It’s been a long, ridiculous wait, but Nikon has finally delivered a camera that can hold its own against Canon’s HDSLR juggernaut. The Nikon D7000 is slowly making its way to stores and the eager hands of Nikon faithful who have resisted the urge to jump ship, and I’m just gonna say it; it was worth the wait.
Some people will immediately point to it’s DX sensor and low bitrate when recording movies and tell you this camera is of no use to professionals. They are mistaken. Would I like those issues addressed? Absolutely. Hell, throw in an articulated LCD while you’re at it. But this camera is not diminished in my eyes because it lacks these things. This camera is deceptively powerful, at a very aggressive price point; $1,199.00 for the body, or $1,499.95 for the kit which includes an 18-105mm DX VR lens. Why exactly do I love it so far? I’ll tell ya.
First and foremost: manual controls. This was the most necessary inclusion to Nikon’s video capabilities, something that had been an embarrassment up til now. Prior to the D7000, manual controls had be limited to the D3S, a seriously awesome camera, with a seriously painful price tag. That’s the obvious change, without which I wouldn’t give this camera a second thought. Beyond that, there are a bevy of other improvements that really take it to the next level. 1080 24fps shooting is a welcome addition, as is 720p 30; and these are proper video framerates (23.98, 29.97). A dedicated Live View switch and video record button are also a nice touch.But here are the big three for me. These are the ones they didn’t have to do that start to make up for all of the time spent waiting.
1) It’s a low-light monster! This camera handles the dark ridiculously well! The video at the top of this post was shot the first night I had the camera, and the ISO for that footage ranges from 2000 to 5000. That’s crazy! Tack on the fact that the camera was bumped up to a 16mp sensor and you have quite an engineering feat there.
2) The rolling shutter is GREATLY improved. I own a D90 and have enjoyed shooting with it to an extent. When you plan, support, and compensate, the rolling shutter is manageable, but it’s also extremely limiting. The D7K still wobbles, but it is FAR less, allowing me to consider *gasp* handholding it!
3) This last one isn’t exactly a video-only feature, but the fact that they included an interval shooting mode is huge for us timelapse shooters. I have gone through at least 3 various eBay timers for my D90, and even when they did work, they were clunky, prone to breaking, and they put strain on the port they had co-opted for their purpose. In short, I hated them. This is the same Interval Shooting mode that has been included in the DX00 models and above and it is rocksolid. No more worrying about misfires, dead batteries, or poor connections. It just works.
So that’s my two bits on the D7000. I’ve only had mine since Friday, so I’m looking forward to a lot more shooting and I’ll put as much of it up here as I can.
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