Nikon D7100 review: along with a 24.1MP sensor and a new 1.3x crop mode, Nikon has removed the camera’s optical low pass filter. Our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, put these features and more to the test in her NIkon D7100 review.
The big news about the Nikon D7100 isn’t that it has a 24.1 million pixel sensor – that was fairly predictable.
Instead, the big news about this new Nikon camera is that Nikon has decided to omit the anti-aliasing element from the camera’s filter above the chip.
In her Nikon D7100 review video, our head of testing Angela Nicholson discusses the camera’s performance, image quality and whether this is the right DSLR for you.
Nikon D7100 Review Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Angela Nicholson head of testing for Future’s photography portfolio and I’m going to take a look at the Nikon D7100 in this video.
Like the Nikon D3200 and D5200, the D7100 has a 24MP sensor, but Nikon has left off the low-pass filter.
Low-pass or anti-aliasing filters are usually put over a camera’s sensor to reduce the risk of moiré interference occurring when photographing subjects with fine patterning that is close to the camera’s resolution limit. The downside of using them is that the image is softened and needs sharpening post capture.
So does omitting the filter from the sensor make any difference to the images? Our tests indicate that it does. At the lower sensitivity settings the D7100 can’t resolve any more detail than the D3200 or D5200, but the images look a little sharper straight from the camera.
And when the sensitivity is pushed up a little, the D7100 can resolve more detail than either of these two Nikon cameras – although the images are also a bit noisier.
Another interesting feature of the D7100 is that the central point of it’s 51-point AF system is sensitive down to f/8. This mean if I mount this 70-200mm f/4 lens via this 2x teleconverter, the camera will still focus the lens automatically despite the fact that the maximum aperture is reduced to f/8.
The focus takes place while the aperture is wide open – in this case at f/8 – and the aperture closes down to the selected aperture for the exposure just before the shot is taken.
The focus mode is set using these controls on the side and this dial.As we’ve seen before with Nikon SLRs, in continuous AF mode the camera can be set to track the subject using 51, 21 or 9 AF points once you’ve selected the starting AF point.
There’s also the 3D-tracking mode, which works well provided the subject colour contrasts well with the surroundings – it’s not a good choice for shooting team sports where the payers have matching shirts.
With a decent lens the focusing is fast and accurate in most situations – even in very low light.
Inside the D7100 is the same EXPEED 3 processing engine as Nikon’s other recent SLRs, including the D4 and D800. This allows a sensitivity range of ISO 100-6400 which can be expanded to ISO 25,600 if necessary – although I wouldn’t recommend it.
This engine also enables a maximum continues shooting rate of 6 frames per second. However, this can be pushed to 7 frames per second if the 1.3x crop mode is employed.
When this mode is activated the crop area is indicated in the viewfinder and the crop is applied to both raw and JPEG files. It’s useful if you want to frame a distant subject tightly and reduce files sizes, but many users are likely to prefer to crop post-capture.
Like the D7000 the D7100 has a collection of JPEG-only special effects that can be accessed via this option on the mode dial. These effects can be previewed on the main LCD screen and are selected by rotating the thumbwheel. As you can see the screen image lags a little, but it’s not too bad.
Helpfully, the word EFFECTs is visible in the viewfinder so you can’t forget which mode you have selected.
The D7100 feels nice and solid in the hand and this silky-textured grip gives good purchase. All of the most important controls are within easy reach and you can check setting by pressing this Info button.
This button here allows you to change some key features such as the image area and noise reduction settings. It seems off that this also give a quick route to customising the use of the preview and function buttons though.
The D7000 is capable of producing superb images with lots of detail and natural colour. It’s worth keeping an eye on the image histogram view though as the Matrix Metering doesn’t always do what you expect.