FIELD REVIEW: NIKON D7000 & NAUTICAM NA-D7000
Down the years, I have tried to review the important digital Nikon SLRs – the ones that have introduced new technology with the promise of taking our images further. Typically these tend to be flagship models, which showcase the new features before they filter down through the Nikon range.
The D7000 breaks this pattern. This time Nikon is introducing a lot of new tech lower in the range. The D7000 is built and priced for the serious amateur, yet introduces most Nikon users to a significant resolution increase from 10-12MP to 16MP, a new EXPEED 2 processor, a new 2000 pixel RGB metering system, a new 39 point Multi-CAM 4800 auto focus system and full 1080p HD-video. All Nikon users need to pay attention to this camera!
Equally surprising (and impressive) is that Nauticam already have a fully functioning NA-D7000 housing ready so soon after the release of the camera. This is the housing that was shown at DEMA and by the Tuesday after the show, Wetpixel had whisked it from Las Vegas to the marginally less glamorous setting of Stoney Cove in England to begin testing before going on to the Red Sea. Nauticam deserves a lot of respect for not only having a housing to show at DEMA, but that the show-housing was dive ready. Customer deliveries are expected to start within the next few days.
The aim of this review is to give you an overview and evaluation of the D7000 and the Nauticam housing, facing the typical everyday challenges of underwater photography around both coral reefs and in cold water. Last time I reviewed a Nauticam housing, they were new to the market and I concluded they delivered excellent engineering, build quality and innovative ergonomic solutions at a very competitive price. Since then, the Nauticam brand has grown and grown and now commands an impressive market share. The fast appearance and high quality of this latest housing are further evidence that this company is shifting expectations in the underwater equipment market.
The D7000 is first and foremost a stills camera and this review will concentrate more on this side of its split personality. After all, the majority of its features and settings relate to still photography. However, the D7000 is also capable of high quality video and since I am not a videoist I have enlisted the help of UWP Magazine’s Peter Rowlands to cast his experienced eye on the video performance.
And as always with Wetpixel reviews, we encourage your views etc in the comments section or on the forums.
It was an ambitious plan to hope to have an underwater review of the Nikon D7000 before quite a few websites and magazines had not even evaluated this important camera on land. So to make this happen took quite a team effort! I am very grateful to Edward and Jacqueline Lai of Nauticam, Ryan Canon of Reef Photo Video, Chris Parsons of Nauticam USA, Alex Tattersall of Nauticam UK, Eleonora Manca, Adam Hanlon, Peter Rowlands, Rob Bailey, Rob White, Cath Bates, Charlotte Boan and Erich Reboucas. I would also like to thanks Camel Dive and the CDWS in Egypt and Blue Magazine for their help in filling a long weekend in the Red Sea with so many highlights.