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June 12, 2011

The Nikon D7000 – A New Category of Camera?

D7000_110.jpgThe newest book in the NikoniansPress/Rocky Nook series of "Mastering" books: Mastering the Nikon D7000, by Darrell Young is being printed and should be available next month. Darrell's latest book is his largest to date, and he tells us the main reason is the number of surprises he found when digging deep into the D7000 features.

In writing this new D7000 book, shortly after writing Mastering the Nikon D300/D300s and Mastering the Nikon D90—and using each camera extensively—Darrell formed some strong opinions on the three cameras. Now that the author's deadline has passed, he shares some of his thoughts in the following brief preview:

Darrell-Young_200.jpgNikon has upped the game significantly with the Nikon D7000. In fact, it’s basically in a category of its own and costs more accordingly. Why do I say that? Well, compare the Nikon D90’s cost, at US$900 for a body only kit. It’s about the same as the new Nikon D5100, not the D7000. At US$300 higher the D7000 is significantly more expensive. Could the Nikon D5100 be the real replacement for the Nikon D90, and not the D7000?

Compare the D90 and the D7000 and you’ll notice that the D7000 has features more like the semi-pro line (D300S, and D700). In fact, the D7000’s basic operating system is a near clone of the D300S’s functions. There are new items in the D7000 that actually improve on the D300S, and simply blow away the D90. It’s almost like the D7000 is in a new category of camera. Instead of just being considered an “advanced” or enthusiast camera—like the D90—the D7000 is fully capable of shooting commercial work in nearly every way.

I’ve shot two weddings and a graduation ceremony with my D7000 and, let me assure you, this camera is faster and better than the D90 in nearly every way. It is much more robust physically with its mostly magnesium alloy frame, its autofocus system is even better than the D300S in some ways, the image quality is in a class of its own, for sure.

The feature set on the D7000 is very rich, with items not absolutely needed by non-commercial shooters, but required by pros. Some things that come to mind are:
• 100% viewfinder coverage
• 150,000 shot shutter
• 100 shot JPEG image buffer
• 39 point AF system, with 9 cross-type AF sensors
• multiple user settings (U1 and U2) for storing custom camera configurations
• 14-bit color depth
• magnesium alloy frame with weather sealing
• 1/8000 second top shutter speed
• 6 frames per second firing speed
• 2,016 pixel RGB sensor for metering
• Dual SD cards (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
• Ability to meter with and use non-CPU manual focus lenses
• Full Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) control with a Commander Mode
• Full-time autofocus in Live view and movie mode
• Full manual control of the shutter speed and aperture for movies
• 20 minute movie segments
• Stereo sound recording
• Amazingly good noise control in high-ISO shooting

D7000_400.jpgIn fact, I am seriously amazed by this camera. Its list of features reads more like a D300S or D700 than a D90. In my opinion the D7000 sets new standards for enthusiasts. It costs a little more, but places the user in almost the same class as the semi-pro line. I wouldn’t be afraid to take this camera any place I shot with my D300S previously. In fact, I have! My D300S has gotten a lot less use since I got the D7000. It’s that good.

If you are on the fence about which camera to buy today, don’t walk … run … to the nearest computer and order your D7000. You can depend on the camera to take more abuse than a D90, last longer than a D90, and provide better quality images than even a D300S—approaching the level of a D700.

Nikon has given us a new class of camera. It’s better than an enthusiast-level camera like the D90, and nearly as robust as a semi-pro level camera like the D300S.

As I’ve said in previous articles, the D7000 is a mature camera. It is made to last and last until N.A.S. gets you and you buy it’s replacement. However, you can wait as long as you’d like, it won’t be necessary to buy again for a long time. Buy new (or old) lenses instead! This camera can use almost any lens that Nikon makes (except non-AI).

Mastering-the-Nikon-D7000_175.jpgEditor's Note:
This is an excellent time to take advantage of preorders. Amazon currently has a preorder rate of $20.94 USD (saving you $14.01).

All books in the Rocky Nook/NikoniansPress series include a special Nikonians 50%-off voucher discount for a one year Gold Membership in the Nikonians community. This will save $37.50 on Gold Membership.

Posted by flashdeadline at June 12, 2011 11:40 PM