Nikon D7000 review
Movie Mode & Quality
Nikon D7000 review - Movie Mode
Nikon D7000 - QualityThere aren't a huge number of other models out there that can boast the same Full HD 1080p movie capture as the D7000 can, given that the majority of the competition offer an inferior interlaced capture.
Nikon D7000 review sample image - click for full size image gallery
Using the H.264 compression type, the D7000's files appear in the MOV format (Quicktime) straight from camera which makes for less work than some AVCHD-types that require processing prior to use.
1080p is captured at 24fps with around a 24Mbps bitrate (though this is variable) to provide smooth, cinematic-like quality with limited compression. High ISO work even looked good, though above standard sensitivity did cause some flickering issues with fluorescent lighting.
Nikon D7000 - Record Time
The three available PAL options - 1080p at 24fps, 720p at 24 or 25fps and 640x424 at 25fps - are all restricted to a maximum capture time of 20mins per clip.
Nikon D7000 - Focusing modes
As movie mode captures during live view mode, the focusing modes are restricted to Face Priority, Wide-area AF, Normal-area AF and Subject-tracking AF. The AF point on the rear of the screen can be moved during recording using the d-pad in order to adjust where focus will be taken if desired.
There are three focus possibilities: AF-S for single autofocus where the shutter needs to be half depressed to refocus; AF-F for full time autofocus where the camera automatically focuses depending on the subject and/or AF-point positioning; and manual focus where the lens focus ring can be used to attain focus.
It's also worth noting that when framing there are crop marks in live view that show where the movie will be captured. As the full width of the sensor is used for capture, however, no irritating cropping is present when pressing the record button (crop marks considered, of course).
Nikon D7000 - Manual Control
It's possible to shoot movies using any of the available modes on the top dial, though as the frame rate is fixed the camera will over-ride any priority setting that would over- or underexpose the final shot. The ISO setting can be adjusted in any applicable mode in an attempt to compensate for this as desired, though it's only Manual mode that provides full exposure control.
Nikon D7000 - Sound
The D7000 uses Linear PCM (essentially the carrier format as found in Compact Disc audio), with a 16bit stereo, 48000Hz sample rate. In short: the sound is captured in ‘CD quality' from either the camera body or by utilising the 3.5mm microphone jack for an external microphone (sold separately). The sound captured is very clean, crisp and clear, and doesn't suffer from any normalizing to attempt to compensate for quiet speech and similar quiet scenarios.