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
Build and handling
Rather than make wholesale changes to the build and handling of the D7000, Nikon has instead introduced a few tweaks and refinements to how its enthusiast-level camera handles. The most notable addition is the new Live View lever, which activates the function when pushed to the right. A further push to the right switches the mode off. I found it very tactile in use and far quicker than having to rotate the shooting mode dial around to the Live View option.Speaking of the shooting mode dial, this is new to this level of enthusiast camera, and is usually found on the D300S and D3-series cameras. In the D7000 it makes selecting a shooting mode much quicker. In fact, the camera handles far more like a D300 than a D90.
The last significant addition is the new AF button. The switch for selecting AF or manual focus is situated on the bottom right of the camera, on the side of the lens mount, as it is in all Nikon DSLRs. However, there is now a button in the centre of this switch. Pressing and holding it with your thumb while shooting allows you to change the AF mode to automatic, continuous or single using the rear control dial in use. The AF points can be changed by scrolling using the front control dial. If using single-point AF mode, the point in use can be changed using the directional control located on the rear of the camera.Also making the D7000 feel more like the D300S is the magnesium-alloy top and bottom, rather than the polycarbonate body of the D90. This is made even more impressive by the fact that the equivalent Canon EOS 60D is made of polycarbonate, whereas its predecessor, the EOS 50D, is magnesium alloy.
The changes in the construction of the cameras have no doubt been implemented to realign their position in their respective ranges, with the D7000 now pitched at a more advanced level than the D90. Similarly, you would expect that the D300S’s eventual replacement will also target a slightly more advanced audience, and will most likely compete with Canon’s EOS 7D.With the menu system of the D7000 resembling that of Nikon’s other DSLR cameras, those already familiar with the range should have no problems being able to pick up and use the camera immediately.