Imaging Resource has completed its comprehensive review of the Nikon D7000.
I think it's fair to say Nikon surprised everyone when they released the D7000 last fall with specs that competed with the higher priced prosumer Canon 7D and the Pentax K-5 (which came out around the same time).
Reviewer Shawn Barnett is terse in the new review, stating, "I found myself hard-pressed to find much more to write about the Nikon D7000, mostly because it works so well. Nikon has a well-refined control scheme that now better integrates video into the experience, such that I was able to switch between the two very naturally. I love the 100% viewfinder, which tests at about 98% in our lab shots... I found autofocus to be a little slower than I'm used to in the multi-point modes, but speed rises well enough when I lock autofocus to a single point."
A few key specs: 16 megapixels, near-100% viewfinder, 39 autofocus points (9 cross-type), 6 frames/second, dual SD card slots.
Here are some of my own thoughts:
I would choose the D7000 over the Canon 60D for its better autofocus and microfocus adjust options (someone needs to talk with the business execs at Canon who keep handicapping the xxD and 5D cameras with bad focus).
Faced up against the Canon 7D and there is a much more difficult choice. While the 7D is often priced around $1,500, I was able to find a new body for around $1,350 in Shanghai. Pricewise, that places it at only a couple hundred dollars above the D7000. At the time of my purchase, I was torn between the two cameras: on the one hand, my lenses are all Canon; on the other hand, when I go full-frame it will almost certainly be Nikon and it would have been good to get a start in the Nikon world.
Based on my research, I found the 7D to offer these advantages: better (more reliable) autofocus, better video options, better pro-quality lens choices (e.g., Canon 17-55 f/2.8 IS, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Canon 135 f/2 L), a more robust body (more metal, especially at the lens mount) and better ergonomics.
On the other hand, there are some advantages to the D7000: better high ISO performance (the 60D is slightly more competitive than the 7D in this regard), better Auto ISO, dual card slots, compatibility with Nikon legacy lenses, and room to move up with the DX D400 and FX D800 and D4 cameras that are likely to be released in the next year (I'm a firm believer that, megapixels aside, the D700 and D3 crush the Canon 5D and 1D in their respective categories and I see no indication that this imbalance will change in the new pro bodies about to enter the market).
For a consumer, the D7000 looks like an excellent camera. For someone looking to do professional APS-C work, I would recommend either picking up the Canon 7D or waiting for Nikon to update the D300X.
Of course, another player in the market is the Pentax K-5, the first truly competitive prosumer offering from Pentax in a long while. Personally, if I were to add another APS-C camera to my collection, it would probably be the Pentax over the D7000. Admittedly, my choice would be influenced by the fact that I already have the 7D, which offers or exceeds some of the more advanced flash, autofocus and pro sports lens options that the D7000 has... without the 7D the choice would be much more difficult.
I do want stellar dynamic range and better high ISO ability, both of which are deficient in the 7D and strong in the Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5. In addition to these, the K-5 offers in-body stabilization (great for prime lenses), pancake lenses, better weatherproofing, lighter weight, and a few other features I like.
One reason to hold off on K-5 purchase would be the problems that have been reported with regards to tungsten light autofocus on the new Pentax cameras; I'm waiting to see if the firmware that has just been announced will resolve this. There has also been a sensor stain issue but as far as I know that effected early editions sold; cameras rolling off the factory line now should be fine.
Though I don't foresee myself buying a Nikon D7000, it looks like a really good camera.
Please help support this blog through a purchase at one of our sponsors. There is also an Amazon search bar on the right side of the page.