Nikon D7000

A quick review of the trusted Nikon D7000.  Even before I conducted my own military resettlement training I thought I was the dogs cojones so imagine my delight when I realised that my life long passion could form part of the way that I make a living!

Private investigating can be a very interesting business to be in but it is fair to say that in order to be truly successful you will have to invest in an amount of kit and equipment along the way. Kit is not everything but it is a big part of the business at the sharp end.

Despite the recent release of the a new Nikon range including the very impressive looking  D7100 I am still very much in love the D7000 and will not be upgrading anytime soon. After spending quite some time now with my D700o and having briefly reviewed it in a previous blog I felt that an update and more thorough review was called for. It goes without saying that this review is focussed towards those operating as Private Investigators and Surveillance Operators so if we have a wedding photographer reading this blog you may vehemently disagree with my comments.

Relevant specificationsD7000

• 16.2MP CMOS sensor
• Sensitivity range 100-6400 ISO (boosted to 25.600 ISO)
• 100% viewfinder, 0.94x magnification
• 6 fps max
• 1/8000sec
• Twin SD memory cards
• Built in screwdriver type AF motor

When initially looking at an upgrade to my trusty D80, I could not quite believe the specification list of the Nikon D7000 – I was certain that I was reading the spec of a pro bodied full frame camera rather than an ‘amateur’ crop sensor model. For example, the pro bodied D300 has a 12.3MP sensor, a native sensitivity range of only 200-3200 ISO and no video. Compare this with the stand out specs of the D7000 as listed above and you can see where I was coming from!

Does it feel good?

One immediate and very noticeable difference to other smaller bodied DSLR’s is that once you grab hold of the D7000 you can really feel the quality of the construction and appreciate the superb ergonomics; it feels really great and very natural in the hand. Even though the dimensions are very similar to that of the D90 (an awesome camera BTW), the camera feels a lot like a pro bodied DSLR costing way more. This model really does feel rugged, expensive and PROlike! This camera is ready to do battle in a semi–pro environment even though Nikon classifies this as a consumer model.

Buttons & dials

The new Nikon D7000 has some nice new implementations when it comes to the user interface with access to live view and movie modes is easy. Although using video on your DSLR is not by any means the current way of capturing such footage there is no doubt that it will develop over time so becoming familiar with it is no bad thing. There are issues at the moment, quite simply it is not quite there but in terms of the functionality  the new combo button/switch is a pleasure to use. All you do is flick the rotating switch to the right and you are instantly in live view mode. From here you can press the center red button to record and press again to stop recording or just flick the rotating switch to the right a second time and you stop recording as the mirror returns for normal viewfinder viewing.

The AF mode and AF point selectors have been removed from the back and are now in a more logical place. The familiar AF/MF selector switch on the front of the camera near the lens mount includes a new button for selecting AF modes and AF points. The new multi – dial on the top of the camera is a big improvement over the layout on the D80. At the base of the dial is a ring that allows you to select the different drive modes (S, CL, CH, Quiet mode, Self Timer, Remote, Mirror Lock-up). The top dial offers Exposure modes (Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, Program, Auto, Scene modes, User 1 and User 2). This combo dial is very much a BIG DEAL and will be greatly appreciated especially by those of us engaged in surveillance based activities, especially the User 1 and 2 settings.

We often find ourselves taking imagery in low light conditions and with the use of this dial it is easy to set-up your camera so that you have a good set of base settings good to go, in fact you have 2. You can over-ride the settings by simply adjusting the values as you would normally so that you are not far from the correct settings. Really useful and often used. Some may be disappointed by the  the lack of  an AF-ON button but Nikon seems to have this covered by giving us the ability to reassign the AE-L/AF-L button via the Custom Setting Menu and this alone is much used addition for me.

We’ll cover the rest of this review in a soon to be released blog on the Lateo website!

See more on the D7000 below.

D7000 part 3

Want a quality camera strap?  See below.

BlackRapid RS7