NIKON D7000 PREVIEW
Nikon has just launched a new DSLR, a couple of top-end lenses, a flashgun and two compacts. Will Cheung attended a press briefing where the new products were shown for the first time in the UK.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f2 ED VR II
Nikon Coolpix S7000
Nikon Coolpix S80
Nikon launched a host of products prior to next week's Photokina exhibition in Germany. You can read the press announcements by clicking on the links above.
Nikon supported the press announcements with an event in London to allow the photo press to get 'hands on' the raft of new products. I went along representing ePHOTOzine.
|Will Cheung enjoys trying the D7000 but wishes he was allowed to actually take pictures with the thing.
||Nikon's managing director, Michio Miwa, in action at Nikon's press launch of the D7000 in London.
For most photographers the headline product is the Nikon D7000, an APS-C format DSLR with a resolution of 16.2-megapixels and selling at £1100 for the body only. It is due in the shops October 29 so in plenty of time for Christmas.
With such a high resolution, top ISO sensitivity of 6400 (25,600 at Hi2), full HD movie mode and the option of six frames-per-second continuous shooting, you can appreciate that this DSLR is aimed at the photography enthusiast.
|Click on the thumbnails to view high resolution images
|The D7000 and the D90 are not too dissimilar. The D7000 does have a more robust feel, however.
||Environmental seals will help the D7000 work smoothly, even in challenging conditions.
|The combined exposure mode/drive control feels positive in use and allows one-touch adjustment of key features.
||The twin SD card slots can be configured how you want. For example, you can save JPEGs to one card and Raws to another.
|The D7000 has a very familiar Nikon layout and feel. Photographers upgrading should have no handling problems.
||The back panel is typically Nikon and there are some nice points of design like one-touch Live View and movie recording.
Nikon's Simon Iddon, enthusiast product manager confirms this. "The D7000 is a SLR aimed squarely at people who are passionate about their photography. In the Nikon range, it sits above the D90 and below the D300s and both those cameras continue to be available. The D7000's 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor is designed to give vivid colours, reduced noise and smooth gradation, and the ISO range is expandable to Hi2 giving an equivalent of 25,600 with minimal noise.
"The heart of the camera is the EXPEED 2 image processing engine. It optimises the camera's technologies for superior performance and image quality, works very quickly and with lower energy consumption.
"There is a new 2016 pixel metering sensor, the most powerful we have ever seen in a Nikon camera, that enhances the effectiveness of the scene recognition system. There is also a new AF system using 39 focus points with nine cross-type sensors in the central area and, with the outstanding continuous shooting speed at six fps, there is no excuse for missing the crucial moment.
"With video recording increasingly important as a feature in today's market, the D7000 allows clips of up to 20mins at Full HD resolution.
"The D7000's has sealed environmental joints just like the D300s and has a rugged magnesium chassis. The shutter itself has been tested to give at least 150,000 frames. Careful consideration has been given to every control and you can see that in the exposure mode/drive control that gives direct access to features, rather than having to access a menu.
"The body accepts two SD (SD XC compatible) that can be set up so that one card captures Raws and the other JPEGs, or one for stills and other for movies.'
There is no denying that the D7000 is fully featured on paper but we were unable to take any test pictures at the press event because the samples were pre-production. Handling was certainly sound with the D7000 feelingly reassuringly robust, especially when comparing it with the D90. The mode/drive control is excellent and it should be standard on every Nikon DSLR just to make life easier with this important feature.
Most of the layout and menu system will be familiar to existing Nikon owners so the D7000 should hold no fears for photographers upgrading from D40/D60/D70 and so on.
Another important feature of the D7000, and one that has previously been seen only on pro-level SLRs, is the 100 per cent field of view in the viewfinder.
With the recently launched D3100 and now the D7000 it was time for an overview of the DSLR market from Michio Miwa, Nikon UK's managing director.
"Nikon are performing above expectations in the DSLR market. The market is dominated by two brands and we currently have 27% of the market (July GfK research figures) but it is worth noting that in 2009 we had 40% of the DSLR market and this is the first time we have been this low for over two years. We are aiming to be back at that 40% level of market share and be number one in the DSLR market. We do have the best performing DSLR in the entry-level sector of the market, the D3000, and it is the number one selling DSLR in Europe."
Warehouse Express are taking orders for the Nikon D7000. Click here