The D7000's software suite is fairly limited, although at its core is
ViewNX 2 - a capable raw conversion platform, slightly improved over
the previous generation View NX and vastly superior to Nikon's Picture
Project, which shipped with earlier generation Nikon DSLRs. View NX 2
is not as sophisticated as Nikon's Capture NX 2 (available separately
for �160/$180), but it offers most of the key functionality that a
beginner will require when starting out on the DSLR road, including the
ability to edit white balance and exposure in NEF files, and
highlight/shadow recovery sliders as well as basic video editing
functionality. In a nice touch, many of these parameters can be built
into presets using the Picture Control Utility, meaning that presets
you find yourself regularly applying can be uploaded to the camera.
There's even an option to reduce axial chromatic aberration.
Inexplicably absent, however, is any control over noise reduction.
well as being free, ViewNX 2 has another advantage over Capture NX 2 in
that it is a small program that does not require a huge amount of
computing power to run. It's far from being as slick as Adobe's Camera
Raw plug in for Photoshop, but much more forgiving of older, slower
computers than NX2. As well as raw conversion, ViewNX 2 also allows
you to geotag photographs using Google Maps, and to rate and label
images with stars or colors for ease of organization. You can even
modify the names of the color tags so that they show up as 'Work,'
'Holiday,' 'Portraits' or whatever best suits your needs.
it doesn't give anything like the flexibility or functionality offered
by Nikon's Capture NX 2, the bundled ViewNX 2 software is a huge
improvement over the earlier generation Picture Project, and it easy to
make basic adjustments to both raw and JPEG files from the D7000.
thumbnail view does exactly what it sounds like it should - it arranges
all of the images in a particular folder as thumbnails, for easy
adjusting raw files, you can either apply an existing Picture Control
preset (Standard, Vivid, etc.) or create and modify your own, which can
be uploaded onto the camera for JPEG shots.
ViewNX 2 allows you to geotag your images by using Google Maps to find and
record where you took your your photos. If you use Nikon's GP-1 GPS
unit with the D7000, geotagging is automatic.
video projects is a simple matter of opening the new video editor
program, and importing clips into a playlist. From here you can add
transitions between clips, and audio files.
When you're ready to export your video project you can name it and specify the precise type of output that you want.
is normal in our digital SLR reviews we like to compare the supplied
RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion
software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the D7000
we used the supplied View NX as well as Adobe Camera RAW 6.3 (release
JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
VNX - View NX 2.0.3
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW6.3 (at default 'Adobe Standard' setting)
your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a
GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter.
There are subtle differences between the color response of the camera's
JPEG engine and View NX, even though they're theoretically using the
same Picture Control Styles. Adobe Camera RAW's default settings take a
slightly more vivid approach to color response and has a more
contrasty tone curve.
Sharpness and Detail
expected more detail can be brought out of raw files from the Nikon
D7000 compared to its JPEG output, but difference isn't enormous. Of
the two raw conversion engines that we've used (support for the D7000's
NEF files is currently very limited), Adobe's Camera RAW does a better
job of resolving very fine detail,and gives slightly higher contrast
results at its default parameters. In contrast, View NX 2 delivers a
slightly softer, less contrasty image that stands up very well to
further sharpening. As we'd expect, View NX 2 gives almost identical
color and contrast rendering to the D7000's JPEG engine.
Adobe ACR 6.3 RAW -> TIFF (Default output settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
Nikon View NX 2 RAW -> TIFF (Default output settings)
ISO 100 studio scene 100% crops
JPEG out of camera, High quality setting, manual WB (all other settings default) ISO 100 studio scene 100% crop
differences between ACR and Nikon's View NX 2 are minimal when
resolution shots are compared, as you can see. We'd stick our necks out
and say that ACR gives fractionally better detail rendition than View
NX 2 as the lines on our chart approach Nyquist, but there's very
little in it. Both raw conversion engines have produced slightly better
resolution than is possible from in-camera JPEGs, and both describe
some lines up to and after Nyquist (although this is not 'genuine'
Adobe Camera RAW 6.3
View NX 2
RAW files for download
we provide RAW files from the sample shots we
take, to allow you to apply your own workflow techniques and see
whether your experiences match ours.