For quite some time I have been contemplating a new DSLR. I love my D40 - a LOT! It has been a great camera. Lightweight, fairly versatile for an entry-level DSLR, and overall, it has taken phenomenal photographs. It wasn't really designed for astrophotography, I just decided to try it on for size. I can't afford a dedicated CCD imager so I have to settle for dual-use technologies instead. The D40 has done just fine. Yes, it's noisy but there have been ways to work around that.
Anyway, I had been examining either the D90 or D300s. Not for astrophotography but for more serious uses that I won't go into here. Then, Nikon announces a new camera - the D7000. The camera's price is right in between the two models I was considering, and has amazing capabilities. 16.9 megapixels, auto-bracketing, live view, artificial horizon, two SD card slots, more advanced focusing mechanism, HD video etc. All the details can be found here. All good stuff and I couldn't resist it.
From an astrophotography perspective, I am not sure if it will be an improvement over the D40. I say this because, perhaps, I just want to keep my expectation levels low. However, it boasts 16.9 megapixels (excellent for cropping on wide field shots), claims a much better noise handling system at higher ISOs, and the Live View will certainly assist with focusing. It also has a built-in self-timer which could also come in handy. Again, I don't want to get too excited about this camera from an astro viewpoint, but will definitely be trying it out when it gets here from the store.
On the noise handling improvements, check out this website with some examples. Again, I don't want to get too excited but the apparent lack of noise at high ISOs in these examples is rather staggering.
Update: See what I have been able to achieve with the D7000 here.