Nikon D7000 review: Nikon D7000

Other, more common but nice to have capabilities include a relatively powerful intervalometer, user-definable spot sizes for center-weighted metering (6, 8, 10, or 13mm), and Eye-Fi enable/disable support. (You can read a full accounting of the D7000's features and operation by downloading the PDF manual.)

  Canon EOS 60D Nikon D90 Nikon D7000 Nikon D300s
Sensor (effective resolution) 18-megapixel CMOS 12.3-megapixel CMOS 16.2-megapixel CMOS 12.3-megapixel CMOS
22.3 x14.9mm 23.6 x 15.8mm 23.6 x 15.6mm 23.6 x 15.8mm
Color depth 14 bit 12 bit 14 bit 14 bit
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 6,400/12,800 (expanded) ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 3,200/6,400 (expanded) ISO 100 - ISO 6,400/25,600 (expanded) ISO 100 (expanded)/200 - ISO 3,200/6,400 (expanded)
Focal-length multiplier 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x 1.5x
Continuous shooting 5.3fps
16 raw/58 JPEG
4.5fps
n/a
6fps
n/a raw/100 JPEG
7fps
n/a
Viewfinder
magnification/effective magnification
96% coverage
0.95x/0.59x
96% coverage
0.94x/0.63x
100% coverage
0.94x/0.63x
100% coverage
0.94x/0.63x
Autofocus 9-pt AF all cross-type; center cross to f2.8 11-pt AF
1 cross-type
39-pt AF
9 cross-type
51-pt AF
15 cross-type
Shutter speed 1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync 1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync
Shutter durability 100,000 cycles 100,000 cycles 150,000 cycles 150,000 cycles
Metering 63-zone iFCL 420-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II 2,016-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering 1,005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II
Image stabilization Optical Optical Optical Optical
Video H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/25p/24p; 720/60p/50p
Monoaural
720/24p Motion JPEG AVI
Monaural
1080/24p/25p;
720/30p/24p/25p H.264 QuickTime MOV
Monoaural
720/24p Motion JPEG AVI
Monaural
Rated estimated max HD video length 4GB
(approx 12 minutes)
2GB
(approx 5 minutes)
20 minutes 2GB
(approx 5 minutes)
Manual aperture and shutter in video Yes No Yes No
Mic input Yes No Yes Yes
LCD size 3 inches articulated
1.04 million dots
3 inches fixed
921,000 dots
3 inches fixed
921,000 dots
3 inches fixed
921,000 dots
Wireless flash Yes Yes Yes Yes
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDHC 2 x SDXC 1 x CF, 1 x SDHC
Battery life (CIPA rating) 1,100 shots 850 shots 1,050 shots 950 shots
Dimensions (inches, WHD) 5.7 x 4.1 x 3.1 5.2 x 4.1 x 3 5.2 x 4.2 x 3 5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9
Body operating weight (ounces) 27 26 27.3 34.2
Mfr. price $1,099.99 (body only) $899.95 (body only) $1,199.95 (body only) $1,699.95 (body only)
$1,399.99 (with 18-135mm lens) $1,149.95 (with 18-105mm lens, est) $1,499.95 (with 18-105mm lens) n/a
Ship date October 2010 August 2008 October 2010 August 2009

It's not a lightweight camera, but it feels very sturdy and well built, with a solid grip and enough heft to offset the weight of many heavy pro lenses. The viewfinder is lovely to use, especially compared with the dim, squinty ones found in the cheaper SLRs. It's relatively bright, with 100 percent scene coverage, an optional grid overlay, and large AF-area indicators. Rubber covers hide the connectors for composite and HDMI video, USB, and a mic and proprietary GPS connector.

But some of the best aspects of the D7000 are the changes from the traditional Nikon body design that I think are great. In addition to those already mentioned, like the user settings on the mode dial, there's a cleverly designed movie/Live View switch and dedicated record button. The location of the lock-release button for the release-mode dial on the D7000 is toward the back instead of the front (as it is on the D3s, for example). It's a subtle change, but I find it easier to use this way--I can hold it down with my thumb.

Nikon has moved the control for selecting among the AF modes (auto, single, and continuous) to a clever button-dial combination. Yay! The selection also appears in the viewfinder so you can change modes without taking the camera away from your eye. Double yay! And the camera uses a new battery grip that supports AA batteries as well as Nikon's proprietary lithium ion power.

Of course, I still have a few quibbles with the design, though no showstoppers. Nikon sticks with the traditional vertical arrangement of menu, white balance, ISO sensitivity and quality buttons down the left side of the LCD. The buttons feel identical, which requires that you pay a little more attention than I'd like.



My one big complaint about the camera's operation is that the Info display isn't interactive like it is on many models, even just as an alternative to all the direct controls (top). Instead, you can only access the less commonly needed settings, like button assignments and noise-reduction options.

I also ended up having to disable modeling flash; with a flash in the hotshoe, the flash compensation button triggers the modeling flash and I repeatedly blinded people and animals by accidentally pressing the button during normal camera handling.

The D7000 looks like both a compelling cheap alternative to the D300s and a significant upgrade over the D90 for not a lot of money. For video shooters, the cheaper 60D still has a slight edge; though many indie videographers tend to prefer 24p, at the very least it's nice to have the 30p option, and 30fps with full-time autofocus is more attractive to the mainstream user. Plus lots of folks, including me, love the articulated LCDs. But it's hard to argue against the better coverage for the viewfinder, faster burst shooting with a deeper buffer and fast autofocus, and a more durable body construction.

The Nikon D7000 stands out as a great camera for experienced photographers and pros who don't have specific needs like full frame or fastest burst possible. It's expensive for a first dSLR, and there are plenty of sub-$1,000 models to fill that need. But if you're ready to replace your current dSLR with something a little more powerful, a look at the D7000 should top your to-do list.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Raw shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim light)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon EOS 7D
0.2 
0.4 
0.5 
0.3 
Canon EOS 60D
0.2 
0.6 
0.5 
0.3 
Nikon D7000
0.6 
0.5 
0.3 
Nikon D300S
0.3 
0.5 
0.7 
0.3 
Nikon D90
0.6 
0.9 
0.4 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Nikon D7000
5.7 

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Oct 15, 2010
  • Digital camera type SLR
  • Optical Zoom 11.1 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 16.2 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.6mm