"D7000 first impressions" Wed 03-Nov-10 06:11 PM by NY Jim
Cortlandt Manor, US
I just received my D7000 last night, and took my first few test shots this morning. My first impression is a huge smile. I was afraid that 16.2M pixels on a DX sensor would not deliver sharp images when viewed 1:1 on my computer monitor. The reason for my fear? I had purchased a Canon 50D when it first came out. That camera tried to squeeze 15M pixels on a DX-sized sensor. When I looked at test images of a $20 bill (shot with the new Canon 50mm prime) , they were soft. I sent email to Canon asking for help. Their reply stated that the camera was working as designed, and I should stop “pixel peeking”. I return it the next day. When the dpreview.com folks subsequently reviewed the 50D, they were also disappointed and thought that perhaps 15M pixels were too many for a DX-sized sensor.
So I bought a Nikon D90 which fit only 12.3M pixels onto a DX-sized sensor. This worked pretty well. The new Nikon 50mm prime delivered OK test images of the $20 bill. While I liked the D90 a lot, I wanted better AF and better low-light (high ISO) performance. So I sold it and bought the D7000.
The D7000 has crammed 16.2M pixels onto a DX-sized sensor. This made me nervous. Would I be able to extract center crops and get sharp images when viewed 1:1 on my computer? Based on my first few test shots, the answer is YES!! A small crop from a test shot of a $20 bill can be viewed at this link: http://norwegianbachelorfarmers.com/D7000
NO SHARPENING has been done to this image!! I used the Nikon 50mm prime, shot RAW, and used Adobe’s Lightroom 3.3 RC (release candidate) to view, crop, and export a JPEG. I’m really impressed. My normal workflow always includes sharpening, and I’ll continue that practice with the D7000, but the raw sharpness of this test image is remarkable in my experience. If you want to see the whole $20, I’ve uploaded it (with just the bill cropped from the entire image) to my website, and you can view it using this link: http://norwegianbachelorfarmers.com/D7000
On the other hand I also learned that not every shot is going to be this sharp. With the exact same setup, I took a few shots varying the f-stop. What I see if that wide open (at f/1.4) the raw image is soft. The above (sharp) image was shot at f/5.6. Smaller apertures were very close to the f/5.6 image in sharpness. Could be that 16.2M pixels on a DX sensor is a lot more demanding of the lens and of the photographer’s technique than I’m used to. Other test shots (not shown) confirmed that the D7000's AF is dead on. I also minimized camera shake by using a tripod, and by using the D7000 exposure delay mode (menu d11) that flips up the mirror, waits for a second, and then triggers the shutter.
I did not have a lot of time for test shots this morning, but I did walk outside and snapped a test shot of a few tree leaves in the blazing morning sunrise. This shot used the Nikon 300mm f/4 lens wide open, and was hand-held at 1/640. I’ve uploaded both the raw image (un-retouched in post processing), and a “cooked” version of that image (using some standard NIK tools). DOF is shallow due to the long lens a large aperture, but the leaves at the focus point in the cooked version look pretty good to me (based on my experience with this lens without a tripod). I love the creamy blur on the background! http://norwegianbachelorfarmers.com/D7000
I do not expect to win any prizes with that shot of the leaves, and I promise to post some better samples as I get time. It’s hard to put the D7000 down, but life calls
#1. "RE: D7000 first impressions" In response to Reply # 0
Many thanks for the first impressions
I had to remove the image links from your post, as they are huge files. We ask that images linked to still comply with our size limits for the forums, which are 150K bytes and 900 pixels on the longer side. This is because our software displays any link ending in ".jpg" in-line and this made your post VERY slow to load.
If you have reduced-size versions available it would be good to see them, or you could add a link to a gallery page containing the images.
#7. "RE: D7000 first impressions - Update" In response to Reply # 0
Cortlandt Manor, US
I've only managed a couple of outings (sigh) with my new D7000, but I did one experiment that I wanted to share. I like to shoot birds, but my longest telephoto is the Nikkor 300mm f/4 (the Nikon super teles are sooooo expensive). I've used a TC 1.4 with good success, but did not even try the TC 1.7 due to the comments (about poor IQ) of people who have tried it, and because Nikon does not promise that AF will work on an f/4 lens with the TC 1.7 (AF needs an effective f/5.6 or faster).
But the new D7000 has such a great new AF sensor, and the images seemed to crisp that I decided to buy a TC 1.7 and try it with my 300mm f/4 Nikor. Well I am most pleased. Not only does the AF work, but the images are nice. And the TC 1.7 cost me only $300 vs $8400 for the Nikkor 500mm f/4! Not that I would not prefer the 500mm, but winter is coming to the Northeast, and I have to buy heating oil, food, clothing, pay taxes, ...
I've posted a sample image that I shot with the 30mm f/4 and the TC 1.7 to the same web page that I used for the images in my initial post. Go to the link below, and click on the link flagged with the NEW tag:
#8. "RE: D7000 first impressions - Update" In response to Reply # 7 Thu 25-Nov-10 12:07 AM by KnightPhoto
Very nice shot Jim!
Looking forward to continued examples in this forum. I also have been very time constrained in my shooting with the D7000. But I did shoot a bunch of video last night and tonight will again. I might try some stills too, it would be a good test of low light theatre.