Even though the D7000 and D300 share many features, I need to thoroughly test the newer camera in real shooting situations to make sure I know how to use it. So I’ve been using the D7000 exclusively for the past few days, for fun and on assignment. Here are some samples.
While visiting my parents last weekend, I liked the window light on my mom. This is ISO 3200, matrix metering. The expanded dynamic range of the D7000 helped hold the highlights and shadow detail, even at ISO 3200. Nikon D7000, Nikon 50mm f/1.8; 1/200 at f/4.
I spent a fair amount of yesterday on my belly in the front yard. Handheld macro work rarely comes out as sharp as we would like, but I see potential in the camera's high resolution (16mp) and expanded dynamic range. Here I used two flash units, but did not diffuse them properly for the subject. As commercial photographer Chris Zsarnay told our club earlier this week, the smallest subjects sometimes require the most elaborate lighting set-ups.
Higher resolution can make out of focus areas look WAY out of focus, and I'm not talking about bokeh in the background here. Lord Greystoke's foreground fur seems a little muddy to me. But the rim-lit whiskers suggest this is not a sharpness issue, but possibly a pixel-crowding issue. Fortunately, more research is needed.
Last night I got to test the camera under the circumstances most likely to appear in its working life: low light stage performance. Overall, I’m very happy:
The Emy Reynolds Band performing at The Village Jester. I used the camera's built-in monochrome setting,so this is a camera-generated jpeg. What I really like about this camera, and used to love about my Nikon D70, is that the high-iso noise looks like film grain. And in black and white photo-journalism, I LOVE film grain.
ISO 6400. 6400!!!!!
I shot these with a long-in-the-tooth Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens, which needed a +17 AF fine-tune adjustment on the D7000. I'll go back to the Jester with one of my newer lenses to compare.
And don't forget, even at ISO 6400, noise and grain can be minimized through careful exposure.