Canon 7D and Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 vs. Canon 7D : Cheaper AND Better?

Recently, I published a quick comparison of the new Nikon D7000 and the equally new Canon 60D, both similarly priced mid-range cameras from their respective manufacturers. The Nikon fared very well against the Canon 60D. However, in several recent reports, I’ve begun to see the D7000 compared to the Canon 7D instead… and the 7D is a much harder act to follow. Some have claimed that the Nikon is just as good as the 7D at $400 less.

It is easy to get caught up in the hype surrounding a new camera, especially when it hasn’t even been released to the public. But lets take a more sober look at the features and build of the two powerhouses and see if they can really be considered equals.

Magnesium Alloy construction of the Nikon D7000 (left) and Canon 7D (right) bodies.
Thought both camera bodies can claim magnesium alloy body construction, that construction is not necessarily equivalent. Notice that the Canon’s lens mount is bolstered by the magnesium alloy body.

First, lets take a quick look at the bodies. Although the Nikon D7000 is advertised as having a magnesium alloy body (and it does), it is more of a skeleton than the full metal body of the Canon 7D. As you can see in the photo (sorry for the hasty composite), the 7D is metal all the way up to the lens mount, where the stress from heavy glass can make the greatest impact. The D7000, on the other hand, has magnesium armor in many crucial areas of the body, especially along the top and back of the camera, but its front (and importantly, surrounding the lens mount) is still primarily plastic. The D7000’s body, then, is a great step up for the advanced amateur, but it is still not quite professional class construction. No doubt the smaller size of the D7000 played an important part in the body design.

Though both cameras offer a bright penta-prism viewfinder that show 100% of the full frame, the Canon shows the image at full magnification, while the D7000 is 5% smaller. For those of you who spend hours each day staring through your viewfinder, you’ll understand why this makes a significant difference… bigger, brighter viewfinders are always better.

Now, some of the features:

 Canon 7DNikon D7000
Canon EOS 7DNikon D7000
Amazon Price $1599$1199
B&H Price

$1599$1199
Body MaterialMagnesium AlloyMagnesium Alloy & Polycarbonate
LCD Size / Resolution3.0"
920,000 pixels
3.0"
921,000 pixels
LCD Articulated?NoNo
Sensor Size14.9 x 22.3mm (APS-C)15.8 x 23.6mm (APS-C)
Crop Factor1.6x1.5x
Sensor Resolution18 Megapixels16 Megapixels
ISO Range100-6400
+12800
100-6400
+12800
+25600
Total AF Focus Points1939
Cross-Type AF Sensors19 (dual diagonal)9
AF Light Level Range-.05 to +18 EV-1 to +19 EV
Metering System63 Zone Point Linked Evaluative
9.4% Center Weighted
2.3% Spot
2016 pixel RGB Metering Sensor
Exposure Compensation1/2 or 1/3 stops via thumb dial1/2 or 1/3 stops via button-dial combo
Auto-Bracketing
/ HDR Options
Max Frame Rate : RAW (14-bit)8 fps?
Max Frame Rate : RAW (12-bit)n/a6?
Max Frame Rate : JPG8 fps6?
Max Burst Duration RAW (at highest frame rate)15100?
Max Burst Duration JPG (at highest frame rate)94100
Shutter Speed Range1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
1/8000th - 30 sec.
+bulb
Maximum Flash Sync Shutter Speed (standard flash)1/250th sec.1/250th sec.
HD Video Resolutions1080p, 720p1080p, 720p
Available HD Video Frame RatesPAL and NTSC
24/25, 30 at 1080p
24/25, 30, 60 at 720p
24 fps at 1080p,
24, 30 fps at 720p
Firmware Sidecar AvailableUnder DevelopmentNo
Media TypeCompact FlashSD / SDHC / SDXC
(2 slots)
Weight820g (body only)690g (body only)
780g with battery
Viewfinder Coverage100% Frame,
1.0x magnification
100% Frame,
.95x magnification

Obviously, the Canon 7D has a higher resolution sensor, at 18 megapixels compared to the D7000’s 16. The Nikon’s sensor can be pushed (H2) all the way to ISO 25600, though having seen the results, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would want to. Otherwise, the cameras have the same ISO range, 100-6400. I’ve found that images from the 7D shot up to ISO 1600 (and sometimes 3200) are quite usable. I look forward to seeing how the D7000‘s high ISO images compare. As it is a newer sensor and lower resolution, we should expect the D7000 to have slightly better high-ISO performance than the Canon 7D… and my initial tests seem to indicate that this is true, especially at ISO 6400.

[Update: After numerous early reports of hot-pixels on the D7000, Nikon has released a firmware update to help correct the issue. They say that it may not correct the problem entirely, but it should make them much less problematic. You can upgrade your firmware here: Nikon D7000 firmware update .]
The 19 dual cross-type sensor AF module from the Canon 7D.

The D7000 does have an interesting new 39 point, RGB inclusive AF system. However, it still only has 9 cross-type AF sensors, which make a crucial difference in low light, low contrast situations. The Canon 7D has more than double that number of cross-type points (19 dual cross-type, in fact), and an AF system borrowed from the Canon EOS 1D line, probably the world’s most popular and successful line of sports photography cameras, driven by dual Digic-4 processors. Though it’s likely that the Nikon will perform almost as well as the 7D in good light, I would put my money on the 7D in lower, flatter lighting situations.

[Update: This point was a little quick, and since there have been a couple of questions, I’m going to explain this conclusion in a little more depth.

As you undoubtedly know, contrast is the fundamental ingredient for auto focus in SLRs.

If we consider our subject’s face to be our desired focal point, then clearly the red channel gives the best contrast between skin and background, which is typical with skin. We also get good contrast against the sky in the blue channel. The skin tones are low contrast in the green channel, but this is the best case scenario for the green channel, with an almost entirely green background.

Stop and think for a few moments about what a color RGB image is, or better yet, open a few images in Photoshop and take a look at the “Channels” palette. An RGB image is composed of 3 black and white channels, one corresponding to each primary. As you may know, you can duplicate your red channel and replace your blue channel with it, for example… there is nothing inherently “red” or “blue” about each one. Instead, each one is like a black and white photo shot with a colored filter, so they have differing levels of contrast. Since CMOS and CCD sensors use about twice as many green receptors as any other (because of the way that our eyes see) the green channel usually has the most detail information, but the lowest contrast. Again, those of you who do a lot of isolating and masking in Photoshop know that green is the channel least likely to be used to create a new mask.

The 7D does use the color data to assist in AF; it uses the high contrast Red and Blue channels (its metering sensor uses two layers, an RG and a BG). The Nikon uses all three channels, ie, the full RGB spectrum, but keep in mind that because the green channel is typically low contrast, it’s not usually going to be any more useful than the composite RGB brightness data that our cameras have always used; I take the fact that it claims to be RGB as more of a gimmick than an actual engineering feat. So, on the basis of color data, there will be (extremely) few circumstances in practical use when the added color channel will be helpful in pulling focus… if any.

On the other hand, the Canon 7D uses 19 cross-type sensors (rather than just horizontal). Nikon clearly understands the importance of cross-types; they gave the D300s 15 of them in its 51 point array. I’ve been shooting with this camera exclusively for the past two months, and the AF is wonderful. So why not give them to the D7000? The obvious reason is that they’re expensive, and that the D7000′s AF system is intended to be slightly scaled down (fewer AF points, fewer cross type sensors) from the much more expensive D300s (RGB aside). So, there is no reason to think that the D7000′s RGB system will produce better results than Canon’s color assisted AF, but there is a very serious reason to believe that the 7D’s 19 cross-type sensors will out-perform the D7000′s 9. ]

Canon 7D's dual Digic-4 ProcessorsThe dual processors of the Canon 7D also mean that it should perform faster in general. It can shoot faster bursts of photos (8 per second vs. the 6 of the Nikon D7000). The D7000 does allow bursts for a slightly longer duration (100 vs. 94 jpgs), which makes sense: since it’s taking fewer photos per second, it doesn’t have to write the data as fast, and the buffer will have more time to clear. Nikon, however, is suspiciously vague about the resolution and format of those photos. In this matter, I’m keeping in mind that the Nikon D300s advertises being able to shoot 8 frames per second, but it can only shoot 2.5 in RAW mode (unlike the 7D, which shoots 8 fps in RAW or jpg).

Video

For those of you who are serious about making production-quality movies, I can highly recommend B&H’s HDSLR guide. It covers all of the extras that are really important for slick results: audio, matte boxes, stabilizers, rails, etc. Even if you’re not in the market, it’s worth looking… lots of cool toys!

The 7D can also process video faster, allowing it to shoot 60 frame-per-second slow-motion HD video (at 720p). Perhaps more importantly, the D7000 can only shoot 1080p video at 24 fps (not 25 or 30), which is a major limitation. Although some film makers prefer working with 24 fps because of its similarity to the movie film frame rate, 30 fps (30p/60i) is the standard broadcast frame rate, and common video editing frame rate. If you intend to edit video footage together from the D7000 with camcorder video, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

One advantage of the Nikon D7000, however, is the sensitivity of its focusing sensors. According to the specs, the Nikon can focus in a half (0.5) EV lower light than the Canon, which can always come in handy. This is, of course, assuming that in the available light there is sufficient contrast, etc, for the sensors to pull focus. The D7000 also uses SD cards, which some may find to be an advantage, and it holds two of them, allowing physical separation of jpgs and RAW files. I think this is a really cool idea, but I’m not really sure how useful it will be in practice… I can’t think of a good practical application for the way I work.

There are, of course, countless other differences between the two cameras… but many of them are hard to quantify, and many of them are not used by many photographers. I’m willing to accept that there may be particular features found in the D7000 that will make it the best choice for a particular photographer, but when it comes down it to the raw figures, the Canon 7D appears to be the clear winner. Perhaps not by a ton, but certainly $300 worth.

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Chetan

Hi Mathew

I want a camera thats good in low light conditions and for wild life photography. Can you let me know, which Lense combos should I go for, if I opt Nikon D7000.

Vyankatesh

Hi Matthew,
Its really gr8 post. I love wildlife and macro photography. Currently I am using Nikon D60 with Sigma 150-500 and Tamron 90mm macro. I am not professional photographer but I think I have to upgrade my camera but I am little bit confuse. Could you please suggest me whether I should shift from Nikon to Canon – Canon 7D with canon 100-400 or upgrade my body to Nikon D7000. Because I think only good body is not enough it also depends on good lens and lens having focal length up to 400mm or 500mm in Nikon is very costly than Canon. Also Canon 7D has 8fps and no Nikon cam has more than 6fps except prof. Nikon DSLR which I think may affect in bird photography. What do u think? Is it worthwhile to shift to Canon?

Vyankatesh

Thanks Matthew for your quick response :) .
I will definitely think on these points and then will decide the switching or upgrading. Thanks again for your valuable response.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Hi! Quick question. I am not a pro. photo. by any means. That’s for sure. I have girls in Dance and softball and other sports. I want a nice camera and lens that works excellent in low light auditoriums and out on the outdoor fields. I though I wanted the Nikon D7000 DSLR but after taking to a girlfriend of mine that is a pro. she doesn’t think that the “package deal” that Best Buy has as a bundle for the D7000. is worth it. I started researching the 7D which is getting out of my price range, but would rather boot the little bit of extra cash than to waste money on something I am going to regret. Could you please let me know your thought? Again, lowlight auditoriums, family photo’s in and outdoor, outdoor softball, nature are what my camera (which ever camera and lens you think best for me) would be used for. I don’t want blur when taking action, sports photos. Thanks!!

Elizabeth

Thank you for the very quick response. I am going to paste you the two Best Buy Black Friday ads. I was going to do the Bundle but if you think its not that great, I am also going to paste what they are asking for just the camera. If you think the lens that is added into the bundle will not be nice for what I stated earlier in the last memo for what I will be using it for, could you suggest what you think would be best for me. I just want to have my ducks all in a row before I go make this purchase. Again, not a pro and do not have 1,000.00 to spend on a lens. Thank You!!!

Beth

Elizabeth

Opps! Forgot to paste them. Sorry! Here they are: D7000 kit

abel

Both cameras are excellent, its hard decision to make a choice.
hahah

ady19812004

Hi Matthew

Great post, if we add another camera into the mix the Nikon D300s with its 51 point AF system with 15 cross type sensors would you choose the Canon 7d or the Nikon D300s? I am looking to purchase either for my birthday in July. Would you also expect a replacement for either camera in 2011?

Many thanks

Steve

I’m looking at the Canon 7D and the Nikon D7000 so I was attracted to this thread. I was thinking of the 7D with a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR DI-II VC. What are your thoughts?

Steve

Okay, let me ask another. I am looking at the Canon 7D and the NIkon D7000. I was attracted to the 7D because I’d like to do large landscape prints for our retirement home in a few years. I would ideally want a full frame, but I’m a teacher and the 7D is pushing it. I figured that the 18 MP would give me more crop room, and still allow a larger print than the 16 MP of the Nikon. However, after reading through a lot of data at http://www.dxomark.com/index.php I’m not so sure. I guess what I am questioning is the fact that the Nikon has less pixels, but it has a larger sensor. Whereas, the Canon has more pixels crammed into a smaller sensor. I do realize that I’ll be pushing the print size beyond “photographic quality,” but I think that taking in the viewing range of the larger prints it won’t hurt that much. However, I do want the best image quality for that size print that I can get. Which do you feel would provide that?

Catherine

Thank you for your posts. I want to upgrade my old Nikon D50 but which one the D7000 or the 7D. Primarily I use a camera for taking photographs of stud bulls and cattle but I am a keen photographer as well. I will purchase a 18 – 200mm lens as this is the most useful. Too long and I miss shots that are closer and too short I cant get close enough sometimes. I find with my dear old camera that it often has trouble focusing on the shiny coats of the bulls that are usually a red-orange colour but not very dark like some cattle. Not being a highly technical person I don’t really understand about the deference between the focus points/ cross points of the two cameras so wonder which one would be best for my needs?. It is good to have the whole animal in focus not just his head so I do use the multiple focus point capability of my old camera. Its also good to use aperture to blur the background if possible in usually very bright light. Most shots are taken side on for conformation but 3/4 are useful too. I do need something fast because the flick of an ear is the difference between a usable pic and one that is not and I might only get one chance. I do have a couple of Nikon lenses 18-55 & 70 – 300 but use mostly the 18 – 55 once the bulls accept me and the 70 – 300 when they don’t or I want dramatic 3/4 shots.(I have a 28 – 200 Tamron but it rarely focuses sharp enough) I think I would hardly take the 18 – 200 off so maybe the other lenses will not be so important anyway and they are so old that they don’t have any vibration reduction. (not even sure if they are f mounts – how do you tell?) i would also use the video for short 10 – 20 sec grabs of bulls walking – I do that now with an camcorder on a tripod – it focuses by itself and is simple.

I notice that you are a Canon fan anyway and the only people with similar cameras that I know tend to say that they just like using a Canon and that both cameras would be good. I’m a little worried about the weight but expect that you would get used to it. I do need something very tough because it will bump around in the back of a motor bike or seat of a ute and be exposed to heaps of dust. I have lost my Nikon off the back of a bike when I hit a bump (in a padded case) and it was fine. Love to here from you.

Catherine

Thank you Matthew,

Yes Australian. With the Nikon 18 – 200, is it just the border of the frame or the subject? Would the Canon equivilent be any better? I do like my 300 mm lens as it is handy at times so I probably will go for Nikon then.

Thanks again

Catherine

Catherine

Thank you Matthew,

Now I’ve discovered the new Nikon 28 -300mm lens so I’m really torn. Considering the dust factor of changing lens etc I think I might be better off with it. I’d still have the old 18 – 55 if I really need it. I did use an old Tamron 28 – 200 until I realised it just didn’t cut if for sharpness and mostly I didn’t lose shots for being too close.

Thanks again
Catherine

Craig Volpe

Hey Catherine, I know you weren’t asking about other lenses and just wanted a response from Matthew, but it sounds like you’ve never tried out a fast telephoto lens. You should see if you can find someone to lend you one or try renting one for a day. A new Nikon 85mm 1.8 is under $500, and used 3rd party 70-200 2.8 lenses can often be found on eBay for $500-$600, which is significantly less than Nikon’s 18-200 or 28-300. The superzooms have VR, which can be handy in some situations, but the way you can blur out the backgrounds with a fast lens is such a huge plus I think you should at least try one out before you decide to purchase a superzoom. An added benefit of shooting with a fast lens is that even if the lens is not super sharp at the pixel level, the perceived sharpness is higher when the out of focus areas are blurry!

Ron

Well I do like nikon primes… Can you also suggest a prime lens for Canon that can be used for walk-around? my bugget for the lens is about $500.

Craig Volpe

35 f2 and 85 f1.8 rock if you have a full frame camera. Personally I think those two lenses and a 5D mark I are the best value camera kit going right now.

Ron

Thanks for the reply. I’m from the Philippines by the way and these 2 cameras here have the same price. Disregarding the video performance on both, since I would only use it to take photos, would you still recommend the 7D? I’ll use it mainly for portraits and a bit of landscape.

Bobby

Hey Ron! What’s up buddy? You’re from the Philippines, so do I. lol
I wanted to know how much is the current price of brand new 7D and D7000 in Manila?
I’m over here in Dubai and I’m curious about the prices over there.
I’d be buying one soon, just having a hard time choosing between the two though lol.
Thanks

M. C. R.

If you have opportunity, buy your camera in Hong Kong from a reliable shop. Suntek Camera is one. They could be up to US$500 or cheaper than in the Philippines whether it is Nikon or Canon. But be careful dealing with those Hong Kong salesman.

BMP

If you want an amazing portraits the Canon 5D mark II is the way to go.

Ron

Hey matt, very nice discussion that you have here. Great comparison by the way. I have a question for you, if these 2 cameras were released on the same date with the same price, which would you pick for pure photography purposes? Why?

climaxcontrol

Hi Mathew, Firstly enjoyed your blog. What would you say if I opt for a Cannon 15-85, f3.5-5.6 usm lens for the 7d. as kit lens package Cannon is currently offering. Need your help here. Thanks

climaxcontrol

Hi Matt,

For other alternatives, honestly I have not much knowledge about cannon lenses so probably you can help me out by giving some suggestions so long as its worth paying for.. Btw my apologies for a silly question here i.e how does one notice the optical flaw of the lens? I am actually in Malaysia so the price for the body and 15-85 IS USM is RM6000 after converson at 3.1 would be exactly US1935, give and take around US2000.considering diff. exchange rate.

Over here the price for Nikon d7000 is about the same as Cannon 7d so wouldn’t you agree its wise to go for the latter.

climaxcontrol

Hey Matthew,
You’ve been a saint here for all the valuable infos and advice cos I have not come across anyone who is so patient and thorough and helpful. I will certainly take all your advice into consideration and work out something with the dealer here
If you ever decide to pop by in Malaysia I’m more than willing to help you get around to those really good deal shops.
You take care and cheers to you.

Luna

Hi Matthew,

Just want to let you know that I’d just bought the Canon 7D with Canon 25-85 lens. It was quite difficult for me to decide, but I think althought I’m not covered for the longer range it will do for me. I also bought the Canon 430 EX II flash and am looking forward to receive it in the next week or so.

I will definately upload some images if I manage the camera and let you know if I’m happy with my choice. Thanks for your wonderful help, time, support and advice for the past nearly two months you really do a wonderful job in helping everyone out with you knowledge.

May you have a prosperous 2011.

Kindest regards

Luna

Luna

Sorry, I see the mistake about the lens now, it’s the Canon 15-85 with USM and IS!

Bonak

Mathew,
I’m buying my first DSLR camera this holiday and I am convinced to buy the Canon 7D. I am picture taker, not a photographer just yet but I just finished my school so I’ll have plenty of time to get serious. Any suggestion for lens that I should invest to go along with Canon 7D? Should I get canon lenses or sigma? I see myself shooting structures, buildings, mountains, and of course my wife. My initial budget is no more than $2300. Please reply. Thanks.

keenani

i think its stupid to buy something as nice as a 7d for your first dslr. your the type of person that will be shooting on auto and wasting all this camera has to offer. buy something more simple. an entry level dslr instead of something thats 2300$

Luna

Hi Matthew,
Just want to tell you after many reviews etc  I’ve decided to go for the Canon 7D. I thought of buying the 18-135mm Canon lens but I’m not sure if this is the best option. I was tempted to buy the Canon 70-200 F4L lens without IS as it is affordable for me, but it leaves me with a gap for the shorter distances up to 70mm. Can you perhaps suggest me what to do. Thanks in advance.
Regards

Luna

Thanks Matthew, I suppose then that you won’t suggest me to buy the 70-200 F4L lens, I have two friends with this particular lens and they both like the lens. The 70-200 F4L IS cost nearly double the price would you rather go for it. Any way, I’ll have a look at all the options and I’ll definately let you know what I decide on. Time is running out for me as I only have 10 days to decide.
Regards

Johnson

The author is definitely a Canon fan. I have tested both Cameras and although the Canon feels better in the hands and have a higher sensor resolution (difference not significant) the Nikon outperforms the Canon in many respects especially aparent in ISO tests.  

Frankie Flash

Frustrating. That’s the only way to put it. For those not invested in brand, it’s very difficult to pull the trigger on a purchase.

For the price points, both these cameras fail in my opinion. I’ll explain. D7000 has hot pixel issues which can occur in video and possibly in stills. That’s what I’ve read on a 19 page blog talking about the issue. Plus Nikon is slow to admit error on this front. Shame on them. Also heard about like leak issues with their pro lens. The fix? Duct tape.

The 7D or 60D looks good on paper but from various legitimate sources I’ve read, the image quality is SOFT. Solution? Post processing. Seriously? I can expect that with my Lumix point-and-shoot but not a $1,500 DSLR rig. That’s unacceptable. On vacation I shoot over a thousand pics. I can’t see photo shopping each one and I don’t believe in batch processing for obvious reasons.

These are major points no matter your skill level. So now what? Do I plunk money down on a soft image quality heavy camera with good video or do I roll the dice with possible bad pixels, mediocre video, poor customer support and suspect quality control? Yes, frustrated is the word…

Vladilena

Hi!
Thank you for your nicely detailed article. I’ve been tempted to switch to D7000, since I think I need usable ISO 3200 results, and since I’d love to have dual memory cards in-camera (being lazy that I am :p).

Now I think I’ll get a 7D after all. Thank you!

bart Boeckler

Hi Matt…after following this entertaining thread I feel compelled to chime in. While I believe much of the opinions here probably favor Canon products in general… not that it actually means anything in this vs. that. However after working with both cameras for the past month I can reliably say I prefer the abilities and IQ of the D7000. No one has mentioned the handling of these two mid level DSLR. The size, weight and ergonomics of the Nikon are superior in my hands. Everyone touts the 7D has a stronger chassis, but if you do the research you will find that some new age plastics are better at bangs and dents due to the resilience, and insulation properties. Yes nit picky, but true. The focus preciseness with similar lenses is quite a bit faster, less hunting in difficult situations and the 3D tracking is also more accurate on the D7000. (I shoot motorsports professionally) 5 fps second vs 8 is really not that important IMO. I prefer to lock in with a good double tap rather than pan a string of shots. Note the 7D dies at maximum speed in RAW quite quickly, albeit dual processors but seems it has buffer issues, I guess? As far as image quality they both have their signature process codes in RAW and both produce fine images. The D7000 tends to render extremely solid colors with greater depth and luminance, even after basic processing. (Capture NX 2 & Aperture 3.2) The 7D tends to underestimate the color and by default renders a somewhat softer saturation with hue trending towards the red end. I must say that above ISO 800 there is a noticeable difference in IQ if you peep with the D7000 producing cleaner pixel detail, lower noise and shadow color! Although this may not matter to some, it definitely has a result in ALL images when shooting, especially in low light scenes. The D7000 will almost focus in total darkness (focus assist lamp off) while the 7D would continuously hunt during the same scene. I am very fond of the shutter in the D7000, it is one of the quietest superbly damped shutters I have ever heard recently, Setting it to quiet mode is rangefinder quiet and is very handy during wedding shoots. The menu system is easier in the D7000 IMO as well. Video is comparable to my 5DM2 and I enjoy the auto focus of the D7000 if used in the right scenes, it is not perfect but far more accurate and certainly a plus as opposed to manual focusing during certain scenarios. So as far as I am concerned you cannot go wrong with either camera’s…but my opinion renders the D7000 on top of the 7D in numerous areas, important areas! All at $300 less…If you look at the kits…I feel (IMO) using both that the 18-105 VR lens out performs the 28-135 IS as well. These are just my opinions during my use with both bodies…you are welcome of course to perceive your own conclusions, mine remain firm.

Again sincere thanks Matt for all you do to keep this cool site running smoothly…

Manav

Matthew,
I had a chance to try the nikon D7000 and the Canon 7D. An observation I had, and I’ve seen this with ore nikon models vs canon models, is that images from the canon have a slightly orange-ish tint to it. Have you noticed this too? It looks to me that the colors are better for portraits and the skin tones look better. My wife, when looking between the canon and nikon images, with both on auto white balance, observes tha the canon pics look more puncture , colorful and lively. I tried the AWB2 setting on the nikon D7000, as also various other white balances and tried changing picture modes to vivid etc. Bit still found the canon to have more pleasing images. I couldn’t try the manual white balance.

Have you observed the same? If yes, could you let me know how this would impact nature photos as I couldn’t try those out in te shop?

Ade

Thanks for the response, never thought of the articulating screen gathering dust. Guess I will stick with 7D. You are a great guy, keep up your good work.

Ade

Hi mathew,
Thanks for ur response.
I need your view on this issue, though, the question is still part of the one I asked earlier. I am about to make a decision to buy either 60D or 7D. I am in Nigera and the chances of laying my hand on any of this new tech is very slim. Considering the climate and economy, the major problem is dust coupled with heat. For the kind of job I will be doing ‘wedding and functions’ I need the type that will hold its own in any condition. Am buying the 15-85 and the latest Tamron 70-300 vc, I already have Ef 85 f/1.8 and 50 f/1.8.

yelena

Mathew,
First of all I wanted to thank you for so much useful information and all of your commentaries on the choice of cameras and it’s details.
I used to own canon Xti several years ago, with an 18-55 lens – it was a good camera, i liked it but i also felt that i was ready for the next step. I sold m xTi with all of it’s gear, because i wasn’t sure what I was going to get nikon or canon.

I have been wanting to buy a camera for several months now, I was waiting for 60D to come out. I finally saw it in person and realized that I didn’t like it – didn’t like the swivel screen, i think it’s not as durable and would easily break, and also I didn’t like the lock on the dial mode. My initial thoughts to get 60D have been wiped out pretty quickly. I started looking into other cameras, and learned that Nikon D7000 was also announced at the same time, however, the backorder is magnificents, and I dont know if there is a point for me to wait for the camera o be out. Nikon is known for making cameras but not keeping up with the demand/no producing anything.

The biggest dilema for me now is deciding if I want to get Nikon D7000 or Canon 7D, initially, i was going to get an 18-200 mm lens and also get either Canon 580 EX II Flash or Nikon SB900 Flash. After reading your forum, i am at a loss, I am not a professional andcertianllythe camera that i am purchasing will not serve as my bread and butter. The camera will actually be for taking pictures at family events, vacation, scenery, travel, kids pictures and etc, but most importanly my concern is which lens is better NIKON or CANON – which senson is better, what FLASH is better, which camera shoots better pictures in low lght, which camera has a sharper image and what would you recommend that I get? I am not necessarily stuck on 18-200 mm lens, but i do want one lens to carry around for all length/purposes walk around.
I am not concerned about the money diference of $300, i am more concerned about the quality.
Mathew, I look forward to your discussion / reply on my post. thanks a lot!

Ade

Hey,
I like your site and the way you respond. Great job, I want your advice on the choice am about to make btw two lenses “Ef-s 18-135 & EF 28-135” Which one is better and why not considering any wide angle comparison

Dan

I think it is a pity Nikon didn’t offer higher frame rates for video, although 50p/60p would only be useful for special effects. But for anyone doing cinematic work 24p is the most important thing. And this applies to video cameras as well. I’ve often seen video cameras that were good except I couldn’t use them because they did not offer 24p.

Autofocus for video is only really for people who want use these cameras for running around shooting video. You never use it when shooting for film production. That applies even when moving from subject to subject or following a single subject.

For those people worrying about resolution, yes the more recent high-end production digital video cameras like those from Red do offer higher resolution, but plenty of major films have been shot at what would be considered low resolution and no-one would even know from watching the footage. Even the D90/5000 can do a pretty good job if you know how to use them.

I do think the 7D is an amazing camera, and for film it beats the 5D because of it’s sensor size. The D7000 is Nikon’s first camera that seriously targets the filmmaker. When they replace the D300s that will probably be the camera that beats the 7D on all fronts. Then Canon will come back with something even better. And there is no video camera out there that can provide the quality footage you can get from these DSLRs at anywhere near the same price. For the same money I can kit myself out with the camera, support rig, monitor, audio recorder, microphones and a workable set of lights. Plus it’s a kick-ass stills camera.

chris

I’m interested in a direct comparison of image quality. All other features aside for now, I’m looking at sharpness, contrast, low-light performance, dynamic range, ect.
I was looking at some sample photos from the 7D and D7000 on dpreview.com. To me it looks like the Canon is sharper and more clear, or at least has more contrast. the D7000 definitely looked soft. The Nikon though seemed to have the advantage at higher ISO’s overall but especially in shadow ares.
This was just from one test shot though, I realy want to hear from people that have real world comparison for image quality in the two.

chris

“even the sharpest lenses on these APS-C sensor cameras are not sensor limited”

Good point. After thinking about it a little more, I see that other points in my original question are almost moot as well. Most things involving image quality at this level of camera have pretty miniscule differences, and even those can be adjusted with in-camera settings (the Nikon’s sharpness/contrast could be increased) or failing that, fixed in post processing.

stephen

good day!
i just wanna ask your expert opinion on what to buy between the Nikon d3100 or the Nikon d5000..
this would be my first dlsr camera..
i would use the camera for my sons taekwondo tournaments and for occasions such as weddings,
family gatherings and etc…
Thank you and God Bless..

stephen

thanks a lot..
can you please recommend a lens for me?..

stephen

Thanks for that advice. It will really help me a lot. I’ll be sending you again a message when I have a question in mind or when I have the camera.

More power!

— Stephen

Jemuel Stephenson

Hey Matthew, I really enjoy this conversation, its exciting!

I am looking to buy a 7D, and I am wondering what are the best lenses to start with, I am looking to do wedding, wildlife/nature, macro, portrait, action and just everyday photojournalism.
Also what do you have to say about buying lenses used or refurbished, would this have an affect on the performance of the lens?

What are the best multi-purpose lenses?

Jemuel Stephenson

What would be the application of the 18-135mm or the 18-200mm? would those be good for all around use? how about low light performance?
What sort of lenses would be good for someone on a tight budget?

Jemuel Stephenson

Thanks!

How does the 70-300mm compare to the 55-250mm as far as image quality and other things?

Jemuel Stephenson

Ok, i see… thanks for the insight :)

What do you have to say about buying refurbished camera bodies? Is the quality the same? performance? lifespan?
Does it depend on who refurbishes it?

Vertigo

Hi guys,

I’ve purchased the Nikon d7000 couple of weeks ago and I didn’t base my purchased between the 7D and the D7000 on the reviews only. One major point I don’t read often is the lens factor. Both company have beautiful glass but I have the Nikon’s. So, I think you have too look at what you have before choosing between them.
Has you know they both will come out with new body in less then a year or so. We can’t always resale everything to change brand ans so on. So I stick to Nikon, I have a d300 and a d7000 and one day will resale theses to buy a new model that will surpass the Canon and Canon will do the same. My advice is stick to the brand you got most lenses in or get rich and buy both brands.

Vert

Isoruku

Hi. As for why two card slots might be important, for me it would be an assurance that some Interior Ministry cop or soldier somewhere who demands my card (singular) as I’m shooting in some politically sensitive area would get just that: my card, which I would hand over to him with many apologies. He’s not going to say, “Hey, wait a minute! Is that a Nikon D7000/300s/Olympus E3 you’ve got there? Give me the second card!” It’s an insurance policy.

Alas, my D90 lacks such a feature, and I’m somewhat limited by cost considerations. (I spend most of my time writing from the former USSR, but take my own photos which the news org I freelance for nearly always publishes.) The D7000 thus is very attractive.

But looking through a 7D viewfinder for the first time was almost a religious experience! I’d say that it isn’t the lack of dual card slots that keeps me from buying it, but the tendency to produce purple fringing and other aberration in certain conditions. Doesn’t that bother Canon people? It would drive me nuts!

TOM C

I’m currently taking photos with a Canon T1i with a 50mm f1.8 and 85mm f1.8 to take pictures of my boys in their inline speed skating competitions. The events are held in skating rinks, so I’m faced with low-light conditions. Combine that with the speed of the sport and you can see the difficulty in getting the shots that I desire. I do, however, get a lot of good photographs with what I have, but I’m often frustrated that it could be better. I have recently purchased Canon’s 135mm f2.0 L series and tried it the other day. The auto focus was whack! So I need to make a decision to send the camera and lens in to be calibrated, but I”m wondering. Since I’m in this for the long haul, and I have been taking pictures of this sport for the past two years. Am I just better off upgrading my camera body to a 7D? At a minimum, I think I need the 7D to take the pictures I want to take, and I think it’s worth the investment. Is that the road I should take? Or do you think there’s a more appropriate Canon body that is right for the job but wont necessarily cost me arm and leg? Thanks

eze

I am in the market for a camera and from what i have read and heard about the 7D and d7000 it is just so heard to make a choice on which to buy…i definitely have zero’d it down to the two 7d and d7000 and am really not that concerned about the prices i just need need help to decide wich one i will be going for… truth be told i really am tending towards the canon 7d but i just need to know i am making the right choice….. i do a bit of everything from sports to portrait, landscape, wildlife you name it… i just wanna know which one in your humble opinion is more versatile ……..

Annelies Stevens

Hi,
I have been trying to decide on which camera to buy for several weeks now. I’ve taken several home and played with them, only to bring them back to the store unsure of which one to buy. I’m currently debating between the Canon 60d and 7d and the Nikon d7000. I’m thinking, for a first DSLR, I don’t want to get more camera than I can handle – I have some knowledge and am actively seeking out more and learning, but I also don’t want to be cheap and get a significantly worse camera. I want one that will grow with me. I’m enjoying the 7d, but is it worth the extra money compared to a 60d or d7000 for a beginner? Video is important to me, but I don’t care much about the autofocus features. One point of debate has been lenses; can you tell me which brand gives me better lenses for less money?
Thanks!

Annelies Stevens

Thanks for your thoughts, it’s very helpful to get input from someone else! I guess I should have mentioned earlier that it seems like each of the cameras has at least one feature I deem somewhat important. The 60d was working great for me until I noticed how big of a difference I saw on the screen regarding framing; I’d have it framed just as I wanted, but then the image would contain more, since the viewfinder is 96%. besides that I liked the 60d. Is this something that people just have to get used to? The nikon seems to have a problem with dead pixels in live view mode for video. The first one we brought home had 6 such pixels in awkward areas, then we exchanged it. The one we have now had no dead pixels upon purchase, and is now showing three. This concerns me as it seems to be getting progressively worse, and to spend that kind of money on a camera with such a major flaw seems backwarrds. Finally, I really like the 7d, except for the fact that the little toggle button seems awkward, but this is probably something I’d get used to. Also, the 7d has been on the market for a while, and seems to be a strong and solid camera. The 60d and d7000 on the other hand look great on paper and initial reviews are decent, but what are their long-term expectations? What kind of problems might arise with either of them? I anticipate more issues with the nikon regarding the pixels, and with the Canon I could see the swivel screen getting less sturdy over time… Oh, the indecision! Do you think these are all minor points or valid considerations when purchasing? Thanks!

Ali Paul

I have read that the D7000 has a better dynamic range than the 7D? How visible is this difference and is it particularly useful? Another point I have noticed with the 7D is that when used as a wireless master, the pop up flash makes a small contribution to the exposure despite setting it to only pre-flash. ISO performance is something that would be important to me as I like using natural light as much as possible. The D7000 is supposedly a winner on that front.
I currently am a canon user but am not particularly heavily invested. It is a difficult choice to make!

Ali

Irene

The video AF on the D7000 is basically useless. It keeps cutting out of focus…not a pretty sight.

Irene

Video of the 7D is so much better than D7000. See FenchelJanisch’s comparison video on YouTube. Kai of DigitavRev.com also 7D the edge over the D7000 in his review. Nikon’s images are anemic and washed out.

Kenny Ken

Lol at this…Under-Saturated doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better…that’s why we POST-PROCESS lmfao
Who is Kai?! Some random Chinese geek?

Jacques

Well done Matthew !

Kenny Ken

So Far So Good…After road-testing the D7000 for 3 days, I can now conclude that it is Faster and More responsive than my brother’s crappy 7D, focus is always spot on…So all of you CANON 7D Fanboys here believing that that your 7D is superior…well, think again, which one is better? haha Your opinion is not valid not unless you have tested the Nikon yourselves (including the author of this article)

Even Wedding Photographer Peter Gregg, who is a FORMER 7D user, has nothing but Praises to the new APSC king

link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8_SIXbaedc

Eat your heart out, fanboys!

Luna

Kenny, seems so excited! I’m so glad you found your dream camera wish I could say the same. I’m dwelling around for nearly 2 months now and am still not sure what to buy. I’ve read so many opinions and it all comes to one point. Nearly every Nikon or Canon fan boosts his own preferred brand and that brings me no where. Though, I found Nikon fans more arrogant and always wanting to proof their opinion is best. There are exceptions and the one I know now is our friend Matthew, a true gentleman respecting everyone’s freecom of choice. Regards

Kenny Ken

Luna,
Matthew’s assertions were just based ON PAPER… No real-world hands-on test prior to this written article, which is, well a shame as it tend to mislead every potential Nikon buyers into believing that the Canon is actually superior, no offense meant Matthew…

Now having extensively tested the Nikon with my older brother, we constantly SWAP cameras with identical lenses, we both Own the Sigma 50mm HSM BTW…He gladly accepted that indeed the Nikon’s just more precise especially in handling lowlight conditions.However, I still envy the Canon grip…lol

Neil

Hi Matthew, Here’s the results, if you haven’t already saw them…

Nikon D7000
DxOMark Sensor Scores

Overall Score
80

Portrait
(Color depth)
23.5 bits

Landscape
(Dynamic range)
13.9 Evs

Sports
(Low-Light ISO)
1167 ISO

dxomark
Manufacturer specifications
Launch date 2010-09-15
Indicative price 1300 USD
Resolution 16 Mpix (4991 x 3280)
Pixel pitch 4.73 µm
Bits per pixel 14
Focal length multiplier 1.53
ISO latitude 100 – 25600
Frame rate 6 fps

http://preview.tinyurl.com/24p45ve

Thank you for starting a great thread, I’ll be looking forward to participating in future discussions. You’re a cool host and have a wealth of information to share with your readers. God Bless………

Luna

Hi Matthew,

This is the first time I heard of DxO, so I visited the site to see what’s going on there. Seems to me the D7000 out classes the Canon 60D, 7D and Sony A55 when it comes to sensors. What surprised me is the score of the Sony sensor.

I wanted to buy one of these with the 18-200mm lens but seems to me that is the worst lens I can buy. I really need this wide range. Time is running out for me and I only have a couple of weeks to make my final decision. Must say it’s very confusing. Thanks for your time

Luna

Hi Matthew,

What’s your opinion on this new lens Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR? Quite expensive but I heard this is a quit good lens and it’s handles quit good as it weighs so light.

Luna

Sorry for al the errors, I write like a “dog” . What I wanted to say is the lens is quit light and therefore handles well. (Although 800g seems heavy to me)
Regards

Krishnarjun

Hi Matthew

I’m a film student, and for my diploma film project, was planning on shooting my film on a dslr instead of the usual Z7 HD video. So after a LOT of research, and an independent film budget in mind, I’ve set my gaze on these two cameras, the D7000 and the 7D.

Videography is what I’m looking for here, as many video options as possible, and very importantly, the ability to shoot full HD, grainless footage in low light (the genre being horror). As far as stills are concerned, I do want a decent camera for recce and blocking my shots, and though will be primarily be using my camera for video, I do not want a inferior camera by any means.

I was all set on getting the 7D when i got aware of the auto AF, plus the external stereo jack on the D7000, something Canon offers in its superior 5D mark II (this will let me record dialogues SO much more easily).

Your article was a very insightful and helpful read, and I did want to ask your advice on which camera I should go for, and if you had anything more to add about the cameras here. 7D is the more expensive deal here, and D7000 seems to offer me better features for video, but since you have given 7D the thumbs up I’d like to know if there is something I’m missing here.Do reply when you find the time,thanks so much.

Krishnarjun

Hey Matthew,
Thanks a ton for your detailed reply. I’ll probably will be going for the D7000 for the autofocus in the video.

cheers

BerTramDevoul

They are letting you have it Matt! I’m pro-nikon myself, but I have pro-canon friends. The art doesn’t come from the manufacturer people…

Luna

Well said BerTramDevoul, great insite!

Luna

Sorry I meant “insight”

Kenny Ken

WOW…Fanboism at its finest, LOL at the Author of this article, My brother has a 7D and I can see his frustrations with the AF.. Now that the D7K is released, he is thinking of switching to canon..I myself haven’t comitted to any system yet, Im obviously going fter the D7000 . Dollar per dollar value, the Nikon Trumps the Canon… And the video, who the hell needs 60 fps if it’s a mind torture to AF a subject, let alone a moving subject… in fact the ONLY benefit of 60fps over 30fps is the Slow-Mo editing…Both can be fairly look fluid and identical when played at normal speed…So IMO in the video department Nikon wins here. And I’m going to bet my ass even if the d7000 is ‘supposedly’ slower in AF it’ll still best the Canon when it comes to keeper rates…

This article is as Biased as it can be (shame on the Author, really)

Jonathan

Kenny,

It’s amazing how easily hypocrites expose themselves; like yourself, for instance. Is your decision to buy the Nikon based on any real analysis, or are you jumping off the cliff with all the other lemmings? The NIkon is a great camera, but the Canon is better overall, especially considering lens prices and range. Either way you go, consider not judging people for their fact-based opinions.

Matthew, sorry you have to deal with this childishness. I believe people wouldn’t be so pompous if they weren’t able to hide incognito behind the internet. Keep posting – your analysis is very insightful.

Kenny Ken

Better Overall? in what way? Sports Photography is one thing…but how about ‘beyond’ Sports photography? you obviously haven’t shot with a 7D, I did…and The AF is a Pain to bear, yes it’s my brothr’s cam and he owns a handful of L lenses, but I’m his Photographer most of the time when we do some family outing and I was his wedding photographer. You have to take note that Canon’s metering is somewhat ancient, so more than 90 percent of the time, the D7K will likely produce a more accurate color reading and exposure.

And the lens, you didn’t mention about third party lenses like Sigma…A D700 plus a pro-quality Sigma beats a 7D with a mediocre Canon lens anytime (now compute, most probably the two combos that I mentioned are priced the same) knock knock

Rude Awakening here for Canon, they concentrated on the video too much, now they are getting KO’d with the video AF…and did I mention that the D7K’s NOISE handling is somewhat comparable to Canon’s 5D mk 2? Yep, that’s Crop vs Full Frame lol…

Jonathan

Ken,

I own two 7Ds – although you insist I haven’t shot with one – so I am familiar with the AF. Both of mine are excellent, and you probably shot with a bad egg. As far as metering, the settings you use could be producing sub-par IQ.

Video AF is a consumer – NOT pro – feature. As Matthew and others have mentioned, professionals almost always manual focus to focus in/out for effect, choose what they want to focus on, and control speed of transition from focal A to B. Enjoy the feature, but know that House and other hollywood productions will continue to use 5DIIs and 7Ds to film, and not 7Ks.

Kenny Ken

NIKON won’t give a damn if House MD uses the 5D, Hollywood outfts are ONLY a small number of percentage …diminutive compared to those aspiring stills hobbyists and videographers who want a significantly better body. They (Hollywood outfits) WERE using 5Ds at that time because Nikon video technology isn’t fully developed YET. Now it’s a different story, Imagine what’s the next Nikon Full Frame would be like..I can imagine lots of videographers jumping ship.

D7000 is the newer technology here, and you’re just too blind to accept that it CAN stand toe to toe with the 7D

In FACT the average Hobbyist or Soccer Moms would want AF on their DSLRs, you are indeed LYING if you don’t want AF on your 7d and you want more creative control like those Pros so video AF wouldn’t bear a necessity. Talking about SOURGRAPING here…

Move On….Canon’s been beaten this time, Unless they can come up with a substancial upgrade that would justify their pricing.

jacques

Fanboism and sourgraping – fantastic words ….. but I digress. If the 7D does indeed have such a terrible AF system, I find it worrisome that such a flawed camera received the 2010 TIPA award in the category Best DSLR Expert. Must be ……. fanboism (not sure I’ve come to grips with word yet)

wharjan

Hi Ken,
The way you express your pro for Nikon seems full of capitalized anger, which is unnecessary here, and your angry expression just describes who you are…illogical. An angry person loses most of his temper and logical consideration and accordingly can and should not make a wise decision….I guess you are not at home with your bro’s 7D …only at your hand once and a while. If you first own a 7D, I believe you will post otherwise. And I would wait for a while to buy a discounted D300s, don’t you think so, Matthew ?

bart BOECKLER

Matt…you are obviously pro Canon. I do admire your tenacity at rebuttal to ever post. You say you shoot with the D300 often…why? Comparison? Nikon and Canon are both great instruments for capturing life. I do feel that you would have nothing else to do if not for the great debate. Nikon rocks…Canon cruises. Lets think Kodachrome 64. They are both awesome cameras…but as far as images go you can compare the D7000 to the 7D to the XTi to the D90 all day long…however in the hands of a pro it is moot! Just go out and shoot! Leave the rest to us….

bart BOECKLER

hey thanks!

Monica

I landed here searching information about the D7000 vs the 7D (how appropriate). I want to buy my first DSLR and I have been for the last 10 days reading all there is about them. I just want to say that, just because of your comment above, you’ve won me as a follower of this site. I’ll happily read and take as much advantage as I can from your knowledge and generosity. Thanks!

Winz O

Since the 7D’s price is going down, do you suggest to get it rather than the D7000?

hope you could help me choose my camera..

thanks! :)

Mike

This is very good advice, I had a Canon film camera and a couple of lenses when the film door latch broke while on vacation. I felt that I already had Canon lenses and that a Canon digital made sense. I’ve learned alot since then. I’m not a “photographer” I’m a machinist, this is just a hobby for me. I started purchasing more lenses and a new flash, but as the years passed my interests have changed to shooting wildlife. What i’ve seen along the way are some amazing photos produced on Canon gear by “professionals” and a lot of mediocre photos produced by “amateurs”, on the other hand I’ve seen a lot of amazing photos with Nikon gear produced by pros and amateurs. My uneducated guess, is that Canon focuses too much on pixel count, requiring more noise reduction = softer images, nikon with less pixels requires less noise reduction = more detail. My point is, I’m so heavily invested in Canon now I can’t afford to switch, even though I feel Nikon is superior with wildlife photography.. Each system, not just Canon and Nikon, has advantages and disadvantages. Really think about what type of photography interests you before choosing a body because, unless your very wealthy, once you make a choice it’s hard to switch. On a side note, I never ever, ever want to shoot video, I wish both mfg. would make a camera without it and adjust the price accordingly. my 2c.

Luna

“I wish both mfg. would make a camera without it and adjust the price accordingly”
I agree with you on that. When I started looking for my first DSLR 3 years ago, DSLR did not have video which was a little bit disappointing for me as my point and shoot had it (never used it though!). So I bought a DSLR and didn’t need video for I already had Camcorders and am mainly in die video business. When Nikon announced the first DSLR with video capabilities I thought it wasn’t a good thing. But when the reviews pointed out that the video part did not add to the cost and was quite a bonus added. Seems to me that all the manufacturers start to improve the video part on DSLRS and now these extras starts adding to the price.

May be I’m wrong, it’s obvious debatable, the same applies to stills added to camcorders. One of my camcorders have 10mp still added and I never use that as well, simply because it’s not good at all.

Ok you could benifit by using the lenses’ capabilities with video, but recently Sony (may be others as well) brought out a camcorder with exchangeble lenses and I’m sure it will deliver far better video than the lower end DSLR’s with video.

But yes if they could leave the video part out and drop the price or at least improve the camera I think it would be better. I don’t think this will happen and it would be interesting to see where DSLRs will be in 5 years time.

Regards

ARNE DANSK

HI
WE LOVED YOUR COMMENTS AND COUNTER COMMENTS. IT WAS LIKE GREAT INTELLECTUAL SPORT.
WE ARE CONSIDERING A NIKON D7OO IF WE CAN RISE THE MONEY.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NIKON D700 .

http://www.associnpsychotherapy.com

bart BOECKLER

I have a 5 D Mark 2 and the ability to focus is far behind!

Justin

“In this matter, I’m keeping in mind that the Nikon D300s advertises being able to shoot 8 frames per second, but it can only shoot 2.5 in RAW mode (unlike the 7D, which shoots 8 fps in RAW or jpg).”

This statement is incorrect. I own a D300s. It’s 8fps in 12 bit RAW, and 2.5 fps in 14 bit RAW.

Micah

If you’re shooting in a way that you require 14-bit, there’s a good chance you’d be better off getting a cheaper camera and spending the savings on a good class/lessons/books.

No crap there’s less data–it’s noise! Noise is random and does not compress well, hence takes up more storage. Try it: shoot the same scene at your highest and lowest ISOs. The high ISO will always be a larger file. Sure it’s more data…it’s not useful data though.

Are we talking prints? Matthew, have you actually compared properly processed prints of the same subject, same conditions, comparable glass?

In case it hasn’t been mentioned, the 7d’s focusing doesn’t compare well to any of the cameras with CAM3500 in low light. I’ve seen this with 1.4, 1.8, and 2.8 glass. It’s just not as confident and can’t follow like the Nikons. So, even though the 7d has a 2fps advantage in this comparison, I suspect the D7000 will yield more keepers in low light.

FYI, I’ve studied some raws from the new d7000, and they’re damn close to my D700.

As a final point about video: I was under the impression that the 7d shot 1080p/60fps. That’s not the case. It’s only 60fps at 720p. That said, the video differences between the cameras are actually quite subtle.

Micah

Alright, yer on. I’ll send you some bracketed shots and let you choose, just in case you don’t dig the exposure I pick. Won’t be till the mornin though.

I too have been using photoshop since v4, so you may have a year on me.
; )

Cameras have come a long way (from pretty much nothing!) in that time. I was scanning film to get into the digital space in college. In fact, I was doing that until 2006 when I broke down and bought a D2x. I may have shot less than 20 rolls since then. And probably several hundred thousand digi shots (I like continuous drive a little too much).

Velvia indeed! Studio photography is a dying art form, since everybody thinks they can do it all in post (and I CAN work magic in post–been turnin turds into diamonds for other folks since 2001). I guess that’s my knee jerk response to 14-bit–shoot properly and there’s no need for it. But also I just haven’t been able to find a meaningful difference.

Anyway, I’ll email you some shots tomorrow…

Tony

Shoot.a.sunset.and.see…sorryiphonewontletmeusespacebar?weirdoes! Ok Now it works.. Sheesh

Tony

Some background on me.. I shoot with d3 and d3x rigs..

For video I’ve been trailing the 550d for video only since July full time and now my team is ready to shelf our pro video gear for these things.. My choice is between the 60d flip screen and the d7000. I’ll get five 60d Riga for my team an a single d7000 for testing since I know canons video works for us nicely..the flip screen is a welcome bonus. I’m shooting for the big silver screen so 1080 24p is fine.

Luna

Although you have an impressive line up for still cameras I personally do not think that you can shoot any video for the “silver scree” with a DSLR camera. I have 2 Sony HD consumer video cameras for shooting weddings etc and I constantly wish to have prosumer cameras for the job. At least broadcasting quality. I must admit that I only saw video material from the Nikon D5000 and was’nt impressed at all. But I’m still looking for the best option between the Nikon D7000 and Canon 60D and now Sony just entered into this market with their Sony A55 and seems that some people start recognising Sony as an option.

Tony

Parts of iron man 2 were shot on 5dmk2’s so res is fine etc etc.. Most of the street scenes in that movie with the Indian kid in who wants to be a millionaire – brains fried right now can’t remember the name of the movie.. Agian all shot on 5dmk2’s .. Just that’s a few.. Lots of mates of mine are starting to seriously use these things everywhere now lol .. No biggie – they are just cheaper and quicker tools, which used right can work nicely for us

Luna

Hi Tony
I want to come back to this thread. I’ve read more on the internet about film makers using die Canon 5D MK II. I want to do an upgrade for my still, but now wonder if I must rather replace my still and one of my video cameras with a higher level DSLR.

What I’m not sure of is the discussion here concerning AF and Manual focus for Video. I stupid question, but I don’t know how it works, if the camera doesn’t auto focus and you have to manual focus, does that mean that you have to constantly focus for a moving subject. Or is it meant for a static camera setup for subjects that are going to be more static eg. like a reporter etc.

I use 3 where one is just for a backup and is setup at a distance on a tripod.

Hope you can help me in this regard.

Regards

Luna

Ok I think I must join and I’ll follow the link. I’m familiar with the B&H site and bought 3 cameras from them.

But I’ve read that some film makers indeed used DSLRs, seems to me it’s a fact.

I also had a look at several Youtube video’s reviewing and even comparing the video capabilities of some SLR’s. Thanks a lot.

Luna

I like chanllenges, would love to see the outcome of this conversation. I’m far behind you all in the technical side, so I just learn from these experiments. Good luck to Matthew you give us all so much help through your reviews. I follow many discussion online and it all comes to one point. Nikon and Canon fans just can’t accept that the one can be beter than the other. It’s so childish and silly.

Luna

Hi Matthew

Yes I know everyone is a winner in these proofs. I wonder what happened to Micah?

Gon Paran

acording to Nickon the weight of the D7000 is Approx. 995 g (2.19 lb.) without battery, memory card, body cap or LCD monitor cover (http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d700/spec.htm)

Gon Paran

yes you are right, sorry, my bad!

Luna

Hi Matthew,
Referring to your comment: ” I’ve begun to see the D7000 compared to the Canon 7D instead” I just want to ask. I was convinced to buy the Canon 60D because it sound suitable for my needs, but I now started thinking that if the Nikon D7000 compare more with the Canon 7D it would be better to go for. I come from no where having a Sony A200 and just want to do a proper step up. In fact I wanted to buy the 60D with 18-200 lens kit last week, but there were no stock so I’m giving the Nikon a second thought.
Thanks for your very useful information.

Luna

Thanks Matthew, you answered my question. Yes I’m quite aware of all the painfull discussions around Nikon and Canon fans, totally unnecessary!

james

Yes, very good point about the resolution. I constantly find myself thinking ‘if only I had an extra 2MP’.

james

Nice to see you have a sense of humour. It can, yes, but it’s only a very slight difference and it’s not enough to be a deciding factor. It’s just that there are a lot of amateurs who buy these cameras and, when hearing someone say “If you do a lot of landscape photography, or portraiture, then the resolution of the 60D might be more important to you”, would easily believe it’s what they need.

Big sensor

Canon has the smallest of all the APS-C sensors. Even SIGMA has a larger sensor than the tiny one that Canon uses. That tiny sensor was created for the 300D entry level camera. Why doesn’t the 7D use APS-H? Only then I would consider it. I never buy a small sensor camera again.

Rickard

Great article in general, but I think you got one thing wrong with the D300s.

It shoots 7 fps in Jpeg and 12 bit RAW. It’s only in 14 bit RAW that it slows down to 2.5 fps.

Micah

WTF?! I’d love to see raw files that show a marked difference between 12-bit and 14-bit. The difference just isn’t there. 14-bit is a gimmick for these cameras, since they really don’t show more dynamic range with anything higher than 12-bit.

Micah

The article from 2003? Of course that’s still applicable…?!

I’ve tested this before with the d300 and there’s no difference in real world shots. However, to give you the benefit of the doubt, I tested my d700 with res charts and my color checker. I could just barely detect a difference. The difference was about 1/6 of a stop, 5 stops below zone 0. There aren’t many (if ANY!) lenses that will render 15 stops (?!) in full daylight. Full daylight or flash would be necessary to take advantage of this, because this difference disappears above base ISO or under extremely long exposures because of lower SNR (read: greater senor noise).

So in effect, shooting 14-bit is like a healthy young person refusing to leave the house without wearing five pairs of underwear. There might be some abstractly useful, barely demonstrable advantage, but the bulk is enough to make you look like a fool. And bulk there is indeed–30-50% larger files so you can carry around extra noise that might (under proper alignment of celestial bodies) render a fraction of a stop of detail 5 stops below zone 0, where you can’t realistically use it.

I do have to say thank you for forcing me to confirm what I knew all along. The current sensors are putting out 12bits or less of DR. Shooting to any higher bit depth is pointless, obsessive behaviour.

Oliver

You seem to be adamant that the 7D will have better AF than the D7000. Here are a few things to add:

– The D7000 has 39 AF points vs 7D that has 19. This means that each of Nikons points cover a smaller area therefore reducing the likelihood of focusing on an unintended target. The 7D has spot-focus to reduce the AF area which would work for single point AF but would leave gaps when tracking.

– Focus points that are further away from the centre of the lens tend to be less accurate than central ones as there is lens design to be taken into consideration.

– I don’t quite understand what you mean when you say “there is a very serious reason to believe that the 7D’s 19 cross-type sensors will out-perform the D7000′s 9”. Firstly, even though a 7D uses dual diagonal sensors, they haven’t proven to be any more accurate than a Nikon dual axis. They may well lock on quicker due to the possibility that the contrast would be picked up more quickly with the more axis that are present. Canon specifies an accuracy of 1/3 times DOF at f2.8 for its high precision point. Nikon specifies a cross sensor to work at f5.6. Now on paper those two are worlds apart. Looking at that the Canon sounds much better. Then why is it that people are shooting very accurately at f1.4 on a f5.6 cross sensor? Whereas canon users constantly say to get that accuracy with a canon you need to use the centre point (cross type f2.8). This basically implies that a Nikon f5.6 sensor is as accurate as a Canon f2.8. On a 7D only the centre point is f2.8 the rest are f5.6. On a Nikon the central group are all X-type f5.6. It sounds to me that Nikon are much more precise in their tolerances and what they send out across the board. There are endless people all over the net complaining about AF issues with their Canons. I’ve seen endless oof images at wide apertures. On the flip side, there is very little of that coming from Nikon users.

Marketing spiel is just that. You never really know what is what unless you’ve read very precise specifications and tested.

Jonathan

Matthew, excellent points. I thought I was the only one who saw the inherent value in going with the 7D over the D7000, until I read your post and a few others. Props to Nikon for the hype and media tour de force they’re pulling here, but the D300s is not equivalent to the 7D; therefore, one cannot assume the 7D is beaten along with the D300s.

On top of this, consider that you can buy a body-only 7D online for $1299, only $100 more than the D7000 retail thanks to the fact that the Canon has been around for a few years. Then go buy a lens or two and you’ll instantly get the extra money back from cheaper Canon lenses.

Weatherproofing 90% of a body??? That’s like sealing a submarine except for the hatch; where do we think the weather will get in? With the whole weatherproofing thing, it’s either all or none. Anything in between is wasted effort.

Jonathan

I had those pressure selling experiences a few years ago also. I did get a 7D recently for the price I mentioned above, but of course, I did my research and read lots of reviews.

You said SD cards may have an advantage? From what I’ve heard, CF is more expensive generally but has higher read/write rates.

JB

I was a bit confused by one point. Your review surmises that the 7D will be better at focusing in low light because it has more cross-type autofocus points. At the same time, you say the D7000 has .5 EV better sensitivity in its focusing sensors. Wouldn’t these cross each other out to a certain degree?

goldfries

I think D7000 offers much better value for $$$$ than D300S.

Zach

I gave it to Nikon emotional users a point for being loyal to their brand. I have been using nikon for many years and had been waiting for D7000 for very long so I could purchase it but after reading many articles and looking at $1200 price tag discouraged me from buying it. I see 7D as more of a capable camera then D7000 (professionally). It is more like comparing D90 to D300s so you can not compare apples(D7000) with oranges (7D). 7D is much sturdier, rough and fast with 19 cross type sensors and great lineup of lenses then D7000 (half plastic , half magnesium body). . D7000 on paper is $300 less then 7D but in reality with kit lens difference of price is only $100 to $150. I would have purchased D7000 if it was sold at $1000 (body) but unfortunately it is very close to 7D price ( Kit) , I am leaning toward buying 7D (professional ) camera. I will wait until Novemebr to see if prices come down and purchase D7000 if it is sold at $1000 price tag, otherwise I will purchase 7D. For me (D7000 is D90 and 7D is D300s in comparison).

Tom

Before buying a 7d – google on the autofocus problems. It’s inherent to the camera. We are trading from 7d to D7000 because of this. The 7D is nearly incapable of sharp autofocused images at f1.4 using Canon’s 50mm lens. We’ve seen this on a number of bodies – not just ours. Google it…

Kristian

Hello Matthew. I see the point you are trying to make defending the RB channel AF of the Canon. I don’t know too much about this but here goes.

You dismiss the advent of RGB AF because the green channel is low contrast. But in the picture you posted in your example the green channel has actually more contrast from the guys shorts to the background. More contrast than the blue channel. It so happens that the focus in on the guy outlining just that. So you see it actually can be very useful and it depends on the picture you are trying to take. Having more information to draw from is always more useful. I would say in that picture the red and green channel are the two more useful channels.

Would like to hear your thoughts… Thanks Good day..

Dennis

Mathew, you’re obviously a fanboy of canon. Dollar for dollar, the D7000 is the clear winner here. After D7000’s release, street price will drop even further. Your article is a joke!

Neil Cooke

Matthew,

I appreciate your very informative response. Please pardon my enthusiasm, like many Nikon users, I’m giddy with anticipation, truly delighted at the prospect of owning a camera that wasn’t within my budget until recently.

For the past few weeks I’ve read scores of blogs that have heralded the coming of this DSLR camera, with specifications that imply an affordable technological tour de force, that’s worthy of all the hype and accolade that it has received since it’s debut.

Now, please indulge me if you will, at the thought of Nikon’s new young Champion, the D7000, ready to take on all challengers, if only in theory!

I acknowledge the Canon 7D as being a highly capable & extremely sophisticated camera as well, But the title of this article is “Nikon D7000 vs. Canon 7D : Cheaper AND Better?”, Well, the D7000 is cheaper and with the given spec’s, it has the potential to be just as good if not better, dollar for dollar!

Time will tell my friend………:-)

Neil Cooke

In light of the fact that Canon’s 7D has a limited color spectrum compared to the FULL color spectrum of the Nikon D7000, combined with the fact that even though Canon can shoot video at 60fps, it can cannot auto focus video!!, Nikon is the first to implement HD Video with full time auto-focus!!, That is HUGE!!!!!! Along with a list of other key features that are worthy of a 7D price. The Nikon D7000 has TKO’d the D60 and is willing to go toe-to-toe with Canon’s 7D….

In the words of Micheal Buffer “Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!”

http://dancarrphotography.com/blog/2010/09/16/nikon-d7000-vs-canon-60d-vs-canon-7d/

http://www.photozz.com/fizz/9146083.aspx

Simon Ng

Hello Mathew,
I have read that Nikon’s metering system can see full colors. While Canon’s 7D can only see two colors, other bodies can only see black and white.
What is the deal on this?

Many of my Canon friends felt betrayed by Canon when they read the 7000D specs. I think the debate on 60D VS D7000 and 7D VS D7000 will get ever more intense.
Thanks.