- 16.2 Megapixel (MP) CMOS Sensor
- 1080p Full HD Recording (24 Frames per Second)
- ISO 100 – 25 600
- 39-point Auto Focus (AF) system with 3D tracking
- New 2016-pixel metering sensor
- 3.0” 921K dot LCD Screen
- Full-time AF in movie mode
- 6 frames per second continuous shooting
Note: The D7000 was used with the AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR2 and AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR2 lenses from Nikon, for all sample photos and videos.
The D7000 is quite a peculiar camera. It follows Nikon’s new naming convention, and through that basically positions itself between the D90 prosumer and the D300s semi-pro cameras. It is supposed to be the D90’s successor, and slot in below the D300s, yet its impressive list of specs actually outgun the D300s on most accounts.
At 16.2MP, the D7000 (along with the D5100) has the second highest MP count of any Nikon DSLR. The D7000 also boasts a new 39-point AF array with 9-cross type points, and works in collaboration with the new 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor to allow 3D tracking.
The D7000 can shoot video at 1080p full HD and is the first DSLR to feature full-time AF during movie shooting. The big detractor when it comes to video is that it only shoots 1080p at 24FPS. If you want 25FPS, or 30FPS, you have to drop down to 720p. The Canon and Sony alternatives trump the Nikon with more variety in this case.
Size-wise the D7000 is closer to the D90, than the D300s, yet it is also constructed around a magnesium alloy body, has a thick rubber coating and has weather sealing and dust protection, like the D300s.
The body feels rugged and most buttons are where they should be, except for the White Balance and ISO buttons which are positioned all wrong. These are positioned to the left of the Preview/Live View screen, and double as zoom buttons. It can get confusing!
The main dial for different modes also moves too easily for my taste, and more than once have a started shooting, only to realize that the dial has turned to another mode. The aperture and shutter speed dials are usual Nikon fare, and is so much better than the way either Canon or Sony implements it.
Another first for a “mid-range” Nikon DSLR is the twin SD card slots. You can use the 2nd slot either for overflow, for backup of what is shot on slot 1, or to save the RAW version of each photo taken to slot 1 and the Jpeg version to slot 2.
The D7000 has an excellent viewfinder for its class with 100% coverage, which means, what you see in it, is what you’ll get.
On the top right of the body, the D7000 boasts a status LCD screen, normally reserved for higher class DSLRs. It can be illuminated in dark places by turning the shutter dial.
Live View is nicely integrated and is activated by turning the LV dial and has a dedicated RECORD button for video recording.
The camera has a pop-up flash which can work on its own, or be used to trigger external flashes, and the external flashes can be controlled from within the camera’s menu functions.
Getting to the internals, we first have the menu functions:
The menu is typical Nikon, and anyone who has used a Nikon before will feel right at home. The D7000 has a plethora of settings and functions and is VERY customizable. This huge set of custom settings is what sets it apart from its lower siblings and pushes it closer to the higher end DSLRs.
Let’s get to the part you’ve been waiting for: The actual photos and videos. The D7000 is a very responsive camera with fast operation and good handling. The new phase detection AF is very fast and it has a decent buffer when it comes to continuous shooting, though not in the league of the higher end cameras. You’ll need to pace yourself. The new AF system helps you capture fast-moving objects with ease, like the birds in flight below:
For the most part, metering is good, except in brighter areas with dark shadows, where it kept overexposing photos in all of the “auto” (S, P, A) modes. (Note: The latest Firmware update addresses this issue and the metering has drastically improved)
The review continues on the next page