When it comes to the LiveView/Movie Mode, things aren’t all that rosy. The Live view mode has a few quirks that needs to be sorted out, and could probably be through the next Firmware update. The big issue is that you cannot change aperture in Live View mode. You can still change shutter speed, but once you’ve chosen an aperture setting, it will honour that, until you exit Live View mode, and change the aperture, and go back into Live View mode.
The camera also boasts full AF functioning in Live View/Movie mode. It is not perfectly implemented, and the focus jumps looks much more pronounced due to the very shallow depth of field from DSLRs. This camera is not a replacement for that camcorder you had to shoot happy family videos. I’d stay away from the AF for shooting video, and pull focus manually, as you would do with other professional products.
Apart from the aperture quirk, which seems an easy fix, the actual video results are very impressive. As with all CMOS sensor cameras, there is a degree of rolling shutter that can be spotted with huge and fast camera movements, but it is very well controlled, and the big sensor allows for cine-like footage with shallow depth of field. When in any of the “auto” modes, the video metering was silky smooth, transition between light and dark areas was quick and seamless and accurate. This seems to be the reason for the aperture quirk. Looks like Nikon can manage smoother and more accurate metering through just manipulating the shutter speed.
Video results from the D7000 are as good as that from any DSLR that I have seen so far, including the venerable Canon 5D MK2, king of DSLR video.
The D7000 managed to snatch the EISA (European Imaging & Sound Association) award as the “European Advanced SLR Camera of the year 2011-2012”. It also won the TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) award as “Best Advanced DSLR 2011”.
The D7000 seems to fight above its class, as in the Nikon camp, it out-performs the D300s in most areas, and even trumps the D700 in a few, and whilst the Canon 60D is its direct competitor, it totally thrashes the 60D and is in a close race with the Canon 7D, which is essentially a pro-level camera.
This is a very accomplished camera with fast, responsive operation, great image results, good video and apart from one or two minor niggles, like button placements, feels like a very polished product. Add to that an abundance of customization options, and it places this camera firmly into the upper end of the mid-range segment of the market.
Also, at around R11 500 for the body, the D7000 is about R4000 cheaper than the D300s. This makes the decision between these two a no-brainer. Also, the only reason I’d currently choose the D700 over the D7000, would be the full-frame, but if that’s not an issue, you can get the D7000, plus a really good lens for the price of the D700.
If you are looking to upgrade from your current DSLR, even a D300s, or want to jump into the wonderful world of DSLR photography, be sure to consider the D7000. This camera is the mid-range DSLR benchmark.
Here’s a Gallery with more photos from the D7000 and a few video samples as well.