner I am drowning in an ocean of information. Thanks! :)

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Good day. Take something newer, at least d80, d90 from Nikon, or 40d, 30d from Canon

  • Alexey

    Thanks! I miscalculated the time it took to write to the card, with the waiting time to make the following frame: _)) I tensed to wait 6 seconds.! Arkady, can you tell me the camera with the SSD and the cleanest picture on the lower ISO, from your experience. Almost all the top ones are and were, I want for the soul
    colorful simple SSD, from 5 megapixels., except Fujai (is) ..

    • Arkady Shapoval

      If there is fuji, then they are the very thing for the soul. There are many more medium format CCDs, there is also good color. Canon 1D is also praised by many.

  • Alexey

    Thanks. I wanted a small camera, for the soul in the travel option. You don’t even take your own Kodak SLR especially .. Something from old Nikon or Sonek .. Arkady, I didn’t find your Ravs with D100 (only in the studio) and D50, I think many would be interested in raw ones, without professional processing .. Regards ..

    • nashua

      Look at the D80.
      From modern cameras only snorsorom really different. Fast enough, easy to use, not a small display, great color. It’s most according to your requirement.

  • Paul

    What a cool photo on the D100, just unreal! Comparing with my D3300 and D3200, so I have some kind of soap even on Nikkor 40mm.

  • Nicholas

    Good day. Arkady, tell me please, will the Nikkor-S Auto Kogaku Japan 50mm 1.4 lens with the Nikon D100 camera work without alterations?
    What features will stop working?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Without alteration, the lens on the d100 will not be installed, you need to sharpen the skirt on the aperture ring.

  • Vitaly P

    And who is the D100? There are two.

  • Ivan

    Thanks, helpful review.

  • Alexander Panov

    I still use nikon d100
    sunset, August 2020

  • Volodymyr

    I am selling a Nikon D-100 camera with a Sealux box for underwater photography and 2 boxes for flash. +380503802405 Vladimir

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