I've been using a Canon 1000d for a few years now and just got my D7000 with 35mm 1.8 lens.
I used Ray Soares' suggested settings, minus the EV compensation as I couldn't find that particular setting. Shot Jpg with Sharpness at +7
Here are a few High ISO pics. I don't enjoy flash so most of my focus is on available lighting. These seem a bit dull, maybe because of using the "neutral" setting. If camera is on vivid the color pop much more.
I don't see any issues. Shooting with available light at ISO 6400 and having an image you can share or print is pretty remarkable. What's more, you have the capability of processing out noise even further.
The EV compensation buttonis right behind the shutter release ontop of the camera. There are some reports of blowing out highlights in bright light and that would be the time to dial in some negative exposure compensation based onthe histogram or "blinkies". I would not set it routinely for negative exposure compensation as you will find images underexposed - and that creates noise.
Your sharpening being set on +7 is a good move and probably would eliminate most reports of focus problems. This camera and some of the others might be a little light on sharpening at the default settings for picture controls other than Landscape.
>I used Ray Soares' suggested settings, minus the EV >compensation as I couldn't find that particular setting. Shot >Jpg with Sharpness at +7
Leave the Sharpness at +7, and by and large, forget the EV Compensation. The idea that the D7000 may tend to over-expose brightly lit, high contrast scenes, is not well founded at all. I haven't touched the EV once (except for deliberate +/- shots done for HDR).
>Here are a few High ISO pics. These seem a bit dull, >maybe because of using the "neutral" setting.
They're a little "dull" because the lighting on the subject matter isn't all that exciting. Also, try moving in on your subjects to avoid "snapshots". The color rendition looks very accurate. VIVID will give more pop, but it won't be as accurate. If you take a lot of people, use the Portrait setting, and save it to U2 on your Mode Dial. Also, you can turn on the ADR and gain a few stops dynamic range... I've used it on High without any negative effects...
>What do you guys think of the focus and noise?
The focus looks dead-on, and the images look noise free. You have a camera that pretty much blows the doors off anything in the price range, so start making some pictures in some decent light.
Welcome to the community. I believe you will be very surprised with the results at the gym. I have an 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 with the camera set on vivid, auto WB, 6 sharpening, with ISO min. shutter 400 and max 3200 and have gotten some great shots. I did do some bracketing EV just to compare and wasn't enough to tell. Good luck with your new toy.
Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><
The exposure seems pretty good in the first two, but the Christmas tree is definitely lacking in contrast - too much fill in the shadows. Noise isn't bad for these high ISOs. If you look at the woman's hand holding the spoon at 100%, it's actually covered in noise and the 6400 shot has large clumped areas due to noise reduction. It's always difficult to balance Sharpness with NR. I personally prefer to turn off both in camera and apply NR in Camera Raw and use a sharpen filter in Photoshop, but I'm an acknowledged pixel-peeper, so please forgive my pickiness!
I have PSE 8 and ViewNX2. I really don't like viewNX2, but PSE 8 doesn't seem to support the D7000 raw files. I don't think there is an update to address that. I keep seeing reference to ACR, but my camera raw plugin for PSE 8 is 5.x.
I usually only shoot Jpg, because I hate the hassle of shooting Raw. I would like to try Raw, but I need an inexpensive and time efficient method of importing pics, applying minor tweaks, and converting to Jpg all automatically. I do not have time to look over thousands a pictures every few months.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I mainly shoot family events activities