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
Resolution, noise and sensitivity
Image: In its default settings, the D7000’s JPEG files are a little soft. This can be fixed by sharpening the raw image
The 16.2-million-pixel sensor in the D7000 performs well, with in-camera JPEGs reaching around 28 on our resolution chart. By default, the JPEG files produced by the camera are a little soft, but the entire level of detail can be fully realised when images are saved and edited as raw files. A slight adjustment to the sharpening in View NX2 really makes a difference to the sharpness of details.
Image: Raw files are easily adjusted to reveal previously hidden detail in shadow areas
When editing images taken at ISO 400, I found that it is possible to reveal a huge amount of detail in shadow areas without noise becoming an issue. This should be of particular interest to landscape photographers wishing to expose images for details in the sky, knowing that the details in seemingly dark landscapes can be revealed without colour noise being introduced.As the sensitivity increases, the amount of detail that can be resolved is reduced, but this happens very gradually. Even at ISO 1600, in-camera JPEGs reach 26 in our resolution test. Colour noise does start to become visible in ISO 3200 images in the form of slight coloured patches in shadow areas. That said, even at ISO 6400 there is still a good level of detail, with minimal colour noise and only slight luminance noise.
Image: Taken using the Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 DX lens, the D7000’s 16.2-million-pixel sensor is capable of capturing very fine details
The two extended Hi1 and Hi2 sensitivity settings are also of a very high standard. More aggressive luminance and chroma noise reduction have to be applied, which affects image quality, but given the ISO sensitivities the resulting images are impressive.
Resolution charts: These images show 72ppi (100% on a computer screen) sections of images of a resolution chart, captured using a Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5 kit lens at 80mm. We show the section of the resolution chart where the camera starts to fail to reproduce the lines separately. The higher the number visible in these images, the better the camera’s detail resolution is at the specified sensitivity setting.