Nikon D7100 review: Update to popular DSLR drops anti-alias filter for sharper images

By Janice Chen - Wednesday March 27 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Nikon D7100 sensor performance | Nikon D7100 versus competition | Conclusion

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With an Overall Score of 83, the D7100 ranks well among its fellow semi-professional DSLRs, and achieves the second best score among all APS-C sensors tested in our labs. The only APS-C based camera to score better is the Nikon D5200, which scored a negligible one point higher (amounting to a difference of less than 1/15 of a stop). In fact, the D7100 scored very closely to the D5200 across the board. Interestingly, the D7100 has the same resolution sensor as the lower-end D5200 (which sells for $800), but the D5200’s sensor does include the anti-aliasing filter. 

The D7100 achieved good marks for dynamic range, with a Landscape Score of 13.7 Evs. While it came in behind other APS-C sensors, such as those in the Pentax K5, K5 II, and K5 II S (as well as a touch behind the Nikon D5200 and D7000), the score differences were minimal enough that they wouldn’t likely be discernible. As with other Nikon/Sony sensors, the dynamic range score is especially high for the low ISO settings, indicating that the D7100 should be able to handle high light contrasted scenes well.

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The D7100’s color depth performance was also at the top among APS-C sensors, with a Portrait score of 24.2 bits.  In fact, for both dynamic range and color depth, the D7100 scored only slightly lower than semi-pro full-frame cameras such as the Nikon D600 and Sony SLT Alpha 99 and even higher than the full-frame Canon 6D. 

The camera didn’t fare quite as well on low-light ISO tests. While it did top the charts among APS-C camera sensors on the Sports Score at 1256 ISO, that score is low compared to full-frame semi-pro cameras such as the Canon EOS 6D or Nikon D600.