The Nikon D7100 is an update to the D7000, which had been the flagship of the Nikon's DX format cameras since 2010. The number of pixels has been significantly increased from 16.2 to 24.1 Megapixels, and the sensor doesn't have a lowpass filter. One would worry about more pixel density may narrow the dynamic range and produce more noises, but in the 2.5-year interval, things should have been improved. Plus, this is a successor of the D7000 and now the sensor is lowpass-less, so my overall expectation was rather positive. Anyway, let's see how it performs.

( Photography : T.Takahashi / Text : Y.Moriki )

I hope you will see the minute details of the wall, dirt, and cracks in the sample image even though it's 960 pixels wide. How about the gradation to the shadow? I'm amazed by this reproduction.

Moiré is not only caused by the absence of lowpass filter, but also it heavily depends on the relationship between pixel pitch and the frequency of the subject. There's no moiré on this sample, but note that there could be some on other subjects. Still, the texture of the shop curtain is depicted wonderfully. Because of the faint light, the shop looks warm and gentle.

I shot under in a contrasty situation. I'm just a little disappointed with the false color in the leaves, but it's never a major problem. I should rather take my hat off to the amazing tonality from the highlight to the shadow.

I feel I can almost touch the stone statue as if I'm standing there.

Nikon started to minimize the influence of lowpass filter as they released the D800E. Following this trend, the D7100's sensor doesn't have the lowpass filter, while it has much more pixels than its predecessor. Having more pixels results in higher resolving power and lack of lowpass filter raises sharpness. However, the pixel pitch is smaller than the D800E and the sensor size itself is also smaller than that. In other words, more pixels don't always bring better picture quality. So, I was a little worried about the tonality and noise. But, after using it, I discovered that the tonality is wonderful and the gradation is very smooth. Plus, the sharpness is eye-opening. Sometimes, I even felt the images have rich taste because of the color depth. Nikon's lenses have been known for their sharpness, and these lenses will perform better on the D7100.

This is just another everyday scene. This camera faithfully captures all the details of the bridge-rails, graveled bridge-floor, and the dog's hair.

A little flagship camera with improved performance and picture quality

Meanwhile, it's not just the sensor that has been improved. It has much better and faster AF: the algorism is equal to the D4's and it has more AF points than the D7000. The imaging engine has been upgraded to the EXPEED 3, allowing faster processing and better picture quality. In addition, while maintaining the dependable splash-proof design and magnesium alloy frame, and the useful double SD card slots, it weighs less and has better viewfinder than the predecessor. Actually, there are more improvements that I cannot include here. In other words, in order to produce the D7100, Nikon thoroughly upgraded the D7000. Because of its high performance represented by the sharpness and the tonality, I personally don't need other models once I have the D7100. Now, Nikon offers a wide variety of DX lenses. Thanks to the smaller sensor, they can make bodies and lenses smaller and lighter. Plus, they take great pictures. And, don't forget you can mount the FX lenses, too. So, I can say the D7100 is the most valuable camera now. I hope this camera will be picked by serious shooters and used for a long time.