A headline selling point of the D7000 is 1080p HD video with continuous autofocus. I had never previously bothered with digital camera movies but the D7000 has almost won me over. It is certainly not perfect. If you pan a group of active children the autofocus will not cope, and if you make the autofocus and VR work hard they create noise on the soundtrack. However, there is a jack to attach an external stereo mic to avoid noise problems, and if you take shots that are not too demanding of the autofocus (or use the manual focus) you can produce superb film-like results. If you have not already seen them look at the Chase Jarvis movies on the internet. In future I shall use the D7000 video in addition to my camcorder, though it will not replace it.
However, my main interest is still photography and I think that this camera is designed for people like me. Firstly, I want a camera with lots of easily accessible manual controls and the full range of customisable tools missing on entry-level DSLRs such as the D3100. The D7000 certainly has these. But I want more than this. I also want a quality camera that is not too bulky or heavy, that has lots of features to explore, and has the automatic assistance to make it easy to use casually and quickly on a day out with family or friends. The alloy body makes it heavier than the D90, albeit almost identical in size, but substantially lighter than the D300s. It feels good in the hand, the controls are intuitive, and it is fast and responsive.
The camera is feature-rich. My own favourites are:
1. A 6fps continuous shooting speed up to 100 frames - and I am equally pleased that one can adjust this to between 1fps and 5fps.
2. The alloy body and weather sealing - ideal for the British climate.
3. A large bright pentaprism viewfinder with 100% coverage.
4. A 39-point versatile autofocus system - impressive numbers but what really matters is the result. It is fast and effective.
5. Two positions on the dial to store and easily access one's favourite settings, something not always well catered for on Nikon models.
6. Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots which allow the user to program the second card for backup or extra storage, to use one for JPEGs and one for RAW, or one for stills and the other for video. I really do like this.
7. ISO range up to 6400 with little noise and excellent detail - the top feature for me.
This by no means exhausts the list of features. Among others are an in-built intervalometer for time-lapse photography, an impressively powerful battery, the ability to connect to GPS devices, and an electronic spirit level available in both Live View and viewfinder modes. It is very well-specified and enormous fun to use. However, one does not buy a camera for features and fun but for image quality, which I think is top-notch. I particularly like the accurate white balance and, above all, the performance in low light where this camera really is the cat's whiskers.
I tried hard to think of major negatives but without success. The default settings produce images that are a tad soft but I prefer this to over-sharpened images for I can adjust the sharpness when editing. I prefer this to the alternative of changing the camera's settings to increase sharpness. In conclusion the D7000 is an excellent choice as a first-rate mid-range camera that is a good compromise between weight/bulk and controls/features with the added bonus of HD video.
on 14 May 2013
I have been monitoring this camera for several months and read every review going. When Nikon announced their cash back, I jumped at the chance and I am delighted.
I am not a professional photographer, so my review comes from an enthusiast point of view having come from a D3100. Incidentally, I am keeping my D3100 because I cannot bear to part with it. I have several lenses to pair with my D7000 including a 35 f1.8G, 85 1.8G, 55-300 VR and the main lens which I use which is a 17-55mm.
Look and feel
After becoming so used to the D3100 lightweight body, the D7000 seems much bulkier but in a good way. It feels good in the hand and paired with the equally tank-like 17-55mm it has some weight behind it. Moving from the D3100 to D7000 was easy as the controls are familiar. I used to like having the ISO/Aperture/Shutter Speed information in the live view so getting used to this on the small panel at the top right took some time however now I think this is great and prefer it. It also saves battery by keeping the live view off. However, like most things with this camera, you can customise it so this is on by default should you wish. I like how most of the main function buttons fall where you naturally hold the camera. My one gripe was that when I was moving the autofocus point while looking through the viewfinder, my thumb was right underneath my cheek making it slightly awkward. A minor negative in the scheme of things.
One thing that annoyed me with the D3100 was the auto-ISO function, which I sometimes used when I was being lazy! You had to go into the main menu to turn it on (or off). This took about 10 seconds of annoyance. Now, I have set my U1 setting in my D7000 to auto-ISO. So, now when if I want this on, I can just turn the dial. The beauty of this camera is the huge amount of customisable features. U1 and U2 very useful, you can assign the various function buttons to do different things - AE lock, DOF preview, etc. I also like that you can increase the ISO by 1/3 stop instead of 1/2. There are dials at the front where your right finger sits and at the back where the thumb is. This makes it super quick to change any the ISO and aperture.
The AF is much faster than I was expecting. It locks onto targets super-quick. I have read in some reviews about a back-focusing problem which seemed to be quite common. I unfortunately had that same problem. All my lenses except from the 85mm f1.8 I had to fine tune each of the lenses. With the 17-55mm I had to make a -17 adjustment. It seems to be pretty much fine now. However, I've read that because it is a zoom it is much harder to fine tune. The occasional photo misses the focus slightly, but this is me pixel peeping at 1:1. I will probably bring it into my local shop to get this checked over.
Image Quality and ISO performance
The main reason for the upgrade was for all the reviews regarding the great ISO performance. I agree to an extent. No doubt putting the D3100 and D7000 side by side, the D7000 wins hands down however I was maybe expecting too much from this. In good light, up to ISO 1000 I can barely notice any noise at all. After that noise starts to appear, when you reach ISO 3200, you can see noise but it's not bad. I am happy to use images up to ISO 6400. I don't print images very large but I would be surprised if you see noticeable noise for an ISO6400 in an A4 print. ISO performance and IQ is great, however I was expecting a little more based on what I've read.
There are many other features which I haven't mentioned but there's too many for this review!
In conclusion, the image quality and ISO performance is fantastic. Coupled with the huge amount of customisable features and quick functions to make your life as a photographer easier, this makes it a hugely recommended camera from me. The biggest problem at the moment is the back-focusing issue. I've adjusted it to -17 and it's pretty much sorted, but not 100% accurate. However, for normal sized prints you would not be able to tell that the focus was off. I really want to give this 5 stars, but I can't. The back-focusing issue although not terrible has annoyed me. This is the best camera I have every owned yet this is still only getting 4 stars.
This update is not with regards to the camera but for anyone wanting to use the Nikon repair centre for cameras under warranty. As discussed in the review, I was going to take my camera into the repair centre to double check that my -17 fine tune was accurate. I am lucky enough to be close to one of the official Nikon repair centres. I thought it might take a day or two to look at and fix but they are estimating it to be two weeks before it's looked at. I'm afraid for me that's far too long a wait to get a camera looked at. They said that 2 weeks was the average turnaround time for the quiet periods. My camera would go to the back of a queue and would be looked at in due course. I decided not to leave my camera with them for 2 weeks and live with my -17 adjustment.
on 19 June 2011
I cannot add much to the excellent reviews already written about this camera. Having migrated from a three year old Pentax the improvement has been jaw-dropping. The autofocus is fast and accurate, the high ISO capability is amazing (even at ISO3200 the noise is minimal) and a fully programmable design enables the user to set up the camera just the way they want it.I have been shooting RAW images and they have been superb, if a little taxing for my computer to handle. I used the camera for a photoshoot at the Hay Literary Festival, where it easily handled moving objects in dimly lit theatres.
Quite early on I picked up the fact that the camera can overexpose, particularly when set to pattern metering, and a few images had blown out highlights.Switching to selective metering options and setting the camera to systematically underexpose by about half a stop helps. I call it instrument calibration rather than there being any problem.
Unfortunately I no longer have this camera. Amazon's excellent return scheme picked up my D7000 and refunded me. The reason is that dark spots began appearing in the bottom right corner of images and a sensor shot revealed liquid droplets on the low pass filter in front of the sensor. It seems, judging by the internet discussions, that few D7000s flick an oily liquid, nearly always in one corner of the sensor filter, when the shutter fires. Air blowing won't shift the contamination and wet-cleaning provides only a temporary solution as fresh spots appear when the camera is used again.
I don't want to scare people off because the problem seems to be quite rare, rare enough for Nikon to be a bit obstinate with the few affected D7000 owners (Pentax and Canon have handled similar problems far more transparently). I will buy another D7000 because I already miss it's brilliance...but I will wait a bit to see if this problem blows over. I have to say that Amazon handled this really well so do buy from them.
Chances are that if you are even considering this camera, it is as an upgrade. There are now countless comparisons in the photo magazines and on the web that you can use to check out how it compares in features, so there's little merit in repeating them here. It's certainly an "enthusiast" spec so for a starter camera it is probably more than you will need to pay. Camera manufacturers don't make it easy as each are backing slightly different technology horses - and at the end of the day (which coincidently is a time when this camera is particularly good due to it's ability to handle low light with remarkably little noise) it's a matter of personal preference which manufacturer you favour. I find Nikons fit better in the hand than Canon or Pentax cameras - so head to your camera petting zoo to see which one fits best for you. I also find the controls more intuitive with the two wheel system. I also prefer Nikon's colour performance particularly compared with Canon's more saturated colour rendition, but since you will probably use some PC processing, this is not a deal breaker. If you believe the mark of quality is in resolution, you can get more Mps with a Canon 550d- but at 16.2 Mp this is more than adequate for the amateur and prints at least A3 sized with no problem or loss of clarity. And the quality is down as much to the quality of processor as to the number of pixels per se. If you have a heap of Canon (or other) lenses though, then it's probably not great enough to warrant the cost of changing horses in midstream as Nikon lenses house the autofocus on the lenses rather than in the body as Canon does.
If you are coming at it afresh though, you are really looking at this against the Canon EOS 60D or the Pentax K-5 (although you can argue until the cows come home which the competitors really are. It's an upgrade on the Nikon D90 as well and certainly on any lower Nikons, and price wise, the Canon 550d might be in the same bracket).
Where the D7000 is arguably weaker is in the fact that the rear screen is fixed while many competitors allow angled versions. If you are planning on life as a Paparazzo, then this may be an issue but for me this tends to be more useful for movie filming. Which brings me to a second slight weakness - while the HD video is excellent on the D7000 my unit had a few dead pixels (only apparent in video) but there is now a Firmware update that has reduced this, not totally, but certainly to more than acceptable levels on my unit. But I don't film video that often so this isn't a concern. I've also tended to prefer the shutter release firmness on Nikons, and here it is OK but a bit mushier (technical term that!) than on the D90 for example.
In almost every other respect, this is a cracking camera. I love the duel card system that lets you save stills and video to different cards, or acts as a simple additional storage or for me, the best option allows you to save as both RAW and jpeg versions (incidentally, Adobe has now added D7000's RAW to it's list - but you will have to download that separately to even the latest Photoshop versions).
The D7000 offers up to 39 AF points - which really is superb in this price bracket and which helps to generate superb image quality. The camera's low light performance is superb; even at ISO 12 800 it's just about acceptable. The build quality is fantastic and, while it tends to concentrate on doing the basics well, it has some nice features like low noise shutter options. The burst rate of 6fps is also pretty decent. Battery life is good too.
It's a cracking bit of kit and more similar to Nikon's semi-pro D300S than the lower ranges but at an enthusiast price band (albeit that as a new product the pricing is still a bit toppish - made worse by the VAT increase of course - but will undoubtedly come down in time ...... if you can resist that long though). But for all it's cleverness, you can pretty much operate it out of the box as a very over-priced point an shoot, if that's what you want to do (but why would you?)
It's not faultless (as explained) but it's certainly an excellent choice and you are unlikely to be disappointed. Is it good enough to swop bodies from a competitor? Well, that depends on how much kit you have invested in, but as a Nikon upgrade, it's a no-brainer. It's a joy to use and you'll love it - then when you process your pictures, you will smile smuggly to yourself at your choice all over again.
Also, the kit lens (which are always pretty ropey) is surprisingly decent here too.
on 21 July 2012
I approached writing this review with a degree of trepidation, in much the same way as I approached buying this camera. The reason for this is that there have been a considerable number of problems reported with this camera on various discussion forums, more or less since its release. Now that is perhaps unsurprising, as the initial production runs of many new models have teething problems, which are usually corrected as production progresses. This is not only electronic equipment, as new car models are notorious for this, and often blighted with recalls. What I have found interesting about the D7000 is the degree of hostility that is often expressed towards people reporting these problems on internet forums, to the extent that I have come across what could be considered conspiracy theories that many of these posts are by Nikon employees trying to cover the issue up and blame it all on the incompetence of the photographer. There are more recent posts along the same lines that suggest there were genuine problems with the early D7000s, but that there have all long since been rectified, and I recently read an article which concluded with the statement "if you cannot get good shots with the D7000, you are to blame not the camera". So I anticipate some hostile comments here, as I have just bought a D7000 (June 2012) on which there are problems with the autofocus system, and with rapidly-accumulating circular marks with halos in the upper part of images. These are the exact problems reported to affect early models, but now allegedly fixed. Unfortunately, I can guarantee that these problems have not been rectified and that there are still batches of faulty D7000s leaving the factory. I have sent the camera back to Nikon, who may well address these problems in a satisfactory manner, in which case I will amend the review accordingly.
The purchase of the D7000 was undertaken after a lot of consideration. I consider myself to be an enthusiastic amateur, and have been using a D3100, which I found to be an absolutely perfect camera on which to progress from many years of point and shoot; as a basic DSLR, I cannot fault it, but it is quite basic. The main additional features I wanted were auto-exposure bracketing (AEB) for HDR, ability to use off-camera flash, remote control shutter release, and mirror lock-up. I was less concerned with frames per second in continuous shooting mode, although I use this on occasion. Looking at an extensive number of reviews, it appeared to be a choice between the D300s and the D7000, with most comparisons favouring the D7000. The only problem that the published reviews highlighted was a tendency towards over-exposure, which is not really an issue if you shoot in RAW, and can be corrected easily with exposure compensation. Overall, I did not find any negative reviews of the D7000, and some even went so far as to describe it as the best DSLR on the market. However, in contrast to the overwhelmingly positive formal reviews, there were lots of worrying internet-forum reports of problems with 1) soft focussing, and 2) round marks appearing on images allegedly from oil spots on the sensor from the mirror mechanism. The soft focussing seemed to be a calibration issue, which Nikon can fix relatively easily, but the oil spots on the sensor are more controversial and there are many reports of Nikon dismissing these as dust and not fixing the problem. Equally, some reports state that this only affected initial batches, and some users have found that Nikon replace the whole mirror assembly and cleaned the sensor without question, albeit without necessarily acknowledging what the underlying fault was. Although there continue to be on-line "debates" about whether these marks are due to dust or oil, the fact that something accumulates on the sensor with after only a few hundred shots in the absence of lens changes shows that something is not right with a number of these cameras. Bearing this in mind, why did I proceed to buy a D7000? Well, firstly there are clearly a lot of very happy D7000 owners out there, so this is a quality control issue affecting certain batches only. Secondly, the D7000 is probably approaching the end of its production life, so I assumed that any initial problems would have been sorted by now. I therefore purchased one from Amazon, partly enticed by the limited period £80 cash-back that Nikon were offering and two year warranty if you registered within 30 days.
My first issue was with the couriers Amazon used and not the camera itself, as I came home from work to find it had been simply left on my doorstep in full view of everyone. I would have thought recorded delivery appropriate for something this expensive, when I have had to sign for considerably cheaper items in the past.
Onto the camera itself, starting with the good points. There are loads of features, and buttons to adjust all the important stuff so you do not need to go into menus all the time. Although quite a complex piece of equipment, after not very long it becomes really quite easy to use as everything is nicely set out for you. AEB works fine, although it only gives you three shots which most HDR artists would say is not enough for scenes such as sunsets. That is probably true, but you can set it up to take 3 shots at 1VE spacing, then tweak exposure compensation and take three more and so on, meaning that 9 exposures only requires two adjustments. Continuous shooting is around 6 frames per second, although the buffer limits how long you can sustain this for. Not a problem for me, but it might be if you shoot a lot of motion and sports. There are two user modes, which I thought were just a gimmick, but they are in fact really handy. I can try out different settings, and just flick back to my regular settings if I don't like them without losing any time. There are also two memory card slots for lots of storage space, and the battery life is impressive: I have yet to run out of charge. The camera has a solid, chunky feel to it: maybe not to the same extent as some of the pro cameras in the range, but certainly more so than a D3100. My only minor issue with the design is that the LCD screen on top of the camera is too small for me to read so I have to press the info button to get a display on the rear screen if I want to check the settings. This would probably be less of an issue for people with better eyesight than myself.
As for quality of images, I have got some really superb, sharp photos with this camera, although it makes me appreciate how good the D3100 was. Comparing output of the two side by side, interchanging the same lenses, there is really not a lot of difference. In fact, if not using exposure compensation/manual mode, I initially found the D3100 took better photos because of the D7000 tendency to over-expose. But, as we have said, this is easily adjusted. I don't think 2 more megapixels in the sensor make any noticeable difference at all, and I take all the reports about the high sensitivity of the D7000 sensor requiring more user accuracy with a big pinch of salt. I really did not encounter any of the soft focussing issues that some people reported. Now I think some of the reviews of how well this camera performs at high ISO levels may be a little exaggerated. Certainly, I do not agree with reviews that say even at ISO 6400 the images are usable, although if you shoot RAW you can remove a lot of the noise. I have certainly got decent low-light pictures pushing the ISO to 3200 though, at least after noise reduction in post-processing.
Now the problems. At first I thought the autofocus was fine, and you can set the playback menu to highlight where your focus point was to check you were aiming in the right place. But, after an evening taking candid shots of friends on a night out using my favourite 50mm F1.8 prime lens, with a wide aperture setting always focussing on the eye nearest the camera, I found loads of shots where the lead eye was soft but the rear eye was snap sharp, which is a sign of back-focussing. The D7000 features an AF fine tuning option for each lens, so I printed out a focus chart and found that the camera was back-focussing with all of my lenses. It was possible to correct this with most of them, but even with the compensation set to maximum (-20) my Nikon 35mm F1.8DX prime lens still showed sufficient back-focus to render the lens unusable with this camera. I would have left it, as this is the lens I use least and my beloved 50mm was fine after adjustment, but then I noticed the dark spots. I first saw them on some landscape shots taken after owning the camera for about 3 weeks, and showing up as circular marks at the same image co-ordinates on different shots usually across the sky. At the time I assumed it was dust on the lens, and gave this a clean, but the same marks at the top of images began to show up on all shots where there was a light sky at the top. Being landscapes, these were taken with a narrow aperture setting, around f16. I took a couple of test shots of plain white backgrounds, which clearly showed these round marks in the upper sections of the images, and sent them to Nikon. They did not comment on the cause of this, but simply said the camera needs to come back to them. Now I know some will say that you should simply learn how to clean your sensor, but I would point out that if you do this it will invalidate your warranty.
So my summary is that if you get a good one and can see well enough to read the small LCD screen, the D7000 is a cracking camera, and as prices have come down, it is excellent value for money. But, the problems with back-focussing and oil spots on the sensor have not been sorted, and there are clearly still faulty batches being produced and getting through Nikon's quality control. Having just purchased this brand new from Amazon, I would be surprised if mine were the only example in their warehouse that will have this problem. Even if Nikon rectify the problems, and send me a perfectly functioning D7000 within a reasonable timescale, it is still a nuisance having to return the camera so soon after purchase to rectify a known problem that was supposedly sorted out some time ago.
I will now sit back and wait for the inevitable comments that the back-focussing is simply user-error, the oils spots are just dust, it is perfectly normal to need to get your sensor professionally cleaned every few weeks, all makes and models of camera have faulty examples etc.
UPDATE: I have just received my camera back from Nikon UK. Total turnaround was about 12 days, which was quicker than their estimate. I am very happy to report that Nikon appear to have addressed both problems. I have tried out the AF system extensively, and now all my lenses focus correctly. Spots on the sensor are also gone. The repair receipt only made reference to the focus issue, but I have also received an email from customer services to say that a repair has been carried out to address the sensor-spot problem as well. Don't think Nikon wanted to say too much about this, but as long as the problem is fixed I'm ok with that. So have amended the rating to 5 stars, and am equally pleased with the camera and Nikon customer services.
FURTHER UPDATE: Unfortunately the spots on images became apparent again within a very short period of time, which suggests to me that Nikon cleaned the sensor but did not address the underlying problem. I have had the same lens on the camera ever since it was returned, so I am utterly convinced that this cannot be dust. The camera is probably going back to Nikon yet again, and I hope they actually fix the problem this time.
on 21 November 2010
Spent quite a while trying to get one of these ordered for delivery after the delivery date being changed three times. I eagerly awaited delivery from Photo-Koester in Germany. On arival the camera seems very similar to the D90 at first glance, however on further inspection I soon noticed that this is quite a different camera all together. I purchased it with a 18-200mm lens and after getting the battery charged I started to scroll through the menus. Setting the camera to A-Priority and choosing the Raw and Large format I set to taking some photos in around the house. Zooming in on the cup of tea on my coffee table and taking my fist shot I couldn't believe the quality of this thing! The image is razor sharp and bright images just kept coming and coming.
Now I have read a few reviews of this camera before hand and I know some comments have been made on the mic socket and its location, but having used this I have had no such problems whatsoever. Infact having used this over the past two weeks, the buttons seem all to be in a logical position and anyone who has used Nikon cameras before will have no problem using it. The video option is a nice feature although I felt the only option was to use manual mode as the noise from using the AF feature is just not acceptable to me. The twin SD card slots are a nice feature also and over all the camera feels solid and well built, even the rubber on the side seems to be better quality than the D90 did. I was stuck over choice in the begining over wether to choose the D7000 or the D300S as they both where in my price range. I feel I have made the right choice in the D7000. Its a joy to use and gives excitment every time I use it. An amazing camera, if your in the market for a new camera, you could't go much wrong with this one. An exceptional camera!
on 23 January 2011
These are my early thoughts after replacing a D80 with a D7000. I'm going to compare the 2 cameras to help those of you thinking of doing the same swap. The short version: it makes taking good pictures easier - buy one.
The 5 biggest improvements are:
- The exposure meter works well on the D7000. If you're coming from the D80, you're used to checking the exposure for every shot. I still keep my eye on the D7000 histograms, but they're usually good. I run with auto-active D lighting, which may help.
- ISO 3200 is about equivalent to 800 on the D80, if anything it seems a little better, but I've done no detailed comparisons. There's a big increase in noise at 6400, and I don't think it's really usable. Equivalent to about 1600 on the D80.
- Focus is much more precise - it almost always heads in the right direction and locks on straight away.
- U1 and U2 modes, where you can run banks of your favourite settings.
- Micro adjust lens focusing. I've got a Sigma 24-70 F2.8 lens, which at last works to its full potential after adjusting for front focusing. I've also got a Tamron 70-300 which has been significantly improved after adjusting for back focusing (see other reviews).
As I'm sure you've read, the camera can also take HD movies. This sounds fun, but I can't offer a useful opinion as I haven't tried it yet.
The camera body looks very familiar. It's about the same size and most of the buttons haven't moved much. Switching between the 2 cameras is easy. The major changes from the D80 are:
- From the D80 top
> the AF button has moved to the top of the focus mode selector, an improvement.
> The shooting mode (single shot, continuous, timer etc) has moved to a dial under the mode dial. More on this below.
- From the D80 back
> the OK button has move to the centre of the multi-selector - where it should have been.
> The multi-selector has moved down slightly, and its place has been taken by the live view switch. A bad change, as the multi-selector no longer sits right under your thumb.
Two of my big D80 gripes haven't been fixed. This is 2 camera versions later, so it's unforgivable. First, the 2 button reset. This still resets settings to the Nikon defaults - which includes ADR off and quality to normal. It should reset to my selected defaults. A potentially really useful feature that's unusable by design. Grrrr. Second, the SD card door still comes open accidentally - why no catch like on the battery door?
As with the D80, the camera is feature rich and most things you want to change are at your finger-tips. But the features don't come together as well as they should. It seems as if the hardware was designed to give you all the options you'd need, but no-one spent time integrating the changes to make them easily used. Moving the shooting mode to a dial is a good example. It seems like a standalone improvement from the D80. However, when you consider that the D7000 now has U1 and U2 modes, it would be better as a button as you'd be able to start with a chosen option. If shooting options were moved from the second dial, you could populate the dial with photo/ liveview/ movie and leave the multi-selector where it should be. I feel they should have made a better job of harmonising the features.
In conclusion, the picture taking ability is worth 5 stars, and it's a very good camera. But it should have been better.
UPDATE. I've had the camera for about 3 months now, and I'm still very pleased with it. I've got a couple of things to add to the review.
Auto-ADL is superb, and should be added to my list of big improvements. ADL effectively increases the dynamic range of the camera.
- I usually shoot JPEGs with ADL (Active D-Lighting) set to Auto. I accidentally set to OFF on a very bright day (in Egypt) and the camera was over-exposing by a full stop. When I reset to auto-ADL it exposed perfectly.
- Auto ADL isn't quite as smart as I'd like. It can over-expose in Auto, but then setting ADL to HL fixes the problem. I'd hoped that that Auto would go to HL when needed.
Even with auto-ADL (and even HL-ADL), the camera often over-exposes when it's bright, and it can over-expose by a lot. Though better than the D80, over-exposure is still a real problem. It tends to expose for the shadows, so pictures with darkened areas can look rather strange, with the brighter areas blown out. On some occasions it over-exposes for no obvious reason that I can see. You still need to keep your eye on the histograms and your finger near the exposure compensation button. A big disappointment after my early hopes, where it coped better with low contrast winter days.
The power connector cover is a new irritant for this camera. It's at the bottom of the hand-grip, and is always working loose. You can feel it under your little finger and it's constantly annoying. I don't want to glue it shut, but can't think of any other option.
This is it. This is really as good as it gets and value for money within APS-C sensor cameras. I had a D90 previously, which was a fantastic camera (my review is on Amazon), but I bought this as a full step-up in higher ISO capability and improved dynamic range - it also produces sharper images than the D90, but you've got to be staring seriously hard to notice!
The new 7100 is now out and with its extra MP and AA filter removed, is supposed to show an increased measure of resolution and sharpness...however, all of the professional reviews place a couple of caveats on this improvement - 1) you must have very good glass fixed to the camera to get the best out of it and 2)you must reduce / remove camera shake, or you will introduce blur into your images, due to the small size of the pixels, so then you either use a tripod (sometimes inconvenient) or increase your ISO sensitivity, to increase the shutter speed - this is going to lead to increased noise in images and thus, reduced image quality.
My top tip is to save your money, buy this camera and worry less about camera shake. Click the helpful button if you think this is the way to go...you will not be disappointed with this camera.
on 16 April 2011
I'm a semi-pro and I've used this camera on a couple of paid jobs now and really love it.
I'll do an old school good vs bad summary:
Everything just about; for a CMOS-sized sensor it's got a really wide latitude and it is AMAZING at high ISOs, (I took a day's images by mistake at 1250 iso and didn't even notice until I looked at the data) - the high ISOs allow slower lenses to shine almost as well as their pro competitors. I spent six weeks researching DSLRs around £1000 and this is, I believe, the very best value in the bracket. Colours are terrific, everything is natural. It's Some reviewers say that the machine even blows away full frame Nikon DLSRs.There is no back focus issue, I think this must me folks upgrading from compacts or somesuch, where sharpness algorithms over compensate for cheap glass, so when you use a DSLR like this for the first time - a full frame RAW image is MASSIVE
1. Build quality is really plasticy. This doesn't usually bother me, so what? I hear you ask. Well, it's around the handgrip where it fails, the battery compartment doesn't close brilliantly reassuringly and when you grip the camera, that wee bit clicks a bit - all day long. I shoved a little bit of card in between the battery and the shell and it stopped it. It was really irritating me on shoots.
2. Kit lens is awful. Buy one of the cheap primes for lovely stylish sharp pictures with plenty of dreamy 'bokeh' - the 35mm afs lens should be the standard lens for this camera. If you really want a zoom for this machine the 70-300 afs VRII is brilliant.
3. Auto exposure is on the bright side. Nearly everyone agrees on this. Just set your own compensation.
Remember that DX cameras on nikon lenses add to the focal length - so the 35mm becomes a 52mm and so on...
on 1 January 2013
I shoot with a D700 (full frame) as my main camera, I am a semi-pro who shoots events and the occasional portrait. I had been using a D90 as a backup/second camera however I was constantly aware of the large difference in image quality in low light. The D90 was good when it came out but is showing it's age now. In steps the D7000. I ummed and ahh'ed for a while then went for it as an upgrade from the D90 in April 2012.
The D7000 has more then proved a worthy upgrade from the D90. In some cases I'm now using it in preference to the D700 which I never thought would happen. The D700 is still an awesome camera but being a generation old now the D7000 has some advantages. One being the dual SD card slots. I love this feature and really wish the D700 had it (the 800 does but I'm not ready to go there yet as in all other respects the D700 is still amazing for my purposes. Mostly I set the second card to be back up - this gives me extra piece of mind that the images I shoot won't be lost should a card corrupt.
The D7000 has low noise at high ISO. Being compared to the D700 isn't really fair since the photosites on the D700 are massively bigger and can gather more light, however despite the D7000's smaller sensor an 4000 more pixels crammed into that space it does impressively well. I can shoot comfortably at ISO 3200 and increase to 6400 without having to do too aggressive noise reduction. Even 12,800 is posible at a push... though it is a push!!
One are the D7000 doesn't quite match the D700 on is autofocus as it doesn't have the 51 point system in the 700, however the 39 point system is still very good and the tracking is quite accurate and responsive, certainly way better than the D90. I've used it for sports where the 5fps speed is certainly useful.
I can't really think of anything not to like about it - for what it is, which is an upgrade on a prosumer body rather than a professional body, it does an amazing job. The control layout may not be up there with the D300/700/800 and the like, but it's very good and the body is still magnesium alloy and very well built.
I sometimes use the D7000 with my 24-70 F2.8 lens and although that makes an unbalanced feel as the lens is way heavier than the camera (a battery grip might help there), the image quality output is really something and I have to say the extra resolution over the D700 is sometimes nice to play with. I feel a bit like I'm having an affair with the 7000 at the expense of my old-faithful 700.. it's that good!!