Hot on the heels of Canon’s 60D announcement, Nikon has today revealed the successor to the popular D90 consumer DSLR, the D7000. Both of these cameras have made some considerable improvements on their predecessors and consumers these days are really starting to see higher end features trickle down into the lower end bodies. Last week I wrote an article comparing the Canon 7d with the 60D which was very popular and designed to give the Canon shooters a few pointers as to which might be the best camera for them. This week it’s going to be a Nikon Vs. Canon battle for those people who have yet to pick a side. Lots of things to think about here because whilst most expected the D7000 to go head to head with the 60D, Nikon came out swinging and have incorporated a few features that in some cases put it closer to the 7D. Read on….
The table above tells a few stories but firstly, if you did not already read it I’d recommend taking a look at last weeks article comparing the 7D to the new 60D. If you already have money invested in Canon lenses then that is where you will want to have a close look. If you have yet to chose a side, Canon or Nikon, and you want to invest in a consumer DSLR that ranks at the higher end of the scale then you have a tough decision to make. I’m a Canon man myself, but I have no qualms in saying that Nikon’s new D7000 is a very impressive offering at an even more impressive price point. For me the standout features of the D7000 are its 39-point autofocus system and the partial magnesium alloy construction. Whilst the video specification are impressive for a Nikon camera, there is nothing really new in there that we have not seen from Canon. The AF system and the construction were unexpected surprises for me though.
UPDATE: B&H has the 60D in stock NOW
UPDATE 2: 60D in stock at Amazon too
I’m going to break it down into a few different segments here.
The 60D and the 7D both have the same size sensor at 18MP whilst the D7000 has 16MP. Realistically I’m going to say that neither one or the other really has an edge in this area. An 18MP image from the Canon cameras is 5184 pixels wide and a 16MP image from the Nikon is 4928 pixels wide. That is only a difference of 256 pixels in width which in real life usage is going to make very little difference. Don’t get caught up in the megapixel race! Unless you are making 30″ wide prints I wouldn’t let this specification sway your decision.
High ISO performance
At this point this has to be speculative because the D7000 and 60D are too new to have concrete results. But based on previous performances by the respective manufacturers you would have to guess that the D7000 is going to have the edge in this department. The fact that it is only 16MP Vs. the 18MP of the other two will likely have a beneficial effect on the Nikon’s high ISO performance. As with many of their cameras, Nikon has decided to offer a lower pixel density in order to generate less noise per pixel. The D7000 also has ISO expansion all the way to 25600, whereas the Canons top out at 12,800. If you are a huge fan of shooting in dark situations the Nikon is taking the edge certainly against the 60D though I would say the processing power of the 7D will keep it in check and between the 7D and D7000 there might not be much difference.
If you are looking to shoot sports, or other potentially fast moving subjects like wildlife then the 7D takes the win in that category hands down, but that is part of the reason it costs a lot more than the other two. Between the D7000 and the 60D there is a modest difference in shooting speed, 5.3fps Vs. 6fps. If you shot a burst of 3 seconds then the 60D would yield 16 images and the D7000 would yield 18 images. Not a huge difference….. But the D7000 though takes the advantage by being able to shoot 100 JPEGs before filling up the buffer, compared to only 58 JPEGs for the 60D. In this category you get what you pay for with the 7D though which will shoot 8fps for 126 JPEGs.
Compared with the 60D, the D7000 is the clear winner in this category. A new 39-point AF system should trounce the aged 9-point system that Canon carried over from the aging 50D to the 60D. Given Nikon’s reputation for making excellent AF systems I would guess that at very least it will match the 19-point AF system of the 7D, if not beat it entirely. Though the 7D has far fewer AF points, it does have some very clever zone focusing systems up its sleeve so I would not expect the difference to be too great, but that’s not saying very much considering the 7D is a much higher price point. Canon really needed to have put the 7D’s AF system in the 60D to stay in the game for this category.
Design and Construction
The Canon 60D is made entirely out of plastic whilst the Nikon D7000 is a combination of Magnesium alloys and plastic. To be more exact, and I think this is important because most websites seem to have missed this fact, only the top and the rear of the D7000 are made of magnesium. The 7D on the other hand again justifies its higher price point with an entirely magnesium construction and very substantial weather sealing. No exact information is currently available as to the extent of the D7000 dust and moisture sealing although it is expected to be much greater than that of the 60D as Nikon has made a point of mentioning it in the press release. So another win for the 7D in this section if you are looking to use your camera in inclement conditions and generally be fairly rough with it. Nobody ever intends to drop their camera but its nice to know the magnesium is there on the 7D if you do. On the other hand, if you drop the D7000… well it seems as though you have a 50% chance of being better off than if you had a 60D as there is still plastic construction to the bottom and front of the camera.
Quite simply the D7000 delivers a much better viewfinder than the 60D which only covers 96%. As I have mentioned before on this site I can’t bear to use anything less than 100% these days and whilst the 7D delivers 100% coverage, so does the D7000 but in a much cheaper package. Well done Nikon, great to see.
Though the 60D is the cheapest model of the 3 it definitely offers the best LCD screen by being the only one to be totally articulated. Whilst not a necessity as far as I’m concerned, it could certainly be a benefit in some situations. I think in order to keep the price down on the 60D though, Canon had to sacrifice quite a few other things in order to have this screen. The only reason I would let an articulating screen be a deciding factor in a DSLR purchasing decision though is if I only intended the camera to be used for shooting video. In that situation there are far more applications for such a screen. If video is you main reason for looking at either of these cameras then being able to swivel the LCD to view it while it is low on a tripod or simply shade it from the sun, is a great feature. One that would, for me at least, trump many of the aforementioned categories where the 60D and D7000 were fairly close.
Micro adjustment is a feature that allows you to make minute adjustments to the autofocus system to tailor each of your lenses to your particular camera. Despite tiny manufacturing tolerances, not all lenses are produced equally to micro-adjustment allows you to compensate for the small amount of back or front focus that many lenses exhibit. First time DSLR users may not worry about this feature so much as it only shows results on the pixel-peeping level, but for those that have used a pro DSLR before and perhaps want one of these as a backup body, micro-adjust is a great thing to have to tune all your lenses to “tack sharp”. The 7D and the D7000 both have this feature but it has been left out of the 60D. To me this has been done solely for the purpose of distancing the 60D and the 7D from each other because micro-adjust is simply a software feature. A “no-cost” feature that needs no physical alteration of the camera. Since the 60D’s launch this has been something that has been mentioned time and time again. Many people are not happy about this feature being left out and there are several internet forums running petitions for Canon to implement a firmware update to correct this omission. Again given the 7D’s higher price point, this really is another win for the D7000.
There is no doubt that this is Nikon’s most powerful offering to date in terms of video recording. We finally have full 1080P though oddly only at 24p. Whilst people clamored for 24P on the Canon cameras I think there is still a place for 30 frames per second as well so Canon still has one up in this department. Nikon does offer 30 at 720P which suggests that 30 at 1080P was simply too much for the Nikon processors to handle. Both the 7D and the 60D also offer 50/60 fps at 720p allowing you to conform the video to something slower and create a decent slow motion video. In the frame rate department then Nikon has only bettered its own cameras and still doesn’t come close to the Canons.
Manual video controls are available with then D7000, but strangely it has been reported that you must set the aperture before you enter live view mode for shooting. With the 7D and the 60D this is not necessary and ISO, shutter speed and aperture can all be adjusted with live view enabled. Right now I can’t think why Nikon would have either chosen to do this or be forced to do this. In terms of audio control, the 60D has the edge here with its manual level controls. The D7000 does also have manual audio but it is limited to a three-position setting. The 7D lacks any sort of manual audio.
The big question! Who should buy what ?
There’s no doubt that Nikon is making waves in the mid-range DSLR market with the D7000 and I hope their aggressive implementation of higher end build and features pushes Canon to do the same in the future but it’s still not the perfect camera. For video enthusiasts the 60D stands out with its articulated screen and plentiful selection of frame rates. Since the “video revolution” with DSLRs Canon has been two steps ahead of Nikon. Whilst Nikon have listened to a lot of the complaints, they still haven’t addressed all of them but at least now I would say they are only one step behind. Next year’s camera evolutions are going to be very interesting!
If video is only a secondary use for your camera then the line is blurred a little more and price point comes into play. The D7000 appears to be phenomenally good value and for only $100 more than the 60D I would take the Nikon any day if it was my first DSLR. That is probably the first time I have said that about ANY Nikon camera! For professional usage the 7D can get the job done very well and I know many pros who are out there making a living with the 7D. The robust construction and 8FPS shooting speed are key factors but that is why it costs nearly a third more. As a backup body for a pro the D7000 would be great but I would not want to have it as my sole camera if I was making my living with it. For most amateur shooters though the D7000 will be more than enough camera. Judging by early samples I’m sure that it will be a highly capable stills camera and a decent video camera and for the amateur market, any improvements that might be gained by spending more on the 7D would probably go unnoticed.
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UPDATE: B&H has the 60D in stock NOW
UPDATE 2: 60D in stock at Amazon too
B&H Photo – D7000 + 18-105 kit lens
Amazon – D7000 + 18-105 kit lens
B&H Photo – 60D +18-135 kit lens
Amazon – 60D + 18-135 kit lens
B&H Photo – 7D + 28-138 kit lens
B&H Photo – 7D + 18-135 kit lens
Awesome. Thanks for the reviews. I’m looking at the cameras from more of a video angle. I think the new Nikon has AF for video, something that could be very helpful in some situations (like event coverage). So for me, it’s about deciding what’s more important:
60D: Articulating screen, higher FPS for slow motion stuff.
D7000: AF option for video.
MIke yes, Nikon does have AF in video but it is contrast detect AF, not like AF you are used to when taking photos. No camera so far has made any sort of aceptable AF in video which Is why I didnt even mention it. I’d like to be proven wrong…. but I dont hold out much hope. I’d definitely demo the AF yourself if you think its a deciding factor.
Thanks for the info, Dan. I’m leaning toward the 60D.
Why not include the new Pentax K-5?
This was written before the k5 was announced. I think it looks like a great camera actually, i’m hearing good things but I have good experience with the Canon and Nikon cameras but have never used a Pentax so it would make it harder. I’d like to see if I can borrow a Pentax sometime though and at that time I could update.
Thanks for the comparison. I am a Canon user with 50d but used to be a Pentax user.. If Pentax fixed the AF (finally) I would be interested in the K5, though it disturbs me that Voigtlander have discontinued production of K mount lenses, and it would take a major step forward for Pentax AF to get near Canon..
The 60d was where I was saving and planning to go but the lack of MA is a real insult, I think… It is making me think about the switch to Nikon for the D7000 but I will wait and see if Canon stop treating us like stooges and release a 60d firmware with MA??
Yes no MA is a real shame. If you have money invested in canon lenses though why not grab a 7d. There are even plenty of second hand ones out there in great shape that could be had for close to the 60d price.
I am thinking about it, I did want the articulating screen though, it can be very usefull on tripod for macro, especially low to the ground.. (I have a zigview R at the moment for this, but it has a pretty ugly picture.. lol)
I think at this point I will just stick with the 50d and not spend anything on my kit for a while, with the d7000 increasing peoples expectations at such a decent price point, maybe the 7d will continue to drop or Canon may add MA to the 60D. I do doubt that last option though, I have seen a comment from Canon they intentionally left it out to seperate from the 7d level…
I guess it is so frustrating as the 60d with articulating screen is the perfect camera for me, all the other features are fine for me, but I cannot live without MA (my EF24/1.4 and Sigma 50/1.4 both really need it)..
La verdad que Nikon , se la come viva a esta innecesaria Canon 60D , digo innecesaria por que para reemplazar una cámara como a la 50D , se tendría que haber 1) seguir con el cuerpo de aleación de magnesio , 2) no quitarles características , como los micro-ajustes para diferentes lentes en uso , 3) un visor que cubra el 100% , 4) una ráfaga mínima de 6 0 7 imágenes por segundo , 5) agregar mas puntos de enfoque por lo menos 16 , 6) más resistente a las diferentes condiciones climáticas , 7) doble ranura para tarjetas , la verdad que deja mucho, pero mucho por desear esta nueva Canon 60D. Reemplazo de la 50D , ni ahí , me quedo con la Canon 50D, sin lugar a dudas , creo que muchos de los que lean este articulo estarán de acuerdo con lo que digo .
Señores , creo que estamos ante una nueva , numero 1 y su nombre es NIKON , de vuelta al trono . Lastima Canon que no sepas aprovechar , las cosas que los demás hacen y eso se llama ESCUCHAR , ESCUCHAR PERO EN SERIO , no diciendo en tus absurdas propagandas que escuchas a miles de fotógrafos de todo el mundo , para empezar a diseñar o querer poner características que te dicen los supuestos fotógrafos de diferentes partes del mundo como quieren que sean las futuras cámaras , a quien le quieres hacer creer CANON , ahora me pregunto yo ,¿ quienes fueron los fotógrafos que te dijeron que construyera una cámara como la nueva Canon 60D ? . Deben haber sido unos aficionados , por que profesionales , no creo de verdad no creo , sigan así . Yo tengo Canon hace 20 años , tengo una Canon 50D y una Reciente compra de una Canon 7D , pero ni loco vendo mi 50D , ni la cambio por la 60D , así tenga la pantalla móvil, creo que varios van a ser esto se quedaran con la 50D , hasta que Ustedes decidan de una vez por todas hacer una cámara de verdad no de juguete , me entienden , no hagan mas cámaras de juguete , construyan como NIKON , algo en serio , como vinieron haciéndolo años ellos , copien lo bueno asì se empieza no se les va a caer nada , créanme al contrario se les AGRADECERÁ , de que manera comprando sus productos. Muchachos sean mas inteligentes , vamos a donde esta el ingenio japones, ADELANTE QUE MUCHOS LOS ESTAN ESPERANDO CON ALGO SERIO, PERO CON ALGO SERIOOOO . NO SE OLVIDEN .
No idea what this says! But thanks for reading the site !
Babelfish translation.. doesn’t work 100% but we get get the general idea…
“The truth that Nikon, eats it lives to this unnecessary Canon 60D, I say unnecessary so that to replace a camera like a 50D, must have 1) to follow with the magnesium alloy body, 2) not to clear characteristic, as micro-you fit to them for different lenses in use, 3) a viewfinder that covers the 100%, 4) a minimum burst of 6 0 7 images per second, 5) to add but points of approach 16, 6) at least more resistant to the different climatic conditions, 7) double groove for cards, the truth that leaves much, but to wish this new Canon much 60D. Replacement of 50D, nor there, I remain with Canon 50D, without doubt, I believe that many of which read this article will be in agreement with which I say. Gentlemen, I believe that we are before a new one, I number 1 and its name is NIKON, of return to the throne. Canon pity that you do not know to be useful, the things that the others do and that calls TO LISTEN, TO LISTEN BUT IN SERIOUS, not saying in your absurd propagandas that listening to of thousand photographers worldwide, to begin to design or to want to put characteristics that the supposed photographers of different parts from the world say to you as they want that they are the future cameras, to that you want to make believe CANON to him, now I ask I,who were the photographers who said to you that he constructed to a camera like new the Canon 60D? . They must have been fans, so that professional, I really do not create I do not create, follow thus. I have been having Canon for 20 years, have a Canon 50D and one Recent purchase of a Canon 7D, but neither crazy selvage my 50D, nor the change by 60D, thus has the movable screen, I believe that several are going to be this remained with 50D, until You once and for all decide to really make a camera not of toy, understand to me, do not do but toy cameras, construct like NIKON, something in serious, since they came doing it years, copy good asì begins is not going away to them to fall nothing, créanme on the contrary WILL BE THANKED FOR to them, how buying their products. Boys are but intelligent, we go to where this I devise Japanese, AHEAD WHO MANY the ESTAN HOPING WITH SOMETHING SERIOUS, BUT WITH SOMETHING SERIOOOO. THEY DO NOT FORGET.”
This is very helpful and a frustrating review in a good way.. I was more leaning towards D7000 but I’m having second thoughts about the video frame rates. In still photography hands down Nikon will win over 60D but on video canon have the advantage. I would like to shoot sports photogs and make short films for my portfolio. Is 1080p @ 30fps video really has a noticeable difference over 1080p @ 24fps?
No , unless you are a through and through film maker 30p is still just fine. I still use it sometimes over 24p.
Thanks. Now i just have to wait when they get to be released in Asia.
If u need micro adjustment than u should be in a lab doing research and not out photographing things. This is such an insult to anyone’s intelligence. To think u can eyeball the front and back differential without lab instruments is a pathetic attempt to builds one ego.
Ahhhh”Anon” you are back at it eh ? Still too scared to comment under a real name with a real e-mail address like everyone else.
Well Mr Anon. If you happen to have a a front focussing 24mm f1.4 lens like I do that requires a hefty adjustment of 9 on the microadjust (still within Canon’s tolerances apparently …. I asked them) then microadjust is useful and is PLAINLY viewable. Shooting at f1.4 where the DOF is razor thin, not one single shot appears to be in tack sharp focus unless you use microadjust. You dont need to get anywhere near 100% to see this. Simple screen size makes it visible.
Secondly, the AF adjust can aslo be used to correcty general focus on ALL lenses. My Canon 1dMKIV needs a + 12 adjustment set on ALL lenses to get the AF in line. Again, I sent it back to Canon and they said it was within their standards.
but you can see they are out of focus shots just with a cursory glance.
Yes a + or – 1 or 2 is hard to see at anything but 100% but it can often be way more than that.
I would also counter that trawling photographic sites under an anonymous name and e-mail making sad, unjustified remarks like your ones is YOUR pathetic attempt to build YOUR ego. Nobody cares what you think unless you have something useful to say that is based on FACT and not simply based on your clearly very limited experience with photographic equipment.
Can you comment on the iFCL 63 zone dual layer metering system on Canon and how it stacks up to the Nikon? It seem as if it is not the tired old system the 50D used and I have to wonder just how thorough the comparison to the new Expeed2 39 cross hair AF points on the Nikon really is. I mean they’re not selling either of the newcomers for 10 grand so I’m guessing the differences are not going to be enough and that affordable quality glass is the factor I will be looking for.
And if the Nikon is so good why would anyone bother with the 7D if the D300s already surpassed it as the article says. In fact we can look at stats in the more expensive versions of both brands and except for FF they are not always superior in every category yet people insist on buying them. I think Nikon replaced a very old by gotta have the latest standards while Canon only had to update theirs.
I would wish the camera/system selection would be so simple. For me it was wrapped up by lens selection – and it is Canon all the way.
The problem is, that Nikon (or anybody else) currently does not have high quality portable tele glass available, think of 70-200/4L IS. The only high quality tele option on Nikon side is 2.8 which is awesome but weighs what – 3.5lb? So although I think D7000 will trump 7D in low light I still ‘HAVE TO’ choose Canon because there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING, from Nikon, Sony, Pentax or Sigma.
So although I would wish to buy SLT55 (the picture quality will be on par with 7D – as is Nex now) there are no sharp portable tele lenses available. Period.
Eddy, I’m not sure what you are referring to ? All the images on this page are downloaded from the Nikon and Canon press pages. In fact anyone can access the Nikon and Canon press download pages to get high resolution images of the cameras.
If you feel there is an image I have used in error then please let me know which one?
I am looking to someone who can help me in my decision (60d vs d700) and I am still a bit confused.
I like taking pictures and videos during my holiday and I decided to get a camera for all.
I like the 60d swivel monitor that can help me in video but I don’t like the 60d lack of movie mode AF. On the contrary I like the d7000 movie mode AF but I think the lack of the swivel monitor could be penalizing.
I am not able to understand how the lack of movie AF could penalize during the use as well as I am not able to understand if the d7000 movie AF is sufficiently fast (ref your reply at point 2).
What do you think about?
For making quick little videos on holiday neither the 60d or the D7000 will offer anything like the usability of a stand alone video camera. The D7000 AF will be slow to the point where i believe the swivel screen trumps the AF. They will however produce much better looking video that a stand alone video camera. So for a little extra effort you get much better outcome. Personally I dont have a problem manual focusing. I work alongside people who shoot action sports videos with the 7d for example and they have no problem with the lack of AF.
Hi dan you say “As a backup body for a pro the D7000 would be great but I would not want to have it as my sole camera if I was making my living with it”. is there a specific reason you wouldn’t use the d7000 as a main camera as a pro? Sounds like all it’s missing is 2fps and isn’t a 100% magnesium alloy body. Is that the reason you wouldn’t use it as a main body?
thanks for the analysis, it’s much appreciated.
Carlo, thats a good question for sure. My reasons will vary compared to others because I shoot action sports so the 2fps can be important. Also I sometimes have things printer for HUGE advertising purposes. 25ft wide photos etc. At that size I think I would prefer to have my full frame camera and my Canon 1dMKIV.
There are some forms of professional photography though where you probably could use this camera.
You say, it is a professional camera (refering to 7D) because I need 2Fps more ? Really it is a good think, but I will prefer more crisp high dynamic range and low noise in the photos, I not need the extra 2Fps.. Then you think for me it will be better the D7000 than the Canon or you think Canon 7D outperform D7000 in these aspects ?, by the way, if you answer this will be better.
1- Noise at high Iso, from these both cameres (7D and D7000) wich one have better noise at high ISO?
2 – Dynamic range, wich, 7D or D7000 is better ?
3 – Sharpness, wich one is the best ?
4 – Body, I not interested into take photos under the rain, but, you think the seal of 7D is better than D7000 seal ?
2.You won’t be able to tell the difference at all
3.Depends on which lens you are using!!!!!
Dynamic range could be see at very high contrast scene.. you should notice that d7000 certainly better in this regards.
Dan…please please help me, m in real dilemma…i really loved ur review, im totally inclined towards D7000, but d only thing dat keeps me in dilemma is d color rendition of canon, ive heard it frm many sites n photographers dat canon colors are better dan canon, for colors to be d same we have to process nikon pics in raw…im not much towards processing thingy, i’d love to take pics in jpeg n giv it a lil touch up as im just an amateur…but i really want to know wht do u thnk abt color differences, n shud i be goin for D7000…?
Go with the d7000. Canon and Nikon render different color,but I would never have said one is better than the other. They are just different. Don’t worry about it. The d7000 will make great photos for you !
Trying to pick up a camera soon. I’ll be shooting mostly wedding, family get togethers, a lot of indoor shots, with quite a bit low lighting conditions. The video feature is a nice touch, but not high on my priority list. Also a camera like this is too big to lug around for daily use. Even on vacation I’d be terrified I would get robbed. So for those occasions I still have a decent point and shoot.
Canon EOS 60D 18.0MP Digital SLR with 18-135mm Lens
Extra 55-250mm Zoom Lens
DSLR Gadget Bag
Canon 60D 18.0MP Digital SLR (Body only)
55-250mm Zoom Lens
Wait for better discount pricing to come out on Nikon D7000
thanks for your help!
Shawn you really need that shorter focal length, you would be so very limited with just 55-250. Option 2 is not good. If you want a cheaper option just get the 60d and 18-135. Thats such a good general setup. But then also grab a 50mm f1.8 for the indoor shots. Its only about $110 but you’ll thank me later. It is a fantastic lens !!
Thanks for this great review Dan! I’m inching towards the D7000 having compared photos of the EOS 7D and the D300s. The scores of photos I saw give me the impression that the IQ for the D300s is superior. One reviewer mentioned color rendition-again I think the D300s wins hands down over the 7D. Having been a Pentax user (K10D), I am disappointed with the color rendition of the 7D-it doesn’t quite match up to the magnificent 40D (bizarre as that may sound).
I’ve had a trial of the D7000 and the 60D 3 days each. I have gone for the 60D as it’s a much better all round camera over the D7000. While there are users out there that don’t seem to want to move forward with their photo/ video work and slate the 60D. I believe that Canon understand the changing market and are leading the way. The new lighter weight body that does have environmental protection and also takes SDXC and EiFi cards is a pleasure to use on the field. The 40D and 50D which were both good cameras left many users moving from EOS XXXD a little deterred as for the weight and size issue, the 60D ticks so many boxes for these users. Users of the 40D and 50D should move to the 7D, which is the natural successor and brings you too the next level. if you move from the 40D/50D to the 60D your not progressing your in a stalemate. I believe Nikon are a little lost at the moment and are happy to stay where they are as they have no real insight into what’s happening in the market. A brand like Nikon should be brave a move forward like Canon or regret it in years to come.
I know D7000 has the 1920×1080@24fps movie mode only. How does it affect on the movie seen on a PAL system? Converting the file from D7000 would be annoying and I am not sure of the result in term of quality.
I understand both the camera have, more or less, a good output with photos (Nikon appears to be better and its zoom in bundle [18-105 vs 18-135] is definitely better) and, therefore, I would decide on a movie mode basis.
What I am not able to understand is whether the 60d better performance in video are worth the D7000 better performance in photos.
Many thanks for the great review. It really is the best i have come across. I am set to buy one of those cameras and given that i am equally interested in photo and video and the relatively small difference in price of these 3 cameras shall not be a deciding factor, it seems that you recommend going for the 7D as the best overall camera of these 3, correct?
What i wonder though:
Does the lack of manual audio with the 7D represent a big drawback? What does manual audio give u anyway and what is the alternative?
Is the movable lcd of the 60D such a big advantage?
Do these two features make the 60D maybe the better choice if Video plays a key role or would you still say that the 7D has the edge?
What about the Sony Alpha-55? Does this stand a chance against these three?
This should give you a bit more perspective on things..
why is it better to have more video frame options with the canon 7D than with the Nikon 7000. Doesn`t 24fps look the best anyway? what is the difference to shooting with 50fps?
You can take 50fps and play it back at 24 which creates slow motion.
And whether 24 fps “looks best” is subjective. People say it looks best because it look most like film as film was shot at 24fps. Personally I prefer the look of 30fps for some stuff though.
thanks Dan, so Nikon 7000 does not allow slow motion?
So even though the 7000 performs better in low light and has auto focus, you would say that the Canon 7D is the better camera when it comes to video?
Hello, I am looking to replace my Nikon F90x with either a Nikon 7000 with a Nikon 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR AF_S DX MK 11 lens, or a Canon 7d with a EF 24-105/4LIS USM lens. Which system would you recommend and why. I was a semi-pro photographer looking to go back to work after injury. A high fps interests me though not a sports photographer particularly. Good resolution very important.
First, thank you for the thoughtful analysis. It helps in thinking about the capabilities of the different options. I have an Olympus E-3 and lenses. Now that Olympus has all but abandoned the SLR I find myself once again thinking about which way to jump.
These three cameras seem so close that the decision, as you indicate, comes down to small differences in capabilities. As a consequence, it’s even more desirable to consider the lenses (or the whole system) available before deciding on one brand or the other.
For me, even though I have legacy Nikon lenses from film days, I find myself leaning to Canon because of a few key lenses: the 70-200/4 and the 400/5.6. I use this by way of example. It could be that someone else, looking at Nikon, would find lenses that would tip them in that direction. The lenses will still be around when all these cameras are yesterday’s news.
First time dSLR buyer with a specific goal – sports video – specifically soccer mostly goalkeeper. Considering 60D and D7000. Auto-focus and editing ease are key considerations. Your recommendation would be gratefully appreciated.
D7000 is the only one of the 2 with AF. But frankly it’s not very good AF though. I’d still go with the 60d. If you absolutely need good AF then right now a DSLR is not the best option, regular HD video camera would be better for AF.
Thank you Dan, your recommendation is much appreciated. What about a Sony SLT A-55?
I’m interesting in using an old lens for night photography and taking portrait. I would like to know your recommendation regarding the suitable camera for me, which one do you recommend whether it is Canon 7D or Nikon D700.
I’m just wondering, why I couldn’t find any comments about Nikon D3100, any idea?
Thanks and Regards,
Hard to say exactly without knowing what the lens is ? But probably the Nikon. They tend to shoot better in the dark with better high iso quality.
currently i have carl zeiss pancolar 50mm, planar 80mm and leica hektor 135 mm (makro).
and i have 450d and sony nex 5. 450d too much noise. so i decide to have change the camera.
Sorry I should have been clearer, the f-stop of the lenses is most important and I am not familiar with those one. Though it still sound like the Nikon will be your best bet as Nikon has the upper hand in controling noise.
Like many who have come to your site I’m trying to decide what DSLR to purchase. I have a little training/knowledge of photography but not much and it was over 8 years ago so I’m essentially starting from scratch.
My focus will be shooting snowboarding still and video and some skatepark stuff along with your typical landscape shots, but I’m on a definite budget and would rather get good lenses than a super expensive body (as I said, I’m starting from scratch so brand doesn’t matter as much as quality and affordability).
Would you recommend the D7000, 60D, or 7D, and why?
FPS and weather sealing are a definite concern but is it a $400 concern?
Hard thing to quantify Scott, if you are just starting out then you are on the right track with the lenses. ALWAYS put more money in lenses because the good ones will last 10 years if not longer, and the technology rarely changes much. A camera will always be out of date the next year. I’d look at the 60d or d7000. Another consideration is that Canons good lenses tend to be a bit cheaper than Nikons good lenses. If it’s between the 60d and d7000 and you want to shoot video i’d say the 60d wins.
I’m currently on the fence about buying either the D7000 or the 7D. While I think they pretty much comparable I guess on the long run you will end up spending more money if you get the Nikon, simply because Nikkor lenses are more expensive than Canon lenses. So after you buy let’s say 2 lenses that 400$ price advantage on the body might already be out the window. Am I right?
On the 60D: Aren’t there Micro 4:3s out that get you comparable performance in a smaller body?
High Nikkor prices are mostly just for the pro lenses I think but yes if you are buying nice lenses that advantage could be gone in 2 lenses.
RE m4/3 and 60D. I have yet to see anything in the m43 format come close to what a 60d (or d7000) can do. The sensor is just so small. Now whether or not you would notice the difference comes down to your application and final output.
Thanks for the advice Dan. What do you think are the two lenses that are a must have for the budding action photographer?
Without a doubt a 70-200 of some sort is your number one priority. It the staple lens for action photogs. After that its hard becuase if you are needing to cover it all with 2 lenses then a 24-70 is ok. But ideally you want something wider like a 17-40 or 16-35.
My personal 3 lens choice is a 17-40 , 50mm prime, 70-200. That was my first 3 lenses and it did the job for a long time. Then I added a fisheye eventually.
Judging from the prices now, the D7000 is over $400 more expensive than the EOS 60D. Is it still worth it? I’m already leaning towards the 60D because of its higher video quality, but I’m still thinking of getting the Nikon instead due to its handling of noise. Should I just use the 400USD on good lens?
I’m a dinosaur who is still using a film camera – Contax RTS II. My lenses include Zeiss(German) Makro-Planar 60 mm 2.8; Vivitar 2.8-3.5 70-210mm macro telephoto and Sigma 2.8-4 35-70 mm telephoto. Still on the fence about switching to digital, given learning curve altho I’d probably shoot more often with digital camera than film. Since I do a lot of hand-held macro work using both flash and natural light my equipment becomes pretty heavy these days. Long story short can’t decided what to buy and what lenses to use that would give me comparable results. Probably will have to spend several thousand dollars to obtain comparable equipment particularly when it comes to the macro lens…any ideas
Take a look at the incredible new 100mm Canon Macro, if you click on reviews up the top of the page here you will see it listed in my review section. Simply one of the sharpest lenses Canon has ever made and it includes a new type of image stabilization that so far has only been implemented in that lens. Its also a very good price. With that and something like a 60D you would be amazed at the quality you could produce.
Hi Dan, I am an amateur photographer. I have worked in a studio where they were using the 40d witht he kits lens and the quality of photos was still far above average then my rebel xs I bought 2 years ago. Now I’m looking to become serious for Photos and Video for outdoors and indoor use. I really want the 60D for the price and for the video features but I also want the 7d for It’s obvious better performance for stills. I want to make money in photography and video. What would you reccomend for me to start off with (lens included in question) to make decent money and progress on to being professional?
Get the 60d. Invest money in lenses, they last longer. The 60d and 7d will be outdated in 12 months anyway but lenses last a long time. I cant recommend a lens for you though without know way more information.
Hi! I have a Canon 350D Camera with the following lenses –
Canon Lens EF 50mm 1:1.8 II,
Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-50mm 1:3.5 – 5.6 II,
Tamron AF Aspherical XR Di LD (IF) 28-300mm 1:305-6.3 Macro 62
I need to upgrade my camera and am confused between Canon 60D, Canon 7D, and Nikon D7000.
Can you please advise.
Thanks for replying Dan. I want a lenses for professional portraiture. Also a good multipurpise carry around lens when promoting self to others. Also would you say schooling is needed to be successful?
Thanks for replying Dan. I want a lenses for professional portraiture. Also a good multipurposee lens carry around lens when promoting myself to others. Also would you say schooling is needed to be successful?
I have to agree with Dan. I personally have the 7D however I purchased it before the 60D was available however in all honesty, unless you are shooting sports or wildlife.. The stills quality is pretty much identical. The sensor is slightly better in the 7D in terms of speed of processing “required for the 8fps” however for stills it makes almost no difference. We are talking about fractions of a percent here. For studio there is no practical difference as you will be in a controlled environment. Build quality should make not make the difference “the 60D is still a very solid camera”. What I love about the 7D are it’s ergonomics speed “which is useful as I do a lot of wildlife.” These benefits mean next to nothing in studio and the 60D is king of video just below the 5D mark II.
Also do not get caught up in the whole ISO game unless you shot weddings and low light events and even so with fast glass your 60D will amaze you however I suggest the highest you should push it is ISO 1600-2000 to retain a lot of detail. ISO 3200 is the highest I suggest you go and with that I strongly suggest you shoot RAW.
As for glass
70-200 2.8 if you can afford however if you don’t need fast glass the 70-200 F4 IS is simply amazing
17-40 is amazing, if you need fast glass the 16-35 F2.8 is amazing or the Tamron 16-50 F2.8 is AMAZING for the price.
Thanks I prob will go with the Tamron then for now. I would like to hear thoughts on the Sony A55 SLT
Hey, I too am on the fence and hesitating between 60D and D7000… I mostly shoot indoor pictures of my 2 year old who happens to be very fast o his legs. Any ideas what might work best?
Either camera. You need to be more worried about getting a fast aperture prime lens
right you are!
I do have other concerns… WB issues in poor light with Canons…is this something to worry about? and secondly, JPEG output of Nikon. I know you cant have it all but I’m about to drop lots of money in the system, I want to make sure it fits my lifestyle. I know JPEG is not ideal, but realistically they are more usable most of the time. Thanks Dan
the 60D is a much better action photography camera than the D7000. If you shoot Large/Fine JPEG, the d7000 fills up its buffer after about 15 to 18 frames. Then it drops to 1 frame per second. the Canon 60D on the other hand will keep on firing at full frame rate for a significantly longer period of time. don’t be misled by the marketing hype. In order to get the 100 frames per second on the D7000, you have to reduce image quality.
I KNOW NOTHING about photography other than point and shoot in auto mode, but want to learn SLR primarily to capture better images of wildlife – raptors specifically. I have zero plans to ever sell a pic, but want more detail – primarily for species identification on distant birds and feather detail when they’re in hand. The shooting environment: rugged, high elevation hiking (weight!), Utah desert (dust), relatively long distances, in flight image capture (speed?), and enough low light situations to make it at least a consideration.
The plan was to buy a T2i and a couple of decent lenses, figuring it would be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to learn. My professional birder friends have been pushing the 7D due to it’s speed and image quality. They add that it will be the last camera I’ll ever need to buy. (I thought the same of the last 200.00 P&S I bought!) I have considered the 5.3 FPS 60D as a good compromise – but am getting caught up in “spec sheet paralysis”. As of today I’m back to the notion of learning on a “trashable” Rebel with some lenses I can keep for future body upgrades.
Thanks for any thoughts you might have.
Ps. Your ski 101 section was great – although a heavy SLR will probably never make it into my pack for BC trips here in the Wasatch, the tips will make a difference.
Hi Dan, I’m at fence with purchasing either the Nikon D700 or the Canon 5dMark 2, please offer some assistance. I’m looking to make my step into the portrait world of photographers. Any information you offer will be helpful.
Tasha what do you shoot with at the moment ?
Do you already have lots of Nikon lenses ?
no, just the two basic starter kits.
Thanks for the informative and in depth analysis on the current HDSLR battle between the 60D and D7000. As a D7000 owner I could not have been happier with the upgraded features that the Nikon implemented in its new mid-range model. I am however, not sold on its abilities in the video department. If Nikon really wanted to step up its game if should have added audio monitoring capabilities for people who do shoot video professionally. While the video quality is fantastic, the lack of frame-rate options and audio monitoring really sealed the deal for me not using the D7000 for video.
While the 60D is far from perfect and has issues in the audio department as well, the ability to overcrank the frame rate to achieve a clean slow motion effect is really fantastic. The swivel screen monitor is icing on the cake because shooting high angles on the D7000 is an exercise in futility. You pretty much need to buy a monitor or use a ladder which is a major drawback for videographers and photo journalists.
Your assessment is correct, the D7000 is a great camera but it seems like Canon has maintained it’s quantitative edge for the time being. I guess I’ll be holding my breath for the D800’s spec sheet which will hopefully come out later this year.
Hi Dan, I’m deciding on wich my first DSLR camera should be: the Cannon 7D or the Nikon D7000. Both have great photo shooting quality for me, specially because I’m not a professional user. I wonder which one has better video options. I intend to record videos and the 7D seems to record at slow motion and time lapse, features that aren’t offered on Nikon D7000 am I right? Both of them have a small difference of price, so which one do you think I should buy?
Thanks for the review. It was very helpful for my next purchase. I was wondering if you were able to provide me some information on Canon lenses. I purchased a 60D, but am mostly focused on taking pictures of my kids and family as well as my dogs. If you could recommend some lenses that’d be great.
Thanks in advance
Dan – I have been eyeing the 7d for shooting action sports. I love the idea of the 70-200 2.8, but I also will need a lens that will work well with that camera to shoot indoor sports in small to medium gyms/facilities where the lighting can be somewhat spotty. Do you have a lens in mind that would handle the lower light and smaller venue while freezing the action?
Along the same line, in these types of conditions, what is the max ISO you would choose to still get sharp pictures? Thanks!!
I started with a Canon Rebel XTI. At the time I bought it I loved it. Now the limitations of it are really bugging me. I wish I had saved and bought a better camera at the time. The lack of sharpness and poor quality in low light really bugs me.
I’ve saved some money and now I am torn between the Canon 7D and the Nikon D7000. I have been shooting family outdoor portraits. I want to expand into wedding photography. I have no other glass to consider in my buying decision. I want this next purchase to last me for years and not consider buying a new camera for awhile. Eventually I want to buy a flash (my Canon 420 died) and new quality glass. I like the claims for the 7D being a “pro” level camera. For my pride sake, I would dish out the extra $200 for the pro level, however when looking at the specs I don’t really see a big difference between it and the Nikon D7000. The D7000 is lighter and fits my hands better than the 7D. Please, is there a big difference between the two? I mean really… is it a half a dozen one to another? Yes the Canons controls are geared more to the pro lot and the body is more durable, but is there really any other differences that I am missing? 8 frms vs 6 frms is not a big difference to me considering what I am shooting. Help!
Dan – if ill buy D7000 what lens i need for short distance, long distance and wide view?
50mm f1.4 , 70-200 f2.8 VR II , 14-24mm f2.8
thanks dan how about for Micro shoting? and also the 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR
what can u say with this lens for d7000
55-300mm for Zoom
12-55 f/2.8 for wide & Portrait
85mm f/3.5 for Macro
Hi Dan… excellent review and information.
I am a Nikon D300 shooter who neglected to update to the D300S because it just wasn’t enough of an upgrade. Now, we are into the first qtr of 2011 and I’m shooting with a completely outdated D300. So… the only two to consider are the Nikon D7000 or the Canon 7D. I own a few Nikon lenses which I will keep should they ever come out with a Nikon D400, which at this point seems never. The Canon 7D though is starting to show its age and is due an update too. Is now a time just to wait it out for the 7D and D300S updates?
Dan, sir I appreciate the fact that you admit to being a Canon shooter! You comments about the nikon D7000 seems geared toward a canon 60 D comparison. I think it’s closer to the Canon 7D. What about a One on one shoot out.
Recently upgraded from the Pentax KX to Canon 7d. After alot of time reading reviews I purchased a Canon 7d with 18-135mm. It was a hard choice between Nikon d7000, Nikon d300s or Canon 7D. I looked into the prices and reviews of lenses aswell for each brand. Found good reviews on dpreview.com. The 7d always gets top reviews and so does the Nikon 7000. I am very happy with the canon 7D and feel I made the right choice for me. But now have to save up for some L series lenses, otherwise my pics wont be much better than my Pentax KX.
Canon camera’s are great camera’s, but I think Nikon camera’s are better in terms of picture quality… I have tried out both camera’s extensively and I do love the quality of the images from Nikon because their colors are more life-like and better than the Canon’s… In any event, the one thing I like about Nikon, is that they throw in a LENS HOOD and LENS CASE with most lens purchases… Canon only includes the lens with NO LENS HOOD or LENS CASE… Way to go Nikon…!!!
i bought canon 60d and very much like it. the image quality is super and fast focus. plus there is a 3party software called magic lantern which adds lots of new features on videos. the only complain to me is 60D doest support auto focus fine tunning function.
With my 50mm F1.4 prime lens I can’t get a right focused images by using auto focus mode from view finder. i really hope Canon would add this feafure in thd future firmware upgrade. other than this, i am very happy with 60D with my new lens, kids lens and 70-200mm F4 L lens.
sorry, i hag a typo in my post.
i mean with my kit lens 18-200mm and L lens 70-200mm F4 lens. the auto focus is rather accurate.