I’ve been looking forward to un-boxing a the new Nikon D7000 ever since it was announced. This weekend I finally got the opportunity, and wanted to share a brief look at the newest model in the Nikon DSLR line.
The D7000 was initially positioned as an upgrade to the D90, which it unquestionably is. However, in terms of features and functionality it is a lot closer to the D300. The new model is aimed at the prosumer shooter, and is taking up a new position in the Nikon line between the two.
The first the you notice in picking up the camera is that, while it is very similar in feel to the D90, it has a much more substantial feel than its older sibling. This owing in large part to the new magnesium alloy body and rubber grips. The form factor is a little small and takes some getting used to, but the optional MB-D11 multi-power battery pack seems like a good option for increasing the overall size and handling stability.
The ergonomics of the camera have been improved tremendously … Not that the D90 is bad from an ergo perpective, but Nikon has made some small tweaks that have gone a long way.
For starters, the placement of a second dial below the exposure control for changing servo modes is pretty handy. They’ve removed the programmed mode settings for beginners from the exposure dial, and made selection a function of the sub-control wheels, and added an AF mode selector button to the AF control switch.
Small changes, like I said, but a help.
Rather that go into all the technical features, here’s a link to the Nikon D7000 site, and there will be a summary of key features at the end of this post.
The new 39-point autofocus system is a thing of beauty, with a big, bright, viewfinder display that gives you feedback on what the AF system is doing. Reading the manual, there is some nifty tech here for doing auto follow-focus using the multi-directional controller. It looks like it would take a fair bit of learning/coordination to work it and the shutter release at the same time. We’ll see.
This weekend was a train wreck weather-wise, so I didn’t have an opportunity to get out and do a lot of shooting, but I managed to get a few shots in. The camera delivers a 5K image in raw mode (12mb/each with lossless compression), and the images are stunning.
This camera is already proving to be quite popular, and has been in short supply since it was released in the U.S. Both B&H and Adorama have been back-ordered on the body (although some kits have been available), and the secondary market has been taking advantage of this by raising prices for the body by as much as $400 over list.
Nikon has reportedly taken a big step forward with video on the D7000, with an improved live view mode, H.264 recording at 1920×1080, a jack for an external microphone. You can shoot either NTSC or PAL, and there are a number of key features for reducing image flicker. At least that’s what they tell me … Testing the video capabilities of the D7000 is yet to come.
D7000 Key Features
- Magnesium Alloy Body
- 16.2MP DX format CMOS sensor
- 1080p HD video recording with mic jack for external microphone
- ISO 100-6400 (plus H1 and H2 equivalent to ISO 12,800/25,600)
- 39-point AF system with 3D tracking
- 2016 pixel RGB (3D Color Matrix) sensor
- Scene Recognition System aids metering + focus accuracy
- EXPEED 2 image processing and 14-bit A/D Conversion
- Twin SD card slots
- 3.0 inch 921k dot LCD screen
- New Live View/movie shooting switch
- Full-time AF in Live View/movie modes
- Up to 6fps continuous shooting
- Lockable shooting mode dial
- Built-in intervalometer
- Electronic virtual horizon
- Shutter tested to 150K actuations