High ISO performance of the Nikon D7000 vs. the D90 and the D700

You’ll have to pardon me, but I’m going to take a short photo op break and geek out a little bit on camera gear.

Today, Adobe came out with a release candidate of Adobe Camera Raw that will process  D7000 RAW files.  I ran a quick test to see how this new camera  compares with the D90 and the D700.

I’ve put together a composite image below, which shows roughly the same scene photographed with each camera.  I kept everything as constant as possible (e.g camera position, light, lens).  The D90 is on the top at ISO 3200.  The D7000 is in the middle at ISO 6400.  And the D700 is on the bottom, also at ISO 6400.

I processed all three images with a zero preset in ACR and then adjusted only the exposure / fill light and tone to make them look roughly similar.  I left all sharpening and noise controls set to zero (off).

Judging by this pseudo-rigorous test, the ISO performance of the D7000 appears to be in between the D90 and the D700.  It looks about the same at ISO 6400 as the D90 does at ISO 3200 (e.g. ~1 stop better).  Noise is not as low as the D700, but resolution looks better.

I’ve put this and other D7000 images in this set on Flickr.  All of them are in high resolution so that you can better judge the image / camera quality.  You can also click on the image below to go directly to it on Flickr.  For any of these, select “Actions / View All Sizes” to see much larger versions of the photos and judge for yourself.

Comparing the High ISO performance of the Nikon D7000 with the D90 and the D700 (view all sizes for a high resolution version)Comparing the High ISO performance of the Nikon D7000 with the D90 and the D700

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “High ISO performance of the Nikon D7000 vs. the D90 and the D700

  1. The D90 at ISO3200 looks a bit better than the D7000 at ISO6400. I’d say more like a 1/2 to 2/3 stop advantage for the D7000.

  2. thanks for this test;

    Why not set the D90 at 6400 iso too ? it seems NR is present in d90 shot
    Is high iso NR off for d7000 and d700 ?

    could you give us links to the originals raw files ? it would be better to let peoples play with the files by themselves.

    1. Hi Eric.

      I used ISO 3200 on the D90 because I thought it was a more interesting comparison with 6400 on the D7000.

      I’m pretty sure that the High ISO NR setting doesn’t do anything on RAW files, just jpg. I took these in RAW and converted to jpg with all NR set to zero in ACR.

      I could post the original RAW files somewhere (Flickr won’t take them), but I think the comparison is easier for people to look at.

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