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Home / Photography / DSLR Cameras
Nikon D7000 Rocks Big Sensor, 1080pBy Mike Perlman, Wednesday 15 September 2010
The Nikon D7000 is out to gobble up the competition with some enticing advanced features. Read our full coverage of Nikon's new mid-level DSLR here.

Today Nikon kicked out the jams with a new DSLR geared toward the advanced photo enthusiast. The Nikon D7000 wedges itself between the highly popular D90 and power packed D300, but does not skimp on advanced features. In fact, the D7000 is priced very competitively with the D300, so we're betting on Nikon's latest DSLR to make a significant splash in the tumultuous waters of the DSLR market. The D7000 is running right up against the recently announced Olympus E-5 and Pentax K-r, and all three cameras look exceedingly enticing. But the D7000's 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, latest EXPEED 2 image processing, 39-point AF system, revamped Matrix Metering System, and 1080p HD video are just a few reasons we think the Nikon D7000 will be having its competition for lunch.

Nikon D7000Nikon D7000Nikon D7000Nikon D7000Nikon D7000

"The D7000 D-SLR creates a new class of Nikon camera by delivering exceptional quality, control and an innovative feature set; this is a camera that enables D-SLR users to achieve a true expression of their creative vision, while concentrating primarily on image quality above all else," said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. "When you combine the innovation of the agile D7000 with the exceptional and robust line of NIKKOR lenses and accessories, the potential for D-SLR photographers and filmmakers is limitless."

Serious Imaging

The Nikon D7000's 16.2-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor teams up with the company's latest EXPEED 2 image processing on a quest to vanquish low light noise and unearth the finest details in still images. Nikon is one of the top low-light killers, as the D700 produced exceptional results for us at 3200 in the dead of the night. Now, the Nikon D7000 adds a Hi-2 setting to its native 100-6400 ISO range, capable of reaching a stratospheric 25,600. This formerly FX-Format only feature is designed to, you guessed it, correctly expose the image with "less noise and finer grain."

In addition to Nikon's latest DX-Format imaging powerplant, the D7000 a brand new 39-point AF System that is compatible with more than 60 NIKKOR lenses. Nikon promises fast tracking capabilities, and the AF System can be configured in combinations of 9, 21, 39, or a 21-point ring for different shooting applications. The AF System also includes 3D tracking, allowing the subject to be continuously followed within the 39 AF points and displayed in the viewfinder.

One fun fact about the Nikon D7000 is that is has a Scene Recognition System with over 30,000 images stored in a database, allowing the camera to adjust focus, exposure, and white balance based on the shooting environment. Light metering is also improved, and the D7000's new sensor includes a new Ambient White Balance setting for warm rendering while shooting in Automatic White Balance.

It's 1080p Time

Nikon busted a wicked move by adding 1080p 24fps full-HD video recording to the D7000, but it's not just a last-minute tack on to stay competitive with the other full-HD DSLRs on the market. The Nikon D7000's HD video mode offers full-time autofocus, face priority with up to 35 faces, subject tracking, and normal or wide-area autofocus. We can even shoot at different frame rates with the D7000, but they can only be accessed in 720p mode. Once in 720p mode, the Nikon D7000 offers 24fps or 30fps at 20 minutes per clip. Videos can be trimmed and lightly edited in the camera after they have been recorded, and the D7000 has a stereo microphone input for an external microphone.

Other tasty appetizers include a one-touch Live View switch, dedicated HD video Record button, and built-in HDMI output. The best part is the D7000's versatile NIKKOR lens fleet, allowing the D7000 to achieve angles and perspectives necessary for more creative filmmaking. Hopefully, the Nikon D7000 will bridge the Camera/Camcorder gap, or at least bring us closer.

Built Tough

Not only is the Nikon D7000 compact when compared to more advanced DSLRs, but it's ruggedly constructed of a magnesium-alloy top and rear covers with a shutter that is expected to last 150,000 cycles. The Nikon D7000 is also dust and moisture sealed and has Nikon's dust reduction system for cleaning up the CMOS sensor. A revamped Mode dial jumps right to the advanced controls, including burst modes, timer, Quiet Shutter, and two user-defined shooting modes (U1, U2).

For a clear, accurate view, the Nikon D7000 features a large, bright glass pentaprism optical viewfinder with nearly 100% frame coverage and a 0.94x magnification. The LCD screen is also impressive, rocking a 921,000-pixel super-density LCD with a 170-degree viewing angle. The D7000 is also equipped with dual SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots, allowing shooters to record videos to one card and RAW/JPEG/RAW +JPEG still images to the other.

Amidst the Nikon D7000's advanced nature, the camera includes a special effects retouch menu in Playback, allowing shooters to apply color filters, distortion control for fish-eye, perspective control for miniature, or a new color sketch filter that gives the image the appearance of a sketched picture. Of course the original copies of the images are stored in addition to the edited versions. There's also the Picture Control System that enables shooters to opt for Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, or Landscape settings, in addition to Scene modes that include Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait.

Pricing and Availability

The Nikon D7000 will be available beginning mid-October 2010 at $1200 for body only and $1500 for body and lens outfit that includes the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.
Name Score Price
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 84% $670
Canon PowerShot G12 82% $500
Nikon Coolpix P7000 82% $500
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 82% $500
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G10 82% $600

Name Score Price
Canon PowerShot S95 78% $400
Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS 74% $325
Nikon Coolpix S8100 74% $300
Canon PowerShot SX210 IS 74% $350
Canon PowerShot SD970 IS 74% $280

Name Score Price
Nikon D700 89% $3000
Pentax K-r 88% $800
Canon EOS 5D Mark II 88% $2700
Pentax K-7 87% $1300
Nikon D5000 86% $730
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