The first thing you’ll notice if you’re stepping up from a Nikon D3100 or D5100 is the build quality of the Nikon D7000 and the magnesium alloy construction contributes to a high-end, resilient feel in the hand. Designed to fend off dust and moisture thanks to its weather-sealed joints, the handgrip is an excellent size and there’s the option of making it larger by attaching the MB-D11 battery grip that Nikon offers for an extra £245.
As for its key features, the Nikon D7000 employs a 16.2Mp sensor, which produces the same 4928x3264 resolution as the D5100, and being the DX type, there’s a 1.5x multiplication factor to apply to all lenses. The ISO range of 100-6400 is on par with the Canon EOS 60D but you’re also given the option to expand it to ISO 25,600 should you need a higher sensitivity setting in low-light situations.
In terms of AF point arrangement, the D7000 is streets ahead of its rivals. The 39 AF targets you’re provided with isn’t far off the number offered with Nikon’s pro D-SLRs and repositioning the AF point is made by using the D-Pad that sits beside the 3in, 920k-dot resolution screen. There are also nine cross-type sensors and a wide selection of AF area modes, our favourite being 3D tracking that locks focus on a subject and tracks it through the frame.
AF area modes
To change AF area mode you hold the button within the AF/MF switch and use the front command dial, whereas using the dial at the rear will control the AF mode itself. The 2016-pixel metering system offers Matrix, Centre-weighted and Spot modes with a button in front of the top-plate LCD, and beneath the mode dial there’s a separate dial for controlling continuous shooting (6fps) and Self-timer modes, with a quiet shooting mode making shutter noise more discreet. Live View is activated via an excellent thumb toggle switch at the rear and the AF-F (full-time) AF mode offers the benefit of continuous focusing when recording HD video at 1920x1080@24fps resolution. There’s a 20mins limit on footage recorded in a single take, but our tests revealed AF response in Live View was faster than the EOS 60D. Other novel features include a dual card slot and a function button that can be set to any one of 20 customisable options.
- Street price: £320 (Secondhand price as of July 2016)
- Visit: www.nikon.co.uk
This review was first published in the March 2012 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.