Nikon D7000 – A Decade of Great Photos
The Nikon D7000 was launched back in 2010. After 10 years of taking it around the world, I’ve decided to write a review on its performance. The camera met my expectations even if it had a lot to live up to. If you remember its predecessors such as the D90 and D300 series, they were seen as the real rugged cameras for any type of photography.
Then, Nikon announced the D7000. It featured a magnesium alloy body and dual memory card slots, just as seen on full-frame professional DSLR cameras. A considerable improvement was made from previous cameras on the autofocus system as well. Back then, the D7000’s 39 autofocus points were seen as a leap forward from the old-style 11-points autofocus system. A weather-resistant construction also helped the camera’s durability. Since I’ve used it for photos in the rain, I can confirm weather sealing is very good on the camera.
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Nikon D7000 features and characteristics
- Based on a 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
- Video recording function at 1080p HD with 24 frames per second
- RAW and JPEG shooting options
- Designed with a large 3” TFT LCD screen
- ISO sensitivity range from 100 to 6400
- Compatible with Nikkor F Mount, AF-S, and AF-I lenses
- Compatible with external microphones
- Made with a built-in flash and compatible with Nikon Speedlights
- Made with a 100% coverage optical viewfinder
How the Nikon D7000 holds up after 10 years
Many cameras look good on paper, but how many live up to their expectations? At the beginning of the last decade, most reviews were positive as professionals and amateurs were impressed by Nikon’s release. There were minor issues that were signaled from the start (such as back focus problems) which persisted for some users. In general, though, the camera lived up to the expectations.
A few words on battery life
Many aren’t sure about the battery life of the camera. But even after years of heavy use, the Li-Ion battery lasts a whole day. When you’re traveling, you’ll be able to take up to 1,500 photos with the camera before recharging. After 10 years, there seems to be no visible drop in battery life, which speaks for its quality.
Which lenses proved the best for the Nikon D7000?
My Nikon D7000 was purchased with a lens bundle. I got the Japan-made Sigma 18-50mm f1:28 – 4.5 with the camera. While its zoom capabilities proved versatile, most photos ended up underwhelming, with plenty of sharpness issues, even when holding the camera with 2 hands.
This lens proved slow to focus as well. Nighttime photos weren’t easy to take with it either. But given its low price, there wasn’t much to expect here.
After a few months of photographing landscapes with the lens, I felt the need to step it up in the glass department. The budget was tight so I ended up looking for an affordable lens that would take ‘wow’ pictures for a newbie. After debating the purchase online, most professionals recommended a prime lens.
The Nikkor 50mm f1:1.8D was my lens of choice. The store clerk advised me on its cropped factor (1.5x on the camera) which meant it wasn’t a true 50mm as on a full-frame camera. It was a 75mm lens (1.5 crop factor X 50mm).
However, this combination proved to be my go-to option for all of my holidays and family events. It’s very sharp, fast to focus, impressive in low light and it produces negligible chromatic aberration. Yes, it was probably the most affordable 50mm I could have bought for the camera, but it was also the most impressive. After more than 9 years with the lens, its plastic body is in mint condition and I was right not to overspend just to get a more robust lens.
The Nikon D7000 camera has plenty of positives, most of which aren’t visible when you test it out in a store. These pros are mostly visible thousands of photos in different conditions.
- Natural skin tones
One of the areas of interest for those looking into daily use DSLRs is with skin tones. Nikon D7000 features natural skin tones that are highly customizable and which you can save under user profiles.
- Solid weather sealing
The weather sealing on the camera is considerably better than on a compact camera or other gadgets. Taking photos in low temperatures is complicated when the battery life drains completely. I was in Iceland when the battery on my iPhone drained immediately and when my D7000 show good battery life against the odds.
- Excellent for portraits
If you’re planning to take multiple family photos, the D7000 and its updates (D7100, D7200, and D7500) are very reliable. Taking printable photos of your family members isn’t an issue even with its APS-C sensor, as long as you have good optics.
- Not too heavy
Despite is size, the camera wasn’t too heavy to travel with combined with a prime lens. I wouldn’t take it on trips with a zoom lens now, mainly due to its weight. But I think if paired with a Nikkor 35mm f1.8G lens, it would be an excellent all-round solution for travel photography.
Not everything was impressive about the camera and some issues proved to be true for me and other D7000 users.
- Back focus issues
The first batch of the D7000 had proven back focus issues. Some of the concomitant batches also had sporadic focus problems. This can be solved by adjusting your lens. I haven’t bothered with my camera as my 50mm lens was always in focus.
A few possible upgrades for the D7000
Now, the years have passed and digital camera technology has improved considerably with better cameras in smaller bodies.
One of the possible updates for the D7000 is the Nikon D610. With a full-frame sensor, the camera is now heavily discounted, being cheaper to purchase than the D7000 on its release date. However, it’s not a camera for impressive video recording as its limited to 30fps capabilities.
Sony A7 III
A better option for those with a higher budget is the Sony A7 III. It takes better pictures with no edits and it’s considerably smaller as well. Mirrorless cameras are now the norm for travel use since carrying a heavy DSLR isn’t always comfortable.
After 10 years, all of the buttons on the Nikon D7000 work as new. The battery life hasn’t been impacted by its age. High lens compatibility makes it a worthy option if you still find the camera at a good price. The best place to find a cheap new Nikon D7000 is online. However, it can also be sold in the same price range as the Nikon D610 at some retailers. In this case, the full-frame option is better. However, if you’re not interested in the DSLR world, the A7 III camera from Sony is a user-friendly alternative, albeit, at a higher price.