Is It The Perfect Midrange Digital SLR?
Although it was announced and released back in September 2010, the Nikon D7000 is still making waves in the professional photography niche.
It as if the rigid, impressively rugged form factor that the D7000 boasts struck a sensitive chord with many photographers. But that’s not all. The 16.2MP digital camera leviathan outguns most of its close competitors including the Pentax K-7 and the EOS 60D (by consensus, i.e.,) in terms of the sensor superiority and looks alone.
But with the likes of the recently released Sony Alpha series and the new D610s series dominating the tech scene, one may wonder whether the D7000 is still worth buying years after its debut.
Well, let’s see if it deserves your money in this comprehensive, unbiased and in-depth Nikon D7000 review.
1. The design language
Ergonomically, the Nikon d7000 feels like an exotic fusion of its semi-pro older relatives – the D90 and the D300s. Thanks to the premium magnesium alloy finishing, backed up by thick rubber hand grip coating, the D7000 feels a little bit more ‘serious’ than other DSLRs in the Nikon line up. In fact, the magnesium alloy build is moisture and dust resistance and so wildlife shooters should be worried about having a fragile artillery in their hands when skirting the Amazon or Congo Basin jungles.
Compared to other Nikon veterans such as the D4 and D800 (which are even more expensive as a matter of fact), the D7000 is a little less clumsy and more comfortable to sling over your shoulder even for small-bodied people. And if you’re wondering whether the D610 is any better, then have it the back of your mind that it is the same thing but in a bigger form factor than the D7000.
As for the display screen, Nikon went with their customary 3-inch panels with a decent 920k dot resolution. With such a panel, manual focusing should be easy enough whether you like viewing the subject via the aperture or on the LCD backlit screen.
2. Lens Compatibility
As far as lens compatibility goes, there’s no denying that the Nikon D7000 is one of the better and stellar models that Nikon has ever churned out. It can work with literally any AF lens released after 1986. Even better, Nikon found it worthwhile to include an aperture ring lens feeler, so that the person behind the lenses can meter all any newer (1978-onwards) manual-focus lens, the same way they would do with the autofocus types.
Other than that, the D7000 additionally boasts a full-colour matrix and a complimentary EXIF data backed up with manual-focus lenses perfectly suited for those of us who fancy sharing the lens data in the on-screen menu.
But even with that said, remember that even though manual focus lenses work extraordinarily well (a tad more accurately than AF lenses) they can tax a camera’s focusing system in comparison to an AF lenses. Nonetheless, extensive compatibility tests carried out on the Nikon D7000 show that this piece was simply built to withstand such photography-related strains.
As far as lens types go, it is always advisable to steer clear of off-brand lenses like the Tamron or Sigma. And this doesn’t just apply to the D7000 alone. The thing about cheap lenses is that in a bid to save a few dollars here and there, you sacrifice a professional photographer’s most crucial asset – compatibility with future models. So if you have such lenses produced before 2005, don’t expect them to click with the D7000.
For ultra-fast like the 56mm f/1.2 Noct-NIKKOR lens that tend to bog down other cameras, the D7000 handles them as exceptionally as any other semi-pro high-end camera would.
3. The specs sheet
As far as the metering system goes, the camera is well equipped with an array of 39-point AF slots meshed together with 9 cross-type AF lens points such to give rise to a sensor that can allow 3D AF tracking up to ISO 100-6400.
Speaking of ISO, unlike the Canon EOS, the D7000’s ISO is expandable up to ISO 25600.
As for the optical resolution, the Nikon D7000 has a 16.2 CMOS sensor that is capable of shooting 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second. And thanks to the inbuilt next-generation metering sensor, the D7000 is capable of replicating over 16 million colours with a respectable accuracy.
For a 2010 model, I must say that Nikon did a good job in making the D7000 as future proof as possible. It is one of the pre-2011 models that has a smart screen recognition systems that is only found in cameras announced in as late as last year. Such a recognition system has proven itself valuable over the years especially for white balance tweaking and improving focus accuracy.
That said, expect the usual midrange camera semi-pro features such as the flexibility to switch between Live View and Movie modes, an ingenious built-in intervalometer, the usual electronic virtual horizon feature and, lastly, a lockable drive mode.
4. Convenient features
Any decent photographer who has laid his hands on a few units can tell you that having two SD slots on a camera is one of few joys in our way of life. And the Nikon D700 didn’t disappoint either. Other than being the world’s 1st 2016 segment RGB shooter, (after Nikon’s upgrade from the traditional 1005 segment RGB meter) the D7000 was also one of the first cameras to have a duo SD combo. Which, of course, means that you can enjoy a live backup of everything you shoot, courtesy of simultaneous recording on both cards.
The U1 and U2 Instant Recall Modes are the other convenient feature most buyers will find useful here. If you have ever used any of Nikon’s older models, then you know that most of their cameras take decades before shifting from the Landscape to People’s mode especially when using manual focus. But in this model, Nikon addressed the issue by including a well-thought out Instant Recall feature that allows shooters to go back to a previously used mode as fluidly as you would when using let say your smartphone.
Overall, the D7000 is arguably one of Nikon’s best built cameras. It’s smooth, sweet, quiet, light and performs as well as we would expect from a midrange DSLR.