Nikon D7000…is the Canon monopoly finally being challenged?

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Finally Nikon are stepping up to the mark. The D90 was the trailblazer. The first DSLR with movie mode. I had one, sold it about a year ago as it was very disappointing. I only ever shot one thing with it…this below..It actually put me off getting the Canon 5DmkII for 7 months due to that too not having manual controls! I can’t shoot without manual controls!!!.

Nikon D90 test from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

The lack of manual controls, 720p mode, motion jpeg….the D300s…no good either. The D3s though…lots of issues still, BUT had the most amazing low light ability I have ever seen. Clean video at 25,000 ISO due to a noise reduction chip so I bought one.

You see I was a Nikon guy way before I became a Canon user (actually Pentax was my first SLR!) and I have stacks of Nikon lenses due to my 35mm adaptor days too. I have been wanting Nikon to rise to the challenge ever since the 5DmkII came out and they simply have failed to do so at every opportunity. Now the D7000 is the start of a shift in this. It’s a crop sensor and it finally has full HD, we have H264 recording (not ideal still but better than MJPEG), clips up to 20 minutes, true 24p…but unfortunately 25p is only available in 720p mode. As a European shooter that’s a real bummer. We NEED FULL HD 25P please!! That is out broadcast standard. Bit rate worries me if it can do 20 minutes of H264 on the FAT32 card…The Canon can only do 12 minutes which means it must be around half the Canon bit rate? Also no in camera slow motion like the T2i/550D, 7D or 1Dmkiv as there is no 50p and 60p, a big omission…

Now I have heard but not been confirmed that aperture can only be set before you hit record…I hope this is not true! ALTHOUGH..not an issue for me as all my lenses have manual apertures! 🙂

I won’t even touch on the stills aspect of this camera as I am sure it’s just superb, every Nikon I have shot with has been…but it’s the video part that I have been waiting for…

Now it’s impossible for me to review this camera right now as I have never seen one and never shot with one. I don’t really want to buy one for just a review as that would be silly and I don’t know what it offers over my Canons as yet. I have yet to read reports on the rolling shutter, the moire, the aliasing or any of the other issues I have with the Canons…but if anyone at Nikon or a retailer wants to loan me one I am keen to take a look at it as I am sure many people would like my thoughts on it. I already have the lenses, a full set of Zeiss ZFs, great zooms too…just no decent Nikon DSLR video capable camera…

It really is about time Nikon stepped up their game and this is the start. Now we need a full frame variant WITH that D3s noise reduction chip. Now THAT would get me frothing at the mouth!

Here is a cool little film that the very talented Nikon photographer Chase Jarvis has shot…


  1. Dear Mr. Nikon:

    Very interesting.

    However, until your D7000 gets the Bloom Treatment, I feel I will not be able to make a rational decision. If you can give Chase one to try out you should also be able to arrange for Mr. Bloom to try one. He is the one who has the most experience in this medium. As much as I respect Chase’s opinion and footage, your camera will not have a hold in the Video DSLR movement until Mr. Bloom puts it through its proper paces.

    Actually, I would just give him one. Why you ask, because his word has become so respected among the Industry that if he gives it a positive review you won’t be able to make them fast enough.


    Dimitrios Papagiannnis

  2. To my eyes at least the aliasing (or the lack thereof) seems much better as far as I can tell from the Road Test video. Wires, masts and wind-turbines towards the end looks really good in 1080p.

    25p please! Nikon, why don’t u listen for a change? 😉

    1. The aliasing seems to be there, look at the shots from inside the car, right at the bottom of the front window; to me, it looks like they just succeeded in avoiding problematic shots

      the rolling shutter, though, is a whole different story: those windmills look great, and I feel they wouldn’t if they were shot on a canon (or, even worse, a different nikon, including D3100)

      the bitrate might be the dealbreaker here, but we need better tests for that (youtube’s compression would crush even the nicest footage), let’s just wait patiently (by the way: nice begging, Mr. Bloom! hope it works…)

      1. not begging at all…I just have been asked so much what my thoughts are and I simply cannot offer them until I shoot something with it and there is no way I am spending $1000 just so I can do a review. If I don’t get my hands on one it’s not the end of the world. I just can’t offer my opinion that’s all! I am sure many others will though so we won’t be short of reviews!

        1. I was just picking on you… let’s see if they are clever and confident enough to let you test one before they arrive in the market

          just in case they’re not positive about this, let’s also threat them a little bit: I’m already looking for a 550D at a nice price and in stock here in Spain; the D7000 and the 60D seem nice but from what I’ve seen they don’t justify the current 450eur price difference for a broke amateur like me (I’m just looking for an interim body as I wait for a full-frame, not-line-skipping body):

          550D 18-55 kit: 715eur
          60D 18-55 kit: 1186eur
          D7000 body only: 1180eur

  3. sooooo waiting for the D4—-if it has 1080p full hd like it should, and an autofocus like the d7000, my mark ii’s will be on ebay fast. I shoot on my 2 5d mii’s with nikon lens (with adapters) and i will be happy to trade in for new nikons if they make it happen. I’d actually prefer it to come with the d700 level so the price is closer to the mark ii but we shoot photography with Nikon D3’s and no doubt we will end up with nikon D4’s when the time comes anyways for photographic purposes anyways becuasae the quality is awesome with the d3 …..i’ll be waiting nikon. 🙂

  4. I wasn’t to impressed by the youtube videos. But that may just be the extra compression. Though the videos are great for marketing. The Bloom treatment, style, lets us stick to a shot long enough to appraise it. I do hope Nikon is in the game now. Remember, all competition makes which ever body we choice better in the long run. Canon, Panasonic or Nikon. Who will move to the first global shutter? Who will give us high bitrates without a hack?

    We can just about use any of these lenses interchangeability, So now it is which leader gives the image quality we desire.

    For my purposes the Panasonic’s “hack” support and amazingly high stable bitrates is my choice for the moment.

    But I think in the near future, the brand on the camera won’t make much difference, clearly the 1080p quality is and will be amazing.

  5. I have also heard that the manual controls for the d7000 do not include the aperture. In other words you have to set the aperture before you enter live mode to record (for cpu lenses of course) – that’s just like how the d90 was. ISO and shutter speed are always available though with this new model. I had a D90 since it was released and learned manual focus video shooting with it (and alot about photography in general!), i’ve since moved to a 5D II. I would still recommend the d7000 to any still shooter out there! I am definitely curious to see more tests and info about this one.

      1. I’m afraid it’s true. The Nikon FAQ and Tips pages are very clear on this. You can set any aperture you want, but once you enter Live View you cannot change it. You do have control of shutter and ISO in Live View.

        Also the bit rate works out to 19.33 Mb/s based on the same pages where is says a 20 minute file is 2900 MB. But if they have b-frames then that might be quite adequate.

        The rolling shutter does look quite good, but there is some alias present on the phone wires. I’d like to see some 1280 x 720 footage as that may have differing alias characteristics (the Canon seems to be much worse in 720p than 1080p). The 1280 x 720 at 24p or 30p looks to be useful for web or DVD publishing.

  6. I asked about manual control in another forum and got this reply: “The Nikon “Tips” page pretty clearly indicates that you have full control of aperture, ISO, and shutter. However, you need to set the aperture before entering Live View.” Bah humbug.

  7. I hear that the D7000 has a new video-auto focus feature. That is actually able to track something like a person walking towards the camera in real time. I haven’t seen it in action, and have my doubts that i works. But it could be handy to get a little focus pulling help 🙂

  8. I have a mate who has been waiting for Nikon to step up to the plate so hope you get a review copy soon. The 25p thing is troubling, I was hoping it may be different on EU models but it looks doubtful. The aperture issue, would that matter on manual lenses like your ZFs? I can see it being a pain if you have a nice set of modern Nikon glass.

    PS Got to know what Pentax did you started with? My first “proper” SLR was an MX after a couple of years with the dinky little Auto 110 as a lad. My favourite was the Super A. I lost interest in SLRs after that because they got so big and lardy. I still have a fondness for those days when Olympus and Pentax ruled and they made camera that managed to be both metal and light.

  9. As a nikon guy too, i’m very sad to see Nikon so blind about video.
    All my nikon lens have a canon adapter… Now i’m used to shoot canon with nikon lens…
    Hope that the D4 period will be nikon true video period.
    The most important will be the future D800… to give us the futur strategic fdecisions in the 3 years coming about Nikon and Video.

  10. Oh man…you are going to get the Nikon guys going with comments like this…”I have been wanting Nikon to rise to the challenge ever since the 5DmkII came out and they simply have failed to do so at every opportunity.” Love it!

  11. I was about to buy a Canon 7D (and take the step from Nikon to Canon) because I’m a ambitious videographer as well (use a XH-A1s) but taking both the DSLRs and the camcorder on my travels is demanding. So I was hoping for the new D7000. On first view it looks promising but as you mentioned already some of the features should be improved (25p! since i’m in Europe) or aperture control. Higher bitrate?

    In contrast to Canon Nikon is not keen of providing ‘new’ improved features with firmware updates, only fixes. Anyway my question would be: Could this desired features theoretically be covered with firmware updates ?

    The D7000 is a big step forward regarding the video functionality but i’m still hesitating.
    Is Nikon aware that they loosing a lot of videographers (who might be Nikon enthusiasts) changing over to Canon or Panasonic because of being strict in their firmware policy ? I can’t understand…

    1. HI Scott. I have done a blog on “the future of DSLRs”…i don’t want to just do too many blogs on new camera announcements until I have actually used them…hopefully i will get to try the panny soon.

  12. I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and change over to Canon.

    I was hoping the D7000 would change my mind but I am skeptical about the bit rate and can’t understand why no 25p.

    I remember reading about adapters, which allow Nikon lenses to be used on Canon bodies. Has anyone used them and could someone recommend which one I should go for.

          1. I have two Novoflex adaptors and one adaptor fotodiox pro. For me the Novoflex is the best, in quality, but the fotodiox work well and it was delivered with a pouch and rear back lense cap ( adaptor Hasselblad V to Canon ). That’s fine. For the GH1 some Novoflex adaptor ( Nikon lenses for exemple )have a continuous adjustment of the aperture by a ring, very good.

          2. The Novoflex adapter is expensive, you need to screw the lens on with a tiny tool and like most the back focus is off. The one I ued turned the lens to change the aperture, not sure if they upgraded this desgin.

            Not bad, also tried the fotodiox Pro one but in the end I just bought 12 cheapass $7 adapter for all my Nikon lenses to use on the 7D. So yes the D7000 would be great if it does have a nice bitrate, but who knows. Also very curious if we get a proper live HDMI feed during recording.

            Did notice the anti aliasing ont he phone lines as mentioned before and not happy with the muddy quality, even if it is just YouTube. Bit worried about the LCD quality as well considering so many shows where out of focus.

            Oh well who knows, it is almost oktober, the AG105 is not far, so 4×3 is a bit crap but it will bring us a lot of new toys and knowing Canon I’m sure they blow anything nikon has to offer out of the water in 3 months or so anyway. The 7d will still work in that time… (btw I am a diehard Nikon user, starting with a nikkormat 35 years ago but right tool for the right job and all that)

        1. Hey Nick I have the Novoflex adapter and it works great with all of my ZEISS PRIMES ZF mount. Full control and the images are beautiful. A little pricey at $271.

  13. Hi Philip, I’ve waited a year and a half now for Nikon to step up to the plate at 1080p because I’ve always been partial to Nikon. I know they will eventually but it may be another year and I can no longer wait.

    I’ve bought and watched your video class on HD DSLR and am really hoping to get one question answered:

    Do the benefits of shooting HDDSLR on the Canon with Canon glass make it worth investing in a new set of Canon glass or are Nikon lenses with the Fotiodox Adapter that has the focus chip you mentioned the way to go?

    I don’t have enough experience with the Canon system to know if in real-life shooting scenarios having Canon lenses makes a massive difference.

    Hoping you can take a moment to reflect.

  14. so far we know the D7000 has no full manual video (aperture), no 25p, possibly lower video bitrate, no articulated screen, slightly lower resolution (16MP vs. 18MP) compared with the 7D.

    could it be that the aperture needs to be locked in for the continuous autofocus to work?

    also i was wondering what video codec(s) you look for in an hdslr. i thought H.264 was one of the better ones.

  15. H.264 is better than mjpeg. What could be the next step? (apart from RAW).

    And what file system do you think DSLR cams will use in order to get bigger files? NTFS is not too much Mac friendly.


    1. There are loads of better codecs out there that camcorders use…it comes down to licensing them. FAT 32 is fine, it’s used on p2 and SxS with clip spanning. We won’t have longer clips on the Canons unless they make a camera for Europe and one for the rest of the world as it’s simply a tax reason why there is no clip spanning

  16. Dear Bloom,
    I am very pleasing their placements. I see in you the pleasure we all photographers feel when technology is accessible to us. I thought about posting on my blog a joke, the camera of my dreams, that would have the technical specifications, appearance and price within what I imagine to be possible. But you have made your way better than me, I know. So I congratulate him for the work, and hope that tomorrow the nikon has it deposited in your mailbox a brand new d7000. I want very much to read his analysis. Good luck

  17. The D7000 is in another league all together compared to the D60 but only what comes to body quality and photographic options. The sensor’s size and crop factor might mean that D7000 has one stop noise advantage over D60 wich is nice and all. But the bit-rate and limited frame rates makes me wanna throw some cake’s on the face of Nikon milking department.

    1. I talked with Canon Finland and the rep. told me that in RAW mode the sensor outputs so much data that in no way will there be a camera that actually records true raw. We are talking about 1 terabyte per minute or something on those lines.

      1. well… not nearly

        full RAW at 21MB per still frame and 1440 stills per minute leads to 30 gigabytes per minute (and I think that is with lossless compression)

        but it’s even better: I only want 1080p, my eyes can’t see any more than that, so I want just 2 megapixels: bin first, averaging the data from packs of near-by photosensors of each color, then it should be more than feasible

        at 15Mpix, a RAW file is close to 20MB, so it should be around 2.75 MB per 1080p frame, 66 MB per second at 1080p24

        that’s “just” 4 GB per minute, 32 minutes on a 128GB SSD drive that costs $200 and can write three times faster than that

        I think I’d be quite happy with that

        the problem is not storing; the problem is getting the data out of the sensor fast enough, processing it, and in general moving the data around; the guys at RED know how to do that, but that’s just because they’re pretty clever (and designed a sensor with video in mind); technology improvements will make it feasible for everyone else in a couple of years (I hope)

  18. the D7000 is where my DSLR journey begins. i have loads of nikkor lenses and now i can get cp.2’s with an f mount if i want to.

    One question tho. i see in the specs it says once you plug in the hdmi to a monitor or something, the live view on the camera lcd it self switches off.
    Does this mean you get a live video out the hdmi while recording?

    Sorry but im not taking anything for granted


  19. Philip,

    Some reports from photokina say that the video bitrate is less than 24Mbps. Is that a deal-breaker for you?

    (The continuous autofocus in video looks really impressive, as do the high-ISO stills.)


  20. Philip, speaking of Pentax, I was curious if you have had the chance to shoot with any of the newer Pentax DSLR’s. The new K-5 shoots 25fps @ 1080p in “PIM III Movie (compression): AVI (Motion JPG)”.

    I really enjoy using them as still cameras, but haven’t really come across any reviews of their movie footage.

  21. Does anyone know when this camera will be out in the UK by any chance? Just phoned Jessops because they are pre ordering them online with no arrival date, and the guy on the other end of the phone bluntly told me “I havent got a clue” “so your pre-ordering them with no idea of when they are going to arrive” “yep”

  22. Well you´ve certainly hit the nail on the head!

    I am sure, like me, there are litterally thousands and thousands of people who prefer Nikons but have to use a Canon 5dmk2 to get some kind of video quality….

    Will be interesting to see what the D7000 is capable of.

    And what are the pros ond cons of full frame sensors and HD 1920?

  23. Phillip,

    I sent you an email to this effect the other day, but I recently drafted up a petition to help things get going on the Nikon video front. As a former Nikon user, I hope you can understand my frustrations with Nikon on the video front up until the D7000, and even with the D7000 it seems as if a few things could be improved. As production isn’t my career, I can’t afford to switch systems all together, but would really love to have Nikon be a true competitor on the video front. It seems as if they just may not fully understand what people are looking for.

    Here is the link to the petition:

    Thanks so much,

    I am a huge fan of your work and admire what you have done for the SLR revolution.

  24. I’m Hoping someone out there is working on a MO for Nikon cameras so that i can stick a few PL mount cinema lenses on my new D7000 (whenever i get it of course).

    Is there anyone out there doing that for Nikons ?

  25. Hi Philip, good thoughts, I also one of those who frustrated with the lack of 1080p in Pal mode. We need 1080P @25fps, although it is possible to interpret footage from 24p to 25p within software, it is an additional effort.

    Now also thinking of obtaining Canon 550D.
    What could you suggest ?


  26. D7000 stills are very crisp. Been shooting projects on the 5D and 7D with Canon and Zeiss primes, but I am a Nikon guy with a lot of glass. Got an adapter for my old Blad lenses to use on Nikons. That combination allows me to adjust aperture on the fly thanks to the Blad lens stopdown preview tab. I am very concerned about the bit rate. I looked using QT player and was very surprised that it was half the Canon rate. I converted a clip to ProRes 422 and it got huge, but it was hard to tell if it improved the look. More research needed. I looked at the 7D and 5D clips next to the D7000 clips and it looks like the Canon kicks butt. I am going to use the Nikon on a shoot this week for B roll. If it holds up, I’ll keep it. If not, there is a waiting list at my local photo store, and I’ll give someone a discount on a hardly used kit. D4 huh? I don’t look at enough rumor sites I guess. Adobe Raw needs to get an update for the D7000 Nef files. I am not liking the Nikon raw workflow. D7000 stills are very crisp!!! Philip, I’ll send you mine before I sell if you want a “hands on”. If I sell it. Time will tell… D7000 and a Blad 80mm 2.8 could be cool.

    1. @ Bob Lukeman: what were the conclusions of your shoot with the D7000 as B roll? I have been waiting for years now to buy a camera as all of my glass are Nikon. But I’m feed up waiting and if the D7000 is still not up to Canon in video mode (I’m mainly a filmmaker) then I might just go for the 5D (and/or the Panasonic AG-AF100). Therefore I’d love to hear your thoughts

    2. So any change in your thoughts on the D7000? I bought a flawed Canon 7D and will return it for exchange for either Canon 60D, 5D, or the Nikon D7000. Always a challenge in weighing pros and cons, eh? Argh…. I’m using prime Zeiss lenses.

  27. Here’s a Nikon D7000 low-light/high-ISO stills test (one candle one foot away), including 100% crops in the last file (which you’ll need to download separately).

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