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
With a new 39-point AF system, the Nikon D7000 is a big upgrade from the D90. Most of the points are located in a bend around the centre, with the rest spread, horizontally, across the centre third of the frame.As mentioned previously, the AF mode button has been repositioned on the front of the camera, where it sits in the centre of the AF/M switch. Although it is positioned a little out of the way from the other buttons, it is still easy to use it in this position, making it possible to change the AF mode while shooting. This is possible as the bottom display of the viewfinder shows the AF mode that is currently in use.
I didn’t notice any significant improvement in the focusing speed of the camera and it seemed on a par with the D90 and D300S. In bright conditions, the AF quietly snapped into position. Low light did cause the camera to focus more slowly, but photographing a landscape during twilight didn’t prove to be a problem. When photographing objects closer to the camera, the AF illumination LED light automatically comes on to help focus. Incidentally, this bright white light also doubles as a light to help reduce the effects of redeye before the flash fires.One of the most impressive features of the AF system is the range of different AF-point configurations that are available. As well as being able to automatically use all 39 points, the number of AF points in use can also be set to just the centre nine or a wider selection of 21 points. Having fewer AF points available can make it easier for the AF to automatically select the correct point to use when panning or tracking.
The 3D colour matrix tracking option allows the focus to be set to a particular subject in the scene. The camera will then track this subject and move the selected AF as the subject moves around the frame. Again, this is particularly useful when photographing moving subjects such as wildlife, or when performing panning or tracking shots.Overall, the AF features of the D7000 are very comprehensive and there is more than enough to keep enthusiast photographers happy, regardless of their style of photography.