The Good Excellent performance for its class; great viewfinder; control locations and operations streamlined over previous Nikon dSLRs; double SDXC-compatible card slots.
The Bad No 1080/30p video.
The Bottom Line An excellent dSLR for experienced shooters or Nikon professionals looking for a relatively cheap option, the Nikon D7000 delivers on almost all counts, including the company's best shooting design to date.
Editors' note, May 12, 2015: I've updated the ratings to more accurately reflect how this older model fits into the current market at its lower price and with respect to its subsequent replacements. Additionally, I've revoked the Editors' Choice, originally conferred in November 2010, to make way for newer models.
When it comes to mid-to-high-end dSLRs, it takes quite a bit to float my boat these days. I'm not looking for whizzy new features, bold redesigns, or insane burst rates for either myself or the shoppers I advise; to me, the perfect camera just gets out of the way between my eye and the final photograph (and perhaps video). That's a lot more elusive than you'd expect. But shooting with the Nikon D7000 frequently came close to delivering the photographic tinglies in a way I haven't felt in way too long -- I think since I gave the Canon EOS 5D Mark II an Editors' Choice Award almost two years ago. Of course, the usual caveats apply: it's not the right camera for everyone and it's not best at everything. But its combination of design, feature set, performance, and photo quality for the price is hard to beat (and will be especially so once the street price starts to drop).
There's a variety of new Nikon tech in the D7000 over older models, including a new Nikon-designed 16.2-megapixel sensor coupled with its Expeed 2 processor; with this pairing, Nikon ups its analog-to-digital conversion to 14-bit processing. There's also a new metering sensor and more sophisticated autofocus system. It's also Nikon's first dSLR to rise to 1080p HD video -- albeit only 24fps -- with the "added bonus" of full-time autofocus during video capture. And the body's construction, though not quite as tanklike as the D300s, incorporates an all-metal chassis with magnesium alloy covers (the rest is polycarbonate), and is sealed against dust and moisture like the D300s.
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