Green screen problem: "You spend more time lighting a screen that won't exist than lighting the people that do!" - Dariusz Wolski
the coolest DSLR I've played with
I really liked the D60 and it did what i wanted it to do and that was take better pictures. Much better than the other digital cameras I had, and by better I mean when I push the shutter button and picture is created then and there and not three or more seconds later.
But, as a videographer and reading about the video that was being created by DSLR's (primarily Canon's) and seeing the filmic quality these DSLR's could do (and look at that shallow depth of field!)... okay I wanted one now... but as a videographer I wanted more then what was being offered (plus I decided to stick with Nikon) and I didn't want to sell the farm to get it.
So I waited and watched and learned. Then Nikon announced the D7000. I knew then and there that this was the beast for me. I ran down to my local camera store and... ordered one. No shipping date announced. And I waited, then waited some more. The shipping date that was announced in Canada was Dec 10th or something like that. But then I got a call last week that mine was in (I was one of the first on the pre-order list). Rejoice!
And so I've been playing with it and I LOVE it. I don't know it yet but I am enjoying the learning. I've equipped this bad boy with my 18-105 Nikkor DX lens and it's a solid wonderful camera. Some of my highlights of this camera are the dual card slots. What a great idea. Now you can backup your shots to another card, or shoot raw on one and jpeg on the other or simply have an overflow. And then there's the 1080 24p HD video... ahem, yes that's 1920x1080 24p.
So... my HPX170 does that. Ya, it does, but the D7000 has much better (shallower) depth of field so therefore more filmic. At least to me. And better dynamic range with the larger sensor. Along with all this is higher ISO with the camera topping out at 25,600. Shooting in the dark has never been so much much or more accurate than now.
The movie files produced buy this camera are quicktime and imported nicely into premiere Pro CS5. Along with the 1080p HD you can shoot 640 SD as well 1280 HD at 30 and 24. You can set the autofocus to continuous or single point but I found that manual suited my needs quite well (I'm used to and prefer to manual focus when shooting video, it's ingrained in me). I found that the continuous didn't follow as well as I expected to, in some cases losing the focus completely.
The camera body itself is made better too, out of magnesium instead of plastic and with a rubber outer feel you can grasp this sucker with authority. There's a bigger LCD screen and the buttons are laid out a little bit differently than the D60 but that is to be expected as, while this camera is capable of being a point and shoot there's a whole lot more to it.
I also like that what I see in the viewfinder is what I see on the picture. The D60 viewfinder showed something like 97% so you were always trying to compensate for that. Along with the LCD screen comes Live View, which is how you record video. It's not unlink the pop out LCD screens on newer video cameras. But I'm used to a viewfinder so I'll need to get one of the Zacuto Z-Finders to assist me there. And no doubt I'll buy a lot more to go with, too.
Another great feature is the U1 and U2 settings, this allows you to create and save you own settings and two versions. So not only can you use the out of the box Scenes, P, A, S and of course Manual, but now you can have your settings always at your fingertips. Nikon also increased the Scene settings to 21 giving you more control than ever before.
Nikon designed a new battery for the D7000 that is supposed to give you over 1000 shots before needing a recharge. And on top of that they tested the shutter over 150,000 times without it dying. A Nikon rep indicated that the true number was about double that but they just stopped at 150k.
The 3 or 6 frames per second is wicked too, I was shooting my sons soccer game the other day and quickly racked up over 300 shots. The good news is I won't miss that goal or save moment ever again. The bad news is that the buffer is something like 18 frames so you quickly use that up and then have to wait to start shooting again, but not long.
You'd think I would be done talking about these amazing features but there's more. With a much larger focus area and an increase is focus points the autofocus is amazing. And to go along with that the face detection technology is up to 35 faces. the camera has the ability to track your subject even if someone walks in front so you don't lose your focus.
And then there's the 16 megapixel sensor along with the 2,016 segment RGB meter. What more could you ask for? how about different levels of white balance. Or the 3 frame bracketing. And different types of autofocus. There's a programmable function button on the front.
Once you get into the menus you can get a little lost, but not too bad. The worst part is the icons on the LCD screen. Not only trying to memorize what they are and do but trying to even see some of them. I guess the important ones are there. There's two command dials that help with ISO, Aperture and shutter amongst others and I found that once I got used to what was where (ok I'm really yet but am getting better!) it started to become second nature.
My recommendation is a solid YA BABY!