Finally did it, D50 to D7000 - Mini Review

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After much reading (too much probably, and worrying about AF issues etc.) I picked up a D7000 kit. I am moving up from a D70/18-70 and am a long time SLR user. Although I haven't used the camera much, I wanted to share some first impressions for those with D50's etc.

  • the smooth, quiet shutter is worth the price of admission. the feel is buttery and quick
  • the large LCD display is great for review, worth a lot to me
  • we all know about the ISO, and I set my auto-iso to 1/125 shutter and 6400
  • there are a LOT of settings on this camera - unbelievable really. This might be the downfall for the casual photographer, there is a lot to learn.
  • the extra dials etc. are really nice, I used to hate going in and out of the D50 menu to change routine settings
  • the AF is pretty snappy and the metering and white balance seem accurate.
  • good pictures OOC are fairly easy to accomplish from what I can see. The colors and tone are quite pleasing
  • make sure you use a higher shutter speed, for now with the iso mine floor will be 1/125 handheld
I wanted to post a couple of pics to show what the camera can do with no user experience at all. I charged the battery, set it to A mode and took a few pictures handheld. Sorry, I didn't line up the batteries, though I might... :wink:

This is the 2nd picture out of the camera, first was too slow of a shutter so I bumped the iso to 1600 - D50 would have choked. PP - resize and a tad unsharp mask, nothing else. Hmmm, maybe I made the right decision buying the D7K...

A85C18989A044A9C9C62AFB6F9AB5F40.jpg
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Nikon D7000, 105 mm, ISO 1600, 1/1250 sec, f7.1, 0 EV, Mar 28, 2011


Let's look at the dog in the backyard. Boxers are quick but he was just putting around. Already this is better than my D50, the clarity and detail is very nice. PP - resize, USM, lightened up his face a bit - should have used flash. next time. Definitely have to figure out all the AF settings, there are a ton of them.

75E6377127954CB5A73DD469BB812ED4.jpg
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Nikon D7000, 105 mm, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, f5.6, 0 EV, Mar 29, 2011


I just posted this to see what iso 6400 would look like in dim lighting. PP - resize and a bit of NR, not bad for 1/40 sec handheld. To me this is where the camera will shine - ie: taking pictures at the kids first communion in church with no flash - almost impossible with the D50. I think a 35 or 50 1.8 is in my future.

AF70EF75E4E44BF6AC0CAF21164D2626.jpg
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Nikon D7000, 105 mm, ISO 6400, 1/40 sec, f5.6, 0 EV, Mar 28, 2011
 
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...there are a LOT of settings on this camera - unbelievable really. This might be the downfall for the casual photographer, there is a lot to learn....
make sure you use a higher shutter speed, for now with the iso mine floor will be 1/125 handheld...
Congrats!

You're right about the settings thing, can be very imposing and scary!

Why do you say "make sure you use a higher shutter speed"?
 
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Nice mini review, as a longstanding D50 user I find this interesting. I look forward to reading any further views you may have.
 
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Congrats!

You're right about the settings thing, can be very imposing and scary!

Why do you say "make sure you use a higher shutter speed"?

D7K is very sensitive to camera shake. Higher shutter speeds help prevent this. I imagine the OP has found that higher shutter speeds are required on the new body against the D50
 
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Thanks for the replies. After reading many negative comments (mainly on DPR), I figured I'd buy the camera anyway and was quite nervous - thought the wife or AF would kill me. :smile:

While I usually read the whole manual first, I was determined to take a few snaps without reading anything, just to see if I could pick up the camera and get decent shots. That was the yardstick - if I couldn't the camera would be going back. I was under the impression that you need a tripod, mirror up, no wind etc. to get a decent picture, but the first couple of pics impressed me - mainly the tone and colour out of the camera.

I read about the higher shutter speed and it makes sense, so I just went there from the get go.

It's funny how the features that you read about seem important at the time , but may not be as soon as you handle the camera. For me the shutter action and sound blew me away. As someone else said, many cameras take good pictures today so the biggest differences can be how you get from picking up the camera to the final output. In that respect the D7K drives like a Ferrari.

BTW getting the D90 for $400 less was so tempting, but so far the D7K looks like a keeper. For Canucks, this comparison site is good - photoprice.ca. I was following it every few days then bam, one retailer dropped the kit down to $1,300.
 
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... but the first couple of pics impressed me - mainly the tone and colour out of the camera....

I think that's the part you can't get out of the spec lists. It's hard to define, but I noticed the colours right away as well. Maybe I had the previous cameras set up wrong, but the D7000 photos feel so right.
 
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Congrat's bh626...!
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You're off to a great start, those images look good...!
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I love my D7k as well...! :cool:
 
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Wait, what? The D7k is sensitive to camera shake? Any camera is sensitive to camera shake if the person holding it can't keep it still enough for the shutter speed used. Unless the sensor or something tends to jiggle around, it's not a camera specific problem... maybe investing in VR glass might help. One tack sharp image comes to mind in the 16-85 VR thread taken @ 1/15th hand held. It's not the camera, its the operator, 99.9% of the time.

I agree. I only meant in my experience I need to use higher shutter speeds with the D7K than I did with the D60 to avoid camera shake from having a visible impact on the shot. No fault of the camera for sure, that is how it's been for me, it sounded like the OP was describing the same experience, did not mean to infer this would hold true for everyone
 
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Wait, what? The D7k is sensitive to camera shake? Any camera is sensitive to camera shake if the person holding it can't keep it still enough for the shutter speed used. Unless the sensor or something tends to jiggle around, it's not a camera specific problem... maybe investing in VR glass might help. One tack sharp image comes to mind in the 16-85 VR thread taken @ 1/15th hand held. It's not the camera, its the operator, 99.9% of the time.

I hear people talking about high pixel density sensors being more sensitive to camera shake, perhaps that's what he means.
 
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The way I understand is that camera shake is more evident because of the density and number of pixels. The 6mp D50 gives a lot or room for error that may not be an issue at lower speeds, but will not produce the same tack sharp, detailed pics the D7K is capable of. In that regard you have to be more careful with your technique and using a higher shutter speed helps.
 
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Ergonomics

How's it compare in size/weight/balance compared to D50? Do you notice the viewfinder being bigger?

I am holding both cameras and comparing them;

  • the size is almost identical
  • the D7K definitely weighs more than the D50
  • but that makes the D7K feel more balanced and solid
  • when you pick up the D50 it feels a bit hollow due to its lighter weight
  • the viewfinder on the D7K is really nice. I'm looking thru both at 35mm and would say that the D7K seems to have a 25% larger viewfinder - switching back and forth between the two cameras, the D7K is like 'wow', that is significantly bigger. Not as tunnel like as the D50, more like a wide screen TV/monitor. (This is not to confuse the much touted fact that the D7K also shows 100% of the image in the VF).
  • the D7K VF is also brighter - I'd say 10%-15% or so. It's noticeable and easier for me to see what I am focusing on.
  • One thing I like about the D7K over the D50 is the grip. I don't use a strap and tend to hold the camera in my right hand with my arm extended down when not taking pictures (or I put it back in the bag). The D7K has a sculpted or indented area right where your fingers rest, giving you a more secure grip.
  • the front command dial is a nice addition for adjusting aperture, speed, AF mode, and probably a host of other things I don't yet know about.
As I mentioned before having the extra buttons and dials is nice and upon reading reviews I thought that would really only appeal to the working pro, not a casual enthusiast like me. But I was wrong. It is so nice not to have to dive into the menus on a regular basis.

That's it for now. I'll update things as I learn more, from the perspective of this camera being expensive for me. I am sure there are many in the same boat that cannot simply buy whatever they want and therefore need to know that there dollars are well placed.
 
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I think that's the part you can't get out of the spec lists. It's hard to define, but I noticed the colours right away as well. Maybe I had the previous cameras set up wrong, but the D7000 photos feel so right.

True. Even though I am very comfortable around post processing and RAW and full understand the benefits, I'd rather shoot jpg for things like parties, get togethers, etc. And the icing on the cake would be being able to set the camera up so that I could get the pic I want most of the time with respect to color, sharpness, tone, and dynamic range; without the PP fuss.

I'll save the RAW PP for large prints, important family pics, etc. Pictures of the in-laws 2year old birthday will be fine in jpg :wink:
 
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The way I understand is that camera shake is more evident because of the density and number of pixels. The 6mp D50 gives a lot or room for error that may not be an issue at lower speeds, but will not produce the same tack sharp, detailed pics the D7K is capable of. In that regard you have to be more careful with your technique and using a higher shutter speed helps.

The more I think about it, the less I buy that argument. Any light streams (for lack of a better word) that are close to the edge of a pixel bin will cross over the D50 boundary to the next pixel just as easily as they will on the D7000. The result will be visible shake no matter how big the pixels are. Sure, there are over twice the number of boundaries, but the crossover area is just as sensitive on the lower pixel cameras.
 
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I am holding both cameras and comparing them;

  • the size is almost identical
  • the D7K definitely weighs more than the D50
  • but that makes the D7K feel more balanced and solid
  • when you pick up the D50 it feels a bit hollow due to its lighter weight
  • the viewfinder on the D7K is really nice. I'm looking thru both at 35mm and would say that the D7K seems to have a 25% larger viewfinder - switching back and forth between the two cameras, the D7K is like 'wow', that is significantly bigger. Not as tunnel like as the D50, more like a wide screen TV/monitor. (This is not to confuse the much touted fact that the D7K also shows 100% of the image in the VF).
  • the D7K VF is also brighter - I'd say 10%-15% or so. It's noticeable and easier for me to see what I am focusing on.
  • One thing I like about the D7K over the D50 is the grip. I don't use a strap and tend to hold the camera in my right hand with my arm extended down when not taking pictures (or I put it back in the bag). The D7K has a sculpted or indented area right where your fingers rest, giving you a more secure grip.
  • the front command dial is a nice addition for adjusting aperture, speed, AF mode, and probably a host of other things I don't yet know about.
As I mentioned before having the extra buttons and dials is nice and upon reading reviews I thought that would really only appeal to the working pro, not a casual enthusiast like me. But I was wrong. It is so nice not to have to dive into the menus on a regular basis.

That's it for now. I'll update things as I learn more, from the perspective of this camera being expensive for me. I am sure there are many in the same boat that cannot simply buy whatever they want and therefore need to know that there dollars are well placed.

Thanks, that was great info. Really itching to get one - the larger viewfinder and more controls are a big part of why i want one.
 
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The more I think about it, the less I buy that argument. Any light streams (for lack of a better word) that are close to the edge of a pixel bin will cross over the D50 boundary to the next pixel just as easily as they will on the D7000. The result will be visible shake no matter how big the pixels are. Sure, there are over twice the number of boundaries, but the crossover area is just as sensitive on the lower pixel cameras.

The way it was explained that makes sense to me: The smaller pixel sites make it more likely that moving the camera will cause the beam of light to cross over to another pixel site.
 
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