Monthly Archives: January 2011

Une Lottering

Images from a shoot with Cape Town based Model Une Lottering who is represented by Y-Models
Makeup: Diane Bessesen
Styling: Ilene Hamann
Wardrobe: Annie’s Wardrobe

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The images were shot using a Nikon D700 and Nikon D7000 and the images will be marked accordingly and my opinions about this great little camera are Here
I will update this page over the next few days.

Pro Shoot with the Nikon D7000

Shoot with Une Lottering

(posting this image is not to illustrate any technical ability of the camera – It is to show that I can get the same effect that I can from the D700 with no more processing required. I will post back to back comparisons soon)

Images Copyright Nikon Corporation. Click to view larger

It’s no secret by now that I have been playing around with Nikon’s new D7000 and that I have had lots of good things to say about it, which is not surprising because it is really a great little camera.

What maybe surprising, once you read this, is how I feel it stacks up against my trusted D700 which has been the camera that for me has defined a huge shift in the quality of digital photography.

Before I continue there is one thing I want to clarify. The next cretin who mails or dm’s me with a brain dead comment like “No pro would ever use a consumer camera” or what’s the point, it’s not a full frame” is going to get a speedlight popped in their face at full power.

Seriously guys it’s time to grow up and get over your lens envy and to stop boasting about how much your full frame costs and see the D7000 for what it is, a very good CMOS sensors in a housing. Also Nikon pro’s do use cameras with DX sensors; it’s called the Nikon D300s and it looks like its successor may be on the way 🙂

So back to the D7000 which was on loan from Nikon South Africa with the idea being to shoot some behind the scenes footage during my shoot with local model Une Lottering. In hindsight I think I need to practise my video skills a little first and this was in no way any fault of the D7000. Seeing I had the camera for the day, I decided to go to plan B and do half the shoot on the D7000.

Going into this, I knew the D7000 was good having spent an afternoon testing it against a Nikon D7000 and various high end canon cameras. The result of this testing was that it and the D700 were pretty much neck and neck with regards to image quality up to ISO 6400. The D7000 had a slight edge due to higher resolution and the D700 with less noise contrast as you edged up towards ISO 6400 and thereafter the D700 was the clear winner.

Both cameras were more than a match (with regards to image quality and noise handling up to ISO 6400) for the higher specced Canons (The D700 unsurprising beat all the other camera at ISO settings above 6400).

OK I can just hear the peanut gallery jumping up and down and pointing out that the pro body, being the D700 is the better of the two but they would only be partially correct. Yes the D700 is better if you need to shoot above ISO 6400 but how many of you ever shoot that high? And out of those who do, the D700 is not noise free at high ISO’s, it just handles the noise a bit better so your image is still going to be noisy.

In the real world, very few of us will need more than 6400 ISO and the D7000 packs an extra 4MP of resolution at around half the price…

Just to be clear, this is not an in depth scientific review, it’s my opinion of the camera based on the shoot and its performance against the D700.

The lenses I chose for the shoot were a Nikon AFS 24-70 2.8, A Nikon 105 Micro VR 2.8 and a Nikon 85 1.8 AF.

The camera body that I used had non upgraded firmware (there is an update available) and there was an issue with the AF lens where the body would not take control of the aperture setting and I had to use the aperture ring (not a train smash but something I think the firmware may address).

The Mac I was using didn’t have the latest version of Nikon Camera Control so it was not possible to shoot tethered as I normally do, so I shot to card with both cameras.

At first the D7000 felt a little small and light but I think that’s just because I am used to the weight of the D700. After about 5 minutes I got used to it and really enjoyed the way it feels and the fact that it is light. The design and layout is very good with the exception of the mode selector dial and the SD card cover, both of which I will cover at the end.

The body is surprisingly solid for a prosumer camera and is very well finished. The autofocus is very fast and precise compared to the D700 (which is not bad to start with). The rear screen tends to be a little contrasty (D700 is no different) but I expected this and realised what the difference would be between what I saw on the camera and what the images would look like on the PC.

After about an hour and a half the battery which wasn’t fully charged to start with ran out and I switched back to the D700. I must say I much preferred the lighter weight of the D7000 and actually wished I could switch back to it.

Shooting with both bodies gave me the chance to compare images and there really isn’t much in it at all with maybe the D700 being a little smoother where there was underexposure due to a light not having fully recycled. The added 4MP does also count in the 7000’s favour but with the D700’s successor in the wings I don’t think this will be an issue for long.

Taking a look at the camera itself.

The camera has just about every feature you would want to find on a Pro body, including AF Fine tune and Non CPU lens data. It has a quiet mode that substantially reduces the noise of the mirror and shutter albeit at the cost of frame rate.

There are more than enough focus points to satisfy everyone but I must say I do prefer the D700’s method for changing focus modes with the multi position switch rather than the 7000’s two position switch and centre button that operates in conjunction with the rear dial.

The 7000 has auto bracketing but is limited to 3 frames where the pro bodies do allow for up to 9 frames.

The D7000 has a dx sensor so it loses to the D700 with regards to using ultra wide lenses but if you need this ability you need a full frame camera and even the D300s will not work for you.

The D7000 has two card slots like most of the new pro bodies.

Other than that all can say is I would have no issue shooting in studio with the D7000 and its smaller body makes it an ideal carry camera. The full HD video is also a nice to have, once I take time to plan how to use it.

What I don’t like.

I really don’t like the Mode selector knob on the left of the camera and I voiced my concerns to Nikon and these were proven right during the shoot.

The Mode selector unlike the control ring below it, does not have a locking mechanism and it’s quite easy to turn it by accident or have it turn while in a bag. The camera has a top LCD screen so I don’t see why it couldn’t use a mode selector button like the pro bodies do.

This to me is not an amateur vs pro problem; it’s just maybe not thinking things through as well as they should be.

If you are careful, this won’t be a train smash but it just means you need to take this into consideration, even a locking system would be a good idea. The 7000 is not the only body with this problem. All Nikon consumer and prosumer bodies seem to have the same system.

The last thing I don’t like is the SD slot cover which can slide open in your bad or if your hand is over it but this is not unique to the D7000 as the D700 has the same system.

I will be posting more images from the shoot in the next day or so and technical specs on the D7000 can be found on Nikon’s Web Site

Model for the Shoot was Une Lottering from Y Models

Make up artist was Diane Bessesen

More images