Veils are off D7000, Nikon’s new baby which has supposedly put D90, the first ever DSLR to record HD video, behind the blinkers. Nikon appears to have run out of two digit D-X0 figures forcing them to fall back on the new D-XX00 naming mantra and it has further confounded many. There is no guarantee though that you will not see a gleaming new camera calling itself a D95 someday. Yet, assuming it is an upgrade of D90, it has upped the ante in right places. The sensor resolution has gone up by 33% and you have a 16.2MP CMOS chip and an advanced 14-bit A/D filter, also used in Nikon D300S. It has a spanking new 2016-pixel RGB metering system with 39 points autofocus tracking. Add to that a 100% viewfinder and two dedicated user customizable modes, U1 and U2. Constructed like a brick, it is an equipment worthy of being labeled a mid level semi-professional DSLR. But when Chase Jarvis got a call to hit the street with D7000, he ended up shooting a smart short film called ‘Benevolent Mischief’. While the video is not going to be nominated for the Academy Awards or something,
it will keep you hooked till the credits start rolling. No more (or barely noticeable) wobbly lines, or rolling shutters! No more loss of focus! Are we then witness to the rise of a camcorder star from the Nikon Stables? The answer lies in two simple truths which got subdued in the dazzle of the high profile product launch. One, it was Chase Jarvis who conceived, planned and directed that movie. With his genius he wouldn’t have been far behind even with a camera with no movie mode, using time-lapse photography. Two, the roll call of the premium lenses used in the making of ‘Benevolent Mischief’ is anything but consumer class. Four lenses that bag the honour are (1) Nikkor 16-85mm VR ED, (2) Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 VR II ED, (3) Nikkor 10-24mm ED and (4) Nikkor 24mm f1.4 ED. Simple back of the envelope calculation adds up to $5,500 and beyond. Good Lord, $5,000 can also buy a Canon XH A1 or a Panasonic AG-HVX200 or a Sony HDR FX-1 and any of these can bury a D7000 doing video.
It will be argued that premium Nikkor lenses will help produce remarkable still photographs. When was there an iota of doubt on Nikon’s prowess of still photography but a professional desiring to possess at least 3 of the aforesaid lenses would rather naturally invest in a D3 X/S class DSLR or, probably a D700. Maybe, even a D300S, if he loves the DX format. Why a model that Nikon proudly displays in the “Consumer” section of its catalogues?
That said, D7000 is a wonderful DSLR that can also capture great video footage. Never mind those frothing at the mouth why it cannot shoot video continuously beyond 20 minutes. No director in his right mind has ever done that on this earth and there is little chance that it will be attempted in near future. And no still photographer worth his salt will ever carry around or buy, for that matter, a DSLR for its video might.