Back to the wonderful world of auto-focus (D7000 first impressions)

Started Apr 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Subrep
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Back to the wonderful world of auto-focus (D7000 first impressions)
Apr 23, 2012

In 2006, my first DSLR was a Nikon D50, equipped with a Nikkor 18-200VR, which ended up selling after a while. Not because I did not like the camera, quite the contrary. The exposure was always nice, the camera was very quick and fast and accurate AF was enough for me to simply forget how important this is. But at f/5.6 the lens was on the slow side and a maximum of ISO 1600 was not the best for the type of photo I like most: people, indoor, artificial light, without flash.

Then in 2008 I bought a Pentax K100D Super and FA 50mm F/1.4. Very fast lens, image stabilizer in the body, ISO 3200 usable, seemed the perfect camera for the type of photography I wanted. In addition, Pentax camera and lenses at the time were a bargain: FA 50 F/1.4 cost $ 200, and an FA 35 f/2.0 cost $ 300. But as it turned out, not everything was positive: the exposure was not the best and the auto-iso could not be used in conjunction with exposure compensation, and, especially, the AF has always been erratic, even with subjects standing, and worsened in dark environments or using the lens at the widest aperture. Nevertheless, I learned to work around its limitations and took great pictures with it.

With the birth of my daughter, however, the limitation of auto-focus has started to become unbearable. As she began to walk and became a child, the photos become impossible. It was time to buy something up to date.

The Pentax K5 was the first option to be considered: a semi-pro DSLR compact and packed with so many nice features. Neither Nikon nor Canon offer so much in so small DSLR. But, looking through the forums, complaints about the AF are numerous and frequent, I was afraid to buy without being able to test one before. And as the brand does not exist in Brazil, would have to buy "in the dark." Moreover, other things made me dismiss it:

-> Many lenses have suffered large price increases (as the FA and the FA 50 4.1 35 2.0) or disappeared from the shops.

-> There is much talk of failures in SDM lenses that do not dare to buy such a lens;

-> The apparent health of the Pentax does not push me to invest more in this mount (exchange owners; few products in production);

-> There is simply no support in Brazil, and where there (Europe and United States) is greatly criticized;

Well, finally bought a Nikon D7000 and a Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM. Here we go:

-> Quick at all! It's a pleasure to photograph with ...

-> AF just works! Fast and reliable. The continuous mode can keep up with my daughter running perfectly. Even in low light. Already in the live view AF, with priority to faces, is much less efficient, but it works. For movies I found more convenient to use manual focus (the sound of the lens focusing is captured on movie).
-> I liked the lens: fast, quiet (but vignetes at 2.8);
-> The set is heavy, for me it was used with the K100D+50 1.4.

-> At least one point better at high ISO than the K100D, and if reduced to the same 6MP, probably about 2 points better (D7000 ISO 6400 like K100D ISO 1600).
-> ISO 6400 seems perfectly usable for small prints or screen.

-> Many customization options, and modes U1 and U2 are great. There are so many possibilities that I will take a while to configure everything to my liking and the cool thing is that my wife could take U2 just for her;

-> The ISO button is not actually in a good place, but as I use ISO on auto, it does not make much difference. And auto-iso works well (and I changed a setting so that the ISO is displayed in the viewfinder).

-> Much is said about the tendency toward overexposure D7000 using the Matrix metering, and in fact I realized that in some photos. But the camera lets I separately adjust each exposure mode at intervals of 1/6 points, regardless of EC. So I programmed the Matrix to underexpose by 1/3 (and enabled the D-Lighting in auto) ... solved the problem!

-> The viewfinder is always highly praised in reviews, but honestly, I think it is a overvalued feature. It is significantly larger than the K100D, but still too small to allow making precise manual focus.

Anyway, I can say I'm really enjoying the camera and happy to be back to the brand. Now I'm watching this supposed new nikkor 18-300 for outdoor and a 35 1.8 for when I want to go lighter.

Thanks for reading.

Subrep

 Subrep's gear list:Subrep's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 Pentax K100D Super Nikon D7000 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL +1 more
Nikon D50 Nikon D7000 Pentax K100D Pentax K100D Super Pentax K-5
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