At last I have a chance to blog about my dream camera, as I’ve been meaning to do for ages
Here it is: the Nikon D7100.
Previews, reviews and specs for this beautiful APS-C DSLR are all over the web, so I’ll try not to bore you with too much tech talk… it’s just that I get so excited about it now that I finally understand all this stuff, haha! So be prepared for a lengthy post 😛 Here are the top reasons I chose this camera…
Perhaps surprisingly, the 24.1 million effective pixels are not the main drawcard for this camera. The fact that Nikon has removed the anti-aliasing filter or optical low-pass filter (OLPF), however, is big news. The OLPF is used to minimise false colour and the moiré effect that you’ll often see in finely repeating patterns (such as mesh curtains, for example).
For the D7100, Nikon managed to chuck out the filter without compromising image quality. Which basically means that you get the full benefit of the 24 MP resolution in crisp detail. This is in contrast to other Nikon models such as the entry-level D3200 and the mid-range D5200, which both have 24 MP resolution too, but should produce slightly softer images because they still have the OLPF fitted. The reason that these specs pleased me is because I don’t want to spend hours tweaking my pics after I’ve taken them. Sharp images straight from the camera are exactly what I’m looking for.
Another exciting aspect of the D7100 – and one that puts it on par with some of Nikon’s higher-end models – is that it boasts 51 focus points, and 15 of those are cross-type (the most sensitive type). The reason this impresses me is that I love photographing animals, but they can be tricky to focus on when they’re moving around a lot. With this camera I should have no trouble locking on to scurrying rats or skittish birds 🙂
The 1.3x crop of DX mode is another boon. The D7100 is already a DX-format camera, and thus has a crop factor of approximately 1.5x on focal length (compared to professional full-frame cameras with uncropped 35mm sensors). Now with the extra 1.3x crop mode, the D7100 offers an angle of view around twice the focal length of the lens. In laymen’s terms: it gives you a total ‘zoom’ factor of about 3.5x on whatever lens you’re using!
Cropping the sensor like this does reduce the available resolution from 24 MP to around 15 MP, but that will still produce large, usable pictures. In addition, the 7fps (frames per second) burst function works best with JPEGs in this mode. The crop mode also fills the frame with the 51 focus points, making it pretty tough to get an oof (out of focus) shot.
Oh dear. Are you guys sleeping on your keyboards already? Sorry for all the jargon if you’re not into cameras!
Let me mention just one other highlight of this camera that makes it well suited to my kind of photography: it’s quite robust. The D7100 has a magnesium alloy body with a good deal of weather and dust sealing. That makes it great to take with when Ninja and I go hiking and camping, which we’re hoping to do more and more of in future. It’s also a fairly lightweight camera, weighing around 700g without a lens, which will make it relatively easy to handle and carry around.
There are dozens of other exciting specs that blow my mind, especially when compared to my current little Fujifilm FinePix S1850. Make no mistake, the FinePix has been a lovely piece of equipment. It’s the perfect middle step between my old point-and-shoot (which, incidentally, was a Canon) and my future dream DSLR. My Fujifilm FinePix is still going strong, and I’ll still hang on to it as a good backup camera once I’ve got the D7100.
I have to be honest, though.
My first thought when I discovered the D7100 was, ‘WOW.’ And right after that I thought, ‘This is wayyyy too much camera for me!’ In fact, the Nikon D7100 is probably not the ideal choice for a newcomer to DSLR photography. I mean, that’s why Nikon offers the D3200 and D5200, right? The D3200 is aimed at total newbs, the D5200 is targeted at the ‘advanced beginner’, and the D7100…? Well, it’s Nikon’s flagship APS-C DSLR – almost a semi-pro cam for an upper-mid-range price!
And it is way too much camera for me. The thing is a beast
But after lots and lots of research, and discussing the matter with my financial advisor (AKA Ninja), I realised that the D7100 would be the best buy for me after all. Given the fact that I’m not planning to become a professional photographer, but that I also want a DSLR that will last far beyond entry-level capabilities, the D7100 is the middle-of-the-road choice that should be with me for years.
I don’t have the luxury of regularly upgrading my camera. I can’t quite afford this upgrade as it is, but I can more easily afford this one camera that lasts than several upgrades every couple of years. I’ve never been the type of person who needs the latest model of car or cellphone ‘just because’. In fact, the only reason I’m upgrading from my FinePix is that my end goal has always been to move on from the ‘superzoom’ or ‘prosumer’ level to the interchangeable-lens DSLR level.
It’s a bit of a risky and brave move. I am a housewife, after all, with an erratic freelance income. Spending a fortune on a fancy camera and lenses may not seem that wise. But Ninja understands the logic of getting the best I can once-off, rather than wasting money by buying my way up to this camera in slow steps. And since our current budget will allow me to slowly save up for this, and I’ve got the blessing of my man, and I’ve prayed about it and have peace about it, I’m going to go for it!
So… are there any downsides to the D7100? I’ll save that for another post 🙂