An upgrade to Nikon's long-running D7000 has been announced -- in the form of the D7100, which keeps the 2010 camera's button layout but includes a new 24-megapixel sensor, an improved autofocus system, and a shooting crop mode that promises high-speed shooting at a similar field of view to Micro Four-Thirds.
The D7100's 24-megapixel sensor is the same resolution that debuted on the D3200, also eventually making its way to the D5200. In the D7100, it has no low-pass antialiasing filter, meaning increased fine image detail with appropriately high-resolution lenses. Paired with Nikon's EXPEED 3 imaging processor -- the D7000 had an EXPEED 2 -- the company claims boosted dynamic range and better images.
Where the D7000 had a 39-point autofocus system which has been adapted for use in other Nikon models like the D600, the D7100 introduces a new 51-point sensor that covers the same proportion of the image frame, meaning a larger array of focus points to use. It's more versatile than the existing system -- it can be used at a maximum aperture of f/8, letting autofocus operate when using a telephoto lens paired with a teleconverter.
The new Nikon D7100 also inherits a new 3.2-inch rear LCD panel, with a 1,229K-dot resolution. The camera's viewfinder has been upgraded with a built-in OLED panel instead of the existing LCD, brighter and more detailed to show more information.
The D7100's unique feature is a 1.3x crop mode, further reducing the imaging sensor size versus a full-frame digital camera. With this crop enabled, the D7100 will 'see' the same images as a 2x crop Micro Four-Thirds camera like the ones we've seen from Panasonic and Olympus. This is designed for telephoto shooters who want to use the D7100 for long-distance photography. The 1.3x additional crop also enables high-speed shooting of 7 frames per second -- a big boost from the D7000's 5fps. Otherwise, the new camera shoots at 6fps.
The D7100 will be launched in March alongside a new WR-1 wireless transmitter, and you'll be able to find it in all the usual camera stores and electronics retailers. Although local pricing is apparently set by local dealers at their discretion, the D7100 will cost around US$1200 body-only and US$1600 with a 18-105mm kit lens in the United States.
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