I took my D7000 and my D300 to a rehearsal of Nordhoff High School’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Drama teacher John Slade sets the classic tale at a Renaissance Faire near San Francisco, during the summer of love. While the new camera’s sensor does not solve all the problems I face in a rehearsal setting, it impressed me sufficiently that I am once again considering selling the D300 to get a second D7000.
High ISO (2200) and expanded dynamic range don't help me keep the focus point where I want it during fast action....
...but when I do nail the focus, high ISO (6400 in this case) and expanded dynamic range get me shots I wasn't getting with the D300. In this version, Mercutio is a recently returned Vietnam veteran.
A new camera does not change the angle of the lights in the theater...
...but wider dynamic range helps me manage highlights and shadows when an actor turns his face to the light.
Even with ISO 6400, underexposed is underexposed, so I pretend that sensor noise is grain, and convert the image to black and white.
Focusing in low light, even with relatively fast lenses, remains difficult. I should have focused on the knife, but Juliet fell forward too fast for me.
So, I stumbled in a few places, as I always will. But I got the press shots we needed, despite lighting conditions that might have overmatched my D300. And I also noticed that the D7000 shutter release and mirror-slap are MUCH quieter than the D300. That means a great deal when I shoot during an actual performance.
Shot on a dark part of the stage at ISO 6400, yet the D7000 delivered an image perfectly usable at press sizes.
This is my personal favorite from the morning shoot. ISO 6400, yet the dynamic range is not horribly compressed.