Time’s flown pretty fast since last March, when I wrote this post about first impressions of my new Nikon D7000. Seems like I really owe my readers an update on the camera, and my experiences with it since then.
I love the D7000. It creates amazing images, and finally gives me the level of camera that I need to create images that are as compelling, and reach the same kind of quality, that could be achieved with Nikon film bodies during the analog shooting days.
Not going to get into a big tech analysis on the camera features…Think I covered that in the previous post, linked above, and there’s also a lot of online coverage and fact sheets available.
The D7000 is a strong shooter, build-to-last, and with a control set that will be comfortable to all Nikon shooters as soon as they pick the camera up.
For stills, in conjunction with Adobe Lightroom, it’s a superstar.
For Digital Cinema applications, the D7000 is a major leap forward for Nikon. The D90 was flawed, to the point of almost being useless for video, by a slow sensor and resulting digital artifacts.
Nikon still has a way to go, and I think they actually got there with the newly-announced D800, which is a superb cinema camera with updated features and ergonomics not found in the D7000.
I’m including the Nikon “Joy Ride” video, shot with the D800, to give you an idea of what this new camera is capable of, and you can keep up to date on the D800, and all other Nikon news at NikonRumors.com, which is my go-to news source for all things Nikon.
While I’m still shooting all of my web video with the D7000, and the video is gorgeous, the biggest issues with the camera revolve around the need to set exposure outside of live view mode, and then go back into live view to capture your video…It’s a pain in the butt. Nothing more than an annoyance that doesn’t affect the quality of the work, but the shooting experience suffers for it.
Changes made to camera settings while in live view aren’t reflected in exposure, and live view does not give you exposure information in the LCD.
Also, Nikon just doesn’t seem to care enough about the workflow…Where Canon offers plugins for FCP, and other software, to make the ingest experience seamless, Nikon is an all manual process involving copying files and transcoding, and possibly having issues with Gamma viewing problems in FCP that are just more work than they are worth…I’m going to be buying a Canon, likely a D60, this year for shooting video, as Nikon just doesn’t seem to want to get the workflow right for HDSLR shooters.
The lack of a headphone jack on the camera was a huge mistake…One that I resolved by using a Juiced Link DSLR Pre-amp Adapter for $144, which you should just figure in as part of the cost of the camera if you’re going to be shooting video…It’s worth it, and an absolute necessity if you are doing single-system sound.
The audio quality out of the D7000 is not bad, and good enough for single-subject interviews, but you’ll likely want to go dual system for anything more elaborate than an interview setup. In that case the Zoom H4n is still the best, and most versatile option for web shooters.
Another great thing about the D7000 is that it works with all of the Nikon AF-S/AF-D line of lenses, which you can pick up on eBay for a song. The older lenses are a bit slower focusing than their newer counterparts, and don’t have the VR (vibration-reduction) features, but they do have an aperture ring, great glass, and create awesome images. One big advantage that you don’t find with the red-ring lenses so highly coveted by Canon shooters.
On the whole, the D7000 is an amazing camera, and the best ‘pro-sumer’ (emphasis on the pro) camera Nikon makes before you get into the D800 realm … Something I hope to do within the next year. 🙂