Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nikon D7000 initial review


I was given a Nikon D7000 as a gift last week. I’ve only had a day or two to play with it, but I can honestly say it will make a great back up for my D300. The High Resolution 16.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor is new to me. I’m not sure what advantage it offers. I’ll have to experiment with it to find out. I found composing and shooting quite fun though, The camera is easy to use.

The camera came with a Nikkor AF-S 18-105 3.5-5.6G ED lens. I have not used it yet as it is too slow to use for indoor shots unless I push the ISO. The lens has a smooth zoom though, so it should be effective for my urban ugly work.

The most noticeable difference between the D300 and D7000 is in its mode selection options. The D7000 comes with Programmed Auto, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, and manual, so I’m not going to have too much trouble. I live in AP and SP on the D300. It also comes with Auto Modes, which include Food Mode and a dozen others, like Pet Mode and Child mode, which I think are geared toward the novice. Another selection option is Scene Modes which offers the promise of optimized settings depending on your shooting situation (I’ll believe this when I see it). The final two mode settings are U1 & U2, which store customized shooting settings. These last two modes are a neat feature that I’ve already found helpful.

I put my 50mm on for a few shots at a local restaurant Saturday morning. You know that guy that shoots every meal he eats – that’s me. I shot a few pictures of my omelet and pork sausage as an experiment. The results were mixed. I needed my flash. The lighting was horrible. I had some trouble with focus control as I had not yet read the manual and as a result I do not know how to choose spot focus. The camera performed well though, despite the photographer.

Switching to Live View is much easier on the D7000. It’s a simple thumb flip instead of a dial setting. Of course there are tradeoffs. ISO and WB are harder to set, the same goes for picture quality.

I found the out of the box setting horrible. The camera was set to Low picture quality, auto ISO (very annoying), and the white balance was off. But that’s expected with a new camera and part of the fun of experimenting with a new piece of equipment. 

I’ve been confined to shooting inside here in Los Angeles since it’s been raining for three days. I want to head outside and wander around shooting but I do not want to get my new equipment wet so I plan to wait until the rain passes. When I finally get outside I’ll get a better feel for how to use it. I’m tempted to start shooting my wife as the gets her groove on with Dance Central, but – well that would be suicide.

I’ll post more images and comments as I get more use from this wonderful new camera. Stay tuned for more. Oh, and I only get sausage once a week, so every piece is sacred.

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