D7000 First 200 clicks impressions, samples and testin

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Where to start... Well I guess a good place is that, this will be my first post on NikonCafe. So, hello everyone.

Second a bit about my photography career. I started shooting about 3.5 months ago about 3 days before my wedding honeymoon. Started with a d5000 and a kit lens and have shot about 15-20k shots since then. Take a look at my other flickr galaries to get an idea of my photography/pp skills if you like... it may be relevant to this post. My Flickr

At any rate. The gear I'll be using for this review/impressions: Nikon d7000, Nikkor 35mm dx f1.8, Nikkor 16-85, tokina 11-16, slik 340dx tripod (for the two long exposure shots on my flickr only).

For those of you that want to skip all of this text below and just want ot see the sample images click the following link.D7000 Test Shots

A few hand pick teasers.
First off all test shots were done with NR off and shot by hand. I simply took the raw files and converted them in View NX2 at the highest quality setting. If any one would like me to upload the RAW files I would be glad to do so... I just don't have a place to post them that can handle the traffic. I am by no means a pro at this... I was shooting in conditions trying to exacerbate the iso performance... these shots are un-edited and by no means perfect. I was having problems as this was the first time I ever shot with pro-controls... as you'll notice i bumped the EV setting some where early on in the night and never caught it. Thus I was having a hard time getting the exposures correct.

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Real World ISO TEST (3200) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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ISO TEST (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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ISO TEST (3200) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Real World ISO TEST (3200) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Real world iso test 1600 by minimusprime, on Flickr

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ISO 1600 by minimusprime, on Flickr

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ISO 1600 by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Contrast at 1600 by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Long exposure... why not by minimusprime, on Flickr

First off all test shots were done with NR off and shot by hand. I simply took the raw files and converted them in View NX2 at the highest quality setting. If any one would like me to upload the RAW files I would be glad to do so... I just don't have a place to post them that can handle the traffic.

Reason for upgrading: :rolleyes:
I bought the d5000 as a wedding gift for my wife. Heh, well at least I guess that's what I told her. Fast forward to today and i'm obsessed. I can't put it down can't stop reading in my free time. The editing and practicing never end.

So clearly it was time to get myself a camera so that we can make taking pictures a team sport. I've amassed a decent selection of glass for DX. FX wasn't totally out of the picture, but i thought it easier to deal with having both outfits be in the DX line for now. The idea of being within spitting distance of d700 performance was enticing.

The Purchase :mad::
I was nervous picking this thing up. I had a pre-order at amazon for body only... kinda got screwed because i changed my shipping to one day and was told my body only order was going to get put to the back of the line. Ahhhh crap. Called around frantically locally and found a kit at Samy's camera and figured what the heck... I'll use the 18-105 as a walk around for my wife. So i get in the car to go pick it up.

I was nervous when I opened it, I was expecting to find hot pixels. Charged the battery... First thing I did was pop it into live view and cover the front element of the lens.... This thing lit up like an effin christmass tree. There must be 20-30 hot pixels on the screen. Hurmph!!!! Well I was hoping they were just there in live view, shot a few videos at all sizes and they were still there. Oh well, So video is out... on this body at least.

So I start checking the Still picture performance, Click off the first picture... look at the file name and see DSC_4895.nef. Alright well apparently some one else has had their way with my camera before me. It goes without saying this sample will get returned for a new one very soon.

First Impressions: :Love:
Pro controls... Wow, Epic. I thought I had gotten quite good with the d5000's controls (+function bound to ISO). I was convinced that really the pro styled controls wouldn't make me any faster... wow was I wrong. It really makes you feel like the camera is an extension of you... very nice. I do however suggest you try learning them before heading out into the dark night to shoot low light stuff.

The body feels nice and solid. The grips fit my hands quite well and the camera really makes it's presence known... but isn't over bearing. All of the control layout is what you'd expect from nikon.

Viewfinder - this is one of the biggest improvements over the d5000. The full coverage and the brightness of this finder of the d5k's is astounding.

Performance: :Teeth:
I was cautiously optimistic about the ISO performance. I too had seen all the bickering back and forth about it over the last few weeks. I was really hoping for just a step or so better than d5000/d90 with the mp hike taken into account. That's just about what the d7000 seems to provide. I'm not sure that I would call it 2 full stops of performance over the d90/d300s sensor. It seems that in some situations it will give that to you but in others it appears that why luminance noise is lower... color noise seems to be higher. (this is just an observation from some one that has been using dslr's for 3 months). Only time will tell what this thing really has in it as pro level photographers start to pick it up.

I will say however that for me ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 seem perfectly usable.

Dynamic range doesn't seem to be all that changed over the d90/d5000 but it is very difficult for me to tell. I only have lightroom 2.7 right now so I won't really know until I start editing these.

AF performance: Clearly better than the d5000. Very fast and for the most part accurate. I was putting it into some pretty crappy low light and low contrast situations and it seemed to do very well. I haven't had a chance to check it with very fast moving subjects yet, but i'll get there soon.

Final thoughts:
People need to be realistic about this camera. Imo if you're considering either this or a d700 based off of ISO performance alone, you very well could be missing the point. This camera doesn't provide the same full frame butter like iso performance that the d700 does. It gets damn close... very well close enough for a lot of the general public I'd bet, but it's no d700. This camera does not replace the d700 in any way. It does provide the prospect of superb landscape performance (i'd like to see a measure of diffraction on this) and very cost effective iso performance with the reach. It does not however give you the all important focal and dof shift of full frame... which is one of the reasons to go that route by itself.

I digress, this camera is a behemoth in it's cost segment. Once the frenzy settles down and people start getting these into their hands you're going to see a flurry of insanely good images from DX shooters. Video performance has yet to be seen by me and i really hope that the hot pixel issue is fixed before the bulk of the production run ships out. All in all it's a very well built camera that seems to be designed for it's market segment near perfectly.

So... After that all too long winded post. Thanks for welcoming me to NikonCafe. Stay tuned because I'm going to do a full d5k to d7k heads up comparison very soon. :cool:
 
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the first few shots in you link say they are shot wiht a D700. did you just forget a 0?
 
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Very good and detailed review, thank you. Can you tell me if the front and rear dials are rubber or plastic?

thanks
 
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Very good and detailed review, thank you. Can you tell me if the front and rear dials are rubber or plastic?

thanks

It's funny you ask that because while shooting my first couple of shots with my buddies i commented on how they didn't feel like plastic. I just assumed that they had some sort of coating.

Either way I do not know for sure. I will scope it when i get home from work and post what i find.
 
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Pro controls... Wow, Epic. I thought I had gotten quite good with the d5000's controls (+function bound to ISO). I was convinced that really the pro styled controls wouldn't make me any faster... wow was I wrong.

I have a D7K and the one thing that bugs me is I can't seem to bind ANY of the programmable buttons to ISO. Am I missing something? Right now, if I want to quick-cycle ISO I have to left-thumb-press the rear of the camera. That has me missing the D700 AND the D3100 when I want to switch ISO quickly. I'd like to bind ISO to the BKT button or FN button, but those don't appear as optional binds.

Please tell me that I've been lazy and missed the section of the manual on programming ISO to one of the variable buttons!!
 
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I have a D7K and the one thing that bugs me is I can't seem to bind ANY of the programmable buttons to ISO. Am I missing something? Right now, if I want to quick-cycle ISO I have to left-thumb-press the rear of the camera. That has me missing the D700 AND the D3100 when I want to switch ISO quickly. I'd like to bind ISO to the BKT button or FN button, but those don't appear as optional binds.

Please tell me that I've been lazy and missed the section of the manual on programming ISO to one of the variable buttons!!

I think you are right. Have you looked at the Easy ISO option, d3 (p. 216 of manual)? Changing the ISO can then be accomplished by using either command dial or subcommand dial if you are using modes P, S or A.
 
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I think you are right. Have you looked at the Easy ISO option, d3 (p. 216 of manual)? Changing the ISO can then be accomplished by using either command dial or subcommand dial if you are using modes P, S or A.

Duh...good find! I knew there was an Easy Exposure adjust mode, but I must have gone into a trance and missed the Easy ISO mode. Thanks! :wink:
 
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In picture no 5 its a bit ironic showing the Queen Mary ship alongside a submarine, she was always too fast on the atlantic crossing for submarines to catch her during the war.

Bazza
 
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Thanks for the review.

Would you post a detailed landscape pic at f. 8, then f. 11 and then f. 13 = same pic, but different aperture, and I would love if it was NEF.

Thanks a lot.
 
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Reviews like this are driving me crazy. I know I want it. I might as well get the thing sooner than later. Just got to find a home for the D90 first. I was amazed my wife didn't shut me down when I brought up the topic. She even suggested how to sell the D90!
 
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Can you tell me if the front and rear dials are rubber or plastic?

thanks

They are rubber!

In picture no 5 its a bit ironic showing the Queen Mary ship alongside a submarine, she was always too fast on the atlantic crossing for submarines to catch her during the war.

Bazza


It's quite the treat having the queen mary right on your doorstep for night time exploring if I'm honest.

Thanks for the review.

Would you post a detailed landscape pic at f. 8, then f. 11 and then f. 13 = same pic, but different aperture, and I would love if it was NEF.

Thanks a lot.

Sure thing, it's just going to take me a day or so. I'm planning on heading out and doing a side by side comparison with my d5k and my d7k. I've got two tripods so i'm just going to set them up and do real world tests shot for shot.

Nice review, welcome to the cafe.

thanks!

Reviews like this are driving me crazy. I know I want it. I might as well get the thing sooner than later. Just got to find a home for the D90 first. I was amazed my wife didn't shut me down when I brought up the topic. She even suggested how to sell the D90!

Honestly the d90 is an incredibly capable camera. I'm not sure I would have upgraded to this camera if I had a d90, tough call.

I will say however that if you do decide to get a d7000 for gods sakes do not sell that d90 until you've gone one firmly into your hands. These things are hard to get right now and it's going to stay that way for a few months. Furthermore with this hot pixel issue, who knows how long it will be until you get one you can keep. Definitely get in line if you're wanting more iso performance but plan out the transition.
 
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ITS A TRAP!!!!!!

:eek:

I think you are right. I just haven't been able to figure out if it is guilt for money she's already spent, or she's building a case for something she wants. Probably both!

The vain side of me says she is proud of my photography and wants to encourage it. Nah.
 
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I will say however that if you do decide to get a d7000 for gods sakes do not sell that d90 until you've gone one firmly into your hands. These things are hard to get right now and it's going to stay that way for a few months. Furthermore with this hot pixel issue, who knows how long it will be until you get one you can keep. Definitely get in line if you're wanting more iso performance but plan out the transition.

That's certainly solid advice. However, I used that logic when I bought the D90. I figured I would sell the D40 later. I ended up keeping it, and am quite glad I did. It's a handy little camera, and the low price I could sell it for means that I can take it into situations I wouldn't take the better gear into without feeling like I'm risking huge dollars.

In other words, I know myself. I'd end up not getting around to selling the D90. I can't justify tying up that much money. Forcing myself to sell it first means I'll have the carrot of the D7000 waiting for me. I'll probably wait till after Christmas to make any move one way or the other.
 
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Took the d7k with me when i walked to the voting facility. I tried to put the camera in the worst possible lighting i could find on my walk at ISO 6400 just to see if it would produce keepers. Peep the results.

if you pixel peep on this one you can see some hot pixels... scratch that... a lot of hot pixels. I know it's terribly under exposed... i was trying to bring out the hot pixels on this one.
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Real World ISO Test (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Real World ISO Test (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr

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Real World ISO Test (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr

The absolute worst lighting conditions i could find.
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Real World ISO Test (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr

proof of said terrible lighting.
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Real World ISO Test (6400) by minimusprime, on Flickr
 
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Hey, Rancho Mariposa looks like the complex from back to the future where they see themselves in the future!

All kidding aside, yes there are hot pixels in the extreme cases. But at ISO 6400, I still think these are pretty darn good. Anyone else agree?
 
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