by Raphael Chieza
Traditionally, the Nikon DXX series was more or less the competitive model against the Canon EOS XXD series which sat rather indecisively between the DXX and DXXX series. However that had somewhat changed with the introduction of the Canon EOS 7D and even more so, the Canon 60D. The 7D has effectively taken over the mantle of the XXD series while the 60D has become more of an advanced ''Rebel'' camera sitting just above the XXXD/Rebel series. While there is no doubt that the 7D was meant to steal the lightning from the D300/D300S, the introduction of the Nikon D7000 seems to change the ball game again. From my previous comparison of the D7000 with the D300S, it's obvious that there is a lot going for the D7000 over the D300S (price being one of the major factors). This may lead to something even more advanced coming from the D300S replacement but let's digress. With the D300S being realistically comparable to the D7000 puts the 7D under a very similar light. So how do they look against each other?
Nikon D7000 & Canon EOS 7D Specifications
|Features||Nikon D7000||Canon EOS 7D|
|Sensor Type||APS-C CMOS sensor||APS-C CMOS sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6mm||22.3 x 14.9mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.2 megapixels||18.0 megapixels|
|LCD?lt;/td>||3-inch (920k dots) LCD||3-inch (920k dots) Clear View II LCD|
|Viewfinder Coverage||Approx. 100%||Approx. 100%|
|Viewfinder Magnification||Approx. 0.94x||Approx. 1.0x|
|Focusing Screen||Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark II with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)||Fixed (Transmissive LCD screen)|
|HD Movie||1920x1080 (24fps), 1280x720 (30, 24, 25fps)||1920x1080 (30, 25, 24fps), 1280x720 (60, 50fps)|
|AF During Movie Recording||Yes||No|
|Max. Continuous Burst Speed||6fps||8fps (126JPEG / 15RAW)|
|Metering System||TTL exposure metering using 2,016-pixel RGB sensor||TTL full aperture metering with 63 zone Dual Layer SPC|
|AF System||39 focus points (including 9 cross-type sensors)||19-point cross type AF System|
|Built-in Image Stabilisation||No||No|
|Image Sensitivity (ISO)||AUTO(100-3200), 100-6400 (Expandable to 25600)||AUTO(100-3200), 100-6400 (Expandable to 12800)|
|Shutter Speed Range||30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb||30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb|
|Memory Card Slot(s)||2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards||1x CF Card (Microdrive/UDMA compatible)|
|Body Material||Magnesium alloy chassis & 'real' rubber hand grip (as opposed to rubberized coating)||Magnesium Alloy body covers|
|Weight (Body Only)||Approx. 690g||Approx. 820g|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||132 x 105 x 77mm||148.2 x 110.7 x 73.5mm|
The Nikon D7000 Advantage
While I do believe the Canon EOS 7D is the better camera overall, there are a few areas which the Nikon D7000 does stand out and which Canon will no doubt need to reflect upon. First things that come to mind are the new Metering and AF Systems. It would be interesting how well the new 2,016-pixel RGB sensor used in the TTL exposure metering would translate into rendering more lifelike images. However, this would not be as significant as the new 39-point AF system that Nikon has developed. Significantly more than the 11-point AF of the Nikon D90, it would definitely be worthwhile seeing how it compares with the 19-point AF of the Canon 7D. There is of course the AF-F focusing mode which allows autofocus during movie mode. This inclusion makes it more likely for the casual user to make use of the function while more serious users will gain the option to shoot more flexibly. Another popular feature is the dual card slots which almost all pros and semi-pros appreciate. Still to feature outside of the 1-series for Canon, Nikon is really setting the standards for future DSLRs with this.
The Canon EOS 7D Advantage
The Canon 7D despite being out for quite a while now does have a few features that are still very advanced. The Transmissive LCD screen for example makes for convenient and flexible shooting. Not only providing more information but at the same time enable more features that would not be possible with traditional focusing screens. Another advantage of the Canon 7D remains with its high continuous burst, at 8fps it is the fastest DSLR for its size. As far as movie mode is concerned, while the Canon 7D does not have AF during shooting, it makes up for it with its range of frame rates that serious movie shooters would find indispensible to their needs.
Is the Nikon D7000 a Canon EOS 7D Killer?
As I've said, the Canon EOS 7D will still have a market with its more advanced features and performance but there is no doubt that the Nikon D7000 will put a dent to its market share. Perhaps more severely affected at the end of the day will be the Nikon D300S but then that Nikon may well be announcing a replacement for the D300S come November. All in all, even if Canon does not replace the 7D, they will have to consider a new dual memory slot version in the near future as that is one feature which they really need to have available beyond the 1-series.