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Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters

richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Wed 15-Sep-10 05:03 PM

I was surprised to see today the launch of the D7000. I do realise that it is a D90 replacement, but this leaves me with something of a quandary. I have become very keen on wildlife and although I have a D700, I stupidly sold my beloved D300 to help fund the 700. Soon afterwards I discovered the pleasures of wildlife photography, but FX did not give me the reach even with my 70-200 and 300mm prime lens. So I bought a second hand D90 and have been very pleased except that I missed the 51 point focusing. This week I've been thinking about buying a D300s or a second hand D300 for wildlife.

Wildlife photography often requires much post shoot cropping and thus extremely small image sizes. Certainly not enough pixels for large prints, So, here we are, the D7000 has a 16.3 Mega Pixel DX sensor which may make cropped images more likely for printing, but has a 39-point auto focus system. Both cameras have sealed bodies which is important when it rains etc. I guess the D7000 post launch and by Christmas will be at a much lower price too.

For the wildlife photographers out there, what are your early thoughts on the D7000 v the D300s please, always accepting the D7000 is likely to end up less cost than a D300s. Also, I have no super long lenses, my maximum is a 300mm. I have only had a cursory look at the spec, but the new camera looks promising.

Thanks - Richard

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flygirl1

Orlando, US
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#1. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

flygirl1 Registered since 12th Jan 2007
Wed 15-Sep-10 07:52 PM

I love my D300, so much so that I just recently bought a D300s as my second body. One thing that the D300s has, without the need of an additional grip, is 7 FPS. Also, I like the video, but that to me is just an after thought. I also like the slightly bigger size of the D300s over the D90 like size. As far as pixel numbers goes, I do art shows and have enlarged my work up to 30" x 46" canvases without any problem whatsoever. And as far as cropping, there is just so much crop that can be done no matter what and do not think of that as a deciding factor. I would still buy a D300s over the D7000. Hope this helps!

All the best
Nancy Elwood
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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
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#2. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Wed 15-Sep-10 09:29 PM | edited Wed 15-Sep-10 09:37 PM by KnightPhoto

I'm getting the D7000 because:
- I have need for an additional body in my kit.
- I am a big fan of DX bodies for telephoto usage.
- I am hoping Nikon is delivering some Iso advantage in this body as compared to my D300. I will be testing this aspect of the new cam fairly carefully and plan to make my own judgement. I would be ecstatic if the new cam achieves at iso1600 what my D300 achieves at iso 800, we'll see soon enough. My dealer expects a late October delivery. In the interim I'll definitely be watching all the test sites and folks like Bjorn and Bob Krist who sometimes receive new equipment in advance.
- two thirds of a stop I'll even accept. One third stop noise improvement I'll be underwhelmed.
- dpreview made a speculation this is a Sony sensor and this is a possible concern as I was counting on some D3S special sauce for the D7000. It will be interesting to see how this plays out!
- Regardless, at this price, to get back to the OPs original question, the D7000 looks like a great wildlife camera. I will be using mine for birds and wildlife in conjunction with my D300.
- edited to add I'm agnostic on the additional pixels. Hoping they at least won't hurt. Am having a small concern about nikon's emphasis on their new and improved noise reduction. I hope they don't mean at the expense of detail. Again, we'll have to see how this plays out through testing. Personally on this particular camera I'm not too worried about diffraction as I won't shoot it any more stopped down than f11.

Best regards, SteveK

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tommiejeep

Goa, IN
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#3. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

tommiejeep Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2008
Thu 16-Sep-10 02:05 AM

Richard, I will be watching for some reviews and user reports. I would love to have better iso but want to see how the new multi-Cam 4800 stacks up against the 3500. I shoot a lot of fast, small birds and sport. The 4800 might be fine for sport but do not know about the birds. I would also miss the AF-on button.

Also have to see what the new iso 100 looks like and the higher in fact not specs .

I am on no rush since I am happy with the cameras that I have but my D300 is going to need a big service at some point sooner than later so will watch the new D7K closely.
Cheers,
Tom

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richardd300

Dyserth, UK
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#4. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 3

richardd300 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2009
Thu 16-Sep-10 05:35 AM

Hi

All sensible comments and like you I shall watch developments. I've had a look at your gallery, most impressive. The wildlife images are stunning.

Cheers

Richard

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pdekman

Swisher, US
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#5. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

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. Winner in the Annual Nikonians Best Images Contest 2015 Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005
Fri 17-Sep-10 03:24 PM

I'm still using my D200 for wildlife/nature photography. I have been close to purchasing a D300s - higher ISO, better AF, additional features - but decided to wait for this fall's lineup to see what changes. The D7K has a nicer set of specs and build quality than I expected.

I know this camera would best my D200 in most all categories, but I have some concerns regarding ergonomics. First, I'm addicted to AF-On focusing method and would sorely miss it. Can the AE-L/AF-L button reasonably perform the manual/pulse-single/hold-continuous focus capability the D200/D300 have?

Also, what is the expected diffraction limit at 16MP and what is the real penalty on landscape and macro shots? i.e. would f/16 be noticeably harmed regarding image quality?

Thanks -

Paul
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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
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#6. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 5

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Sat 18-Sep-10 11:12 AM

>Quoting pdekman<
> First, I'm addicted to AF-On focusing method and would sorely miss it.
>Can the AE-L/AF-L button reasonably perform the
>manual/pulse-single/hold-continuous focus capability the
>D200/D300 have?
>
>Thanks -

I certainly expect the AE-L/AF-L to be programmable.
If not, my D7000 will get returned.
Holding the shutter button half down does not fit my shooting style at all.

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glennaa11

Arlington, US
449 posts

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#7. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

glennaa11 Registered since 27th Aug 2004
Sat 18-Sep-10 02:50 PM


> I guess the D7000 post launch and by Christmas will
>be at a much lower price too.
>

I wouldn't count on the D7000 being available at "a much lower price" by Christmas of this year. It will still be brand new and much sought after. I think they will sell a lot of these bodies and the demand will be high for several months. I wouldn't expect any price reductions for at least 6 months or so. How long did it take for the D90 to show up at a discount?

Glenn
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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#8. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 6

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Sat 18-Sep-10 04:35 PM

According to the manual, it is the same programming options for the AE/AF L button as the D90. Did that work out for you when you had the D90?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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pdekman

Swisher, US
1058 posts

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#9. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 8

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. Winner in the Annual Nikonians Best Images Contest 2015 Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005
Sat 18-Sep-10 05:45 PM

I found the D90 manual online. Pg. 200 states that the AE-L/AF-L button can be assigned as follows:

AE lock and AF lock
AE lock only
AF lock only
AE lock and hold
AF-ON
FV lock

So, it appears that focus can be decoupled from the shutter. Gaining the AF-ON function (while losing AE-L) is certainly preferable to my usage.

Paul
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TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#10. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Sat 18-Sep-10 06:53 PM

On paper, the D7000 looks like a good option for wildlife, and I'm considering it for exactly that. With small birds one can never have enough reach. When the bird is too far away even for my longest lenses, I often end up cropping the final image to about the DX format anyway, which is just 5MP when starting with a 12MP FX image. The D7000 would give me 3 times that! That might outweigh any FX image quality advantage.

My only concerns are how fast will the AF be - will it be closer to the pro bodies or the consumer bodies. I'm not concerned with the number of AF points, just the acquisition and tracking speed. If Nikon has plans for a DX D400, it may have reserved the fast AF for that body. And the other concern is will the body be too small and flimsy on a super tele lens to handle well.

Tom
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dm1dave

Lowden, US
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#11. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 10

dm1dave Administrator Awarded for high level knowledge and skills in various areas, most notably in Wildlife and Landscape Writer Ribbon awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Nikonians community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006
Sun 19-Sep-10 11:02 PM | edited Sun 19-Sep-10 11:26 PM by dm1dave

Another limitation may be the buffer size if you shoot birds in flight. One of these threads states a tester gets about 11 frames at max frame (6fps) rate before the buffer bottleneck slows the camera. In comparison my D300s gets 19 shots (12-bit lossless compressed) at 7fps before the frame rate slows. I think it is a safe bet that a D400 would have a burst rate (buffer capacity) to equal or better the D300.

The below image is a good example. Wile tracking the bird it is hard to tell how high he is so you have to guess when to start the fast frame rate. With only 11 frames I would not always get the whole fishing run.

Click on image to view larger version


For shooting something like eagles catching fish that 8 frame loss could make or break a shot. Even shooting something like an Egret at take off or landing a long fast burst is more likely to get you a favorable wing position.

Click on image to view larger version

Dave Summers
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NDGraham

Dorval (Montreal), CA
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#12. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 0

NDGraham Gold Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2007
Mon 20-Sep-10 09:55 PM

"... but the new camera looks promising." ?
This is a masterpiece of understatement!
Neill
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Jim Pearce

Grimsby, CA
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#13. "Even without eagles..." | In response to Reply # 11

Jim Pearce Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Mar 2004
Tue 21-Sep-10 10:58 PM

I manage to fill the buffer on both my D300 (17) and D300s (19) routinely. Also, I use the wide AF points (or is that tall?) which are missing on the D7000 when the herons stretch and for portraits when I get close. I agree with you Dave, and I'm even holding out some hope for a pro body with a really big buffer and battery. I'd gladly pay $2500 plus.

Jim

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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
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#14. "RE: Even without eagles..." | In response to Reply # 13

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Wed 22-Sep-10 12:53 AM | edited Wed 22-Sep-10 01:17 AM by RRRoger

>I manage to fill the buffer on both my D300 (17) and D300s
>(19) routinely. Also, I use the wide AF points (or is that
>tall?) which are missing on the D7000 when the herons stretch
>and for portraits when I get close. I agree with you Dave, and
>I'm even holding out some hope for a pro body with a really
>big buffer and battery. I'd gladly pay $2500 plus.

You will be paying $5000 plus for a camera that does much more.
It will be called the D4.
I think the D7000 is as close to a Pro DX as we are likely to see,
but Nikon has really surpassed my expectations since the D3 was released.
At any rate I would not expect a Pro DX before late next year.

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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
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#15. "RE: Even without eagles..." | In response to Reply # 14

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Wed 22-Sep-10 01:10 AM

Hi guys,

I was thinking $3500 for a pro body DX. It's possible that with the D7000 moving up the scale the D400 will be a pro body DX? I also would like that bigger buffer. Meanwhile I am getting the new body.

Best regards, SteveK

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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
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#16. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 8

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Wed 22-Sep-10 01:12 AM | edited Wed 22-Sep-10 06:31 AM by briantilley

Yes Stan,
I programmed the D90 AE/AF button to function as an AF-ON button.
I do not need an AE/AF button.

Where did you download a D7000 manual?
I only found a product brochure.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#17. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 16

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 22-Sep-10 02:12 AM

Hi Roger
I saw the D7000 user manual on the Nikon Japan web site. It also shows in the manual the bracketing correctly, the English version of the manual for the D90 and Nikon USA web site shows the D7000 specs wrong, saying only +/- 1 EV. There are several other translation errors in the D90 manual.
That created a stir on 2 forums about how terrible the D7000 was for having such a short range of EV, making the D7000 unusable for bracketing. We all know that feature in the D90 actually works well.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
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#18. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 11

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 22-Sep-10 03:02 AM

The only mention of buffer capacity I have seen is on the Chase Jarvis Blog describing the a twitter entry by one of the shooters on the video production Nikon had them create. He said he shot a burst of 10 frames 14 bit of RAW+JPG-Fine and 11 14 bit RAW but did not say the camera bogged down or make any reference to limits, other than saying both were at 6fps.
Their team all seemed to be impressed with the camera. But remember they had the samples for quite a while so they were essentially Release Candidates, not out of the box final production stock. There might be some software tweaking during this period between release field testing and full scale production that is occurring now.

One thing that is apparent that us still shooters are probably underestimating is that this level of camera and the Canon 5dII/7d sales are really impacted by the video crowd. The interest in and the money spent based on number of forum posts on video production web sites and blogs is equal to or exceeds the demand by still photographers. Maybe there are just more vocal but if Nikon could better the data rate and frame rate of the Canon units, sales will explode for the mid line and pro bodies. One complaint has come up, Nikon D7000 data rates in video are 20mb/sec and the 7d is 48mb/sec. Jarvis was sure it was fast enough but there was a lot of disappointment among the bloggers and forum posters. I got the idea from reading hundreds of such posts that the video crowd cares nothing about brands or being fans, they only want tools from anywhere they can get them and would switch in a second to Nikon or even Sony if they produced what was wanted. Many mentioned their still cameras were D3s but video camera were Canon, so two sets of glass. The shoulder mounts,focus racks, steadicams and accessories that they all use dwarf the cost of the body. A cheap amateur style steadicam is $2000 but the ones they use are several times that cost apparently. There is a lot of money in the film and video production. I remember years ago wanting a large, long reach BlueBird boom stand for my music recording studio, one like I had seen in most TV and 1980 era video studios. I was used to paying a few hundred dollars for booms back then. The dealer quoted $25,000 for the BlueBird. We did get one eventually, and it was useful but I doubt it would ever pay for itself. Just 10 years before I bought my first home, a small 2 bedroom on 50 beautiful acres in the mountains for $22,000.....and it had a barn and stream as extra features to boot.
Video production costs so much more than still or recording. I remember recording major records over months with production budgets of $250k, for a record that would generate $50,000,000 in sales, 12 songs. Each video, the cheapest slapped together music video, for the singles on the album would be $150,000-500,000 and take less than a week. Not sure where all the money went because the costs of cameras and editing gear was not much different, or lower than large mixing consoles and tape decks.
Based on these observations, if Nikon wants to boost sales, they are going to have to create a D400 that beats the 7d and 5dII in video specs, they already have the still specs to beat them. They have to realize that how it works in real life is not as important as specs on paper to this new segment of consumer. It does not hurt Canon sales at all that they have obnoxious NR artifacts or AF that is never fixed. This crowd does not care about results, only in specs on paper. One strange thing, if you talk to young people who are spending money on such things, they all talk in buzzwords and video tech talk and relate more to moving than still photos but I hardly ever see them out actually taking video captures. I am starting to think that they really don't want to make videos as much as talk about making videos.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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tommiejeep

Goa, IN
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#19. "RE: Nikon D7000 - A Question for Wildlife Shooters" | In response to Reply # 18

tommiejeep Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2008
Wed 22-Sep-10 04:29 AM

Stan, I most certainly agree with the last part of you second paragraph...a lot of talk but same people posting their great photos (?) and not their great vids .

A question....I know zero about shooting vids.... with Nikon touting AF for Vids, is there anything to the new multi-cam 4800 being optimized for Vids or a middle ground between vids and stills?
Cheers,
Tom

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Jim Pearce

Grimsby, CA
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#20. "11 frames is correct for 12 bit lossless compressed." | In response to Reply # 18

Jim Pearce Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Mar 2004
Thu 23-Sep-10 03:41 PM

Going to lossy increases it to 15.

http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d7000/features03.htm

Jim

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G