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1. The D7000 has dual card slots, each accepting SD, SDHC and high-capacity SDXC memory cards. 2. Rotate the Lv lever to enter Live View mode, then press the button to start video recording. 3. You can program two favorite camera setups and return to them simply by rotating the control dial to U1 or U2.

Nikon D7000

ESTIMATED STREET PRICE: $1,099 (body only)

The D7000 is Nikon's top entry-level DSLR, although it offers the performance, build and feature set of a midlevel model. It provides the best image quality of any Nikon DX-format (APS-C) DSLR, thanks to its 16.2-megapixel CMOS sensor (quite similar to the highly rated one found in the Pentax K-5, Sony A580 and Nikon D5100). New EXPEED 2 processing improves image quality, speeds operation and reduces power consumption, as well as makes full HD video possible.

All-new AF and metering systems give the D7000 a performance edge. Based on a new Multi-CAM 4800DX AF sensor module, the AF system features 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. While higher-end Nikon DSLRs have long featured Nikon's 1005-pixel metering, the D7000 goes that 1,011 better, with 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.

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

Other nice features include a large, glass pentaprism viewfinder that shows 100% of the actual image area, twin SD card slots, sealing against weather and dust, quick startup and shutter response, 6 fps shooting and the ability to use the full line of Nikkor lenses.

STANDOUT FEATURE: Versatile AF and Nikon's most advanced metering system.


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