A 24.1-million-pixel, APS-C sensor with no anti-aliasing filter should ensure large and sharp images from Nikon's new enthusiast-level DSLR, but there's a lot more to the D7100 than that. Read the Nikon D7100 review...
Nikon D7100 review – Build and handling
Like the D7000, the D7100 is smaller and lighter than Nikon’s full-frame cameras, but it has a larger body than all other current APS-C-format models, apart from the D300S. However, a DSLR at this level, especially one with a high-resolution sensor, needs to be robust, because the user will probably a heavy lens to get the best out of it. Large lenses can throw a small, light camera out of balance, but at 675g (body only) the D7100 is perfectly suited to a lens such as the 17-55mm f/2.8 G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor.
The top and rear sections of the camera are made from magnesium alloy, while the front plate is polycarbonate. Nikon claims that the D7100 is weather-sealed to the same standard as the D800, so it should weather a storm. The new MB-D15 battery grip is also weather-sealed to the same standard. Indeed, during an afternoon out in freezing conditions around a rain-battered lake, the camera’s weather-sealing passed the test just fine, with no moisture build up inside.
A dense rubber grip provides a firm hold, while the shutter release is beautifully flush with the body, making it difficult to press accidentally. The rear of the body also has a good curve that fits the hand well.
On the whole, there is little new to speak of concerning the D7100’s body, as it is very similar to the D7000 and D600. It is packed with buttons, which is likely to intimidate a first-time DSLR buyer or anyone stepping up from an entry-level model. It is also easy to miss some controls, such as the function button underneath the lens. Of course, this all means that there are lots of direct controls on the exterior, as well as plenty of scope for customising the camera.
The shooting-mode dial is dual layered, with drive modes on the lower dial. Each dial has a lock to prevent accidental turning, but I find the dials a little fiddly to operate single-handed. On the side of the camera are a number of ports under three separate rubber doors. In the past, all the ports have been under one door, which means that all of them are exposed to the elements when just one is in use. The separate doors on the D7100 are therefore very welcome.
For anyone who likes working on images while on the go, there are plenty of in-camera editing options via the retouch menu. Adjustments to exposure, colour filters, cropping and the horizon level are just a few of the useful controls available.