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1. Dual Card Slots: The D7000 has two slots, each accepting SD, SDHC and the new high-capacity SDXC memory cards. 2. Live View/Video Control: Just rotate the lever to enter Live View mode, then press the button to start video recording. 3. User-Definable Settings On Control Dial: You can program two favorite camera setups and return to them by rotating the control dial to U1 or U2.

Nikon D7000

LIST PRICE: $1,199
(body only)

NEW 16.2-MEGAPIXEL CMOS SENSOR: The D7000 features a new DX-format (APS-C), 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor that actually provides more megapixels than any Nikon DSLR except the $7,999 pro D3X model. The new sensor and new EXPEED 2 processing improve image quality, speed operation and reduce power consumption, as well as make possible full HD video.

HD VIDEO: The D7000 can shoot 1920x1080p full HD video at 24 and 25 fps, 1280x720p HD at 30, 24 and 25 fps, and 640x424p at 30 fps and 25 fps. Full-time servo autofocus while recording opens up new shooting opportunities.

NEW AF SYSTEM: The D7000’s AF system is based on a new Multi-CAM 4800DX AF sensor module, with 39 AF points, the central nine functioning as cross-types with more than 60 Nikkor lenses. The user can choose any single point, or enable 9-, 21- or 39-point groups to suit a shot’s requirements.

NEW METERING SYSTEM: While higher-end Nikon DSLRs have long featured Nikon’s 1005-pixel metering, the D7000 features a new 2016-pixel RGB sensor. The camera’s Scene Recognition System uses brightness and color data from all those pixels, plus an onboard database of more than 30,000 images, to optimize exposure, focus and white balance for each shot.
Nikon’s D90 introduced HD video to the DSLR back in 2008. Now, that pioneering camera’s successor includes full HD video capability with full-time autofocusing. The D7000 is also more rugged than the D90, with more megapixels, faster shooting, and better AF and metering systems.

Actually, the D7000 doesn’t so much replace the D90 as fit rather nicely in the Nikon DSLR lineup between the D90 and the near-pro D300S. The D7000 features magnesium-alloy top and rear covers, dust and moisture sealing, and a 150,000-cycle shutter. It’s also quick, with a mere 0.13-second startup time and 50ms shutter lag. A bright glass pentaprism (not pentamirror) viewfinder shows approximately 100% of the actual image area at 0.95x magnification, while the 3.0-inch, 921,000-dot live-view LCD monitor provides easy live-view and video operation. An ultrasonic dust-reduction system helps keep the sensor assembly free of dust.

Like the D90 (and higher-end Nikon DSLRs), the D7000 can autofocus with all AF-Nikkor lenses, even those that don’t contain a focusing motor (lower-end Nikon DSLRs don’t incorporate a focusing motor and, thus, can autofocus only with lenses that contain one—the AF-S and AF-I lenses). The DX sensor’s 1.5x focal-length factor means each lens frames like one 1.5X as long on a 35mm (or full-frame digital) SLR.
The D7000 can shoot up to 100 images at 6 fps in high-speed advance mode and 1 to 5 fps in low-speed advance. The provided EN-EL15 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack is rated at around 1,050 shots per charge. For more power, you can add the accessory Multiple Battery Pack MB-D11, which can hold a second EN-EL15 or six AA batteries, and has a shutter release and control dials for vertical-format shooting.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The D7000 provides a normal ISO range of 100-6400 (settable in 1⁄3 or 1⁄2 EV increments), and can go as high as ISO 25,600 when necessary.
VERDICT: With its powerful combination of features, performance, build and price, the D7000 is an excellent camera for photo enthusiasts and even pros on tight budgets.

Nikon D300S
For another $500, the D300S provides quicker shooting (7 fps vs. 6), a larger and even more rugged body, and the ability to use both SD and CF media. It features an excellent 51-point AF system similar to the one used in the pro Nikon AF DSLRs. List Price: $1,699 (body only).
Nikon D3100
Offering the same video features as the D7000 and an impressive 14.2 megapixels in a smaller, lighter body, the entry-level D3100 is easier to learn than the D7000, an important consideration for the DSLR newcomer. List Price: $699 (with 18-55mm VR zoom).


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