Beyoncé told my husband to upgrade

My husband spoiled me this Christmas (per Beyoncé’s advice) and got me an upgraded camera body, the Nikon D7000. Most of the time people say “glass before body” when it comes to photography investments, so let me explain.

My old camera is the Nikon D40 and was introduced in 2006. While that doesn’t seem like that long ago, DSLR technology has naturally gotten a whole lot better in the last 5-6 years. They even stopped selling the D40 in 2009 (actually it was right around the time that I purchased it so it was already on its way out). So what’s better or different about the D7000 that made me want it more than a new lens? Oh just a few things.

My D40 has 6 megapixels (your cell phone probably has more!). The D7000 has 16.2 megapixels. While megapixels don’t mean everything, it is nice to have for closer crops. This also means my files are a lot bigger so I picked up a 32GB SD card off Amazon this week. I almost got 2 since the D7000 has dual-SD card slots (how nice!).

My D40 does not have an auto-focus motor built in. The D7000 does. That means I have a lot more flexibility with lenses and don’t have to rely on only getting lenses with built in auto-focus. I had this problem when I wanted to rent a wide angle zoom for our trip to NYC and wanted to try out the Tokina 11-16mm ultra wide angle zoom, but it didn’t have a built in auto-focus motor. I rented the Nikon 10-24mm instead and it turned out fine, but a lot of reviewers think the Tokina is sharper.

Noise! This was a big one for me. The D40 is not so great at high ISO (when you crank up your ISO it is basically making the sensor more sensitive to light, but adds a lot of grainy-ness, or noise). The D40 at ISO 800 was about as much as I could handle. Noise reduction software wasn’t cutting it, and I refused to set it to ISO 1600. I haven’t played around with it too much yet, but the D7000 looks great at ISO 800 and pretty good even at ISO 2,000.

One of the last major considerations was the increase in focal points. My D40 has THREE measly focal points. The D7000 has 39. Maybe that’s overkill, but the focusing system is much more refined and will definitely be great once I figure out how to use it! 🙂

So, definitely many test shots are coming soon. First off I am going to do a focus test and post the results here on the blog. I *think* the D7000 may be back-focusing (it tends to), but I’ll have to run the official test and see how it goes. Coming soon!

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