Our thoughts on the mid-level Nikon D7000 DSLR with some brand new and exciting features

Nikon’s DSLR releases have been on the quiet front this year. The D300s at the tail-end of 2009 left a large stop-gap until the announcement of the D3100 just last month. But it’s clear to see that this period of quiet has been spent hard at work, with the Nikon D7000 being far more than a D90 replacement that many expected it to be.

Nikon D7000 semi-pro DSLR launched

With its 16.2-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor, it has the second highest megapixel count of any Nikon DSLR, second only to the D3x – so it seems that the company is putting more pressure back on the megapixel race as per so many other manufacturers at the moment.

The new metering and AF elements show progression behind the scenes and this new division of Multi-CAM AF modules between entry, mid-level, and pro-spec cameras adds more clarity of division. Finally we also get to see the Motion-JPEG format of old well and truly binned. Although a fine enough format to use, competitor cameras soon led the way with H.264 compression leading to longer recording times, smaller file sizes and better quality. Nikon following suit here, with the introduction of D-Movie, will be significant for the video community – and, let’s face it, that’s a whole new customer base right there.

Nikon D7000 semi-pro DSLR launched

The only ‘downside’, as such, is the close-knit relationship between the Nikon D7000 and the D300s – there aren’t many fundamental differences, so it begs the question if a beefed up ‘D400′ with Full HD video and improved metering will be the next step in what looks to be a good new year for Nikon’s range…
Available from late October 2010, the Nikon D7000 will retail for £1,100 body only or £1,300 with the 18 105mm VR zoom lens.

Nikon D7000 specs:

ISO: 100-6400 (25,600 extended)
MOVIE: Full HD 1080p at 24fps / 720p HD at 24, 25 or 30fps / 3.5mm stereo mic jack
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: 6fps burst rate
AF POINTS: 39-point (9 cross-type) Multi-CAM 4800DX with 3D tracking
METERING: New 2,016 pixel RGB sensor VIEWFINDER: 100% fi eld of view
LCD: 3in, 920k-dot
MEDIA: Twin SD slots
DIMENSIONS: 132 x 105 x 77mm
WEIGHT: 780g (with battery & cards)

Watch our first look video of the Nikon D7000.