Best Enthusiast Digital SLRs: Nikon D7100

Sections: Digital SLR, DSLR Cameras, Professional Cameras

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Nikon-D7100-ReviewThe flagship D7100 HD DSLR is a DX-format imaging machine designed to thrill photo enthusiasts and pro shooters. The lightweight camera (1.5 pounds) boasts a specially designed 24.1-megapixel CMOS sensor so you benefit from speed and precision during your photo endeavors—from shooting fast action at six frames per sec in full resolution to instantly sharing your shots with the optional WU-1a wireless mobile adapter. Plus, you can create Full HD 1080p video masterpieces with ultra-smooth slow motion and time-lapse sequences.

Married to the 24.1MP sensor is Nikon’s Expeed 3 image-processing engine and a 51-point fast autofocus system. Together they provide a wide dynamic range in a variety of lighting and ISOs from 100–6400 (expandable to 25,600), so you can shoot in challenging conditions, such as nature at twilight or sports under less-than-ideal lighting. Even at higher ISOs, noise is minimized for both photos and HD video.

For the experienced shooter, the moisture- and dust-resistant D7100 also features: Nikon’s 3D color matrix II metering with a 2,016-pixel RGB sensor and a scene recognition system that identifies the scene to adjust AF, AE, AWB, and other parameters; seven-fps shooting when using the 1.3x crop mode at slightly reduced resolution; a release time lag of 0.052 second; a dedicated video record button to capture Full HD 1080/30p or 60i/50i (in 1.3x crop mode) movies; and playback on HDTVs via HDMI. There’s also an internal microphone for recording stereo sound, or you can opt to use an optional external microphone attached to the microphone terminal.

You’ll also appreciate the camera’s 1,229k-dot, 3.2-inch LCD screen as well as a bright, high-contrast OLED data display within the optical viewfinder, which makes it easier to read and see shooting data. When composing through the viewfinder, you’ll enjoy 100% frame coverage.

Other D7100 features include: full manual controls; artistic effects and Nikon’s creative picture controls, for both photos and video; a built-in HDR function; dual SD card slots, which accept the latest high-speed UHS-1 and SDXC cards; and a new feature for Nikon cameras, a spot white balance function that enables quick, precise white balance adjustment while shooting in live view. By selecting a desired point on the screen, you can set a custom white balance from a distance, even while using a super-telephoto lens. This is helpful for shooting video or when you’re shooting under unfamiliar lighting and no gray card is available. Plus, to make it easier to access frequently used functions, an “i” button was added to the enthusiast-oriented control layout on the camera.

And to share your photographic prowess, you can transfer your photos and video wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet using the optional WU-1a wireless mobile adapter. The adapter also permits you to shoot remotely from the smartphone and transfer photos from 49 feet away. The Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility application is available free of charge on Google Play for Android devices or from the App Store.

Nikon’s D7100 has an SRP of $1,599.95 with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18–105mm f/3.5–5.6 VR lens, or $1,199.95 body only. The WU-1a wireless mobile adapter retails for $59.95.

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