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Nikon describes this DX model as a “professional-standard camera” … not a professional camera. One giveaway is the onboard flash cell: pros look askance when they see this (IMHO) useful feature.
So it’s not pro and its not raw amateur. But it beats me why the company could not have installed a vari-angle LCD screen as many lesser cameras possess. Damn useful for newbies and ‘knowbies’.
This model has a new CMOS sensor, with 16.2 megapixels on the chip; using the maximum image size of 4928×3264 pixels, expect to get a 42×28 cm print.
And a big welcome to the video specs: 1920×1080 pixels for a maximum 20 minute burst. There is an onboard microphone (but of course you wouldn’t use that if you were serious). And there’s an input for an external stereo mic. In-camera video editing functions let you save a single frame as a JPEG image and you can even trim the beginning or end of a clip.
Oh and there’s a new image-processing engine— EXPEED 2; this promises faster image processing, a high level of noise reduction, improved colour reproduction and lowered power consumption.
There is an interface for an optional GPS unit plus a wireless (and Internet connection) for data transfer or flash use.
Images can be saved in RAW 12- and 14-bit (via Nikon’s NEF format), JPEG as well as RAW+JPEG; Adobe RGB and sRGB colour space.
The new AF system promises enhanced performance: the AF sensor module has 39 effective focus points with nine cross-type sensors at the centre of the frame. Autofocusing during video shooting is possible, using contrast detect AF. When the focus mode is set to full time-servo AF and the AF area mode is to subject-tracking AF, you can enjoy continuous focusing as you move through the scene. A magic performance. The camera automatically maintains focus as you move through the scene: no grinds and grates on the audio track from the AF system.
The LCD screen has 921,000 pixel definition: enjoyably sharp. If you don’t have to battle bright ambient conditions you really can use this as the viewfinder for a Live View display, instead of the excellent optical finder.
What sets this camera specifically apart from many of its competitors (even some Nikon siblings) is the continuous shooting specs. How about 6fps for a burst of up to 100 shots?
A novel feature is the twin slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. You can select a specific destination slot for capture or transfer images between cards. You can even use slot 2 as an overflow when slot 1 is full or as a backup wile shooting. ‘Mazing!
After a day or two, I became quite comfy with the control layout: mode dial on top left, carrying PSAM options, SCENE modes and custom settings; beneath the mode dial is access to single/continuous shot options; at rear, at left, buttons which (with use of the rear command dial) you gain control of white balance, ISO speed, image size/quality. I figure most new owners will quickly settle into a close working relationship.
If you can handle it, the D7000 has an ISO range up to 25,800!
And, as you would expect, the images from ISO 100 to 1600 are clear as a bell.
Only when you get to ISO 3200 do you begin to see noise appear while definition and colour are fine.
At ISO 6400 things do not appear to change much.
At ISO 12,800 noise is significantly higher while defintion and colour are still OK.
At ISO 25,600 (phew!) everything is at an objectionable level, with noise so it becomes party of the picture. Anyone for pointilism photography?
This shot appealed to me because, I thought, it had the heart of a good shot.
The truth is that, straight out of the camera, it was a dud. But, some gentle twisting in Photoshop Curves, and it began to sing … if not dance!
This is an interesting camera in its control layout: it lets you play with the big boys without need for a prior tertiary education!
Quality: top level. It handled a wide range of shots with admirable effort.
Why you would buy it: if you’re wary of full-on prop models but still want to play with the big kids; Full HD video with continuous AF.
Why you wouldn’t: no vari-angle screen.
Image Sensor: 16.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Matrix, centre-weighted metering and spot.
Effective Sensor Size: 23.6×15.6mm CMOS.
A/D processing: 12/14-bit.
35 SLR Lens Factor: 1:5x.
Compatible lenses: Nikon F mount (with AF contacts).
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Shutter Speed: Bulb, 30 to 1/8000 second, Bulb. Flash sync: 1/250-1/320 sec.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4928×3264 to 2464×1632. Movies: 1920×1080 to 640×480 at 24/25/30fps.
Viewfinders: Eye level pentaprism, 7.5cm LCD (921,000 pixels).
File Formats: NEF (RAW), NEF (RAW)+JPEG, JPEG, MPEG4.
Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 6400.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini, DC input, external mic, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adaptor.
Dimensions: 132x105x77 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 690 g (with memory card and battery).
Price: Body with f3.5/18-105mm $2299.
Body with f3.5/18-55mm plus f4.5/55-300mm $2499.