"Enthusiast Level D-SLR"5.0 starson by Karen4love
Pros: + Great Picture Quality
+ HD video is excellent
+ Camera is brilliant to hold and use
+ 100% view finder!
+ Excellent battery life
+ FAST burst speeds, up to 6 fps
+ 12&14 bit selectable RAW files
Cons: - Unable to shoot 1080p video at 30 fps
- Still not weight balanced when using larger telephoto zoom lens
Summary: Chances are that if you are even considering this camera, it is as an upgrade. There are now countless comparisons in the photo magazines and on the web that you can use to check out how it compares in features, so there's little merit in repeating them here. It's certainly an "enthusiast" spec so for a starter camera it is probably more than you will need to pay. Camera manufacturers don't make it easy as each are backing slightly different technology horses - and at the end of the day (which coincidently is a time when this camera is particularly good due to it's ability to handle low light with remarkably little noise) it's a matter of personal preference which manufacturer you favour.
I find Nikons fit better in the hand than Canon or Pentax cameras - so head to your camera petting zoo to see which one fits best for you. I also find the controls more intuitive with the two wheel system. I also prefer Nikon's colour performance particularly compared with Canon's more saturated colour rendition, but since you will probably use some PC processing, this is not a deal breaker. If you believe the mark of quality is in resolution, you can get more Mps with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i - but at 16.2 Mp this is more than adequate for the amateur and prints at least A3 sized with no problem or loss of clarity. And the quality is down as much to the quality of processor as to the number of pixels per se. If you have a heap of Canon (or other) lenses though, then it's probably not great enough to warrant the cost of changing horses in midstream as Nikon lenses house the autofocus on the lenses rather than in the body as Canon does.
If you are coming at it afresh though, you are really looking at this against the Canon EOS 60D or the Pentax K-5 (although you can argue until the cows come home which the competitors really are. It's an upgrade on the Nikon D90 as well and certainly on any lower Nikons, and price wise, the Canon Rebel T2i might be in the same bracket).
Where the D7000 is arguably weaker is in the fact that the rear screen is fixed while many competitors allow angled versions. If you are planning on life as a Paparazzo, then this may be an issue but for me this tends to be more useful for movie filming. Which brings me to a second slight weakness - while the HD video is excellent on the D7000 my unit had a few dead pixels (only apparent in video) but there is now a Firmware update that has reduced this, not totally, but certainly to more than acceptable levels on my unit. But I don't film video that often so this isn't a concern. I've also tended to prefer the shutter release firmness on Nikons, and here it is OK but a bit mushier (technical term that!) than on the D90 for example.
In almost every other respect, this is a cracking camera. I love the duel card system that lets you save stills and video to different cards, or acts as a simple additional storage or for me, the best option allows you to save as both RAW and jpeg versions (incidentally, Adobe has now added D7000's RAW to it's list - but you will have to download that separately to even the latest Photoshop versions).
The D7000 offers up to 39 AF points - which really is superb in this price bracket and which helps to generate superb image quality. The camera's low light performance is superb; even at ISO 12800 it's just about acceptable. The build quality is fantastic and, while it tends to concentrate on doing the basics well, it has some nice features like low noise shutter options. The burst rate of 6fps is also pretty decent. Battery life is good too.
It's a cracking bit of kit and more similar to Nikon's semi-pro D300S than the lower ranges but at an enthusiast price band (albeit that as a new product the pricing is still a bit toppish - made worse by the VAT increase of course - but will undoubtedly come down in time ...... if you can resist that long though). But for all it's cleverness, you can pretty much operate it out of the box as a very over-priced point an shoot, if that's what you want to do (but why would you?)
It's not faultless (as explained) but it's certainly an excellent choice and you are unlikely to be disappointed. Is it good enough to swop bodies from a competitor? Well, that depends on how much kit you have invested in, but as a Nikon upgrade, it's a no-brainer. It's a joy to use and you'll love it - then when you process your pictures, you will smile smuggly to yourself at your choice all over again. ( but before you will buy the D7000 I suggest you have to check for best deal at: sites.google.com/site/nikond7000bestdeal )
Hope this help!