1. the new nikon d7000 firmware 1.01 fixed the hot spot issues in movie mode, just download it from Nikon. 2. if you shoot one of the 4 manual modes, under setting change it to vivid and bump the sharpness to a 7-9 range. Otherwise you will have to sharpen it on the viewNx 2 software. 2a. I have no focusing problem that one of the guy mentioned.
Final verdict this is one of the best dx camera out there with a lot of manual adjusting.
The default setting on the D7000 is a little soft because it is set at lowest number. However, you can increase the sharpness setting, so softness shouldn't be the issue. I had the D7000 for about a month and took quite a few pictures. They came out much better than my D80. The kit lens took soft and distorted pictures at short and long end. I felt bad that I had to part the camera because of the kit lens. I had no choice but to return it and ordered another D7000 body and the 28-300mm.
The test in the link on photo.net is exactly what you should not do. Since the article was published in 2003, a lot of progress has been made in understandign lens testing.
The camera must be on a solid tripod. Testing can be done with mirror lock up or live view. A cable release is a third choice as long as shutter speeds are fast enough.
The test target needs to be a wider line - not a thin line - in order to make sure the camera is picking up the AF target accurately. Cross targets are even better - like a thick plus sign. Your intent is to have a target that is easy for the camera's AF system to achieve focus. This is a test and you want a clear result. If your target is smaller than your camera's focus sensor, the chances of error are high.
You can also test multiple sensors on your camera, but the center sensor is best for lens testing.
The target needs to be perfectly perpendicular to the target so the corners are not showing misfocus. Mirrors are the best way to create perfectly aligned camera.
You need to be relatively close to your target but not too close. The formula is based on the focal length of the lens. The recommended distance from the target is 12.3 feet per 100mm, but you can use as short a distance as 8.2 feet per 100mm.
You should not shoot wide open - stop down 1 stop. Most lenses are not at their sharpest wide open and you need to stop down to where they perform best.
You should only use a 45 degree target as a scale to indicate the amount of focus error. It does not need to be exactly 45 degrees - just slanted so when you focus perpendicularly you can see the error. 60 degrees is probably better since you are not normally going to get a large error.
Some part of the scale should ideally be perfectly in focus. If you have nothing in focus the "photographer failed" but it still should show a focus distance that is the sharpest.
Zoom lenses require testing at multiple focal lengths. Normally the highest weight should be given to about 70% of the way between the minimum and maximum focus length. The issue is you can only program one focus adjustment for a lens, not a focal length.
If you have multiple lenses, most of them should be pretty accurate. Don't over analyze and look for errors that may not be there. Most lenses are okay.
Don't just test once. Test 3-5 times starting over with the camera removed from the tripod each time. Think of this as focus practice. But your result should be exactly the same each time. Don't confuse testing error with inaccurate results.
Here is a link on Lens Align. http://www.mtdhelp.com/kb/lensalign-how-to/documentation-tools-and-resources
I have a D90 and "had" the d7000 body for a week, but sent it back. I had a really hard time getting pix as sharp as my d90. Outside in full light it was about the same if I handled it with kid gloves, but in low light not so good. I tried my 50 1.8, my 35 1.8, 18-55 vr, and 18-200 vr. The problems were there with all the lenses. I think part of the problem is in the shutter, and there are definitely back focus issues as well. Perhaps I got a bad unit as Nikon rushed to get these out by Christmas. Will wait til the smoke clears and I may try again. It's hard to beat my D90