ReviewGist Report for Nikon D7000
September 2010 saw the release of the D7000, Nikon's DSLR offering for enthusiasts and amateurs. With this, the Japanese major introduces a new line of mid-class, high-spec DX-format cameras. D7000 presents an evolution of the respected D90 which was the first DSLR with movie capture capability.
In this report we will look at the advanced high performance features that Nikon has packed into the D7000. Further, we present here the highlights of reviews from nearly 40 camera experts such as PC Advisor, PocketLint, InfoSyncWorld and SlashGear who have quite a few things to say about this DSLR, remarkable or otherwise.
What the Manufacturer Says
According to Nikon, the D7000 features a new 16.2-mega-pixel CMOS sensor with low-light ability not at all seen thus far in a DX-format camera. Other major introductions to improve image quality in ambient conditions include an image-processing engine called EXPEED 2 TM, a 39-point AF system and a 2,016 pixel RGB 3D Matrix Metering System.
Another big addition is the 1080p HD movie capability with full-time auto focus (AF) that promises impressive stills and movies, especially if used with a range of the established Nikkor lenses. Also included are several AF functions to choose from, including face priority for 35 human faces, subject-tracking and normal or wide-area auto-focus. Even more recording choices include variable frame rates and resolutions such that the user can record 20-minute long video clips of 1080p at 24 fps and 720p at 24 or 30 fps.
Other noteworthy introductions include include:
1. Glass pentaprism for nearly 100% viewfinder frame coverage and magnification of approximately 0.94x.
2. ViewNX 2 image browsing and editing software.
3. User-defined settings (U1, U2) to adapt to a user's shooting style instantly.
4. Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology meant to eliminate the effects of camera shake.
What the Reviews Say
In terms of colour rendition and image detail output of the D7000, Nikon has delivered on its promises, feel experts. The ISO range from 100-6400, stretchable to ISO 26400, has impressed critics as well. InfoSyncWorld additionally note that they found no aberrations like fringing at full resolution that occurs with some other models like Canon EOS 60D. DigitalReview, CNet and PC Advisor commend the camera's ability to deliver good images even in low-light or other challenging ambient lighting conditions.
DSLR enthusiasts and critics both like the video produced by the D7000. DigitalReview records that the model captures breathtaking full 1080p HD movies with full-time auto-focus and manual exposure control. Live View and movie shooting turn out to be quite precise, says Photo.net. However, the experts at Cnet are not quite happy that 1080/30p video is absent.
The AF feature is well-liked by all experts without a single exception, which probably says a lot about this newly introduced 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX AF module. Even hard-to-please KenRockwell notes that Nikon has put into the D7000 the best, fastest, most precise and most accurate focus system of any Nikon model. DigitalReview, Photo.net and SlashGear find that the EXPEED 2 engine is efficient at managing the D7000's speedy 50-millisecond shutter response, blazing AF speed and rapid six frame-per-second (fps) burst speed for as many as 100 images.
Interface qualities of the D7000 are quite well-liked by the experts. Whether it is the well-accessible controls, rugged body, front and rear control dials, or the compactness-to-weight balance, the D7000 has scored well with the reviewers. Of special mention is the TechRadar's note about the camera's ease of use despite being feature and function-rich, and EnGadget's complimentary note about the new live view switch and video record button being more intuitive than in earlier Nikon products. Amidst all the applause though, KenRockwell gives the D7000 a small thumbs down in the matter of the top LCD panel being somewhat tiny and illegible.
Promised battery life of 1050 images is fulfilled as well - InfoSyncWorld is highly impressed by the battery performance.
Each of the new features has found favor with the experts, be it the CMOS sensor, EXPEED2 processing engine or the 39-point AF system. It is even expected that the D7000 proves itself superior to earlier Nikons like D90 and D300 series. All experts happily certify the image and movie quality as "amazing" or "superior" or "stunning". The camera handling features and the comprehensive AF system meet with similar approval.
The low and high ISO capabilities have been tested out and found equal to or better than most amateur DSLR, though the camera's tendency to considerably over-expose in high contrast situations should be noted. This Nikon offering is seen as a worthy competitor to Canon EOS 60D and 7D, Olympus E5 and Pentax K-7.
It is evident that the Nikon D7000 delivers on almost all counts, and gets a deserved place at the top of the amateur, mid-range DSLR list. It could well be the company's best shooting design as of early 2011. For a budget below $1,500 and for an enthusiast's first DSLR, the Nikon D7000 is definitely worth every cent.