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.
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