The Nikon D7000 is a brand new mid-level DSLR and follows the entry-level D3100‘s announcement earlier this year. However this isn’t the direct D90 replacement model as had been anticipated, as both models will remain on the current Nikon lineup.
At 16.2 megapixels, the D7000 has a highly resolute APS-C sized CMOS sensor that makes benefit of the new EXPEED 2 image processing engine to produce images from ISO 100-6400, though this can be extended to ISO 25,600 (Hi2).
The D7000 introduces a new 39-point (9 cross-type) autofocus system with 3D tracking – raising its capabilities from the 11-point multiCAM 1000 entry-level standard, but sitting below the professional grade 51-point multiCAM 3500 – that firmly cements the camera’s new role in Nikon’s lineup.
Metering also gets a total overhaul with the introduction of the 2,016-zone RGB metering sensor which Nikon claims enhances the effectiveness of the camera’s Scene Recognition System.
As is becoming ever-more popular, the Nikon D7000 also employs video capture capabilities at Full HD – meaning 1920×1080 HD capture in the Hollywood movie-esque 24fps – and can be saved using either the highly-regarded H.264 compression format (Motion-JPEG is no longer available, though stills can be easily pulled from the resulting movie footage). A further 720p HD movie mode also features that’s capable of capturing at 24, 25 or 30fps depending on preference. Add a 3.5mm stereo microphone jack and the D7000 firmly sets itself up to produce top quality moving pictures as well as stills.
The LCD to the rear is a 3in, 920k-dot high-resolution offering and the optical viewfinder provides a 100% field of view with 0.94x magnification. These features mimic the D300s’s specs, and despite many familiarities there are a few features that separate the two cameras: the D7000 has magnesium alloy top and rear covers as well as durable sealing against dust and moisture, but isn’t as comprehensively protected as the D300s. While other features are certainly similar (or in many cases even an improvement) the D7000 can’t perform quite the same rapid 7fps burst shooting – coming in a close second at 6fps. Although both cameras have dual card slots, the D7000 takes two SD cards compared to the D300s’s dual CF and SD version.
The Nikon D7000 will be available from the end of October 2010, for £1100 body only or bundled with the 18-105mm VR lens for £1300.