Friday, February 1, 2013

Speculation about Nikon D7100 specs (Nikon D7000 successor)

UPDATE: The Nikon D7100 is now official.  Actual specs here.

When DXO published their scores for the Nikon D5200, I found it amazing that the D5200 leapfrogged the Nikon D7000 as Nikon's best DX sensor.  I surmised that the D7000 successor may just be around the corner.  Well, just reported that the Nikon D7000's successor will be released as early as April 2013.  I had actually started selling some of my camera bodies in anticipation of the new camera (otherwise their resale values would decrease).  I just didn't expect it that soon!

Nikonrumors says it will be 24mp with a form similar to the D600.  I am supposing that the D7100 or whatever it will be called, would at least the features of the D7000, and some from the D600, plus the D5200 sensor.  It should also meet or exceed all features of the D5200.   Therefore I expect that the key differences between the D7000 and the D7100 will be these:
  • Sensor: I am guessing the same as the D5200.  24mp with slightly better high ISO performance that the D7000.
  • The new, smarter Auto ISO (just like the D4, D800 and D600) that can take into account the focal length.  On the D600 I have found this incredibly useful.
  • Support for WU-1a allows remote live view.
  • Video: Can do 1080p at 30fps or 1080i at 60fps.  D7000 can only do 1080p at 24fps.
  • Exposure mode dial has a button and lock, just like the D600.
Wishful thinking - some D600 features may also trickle down to the D7100:
  • Can specify whether exposure compensation affects ambient only or both ambient and flash.
What about the D300 and D300S features that were omitted from the D7000 like the 51-point AF and PC sync? I think it is not likely.  I'm just speculating though.

As for possible problems with the D7100.  I think they would be:
  • LCD green tint issue - the D600 and D800 have this to some extent.  Perhaps the D7100 may have it too.
  • Dust spot issue like the D600?  Or oil spot issue like the D7000?
  • Iffy ergonomics.  The D600 grip is not that great.  This one might have a less comfortable grip too for the sake of the new swoopy design.
  • Absence of Lightroom raw support for the first couple of months.  If the sensor is the same as that of the D5200 this might not happen (or at least the D5200 profile might be usable).
  • I don't think it will have the left AF point issue of the D800.  That seems like an issue that affected only some units of the D800.
  • The D600 had a 1/4000 shutter speed (unlike the D7000 shutter speed of 1/8000) and a 1/200 sync speed (unlike the D7000 sync of 1/250 or 1/320).  I don't think these will be issues for the D7100, because all specs should meet or exceed that of the D7000.
  • Not really a problem, but a potential issue is an early price drop.  The D600 price dropped from $2100 to $2000 with the kit lens included.  I don't think that will occur with the D7100 because in the case of the D600 that sudden price drop was temporary and occurred only during Christmas.  If the D7100 is released in April, there won't be a major retailing holiday after that until Black Friday.
As for the price I expect it to be $1200 for the body only, just like the D7000 when it came out.

If you are interested in the Nikon D7100, you can join the Nikon D7100 group on Flickr for discussions and samples from the D7100. I will be posting there regularly.