Last weekend I had a chance to test out the high ISO capabilities of the new Nikon D7000. The event was a play produced by the Missoula Children’s Theater and held at a local high school auditorium. Missoula Children’s Theater and an elementary school put together an amazing rendition of the fairy tale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The incredible thing is they did all the casting, wardrobe and practice in only five days! Missoula Children’s Theater travels the world putting together these acting opportunities for children and do an astounding job each and every time. Every year, they run acting programs for over 65,000 children. 65,000 kids per year!
Anyways, I photographed the play with the Nikon D7000, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 and Nikon TC-14E teleconverter. All the photos shown here were shot at ISO 3200 with no in-camera ISO noise reduction. The lighting for the auditorium was tungsten and included a typical array of stage lights hung from the rafters above. My shutter speed varied from about 1/100 sec to 1/200 sec, so I turned on the VR (vibration reduction) for the lens since I was hand holding the camera.
The results? Awesome. I’m very impressed with the high ISO capability of the Nikon D7000. Yes, there was noise in the photographs, but all the pictures were usable and cleaned up very quickly with post processing. One of my favorite ways to clean up small amounts of noise is Lightroom 3. I really like the noise reduction utilities in the program and photographs look just great after a quick slider control develop module. Another method I like for cleaning up files is processing the D7000 files in Capture NX2 and performing noise reduction as a New Step.
It is amazing to me that Nikon can produce a 16 MP camera in a DX sensor that creates great looking pics at ISO 3200. Good job Nikon and I can’t wait to see what is in store for your future cameras!