Compared to the latest entry-level and mid-range cameras, Nikon’s top-end DX model looks in need of a revamp
DX-FORMAT SLR Nikon D7100 £770, $950 (body only) www.nikon.com
Unlike the antiquated Nikon D300s, the D7100 isn’t a fully professional camera but, in handling terms, it’s the next best thing. It certainly suits sophisticated photographers, with a more advanced layout of controls than any other camera in the group. Highlights include a large secondary info LCD on the top panel, dual command dials front and back (instead of just one at the rear), slick autofocus control for both AF mode and point-selection, and more besides.
Settings and custom functions are also particularly wideranging. For example, where you can switch on an Exposure Delay mode in the D5200 and D5300, here you can also set the amount of delay to one, two or three seconds. Similarly, as well as choosing between 12-bit and 14-bit colour depth for RAW files, you can also select either regular or lossless compression.
Action shooting credentials include a class-leading 51-point autofocus system and six frames per second drive rate, plus AF compatibility for f/8 lenses. This is useful when using, for example, an f/4 telephoto lens with a 2.0x teleconverter.
In most ways, the D7100 lives up to its aspirations of being an enthusiast’s camera. However, like on the D3200, which also uses an EXPEED 3 image processor, we’ve noticed some inconsistency in metering in bright daylight. Also, we’ve found that the autofocus system doesn’t perform as accurately or as consistently as we’d like.
Autofocus can be questionable, and it sometimes overexposes in bright light