D7000 after 9 days: awsome machine if good enough lenses

Started Dec 4, 2010 | Discussions thread
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antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,613
D7000 after 9 days: awsome machine if good enough lenses

Thought I'd give an update for the benefit of prospective buyers, having owned by D7000 for 9 days now. The bottom-line is that I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS CAMERA, THOUGH PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE THAT FOR GOOD PERFORMANCE THEY'LL NEED BETTER AND FASTER-AF GLASS THAN THE KIT LENS 18-105. THEREFORE IT IS NOT A CAMERA FOR ANYONE WHOSE BUDGET STOPS AT THE PRICE OF THIS KIT (about $1'500) - a better minimum envelope is about 2x the body-only = nearly $3'000.

  • User-friendliness. The D7000 grows on you very quickly. Most controls are really easy to find, agreeable to manipulate. It's full of good ideas.

  • AF micro-adjust: AF is indeed very good. Initially I got scared by the AF micro-adjustment FUD and played with it but it was a source of misery and didn't help. Fact is, AF is very precise, period. Fact is also however, 16mp reveals a lot of detail. So before pixel-peeping, people should check things like: what was the DOF, and if tiny could either the camera, or the subject, have moved by one DOF during the shot? Was the shutter speed sufficiently high. Etc.

  • AF speed: AF speed is very high. PROVIDED YOU HAVE LENSES WITH FAST ENOUGH AF MOTORS. In practice this means that the kit lens 18-105mm is kinda slow, while the 18-200mm is much faster (it's also a better quality lens overall). As for 35mm or 50mm primes, the old "D" versions (driven by camera's motor) DO focus a good deal faster than the modern "G" versions. So anyone having only the means to buy the basic kit, should be aware of this potential disappointment.

  • AF tracking: AF tracking is very solid. I have little practice but I've managed long series of shots with a very high keeper rate, of things like one runner in a group and running towards me, or kids on swings at close range shot face on, etc. No worries here (and by the way the camera recognises several faces as such, and exposes them well, while doing its 6fps thing). But again: YOU NEED GLASS THAT HAS A FAST ENOUGH FOCUS MOTOR, or else

  • AF in low light: AF DOES struggle in low light, probably a bit more than that of the D300 did back then. The AF-assist beam is VERY bright, too bright and hurts people's eyes. The only upside, is that this AF assist beam, doubles as the anti redeye light, while the flash remains ready - it's more discrete.

  • Exposure: I have had NO ISSUES so far. Even in very contrasty situations as described by DPReview's review, I have had perfect results. Shamefully I have actually often obtained better results when using either the "green" mode, or say the A mode but w weighted metering, than when I have tried to be smart and use spot on some well chose focus point. Seems the electronics in the D7000 are VERY good and will do better than most users - and also do it much faster

  • Exposure, smaller issues:

(1) the D7000 stops being able to meter in light levels where its predecessors (D300, D90) were still able to meter. It means than indoors at night with little lighting, or outdoors, you'll find yourself left to trial and error and manual exposure, where with earlier Nikon cameras you would still have been perfectly able to meter. That's a bit shameful, I think, though it won't bother most users. And those people who get really bothered, will have to use an external meter! Not good.

(2) In LV I have had exposures about 1/3rd to 1/2 of a stop brighter than I would get w the OVF. Not sure why.

  • high ISO: high ISO is VERY CLEAN up to at least 1600, and still very acceptable up to 3200. This is clearly much cleaner than the previous generation APS-C (D300 or D300s or D90 etc). Basically I have stopped worrying about ISO altogether and often find myself sticking to the shameful "green mode". Because of this I just don't get why DPReview anguished so much about how Auto-ISO was not ideal blah-blah - they WOULD be right, IF NOT for the fact that the D7000's high ISO is so clean, that it just doesn't matter anymore. And in any case there's the "Easy ISO" option which allows to use the unused wheel (in P, S or A modes), to scroll through ISO values. But frankly, this is time wasted. Unless one means to photograph a landscape w tripod and MLU and all - in which case set up time will be several minutes of not dozens of minutes so how long it takes to set the ISO, is totally irrelevant.

  • resolution: is more than sufficient for most uses, and possibly too much for portraits of anyone else than youg kids with perfect unblemished skin. I find myself often using just 9MP and medium quality. I also stick to the default JPEG engine which optimises size rather than quality. My files are thus rarely over 3MB which is great.

  • LV: LV can be useful at times, especially for macro shots in my experience so far, though landscapes in Manual Focus might be another idea. LV AF is very SLOW, about 2-3x slower than an advanced compact camera. So DO NOT BUY THE D7000 expecting to be able to use it in LV mode for casual shooting. Also do NOT expect for LV to brighten up in darker environments (like the EVF on an A55 would) - it won't and so you'll remain stuck.

  • video: video is next to useless. AF just can't keep up, even on static subjects and even with a lens with a good AF motor, and even stopped down to increase DOF, it keeps on hunting, makes noises, and the sound is mono only. Do NOT buy the D7000 hoping that it will be a good stills camera and a video camera. It is a VERY good stills camera, but it is a very poor video camera, period.

 antoineb's gear list:antoineb's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Olympus TG-610 Nikon D7000 +5 more
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