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Nikon to ship 16.08 million image pixel D7000 in October
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | by Rob Galbraith
Nikon has officially unveiled the D7000, a digital SLR that is significantly better specified than the D90 and a real competitor to the company's own D300S. Called the D7000, it incorporates a 16.08 million image pixel DX-size sensor, 6fps burst rate, ISO range of 100-6400 (plus 12,800 and 25,600), 39-area autofocus, 100% coverage viewfinder, built-in flash with TTL commander capability, 2016-pixel RGB metering sensor, twin SD card slots, 1080p/24fps video with continuous AF and the option of connecting an external stereo mic.

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Mini D300S: Views of the Nikon D7000. Click photos to enlarge (Photos courtesy Nikon)

Nikon D7000 feature summary

The new model's main features include:
  • A 5.2W x 4.2H x 3D in., 1.7lb. dust and weather sealed body with an overall design that's similar to the D300S, only smaller. Both the top and rear covers are magnesium alloy. A new top dial design includes two user-defined settings positions, while a toggle on the back switches the camera in and out of Live View mode. We had a quick session with the D7000 earlier this month and it really looks and acts like a narrower, shorter version of Nikon's current midrange digital SLR. Which means it's quite nice to hold and has more of a pro feel than one would normally expect for this class of camera, with the exception of the entry level style multicontroller.

  • A 16.08 million image pixel DX-size (23.6 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor that is promised to deliver the best low light performance of any Nikon DX camera to date. It has a pixel pitch of 4.78m. The D7000 utilizes Nikon's EXPEED 2 image processing technology, including 12 or 14 bits per colour analog-to-digital conversions and 16 bits per colour digital image processing.

  • JPEG, NEF (lossless or lossy compression) and RAW+JPEG file format options.

  • A standard ISO range of 100-6400, and an extended ISO range of ISO 100-25,600, plus Auto ISO.

  • A maximum frame rate of 6fps. The frame rate is adjustable between 1fps and 6fps.

  • A shutter lag of 50ms (CIPA standard), startup time of 0.13 seconds and a shutter duty cycle rating of 150,000 frames. The shutter itself is newly designed for the D7000.
Button Down: The D7000's AF mode selector button (Photo courtesy Nikon)
  • An all-new 39-area Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus system with 9 cross-type points clustered around the centre and many of the same configuration options as the D300S' 51-area Multi-CAM 3500DX. The camera can be set for 1, 9, 21 or 39 active AF areas.

    A new AF mode selector near the lens mount includes a centre button that, when pressed, enables the number of active AF areas to be changed, including while looking through the viewfinder.
  • A top shutter speed of 1/8000 and a top standard flash sync of 1/250 (or 1/320 via a Custom Setting), plus up to 1/8000 with a compatible Nikon Speedlight and Auto FP mode enabled.

  • A new 2016-pixel RGB sensor, which handles both ambient and flash metering. This is the highest resolution metering sensor of any Nikon digital SLR.

  • An Ambient option in Auto WB, for warmer rendering of pictures captured in warm light.

  • A built-in flash with 16mm lens coverage and two-group wireless TTL Commander mode.

  • A viewfinder that features an all-glass pentaprism, 100% viewfinder coverage, 0.94x magnification and 19.5 mm (‐1.0 m‐1) eyepoint.

  • A 3.0 inch (diagonal), 921,000-dot rear LCD (without a vari-angle mechanism).

  • nikon_wt4.jpg
    Linked In: The WT-4/WT-4a Wireless Transmitter in action (Photo courtesy Niikon)
    The MB-D11 Multi Power Battery Pack, certain GPS units and WT-4/WT-4a Wireless Transmitter are among the optional accessories for the D7000. There is no frame rate boost when the MB-D11 is attached.

  • Video capture at up to 1080p at 24fps, or 720p at 24/25/30fps, or 640 x 424 pixels at 25/30fps. Maximum recording time is approximately 20 minutes.

    The D7000 is the second camera from Nikon to be able to focus continuously during video recording (using phase detect AF). Full manual exposure control is possible, video files are H.264/MPEG-4 in a .mov container and audio recording is through a built-in mono mic or an external mic connected to the camera's 3.5mm stereo mic jack.

    Audio levels can be controlled automatically or set manually in three increments.

  • A single-axis Virtual Horizon overlay, which shows if the camera is level, tilted left or tilted right.
Bunk Beds: The D7000's twin SD card slots. Click to enlarge (Photo courtesy Nikon)
  • Twin SD card slots with the same Overflow, Backup and RAW primary/JPEG secondary options as other dual-slot Nikons.

    The D7000 will accept SD, SDHC and SDXC variants of this memory card type and includes specific support for Eye-Fi's wireless SD memory card: power remains active while the card is transmitting, a transfer icon appears on the rear LCD and the card's wireless radio can be enabled and disabled in a menu.

    The D7000 is the first digital SLR from Nikon (or any other camera maker we know of) to incorporate support for UHS-I, a quicker data transfer protocol defined in the SD 3.x specification that is the basis for upcoming speedy SDHC cards from Panasonic, Toshiba and presumably others.

  • Power is from a new battery, the 7.0V, 1900mAh EN-EL15, which is slightly smaller and has more rounded corners than the EN-EL3e. The new battery is replenished with Battery Charger MH-25.
  • Connection ports include USB 2.0, GPS and CEC-compatible HDMI. There is no 10-pin remote port or PC sync socket. The D7000 can be triggered by the ML-L3 Wireless Remote Control and has infrared receptacles on the front and back for this purpose.
Price and ship date

The Nikon D7000 is slated to ship in mid-October 2010 at an expected street price of US$1199.95 in the U.S., or US$1499.95 for a bundle comprised of the D7000 and AF‐S DX 18‐105mm f/3.5‐5.6G ED VR lens. Nikon is emphasizing that the D7000 is not a replacement for the D90, which will continue to be sold in the U.S. and perhaps other countries too.
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