September 18, 2010

Nikon D7000 full HD DSLR launched

Nikon D7000 Launch from UrbanFox.TV on Vimeo.

Nikon's new D7000 is not, as some rumours had it, a replacement for its D90, but will sit in the Nikon range above the D90 and below the D300s.

It is Nikon's second full HD DSLR, following the recently introduced D3100, but has a lot more to offer than the entry-level model.

In our brief tests of a pre-production model, there seemed to be a fair bit of noise from the auto-focus motor. At 1600 ISO, there was noticeable grain, but it wasn't objectionable – although a JPEG taken at the same setting exhibited less grain. As you'd expect with a CMOS sensor, there was skew caused by the rolling shutter, but this seemed to be less than was evident on the D3100, and barely noticeable at any sensible panning speed (and got lost in motion blur if panned much faster).

We shot several videos (which we can't show because it wasn't a production model), but the bit rates on these varied from 23.96Mbps to 27.82Mbps – a higher rate than on the D3100 (which averaged about 20Mbps), however, these were shot indoors, in an artificially lit room in fairly poor light (at ISO 1600), which would probably push the compression a bit higher than the better lit conditions we tried the D3100 out in. That said, the picture quality was good, with accurate colour rendition.

Price (list):
£1099.99 / €1303 (Body only) or
£1299.99 / €1540 (D7000 + 18-105mm VR kit lens bundle)
It should start shipping 29th October 2010.

Features include:
  • 1920x1080 @ 24 frames per second, 1280x720 @ 24, 25 and 30 frames per second;
  • MPEG4 AVC/H.264 compression using  .mov file format;
  • Stereo microphone mini jack input - recording 16-bit PCM audio at 48kHz;
  • 3-inch TFT LCD Monitor, with 921k-dot resolution;
  • Video clip trimming;
  • Mini HDMI output;
  • Simple, direct access, Live View and video recording control;
  • Tone and colour controls that let you set the look and mood of your pictures and movies before you shoot;
  • Good low-light performance (100-6400 ISO, extendable up to 25600 ISO);
  • Twin SD memory card slots (SDHC and SDXC) allow for extra storage capacity;
  • Bundled ViewNX 2 software, easy-to-use Windows software for editing photos and movies;
  • New image-processing engine, EXPEED 2, which delivers higher image quality and faster processing;
  • New 16.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor; 
  • Rugged, magnesium top and back with dust and moisture sealing;
  • Glass Pentaprism Viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and 0.94x magnification;
  • Newly developed AF system featuring 39 focus points, including 9 cross-type sensors in the centre;
  • AF-F during video recording, giving continuous focus;
  • Face detection with contrast AF that is claimed to be is faster than previously;
  • The ability to detect up to 35 faces within about 0.08 seconds, even if subjects are not directly looking at the camera;
  • Subject Tracking to keep moving subjects in focus;
  • New 2,016 pixel RGB metering sensor
Weight: 780g including battery.

Magnesium top and back
Level indicator

[UPDATE: Nikon has posted a firmware update for the D7000 that reduces occasional video problems where shots of dark scenes or objects might exhibit bright spots]

Related posts: Nikon D3100 full HD DSLR + Nikon D3100 video interview

By David Fox

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