It’s unavoidable: that one moment in time when your stereo, car, cell phone, or whatever you bought not all that long ago, when it was the latest and newest on the market…isn’t the shiny latest and newest anymore. Today this is a fact with my digital camera: Nikon has announced the imminent release of the D7100, the successor to my excellent D7000.
Reading the specifications and preliminary reviews, it is clear that the D7100 is nothing more (but equally true nothing less!) than a D7000 with improvements: notably more megapixels (24 something compared to 16 something), no AA (anti-alias) filter, and more AF (autofocus) points (51 compared to 39). This might sound spectacular, but I (and others seem to concur) doubt these will be relevant at all for day-to-day (even heavy) use. Toss in improved displays (both the large rear display as well as the viewfinder, some buttons moved around, stereo microphones, a useless extra 1.3x crop factor mode, and a few technical improvements, and you’ll have the D7100.
Given the quality and huge success of the D7000, this makes the D7100 a real winner. It’s still a DX format camera, so not a full frame but with a crop factor, but fit for a pro, as the build quality will attest. The D7000 was the best DX on the market, the D7100 now is. But remember: it’s the person holding the camera who takes the pictures, not the camera itself. And equally so: the quality of the lenses (“the glass”) is often more important to the outcome that the camera body. Nevertheless: whatever your photographic needs are (but for a true pro maybe) you can’t miss with a D7100.
Does this mean I will trade in my D7000 for a D7100 ? No. My D7000 fits me perfectly and the D7100’s added features don’t warrant replacing it. Do I recommend the D7100 to others? I certainly do, given my own experiences with its predecessor. But, for the moment maybe an even better deal would be to buy the “old” D7000 now, when it’s still available, for a reduced “replaced by a newer and better model” price. Or in other words: a real classy digital camera bought cheap, only missing out on features you don’t need anyway. And then spend the money you save on better glass.