Monday, November 8, 2010

Nikon D7000 Dukes It Out With Pentax K-5

Holy crap! The Nikon D7000 has been ranked near the tippy-top of APS-C sized SLR cameras! With an overall score of 80, that puts it with or above all of Sony and Canon's full frame cameras. Excellent work, Nikon!

The D7000 is fighting with Pentax's K-5, which even more shockingly mustered an 82, which matches the Nikon D3s. If these numbers are to be believed, sensor development in the APS-C arena has kicked into turbo. I'll wait for further information, but this is making me reconsider my previous ideas about Micro Four-Thirds.

I still say that m4/3's is the best system to buy into for someone wanting a family shooter. It's compact, fantastic lenses cost very little and weigh even less, and Panasonic has proven a complete dedication to the format. You can buy a m4/3's camera and lens for less than $800, buy two more lenses for $500 to $1000 a piece, and you'll have a complete kit that fits into a small camera bag and will do for any situation an average person could imagine. Perfect.

But I used to also argue for the four-thirds format over APS-C because the increased sensor size didn't seem to net much benefit. Going up to full-frame resulted in a significant difference, but notsomuch APS-C. The smaller sensor's 2X crop factor meant that zoom lenses positively sung, with greater length and deeper depth of field. Colors were somewhat better on the larger sensor, as was dynamic range, but I felt that if that was a serious concern, you should save up for a full-frame camera. APS-C just didn't provide enough of a quality boost to warrant the increased size and cost.

These results change that perspective. The best 4/3's sensor on the market is the Panasonic GH1/2, which has a best score of 64 on DxO Mark. That plopped it smack in the middle of most modern APS-C cameras, truly, trailing the EOS 7D supercamera by only two points. But trailing the leading APS-C camera by 18 points cannot be ignored.

As I said, I'll wait to pass judgment, but if these early results hold up, anyone with enthusiast or semi-pro aspirations cannot consider the 4/3's format any more. APS-C has just walked away.

Tests and reviews for the camera Nikon D7000 (DxO Mark)

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