For those looking for the perfect DSLR for adventure and travel, this is as close as we've ever come. The full specifications are out on the Nikon Website, but what does this mean to me?
Size and weight are important, and although the new D7000 is close in size to the D90, it's quite a bit heavier. The body weighs in at 690g, which is 70g (or about the weight of a spare battery) heavier than the D90. This is due to the magnesium alloy body, which is supposed to be weather and dust proof. Personally, I don't really care if the body is plastic (like the old D90) or magnesium, and I'd rather have a lighter body, but the moisture and dust proofing should come in handy.
The new Autofocus system should also be good news. It's much more than the 11AF points on the old D90. It has 39 AF points laid out in a similar array to the D3/D700, and I'm hoping that the fewer number of AF points, as compared to the 51 points on my D300 will mean faster, more reliable AF.
Like a lot of other photographers, I've become interested lately in HD video, and the D7000 delivers the goods... at least on paper ;o) Full HD (1,920 x 1,080/24p) and a dedicated switch for video recording. Stereo audio recording too, if you have an external mic.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the new 'Nikon designed and engineered' sensor, and at 16.2MP, it is currently Nikon's 2nd highest in terms of Megapixels (after the D3x). Chase Jarvis and his crew, who have spent a couple of months testing out the D7000, report that noise levels are about a stop better than the D90, and comparable with the D3: "The caveat being that the larger pixels on the D3 sensor will render a slightly smoother looking image at the same ISO because the grain pattern is not as tight."
If I sound excited, it's because I am. I'll probably place my order for one tomorrow ;o)