Last week, Nikon announced the D7100, the long-awaited successor to the popular and groundbreaking D7000, which hit the market in 2010 and shattered many barriers in performance for a camera in its price class and target market: advanced amateurs. Well, with a new camera on the horizon, a question arises: how much better is the D7100 than the D7000?
Well, let's look.
D7000 : weather-sealed metal and plastic
D7100: weather-sealed metal and plastic
All square here
D7000 : 16Mp
Newer is better
D7100: Expeed 3
D7000: Expeed 2
Newer is better again
All square here
D7100: yes (1.3 and 2x)
The D7100 wins here
The D7100 looks decidedly better
D7100: 100% with OLED overlay
The D7100 wins thanks to the OLED overlay
D7100: 1/8000th to 30 sec
D7000: 1/8000th to 30 sec
D7100: 3.2” 1,228k dot, fixed
D7000: 3” 921k dot, fixed
The D7100 wins
Same here, too
D7100: +/- 5 stops
D7000: +/- 5 stops
All tied here
All the same
D7100: full 1080p HD up to 60fps
D7000: full 1080p HD up to 24 fps
Resolution may be a tie, but the D7100 is far faster
Newer wins here
D7100: dual SD
D7000: dual SD
Tied up again
Weight with battery:
The D7100 is a feather lighter
Obviously, the D7100 has a leg up on the D7000 in a lot of areas, but do any of the advatages really matter?
Short answer: not really.
The fact of the matter is that, in the practical area of taking pictures, the D7100 really doesn't have any advantage over the D7000 save the fact that the D7100 as crop modes, making an already 1.5x extended lens even longer. Also, the new processor could be a help, too. Other than those two factors, the D7100 offers no meaningful improvements for 95% of the people reading this.
The resolution increase from 16 to 24Mp in still mode is pretty impressive in the era of 2Mp boosts and being able to shoot full HD video at 60 vs. 24 fps is another huge improvement but, for the vast majority of people reading this, 16Mp is more than enough and the difference between 24 and 60 fps in video will not matter all that much. The new AF system? On paper, impressive but in practice, if one goes back to 2007 and reads D300 reviews, not a guaranteed improvement as many reviewers reported that, despite sharing the same AF system, the FF D3 was better than the APS-C D300. Why? Who knows, just reporting the opinions here.
As for other improvements, they're all fluff. An OLED viewfinder overlay? Nice, but it won't make for better pictures. The same goes for the D7100's higher resolution LCD screen, slightly lower weight, and wi-fi connectivity as they're all just marketing gimmicks designed to lure buyers.
Bottom line here: unless you absolutely need the extra resolution and video frame rate (if you do, you know who you are), save the cash, forget the 'upgrade,' and just stick with your D7000 as it offers 95% the performance of the D7100 but for a lot less money.
Don't own a D7000? Well, the decision will undoubtedly be a lot more difficult.
Want a D7100? Well, it will start shipping in March at a cost of $1200 for the body for people living in the United States. Cleveland-based Dodd camera stocks Nikon for anyone wanting to buy locally and get a hands-on first. In addition, for $1,600, you can buy a D7100/18-105VR combo.
Now, for established Nikonians, another real question is this: with the D7100 moving more toward the D300s vs. the D7000, what will the D400 look like (if the D7100 isn't the D400)?
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