The Nikon D7000 is Nikon’s latest consumer-professional crossover camera, offering a raft of features at a price that won’t bankrupt. Though aimed at the amateur enthusiast photographer, the feature set allows for plenty of customisation should you want to get a little more hands-on. Amongst its feature list the D7000 offers a 16.2 megapixel sensor, full HD movie recording and image stabilisation, as well as dual SD card slots for maximum storage capacity. It is however not without fault. Let’s delve a little deeper into the features to find out where it shines and where it falls down, in our full Nikon D7000 review.
Nikon has a strong heritage in delivering outstanding image quality whilst maintaining fast shutter speeds and good colour representation, and in this respect the Nikon D7000 doesn’t disappoint. Images taken in daylight are crisp, clear and detailed when magnified. Using Nikon’s image stabilisation feature built into the lens itself, low light images come out well too. They’re a little grainy in auto mode but this is a trait in most digital cameras at this price point and below.
The built in flash is passable, but images tended to be harsh with washed out colour. It’s not a deal breaker but if you intend to do a lot of photography in low light, we recommend investing in a good quality tripod or external flash.
If you’re the type of photographer who wants the flexibility and ease of use of a point and shoot but the option to go fully manual when you’re ready, the Nikon D7000 however is a brilliant choice. The bundled 18-105mm lens caters for the vast majority of shots and the camera has built in features such as red eye reduction, face priority and movement tracking to ensure your shots will be as good as possible every time.
Once you’re ready to get a little more serious about your photography, the Nikon D7000 allows you to control white balance, shutter speed, aperture, film speed, light metering and much more. The interface is easy to understand and control and while you won’t get the “guide mode” featured in entry level Nikon shooters, the camera is still perfectly easy to configure.
For examples of how the camera performed, take a look at the shots above, with a few more in the gallery at the top.
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When we reviewed one of Nikon’s alternate consumer cameras, the Nikon D3100 back in October last year, we found its video capabilities lacking in a couple of key areas. Does the swankier Nikon D7000 allay our fears? In a word, no.
One of the biggest gripes with modern video capable DSLRs is that when recording a movie, the predominant sound heard is the clicking of the lens refocusing constantly. Luckily the Nikon D7000 has improved where the D3100 let us down; though the sound from the built in mic is still poor, the inclusion of an external jack allows for custom audio recording accessories to be attached.
The Nikon D7000 shoots video in the popular MPEG-4/H.264 format, but similarly to the D3100, still makes you drop down from 1080P to 720P to gain the ability to record at 30 frames per second. On a camera of this specification and price, we would like to see 30-50 FPS as a default when recording in full HD.
Don’t misunderstand us; the movie function on this camera is great for its intended use. For short snappy movies of the kids on holiday it will be more than capable; just don’t expect to become the next great film producer using this hardware.
The Nikon D7000 is connected like a Washington DC lobbyist. On the left hand side you have the audio/video out connection, mini USB socket as well as HDMI. Below that are connector ports for an external microphone and even a GPS unit, which will allow your camera to attach a location to the EXIF data of your snaps.
One the other side is the dual SD card slot. The D7000 is the first camera this reviewer has tested that has the ability to have two cards. Why would I need two cards, we hear you cry? Well, firstly with image sizes going up and up (a full resolution image in JPEG only format is near 9 megabytes), the more storage the better; but more than that, having two cards can give you much more flexibility when shooting. As an example if you wanted to shoot in both RAW format as well as JPEG, you can tell the camera to put the JPEGs on one card and the RAW files on the other.
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Build & Layout
If you’ve ever owned a Nikon DSLR in the past, you’ll instantly know how to use the Nikon D7000. The button layout is almost identical to the Nikon D90 and feels very intuitive, with everything neatly where you expect it to be. Our only issue with the design of the D7000 is the weight. This thing is heavy! If you’re a weedy hipster looking to enhance your image with an SLR slung around your neck then look elsewhere.
This camera needs a good grip and a strong arm to hold it. Because of its weight some of the buttons become difficult to use. In normal operation it’s fine as the weight is spread nicely across your hand, however switching to video mode requires the use of a button on the back of the device, which throws the weight distribution right off.
Other than that fairly minor gripe the build quality is incredible. The camera feels lovingly crafted rather than thrown together in a factory. All the buttons are responsive and the body itself is sturdy and not at all creaky. Nikon have always made great cameras and the Nikon D7000 is no exception.
If you’ve owned an entry level DSLR before and are looking to upgrade your camera, you will have to go a long way to find a better camera than the Nikon D7000. At £1099.99 it isn’t cheap, but the features are impressive and the quality is superb. Movie recording on DSLRs is still in its relative infancy, Canon still leads the field, and as we mentioned, this camera isn’t perfect for video. But if still photographs are your focus (no pun intended), then the Nikon D7000 gets the thumbs up from us.