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Subject: "Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?" Previous topic | Next topic
jerry r Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2008Wed 27-Oct-10 04:50 PM
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"Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"


Banning, US
          

Does anyone who has shot with both the D7000 and D300 have any data yet on image quality at lower ISO and at higher ISO.

I typically shoot in raw with a D300. Does the higher pixel count of the D7000 enhance or deteriorate the image quality say in a 13 x 19 enlargement in terms of noise, dynamic range, color fidelity and detail?

Jerry

  

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Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
km6xz Moderator
27th Oct 2010
1
Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
dankeny Gold Member
27th Oct 2010
2
Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
visionguru
27th Oct 2010
3
     Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
km6xz Moderator
27th Oct 2010
4
          Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
visionguru
27th Oct 2010
5
               Reply message RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?
km6xz Moderator
28th Oct 2010
6
Reply message Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image qualit...
Zevi Silver Member
30th Oct 2010
7
Reply message RE: focus points.
jerry r Silver Member
30th Oct 2010
8
Reply message RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image qu...
briantilley Moderator
30th Oct 2010
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KnightPhoto Gold Member
30th Oct 2010
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pdekman Gold Member
30th Oct 2010
11
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km6xz Moderator
31st Oct 2010
12
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Zevi Silver Member
31st Oct 2010
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km6xz Moderator
01st Nov 2010
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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Wed 27-Oct-10 07:19 PM
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#1. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 0


St Petersburg, RU
          

Based on the experiences of several people shooting with both on DPR, their consensus seems to be that everything in the basic image capture realm is better, at all ISO levels. Some of the shots I've seen sure look like wider DR than my D90 and at base ISO that is wider than the D300(s). There are some ISO 100 shots that showed higher res to good advantage over the D700 and 1/2 stop more noise at high ISO compared to the D700 so the D300 is not the camera that people thinks it competes against.
As more experienced photographers put it through its paces the optimism increases.
The only question that still has not been answered is how the AF stacks up against it. It is a hard thing to gauge with quantitative measurements.
It surely in at the top of heap of DX cameras, with less noise and artifact than the 7d.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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dankeny Gold Member Nikonian since 29th May 2006Wed 27-Oct-10 08:09 PM
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#2. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 1


Roland, US
          

Stan,

That's a pretty fair assessment. In fact, I'm leaning toward better overall capture than d700. I have all three. The AF system is different. Both of them. The AF system for D7000 is really two AF systems. One for viewfinder and one for live view. Right now, I'm not ready to say whether it stacks up to D700 AF. I'm still trying to learn it.

David

  

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Wed 27-Oct-10 08:57 PM
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#3. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 1


Chicago, US
          

Stan: "It surely in at the top of heap of DX cameras, with less noise and artifact than the 7d."

That's not a big surprise, because D90 already has better ISO performance than 7D, according to DxO mark:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Sensor-rankings/List-view

I think D7000 is almost definitely better than D90 in terms of ISO performance, but I'm not sure it can be compared to D700. Notice that D700 has 2303 ISO score, D90 977. It's more than 1 stop difference. When all said and done, I will be surprised D7000 can get ISO score better than 1500, even if it does, still far from catching up with D700.

From the flickr ISO shots you posted in another thread, I think they are not that much better than D90 would perform under the same situation.

I remember someone posted pictures of D3100, and many people think D3100 is comparable to D700, turns out D3100 cannot even beat D90. I too hope D7000 is a drastic improvement over D90, but I'm less convinced now than a couple of months ago.

Jay
- Chicago Nikonian

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Wed 27-Oct-10 09:39 PM
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#4. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 3


St Petersburg, RU
          

You might be reading too much into the DxO numbers, which state they are sensor scores, not image results.
All I know is from the posted images and that my D90, which I love, is not in the same league as a D7000 at high or low ISO. The D90 was the DR leader at base ISO but the posted photos show a remarkable quality at 100 ISO and wider DR than anything I have seen in DX. This one can handle wider range scenes before burying detail in clipped blacks and clipping highs. The 100% crops show more detail in shadows and a smoothness that will be hard to beat for a while even by general purpose FX. Everyone is excited about testing high ISO but the real surprise is quality of 100-200.
Here are a series of shots with no NR from either camera, F7.1, that shows that the D7000 has better color fidelity at high ISO, even with more noise than the D700.
http://bophot.blogspot.com/2010/10/nikon-d7000-in-d700-kratka-primerjava_27.html

Notice the eyes of the bear, The red ring fades to black on the D700 as the ISO is pushed up yet it does not change color even at 25k on the D7000. Some landscape photographers are going to love that DR.
No, not one is bothering with comparing with the D300, because early on the upgrade in overall image capture was evident at all light levels and settings. I have no interest in seeing D90 comparisons for the same reason. There is no comparison.

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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visionguru Registered since 03rd Nov 2008Wed 27-Oct-10 10:44 PM
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#5. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 4


Chicago, US
          

Well, DxO seems more objective than pure subjective evaluation.

Thanks for the link!

Comparing colors under different WB or exposure is difficult. The D700 picture is slightly darker than the D7000 picture. Take any picture if turning it brighter or darker, you will notice the color differences.

You mentioned DR, which is directly related to noise performance. It's not possible to have a sensor that is noisier but with better DR. From the pictures in the link, to my eye, D700 is noticeably better at ISO 400.

Don't know what the "experts" will say once they finished the reviews. So far, I tend to think it's not a sensor with revolutionary ISO performance.

Jay
- Chicago Nikonian

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 28-Oct-10 07:14 AM
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#6. "RE: Any image quality comparisons to D300 yet?"
In response to Reply # 5


St Petersburg, RU
          

The consensus among owners who have both cameras and who have posted say the DR and noise is lower in the low ISO shots than the D700.

Actually it is quite possible to have a sensor with more noise at some gain figure point and less at others. Many things affect noise generation and noise sensitivity in electronics, non-linearity almost guarantees it. Dealing a lot with designing RF and AF low noise amplifiers, it was always a balancing act trying to determine the optimum compromise for a given application. We see an artifact of this non-linearity by not having straight lines in any currently available camera for DR/ISO graphs. What camera has a linear response over a wide gain and conversion range? I've never seen a graph that is. A good case is the D90 vs D3s, the graphs look like different transfer functions depending on the end of the chart one looks, very different in noise figure at low versus high gain. The D90 at 200 is better, At 102k, well, nothing is better than the D3s. For low ISO landscape, the D3s would not be the camera of choice. The most linear curve is the more limited range of the D3x which shows excellent linearity until about 75 ISO where there is a lot of distortion in the transfer function.
This linearity of sensitivity is not discussed much in camera forums but as in any system, non-linearity creates distortion of several types.
There is still room for creating amplifiers in cameras that have better noise figures without any changes to the sensor. So good times are coming....

Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Zevi Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Feb 2008Sat 30-Oct-10 04:24 AM
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#7. "Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 0


Ann Arbor, US
          

Hi,

Looks like this thread is "sinking" with few responses, and most of the conversation focuses on D7000 vs D700. If I may, I'd like to bring back the question of D7000 vs. D300s, especially considering their different AF module. (Hopefully you will not consider this a "thread hijack...")

As candidates for purchasing, these two are much closer to each other than to the D700. In fact, I was getting ready to upgrade from my D80 to a D300s, when these rave reviews of the D7000 showed up, messing up my thinking...

What bothers me the most with my D80 is the high-ISO performance (or lack thereof...). Too often I find myself having to crank up the ISO to allow for higher shutter speeds, even under reasonable lighting. Anything above 600 ISO has too much noise with this camera.

When I considered the D90, I basically found out that although the theoretical and lab tests showed it superior to the D300 at high ISO, the output of the D300 typically appeared sharper and more "solid", especially for action photos. Yes, it was not 100% apples-to-apples comparison (similar but not identical settings, not exactly the same scene, etc.) , but still -- the D300/D300s provided better results.

The reason, as I understood it, was that is it mainly due to the AF module of the D300s. It allowed a faster and better focus even under low light without needing to increase ISO. 51 focus points vs. 11. The D7000 has 39.

I have to admit that I do not really understand why we need all these focus points and how exactly they work together. My apologies if this is a question that was discussed to death before, in which case just point me to the reading material... So:


  1. What's so great about having many focus points in the AF module? What's special about the "cross type"? (what is the other type called?)

  2. What possible impact could the (supposedly) better AF module in the D300s, have on real-world images in comparison with the D7000? In other words, how much of the superior IQ gap that the D7000 has over the D300 could be bridges by the 51 vs. 39 AF points?

  3. Choosing the D7000 over the D300s (almost) seems like a no-brainer; What am I missing? What reasons are there for choosing the D300s?



Always looking forward to reading your feedback!

Thanks,
Zevi


  

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jerry r Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2008Sat 30-Oct-10 05:00 AM
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#8. "RE: focus points."
In response to Reply # 7


Banning, US
          

The more focus points the better.

I would be happy to have 100 focus points. I shoot mainly on tripod and prefer not to move the camera around after I have established my composition. The focus points are often not close enough to the edge of the frame for me, particularly at the bottom of the frame if I want to focus to be on the extreme foreground. The alternative of course is live view, but that is more time consuming.

Being the OP, no you are not high jacking the thread, just expanding the conversation.

Jerry

  

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briantilley Moderator Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003Sat 30-Oct-10 09:26 AM
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#9. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 7


Paignton, GB
          

There are at least a couple of ways in which having more AF points, such as the systems in the D300 and D7000, is advantageous...

First, with a static subject that you wish to place off-centre in the frame, more AF points give you more flexibility to choose the point that is exactly on the part of the subject you with to focus on.

Second, with a subject that you want to track as it moves around the frame, having more points makes it easier for the camera to keep the subject in focus. With something like a D80, it's easy for the subject to "get lost" between the more widely-spaced AF points.

However, there is a slight downside - with a greater number AF points the camera processor has more to do and this can sometimes result in missing focus with a fast-moving subject. With my D700 and D300, I always choose the AF pattern with the fewest active points that I am confident of keeping on my subject - that's usually 9, sometimes 21, rarely all 51.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

  

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KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006Sat 30-Oct-10 11:53 AM
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#10. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 7


Alberta, CA
          

Hi Zevi,

There are test images out there at Imaging Resources taken under controlled conditions that seem to indicate the D7000 excuse my expression kills the D300 as ISOs increase. My camera arrives this week so I can't say from personal experience yet but based on IQ alone I expect my D7000 to easily replace my D300.

There still seem a few die-hards out there (I was just reading a thread at Naturescapes) unwilling to accept this and claiming D300 retains more detail at high ISO. Nevertheless based on your excellent description of where the D80 was limiting you, I think yes it is a no-brainer D7000 for you! You will of course have to make the decision

Either way moving from the D80 having 35 or 51 points is going to be an improvement. Realistically it's going to take me at least a month to evaluate AF in the field. Since I plan to also get the D400 it is no risk for me to "make do" with the D7000 AF.

I think the better question for you is D7000 or D400.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
My Nikonians gallery
My Nikonians Blog

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Sat 30-Oct-10 04:45 PM
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#11. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 7


Swisher, US
          

I had a similar choice, wanting to upgrade my D200 for better high ISO shooting, as well as gaining liveview for macros and such. I'm not tempted by FX as I like to shoot wildlife and enjoy the reach of DX. I chose the D7K over the D300s as the draw of new technology won me over vs. the more familiar build and ergonomics of the D300s.

After two evenings of shooting, I'm quite impressed with the performance of the D7K. I just updated my LR3 ISO Presets and just marvel at the quality of ISO1600+ (coming from my D200). Happily, the lower ISO images are wonderfully detailed. I need to relearn a few button positions, but that's pretty easy. Reaching for AF-On(AEL) is a bit awkward as I am left-eye dominant, but can be readily accomodated.

I assume the AF performance will be better than what I have now, but will not match the higher-end bodies. Overall, I see no significant drawbacks with this camera for my use.



Paul
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 31-Oct-10 08:45 AM
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#12. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 7


St Petersburg, RU
          



>The reason, as I understood it, was that is it mainly due to
>the AF module of the D300s. It allowed a faster and better
>focus even under low light without needing to increase ISO. 51
>focus points vs. 11. The D7000 has 39.
>
>I have to admit that I do not really understand why we need
>all these focus points and how exactly they work together. My
>apologies if this is a question that was discussed to death
>before, in which case just point me to the reading material...
> So:
>


    >
  1. What's so great about having many focus points in the AF
    >module? What's special about the "cross type"? (what
    >is the other type called?)
    >

    The number is not important, you only need one. But having them in location you really need is more important. For example none of the cameras have FPs near the frame edges that I would like, but for action, having them close together aids in tracking ability. That requirement is lessened by 3D technology that uses color to help identify the locked subject even if it moves outside the array of focus points. A balance between FP density and spread in FX Nikon's favor tracking, but the D300 has, what many think, of a better spread for composing. If there were 500 FPs all would be perfect....if a super computer was tethered to the camera since it takes a lot of processing power to track an object through many FP sensors.

    >
  2. What possible impact could the (supposedly) better AF
    >module in the D300s, have on real-world images in comparison
    >with the D7000? In other words, how much of the superior IQ
    >gap that the D7000 has over the D300 could be bridges by the
    >51 vs. 39 AF points?

    We do not know how well the D7000 compares to the excellent D300s AF system but with 3 years newer technology and faster processing consuming less space and power, the new CAM4800 is probably better in design and capability but is probably also intentionally limited to give a D400 another reason to command $1000 more in price. From subjective reports the new system is very good and possibly equal in speed to the D300s particularly in the most processor intensive operations such as 3D tracking because of more processing power and the very important 2k RGB metering sensor that works tightly with the AF module for identifying subjects. We can expect the full designed in performance of the CAM4800 to be unleashed in the D400. 39 points is a big change from the D90's CAM1000 as is the 9 cross point sensors compared to 1 on the D90. The D90 was no slouch compared to other brands but was not in the same AF league as the D300s,probably the single most important reason for someone to opt for the D300s over the D90 is they were doing action shooting. I suspect that it is reasonable to assume that the 4800 system is scalable and at its base configuration, is more intelligent than CAM3500, but possibly intentionally limited in some way so as to create product differentiation between the D7000 and D400. I expect the 3D mode to be the biggest recipient of the increased processor and sensor power.
    Most my shots are fairly static, portraits and candids so the D90 is fine for AF using the center cross sensor. But having 9 cross sensors is a big deal since they are more sensitive and handle targets with different polarization better than the single pole sensors.
    For maximum speed and accuracy in AF, select the fewest number of FP for the scene. A 11 or 9 point setting will out perform the 51 or 39 FP selection but with the increased processing power available the drop off in performance might not be a factor in the D7000, it might have the horsepower to handle all 39 points at once and still maintain fast response. All you guys with D7000's, get out there and take some challenging shots with it and post reactions and impressions....please!
    >
    >
  3. Choosing the D7000 over the D300s (almost) seems like a
    >no-brainer; What am I missing? What reasons are there for
    >choosing the D300s?
    >
    >

>

Currently the best reason is that it is a known quantity, for some sorts of shooters, that is very important. If you have never had that size body, so there is not a new set of habits to learn the choice can be based on other criteria. One advantage of the D300s few talk about is the fact that 12mpx is a great compromise in all factors from diffraction, RAW file size, resolution etc. Another is weight, if hand holding large telephoto lenses it might feel a lot more comfortable. I will say however that the D90 with a battery grip feels great, better to me than a smaller D700 without a grip, closer to the natural balance points of the wonderful handling of the D3 series. Total weight of a usable system is not much different, lenses, flash, modifiers etc negate differences in body weight.
Ruggedness is another factor but I suspect most people equate weight with ruggedness when it really does not in reality. Lower mass items can be lighter in construction for any given impact or impulse accident, a D3, as beautifully built as it is, will likely sustain more performance altering damage from a fall on a hard surface than a 3 ounce point and shoot or plastic phone camera. No one has complained on this forum that I can remember about the D90 or D80 not being able to take a lot of abuse. Mine has been dealing with rough conditions weekly for 2 years with the only affect has been some buttons have their markings worn off. The D7000 shows every sign of being a tough, solid camera that will stand up to abuse as well or better than a more massive camera. Who ever broke a D40 from rough handling?

>Always looking forward to reading your feedback!
>
>Thanks,
>Zevi
Tough choice but either way, you know you will have a very competent camera, there are no losers in selecting Nikon. If you really want to convince yourself, go to a store that has both, and compare them to the T2 and 60D, that will convince you in 1 second of solid feel.


Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Zevi Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Feb 2008Sun 31-Oct-10 07:47 PM
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#13. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 12


Ann Arbor, US
          

Thank you all for the very detailed and (as usual) information-rich responses.

In static shots I take, unless the camera is mounted on a tripod, when the subject is off-center I first focus, then reframe and take thew shot. So again, a single-AF point should be enough. In action shots, I have not been very successful if the subject was not centered when the trigger was pressed (i.e., not-so-great tracking...). Maybe that's where the increased number of AF points will make me happy. And yes, being an engineer -- I totally understand the potential conflict between the multitude of available information and the horsepower required to process it...

I agree that maybe the true question of selection is "D7000 or D400."
"If I waited that long, I might as well wait for the D400, right?" Well, before the inception and reviews of the D7000 came along, that was exactly my thinking. But I believe that the price of the D400 is going to be closer to the D700 than to the D300s, I also believe that it will be another at least 6 months before we see that D400 (and I don't want to wait that long), and given the current price/performance of the D7000-- I think that I'll wait with the D400 (or D500?) for a future upgrade.

Thanks again,
Zevi

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Mon 01-Nov-10 12:10 PM
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#14. "RE: Need help understanding and deciding (Was: image quality comparisons to D300?)"
In response to Reply # 13


St Petersburg, RU
          

I would be surprised if Nikon lets the DX pro style body market go stale very long, it would be hard to reclaim their market share if there is not something available for another 6 months. The 7DmkII will be out before that, and the Pentax K-5 is just coming out. Anyone in the market , while holding Nikon glass is waiting, newcomers who might have gotten the D300s are buying D7000's.
All the basics for the new D300 replacement are on the shelf now, the image chain from the D7000, plus some more buffer, the AF system with an opened up CAM4800 etc. IQ will not be the selling point over the D7000, just as the D300 versus the D90, but body, AF and some add on features that do not disturb the core subsystems will be the selling points.
It will be interesting just how powerful the core of the ExpeedII and CAM4800 are, for example just how many burst shot can the ExpeedII handle in 14 bit if the buffer size/performance is available. Same with the CAM4800, just how many cross points and focal points CAN it handle. We will find out with the D400.
While I love the D7000 specs and performance so far as I've seen, I am not really in the market. There are no D7000s in the country and by the time there are, maybe the D400 will be announced. In the meantime I continue to have a ball with the D90 and a nice selection of lenses plus good lighting and grip. Together they work fine. That might change later this month when I go back to the US for an unplanned family visit. Hopefully I will see and play with a flesh and blood D7000 in California. All my best decisions are unplanned spur of the moment;>)
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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