Review Nikon D7000: measurements

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This is an appendix of our Nikon D7000 test. The measurements were carried out with the aid of Imatest. For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ. Conclusion and images are shown in the Nikon D7000 review. See our list of tested cameras to compare the performance of the Nikon D7000 with those of other cameras. Nikon-D7000-product

Resolution

Nikon-D7000-review-JPG-resolution

Nikon-D7000-review-RAW-resolution

With a good lens like the Nikon 35 mm f/1.4 set at f/5.6, the Nikon D7000 delivers a jpg file with a resolution in the center (averaged over ISO 100 to ISO 6400) of 1900 LW/PH. That is almost as high as the resolution of a JPG file taken with the Nikon D3X, but lower than the resolution of a Nikon D3200 jpg file (2650 LW / PH). The resolution of the Nikon D7000 is the highest at 100 ISO and slowly decreases at higher ISO values.

With a standard processing of RAW files in Lightroom, a slightly greater sharpness impression is obtained, which translates into an average resolution in the center of slightly more than 2500 LW/PH. This is between the Canon 5D MK2 (3000 LW / PH) and the Nikon D5100 (2500 LW / PH). By tuning the parameters in Lightroom or using Capture NX, perhaps even higher values might be obtained.

Dynamic range

The total dynamic range of a RAW file without noise reduction on ISO 100 to ISO 6400 averaged 9.3 stops for a RAW file, with a maximum of 11 stops at ISO 100. By applying noise reduction and sharpening, a total dynamic range of 12.5 stops can be achieved.

The total dynamic range of a jpg file averages 9.4 stops on the ISO range of 100 to 6400 ISO. This is comparable to the measurements of the Canon 7D and slightly lower than the total dynamic range of the Nikon D3200 . For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ

Nikon-D7000-dynamic-range

A poor signal / noise ratio in the shadow reduces the dynamic range of jpg files to a usable dynamic range of 7.5 stops at ISO 100 and 1 stop at ISO 25,600. Because of in-camera noise reduction, the jpg files seem to perform slightly better than the RAW files at all ISO settings. Yet that is not the case. We are testing the RAW files without using noise reduction. Therefore you maintain the highest possible detail of the shooting, while the noise, although measurable, is not visible in print. If you carefully optimize contrast, sharpening and noise reduction at RAW files, it is possible for RAW files to achieve a usable dynamic range, better or equal to that of the jpg files. Quite simply we managed to see a RAW file in Lightroom convert a TIFF with a useful dynamic range of 9.1 stops with a noise of 0.22%.

Nikon-D7000-useful-dynamic-range

Noise

Comparison of the noise in jpg files with the measured noise in RAW files without noise reduction shows that from about 400 ISO noise reduction occurs when the jpg files. That is the explanation for the higher usable dynamic range of jpg files in the graph for the usable dynamic range.

Nikon-D7000-review-jpg-noise

We know from experience that if the noise is less than 2.5%, a photo on A3 + size prints can be without the noise is as disturbing. An ISO 3200 file is thus RAW without further processing, to print, without disturbing the noise that is present. With some extra noise does that work for an ISO 6400 file.

Nikon-D7000-review-RAW-noise

Here, examples of a gray card photographed at different ISO settings are shown. The 100% crops show a detail as you see the pictures full size on your screen. By applying noise reduction to the RAW files, an even better result can obviously be obtained. Above ISO 6400, noise increases rapidly. The ISO modes H1 (~ 12,800 ISO) and H2 (~ 25,600) can best be used as little as possible.

Nikon-D7000review-noise

Color accuracy at daylight

Nikon-D7000-review-review-daylight colorerrormini

Daylight color accuracy (Delta E94)

DaylightRAWjpg
Average4.45.5
Average3.84.3
Best3.95.2
Best3.33.8
Worst4.75.8
Worst5.15.6
Skin tones4.14.5
Skin tones3.02.9
Natural Colors3.25.5
Natural Colors3.03.2
Bright Colors3.86.2
Bright Colors4.45.3
White Balance3.73.7
White Balance1.72.2

In our Imatest measurements, the Nikon D7000 delivers RAW and JPG files with an even more accurate color reproduction than the Nikon D3x, which so far had the best scores in terms of color put down. The differences are small and perhaps not significant. The illustration shows the errors of an ISO 200 color jpg image shot in daylight. The further the ideal color (square) is removed from the color of the camera (round), the greater the color difference. For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ

Color accuracy @ tungsten light

Nikon-D7000-review-review-tungsten colorerror-mini

Tungsten color accuracy (Delte E94)

Tungsten lightRAWjpg
Tungsten lightRAWjpg
Average99
Average8.29.0
Best89
Best7.08.0
Worst911
Worst8.49.4
Skin tones1010
Skin tones8.18.0
Natural Colors78
Natural Colors7.77.8
Bright Colors89
Bright Colors7.48.8
White Balance10.67.5
White Balance9.67.1

For both jpg and RAW files, you cannot blindly rely on the auto white balance in tungsten light as is clearly seen from the results shown in the image above, for a 200 ISO jpg file. Yet, the Nikon D7000 is one of the cameras with the most accurate color in tungsten light. The color reproduction of the jpg file is about as good as the Nikon D800E or Nikon D3200 , but the RAW files from the Nikon D7000 are slightly better. Only the Panasonic GX1 and the Panasonic G3 scored better on this part.

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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