Coming two years after the Nikon D7000, the D7100 is quite the beast on paper. It's the latest in Nikon's APS-C DSLR cameras to get a high-resolution 24MP sensor, and the first to come without an optical low-pass filter, which promises to increase the amount of detail captured in its images.
Almost every other digital camera today has an optical low-pass filter (also known as an 'anti-aliasing' or AA filter) which helps reduce the appearance of moiré artifacts appearing in the images taken. Unfortunately, the cost of having this low-pass filter is that small details are smudged, reducing the overall fidelity of the photograph. The D7100 is quite different from the D800E, the alternate model of the D800. That camera comes with a different physical filter than the low-pass filter found in the D800 and allows light to pass straight through to the D800E's sensor to capture even greater resolution. The D7100 simply has no optical low-pass filter.
The D7100 also comes with the leading-class 51-point Advanced Multi-CAM 3500 auto-focus system, the same used on Nikon’s highest-end full-frame cameras like the D800 and D4. It also gets the new Auto ISO mode which we first saw on the D800 that automatically sets the minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens. The rear LCD monitor - finally - gets a 1.2 million dot resolution and is 0.2-inch slightly larger measuring in at 3.2-inch diagonal. Video shooting ability has increased, the D7100 offers frame-rates of 30p and 25p as well as the previous 24p, and it has built-in stereo microphones.
There's a new 1.3x crop mode, which increases the crop factor to 2x instead of the usual 1.6x. Thanks to the 24MP sensor, doubling the focal length still yields a 15MP image, and increases the frame-rate of the D7100 to seven versus the standard six frames per second. When compared together, the D7000 and the D7100 are virtually identical in size and weight, with the D7100 being an imperceptible 15g lighter.
Read on as we present more handling and performance details over the next few pages.