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Nikon D7000 review: small and (almost) perfectly formed.

I used the Nikon D7000 for six months as a backup to my D3s for wildlife photography, in conditions ranging from the frozen valleys of Yellowstone in Winter to the warmth of a spring morning in the English countryside, and I loved every second of it! If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feeds you’ll have seen over the last few months I’ve had a lot of good things to say about this camera. In fact, two of my favourite shots this year have been taken with it!

The Nikon D7000, it's may be small, but packs a mighty punch.

The Nikon D7000, it\’s may be small, but packs a mighty punch.

Nikon released the D7000 effectively as a replacement for the D90, but as everyone said right from the day it was announced, it basically jumped in as what most considered the companies flagship DX DSLR (a title still held until the arrival of the official D300s – but even given that, I still wouldn’t overlook this great little camera). Sure there are a few things missing to make this a true Pro camera, but on paper and after several months of use I can honestly say this really is a much better camera to use than the D300(s), let alone the D90.

OVERVIEW

Resolution: 16mp DX sensor, 4928 x 3264
Speed: frames per second (11 shot burst in 12bit RAW, 10 in 14bit)
Focus motor: New 39 point autofocus system
Video: 1080p HD with autofocus
More info: On the Nikon website
I’d also like to say thanks to Nikon & the guys at the official I AM NIKON BLOG for loaning the camera for review.

Where to buy:
B&H Photo video in the USA. Warehouse Express & Clifton Cameras in the UK

LETS BEGIN…

Ok, so lets get on with this! And as we start I’ll just explain that this review is based on my own experiences, and how I’ve found the camera to operate and perform in real life situations. As such, you won’t find me talking in extensive detail about every single feature on the camera, as this isn’t a technical review, it’s more an account of my thoughts after prolonged real life use. As such I hope this review comes in handy not only for those looking to move up the Nikon DSLR family tree, but also those who are looking for a small, light backup DX camera to a full frame system. After all, there is no denying when it comes to wildlife photography, the DX crop factor for those harder to reach subjects is something that’s hard to resist!

Ever since I had a quick hands on with the D7000 when it was launched, I wanted to shoot with it in real life situations, so when the kind folk at Nikon asked me if I’d like to test one for a while I jumped at the chance! I received it just before I went out on a two week winter wildlife trip to Yellowstone National Park in the USA, and opted to take just the D3s and D7000, leaving my D300 at home. A brave move, given I had no real experience of the D7000 other than what I’d read about it, but I was confident in its abilities. And I was right in doing so as it performed perfectly whilst I was there, even shooting without flaw when the temperature dropped to -39f!

Even in the biting cold of Yellowstone, the D7000 didn't miss a beat

Even in the biting cold of Yellowstone, the D7000 didn\’t miss a beat

After returning I used it quite a bit in the UK, in all weather ranging from bright sunny spring days to dull, grey and wet typical British days. I also took it with me on a two day trip to The Farne Islands. At times I’ve even left the D3s at home and forced myself to use the D7000 to really get an understanding of how it performs. I really enjoyed the experience, but it wasn’t perfect, so I’ve highlighted not just the good points but also, what I considered to be weaknesses. But remember, these are MY thoughts for my shooting style, and is only to help give you an idea. What is a flaw for me could be irrelevant to you.

BUILD AND CONTROLS

The D7000 is small. Very small. In fact, I’ve got quite small hands but even I was surprised at how small it felt to hold. Unfortunately I wasn’t supplied with a grip for testing so it really was quite an experience getting used to a small body form again. My D300 grip never came off and of course the D3s is a large beast, so the D7000 on initial handling felt almost like a toy. My second impression quickly arrived, and that was how solid it felt in the hand and how well designed it felt, with the major buttons all being within easy reach. My third impression was that I didn’t like the way some of the features and buttons were organised. At first I wondered why no dedicated ISO, quality or White Balance buttons and why those buttons also served dual purpose with other features. I also wondered how on earth I change between the focus modes until I found the little button round the front, and realised this, in conjunction with the command dials, was what I was looknig for. But then I had to remind myself, this isn’t a pro camera and that there will be some differences in control and layout. But that just goes to show what a great camera this is, that at times you forget it isn’t here to replace a pro body, but a high end consumer body.

A more 'grown up' mode dial, borrowed from bigger cameras

A more \’grown up\’ mode dial, borrowed from bigger cameras

The dual rotation mode dials and SD card slots also help give the camera a ‘grown up’ feel, akin to it’s bigger brothers. The mode dials are especially welcome as they make switching between different shooting modes quick and easy when you’re out in the field. There is a user programmable U1 and U2 modes on this dial, and they are great for setting up different sets of settings, should you need to switch from one shooting style to another very quickly. The dual SD cards are great for shooting stills to one and video to another, or of course using card two as backup or overflow.

Although SD, the dual card slots are very welcome

Although SD, the dual card slots are very welcome

Overall the button layout and nice large buttons make the D7000 a pleasure to use, and once you get passed the slightly quirky controls for a few select features it becomes fairly easy to operate without taking your eye from the viewfinder. My only real problem here is the main mode dial, where as the sub mode dial for selecting shooting speeds, timer etc has a lock, the main one does not. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself wondering why the image I just took didn’t come out right, or why the focus mode has changed, only to realise I’ve accidentally switched to another shooting mode and not realised. Not a huge problem, but something that has happened several times, which is enough for me to notice.

However, I’ve had no qualms about shooting in adverse conditions with the D7000 and even when caught out in a massive snow storm in Yellowstone, I carried on shooting with snow settling quite thickly not just on me, but the camera and lens (my 70-200 VR) as well. But still it didn’t miss a beat.

Even in a blizzard, the Nikon D7000 happily fired shot after shot without any form of camera cover, in sub zero temperatures.

Blizzard. D7000, 70-200, 1/320, f8, ISO 560

The D7000 top LCD

Top LCD provides usual info at a glance

Having said above how surprised I was at just how small the D7000 is, one place that came in very handy was on the way home from Yellowstone. I needed to make some room I my hand luggage and was able to squeeze the D7000 in my jacket pocket, freeing up valuable space in the bag! So if you need to travel light, this would be a very attractive bonus to the size.

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS, SILENCE IS GOLDEN & THE DX EFFECT

Ok, so it’s not silent in operation, but the already very quiet D7000 offers a Quiet Shutter mode, and although this reduces the frame rate down to one shot per second, it is very very quiet. This is great news for wildlife photographers, as there are times when you are in a hide or other noise sensitive situations, and even the camera firing can spook the subject.

The other added bonus to this camera is of course the DX crop factor. This is like having a 1.5x a teleconveter always attached to the lens. It doesn’t actually give you a boost in focal length of course, but what it does is give you the same field of view as a longer focal length, effectively allowing you to get more pixels on your subject. So my 600 VR effectively becomes a 900mm, my 200-400, a 300-600.

My favourite image from my 2011 Farne Island trip. A puffin looking straight at the camera with a beak full of sand eels.

D7000, 600 VR + 1.4x TC

A Great Crested Grebe taking nesting material back to it's nest site.

GC Grebe: Nikon D7000, 600 VR, 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 200

As you can see, once you start adding teleconverters, you really see some impressive reach when you look through the viewfinder, and that is what really attracted me to this camera! Getting back the DX crop factor, but in a camera body that inspired confidence and offered the image quality to do it justice.

IMAGE QUALITY

The D7000 has been around long enough now that there are many many image quality tests all over the net. In fact I did my own high ISO test back when it first came out, comparing it against the D300. So check that out for some side by side comparisons. What I really want to talk about here however, is the quality in the real world, because that is where it really matters. I was never a huge fan of the D300(s) image quality. It was ok, and I got some lovely shots with it at times, but it never left me overly excited. A lot of users really rated the ISO performance whereas I personally thought it was a bit hit and miss. The D7000 however is a very different beast. Now don’t get me wrong, there is still noise present and it does progressively get worse as the ISO creeps up, but as I’ve been looking back over my images recently I’ve had the same ‘wow, that’s really that high an ISO figure’ feeling for some images that I first had when I picked up the original D3 when it first hit the shelves. That’s not to say the D7000 is on par with the D3 or D700 because it’s not, but in real world use I’ve found it far more pleasing than the D300. Detail seems to be held for longer and the noise has a much more pleasing fine grain look to it, with nasty coloured blobs from chroma noise being far better controlled.

D7000, 200-400, f4, 1/200, ISO 2000 (no NR)

D7000, 200-400, f4, 1/200, ISO 2000 (no NR)

What I will say though, is exposure is absolutely the key to clean higher ISO images with the D7000. On the full frame cameras you can underexpose a little and still get away with good clean high ISO images but I’ve found the D7000 is a little less forgiving and pulling detail out of the shadows can very quickly become an exercise in fighting off noise. Get the exposure pretty accurate though and you’ll be rewarded with surprisingly clean images. Of course, your idea of what noise is acceptable will be different to mine, but for me, once I notice the noise before I notice the actual image, that’s when it becomes a problem.

Here is a 100% crop taken at ISO 1100, at f4, 1/200. That’s my absolute bottom line for handholding the 200-400 at 400mm on a crop sensor. There has been no processing done to this at all, just a simple conversion to jpeg and saved for web. It may be slightly soft due to the shutter speed v focal length, but it gives you an idea of what to expect with a good exposure. I used this image specifically because of the dark feathers in the bird, as it’s dark areas that’ll show up the noise faster.

Nikon D7000 100% crop at ISO 1100, 1/200, f4

unedited 100% crop at ISO 1100, 1/200, f4

Personally, I’ll happily shoot the D7000 up to ISO 1600 providing a I can get a good exposure for it. If I can’t, I’ll go higher to ISO 3200 but then I know I might have to do some work to clean the image up (I’m not a fan of noise reduction, so try to avoid it if I can). Remember though, I’m saying this as someone who’s main camera is a D3s. If I was moving up through the ranks of DSLRs then I’d be less critical and appreciate the ISO performance of this camera far more.

MORE RESOLUTION = GET GOOD OPTICS AND PRACTICE TECHNIQUE

One thing I have noticed right away with the D7000 is that all those pixels in such a small space will start to show up any flaws in your lenses and lens holding technique faster. That’s not to say the D7000 makes your lenses look rubbish, but it’s certainly less forgiving. And with all those pixels packed tightly, it really does require you paying attention to your technique before you press the shutter. Much the same as when the 12mp D2x first hit the shelves many years ago. There were wide reports from photographers on many forums that it was soft, but in fact it was just that you really needed to be that bit more careful in reducing vibration before firing the shutter. The jump from 6mp to 12mp caught people off guard, and the same thing can happen here if you get lazy.

A QUICK MENTION OF VIDEO

1080p and full time auto-focus show that Nikon has starting to pick their game up in an attempt to catch up with Canon, who are, lets face it, way ahead of the game when it comes to video in DSLRs. I’m still just finding my feet with video, so don’t really feel I can talk too much about the pros and cons but I can certainly give you my thoughts so far.

Dedicated Live View switch and Record button are welcome

Dedicated Live View switch and Record button are welcome

What I can tell you is although the auto-focus has several options to configure it, I don’t think it’s very reliable as it twitches all the time if you are moving the camera or anything in the scene is moving around. I’m sure someone out there may find it’s usable for something, but I personally much prefer the good old method of manual focusing for now. Although I welcome the day focus in video is good enough to track a bird flying! Also, you can really tell Nikon are thinking more and more about video just from the way it is activated. It was a breath of fresh air to have a switch I could flick with my thumb to initiate live view, followed by a nice red record button in the centre of that flick switch. Compared to the separate, and not next to each other, method of the D3s live view and record buttons, the D7000 really feels like it was always built with video in mind which is nice.

I also did a very quick rolling shutter test way back when I had a first hands on, so I’ll just stick that here again so you can see it for yourself. But to sum up, yep, there is still rolling shutter problems.

The biggest downer for me so far though is that the camera has no full manual mode for video capture. You can set the shutter and ISO when live view is on but the aperture can only be changed when live view is off. There is also no visual exposure meter on the screen so you can’t get an idea of the video exposure when recording. That’s fine as you can use the LCD for quick reference but if there is bright sun or tricky light you may wish for that exposure meter on screen to give some assistance.
I’ve since been informed that if you have a D or manual lens (i.e., a lens with an aperture ring), as apposed to the more modern aperture ring-less G lenses, you can set it up as a non-CPU lens with the camera and this allows you to have full manual control in video. It’s not really a hack, but given the camera by default with modern G lenses doesn’t allow you to have full manual, it’s more of a hidden feature, but handy to know!

Clips out the camera are nice enough though and open up in both CS5 and iMovie with no problem, although I’m still hoping for something better with the next generation of Nikon DSLRs as far as video in concerned.

FOCUS

I’m definitely impressed with the focus speed from the new 39 point AF system. It’s done a good job of focusing on near and far subjects and even been quite happy to track a Red Kite doing it’s aerial acrobatics when I’ve been shooting with the 600 VR with both the 1.4 and 1.7x TC’s. If nothing I’d say it’s on par with the D300(s).

D7000, 200-400 + 1.4x TC, f8, 1/640, ISO 1250 (no NR)

D7000, 200-400 + 1.4x TC, f8, 1/640, ISO 1250 (no NR)

What I have noticed though is the focus can be twitchy sometimes and eager to switch to another subject or micro-hunt if the light is too contrasty or the subject is a bit jittery. Also, if the light is very poor it can have a bit of trouble locking on at times. This is made even worse if you are trying to hand hold at longer focal lengths. This is probably more noticeable for me because I’m using the D7000 alongside the D3s, which has rock solid focus. But it’s certainly something I’ve become aware of at times. For example, if there is an animal on the ground or bird in a tree obscured by grass/branches, the D7000 can have a hard time pin pointing where the subject is, if only a little of it is showing. In contrast, with the D3s, if I get a focus point on even a small part of the subject, it doesn’t matter whats in the way, the D3s will lock straight on.

Nikon D7000, 600 VR, 1/400, f7.1, ISO 160

The good news though is that it will still focus in regular conditions until light levels drop off enough that your average keen amateur will probably have stopped shooting anyway because of the lack of light. And for the Pro or serious hobbyist, if you’re shooting this camera as a backup to a full frame camera, you’ll want to switch to that anyway once it gets too dark to make use of the better ISO. I’ve read some reports that said the D7000 (at the time of release) had the best focus system of any camera out there, better than even the D3s. It doesn’t. But it’s very impressive, and if you work within the limitations it will reward you with some very sharp images!

BATTERY LIFE

Very good! I was worried it would run out quickly, especially when I was in well below freezing temps in Yellowstone, but it never came close and I would always have at least 60% remaining in the evening. Quite impressive, given the harsh conditions. Of course battery life is hard to judge as it varies depending on how many shots you take, what the camera settings are, how many video clips you film etc. But to date, I’ve never even come close to worrying about needing a spare battery whilst out shooting – which is handy, as I didn’t have one anyway!

CONS: WHAT I DONT LIKE AND WHY

Ok, so we’ve covered the main parts of the camera and what I’ve thought about them. It’s mostly good but there are some problems that I’ve found over the last few months shooting with this little DX beast. Whether you see them as problems will depend on your needs but these are based on mine:

I’ve already mentioned this but it’s tiny and light. I have quite small hands for a man but even I was surprised at how dinky it felt to use. The size and weight might be an advantage to many out there, but if you are like me and shoot with big heavy lenses it does feel a little uneasy. I’ve never felt like I could potentially break a lens mount before on a camera until I connected the D7000 to my 600 and 200-400. I know you shouldn’t do this anyway, but sometimes I pick these lenses up briefly by the camera first. Well, not with this little D7000 I won’t. It suddenly feels quite delicate when connected to these robust telephotos. Shooting with the 200-400 I found it quite unbalanced and had to get my mono-pod out as even just walking around the combo felt slightly uneasy due to the weight of the lens overpowering the build of the camera. Adding the battery grip is supposed to improve on this unbalanced feeling though, but I can’t comment directly on how much so.

The D7000, mounted to the 200-400 VR with a 1.4x TC

The D7000, mounted to the 200-400 VR with a 1.4x TC

It’s only fair however, that I also point out that I was able to test the D7000 out with the Sigma 150-500, which Warehouse Express sent me to review, and with that type of lighter lens the D7000 shines. After all, not everyone who uses a D7000 is going to have £5k+ of lens to attached to the front. And paired up with a more modest lens, you get a very light and powerful combination that I found a breath of fresh air, especially as I usually have over 7kg of gear to carry around with me!

Paired with the Sigma 150-500, the D7000 offers a great lightweight setup.

Paired with the Sigma 150-500, great lightweight setup

The buffer and speed. If you are buying this camera to shoot anything fast paced such as sports or certain types of wildlife, be warned, the camera can only fire off ten 14bit RAW files at 5 frames per second, or eleven if you shoot 12bit RAW. The biggest problem is the speed it takes to clear the buffer, coming in at roughly 15 seconds, but that’s with a class 6 SD card, so that might improve nicely with a faster card. Regardless, a bigger buffer would be most welcome. As it is, it’s slow, very slow. And whilst 15 seconds may not seem like a long time, if there is something going on it front of you, waiting for that buffer to clear can feel like an eternity! I’ve since been told with a Class 10 SD card, the buffer clears in 10 seconds, which is a big improvement

10 Pin connection. It’s very easy to forget this body is not designed to be a mini Pro camera given how well it presents itself overall, but one of the things that reminded me was the missing the 10 pin terminal for accessories. I’ve got several shutter release cables and remote shutter cables, none of which I can use with this camera.

That main mode dial. Like I said before, it’s easy to twist it to another shooting mode without realising. I’ve done it several times and think it could do with being a little stiffer.

SD cards. If, like me, you are already heavily invested in Compact Flash cards, having to buy in to a new set of cards is a pain.

And as an aside, the grip isn’t compatible with the EN-EL4a battery. Not a big deal, but I loved the D300 because I could shoot two cameras and only needed to take one battery type and charger when I travelled.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As you may have gathered I think this camera is good. Very good. It’s not without it’s little issues and quirks granted, but I’ve been shooting it as a backup to one of Nikon’s flagship cameras which will naturally make it easier for any shortcomings to be noticed. But the fact I’ve enjoyed using it so much alongside the D3s is a real credit to the ability of this camera. I think once the D400 or whatever the true D300s replacement is called, arrives, we will be in store for something very special indeed as I have no doubt all these little quirks will be ironed out.

But the D7000 has performed without issue in all kinds of weather and condition and it’s been a joy in every single situation. I’ve never had to stop and think if I should take it out the bag, regardless of the conditions I’ve been shooting in, or felt like I had to baby it. And that’s a very good thing indeed. After all, if you can’t trust a camera, you wouldn’t want to shoot with it!

D7000, 600 AFSII, 1/500, f8, ISO 500

Red Fox, Yellowstone. D7000, 600 AFSII, 1/500, f8, ISO 500

So would I recommend it? Without hesitation, in fact 3 of my wildlife photographer friends have purchased them as backups after me raving about it to them! I myself sold my D300 soon after getting this loaner, and I certainly didn’t pester the good folk at Nikon to take it back from me in a hurry!

The only exception to an instant recommendation to buy, is to those who need more speed from a camera. The extra resolution is certainly nice but because of where this camera sits in the Nikon family tree it comes at a price, that price is speed. However, if you already have a fast shooter and simply need a DX backup camera for getting some extra reach, or you are looking to upgrade to a slightly higher spec camera than some of the lower end entry level models, then you simply can’t go wrong.

The rear button size and layout, akin to it's bigger brothers

The rear button size and layout, akin to it\’s bigger brothers

So to sum up this review, although the Nikon D7000 certainly isn’t able to claim Pro status within the top end of the Nikon DSLRs, for the price, it does a very good job at trying to keep up with them!

David Bennett

I fell in love with the image quality of the D700 and thought it was the easily the best I had ever had out of a camera.

But it is big and heavy and full frame.

I switched to the D7000 and have not regretted it. It is a Goldilocks camera – not too big or too small.

And it’s image quality is all I could ask for, even if it does not have quite that detail that the D700 can pull out of the hat.

Alan

Hi Richard

A very good review and round up of the D7000 based on real ‘in the field’ experience. There are too many reviews of cameras which have been been written from testing a camera in an office.

For me the D7000 will not be a viable option in terms of a replacement for the D300 due to the reasons you point out, lack of buttons for ISO control and focus mode etc. Nikon are clearly keeping this part of the market open for a D300 and D700 replacement and from this review and of what I saw of the D7000 when we are on the Farne Islands I think there are 2-3 superb cameras up Nikons sleeve at the moment.

Exciting times ahead I think!

Regards

Alan

Richard Peters

I agree, very exciting times ahead. The fact a camera of this calibre performs so well means that something very special should be in the near future. But for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles, it’s amazing what spec and quality you get for the price these days. Makes me cringe thinking back to my D100, which was the only ‘cheap’ DSLR at the time at £1800 and how that compared. It’s definitely safe to say people just starting to find their feet in photography these days are getting fantastic cameras to do so!

Joan Thirlaway

I second your comments, like you I’ve had the mode dial slip mid shoot.
I also keep catching the DOF preview button with my little finger when I’m supporting the lens.
While I was annoyed about the infra red remote I was pleased that you could set the remote to fire with mirror up, useful for landscapes and I love the sneaky little level that you can set on your function button.

One big suprise for me is the exposure meter.
As a landscape enthusiast I have been used to always using ND grads.
A week or so ago the morning was cold enough for mist and the filters wouldn’t stay clear so I put them away, planning to take a couple of shots and blend them later.
I was amazed at the result of the first shot, the metering system had taken a better shot than I would have got with the grad.
Like you I think the D300s replacement is going to be an absolute cracker.

André Joanisse

Very nice review Richard. I have also recently purchased a D7000 as a backup to my D700. The D7000 replaced my D200. I do landscape and wildlife and it works very nicely in both with the limitations you point out.

One thing on the landscape front, it won’t take the new PC-E lenses, just not enough clearance with the flash. I knew this when I purchased it, so not an issue for me.

I recently got a surf waterhousing for it and it combines with it and the Tokina 10-17 fisheye and 12-24 perfectly. Will be doing some whale photography with this setup.

Chris Pearson

Nice review Richard, I have a couple of follow on questions:

When you say no 10pin connection is this a problem simple because you already have some 10pin remotes or is there a flaw/issue with the MC-DC2 connector?

The buffer is a concern, how often did you find this an issue? Was it an issue bad enough to not have this as a primary camera? My current D50 is only about 3fps for 4 frames so almost anything would be better, but at the same time I wouldn’t want to spend almost £900 on something that’s an immediate problem.

If these issues are genuine show stoppers I’d rather save the extra for the new pro DX.

Thanks

Chris

Richard Peters

Hi Chris. The missing terminal is only a problem for me because I already have various accessories that use it, so if I was keeping the D7000 it would mean buying more gear to get the same functionality I already have. But if you don’t own any 10 pin accessories, it might not be a deal breaker. With regards to the buffer, twice have I found it to be a problem. I rarely fire the shutter off at full speed for any length of time, but it was certainly annoying the two times I really needed the buffer to be bigger, and after that it did kind of niggle away at the back of my head. With regards to waiting for the next DX pro…it’s certainly going to be very impressive, but at a price. If you can warrant the extra expense then it might be worth waiting to see what the D400 brings to the table. Otherwise, the D7000 is still very capable indeed and offers fantastic value for money right now!

Bren

I guess I’m not getting the ISO thing. I’m in A mode, I press the ISO button and rotate the command dial, and voila. What am I missing?

Richard Peters

Hi Bren, the D3s, D300s and D700 all have a dedicated trio of buttons for ISO, Quality and WB all grouped together away from the other controls. The D7000 has these features shared with other functions on the same buttons, thats all. It’s just a difference in control layout between Pro and consumer bodies – nothing major, but something I was pointing out for anyone looking to get one of these as a backup to a Pro body :)

Bren

Thanks. I personally like the Easy ISO feature on the D7K… Have you looked at it?

Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images

Great review. I upgraded my D2x by downgrading to the D7000 as an interm camera while patiently waiting for the D4 series to come out, and as a platform to explore the video features. The image quality is superb, and I recently used it exclusively for a week long travel assignment. The only problem I consistently have is the mode dial slip. It may not have the full pro features, but it’s pretty darn close, save a few FPS, etc.. The ISO button takes a wee bit of getting used to, but far less irksome than the mode dial slip.

Richard Peters

Bren, like I said, it’s just a slightly different approach to the Pro bodies & one that seperates it from them. It’s not a bad thing, just slightly different.

Richard Peters

Thanks Gary, glad you enjoyed it! The mode slip is a little frustrating, the first time it happened I spent about 5 minutes wondering why the focus mode had changed and why I couldn’t change it back lol. But it is a very very capable little camera. Even once the D400 is with us, I think the D7000 will still be held in high regard, and rightly so!

charlie davis

Hi richard im very keen to hear your review on the 150-500 sigma as i use it myself but would love to know how you rate it against your Nikon 600 as i have never used one to know what I’m missing out on allot I’m guessing.

Cheers Charlie

Richard Peters

The review should be done soon on the Warehouse Express blog. Compared to the 600 VR, it’s chalk and cheese though. 600 blows it out the water in every sense of the word with image quality, but of course the 150-500 wins in portability!

Chris Pearson

Just found there are converter cables available on eBay for about £7 each. Can get both to and from the pro connector. Granted they won’t be as good as a proper dedicated item and is another point of failure it might be useful for people such as your self with lots of triggers already.

Search “Shutter Remote Terminal Convert Adapter” on eBay.

Mike

Interesting read. I have owned a D7000 since last Nov and have had a terrible time with it. It is going back to Nikon for the 5th time in 3 mos. Continues to throw oil spots all over the sensor. Nikon has cleaned it, replaced body, replaced a part in it and still the problem reappears in <100 frames. They still cant seem to get a hold on it. So for those considering it – check that issue out. Hard to believe that I would have the problem in both the original and the replacement body.

Richard Peters

Thanks for the tip Chris :)

Richard Peters

I’ve not come across this issue personally but sounds like quite a nasty one for those that may experience it :(

Richard Walliker

Great review. My first 7000 was faulty and was replaced. After years of D80/D90/D300 and still a D700 I found it was a camera that certainly did not give perfect images “straight out of the box”. This was probably a little over expectation by me, but also getting to know the the new technology i.e. EXPEED2 processor etc. The APS-C new16 Mp sensor allows a greater crop factor. Also the highlight for me is the wonderful U1/U2 switch which allows me to switch settings from static to in flight birding with ease. I use a Nikon 300mm f4, 70-200 2.8 plus teleconverters and although good, they are not great and I need extra reach so I need the 200-400 or the 400mm lenses. With my 14-24 and 24-70mm the results are razor sharp.

There’s little doubt that the D7000 is good and I expect the replacement D300s to be even better (wouldn’t be nice if they excluded HD video and spent the money on an even better still camera). However, good as it is, I am not sure how far Nikon can ever go to replace the D700 which is in my view a remarkable camera in many ways, just not suitable for distant wildlife.

So the D7000 is my wildlife camera, my D700 for absolutely everything else.

PS, I ought to see if the video works, never did on my D90 either!!

Lee miles

Good review
I purchased my D7000 last november to replace my D200 which was a tad long in the tooth so after several months I feel I have time to weigh up my personal good and not so good bits
My favourite Good bits :
Lowlight is amazing even at 6400 ISO,build is good not professional quality but for the rest of us enough
Controls are extensive if you cant find one to suit then it probably does’nt exist.
Battery life is incredible I did a days shooting at an airshow driving alot of glass back and foward in AF with a Bigma 50-500 and after 1200 images still had 30% battery life left.
User 1 &2 very handy for quick personal setting mode changing
dual card slots (I use 2 x 32gb class 10′s) great for peace of mind back up
duel IR shutter release recievers (one front one rear)

My worst not so Good bits
The grip is too small and should have been made closer to the D7 D200 more rounded style.
Video full time AF is terrible much easier to use manual and then you can get those differencial focus shots that work so well in video.
FPS buffer runs out of puff at 12 frames (for me its enough) but I could see some who are machine gun Kelly shooters getting frustrated .
Ultra high ISO’s over 6400 are only any good for face book rubbish (just a gimmicky selling point)

Overall for me I am well satisfied with the D7000 it was a big improvement over my old D200 and makes getting technically good images a walk in the park compared to some of my previous cameras
I payed top price as it was a pre-order but now the cost has dropped by a couple of hundred quid its a dam good buy for such and impressive piece of kit.

Nikon snaps up “European Advanced SLR Camera of the Year” at EISA Awards | Camera Obscura Photography Magazine

[...] Pro photographer, Nikon user and recent blog contributor Richard Peters recently posted his review of our D7000. Testing it in a range of conditions, he captured some really great shots with it. You can check out his photos along with the full review of the camera on his blog. [...]

Matt Fisher

Hi,

Excellent review. Im torn between the D7000 and the D300s as i want to upgrade. I generally do landscape, and motorsport for my shots…. Which one would you say is the greater beast?

Thanks

Richard Peters

Thanks Matt, glad you liked it! Personally, I think that the D300s is getting on a bit now. I’d go with the D7000 ‘unless’ you really want better build (nothing wrong with D7000 but I know some are worried about it’s construction). If that is the case I’d hold on for just a little longer as the D300s replacement is due!

Richard Walliker

Matt. For me it would be the D7000 at this time. It has the new Expeed II processor and contains more “good” pixels enabling tighter crops. Also, the camera mounted U1 and U2 setting allows easy switching between Landscapes and Motor Sport settings without having to go into the menu custom banks. On the down side, its max. fps is less, but I do not find that a problem for birds in flight. I did have a D300 and would say the D7000 is a much better tool. I believe it is one of the best Nikons for years and at sub £900 great value.

However, all that said it is stronly rumoured that the D300s upgrade is due. I believe it will have the new Sony sensor, maybe a prism viewfinder. It will be expensive and definitely worth waiting 6 months for the price to fall if you like the spec of it. I think its initial price will exceed £1400.

Richard

lance black

Love that photo of the fox!

Nikon D7000 Price | Digital Cameras

[...] results that this camera will give you.   Nikon-d7000 Additional Accessories [DEAL_OF_THE_DAY]The price on the Nikon D7000 is about $1500.00 some used ones can be bought for $1380.00  The Nikon…D300s. The feel is similar to the D90, but is  a little more somber. The D700 has a  magnesium [...]

Camera Nikon d7000 Review, Read Before Your Buy

[...] Nikon d7000 Review, Read Before Your BuyNikon D7000 ReviewNikon D7000 review: small and (almost) perfectly formed.if (top != self) top.location.href = self.location.href> SitemapTerms Of UsePrivacy Policy [...]

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Gary

I bought a D7000 last year with a 16-85mm lense, it seem OK for general wide angle stuff at f8/ f11 but recently Iv’e been putting it through its paces with my 300 f2.8AFS and 600 f4AFS Nikon lenses and compared with my D300/ D700 there appears to be a focus problem.

It just wont give me the critical focus that I get with my other bodies, I’d be interested if anyone has had the same issues.

Iv’e tried single and nine point focus on moving and static subjects and my D300 outperforms it everytime, The D7000 won’t even focus on a static subject accurately with my 105mm VR macro, it seems to focus at a different distance.

There were reports of focus issues with the early D7000 batches but I thought this was an urban myth,.. perhaps not. I know there’s the ‘more pixels can make images look softer effect’, but it isn’t that , its more fundamental.

If there are any D7000 users out there I’d be interested to hear there views before I send it back, at the moment I just don’t want to use it.

Gary

Richard

L Gary.

My first copy was of the earliest batch and I had a really bad experience with it. Everything on my Nikon 300mm f4 + 1.4 TC and 70-200 f2.8 + 1.7TC just would not focus on distant wildlife. My other lenses inc. 14-24/24-70 f2.8 appeared fine. The forums were awash with focus issues and it was in most parts user error, but a few like me had their bodies changed as we could prove the focus problems. My replacement D7000 did not have the problem, although some user learning was still needed to get the best out of the camera/lens combo’s.

You Will probably have seen my Red Kite images on my website taken with the D700, but all other images taken after Nov. 2010 are with the D7000. I also have had some remarkable results with the Sigma 50-500 mm OS considering this is really a budget long lens.

I think you’re body needs checking and I personally would send it to Nikon. I have read others have and focus issues have been found. As an aside, I am wondering whether the new D800 will present similar focus issues? As yet I’ve seen no wildlife images that have been cropped or otherwise, but I have read a few posts about a few concerns!

Keep me updated as I am interested in your dilemma.

Cheers

Richard

Gary

Thanks Richard,

I’m contacting Nikon on Monday,

will keep you informed
Gary

Gary

Richard

Just as a closing note on my focus issues with my D7000;..

After sending it back to Nikon my |D7000 was returned cleaned, focus checked and firmwared, experience with my D7000 is still the same, it just doesn’t seem to give me the critical focus with telephoto and macro lenses, although, as before, manual focus seems better, so it would indicate the mirror is aligned correctly.

My 70-200vr mk1 for example is bitingly sharp with my D300, not with the D7000 I’m afraid, even on manual focus it almost looks as if the lens is slightly fogged, (not crisp and contrasty like D300/700), but my lenses are fine. To date I have compared the D7000 with 12-24 DX , 600f4 afs mk1, 300f2.8 afs mk1, 105 macro vr, shooting RAW processing on Nikon capture NX2.

I have failed to reach a verdict on this, in the short term I will keep the 7000 with a 16-85 zoom as a ‘holiday camera’ but it will never be the backup for my D300/700 as I intended it to be.

Gary

Richard Walliker

Gary.

I am, like all here, extremely sorry to hear that news. Not wishing to be insensitive, but I am sure you have seen my Red Kite images on my website, each one taken with a D7000 with either a 70-200 + x1.7 TC or a 300 f4 without a TC. So similar criteriors apply unless that the light I had was the best I could have hoped for.

I wonder if you could find someone at a local camera club etc. who may have a D7000 and you could try your lenses on the other body, then your body on their lenses? Alternatively, have you tried an AF fine tune routine with a mounted test target? Both front and rear focus problems are not unkown on the D7000. It’s not much of an answer I’m sorry and I do hope you find a resolution.

Richard

Gary

Hi Richard W,

Yes a few hours with another D7000 would be interesting. I have had a quick look at your website and the Images are excellent.

However the problems with my D7000 are only apparent when looking at 100% on a monitor. Website images unless loaded at 100% would never show the issues I have.

I supply images to some of the premier Nature and Gardening agencies in the UK including Getty and the D7000 will pass QC, so its not all doom and gloom, its just that I know its not as good when compared to a D300/700.

I have used the 70-200mk 1with a x1.7 with subjects like butterflies, but I have never been really happy with the results,

The Irony is of course we all know that 12mp is good enough for anything unless you’re a serial cropper!

I won’t post any more on this subject but on the subject of 12mp here is my text from a recent blog referring to the D800,..

“last year I was contacted by a rather high brow UK agency for permission to use a shot of mine for a double page spread in a glossy UK magazine. (they’d got the image from one of my foreign Agents which I wasn’t best pleased about but that’s life) The UK agency in question has a very strict QC policy with a minimum file size of 50mb and a preference for full frame cameras.

Anyway the image was used and looked great, it was taken on a Nikon D200 with a 10mp sensor and the much criticized Nikon 18-200 VR lense.

As stock photographers the most we can expect a repro size at will be max A4 double page spread, and I think most will agree that’s a red letter day for most of us. My present kit of D300, D700 and D7000 will suffice for quite a few years yet.
Point of this post is, .. its the image that and not the kit that counts, and 36mp creates huge files and is quite unmanageable for uploading and general storage, but of course that’s just my opinion. “

Richard Walliker

Hi Gary.

Note to self, “stop messing about with should I, or should I not have a go at stock images, and get on with it”! I would really feel a great boost to have something published or sold apart from friends for once.

My main reason for writing is that Nikon Rumours have announced that Nikon have registered a new lens, a 100-300 f4. Doesn’t particularly interest me as I have the 300mm f4, 70-200mm VR + x1.4TC and a Sigma 50-500mm OS. I would have preferred a 100-400mm f3.5-5.6 VRII as a replacement for the 80-400mm VRI.

Cheers

Richard

victor nguyen

Hi Mr. Peters,

Thanks for sharing your sites, knowledges, and experiences to us. you are awesome photographer.

I have same equipment as you have such as Nikon D3s with 600mm VR, 14-24mm, …along with D7000 for my sparing. however, i got a problem when I used D7000 with 14-24mm, most pictures I did take, it seems like blur even very carefully to focus. those pictures were not acceptable.

First, I thought my lens or AF mode, …but i did check but stll got the problem. My friend has the same problem.

Hopefully, you will help me to figure out how to set up ….

thanks very much

Victor Nguyen

Richard Peters

Thank you Casey, appreciated. It’s a paid theme which I then did some editing on.

troy phillips

Great review, told me what i needed to know without the extras.

Lee Miles

I have had my D7000 for 2 years it replaced my old D200 with the D7100 just anounced the price of the D7000 will come down markedly is it still worth buying? IMO yes the price tag will make it a bargain, pixel counts dont make photos subject and composition does however all you need is resonable clarity and lots of camera adjustment to fine tune prior to pushing the button both of which the D7000 has and now it will be at a really good price .
Any minor hiccups in image crispness is these day very adjustable with software like Noise Ninja & Focus Magic both of which IMHO work really well but for me with a reasonable glass on the front I love the image quality this little am cam produces.
My puchase of the D7000 was never influenced by the pixel count as I have seen stunning images taken on 8 meg digitals it was the controlability of the camera that sold me and I am still not disapointed the glass on the front is what really makes a difference put a junk lens on a Blad and you will get junk quality.
Downs? of course no such thing as a perfect camera AF on video is awful but then not manual focusing when shooting video is not the brightest ideas as you loose that wonerful pull focusing ability.
my other dislike are the super hi ISO’s very gimmicky and horrible but up to ISO 6000 this camera is the best low lighter I have used
Great camera & now will be at a fantastic price