A few first impressions.
First WOW--My eyesight isn't what it used to be. Partly this is because Scrib can now be called Old Scrib. Partly it is because Scrib in his youth was too friendly with a high power UV YAG laser . (For the scientific minded readers. YAG lasers become UV lasers when you frequency triple and quadruple the normal IR output. Focus that radiation down in air and you now have your own $10,000 to $15,000 firecracker simulator)
But back to the WOW; Scrib's conversation does slide away from the topic at times.
One of the first things I did at the Camera Company was fiddle with the diopter adjustment on the viewfinder. And guess what, it has a wider adjustment than my D60 does. Now I don't have to wear my reading glasses to check the camera's focus. From that moment, I began to feel warm and fuzzy about the D7000.
a WOW and boo. A while back I discovered a smaller version of ebay where lenses could be bought cheap cheap. With several I paid more for shipping than I paid for the lens. If I did my homework and googled around to discover their IQ--Image Quality in the lens spec world--some of them even turned out to be good lenses.
One attraction of the D7000 was that unlike the D60 it was designed for legacy lenses. The focus dot and range finder arrows that tell you which direction you should twist to manually focus are big and bright in the viewfinder. You can also register up to ten legacy lens and have exposure and focus info in the pic's EXIF file. Or for that matter not register the lens--it still works without the info. So when I mounted one of my best manual lens, a Vivitar series I 35-80mm f2.8, and saw how well that lens worked--the big warm and fuzzy feeling became even fuzzier.
Now the boo. My D60 will mount just about any F-mount lens that Nikon or a third part ever made. AI, AIs, auto focus or NonAI, it don't matter. Unfortunately my D7000 won't mount NonAI lenses. So about a third of my manual lens collection won't work with the D7000.
With some lenses, I don't care that much. For others, my 400mm and and two 500mm, I bought a new AI T-mount adapter that should arrive tomorrow. But all my macro stuff, extension tubes, bellows, Nikon 55mm 1 to 1 macro and other goodies, are NonAI and won't mount
Some work-arounds are obvious. Keep the D60 as a backup and use that for macros, something I was thinking of doing anyway. Buy new macro stuff, a clean solution but expensive. Or a DIY project I came up with. Not quite so clean a solution, but cheap because I already own everything I think I need. Will blog what happens when Xmas is over and I have the time.
And finally the BIG WOW--the low light low noise images.
There has been a lot of talk in the forums about a D7000 hot pixel problem. With some sensors the problem is real. Nikon is working on a firmware update to make the problem less obvious. But because of the talk, people are pushing some perfectly good D7000s to the extremes. If they see even a slightly warm pixel, they start screaming. "Nikon screwed up big time."
So, since Scrib likes to show off his knowledge, I spent some hours last weekend posting about what you could reasonably expect from any digital camera. Thom Hogan did the same thing, only with far more authority, in his review of the D7000 yesterday. http://www.bythom.com/nikond7000review.htm
In the process I learned a new fact. To be an official hot pixel it has to be be 4 standard deviations brighter that the noise. Or in talk less geek, it has to be bright.
I also pushed my D7000 up to near its limit with a ISO1600 30 second dark frame. With any big problem that should have brought the hot pixels out of hiding. As I hoped they stayed hidden. I had to drag the dark frame into Photoshop, add a levels layer and bring the slider down to 8 from 255 before a few out of 16.2 million became bright enough to pass the 4 STD test. That works out to shooting at an ISO of roughly 50,000. Not shabby, Nikon, not at all.
to be continued.
Better and more comprehensive noise tests will be coming