It must have been something of a sinking feeling for those waiting for a successor to the Nikon D300s to see the arrival of the very well spec’d D7100. Though some may argue against, I hold that the D7000 was indeed the commercial successor to the D300s whether or not Nikon admitted to it, and that the D7100 is now the second camera to carry the line forward. Product-wise, it doesn't have the build quality or performance to qualify it as the mythical D400, but it's certainly 90% of the way there. Theoretically, there is room in the Nikon line-up for a professional quality DX camera, but I’m not sure that it will ever be built. With the exception of the D600, “professional” now means FX; I don’t think that we will return to the days of the semi-pro DX workhorse era of the D200/D300. It's not that a D400 wouldn't be a great camera, it's just that it would be hard to compete professionally when the competition are serving clients with 5DmIII's and D800's.
|Spot the differences. The D7000 and D7100 side by side.|
Professional aspirations aside, the goalposts have once again moved for DX. For the same entry price as the D7000, we once again moving to a new level of performance and features. Nikon might be disappointing some with their handling of 2012's quality issues, and others with their mysterious reluctance to properly fill out the DX lineup, but when it comes to the core product model that is the serious-enthusiast dSLR line, they haven’t let users down, not in each successive generation since the D70.