The Nikon D7000 packs professional-grade features at a reasonable price. Reviewers call this a serious camera, suitable for the dedicated enthusiast or beginners who want to learn the trade. It excels in low light, boasts excellent battery life, and offers dual memory card slots and full weather sealing. The D7000 is built tougher, shoots faster, autofocuses better and offers more custom settings, dual memory card slots and a longer battery life than less expensive DSLR cameras.
"More pleasant to use" than an entry-level DSLR. The great thing about the Nikon D7000 is that it can work for anyone from the novice to the hardcore enthusiast, critics say. Find room in your camera bag for the 325-page manual, recommends Imaging-Resource.com's Shawn Barnett, because the D7000 lacks a Guide Mode to walk you through shooting photos. Beginners can rely on full-auto mode or the rich selection of almost 20 scene modes -- including Sunset, Candlelight and Silhouette -- until they're comfortable with the manual controls. Although the D7000 is a bit larger and heavier than entry-level DSLRs, testers call it compact and easy to grip. Some say the controls are very natural, while others complain that a few of them are clumsy.
Great images, satisfying speed. Photos shot with the Nikon D7000 and the cheaper D3200 (Est. $530 with kit lens) actually look about the same, according to reviews, but the D7000 is still the better camera. It shoots 6 fps and autofocuses better, and experts say the D7000's compact sensor's 16.2 megapixels are plenty. But where the D7000 really shines is in low-light shooting. While other DSLRs may falter at ISO 3,200 or 6,400, the Nikon produces good 5-by-7-inch prints at a whopping ISO 25,600 in tests. Bright-light photos look terrific, too, although a few highlights appear blown in test shots. Like most of today's DSLRs, the Nikon D7000 can shoot video in full 1080p HD and can continuously autofocus at the same time, but you'll hear the focus motor on your video. Battery life is rated at 1,050 shots per charge, about twice what you would get from an entry-level DSLR.
Built tougher than most cheaper cameras. The Nikon D7000 boasts a weather-sealed, partly metal body, which is a rarity on $1,000-and-under cameras. Experts at DPReview.com call it "one of the more substantial DSLRs in its class. A magnesium alloy chassis and 'proper' rubber hand grip (as opposed to just rubberized coating) give it a reassuring heft which is closer to the experience of holding and using a camera that costs hundreds more."
The D7000 isn't all metal, however; it wears plastic panels on its front and bottom. It is sealed against rain and dust, and Nikon says you can use it in temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pro-level goodies. Dual SD memory card slots are one of the Nikon D7000's greatest features, testers say, and one you won't always find on rival DSLRs. Compared to the entry-level Nikon D3200, you get more manual controls and custom settings on the D7000, such as bracketing exposure, white balance and flash; built-in flash commander mode; and a Function button you can set to access your favorite controls fast. You have more scene modes, too, so you can automatically capture scenes like Dusk/Dawn, Beach/Snow and Autumn Colors.
DPReview.com heaps praise on the Nikon D7000's advanced specifications, with testers saying the camera even outdoes the semi-pro Nikon D300S in a lot of ways. A tendency to overexpose in strong sunlight and some disappointing controls keep it from earning the site's highest prize, but it does win a Silver Award.
Review: Nikon D7000 Review, Lars Rehm and Barney Britton, November 2010
After much shooting and testing, reviewers here say the Nikon D7000 proves an easy top pick for both enthusiasts and beginners ready to learn more. Strong all-around performance -- especially in extremely low light -- makes it easier to capture moments, and the D7000 includes helpful features such as a weather-sealed body and dual memory card slots.
Review: Nikon D7000 Review, Shawn Barnett, Dave Etchells, Mike Tomkins and Zig Weidelich, Jan. 25, 2011
Tests here confirm many of the same pros and cons for the Nikon D7000 that other reviews demonstrate. Image quality is great, even usable up to the highest ISOs. Even some awkward controls and movie-mode drawbacks can't keep this camera off the site's Highly Recommended list.
Review: Nikon D7000 Review, Mark Goldstein, Nov. 15, 2010
With outstanding image quality even at high ISOs, the Nikon D7000 wins an Editors' Choice designation here. However, Jim Keenan finds its HD video "somewhat choppy."
Review: Nikon D7000 Review, Jim Keenan, Dec. 20, 2010
The Nikon D7000 earns a spot on the Steve's Best list. Chambers says its "smoking fast" shooting speeds, great low-light capabilities and lack of major flaws have "made me consider crossing over to the dark side from Canon."
Review: Nikon D7000 Review, William Chambers, Jan. 31, 2011
6. Ken Rockwell
Ken Rockwell is crazy about his Nikon D7000. He says it handles better than more expensive, pro-level Nikons, and the photos actually look better. He does a great job of explaining how it stacks up against other cameras -- including Nikons -- to help readers choose the best DSLR for their needs and budget.
Review: Nikon D7000, Ken Rockwell, Not dated
The Nikon D7000 averages 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 800 owner reviews here, with some posts going into great detail. Although users overwhelmingly love the camera, they do share some criticisms, especially the learning curve involved for those not familiar with digital SLR cameras.
Review: Nikon D7000 Digital SLR, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014