More D7000 should I

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I shoot alot of birds from a bumpy boat and I need iso 1K many days to get SS-s fast enough to offset the bumps. The D300/D300s is a big disapointment (it always has been) when it comes to feather details at ISOs over 800 (even 800 is not great). Now I am not talking about noise, I am talking about loss of detail in the feathers.

So I am thinking about a D7000.

I have read that the D7000 is 1 stop better than the D300 for ISO but I am not sure what that means as far as what I am seeing (since my issue is not noise).....

I am leaning towards just waiting for the d400 or whatever replaces the d300 but i am thinking about the d7000 for it's supposed iso improvements and because I want a 24-120 and I can get a better price on the 24-120 if i buy the combo.

So has anybody got any high iso bird shots they can share ?

Any other thoughts are also always appreciated
 
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Noise has two visible effects o image quality: noise artifacts like speckles / grain and loss of detail due to noise reduction software. Loss of feather detail would be due to the software.

DXO Labs compares the sensors for the D7000 and D300s here

Based on their data the D7000 is about 1/2 stop better than the D300s in S/N. So for the same ISO setting the D7000 image needs less noise reduction (less detail loss) than the D300s.

Before buying a new camera, I would shoot the same high detail scene with the D300s at ISOs 1/2 stop apart in RAW and then process them to have the same amount of noise and see what the loss in detail looks like. If there isn't much difference, the D7000 won't help much.
 
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Noise has two visible effects o image quality: noise artifacts like speckles / grain and loss of detail due to noise reduction software. Loss of feather detail would be due to the software.

DXO Labs compares the sensors for the D7000 and D300s here

Based on their data the D7000 is about 1/2 stop better than the D300s in S/N. So for the same ISO setting the D7000 image needs less noise reduction (less detail loss) than the D300s.

Before buying a new camera, I would shoot the same high detail scene with the D300s at ISOs 1/2 stop apart in RAW and then process them to have the same amount of noise and see what the loss in detail looks like. If there isn't much difference, the D7000 won't help much.

thx for the link altho sites like that are mumbo jumbo for me
they rate the d300s' sensor better than the d300 and i would swear there is no diff

well i can live w/ 800 on the d300s and i don't like 1000 so that's what a 1/4 stop
 
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Randy, no high-ISO bird shots here. But no mumbo-jumbo either -- to me, the test is to shoot something I'd normally shoot.

I have (soon to be had) a D90 which is supposedly the same if not slightly better in high ISO than the D300s, and I now have a D7000.

The D7000's high ISO forte seems to be a remarkable lack of shadow noise. Some of it from NR (which on paper could squish detail), but mostly because it's not there. My conclusions for similar lighting, comparing D7000 to D90. This is the tech side:

- ISO 1600 does lose some detail but not a lot in good lighting, with low shadow noise, and is better at both than the D90's ISO 800. You can see some NR artifacts in bad lighting, though you can also do your own NR in Lightroom or what have you.

- ISO 800 is very good, very little detail gone, very low shadow noise. As good as if not better than the D90's ISO 400.

- ISO 3200 is definitely better than the D90's (defaulted) ISO 1600. Definitely losing some detail, there can be some blotches in the noise if the lighting isn't good. But actually acceptable with some down-res treatment and post.

- ISO 6400 -- break out the post-processing tricks or your D700/D3/D3s, else it's a mess.

As an avowed pixel peeper, I offer you these sample I took when I was looking specifically for fine detail. Since I shoot a lot of snaps and portraits of my two kids, I focus and pixel-peep the eyes. Perhaps eyelashes and skin pores can relate to feather detail?

Flash bounced off a nearby wall, while my son was playing his Xbox (which is why the lighting gets funky, as the display's light messes the WB). I took a few shots at each ISO, in two series. For each ISO in each series, I picked the best shot to compensate for any focus issue. Out-of-camera JPEG, all default settings, 100% crop. One series starts at 6400 and goes down to 400, the other is in the reverse direction. Please note that the ISO 400 shot is a bit dim because I was running out of bounce flash power.

Series 1:

1229137448_wiBhZ-O.jpg
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Series 2:

1229137111_cEsfW-O.jpg
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Randy, you probably have read all of the threads on this topic, but Michael Neary recently went from a D300s to a D7000, and I believe he shoots a lot of wildlife including birds. He might be a good info source, and may still be evaluating whether the D7000 is a net improvement for him over the D300s.

I don't have the experience and ability (yet) of others on this forum. However, I recently upgraded from a D90, and needed to choose between a slightly used D300s and D7000. I decided the better ISO performance and image sensor were more important to me than the moderately better fast focus and FPS in the D300s, even though I shoot some sports (bicycle racing and my kids' tennis and soccer).

I did try taking BIF images with the D7000 because I have no prior experience there. I shot some Pelicans and seagulls on a trip to San Diego with my 80-200 2.8 AFS, but shot at ISO400. Here are 2 of what I got.

f/6.3 1/1600s and substantially cropped.
1222441484_yJ3BM-L.jpg
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f/4.5 1/500 and cropped and sharpened in CNX2.
1224507007_5xmRF-L.jpg
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Having seen your work, I'm less confident the improvements in D7000 balanced against the focus and fps tradeoffs from the D300s will satisfy you. You might rent/borrow one first or just wait for the D400, which I think is more likely to satisfy your needs as a professional.
 
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Randy, you probably have read all of the threads on this topic, but Michael Neary recently went from a D300s to a D7000, and I believe he shoots a lot of wildlife including birds. He might be a good info source, and may still be evaluating whether the D7000 is a net improvement for him over the D300s.

Since my name was mentioned :smile:

I did send Randy some sample shots taken with my new D7000, which may be of general interest here. All taken with the 70-200 VR II + TC-17e:

ISO 1100, processed in LR 3 with some capture sharpening and no luminance NR, cropped to about 8 MP:

1229140381_iLegL-XL.jpg
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ISO 4500, same sharpening, luminance NR = 5, detail = 75, cropped to about 8 MP:

1229140035_yE3ca-XL.jpg
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ISO 5000, same sharpening, luminance NR = 5, detail = 75, cropped to about 8 MP:

1229139925_DowVK-XL.jpg
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So far, I am extremely pleased with the IQ of the D7000 - in my testing, it is a full stop better than the D300s while clearly retaining more detail at every ISO!

Cheers

Mike
 
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let's talk about AFC and focus vs release priority on the d7000

On the D50, D70s & D200 we only had a choice of one or the other (if I remember correctly) and I always selected focus priority for AFC and the shutter button never 'jammed' because i couldn't get focus. Then came the d300 and with AFC set to focus priority the SB jammed all the time. The solution adopted by many shooters was to use Focus + Release, the SB stopped jamming and we got pics in focus (although NX2 often showed no sensor got focus).

The D7000 doesn't have a 'release + focus' choice for AFS
So my question is does the d7000's SB jam ? By this I mean do you point the lens at something, 1/2 depress the SB thinking you have focus and when you fire the camera won't fire ? Any jamming during bursts ?
 
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Since my name was mentioned :smile:

I did send Randy some sample shots taken with my new D7000, which may be of general interest here. All taken with the 70-200 VR II + TC-17e:

ISO 1100, processed in LR 3 with some capture sharpening and no luminance NR, cropped to about 8 MP:

http://mneary.smugmug.com/photos/1229140381_iLegL-XL.jpg

ISO 4500, same sharpening, luminance NR = 5, detail = 75, cropped to about 8 MP:

http://mneary.smugmug.com/photos/1229140035_yE3ca-XL.jpg

ISO 5000, same sharpening, luminance NR = 5, detail = 75, cropped to about 8 MP:

http://mneary.smugmug.com/photos/1229139925_DowVK-XL.jpg

So far, I am extremely pleased with the IQ of the D7000 - in my testing, it is a full stop better than the D300s while clearly retaining more detail at every ISO!

Cheers

Mike

Mike sent me the nef for #1 and i don't think my d300 could have done as good a job on the feather detail, especially considering the 1.7 on the 70-200
 
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let's talk about AFC and focus vs release priority on the d7000

On the D50, D70s & D200 we only had a choice of one or the other (if I remember correctly) and I always selected focus priority for AFC and the shutter button never 'jammed' because i couldn't get focus. Then came the d300 and with AFC set to focus priority the SB jammed all the time. The solution adopted by many shooters was to use Focus + Release, the SB stopped jamming and we got pics in focus (although NX2 often showed no sensor got focus).

The D7000 doesn't have a 'release + focus' choice for AFS
So my question is does the d7000's SB jam ? By this I mean do you point the lens at something, 1/2 depress the SB thinking you have focus and when you fire the camera won't fire ? Any jamming during bursts ?

I haven't experienced much jamming yet - but I think it will happen if you choose focus priority in AFC. The camera will lock the shutter if it doesn't think it has anything in focus.

If you want to make sure you get a shot when you fully depress the shutter, you need to be in release priority.

I just received Thom Hogan's D7000 guide, and he recommends staying in the default release priority unless you have a very good reason to set focus priority. He also says that the AF system often manages to achieve focus in the short time between full shutter press and shutter opening, so losing the 'release + focus' option from the D300 may not be much of an issue...

Another difference that Thom points out - which I hadn't noticed before - is that AFC with single point won't track a moving subject! You need to be in dynamic with at least 9 points to get any predictive tracking... Interesting...

Cheers

Mike
 
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I haven't experienced much jamming yet - but I think it will happen if you choose focus priority in AFC. The camera will lock the shutter if it doesn't think it has anything in focus.

If you want to make sure you get a shot when you fully depress the shutter, you need to be in release priority.

I just received Thom Hogan's D7000 guide, and he recommends staying in the default release priority unless you have a very good reason to set focus priority. He also says that the AF system often manages to achieve focus in the short time between full shutter press and shutter opening, so losing the 'release + focus' option from the D300 may not be much of an issue...

Another difference that Thom points out - which I hadn't noticed before - is that AFC with single point won't track a moving subject! You need to be in dynamic with at least 9 points to get any predictive tracking... Interesting...

Cheers

Mike

after years using 21pt i am now using 9 on the d300 and d300s w/ a noticeable improvement of acquiring focus (thx to colin for the suggestion

the d200 was always fine in focus priority for afc, a jamming sb drives me crazy
 
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Randy - I've read that for sports the idea is to set the priority to release. I have been wondering about that focus+release option, seems kind of impossible to do both to me! Did you ever try just release priority, and if so better or worse keeper ration do you think?
 
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Randy - I've read that for sports the idea is to set the priority to release. I have been wondering about that focus+release option, seems kind of impossible to do both to me! Did you ever try just release priority, and if so better or worse keeper ration do you think?

yea nikon's def of R+F was always weird to me

i don't recall ever trying release only on the d300, R+F works well with 99% in focus although it's not uncommon for nx2 to show no sensor getting focus
 
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But does it affect your frame rate? Must do surely.

release + focus doesn't appear to affect my fps rate.....
i'm sure focus only would and on the d300 it would actually stop/jam the burst as well as jam a single shot

I am hoping this is not the case for the d7000
I am hoping either release only delivers the same % of in focus shots as my
d300 does in R+F (99%) and/or focus only doesn't jam the SB
 
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release + focus doesn't appear to affect my fps rate.....
i'm sure focus only would and on the d300 it would actually stop/jam the burst as well as jam a single shot

I am hoping this is not the case for the d7000
I am hoping either release only delivers the same % of in focus shots as my
d300 does in R+F (99%) and/or focus only doesn't jam the SB

Okay, I have to ask. Just what is Release and Focus? How is it different than Release? Obviously, my roots in the cheaper consumer cameras is showing here.
 
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Okay, I have to ask. Just what is Release and Focus? How is it different than Release? Obviously, my roots in the cheaper consumer cameras is showing here.

release is when you press and release the shutter button

focus + release will fire if you acquire focus and maybe if you don't

it's always been fuzzy nonsense to combine both as an option since they are binary and mutually exclusive
 
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im not a big fan of test charts, ill tell ya that the ISO 3200 is perfectly usable on the d7000, whereas i never touched it with my d90. the High iso performance in real world shooting on the D7000 is absolutly awesome
 
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Another difference that Thom points out - which I hadn't noticed before - is that AFC with single point won't track a moving subject! You need to be in dynamic with at least 9 points to get any predictive tracking... Interesting...

FYI: I just got a response from Thom about that statement. On page 402 in the D7000 guide, where he says:

"Single Point AF no longer uses predictive focus."

This should actually read:

"Single Point AF in Single Servo no longer uses predictive focus."

So, no change from the D300/D300s - there, it reads:

"Single Servo no longer uses predictive focus."

The only change seems to be that you can't select Dynamic AF Area in AF-S anymore - which makes sense since it wasn't doing anything on the D300 :smile:

Cheers

Mike
 
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Before the earthquake I'd have said just wait for the D400 - but I wonder if there could be either delay for release, or poor availability once it's released.

I'd certainly enjoy seeing Randy's D7000 shots posted here. :)
 

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