Nikon D7000

Five Different Ways Of Connecting External Flash To Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 comes with a built-in flash which does pretty good job most of the time; specially when your subject is close, and you just need to fill the light. The power of the built-in flash is not enough to use it as a main source of light and this is when external flash comes handy. Nikon's every new DSLRs support external flash units but in addition, Nikon D7000 gives some extra options to connect external flash unit. Basically you have five different ways to connect an external flash unit to your Nikon D7000.

Nikon SC-29 TTL coiled remote cord

Nikon SC-29 TTL coiled remote cord

1. Mount on the accessory shoe: You can connect your flash unit to D7000 by sliding a compatible flash units into the accessory shoe, also called hot shoe. When you slide your flash unit to hot shoe, D7000 automatically detects Nikon speedlights and you can control it's function using camera menu options.

Nikon AS-10 TTL Multi-Flash adapter

Nikon AS-10 TTL Multi-Flash adapter

2. Connect to the accessory shoe with a cable: Instead of mounting your flash directly into accessory shoe, you can also use Nikon standard cables; Nikon SC-28 or SC-29 TTL coiled remote cords to connect flash units with Nikon DSLRs. These coiled remote cords have an accessory shoe on one end of nine-foot cable to accept flash, and a foot that slides into the camera accessory shoe on the other end, providing a link that is the same as mounting flash directly sliding into hot shoe. But using these cables gives you flexibility of placing flash units into different orientations than being fixed on top of the camera. It is useful when you want to experiment with direction of lights using wired connection between flash units and camera.

Nikon SC-26:27 TTL Multi-Flash Sync cord

Nikon SC-26:27 TTL Multi-Flash Sync cord

3. Connect using Multi-Flash cables: You can also use Nikon SC-27 or SC-26 TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cords to connect TTL flash units to each other or through the AS-10 TTL Multi-Flash adapter or SC-28 TTL remote cord for multi-flash operation. You may want to use this with older NIkon Flash units as it doesn't support i-TTL or D-TTL operation.

Nikon AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter

Nikon AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter

4. Connect to a PC/X connector: Nikon D7000 doesn't have built-in PC sync connector, but Nikon offers an optional adapter, Nikon AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter, that clips into hot shoe and provides a PC/X connector which can be used with studio strobes. These adapters are useful when they are combined with a voltage limiter so that you don't need to worry about frying your camera with an older flash units that has a triggering voltage that's too high.

Note: According to B&H online store, AS-15 Sync Terminal Adapter doesn't provide high-voltage sync protection, and is not recommended for flash units that have more than 6v.

5. Connect using Wireless technology: Nikon D7000 has a commander mode option which lets you trigger most of the Nikon speedlight units wirelessly. Using commander mode, these speedlights can be triggered by another master flash in commander mode or by the RU-800 infrared device. You can also use third party wireless device such as RadioPopper JrX or PocketWizards wireless flash triggers which are pretty much dominant in the market.

Using Autofocus With The Nikon D7000

Autofocus can sometimes be frustrating for the new digital SLR photographer, especially those coming from the point-and-shoot world. That’s because correct focus plays a greater role among your creative options with a DSLR, even when photographing the same subjects. Most non-DSLR digital cameras have sensors that are much tinier than the sensor in the D7000. Those smaller sensors require shorter focal lengths, which have, effectively, more depth-of-field. The bottom line is that with the average point-and-shoot camera, everything is in focus from about one foot to infinity and at virtually every f/stop. Unless you are shooting close-up photos a few inches from the camera, the depth-of-field, is prodigious, and autofocus is almost a non-factor. The D7000, on the other hand, uses longer focal length lenses to achieve the same field of view with its larger sensor, so there is less depth-of-field. That’s a good thing, creatively, because you have the choice to use selective focus to isolate subjects. But it does make the correct use of autofocus more critical. To maintain the most creative control, you have to choose three attributes:

1. How much is in focus: Generally, by choosing the f/stop used, you’ll determine the range of sharpness/amount of depth-of-filed. The larger the DOF, the "easier" it is for the autofocus systems’ locked-in focus point to be appropriate (even though, strictly speaking, there is only one actual plane of sharp focus). With less depth-of-field, the accuracy of the focus point becomes more critical, because even a small error will result in an out-of-focus shot.

2. What subject is in focus: The portion of your subject that is zeroed in for autofocus is determined by the autofocus zone that is active, and which is chosen either by you or by the Nikon D7000. For example, when shooting portraits, it’s actually okay for part of the subject- or even part of the subject’s face to be slightly out of focus as long as the eyes (or even just the nearest eye) appear sharp.

3. When focus is applied: For static shots of objects that aren’t moving, when focus is applied doesn’t matter much. But when you are shooting sports or birds in flight, or children, the subject may move within the viewfinder as you are framing the image. Whether that movement is across the frame or headed right towards you, timing the instant when autofocus is applied can be important.

Reference: David Busch's Nikon D7000 Guide to Digital SLR Photography

Choosing A Release Mode On Nikon D7000

Release mode allows you to choose how you want to release the shutter of your camera. D7000 lets you choose from Single frame, Continuous mode, Self-timer mode, Remote control mode, Quiet mode and the vibration-damping Mirror Up mode. D7000 also comes with the release mode dial lock which prevents from changing modes accidentally. When you want to change the release mode, all you have to do is press the release mode dial lock release button on the left side of release mode dial (at the top-left edge of the camera) and rotate the release mode where you want to set to. Let’s get into the release modes that are available in Nikon D7000 and talk about them briefly.

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MB-D11 Multi Power Battery Pack For Nikon D7000

If you are shooting all day long event, wedding for example, with your Nikon D7000, MB-D11 may come very handy. MB-D11 multi-power battery pack simulates almost all the buttons of your Nikon D7000, gives you an extended battery life and provides an easy, comfort and stable holding of your camera in different orientations. Specially if you shoot portrait photographs most of the time, MB-D11 Battery Grip can make your life more easier. It will give you a nice grip and provides stability for a long day shooting. MB-D11 comes with two battery trays giving you an option of using either one Nikon EN-EL15 battery or AA batteries. You can also have a battery backup in the camera body as well.

MB-D11 Front view

MB-D11 Front view

The MB-D11 has a vertical shutter release button, shutter release button lock (you can lock the shutter release button to prevent an accidental press), main command dial (rear dial) and sub-command dial (front dial) that you find in a D7000 and it functions similar to the camera button as well. It also includes a multi-selector and an AE-L/AF-L button for an Autofocus exposure lock. The battery pack has the same magnesium alloy body and the weather/dust resistance as the Nikon D7000. The grip area and the bottom area is covered in a rubber and the bottom has a screw hole to use a tripod. Nikon D7000 itself has a nice grip around the camera body but MB-D11 adds an extra grip for your camera. It is made out of very high quality materials from Nikon products and it feels solid and sturdy with your camera.

MB-D11 Battery pack attached to Nikon D7000

MB-D11 Battery pack attached to Nikon D7000

I have seen some photographers who do not want to use it with their camera just because they look and feel ugly.  But personally, I think it adds a lot of benefits giving an extra battery life and an emergency backup for a long day shooting until your next recharge and it is well worth to spend $239.89 (price on Amazon as of writing this article).

The Nikon MB-D11 grip is a high quality accessory that improves the handling and the comfort of the D7000 to such a great degree that you don't want to take it off of your camera once you start using it. It makes the camera fit into larger hands even better and it's build quality matches the camera with a nice rubber grip which is very soft and feels good to hold.