Scott Kelby provides an in-depth view of the Nikon D7100 in action as a sports camera. He shot an NHL hockey game and player portraits using the new D7100 and the new 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR lens.
Kelby is impresssed by the D7100, stating the “low noise is amazing for a $1200 body.” Shooting at ISO 2500 he saw no noise when viewed full screen. Minor noise was only visible zoomed-in at 100%. At ISO 6400 noise was starting to be visible, but still acceptable. His conclusion: “This is the noise champion in the $1200 range by a long shot.”
The body, similar to the previous D7000 it replaces, is well-made and handles well. It provides all the needed functions at-hand for his shooting style. The D7100 acts a replacement for his D300s. The 51-point autofocus is an improvement over the previous 31-point system. He says the D7100 is the “best DX camera Nikon has made.”
Regarding the 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR: “This lens is crazy sharp.” Although it is heavy, it still feels good in hand. The new lens auto focus system is fast with great response. For $2600 the lens seems overpriced to some, but gives good results at 400mm and still a fraction of the cost of better 300mm and 400mm alternatives.
Nikon made the first public showing of the new D7100 at the 2013 BVE Show in UK. Several interesting points were mentioned. First, there is no anti-alising filter on the 24 megapixel sensor. Part of the choice for this was because due to the high resolution: the sensor resolves such fine detail that the risk of visible Moire is reduced. On a similar point, the lens choice for optimum sharpness with such high resolution is more important than ever, “there is no substitute for good glass.” The improved EXPEED processor also provides Moire correction.
The D7100 hosts a more advanced 51-point AF system. In Live View, contrast detection is implemented over the entire frame. The contrast detect auto focus in Live View has been optimized for speed and reduced hunting compared to earlier video auto focus integration. The LCD display uses RGBW pixel configuration to provides increased brightness and improves viewing outdoors and in bright light. Finally, the ability to control the aperture in Live View must currently be selected before recording begins. Nikon is “working on” a fix for this and is waiting for Nikon Japan who has the task of allowing this via a firmware update. Finally, weather sealing on the D7100 is at the same level as the D800.