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

By Janice Chen - Wednesday March 27 2013

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



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.


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.