"Amazing successor to D90, may even match D300"4.5 starson by kayone73
Pros: 1. 16.2 MP image sensor
2. weather sealing similar to the D300
3. AMAZING ISO range (100-6400) and lack of noise in low light
4. FAST burst speeds, up to 6 fps
5. 12&14 bit selectable RAW files
6. twin SD card slots
7. ergonomics identical to D90
Cons: 1. still unable to shoot 1080p video at 30 fps
2. RAW files not yet recognized by 3rd party software at time of this writing
3. still not weight balanced when using larger telephoto zoom lens
4. difficult to think of any real cons
Summary: Being a Nikon D90 user for the last year, I love the combination of ease of use, shooting power and image quality. However over time I quickly grew to learn and appreciate the performance limits (fps shooting, ISO range, 12 bit RAW files only) that are addressed by the more expensive and professional level D300.One caveat, as an early adopter, I've found that the NEF RAW files produced by the D7000 are not recognized by any current non Nikon software like Adobe products or Apeture at the time of this review writing. So for people who shoot RAW exclusively you might want to hold off purchasing this camera until Adobe RAW is released or just used the packaged View NX2 software to do simple RAW to JPG conversions, but with minimal post processing.
Imagine to my shock when Nikon announced several months ago a successor to the D90, initially dubbed the D95 then finalized as the D7000. When the spec sheets were announced, my jaw dropped. Basically what we have is a camera that is priced between the pro-am D90 and pro D300 DX crop sensor cameras. While the D7000 clearly and unsurprisingly outclasses the very competent and capable D90 in nearly every respect, from image quality, shooting performance and video capabilities, whats more shocking is how it seems to match or even exceed the specs of the D300s (if youre taking video shooting capabilities into account).
I was lucky to pick up a preorder of the 18-105mm kit from a local store (body only was not available yet at the time of this writing) and with excitement I set about opening it up. Packaged very similar to the D90, the camera comes with the 18-105mm VR kit lens in a separate box and instruction manuals/software CD. A nice change is the battery charger which comes with the usual long cable, but also has a short outlet plug that allows the charger to mount directly to the wall, much like most compact P&S camera battery chargers.
Onto the camera itself. As I've mentioned before, users of the Nikon D90 should find this new camera very easy to use, as nearly all the buttons, menus and controls are identical. They changed the live view button to a spring loaded switch similar to the D3100 with a button that is used to start/stop video recording. I tested the video at 1080p/24 fps and like the previews state, it does continuous AF during the recording unlike previous Nikon HD video dSLRs, however with the built in mic, the AF is LOUD and you can hear it whirring constantly in the video playback. If you want to shoot some serious video you're better off getting the optional external stereo mic that fits in the hotshoe.
Now onto the camera shooting itself. Having the 100% viewfinder coverage is nice, since the 96% coverage on the D90 made for some errors in composition, allowing objects to creep into the edges of my previous shots that I couldn't see due to the incomplete coverage.
The new 39 point AF with 11 cross type AF points is amazingly fast, and you can set to single AF so it only does it once before you shoot, or continuous AF so it'll continue to seek out AF points while the shutter is half pressed.
Shooting speed is FAST on this camera, at a respectable 6 fps at max speed, although you'll need at least a class 10 SD card to acheive this, and it maybe slightly slowed choosing 14 over 12 bit NEF RAW files. Speaking of which, like the D300, 700 and D3, you can shoot 14 bit RAW files now where the D90 and lower end cameras allowed you to only shoot 12 bit RAW which made for inferior picture quality in the final images.
The dual SD card slots are a great feature and the camera gives you multiple options how you want to use these cards, I chose to set mine up as overflow, altho when I start to shoot video I may set up the 2nd card as video only instead.
Now my favorite aspect of this camera, is not, contrary to some, the increased 16.2 MP over the 12.6 MP of the D90/300 image sensor, but the amazing ISO range and low light sensitivity. The D90 had a range of 200-3200 but images became pretty unusable above 2400 without serious software PP NR. I did some nighttime and indoor low light test shooting of the D7000 with its 100-6400 range and found images that looks better at 4000 than the D90 did at 2000 ISO. At 5000 or above, the noise does start to become noticable, but this new sensor plus a good image stabilized lens makes for a powerful low light shooter in most situations. I've read subject user reviews from people who own the D300 and FX sensor D700 and say this camera gives the D300 serious pause and in fact, can compare image quality to the D700.
Something to think about.
Overall this is a fantastic camera for the price and probably the last DX sensor camera I will need for a long time.
Updated on Oct 25, 2010