Monday, February 25, 2013

Nikon D7100

Nikon's announcement of the successor to the D7000, the D7100, contained some surprises, namely the lack of a low pass filter, and the 1.3x crop mode. Overall, the D7000 has been my favourite and most heavily used DSLR out of all the Nikon F-Mount cameras I own or have owned, the others being Fuji S2, Nikons D80, D200, D300, D2x, D3, D3x (I still own the latter).

The D7000 scores highly in my book for image quality, ruggedness, value and compactness. of course there are other cameras in that list that surely score higher in at least one of these categories, but the D7000 strikes a great balance.

The absence of the low pass filter in the D7100 is intriguing, not least because it screams 'enthusiast' about this camera. Sure, a lot of people who buy this camera will neither know (nor care) about this, and will probably buy it with the inadequate 18-105mm 'kit' lens, which probably offsets any advantage in acuity gained by removing the filter. Oh well.

But, the fact that Nikon is also shipping the D7100 with the 18-105 is further proof of Nikon's confused approach to DX. Here we have an advanced camera (possibly the only camera you'll ever need!), yet pitched at people who can't rationalise a lens choice, and are perhaps instead striving for the bragging rights of 24 over 16 megapixels. I'd warrant that most people would be better served by a D7000 and the Nikon 35/1.8 lens, which together are something of a bargain at the moment.

Pitched so close to the full frame D600 in price, it will be interesting to see how the D7100 image quality compares under critical reviews. Is Nikon really hoping that it's apparent reluctance to iterate the DX lens line, especially at the wide end, is really enough to drive consumers to a 50% more expensive FX model, if the reviews are more favourable to the D7100?

The 1.3x (1.3x1.5=1.95x) crop mode harks back to the 2x crop mode of the D2x, except with a 15 megapixel resolution rather than just under 6 for the older camera. This is great news for those with telephoto needs. I will be delighted to gain 600mm/2.8, ~800mm/4 and ~1000mm/4.5 from my 300mm f/2.8 with 1.4x & 1.7x TC's, more than enough for anyone's needs I would have thought!

The use of the EN-EL15 batteries continues, which is great news for those like me that already own spare batteries and chargers. It's a shame though that yet again Nikon see's fit to iterate the camera base plate and require users to purchase a new MB-D15. Seeing as, yet again, the new grip brings no new features, this seems like a cynical approach to extract yet more cash from it's customers without any value-add.

But, the only other downside I can see is I like my D7000 too much to part with it. That doesn't mean that I haven't already got a part-exchange quote though ;-)

No comments: