Camera assessment - Part 1 - The Nikon D7100





Now that I've had my three relatively new cameras for a while plus some decent weather to use them in, I thought I'd offer my assessment of how I'm getting on with them. The first in this series is the Nikon D7100.

WHAT WORKS FOR ME

The unfussy way it just gets on with the job.
24MP
In the Nikon tradition in terms of layout and handling. As far as I'm concerned, top class.
Excellent battery life.
Robust.
Fast, accurate AF.
Access to probably the best lens range currently available.

All above are what I'm come to expect from a Nikon DSLR. Those who use them and upgrade usually have no surprises, and thats a good thing. They are cameras that are built to take pictures first and foremost and while they now shoot pretty good video, that isn't their primary function. 

The D7100 is an admirable follow-up to the also excellent D7000. It subtracts the AA filter, raises the pixel count and adds many improvements to what was a pretty good camera anyway. 

WHAT DOESN"T WORK FOR ME

The perennial problem of trying to find lenses that offer top class image quality but aren't heavy and bulky. This is a constant problem I have with DSLR's in general and Nikons in particular. The 18-55mm and 55-200mm are decent enough zooms, but I'm certainly having problems with the telephoto zoom on my D7100. Even stopped down its very disappointing, which is a surprise since it actually works very well with my D800E. I took the pair out yesterday for an extended workout and the 18-55mm shots were great but the 55-200mm was OK, but somewhat disppointing considering what it produces on the D800E. 

At the other end, my Sigma 12-24mm works really well. The softish corners are eliminated by the 1.5x crop, but apart from that it produces very crisp results. Here this is a distinct improvement on what it does with my D800E.

I'm not inclined to go the superzoom route with this camera as the bulk and weight is not something I want to cope with. I'm considering the new 28mm and 85mm f/1.8G lenses, but that doesn't give me the longer telephoto option that I use a lot and like very much.

So even though this is something thats a problem for me, its not really anything to do with the camera, which as I've indicated is excellent. I will have decide where to go from here however.