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Thread: Fun with D7000

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Fun with D7000

    We got a D7000 for review and start to use it:



    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Nice Uwe! I've been putting one through it paces for an agency. The one thing to keep an eye on is occasional overexposure (quite pronouced in some cases) in subjects of a uniformly even light tone, bathed in direct bright sunlight (using Matrix metering). It appears to be a deliberate attempt to mid level users in handling and exposing for shadow detail. It's clearly different than the D300s, D700 and d3/D3s/D3x.

    Looking forward to your impressions.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with D7000

    >The one thing to keep an eye on is occasional overexposure (quite pronouced in some cases)

    Seems to happen. Also the LR3 profiles look brighter than the ColorChecker Passport ones.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with D7000

    The K5, which uses more or less the same sensor, seems to have enormous DR headroom. Any experience with the D7000 in that area yet?

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    Question Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    The one thing to keep an eye on is occasional overexposure (quite pronou[n]ced in some cases) in subjects of a uniformly even light tone, bathed in direct bright sunlight (using Matrix metering).
    The D7000 has 19 different "scene modes" (IM page 40), which try to second-guess what you want to do.

    Does the overexposure occur on all or most modes?

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Hi Leigh,

    I can't speak for others that are testing out the D7000 or specifically your question at this juncture, but in my case, I've primarily encountered the overexposure issue I described "above", using apature priority (A) mode. I believe though it would happen in shutter priority too. I'm in the process of testing and will eventually get to the other modes.

    Jorgen, I haven't pitted the K5 and D7000 head to head at the same time on the same subject to compare.....but the D7000 also has an very wide DR, some of the best to date by Nikon. It therefore wouldn't surprise me if the two cameras were similar in this regard.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    ...I've primarily encountered the overexposure issue I described "above", using apature priority (A) mode.
    Hi Dave,

    I'm not talking about exposure modes.

    I'm talking about "scene" modes as described on page 40 of the manual. These are things like beach, portrait, child, sports, closeup, sunset, etc.

    This setting controls the post-processing that's done in the camera.

    - Leigh

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Hi Dave,

    I'm not talking about exposure modes.

    I'm talking about "scene" modes as described on page 40 of the manual. These are things like beach, portrait, child, sports, closeup, sunset, etc.

    This setting controls the post-processing that's done in the camera.

    - Leigh
    Hi Leigh,

    I understood what you were specifically asking, but my 1st response didn't really answer your question. I've only tested the D7000 in the main shooting modes of "A", "S" and "M" shooting RAW. Neither I (nor the client I am putting the D7000 through its paces) shoot with any of the scene modes....so I haven't tried. It's a good question to ask. The overexposue issue is only in the kind of lighting situations I described, thats why setting a global command in the menu for the camera to -0.7 or -1.0 exposure comp., isn't the ideal solution. regardless of the headroom this camera provides and a wide expansive DR, I'd still rather slightly underexposure most brightly lit subjects and adjust the Raw file, than have to handle blown highlights.

    Again it's not a deal killer by any stretch of the imagination..just something to be aware of that once in a while rears its ugly head under certain conditons.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    [I don't] shoot with any of the scene modes....so I haven't tried.
    Hi Dave,

    Not trying to start an argument by any means, just looking for clarification.

    There does not appear to be any "none" option for scene mode, so you're always using one or another of the available selections.

    The choice might have a significant impact on the resulting image.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Hi Leigh,

    No, I realize you're asking out of interest and for useful information, so I truly understand the intent of your questioning. I just started to put it through its paces for this evaluation. I'll have a look what the default option has been for the scene mode and let you know what mode I've been shooting in. The more important question (which you previous asked) is whether different scene modes also appear to have a similar fate as to overexposure in direct bright even sunlight. My guess at this point is that scene modes change image characteristics similarly to when the user goes into the menu settingas and sets their own parameters., putting empasis and de-empahasis on a different image charateristics and ultimately exposure. I experienced from my first day of testing, that changing some of these settings via the menu have greatly influenced how the matix metering reacted in bright sunlight.

    Permit me to provide two quotes from Tom Hogan in his testing of the D7000 that you might find interesting:

    "Two other things play into the "overexposure" issue. First, there's gamma. People coming from older (pre-D3) Nikon bodies and seeing Picture Controls for the first time are reacting to the mid-range boost that the default Picture Control applies compared to the old style image settings. Second is contrast. The defaults (and many of the other Picture Controls) push contrast a bit, and that has a tendency to make bright seem brighter."

    "However, all isn't perfect. Be aware of one very big caveat: when the scene you're metering hits 16.3 EV, the matrix metering system gives up and sets its value for 16.3 EV, no matter how much more light there may be. EV 16.3 at ISO 100 is f/11 at 1/500, which is barely beyond Sunny 16. This won't occur all that often in your shooting, but it does occur sometimes, so make note of that. In really bright light conditions (snow, beach, etc.) you probably need to be in centerweighted metering."

    Hope this preliminary info helps.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Hi Dave,

    That helps a lot, particularly the quotes from Tom Hogan.

    I'm amazed that the metering system maxes out at EV 16.3, which is only one stop above normal exposure @ ASA 100. For a sensor with a 13.9 EV dynamic range that seems awfully odd.

    His comment about overexposure in beach/snow shots is particularly interesting since that's one of the scene modes available in the camera settings.

    Thanks very much.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Leigh - I thought when you go into A,S or M (and perhaps P) the scene modes are no longer active - even though there is not a way for you to turn them off. That's how it's been on every camera I've owned. I read Thom's article a couple of days ago and saw a thread on another forum that were going through the 16.3 EV issue (apparently it is actually in the user manual).

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Hi Terry,

    I don't know. That's why I'm asking. I can't tell from the manual exactly how these controls interact with the basic camera operation.

    I had pre-ordered a D7000 but canceled the order when I read this description in the manual, and for a few other reasons.

    I searched for "16.3" in the manual, and it does not occur as a text string anywhere. Of course if it's embedded in a graphic the search function wouldn't find it.

    Thanks.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Hi Dave,

    I'm amazed that the metering system maxes out at EV 16.3, which is only one stop above normal exposure @ ASA 100. For a sensor with a 13.9 EV dynamic range that seems awfully odd.

    Thanks very much.

    - Leigh
    Hi Leigh,

    I too was very surprised to learn the matrix metering on the D7000 maxed out at EV 16.3 . When I first learned of this, it struck me as odd and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. The D3s/x which I shoot with, most certainly reacts differently, even when I shot the D7000 side by side with those cameras (in my testing). The D7000 most definitely metered the brightly lit scene quite differently than the other two and not for the better, in my opinion.

    Hey with the snow we're beginning to get (I'm actually in the same geographic region as you are)....the D7000 matrix metering is sure to go awry with all the white stuff coming down.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Leigh - I thought when you go into A,S or M (and perhaps P) the scene modes are no longer active - even though there is not a way for you to turn them off. That's how it's been on every camera I've owned. I read Thom's article a couple of days ago and saw a thread on another forum that were going through the 16.3 EV issue (apparently it is actually in the user manual).
    Hi Terry,

    I too thought when you go into at least "A", "S" and "M" mode, that scene modes were no longer active. Thats why my initial response to Leigh was that I don't shoot with these modes, so I assumed they were off or inactive and thus played no role in the metering (matrix) response I was seeing with the D7000 and subjects bathed in "even" bright direct sunlight.

    I'm still of mind to put at least -0.7 global exposure comp perminanatly via the menu and adjust as necessary. The original idea of exposing for shadow detail and letting highlights fall where they may is not the way to do it, especially with this camera. Just my opinion.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Exclamation Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    The D3s/x which I shoot with most certainly reacts differently, even when I shot the D7000 side by side with those cameras (in my testing) and the D7000 metered the scene quite differently.
    That's very disappointing.

    Even allowing for the huge difference in price, the D7000 should meter a scene as accurately as the D3-series. This isn't rocket science. We've been metering exposure for 100 years.

    Sounds like they made the D7000 too smart for its own good.

    Thanks for the info.

    - Leigh

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    Cool Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I too thought when you go into at least "A", "S" and "M" mode, that scene modes were no longer active. Thats why my initial response to Leigh was that I don't shoot with these modes, so I assumed they were off or inactive and thus played no role in the metering (matrix) response I was seeing with the D7000 and subjects bathed in "even" bright direct sunlight.
    Hi Dave,

    Understand that my responses are based on perusing the manual, and not quite understanding what it's saying. I don't have a D7000 to play with.

    It's quite possible I'm wrong.

    That happened once before. I thought I made a mistake, but I had not.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    The original idea of exposing for shadow detail and letting highlights fall where they may is not the way to do it, especially with this camera.
    It's really disappointing that we're being forced into using HDR processing even when we don't want to.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Actually Leigh, some would say the D7000 is in some ways is metering more accurate than for example a D3s. It depends how one looks at exposure. If one wants to preserve max amount of shadow detail in brightly lit outdoor scenes, then the D7000 is your man (or woman depending from ones perspective). If a more balanced exposure under the same conditons is desired then the D3s etc. fits the bill. It's subjective and I think you hit the nail on the head....the D7000 may be too smart for its own good. Years ago with the early pro DSLR's and their medicore handling of higher ISo images, with a good dose of noise, then metering for shadow detail (to avoid excess noise) made sense. Not with todays cameras and certainly not when baseline ISO's are used.

    Another thing to keep in mind is except fro those outdoor brightly lit scenes, the D7000 meters quite accurately in other lighting senarios...so it's a mixed bag as opposed to a major loss.

    Again, I've just started the testing of the camera, so I have a long way to go to get a complete handle on it...especially wehn I use it for some pretty demanding shoots.

    The other slight weakness is Af in low light...a bit of hesitation in locking on to subjects.

    Other than these issues, the camera is prestty remarkable for the money and even stands up to many DSLR's costing close to double the amount. Tradeoffs had to be made somewheres.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Hi Dave,

    Well... there's no such thing as the perfect camera (or any other product for that matter).

    Technical evolution has its own problems. I remember back when 16-bit microprocessors were first introduced, and we didn't know how to handle 8-bit peripheral devices in the design.

    Growing pains, as it were. In another ten years cameras will be able to fully analyze whatever scene we choose to capture, and probably make all the settings more accurately than even the most proficient individual. Sort of merges the concept of P&S into the main stream.

    Thanks much. I'll be interested in your final opinions.

    - Leigh

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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
    Hi Dave,

    Well... there's no such thing as the perfect camera (or any other product for that matter).

    Technical evolution has its own problems. I remember back when 16-bit microprocessors were first introduced, and we didn't know how to handle 8-bit peripheral devices in the design.

    Growing pains, as it were. In another ten years cameras will be able to fully analyze whatever scene we choose to capture, and probably make all the settings more accurately than even the most proficient individual. Sort of merges the concept of P&S into the main stream.

    Thanks much. I'll be interested in your final opinions.

    - Leigh
    Hi Leigh,

    Well as you well know, that was what Nikon's Matrix metering was supposed to be able to do...evaluate a a complex lighting senario and determine exactly how to expose for it (by storing countless of evauative lighting sinarios it's meter picks up, and then determine what the exposure settings should be). As good as it does on certain occasions, it obviously can't know exactly what the photographer had in mind. So until AI gets to the point of being intergrated into the matrix metering and has the ability to read the photographers actual thoughts, it will never get it right all of the time . I can just see it now, the photographer head tethered to the camera to accomplish this....of yea, the upgraded model (Nikon has to have a reason to sell more cameras) will somehow do this by bluetooth or wifi .

    Serious though, I think this overexposure issue with the D7000 is not really an errror, certainly not according to Nikon (at least not admitted to be an error). What I think Nikon did is assume that the vast majority of potential buyers of the D7000 are on the lower end of experience with a DSLR, some possibly stepping up from a P&S...and know that the user might not have the knowledge base to properly evaluate a brightly lit scene and therefore be disappointed by severe underexposure in their images. Therefore they choose to set the bias they did. For more experienced photographers this is a nusense and of course easily corrected. I believe to some degree this same senario existed in models such as the D90 etc., but possibly on a smaller scale...I honestly can't say as I didn't test or use that camera.

    The AF is good on the D7000, maybe not quite as robust nor in it's reaction time under low light conditions. This may or may not be an issue for some. It depends how fast a AF system one needs and under what lighting conditions. I think Nikon was careful not to canabolize sales of the D300s and had to leave some things squarely in the domain of cameras positioned slightly above the D7000. This would include slightly better built, slightly faster FPS, slightly faster AF, especially under low light and possibly metering designed for the more advanced (knowledge wise) photographer. These D300s advanatages to average users are slight at best, but to the user of say a D700 full frame camera, who wants to pick up a 2nd body, then those advantages become more important. The tradeoffs are a camera (the D7000) that has far superior DR, better reduction and handling of noise at higher ISO's, arguably better control of some users selected features (such as the ability to quickly change sensor selction with a button incorporated into the mechanical S,C, MF lever on the front of the body) and a host of other notable improvements or changes over previous generation of cameras.

    Yes, sometimes newer is not always better nor does it always make it convienient for previous users. As you pointed out this often occurs with computer technology. I'm still trying after all these years to finially have a way to access some data I have stored on 5 1/4" PC floppies, so far without success. They certainly won't fit into my card reader's SDHC slot, thats for sure . Thanks.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Cool Re: Fun with D7000

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    ...evaluate a a complex lighting senario and determine exactly how to expose for it (by storing countless of evauative lighting sinarios it's meter picks up, and then determine what the exposure settings should be). As good as it does on certain occasions, it obviously can't know exactly what the photographer had in mind. So until AI gets to the point of being intergrated into the matrix metering and has the ability to read the photographers actual thoughts, it will never get it right all of the time . I can just see it now, the photographer head tethered to the camera to accomplish this....of yea, the upgraded model (Nikon has to have a reason to sell more cameras) will somehow do this by bluetooth or wifi .
    Hmmm... Gives a whole new meaning to "bluetooth headset".

    Take an individual facing the camera with a spectacular sunset in the distance. Are you shooting the sunset with a silhouette image, or a portrait with a (possibly blown-out) sunset background?

    The camera can never answer that question.

    Sophisticated metering can convey relevant information to the photographer, but it's ultimately the decision of the human mind that determines which option will achieve the desired results.

    [/end philosophy 101]

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Serious though, I think this overexposure issue with the D7000 is not really an error, certainly not according to Nikon (at least not admitted to be an error). What I think Nikon did is assume that the vast majority of potential buyers of the D7000 are on the lower end of experience with a DSLR, some possibly stepping up from a P&S...and know that the user might not have the knowledge base to properly evaluate a brightly lit scene and therefore be disappointed by severe underexposure in their images. Therefore they choose to set the bias they did.
    I agree. It appears to be intentional. But given a dynamic range of 14 EV, why are they using <3 EV for the highlights? I can't imagine they need 11 stops to render shadow detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I'm still trying after all these years to finially have a way to access some data I have stored on 5 1/4" PC floppies, so far without success. They certainly won't fit into my card reader's SDHC slot, thats for sure .
    I don't have a problem with the 5-1/4" floppies; it's the 8" ones that I can't read.

    Thanks.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh; 26th December 2010 at 14:06.

  23. #23
    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Fun with D7000

    Back to some images :-)



    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

  24. #24
    GradyPhilpott
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    Re: Fun with D7000

    If I may add one. This guy makes me smile.


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