With its 16.2-million-pixel CMOS sensor, Full 1080p HD video capture and a 2,016-point metering system Nikon’s latest enthusiast DSLR hints at what is to come in its professional DSLRs. Richard Sibley tests the Nikon D7000
Like its colour rendition, the D7000’s exposure metering behaves much like other Nikon DSLRs. Despite its new 2016-pixel metering sensor, I noticed little difference from the 1005-pixel sensors used in the Nikon D300 and D3 series. Obviously, higher resolution metering is going to be able to gather more information, but when other cameras get by with far fewer zones, one does wonder exactly to what extent the 2016-pixel sensor is needed. The sensor does help to identify particular types of scenes and then expose them accordingly, and it is also used to help identify the correct white balance, but 2016 points seems excessive.
Generally, the D7000 produces good exposures when in its evaluative matrix metering mode. However, when attempting to produce print-ready exposures, images with large dark areas can be lightened too much. I found that this often causes skies to become too bright and in some cases burnt out. I found that when shooting an overcast sky I needed to underexpose images by as much as 1EV from the metered evaluative reading in an attempt to stop the highlights burning out. Although this does make the foreground a little darker than is preferable, it leaves detail in the sky while allowing shadow areas to be brightened to recover detail.