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Review Nikon D7000

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Not long ago, we tested the Nikon D3200 , a hell of a camera, but perhaps too small for some. If you have large hands, you might find the Nikon D3200 and other small cameras with interchangeable lenses too small to work with comfortably. Perhaps the Nikon D7000 is a better offer for you. The Nikon D7000 was announced in September 2010 and is seen as the successor to the Nikon D90. But if you look at the specifications closely, the D7000 squeezes in between the D90 and D300s. Currently, the D3200 with 24 MP sensor being available, it will not surprise us if a Nikon D8000 will be announced within one year, comprising an image sensor with at least 24 MP.

The target customers of the Nikon D7000 consist of amateur photographers who demand a decent and good camera. The Nikon D7000 offers a solid finish, including additional sealing against dust and water, and a larger, bright viewfinder with 100% coverage. That is better than the smaller seekers of the cheaper Nikon models offer you. However, the Nikon D7000 will definitely feel the hot breath of the cheaper Nikon D5100 and Nikon D3200 on its neck.

Nikon D7000 review

Design Nikon D7000

 

The Nikon D7000 is unmistakably a Nikon camera. I will mention just a few recognizable details: the red line under the wheel on the front and the handy rocker switch on the back. The design is compact and careful workmanship ensures that the camera feels solid. The lens mount is not central but strong on the left. So you have no grip on the left side of the house, which is not bad as you support the lens with your left hand.

Nikon-D7000

The macro photographers among us will miss a folding screen at the back. Such a detail tells you that the D7000 is walking again sometime. On top of the camera body, an adjustable collar sits on the left button with the PSAM surrounding that allows you to set things like number of frames / second and a self-timer. This collar is locked against unintentional touching. Too bad Nikon has failed to lock the PSAM too. Several times, it has happened to me that this button was inadvertently distorted, which is very annoying. Nikon has chosen to give things you often use a button (think of ISO, exposure compensation, image quality and white balance). In practice, it works as quickly. Very useful is the info button on the back of the camera. When you push it, you will see all the important settings on the screen. If you press that button one more time, you can change those settings. Particularly awkward is the AF-M button on the left of the mount. Both the positioning and operation are difficult.

If you compare your Nikon to Canon, you will see that more Canon cameras are similar in terms of control than Nikon cameras alike. Switching from one Nikon camera to another sometimes requires more familiarization time than you might expect.

The image sensor of the D7000 is a known Nikon one, which it applies to the D5100. The house of the D5100 is somewhat simple. The sensor has 16 MP; the much cheaper Nikon D3200 counts one and a half times as much. Please remember that for many applications 16 MP more than adequate.

sample-image-Nikon-D7000

Measurements for this test have been carried out with the aid of Imatest. The measurement results are shown in the Nikon D7000 test report. For test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ.

Nikon D7000 versus Nikon D5100

There are many similarities between the two cameras, such as the number of megapixels, the ISO range, the camera menus and the resolution of the LCD screen. Notable differences are:
  • The viewfinder magnification of 0.62x with the Nikon D7000 is better than the Nikon D5100 with 0.5. The viewfinder accuracy of the Nikon D7000 is 100% better than the 95% of the Nikon D5100. The larger the viewfinder, the easier you make a composition
  • The Nikon D7000 is sealed against water
  • The Nikon D7000 has a metal body and 780 grams is a lot heavier than the Nikon D5100 with a weight of 560 grams
  • The Nikon D5100 is smaller, lighter and cheaper
  • The Nikon D5100 has a HDR capability, the Nikon D7000 does not
  • The LCD screen of the Nikon D5100 can be folded, the Nikon D7000 cannot
  • The Nikon D7000 has 39 focus points, the Nikon D5100 only 11

Nikon D7000, Nikon D7000 test, Nikon D7000 vs Nikon D3200

Nikon D7000 versus Canon 7D

  • The Nikon D7000 has 16 million pixels, the Canon 7D 18. In practice, this is a negligible difference
  • The Nikon D7000 will focus during filming, not the Canon 7D
  • The Nikon D7000 features 39 AF plots including 9 of the cross type, Canon 7D has 19 all of the cross type
  • The Nikon D7000 can simultaneously accommodate 2 memory cards, the Canon only one
  • The Nikon D7000 is up to 5.5 fps, the Canon 7D 7.5 frames per second
  • The Nikon D7000 is smaller and lighter built than the Canon 7D

Viewfinder, display, and menu

The viewfinder accuracy is 100%, the increase amounts to 0.9 and by the crop factor of 1.5, the total magnification 0.62. That is a high value for a crop camera. If you compare the viewfinder to the viewfinder of the Nikon D800 or Canon 5D MK3, the viewfinder size is still a tad disappointing. The viewfinder, shutter speed, aperture, etc., in the viewfinder are clearly legible, even in very clear weather. With the Fn key, at the right of the lens mount, you can activate the level in the viewfinder. However, the other viewfinder information is no longer visible in that case.

 

 Nikon-D7000-product-back

The 39 AF fields are well distributed across the frame and the rocker selects a field. Here, you see an immediate benefit of a camera of the DX format camera compared to the full-format. The scattered sites on the image is a lot easier for a camera with a large image sensor than for a camera with a small image sensor. The spread of AF points of the Nikon D7000 is better than, for example, the Canon 5D or Nikon MK3 D800E.
When you compare Nikon to Canon, you will immediately see another design of the menu. Nikon is this narrow and deep. Therefore, you should still take a deep scroll. For the Canon 5D MK3, a kind of tab layer is created due to the many institutions, but it is never necessary to scroll down.

Resolution Nikon D7000

With a good lens like the Nikon 35 mm 1.4G, the Nikon D7000 delivers a jpg file with an average resolution of 1,900 lines per picture height. With a standard processing of RAW files in Lightroom, a greater sharpness impression is obtained, which translates into an average resolution of slightly more than 2,500 lines per picture height. The resolution of the cheaper Nikon D3200 is significantly higher than the D7000 tested here. In addition, comparing the D7000 to the D5100, you will see that the resolution of the D7000 is slightly higher but the differences are not large.

RAWvsJPG

The difference in sharpness between a standard RAW file developed in Lightroom (left image) and a jpg file directly from the camera (right) is indeed measurable, but in practice often not visible.

Dynamic range Nikon D7000

The total dynamic range is an average of 9.3 stops for a RAW file and 11 stops for a jpg. By applying some noise reduction and sharpening, one can achieve a total dynamic range of 12.5 stops : a good performance and the same as the Canon 7D. In this area, the Nikon D3200 is a fraction less. The test results are in the Nikon D7000 test report.


A poor signal / noise ratio in the shadow reduces the dynamic range of jpg files to a usable dynamic range of 7.1 stops at the low ISO settings up to 1 stops at ISO 25,600. For the test method and explanation of terms, see FAQ. Nikon D7000-dynamic-range
Nikon-D7000-dynamic-range

Noise

 

The test results are in the Nikon D7000 test report. Comparison of the noise in jpg files to the measured noise in RAW files without noise reduction shows that at the jpg files at ISO 400, noise reduction takes place. We know from experience that if the noise is less than 2.5%, a photo can be printed on A3 + size without the noise being seen as disturbing. Right is a detail from a 6400 ISO RAW images without any noise. Below you will find a somewhat less favorable example.

6400ISOjpgcrop

In a 6400 ISO RAW file without noise, the noise is usually dominant. By applying noise reduction to this file, a much better result can be realized that even this file can still be printed on A3. Experience shows that if the noise is less than 2.5%, a photo on A3 + size can be printed without the noise being disturbing.

6400ISOcrop2

Color accuracy

 

The Nikon D7000 delivers RAW and JPG files with a more accurate color reproduction than the Nikon D3x, which so far had the best scores in terms of color put down. It is doubtful whether the difference between the two cameras is significant, so small it is.
daylight

daylight

In artificial light, you cannot blindly rely on the auto white balance for both jpg and RAW files, as clearly seen in the results shown for a 200 ISO jpg file. Yet, it is the Nikon D7000 with these results to the cameras with the most accurate color reproduction under tungstenlight.

tungsten

Built-in flash

 

The Nikon D7000 has a built in flash, which we did not test.

Nikon-D7000-flash

Autofocus

 

The autofocus of the Nikon D7000, when combined with the Nikon 50 mm lens 1.8g lens, will hunt in low contrast situations. In addition, the AF will be on the slow side. Using another lens, such as the Nikon 12-24 mm, you will see that the autofocus works much smoother.
The autofocus tracking of the Nikon D7000 is functioning properly. A series of photographs of a car approaching with a speed of 80 km / h towards the camera, yields almost exclusively sharp images.

AFtest

Conclusion

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Prosumer
Year:2010
Overall score:7.8
Resolution:7.0
Dynamic Range:7.9
Noise:7.5
Color:9.8
Whitebalance:6.0
Megapixels:16
Sensor:APSC
Sensor magn.:0.63
fps:6
Weight (gram):780
MSRP NL (Euro):1189

See our list of tested cameras to compare the performance of this camera with other cameras.

Pros

Cons

  • Very good color rendition and white balance, both in daylight and artificial light
  • Good distribution of the AF focus points
  • Large and clear viewfinder
  • In terms of resolution surpassed by the Nikon D3200
  • No folding screen
  • PSAM button is not lockable
  • Awkward button placement AF-M

The Nikon D7000 feels solid and the sensor performance does not disappoint. The noise performances are good and the colors are represented very accurately. Using the Nikon D7000 is straightforward, but at certain points could somewhat be improved. Macro photographers will miss a folding screen and the PSAM button unintentionally distorts very easily. The camera body is heavier than the Nikon D5100, but lighter than the Canon 7D. The Canon 7D achieves higher frame rates, but has fewer AF focusing fields. The autofocus performance with Nikon 50 mm 1.8 could not convince us. The much cheaper Nikon D3200 has a much higher resolution than the Nikon D7000. It is time that a Nikon D8000 appears, although the Nikon D7000 remains a fine camera!

Measurement results are shown in the Nikon D7000 test report. Nikon D7000 On the site are multiple sample jpg images (each more than 20 mb in size), taken with the Nikon D7000 and you can download the image quality of this camera with my own eyes to admire.

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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