This year was a year of many expectations from Nikon – cameras like Nikon D3000, D90 and D700 were rumored to be updated and while the release history told us the cameras would get minor and major upgrades, many of us understood that the tough economy would certainly affect the normal schedule and could result in extended life for the existing product line. The camera update that many photographers have been waiting for was for the Nikon D90, which has been one of the hottest selling cameras from Nikon ever since it was announced.
Today, Nikon surprised the world by announcing the Nikon D7000 DSLR – a new pro-level product line that sits between Nikon D90 and D300s cameras. It is certainly not an update to Nikon D90, because the features are very close to those of Nikon D300s and in many cases even surpass D300s’. The main difference between the Nikon D90 and Nikon D300 product lines has always been the DSLR camera body – Nikon D90 is plastic and Nikon D300 is magnesium-alloy. The body of Nikon D7000 is weather-proof with dust and moisture sealing and the top and the back covers are made of magnesium-alloy, while the front cover is plastic (Nikon D300s has magnesium alloy covers all around). From the stand point of sensor class and other features such as movie mode, the Nikon D7000 is superior to Nikon D300s. Take a look at its main features:
- Image Sensor: High Resolution 16.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor
- Metering Sensor: 2,016-pixel RGB (3D Color Matrix) sensor
- FPS: High Speed 6 frames per second continuous shooting up to 100 shots
- Processor: EXPEED 2 and 14-bit A/D Conversion
- Mirror: Large Bright Glass Pentaprism Optical Viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.94x magnification
- Memory: Twin SD Card Slots with SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card compatibility
- Movie: Full 1080p HD recording with Full Time Autofocus
- ISO: ISO range from 100 to 6400 expandable to 25,600 (Hi2)
- AF System: 39 point AF System includes nine center cross-type sensors that operate with every AF NIKKOR lens
- Body Type and Shutter: Compact but durable with magnesium-alloy top and rear covers, superior weather and dust seals and a 150,000 cycle-rated shutter system providing reliable operation
- LCD: 3 Inch, 921,000-dot Super-Density LCD Monitor with 170 degree viewing
- Battery: EN-EL15 Battery with over 850 shots on a single charge
The features of the Nikon D7000 are very impressive for this class of a camera. The key highlights are the 16.2 MP high resolution sensor, 2,016 pixel RGB metering sensor (compare that to the 1,005 pixel sensor on the D300s), large pentaprism glass that gives 100% frame coverage, twin SD card slots and the new Expeed 2 processor, which allows shooting 1080p videos. There are many new additions and changes to the D7000 that are not there in any other current Nikon DLSR cameras.
The Nikon D7000 is a big blow on the existing Canon 60D product line, since it beats the 60D in all categories, except for sensor resolution (60D has an 18 Mp sensor) and movie mode (60D can record 1080p at 30 FPS, while D7000 can only go 24 FPS). Priced at $1,199, it is certainly in the price range of the 60D ($1,099), which means Nikon is placing the product in direct competition with the 60D. I guess this is Nikon’s response against Canon’s earlier move with the release of Canon 7D to compete against the D300 product line.
I am very excited about the Nikon D7000, because it means that the new generation Nikon D90/D300s products will probably have the same or similar sensors, while the pro-line of products will probably get the same or a higher-resolution sensor with more bells and whistles.