Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:01 PM
"Mississauga, ON, September 15, 2010 - Nikon Canada today introduced the D7000 digital SLR camera designed to fulfill the needs of passionate photographers who demand exceptional performance, reliability and unprecedented levels of control and versatility in a compact form factor. Engineered as an ideal balance of durability and functionality, the D7000 features a multitude of new enhancements and updated Nikon technologies to help photographers produce exceptional photos and full 1080p HD (High Definition) movies.
Continuing the tradition of innovative technology that began with the revolutionary D90, the first digital SLR to capture HD movie, the D7000 features a new 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with low-light ability never before seen in a DX-Format (APS-C) camera. The new EXPEED 2 TM image-processing engine fuels the enhanced performance of the D7000 along with a new 39-point AF system and groundbreaking new 2,016 pixel RGB 3D Matrix Metering System to deliver amazing image quality in a variety of shooting conditions. Additionally, the D7000 provides full 1080p HD movie capability with full-time auto focus (AF), enabling users to capture their world with both striking still and moving images."
The Nikon D7000 is one of the worst-kept secrets in the DSLR world as of late, so the announcement lacks much in the way of excitement other than to confirm the specs that pretty much everyone already knew as of a couple of weeks ago. However, I was able to sit in on a conference call a couple of weeks ago and got some details about the D7000. In short, it's a lot of camera for the price point - which will be $1279.95 CAD for the body only, and $1599.95 for the body plus the 18-105mm lens. And despite what some other sites are saying, the D7000 is the replacement for the D90. The D90 will continue to be sold into early 2011, then that's it.
The D7000 highlights: a new 16 megapixel CMOS sensor with native ISO from 100 to 6400, with support for ISO 25,600 on the High 2 setting; a 2016 RGB pixel metering sensor, up from a 400 pixel sensor on the D90; 39 auto focus points, 6fps shooting, magnesium alloy body, and twin SD card slots. That RGB metering system is a big deal: it has more than double the pixels of the D3x, and 4.6 times more than the D90. The auto-focus system is twice as fast as any focusing system before it - and the full-time contrast detection system apparently works really well in Live View mode. The video is 1080p in AVCHD (h.264) format, supporting 30/25/24fps. There's also a VGA video mode, but there's no high-speed video mode at that lower resolution. They've made some improvements to minimize the "rolling jello effect" from side to side pans when shooting a video, and there's also support for an external stereo microphone and basic movie editing directly on the camera.
The D7000 is built to last: it offers 150,000 shutter release cycles, new reinforced glass on the screen, and has the same level of weather sealing as the D300s. There will be a battery grip offered that is also built out of magnesium alloy; worth noting though is that Nikon has implemented an "authentication function" that verifies that a battery is a Nikon-created battery. This means no third-party batteries will work in the D7000; Nikon said this was to "protect users", but I think it's a bit of a protectionist move to boost Nikon's bottom line...though I really do have to wonder how many people purchase an extra battery for their DSLR. I used to be a big "always have an extra battery" guy, but DSLRs are so incredibly power efficient, you can usually shoot for days without needing a recharge. The D7000 uses a new battery as well: the EN-EL15, boasting 1900 mAh of power versus the 1430 mAh on the D90's EN-EL3e.
A note about the dual SD card slots: they support SDXC cards, and the new UHS50 interface, so really huge, really fast memory cards will work nicely in this camera. The dual SD cards can be configured in various modes: overflow mode: when one card gets full it writes to the second card; backup mode: records image to both cards; record raw to one card, JPEG to another. You can record movies to one card, images to another. Slick!
Full press release and lots of images after the break.
"The D7000 creates a new class of Nikon camera by delivering proven quality, control and an advanced feature set, enabling digital SLR users to achieve a true expression of their creative vision while concentrating primarily on image quality above all else," said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada Inc. "When combining the innovation of the D7000 with the robust line of NIKKOR lenses and accessories, the potential for digital SLR photographers and filmmakers is enormous."
Unparalleled Performance from Unrivaled Technologies
With its new 16.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and Nikon's new EXPEED 2 TM image-processing system, the D7000 delivers superior image quality with low noise. The EXPEED 2 TM image-processing engine combined with a 14-bit Analogue/Digital conversion brings a new level of even tonal gradations while managing colour, contrast, exposure and noise, resulting in brilliant image quality. It also manages the D7000's speedy 50-millisecond shutter response, blazing AF speed and rapid six frame-per-second (fps) burst speed for up to 100 images.
The D7000 features an all-new 39-point AF system, which includes nine centre cross-type sensors that operate with more than 60 NIKKOR lenses. The 39 points in the new Multi-CAM 4800DX AF module work together to provide superior subject acquisition and fast tracking capabilities, allowing photographers to confidently capture everything from a player stealing third base to fast-moving wildlife. Additionally, photographers can activate dynamic or single-point AF, configurable in combinations of 9, 21 or a 39-point ring to match a variety of shooting styles and situations. When enabled, 3D tracking continuously follows moving subjects within the 39 AF points, highlighting the activated AF point in the viewfinder.
Utilizing Nikon's exclusive Scene Recognition System, the camera analyzes subject information from a database containing more than 30,000 images to optimize focus, exposure and white balance. To assist in creating amazing imagery, the Scene Recognition System reads data from a 2,016-pixel 3D Colour Matrix Meter RGB sensor which examines the scene's brightness and colours then optimizes the camera's performance prior to the actual exposure. This system also interprets scene data for improved control of light metering and i-TTL flash output, another revolutionary Nikon first. Additionally, the new sensor allows for a new "Ambient" white balance setting which can be activated to allow warm rendering in Automatic White Balance.
Nikon D7000 Shines in Low-Light Conditions
The D7000 continues Nikon's tradition of providing photographers the confidence to shoot in low-light conditions, knowing they will capture high quality low-noise images. The camera's native ISO range of 100-6400 affords the versatility to photograph in challenging lighting conditions. The ISO range can be expanded to a Hi-2 setting of 25,600, which was previously found only in Nikon FX-format digital SLRs. The resolution of the camera allows for a pixel size of 4.78 µm, which allows more light to enter, resulting in a correctly exposed image that has less noise and finer grain.
Full 1080p HD Movies with Advanced Video Features
Building upon the D90, the Nikon D7000 captures breathtaking full 1080p HD movies with full-time auto focus and manual exposure control. To keep critical HD focus, users can choose to engage a variety of AF functions, including Face Priority to track up to 35 human faces, Subject Tracking and normal or wide-area auto focus.
Advanced movie features also allow exposure adjustment on the fly while recording. The D7000 offers variable frame rates and resolutions, and can record 1080p at a cinema-like 24 fps, or a web-friendly 720p at either 24 or 30 fps for up to 20 minutes per clip. Once recorded, users are able to edit and trim video clips in the camera to save time in post production. Whether utilizing a wireless or hot shoe mounted microphone (sold separately), sound can be recorded via the stereo microphone input for professional audio results.
To further simplify movie shooting, Live View is activated by a dedicated switch and HD video recording is achieved by pressing a single button. The D7000 also incorporates a built-in HDMI output CEC compliant (Consumer Electronic Control) that allows users to connect it to an HDTV and playback with most HDTV remote controls.
By adding versatile NIKKOR lenses to the equation, photographers can create a variety of photo perspectives to video such as isolating subjects with a shallow depth of field and recording in low-light conditions. Combining the D7000 with NIKKOR lenses also delivers the sharpness essential for HD video, and Nikon's innovative Vibration Reduction (VR) II technology helps to eliminate the effects of camera shake.
No Compromise: Enhanced Build Quality, Durability and Usability
The compact design is lightweight enough for a full day's use, reinforcing Nikon's reputation for reliability. The durable camera body consists of a magnesium-alloy top and rear covers and a 150,000 cycle-rated shutter system. Additionally, the D7000 is dust and moisture sealed and features Nikon's dust reduction system to remove image-degrading particles from the image sensor. Among the well-laid out ergonomics, users will immediately notice a new Mode Dial that eschews traditional Scene Mode icons for more advanced manual functions and two user-defined settings (U1, U2) to adapt to users' shooting style on the fly. Placed under the control wheel is a Release Mode dial that allows access to the burst modes, timer, or the Quiet Shutter, to soften the cameras operation when shooting in sensitive environments.
When framing lush landscapes or tight telephoto shots from afar, users will appreciate the large, bright glass pentaprism optical viewfinder that has approximately 100 per cent frame coverage and approximately 0.94x magnification. The 3-inch, 921,000-dot super-density LCD monitor with 170-degree viewing delivers bright, crisp image playback and precise live view and movie shooting.
The D7000 comes with twin SD card slots offering SD, SDHC, SDXC memory card compatibility and several recording options including designating separate NEF (RAW) JPEG and movie files. The built-in i-TTL Speedlight flash offers coverage for lenses as wide as 16mm and has Wireless Commander support so users can choose how to light their subjects. The D7000 was designed to provide maximum performance with minimized power usage and also employs a new EN-EL15 battery which enables up to 1,050 shots when fully charged.
Nikon Technologies That Empower and Inspire
The D7000 digital SLR contains many features aimed at empowering users with creative freedom including the ability to process RAW images directly in the camera, and add in special effects using the retouch menu. Among the many editing options are colour filters, distortion control for a fisheye effect, perspective control for a miniature effect, or a new colour sketch filter which creates a sketch-styled image. As always, manipulated images are saved as copies while the original is retained.
The Picture Control system also allows the choice for Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait or Landscape settings to apply a personal look and feel to their pictures, and its versatile Scene Modes let users choose from Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up or Night Portrait for desirable results even in challenging conditions.
Availability and Pricing
The D7000 is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers in late October 2010, at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $1,279.95 for body only and $1,599.95 for a kit that includes the AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.
Exclusive Canadian Warranty
Nikon Canada offers an exclusive two-year warranty for the D7000 purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Additionally, Nikon Canada offers a five-year warranty for all NIKKOR lenses purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Consumer's investment is protected by Nikon Canada's warranties with in-Canada service.
Nikon, At the Heart of the ImageTM, is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Canada distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon's Exclusive EXPEEDTM or EXPEED 2TM advanced digital image processing system technologies. All Nikon Canada products are sold through a network of Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers. For more information on Nikon Canada and its products and services or to find an Authorized Nikon Dealer, visit www.nikon.ca.
**Photos are available upon request
Note: Specifications, design, product name, standard accessories and release schedule may differ by country or area.