Nikon D7100 Review: Still A Great Tool for Enthusiast Photographers (2018)

Nikon D7100 review 2018 (with samples)


Is it worth buying Nikon D7100 in 2018? What can be said about its image quality and which lenses should you get for it? 

You’ll find all the answers in this Nikon D7100 review.


Let me start off by saying that Nikon D7100 is an excellent mid-level SLR camera, which is perfect for those who care about quality, speed, and the ability to shoot under adverse weather conditions.

Despite the fact that it was declared by the manufacturer as an average solution, this DSLR inherited a lot of great features from older models.

In general, this camera was very successful given: 

  • its highest quality of the image (especially with good lenses and at low ISO), 
  • convenience and fast control, 
  • as well as an impressive set of characteristics.

Only a relatively little image buffer can limit in the serious professional application of D7100.

If you have basic photography skills, the set of settings available on this SLR can’t but make you smile. As for the technical aspects of it, the camera outshines most of its competitors, including from its own line.

Note: It is a great choice for an enthusiast photographer who is familiar with the theory and practice of photography.

Without doubt, in the skillful hands, the Nikon D7100 can become an awesome working tool for creating masterpieces.


Nikon D7100 (Video Review)


Let’s start with a video-review for those who’d like to see this DSLR from all angles.


What you might like about this camera:

  • ergonomics aspect is at its best
  • excellent for landscape photography
  • good color rendition
  • the sensor is 24.71 Mp
  • absense of low-pass frequency filter (means higher image detail)

What you might not like about this camera:

  • noise makes itself felt at a modest ISO value of 400-1000
  • small size of the buffer (which might be an issue for professionals or hybrid shooters)

Nikon D7100: A Few General Points


D7100 is one of the coolest camera out of the crops. Most people may never take advantage of certain features, but for an advanced enthusiast, it’s exactly what’s needed.

In many ways it’s similar to its predecessor D7000, which was and remains a great camera. If you already have a D7000, then upgrading to D7100 doesn’t really make sense. 

In any case, do upgrade if you feel your current camera restricts you.

So, what can we say about this DSLR?

First of all, D7100 has a 24 megapixel resolution sensor, which sets quite high demands on lenses. In terms of its physical parameters, it’s a bit heavier and bigger than Nikon D5300 (review).

Cat photography with Nikon D7100 (review and samples)
85.0mm · ƒ/5.6 · 10/5000s · ISO 800

However, it’s not the 24 MP sensor that stood out but the fact that Nikon engineers decided to remove the low-pass frequency filter in front of the sensor. 

Basically, it adds sharpness to the image, with a risk of moiré on some periodic textures.

However, a moiré pattern is more hypothetical because in real life you are unlikely to encounter this effect.

An experiment without a filter was first carried out on Nikon D800E. The manufacturers realized that no one was experiencing any special problems and the sensor without the filter went to the masses in the form of D7100.

Another thing worth mentioning is the speed. 

Despite its impressive resolution, this camera works extremely fast: its burst rate is 6 frames per second, which already allows you to shoot sports related events.


What About Its Autofocusing System?


The autofocus system has also been slightly modified. Now there are more focus points, which in theory should improve the focus accuracy on fast moving children.

In reality, you can’t really tell the difference since there were no problems with autofocus in D7000.

The autofocus zone occupies a significant area of the frame, and the autofocus itself works instantly. The mirrorless cameras look like sleepy snails in comparison with the D7100.

It’s also worth mentioning that just like in the previous model, the autofocus control is very convenient. 


The switch modes AF-A, AF-S, AF-C make it easy to switch from a dynamic scene to a static one.

Just like with most Nikon digital cameras, this model also has a great ability to focus in low light conditions.


The Image Quality of Nikon D7100


The color rendition in Nikon cameras has historically been the object of envy for owners of other camera brands.

Even in the Canoner camp, there are ones who use a software/function called “Picture Style” to simulate Nikon into their cameras.

Anyway, I am positive that you will get excellent results on the D7100 in auto white balance mode.

If you shoot at sunset, you may want to move the cold tones (B) to the side so that the picture is not too yellow or red.

In general, if the lighting is complex and you are unhappy with the operation of the DSLR (which will be extremely rare), then adjust the white balance manually.

When shooting on a bright, sunny day, don’t forget to use a polarizing filter to get a better contrast of the sky with the clouds. 

I assure you, you will want to shoot the sky with clouds because of the stunning colors that the D7100 gives out. They are bright, saturated, but at the same time natural.

Beautiful landscape photos, trees and blue sky
35.0mm f/1.8 lens · 35.0mm · ƒ/9.0 · 1/250s · ISO 200

Now, I prefer to shoot landscapes with the following settings: 

  • Picture Control Vivid (Vi), 
  • Saturation +1 or +2, 
  • Sharpening +3.

For portrait photography shooting, it’s recommended to use the Neutral (NL) or Portrait (PT) mode because in Vivid mode faces can give off a bit of red colors.

In any case, work on portraits with further processing on the computer to add a bit of drama/romanticism.

Auto ISO now takes into account the focal length of the lens, which is very good. (Though, the presence of the stabilizer is for some reason ignored.)

In the auto-select settings for the minimum threshold, you can make a correction from -2 to +2 steps. That is, if by default on 105mm the Auto ISO considers the switching threshold 1/160s to be normal, then with the correction -1, it will be 1/80sec.

Normally, you can shoot on D7100 up to ISO 6400. At this value you start to see the noise but not to a point that it bothers you significantly.


A Few Other Features to Mention


1) You will like that there are 2 SD memory cards.

It will be useful if you have not decided yet whether you want to shoot in JPEG or RAW, because the camera can use different formats on different cards.

For all regular people who shoot in JPEG, the second card can be adapted either as a backup card, recording in parallel, or simply to increase the available buffer volume by recording sequentially.

Memory cards are very convenient to take out.


2) Presence of user modes U1 and U2, which together with the usual, is like having three cameras in one.

Piece of advice: you can set U1 to photograph landscapes, U2 for portrait photography, and use the rest when you’re experimenting.

3) Photographing lightning and fireworks with its interval shooting will be a complete pleasure.

Also, in the timer, you can set the number of frames and the interval between them. This is very convenient when you are taking a group photo with a tripod, and someone blinked.


Adjusting the Settings in Nikon D7100


Fortunately, you can start using the camera right out of the box, but here are a few adjustments that you can make.

  • Active D-Lighting – AUTO
  • Auto distortion control – ON
  • a7 Built-in AF illuminator – OFF
  • ISO sensitivity settings for P, S, A, M:
    • The sensitivity of ISO – 100
    • Auto ISO sensitivity control – ON
    • Max ISO – 6400
    • Max shutter speed – Auto (remember to select the correction: press the right arrow)
  • d3 Display and adjustment ISO – ISO

What Are Our Lens Recommendations?


Nikon 35mm f/1.8G The AF-S DX is the cheapest and, in my opinion, the best option for the Nikon crop camera. The lens that everyone should have.

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G The AF-S VR II is the latest version of the kit 18-55mm lens. A good choice for fans of universality and budget options.

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR II – a universal travel zoom, if you were to take only one lens.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8D AF is the most affordable autofocus version for portraits.

Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR DX – the best budget telephoto lens for sports, action and wildlife photography. (The photo below was taken with this lens.)


Final Thoughts About Nikon D7100 for 2018


Landscape photography, ocean and sunset with Nikon D7100
62.0mm · ƒ/5.0 · 1/8000s · ISO 800

In a nutshell, Nikon D7100 is an excellent choice for all occasions with great ergonomics and excellent image quality.

Nikon D7100 is a great camera in terms of price-quality ratio, suitable for those who already had worked with cameras at least from a low-price range.

Its main feature is the absence of a low-frequency filter, which traditionally serves to suppress the moiré effect by forcibly reducing the detail of the image.

Since this filter is removed from this DSLR, nothing gets in the way of obtaining maximum image detail.

In any case, you can rest assured that buying Nikon D7100 in 2018 will be a great investment, especially if you’re on a budget.


What are your thoughts on this camera? Anything else you’d like to add to this Nikon D7100 review? 

If you’ve decided to get D7100 for 2018, let us know in the comments!

Nikon D7100 Review: Still A Great Tool for Enthusiast Photographers (2018)
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