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The Nikon D7000 was a huge hit on the camera market and it was one of the most successful, well designed DSLRs produced for advanced amateurs. Now, two and a half years from the announcement of the D7000, Nikon has presented its successor, the D7100. They”re calling it the flagship DX camera, with no mention of the D300s or any possibility of the much anticipated D400.It is the link betweeen full frame cameras and entry level DSLRs and the targeted market segment is pretty much the same.However, it is my solid beleif that this is a camera that can be successfully used by both and amateur, as well as a seasoned professional.Yes, that’s right, I believe it can do the job just as well as a D800 or a D4, provided it’s in the right hands.
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Most of the limitations of amateur cameras used to come from handling, speed and last but not least, image quality.
1.Class leading resolution
I respectfully disagree with people who think megapixels matter very much. It’s quite possible that around 90% of the needs of the average pro photographer could be met with a 12mpx sensor . However, besides being a marketing tool that never fails to sell, the increase in resolution is a natural part of progress. The D7100 sports a, now standard for DX, 24mpx sensor that is brand new, hence different from the ones on the D5200 and D3200. The interesting part is that Nikon decided to leave out the low pass filter. It is a first for the DX format and some might argue it is a bit of a gamble, as the absence of this filter could produce an increase in moire. However, because this filter is gone, the result is a higher resolution than any conventional 24mpx sensor has. It means more details and sharpness that benefit natural light photographers, but are fantastic for studio photography.
2. Pro build quality
One great upgrade is the weather sealing. Nikon claims it is just as good as that of the D300s or the D800 and that it keeps dust and moisture out. That means that harsh environments should no longer be restricted for an otherwise “non-pro” body, making this a great choice for nature and landscape photographers.
3.Class leading autofocus
The D7000 had what I consider to be an excellent auto-focus system. With a fast lens on, I couldn’t find any quick action situations that it couldn’t handle.
The new bad boy has 51 focusing points, of which 15 are cross-type. That is pro level and Nikon even claims the camera uses D4- derived algorithms.
If so, sports shooters should really consider this as an option for a backup camera.
4. Very good speed and new crop mode
Another great addition is the new, optional 1.3x crop mode, which gives you an effective focal length increase of 2x. A 35mm lens will therefore become a 70mm.
There is an added speed to the frame rate when using this crop factor. The standard is 6fps and the extra boost will give you 7 frames per second at 15 megapixels. It doesn’t seem like much of an increase, but trust me, you’d be surprised by the difference when shooting high speed track races for instance.
5. It’s great for video
The previous D7000 was a decent camera for shooting video, however it did need some improvements. The successor brings 1080p30 shooting and built in stereo microphones. The crop mode, besides increasing the focal length also allows for 50/60i movie capture, which is a suggestion that it comes from 50/60p rather than being 25/30p segmented capture. Nikon, however, have not been clear on the distinction.
6. Better LCD and improved Live view functions
There is a brand new, 3.2”, 1.2 million dot LCD that is quite an improvement over the 920k, smaller screen of the D7000. One of the most impressive new features is the “spot white balance”. It allows you to change the WB while shooting in Live View mode, quicker and easier by selecting an area from the frame to take the reading.
The overall look and feel hasn’t changed very much and I have to say, I am grateful for that. I have always loved this design and I think it’s close to ideal. You have a solid construction that is not as small as those “beginner cameras” , yet not big enough to make your arm look like that of a body builder, while making you cry in pain after shooting a wedding with it. It is somewhere in between and it has just the right weight. For those with larger hands, there is always the possibility of attaching a battery grip.
8. Improved Auto ISO
The new system was first used on the D800 and later the D5200. It allows the setting of the minimum shutter speed automatically based on the focal length of the lens that is mounted, giving a choice of five settings that bias towards slower and faster speeds. It has been a long lasting drawback of Nikon DSLRs and this improvement is certainly good news.
The D7100 is available as body only and in kit with the 18-105 f3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR. While this lens is by all means a decent one, it is far from doing this camera any justice. It’s good if you’re just starting out, but overall I would say it is a shame to use this highly capable camera with a plastic optical device. I would suggest using a lens that offers an equal level of performance, like the 17-55 f2.8G ED AF-S IF.
Check out article: "Nikon’s holy trinity- Their top three pro lenses"