After only a Couple of Years, the D7000 is Showing it’s Age
Like most camera manufacturers, Nikon have worked hard over the last couple of years to produce an array of different models to meet consumer demand at all levels of the market. They have managed to impress even whilst coping with production disruption from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. their Nikon 1 range ( the J1, J2 and V1) have been full of ingenuity with exciting functions that allow photographers to play. At the professional end of the market, the D800 and D4 have pushed the technological boundaries.
It is in the mid-market range that Nikon face their greatest challenges. The D7000 is a relative newcomer, but is already being upgraded. Consumer demand for better means that what was groundbreaking a few years ago is now regarded as barely adequate. The D7000 specs are good in themselves, but are now matched by cheaper rivals.
Size matters in the world of photography, and whilst many of us wouldn’t be able to differentiate between a good quality 16 megapixel file and one twice the size, the headline number always demands attention. So with the cheaper D3200 boasting a 24 megapixel file and the D800 producing a 36 megapixel file, the d7000′s 16 megapixel file seems to be selling the camera buyer short. Sadly file size overshadows other functions like shutter speed, where the D7000′s 1/8000 is still amongst the fastest in it’s class.
Camera manufacturers also know that buyers are excited by burst speed and the D7000 is pretty good at 6FPS, but the J1 and V1 have blown all others out of the water with speeds of up to 60 FPS. Of course quality suffers, but the headline captures the imagination and sells the camera.
With an ISO range of 100-6400, the D7000 sits in the middle of what was available. The image quality is excellent and there is little noise, even at the higher end. Who needs more? Well very few of us, but when the Nikon D4 can push ISO up to 204,800 the buyer starts to wonder what they could do with that sort of flexibility.
There isn’t much difference between a video camera and a stills camera these days. The stills camera is expected to produce high definition video, even if it is a cheap compact. Whilst the the term ‘high definition’ is applied widely – and loosely, the D7000 can produce full HD and has an external Mic socket for recording in stereo. This should be a real selling point, as there is nothing worse than poor sound. But if you are going to add your own soundtrack, or have no interest in video, then this cold seem irrelevant.
The tragedy of the D7000 is that it is an excellent camera which can be used for most types of photography. However it is threatened by cheaper cameras that offer flashier headline statistics, file size, burst speed or ISO. Nikon can not afford to loose ground in the consumer rich mid-market and so they are going to upgrade to D7100 earlier rather than later.