Tag Archives: d7000

Sunrise, Otter, Eagle, Cormorants, Raccoon – a nice morning at Viera Wetlands

I’m coming down with another cold and wasn’t very enthusiastic about going to Viera Wetlands yesterday. Actually, “not very enthusiastic” is a big understatement. I almost didn’t get out of bed – but now I’m glad I did.

We had to leave at “O dark thirty” to get to the west side of the wetlands just before sunrise. I wanted to try the D7000 out on landscapes and it performed very well. The image below is a single exposure of the sunrise. I don’t care too much for silhouettes – I like to have some detail and color in the shadows. For this one, I exposed at -2 EV to prevent blowing out the sky and then brought up the shadows in post processing. The D7000 recorded a very broad dynamic range and has remarkably little noise in the shadows at base ISO, even when under exposed. This real world example, along with the the results from the recent DxOMark test of the D7000 indicate it’s going to be a very fine landscape camera. The only problem is that I don’t have a very wide lens for it.

Sunrise at Viera WetlandsSunrise at Viera Wetlands, D7000, ISO 100, 1/100 sec. @ f/11, 16 mm

As we were photographing the sunrise, an otter swam by right in front of us just past those reeds (about 8 – 10 feet away). That’s the closest one’s ever come to me in the wild. Of course, I didn’t have the right camera set up so I didn’t get a photo. I think the otter knew that, and swam by just to tease us. We saw it a couple more times but could never get a shot off. Those things are quick. And black. And hard to photograph.

After the sun was up, we drove around the wetlands and came up on this:

Bald EagleBald Eagle on dead tree, D7000, ISO 320, 1/500sec. @ f/8, 500 mm

This eagle was just surveying the area. I did get a few images when it flew off, but none blog worthy. I need more Birds in Flight practice, especially at 500mm!

The sun was up, but still low in the sky as we saw some cormorants sitting on a viewing platform. The light was hitting this one just right to show off the detail in his dark feathers.

CormorantCormorant, D7000, ISO 220, 1/500 sec. @ f/8, 500 mm

Here’s one more photo I want to show you. This little fellow was digging around in the reeds along with several birds. I’m not sure what they were after, but it might have been snails – we saw a lot of them yesterday. This image is a good example of the D7000 at ISO 1600. Very usable with minimal noise.

Rocky RacoonRocky Raccoon, D7000, ISO 1600, 1/500sec. @ f/9, 500 mm

Today I feel a bit worse, so I’m glad I went out yesterday. Hopefully I’ll start feeling better tomorrow.

Note: you can click on any of these to go to Flickr where you can see a larger version. You can see more of my Viera Wetlands photos in this set, and I’ve collected some Nikon D7000 photos in this set.

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

Macro photography – D7000 or D700?

There are many kinds of photography. I tend towards landscapes, birds & wildlife, and sometimes macro. When I was using a Nikon D90 and a D700, it was pretty easy to decide which camera to use for what. They had roughly the same number of pixels and well known ISO performance. I would use the D90 as my primary bird and wildlife photography body (especially in good light), and the D700 for almost everything else.

Now that I’ve swapped the D90 for a D7000, these questions have become a little harder to answer. The D7000 has better ISO performance than the D90, and more pixels than the D90 or the D700. Clearly, the D7000 is still a very good first choice for bird & wildlife (unless they’re especially cooperative and close), even more so than the D90 because of its improved autofocus and resolution. And in dim light, the D7000’s ISO performance should make it even more useful than the D90, although not as good as the D700. Using the camera now for a couple of weeks has confirmed all this.

But what about landscape photography and macros? This isn’t as easy a question. They’re most often done with a tripod and therefore ISO performance isn’t a factor, so you can use the camera’s base / optimum ISO (D7000 @ ISO 100, D700 @ ISO 200). Which body to use probably comes down to magnification and depth of field vs. diffraction. I hadn’t had a chance to explore using the D7000 for macros, so I decided to do a little experiment today.

My subject is a rosebud from our front garden (by the way, if you know what kind of bugs those are on our rose bush, let me know). The setup was fairly simple: Tripod mounted camera, using the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR macro, and a Neewer LED ring light with the rose against a black background. I used matrix metering, with an exposure bias of -3EV to avoid blowing out the red channel (every digital camera I’ve owned – including the D7000, has overexposed red roses). I tried to keep the positions / setup as close as possible but unfortunately, I had to go back and re-take the D700 photo and it isn’t exactly positioned the same. I used an aperture of f/11 with the D7000 and f/16 with the D700, since those values should give the most depth of field without any degradation due to diffraction. I also used the cameras’ base ISO settings. I then ran the two photos through Capture NX2 with the exact same adjustments ( daylight White Balance, vivid Color Control, Noise Reduction off, and Unsharp Mask set to 30/5/2) and created a .jpg of each.

Rosebud:  D7000, ISO 100, Nikon 105mm macro, 1/20 sec @ f/11Rosebud: D7000, ISO 100, Nikon 105mm macro, 1/20 sec @ f/11

Rosebud:  D700, ISO 200, Nikon 105mm macro, 1/13 sec @ f/16Rosebud: D700, ISO 200, Nikon 105mm macro, 1/13 sec @ f/16

So what conclusions did I draw from this? With a sharp lens, using base ISO, the D7000 makes full use of all of it’s pixels and therefore has very good resolution when compared to the D700. For macro photography, the extra magnification, pixels, and increased apparent depth of field will almost always be an advantage. So my first choice for macro photography now will be the D7000.

What about landscapes? That adds a couple more things to consider (e.g. dynamic range, field of view), so it needs some additional thought and experimentation. I’ll let you know what I find out.

Note: A click on the photos above, will take you to Flickr where you can select Actions / View all sizes to see full resolution JPGs.

©2010, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved.

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.