Soundimageplus Camera of the year - The contenders - 1. Nikon D7100

Above is one of the contenders for this years Soundimageplus Camera of the year, the Nikon D7100, next to last years winner, the Nikon D800E.

The DSLR, as we know it, is probably on its way out sooner rather than later. The SLR part, with the moving mirror at least. While what we know as the DSLR shape, is I'm certain, going to be with us for some time to come, simply because it works and it's what many have come to expect as what a camera should look like. But the mirror part is more and more an obstacle to what photographers want to do. The clunky way live view is implemented is becoming less and less acceptable and not just for video. And many of us have decided that a (good) EVF is a much better alternative to an OVF. For me the ability to see in the viewfinder how my picture will look before I press the shutter is something I appreciate. Taking the picture and then quickly looking at the screen is not something I want to continue doing. It also used to be that the highest quality images and 35mm sized sensors were limited to DSLR's only, but Sony has basically thrown that perception out of the window with the A7 and A7r. How Nikon and Canon, the DSLR kings respond to that time will tell. 

However despite all that, the Nikon D7100 is a wonderful camera. The AA filter free sensor produces incredibly sharp images. Images upsized to D800E size are virtually impossible to tell apart from the 'real thing.' Its fast, its got a vast array of options and it's reasonably priced. For me, it was the weight and bulk that eventually caused me to sell it, but if that's not an issue for you then it's pretty much the best value camera on the market in it's price range, for professional and enthusiast use.

Ultimately it's the images a camera produces that are the ultimate test and in this regard the D7100 passes with flying colours. Great colour, resolution and a reasonable high ISO performance make it a terrific all-round camera. For me, I thought it somewhat better than the D600, despite that cameras larger sensor and virtually on a par with the D800E. It also shoots incredibly good video and fitted with the humble 18-55mm VR lens incredibly stable for hand held shooting. 

For me it's one of Nikon's finest cameras and it breathes new life into the APS-C format and the DSLR concept. It's also built like a tank and like all Nikons will (unless you are incredibly unlucky) be a functioning work (or pleasure) tool for as long as you want it to be. I have no hesitation in adding it to this years shortlist and recommending it.

You can read my review and user experience HERE.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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