Having already upgraded its entry-level and mid-range DSLR cameras to a 24-megapixel resolution, Nikon is today completing the set by introducing the 24.1-megapixel D7100 for the high end of its consumer offering. The new camera has its very own CMOS sensor — it's a new design, not shared with any previous model — which spans an ISO range of 100 to 6400 and can also be pushed to ISO 25600 in Nikon's Hi2 extension mode. Perhaps more importantly, the D7100 also includes a 51-point autofocus system (15 cross-type sensors in the middle), which should mark a significant improvement over its predecessor, the D7000.

A nice spec evolution, even if physical changes are few and far between

Another upgrade can be found in the image processing engine, which has been stepped up to the Expeed 3, the same one that resides in Nikon's full-frame professional gear: the D4, D800, and D600. Nikon promises greater energy efficiency, higher speed, and higher image quality will result from this change. While the pair of SD card slots and 1900mAh EN-EL15 battery remain unchanged, the D7100 does add a new 3.2-inch RGBW LCD display with a 1229k-dot resolution plus a set of stereo microphones.

The usual array of video recording options are also present, maxing out at 1080 / 30p or 1080 / 60i and a recording time of up to 29 minutes and 59 seconds. Magnesium alloy shells are used in the D7100's top and rear covers and it's weather sealed to protect against the ingress of dust and moisture.

Nikon's new DX-format flagship camera eschews the usual optical low-pass (or antialiasing) filter, which the company justifies on account of the higher pixel density within the new sensor. The overall effect will be consistently sharper photos that will run a higher risk of generating moire in some circumstances. It's a decision that will most likely please the discerning consumer that Nikon is marketing the D7100.

The D7100 will be available from March, at a price of £1,099.99 in the UK for the body only, or £1,299.99 with the 18-105mm VR kit lens. In the United States the two options will be priced at $1,199.95 and $1,599.95, respectively.