Nikon D7000 vs Canon 7D: Head To Head Between Two Very Popular Mid-Range DSLRs

nikon d7000 vs canon 7dA good DSLR may not necessarily substitute the shooting prowess of a skilled photographer. But it does make it a lot easier to do certain things. The Nikon D7000 enjoys a cult status among Nikonians around the world over. It is one of the most popular mid-sized DSLRs that Nikon has ever made and continues to enjoy a healthy fan following even after 4 years of its launch and the launch of its successor, the D7100. Even after all these years and all the changes that we have seen, the D7000’s spec sheet still makes for an impressive reading. Its handling, build quality, ease of use and the fantastic still shooting capabilities are second to none, even after all these years.

Just like the D7000 the 7D is also a very popular camera produced by Canon and it also enjoys a good deal of fan following from dedicated Canonites. It replaces another very popular model, the 50D and ups the standard when it comes to APS-C DSLRs. When it was launched it boasted an improved 18 megapixel sensor, faster AF capabilities and a revamped shutter mechanism that gave it a phenomenal 8 fps continuous burst rate. It is evidently the closest thing to using a full professional DSLR without having to shell out the cash that such a body does cost. In this discussion we shall be pitting these two rival cameras against each other to see which one turns out to be the better buy.

Once you’ve chosen a camera, this course is a great start to learning how to use the settings on your DSLR camera.

Sensor Size, Megapixels and Crop Factor

The D7000 has a 16.2 megapixel sensor of dimensions 23.6mm x 15.6mm capable of producing large fine jpegs of the size 4928 x 3264 pixels. The 7D on the other hand also has a crop sensor of size 22.3mm x 14.9mm with a resolution of 18 effective megapixels and produces large fine jpegs of the size 5184 x 3456 pixels. Being crop sensor powered cameras both the Nikon and the Canon exhibits what is known as crop-factor. Meaning, when you use a lens designed for the larger image circle of a full-frame DSLR, only the center part of the image is used, thus giving a tele-effect. If you mount a lens designed for a full-frame DSLR on the D7000 the focal length gets extended by a factor of 1.5x. For the Canon it gets extended by a factor of 1.6x.

Body, Dimension and Build Quality

The D7000 is definitely one of the better made crop DSLRs out there. The chassis is made of magnesium alloy. Over that a grippy, textured rubber material is used that ensures the camera never slips out of your hand no matter what the situation you are shooting in. So far as looks are concerned the camera is very close to what the D90 looks like.

The 7D also boasts a very high quality build. It also has a magnesium alloy construction and a very ergonomic design as well. Canon rates that the body is both dust and water resistant. Design quality is a very subjective matter and the chances are that what you like will not be vetoed by another photographer. With the 7D the Canon engineers have made an honest attempt to combine power, speed and performance combined together inside a very good construction.

Storage

The D7000 has a twin memory card slot. Flip open the memory card compartment and you can insert two cards, both of which are SD/SDHC/SDXC compliant. There are no Compact Flash card options. The 7D has a single storage card slot inside the storage compartment. It supports a Compact Flash card. The good thing is that it supports both type I and type II as well as UDMA cards.

Viewfinder and Frame Coverage

The 7D gains a full 100% frame coverage viewfinder. For Nikon fans the D7000 also has a 100% frame coverage viewfinder. both these are powered by Pentaprism, meaning the image quality is much better compared to entry level models like the Canon Rebel T3i or the Nikon D3100 and the D5100.

Dynamic Range

The technical mumbo-jumbo notwithstanding, the Nikon is the better camera in as much as dynamic range is concerned. It captures more details across a greater EV range than the 7D.

The Monitor

A comparison of the monitor specifications reveals no competitive advantage. The 7D has a 3” monitor with 920,000 dots display and 170 ° viewing angle. The Nikon D7000 also has a 3” monitor with 921,000 dots display and a 170 ° viewing angle. Both have a seven-level brightness adjustment option.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is a highly overrated specification in modern DSLRs. Really, with all the cheaper lenses one tend to buy, with maximum apertures of f/3.5 or less, a higher shutter speed is very difficult to achieve unless you are pointing towards the sun. But still the D7000 and the 7D have really fast shutter speeds of 1/8000th of a second.

Movie Mode

In as much as movie modes are concerned the 7D and the D7000 can both shoot full-HD movies. However, the 7D is ahead of the curve with its 30, 25, 24 fps shooting frame rate options compared to only 24 fps on the D7000.

AF Points

The D7000 boasts a 39-point AF system out of which 9 are cross-type. Compared to it the 7D has a 19-point AF system but all of which are cross-type. Although, it may seem that the 7D loses out to the D7000 in terms AF points, it is not. This is because cross-type AF points are much more reliable and faster when locking focus as they can ‘see’ contrasts in both vertical and horizontal axes. For more inputs on locking focus using both manual and auto-focusing modes check this course we have on DSLR photography.

Continuous Shooting Speed

This is where the 7D beats the D7000, but not by much. The D7000 has a continuous shooting speed of 6 fps. Comparatively the 7D has only an 8 fps shooting speed.

Built-in Flash

Both cameras come with integrated flashes. The 7D has a guide number of 12/39 (meters/feet) at ISO 100. The flash will cover the same angle of view that a 15mm lens will have. The D7000 also has a guide number of 39 feet at ISO 100.

The 7D is the first Canon DSLR ever that has a built-in flash transmitter. This system allows you to create a complicated system of up to three group of flashes, each group comprising up to 4 flashes each and control them remotely. No additional hardware and or accessories are required. For those doing studio photography and or shooting weddings where multiple flashes are required, the 7D’s integrated flash transmitter allows them to create a rough and ready setup very quickly. The 7D is definitely a better choice in that sense. Speaking of flash you may want to check this great course we have on flash photography.

Price

After reading all that information and comparative study of the two cameras you must be wondering about the million dollar question. What is the price of each of these camera? Well the D7000 wins this race handsomely. For the camera body only the D7000 costs just under a thousand bucks. The 7D on the other hand is 50% pricier costing just under 1500 dollars.

Closing Up

This really forces us to think is the 7D that good to justify that stiff a price? Well you could get a full-frame DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi, built-in GPS and a 20 megapixels sensor at just another 400 dollars more (Canon 6D). The answer is no. The D7000 can do almost everything that the 7D can and still leaves room for you to get a few prime lenses at the same price. Yes of course you could shoot at 8 fps but the decent enough 6 fps will get you some of the shots to brag about. In any case if you know what you are doing you can easily make up for the 2 fps less frame rate. In any rate the 7D is not a full-frame camera and you can never quiet expect the same shallow Depth of Field nor make the best use of a full-frame lens unless you upgrade to a full-frame body. For more suggestions on how to pick up the right camera for your photography check this course we have.