Got my first new DSLR in a few years yesterday, a Nikon D7000. Here are some first impressions from trying it out around the house, testing the user interface and an image example at ISO 6400.
The first thing you notice when you take the Nikon D7000 out of the box is it’s compact size. For me, it replaces a D200, and it feels smaller than that. I would go so far as to say that it needn’t be any smaller. Have a look at the lead picture, where on it’s blessed backside would you situate one of the many knobs and controls if it were smaller? This profusion of mechanical controls is well within the realm of Nikon’s user interfaces and I certainly prefer it to Canons modal buttons. But still, here we have another camera that can and perhaps should be configured to hell and back. For Henri’s sake, I even had to look inside the manual to find out how to switch on instant picture review after the shot! The manual is of holiday-filling pocketbook size, by the way.
Though I have a DX zoom, I yet haven’t put that on the D7000. For informal test shots yesterday evening, I used my two Zeiss ZF lenses. With the ZF f/2.5 25 mm mounted, the camera body feels like an accessory to the lens, not vice-versa. Still, the deep grip on the right side makes it comfortable to hold, and most of the multitude of knobs fall under some appropriate finger.
As an aside, if you enter the relevant lens data in a (rather deep down) camera menu, you can use first generation Zeiss ZF lenses (they are not chipped as ZF.2s are!) with no restriction. They won’t do P and Tv auto, of course, who’s gonna turn the aperture ring? I even managed to assign non-CPU lens selection to the Fn button, just as I had it with my D200 and F6. Consistency of the user interface between cameras is a nice thing!
The sound design is another point in favor. I haven’t even set the shutter release mode to “Q” for quiet, because that is said to increase shutter lag. But even on “S”, the shutter noise is well damped, subdued and silently drawn out after the mirror has swung down again. Definitely quieter than the quiet mode on my F6!
Ok. and here are first test shots. Click the screenshot for a version of original size.
Color me impressed! No objectionable noise, nice colors and sharp micro detail. Mind you, this is a large fine JPEG straight out of camera. Mac OS X has yet to add RAW support for the Nikon D7000. They could have done it in the Software Upgrade to OS version 10.6.5 that also came out yesterday, but noooo.
So, next up is reading as far into the humungous manual as my patience will let me and, once it gets light outside, photograph the damage the first significant autumn storm did to our little town on my way to work. More to come!