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Nikon D7000 Digital Camera Review$1,199.99
The D7000 offers four levels of noise reduction: off, low, medium and high. We found that these did reduce the noise in images as you would expect, but they did also lead to some loss of detail in the image.
We found that the noise in the red, greed, blue and luminance channels was equal: there was no significant difference between the noise in each. More on how we test noise.
The ISO range of the D7000 goes from a minimum of 100 up to a maximum of 6400. This can be extended somewhat by using the Hi settings that the camera offers, which are equivalent to ISO levels of 12800 (Hi1) and 25,600 (Hi2). An auto setting is also offered, and the user can determine the upper limit that this can select from. The examples below were shot with the high ISO noise reduction at the Normal setting.
The D7000 offers an impressive 39 focus points, all of which are arranged in a grid pattern around the center of the frame. The 9 points closest to the center of the frame are the cross type, which are more sensitive when shooting in low light. If 39 points is too many (especially if you are choosing an individual focus point manually), a menu option allows you to cut that down to 11 points. You can also use a dynamic focus mode, where you select an initial point, but the camera switches to another focus point if the camera moves. This is designed to track a moving object such as a bird or a football player, and options are offered to use 9, 21 or all 39 focus points. A similar 3D focus mode is also offered, which tries to track and object moving towards or away from the camera.
One interesting feature on offer here is the AF fine tuning feature, which allows you to, as the name suggests, fine rune the focus system to adapt for different lenses. Different lenses can have very slight differences in their response to the auto focus signals the camera body sends, so this feature allows you to tweak the signal for maximum sharpness. Most users won’t need to use this feature, but a pro who is looking for maximum performance might want to spend the time tweaking their lenses.
Long exposures push digital cameras to the limit, so we test cameras by turning down the lights and taking a photo of our test chart with exposure times from 1 to 30 seconds. We found that the D7000 did pretty well in this test: although the images had definite noise and a slight color error, the noise was pretty constant as the shutter speed got longer. We did find that the long exposure noise reduction the camera offers did reduce the noise slightly with a 1 second exposure time, but it didn’t make a significant difference at other shutter speeds. More on how we test long exposure.
The graph below shows the color error on our test chart at the range of shutter speeds. As you can see, the error remains constant through the range of shutter speeds, with only a very slight difference between the tests with the long exposure noise reduction on and off.
The graph also shows the noise at the range of shutter speeds with the long exposure noise reduction on and off. The only shutter speed where enabling long exposure noise reduction made a significant difference was 1 second.
Video: Low Light Sensitivity
The Nikon D7000 put up impeccable numbers in our sensitivity tests. The camera needed just 5 lux of light—which is almost nothing!—to record an image that was bright enough to register 50 IRE on our waveform monitor. This is an excellent score, even for a video-capable DSLR.