I have had a need for a backup camera since the incident when my Nikon D700 had to be sent in for repair. The old, injured D70 filled in for my personal photography but I could not do any work for clients.
Rumors of a new camera from Nikon had been swirling for months. People wanted a replacement for the Nikon D300s. A professional level DX camera. I wanted to have a DX camera again which crops FX (full frame Nikon) lenses by a factor of 1.5. Something I missed and find myself needing again.
Nikon had other ideas in mind and, instead of the hoped for D400, they replaced the consumer level D7000 with the D7100. After reading the specs of the new camera and being intrigued with the new 1.3x Crop mode, I decided to pre-order the Nikon D7100 dSLR Camera the day it was announced.
It arrived last week and I must say so far I am impressed. The DX sensor has come along way the last five years. There are a lot of differences between the D700 and the D7100. I spent a few hours with the manual this weekend and set it up. Here is one of the first photos I took using the Nikon 50mmG f/1.8 lens aka Nifty Fifty (or, in DX-land, Nifty Seventy-Five).
The D7100 has a new in camera crop setting which increases the crop an extra 1.3x or nearly 2x of a lens’ focal length. This increase in crop comes without a loss in light or f-stops like when a teleconverter is used. To test this, I used the camera during a Syracuse Crunch game last weekend. This photo is cropped to an 8×10 ratio otherwise the magnification turned the Nikon 70-200mm VR f/2.8 lens into a 140-400mm f/2.8 lens.
It was not all fun and games. I had trouble with the continuous focus during the hockey game. I went back to the manual and found the correct setting and how to do set it. I will have more success at the next game.
Now that I got the D7100, you can be assured Nikon will soon come out with the D400 DX Pro camera. Until then, I have a backup camera to use for field sports like lacrosse and football and to use for wildlife. Remember, this will make the Nikon 80-400VR lens into a 160 to 800mm one.
Scott Kelby has an eight minute video review of the Nikon D7100 camera and the new Nikon 80-400VR Lens here: