Nikon Z7 hands on review and field test

Everything you want or need to know about the upcoming Nikon mirrorless cameras.
Alles wat je wil of moet weten over Nikon Mirrorless

Moderator: Stany Buyle

Nikon Z7 hands on review and field test

Postby Stany Buyle » Sun 9 Sep 2018 17:12

Last Friday I had the pleasure to handle the Nikon Z7 for a couple of hours, and it was a surprising positive experience.

During the approx 5 hours I had a Nikon Z7 with FTZ adapter and Z 24-70 f4 S lens to my disposal I drove to Warandeputten in Oostkamp(B) while hoping for the kingfisher' family presence. Unfortunately they were not at home... :(
There was a rather strong wind with very few dragonflies available for a session. Some birds but no herons or storks neither. :| :|
On top of that 1 lost an extra hour in traffic jam on the E40 highway. :oops: :cry:
All together I could really test the Nikon Z7 only for 1½ hour, which is largely insufficient for a full review, but enough for a hands on review in the field.

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  • Handling the Z7 feels very… Nikon, even though it's smaller and lighter than a comparable Nikon DSLR. Smaller and lighter doesn't mean less solid though. I see the Z7 body as a ML equivalent of a D750, but with a D850 sensor, which is great. I know many people who would love a D750 alike body with a 46Mp sensor inside…
    The Z6/Z7 have a very good-sized and comfortable handgrip. An upcoming supplementary battery grip might make feel the Z series even more pro.
    Less dedicated buttons than the DSLR pro cameras is only a problem in the first hour, a bit like going from D800/D810/D850 to D750...
    The joystick for moving the focus point is a very welcome heritage from D5/D850/D500 and tell it apart from a D750 body, and so is the AF-ON button.
    For my personal use, two important buttons are missing :| :| : The AF/MF switch with the AF-mode dial and the exposure mode button.
    You can assign this to the Fn buttons but I like to use the Fn buttons for other options…
    Probably something for the next generation.

  • The 1 memory card slot "problem" has been a hot topic on numerous fora. My take: Only a double XQD card slot would interest me because a combined XQD/SD card solution slows down my camera. In both my D850 & D500 I only use XQD most of the time but I understand that for wedding photographers and capturing of "once in a lifetime happenings" a second card slot is very important. Just imagine having to say to the a 2meter tall and 130 kg :evil: groom, "I'm sorry, I had a card failure..." :? :roll: :cry: :oops:
    Jokes aside, while a memory card theoretically can fail, the chances of a camera body failure are MUCH higher which turns it into an obligation for any serious wedding photographer to use at least two bodies…

  • The Nikon Z7 menu is nearly indistinguishable from nikon DSLR' menu system.

  • The EVF: The view you get through the Nikon Z7 EVF looks more "real" than what I've experienced with other mirrorless cameras, while providing very much detail and an impressive refresh rate.
    While shooting in AF-S mode you'll see a red/green square for the AF point which you can move over an extremely wide AF field coverage with (according to the brochure) 493 AF points. In AF-C mode you'll only see the red square.

  • Battery: I’ve been using my D850’ EN-EL15a battery for the approx. 420 pictures I made, with quite a bit of LCD viewing for both pictures and menu options, and at the end it still had some juice…
    Apparently the new EN-EL15b can be charged over USB.

  • Touchscreen LCD: Roughly the same opportunities as D850 but with a new, important i-button interaction to some important controls where there ain't a button for. A bummer for someone who expected a D500 or D850 style button layout.

  • IBIS: Very interesting in relation to old lenses but I had no time to test this…
    What I did experience though is that the already outstanding VR of both my 70-200 AF-S VR PF and even more the 200-500 AF-S VR become even better with IBIS.

  • ...

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related topic :arrow: Nikon Z tutorials by Nikon
related topic :arrow: Nikon Z event on YouTube
related topic :arrow: The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…
related topic :arrow: Pre-order your Z6, Z7 with 24-70 F4 + FTZ adapter at A&C

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Nikon Z7 hands on review- nikkor Z 24-70 F4S

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:07

The nikon Z 24-70 F4S lens is what I would like to have on my D850. I love it because it can go soo close to the subject. Canon has a similar 24-70 F4 with macro mode for up to 0.7x magnification in their lens range for years.
AF is fast, silent and smooth, and it can provide sharp images.

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And as I mentioned Z 24-70 F4S can go close...

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Close, silent and sharp...
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a 100% crop of the above image:
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Nikon Z7 hands on review- the FTZ-adapter

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:09

The FTZ-adapter....

Six weeks ago I wrote a topic that "The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…". TMHO the primary aspect that would turn Nikon mirrorless into a huge success or a failure.
Well, after testing a Z7 for a couple of hours with the 200-500 AF-S VR, the nikon 105 AF-S, a 20 mm F1.8, my 70-200 AF-S FL, some prehistoric nkkors like the 55 mm F2.8 micro and even with a BR-2a macro reverse ring with an old 28mm on it (*) , I can only confirm that the FTZ adapter and related tech is something to be proud about. It simply works flawless with all the lenses I used… :o Kudos to Nikon.

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(*) = Nikon Z7 with FTZ and a BR-2a macro reverse ring + reversed nikkor 28mm F2.8 E. (picture with my phone)


The FTZ-adapter + 200-500 AF-S VR
Among all lenses I tested on the Z7 with FTZ adapter, the 200-500 AF-S Vr impressed me the most.
It focuses and locks focus relative fast but it blew me away with images in the very close focus range, with an even significantly better VR performance than the extraordinary VR this lens natively already has.
Underneath 2 images taken HANDHELD, Manual mode, 1/1250 sec, F5.6 @ 500mm. Auto iso (iso 560 & iso 400)
The images haven't been sharpened in PP. Only converted from NEF in view NX-i with my preferred picture style for this kind of images.

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and a crop of the above image, resized to 1000px longest side: (click on the image to get the 100% crop)
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and a crop of the above image, resized to 1000px longest side: (click on the image to get the 100% crop)
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TMHO, the Nikon Z7 is amazing with FTZ & 200-500 at close distance...

The Z7+FTZ+200-500 AF-S VR f5.6 while used for long distance shots of static subjects performs about the same as it does on my 850

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and a crop of the above image, resized to 1000px longest side: (click on the image to get the 100% crop)
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related topic :arrow: Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR review
related topic :arrow: Nikon Z event on YouTube
related topic :arrow: The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…
related topic :arrow: Pre-order your Z6, Z7 with 24-70 F4 + FTZ adapter at A&C
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Nikon Z7 hands on review- the FTZ-adapter + AF-S lenses

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:10

The FTZ-adapter + 105 AF-S VR

Nikon Z7 with FTZ-adapter + 105 AF-S VR shows a normal behaviour in both AF speed and accuracy when the center AF points are used.

:idea: Underneath pictures have been taken HANDHELD while using autofocus.

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and a 100% crop: (I have done numerous similar pictures MUCH sharper than this, but this has nothing to do with the camera.)
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Nikon Z7 hands on review- the FTZ + 105 AF-S VR + 2xTC

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:11

The Nikon Z7 combined with the + 105 AF-S VR + 2xTC seems to work very well.
Underneath you see an image taken HANDHELD and autofocus. Again, I have the strong impression that VR works better than with classic DSLRs. Also autofocus at F8 performed normal.(with center AF point)

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The exif of the original: Image

and a 100% crop:

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related topic :arrow: Nikon Z event on YouTube
related topic :arrow: The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…
related topic :arrow: Pre-order your Z6, Z7 with 24-70 F4 + FTZ adapter at A&C

:idea: :arrow: You can support this website...
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Nikon Z7 hands on review- the FTZ-adapter + manual lenses

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:12

Nikon engineers made the FTZ adapter so well that it even works with a BR-2a macro reverse ring + reversed lenses.
I did not have enough time to test and thus I don't know if IBIS has any influence with this setup.

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Nikon Z7 with FTZ and a BR-2a macro reverse ring + reversed nikkor 28mm F2.8 E. (picture with my phone)


An image with this setup, nothing special out of the fact that it proves that it works… And... that I have to clean that lens. :?

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related topic :arrow: A crying butterfly... With D850
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Shooting experience, Z7 compared to D850 and conclusion

Postby Stany Buyle » Mon 10 Sep 2018 14:12

After using Z7 in the field for about 1½ hour I will remember it as a very positive experience with the first model out of a new category of photographic tools by Nikon. The very "Nikon" feel and menu, silent shooting, impressive vibration free 9 fps, my best EVF experience until today and last but not least the perfect compatibility of all Nikon lenses trough a engineering masterpiece of a Fmount To Zmount adapter were the highlights, while the lack of some dedicated buttons, the start up lag, one card slot and a rather limited buffer were the less positive points.

While the start up lag is probably inherent to the mirrorless system, I could imagine that the lack of some dedicated buttons, one card slot and a rather limited buffer are decisions Nikon made to protect D850 sales for 2018/2019.
I expect a more pro version of the Z-series to be announced in about a year from now, available end 2019/early 2020.
While talking about a more "pro" version successor of the Nikon Z7, someone might think it would beat D850 on everything. If so, and explicit in relation to action, sports, BIF, insects in flight and wildlife photography, Z serie' AF has still to be improved a lot to become a D850 competitor or replacement.
TMHO, the D5 successor will be a DSLR...

For professional users I see Z6/Z7 more as a complementary camera than as a successor or replacement for DSLRs. Complementary because of silent shooting and professional video opportunities.
For new users who want a compact, silent camera system with very probably the best IQ in its class available today, Z7 is an excellent choice.


Nikon does things right.



Thanks for your attention and kindest regards,

Stany

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related topic :arrow: Nikon Z event on YouTube
related topic :arrow: The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…
related topic :arrow: Pre-order your Z6, Z7 with 24-70 F4 + FTZ adapter at A&C

:idea: :arrow: You can support this website...
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Nikon Capture NX-D v1.5

Postby Stany Buyle » Fri 14 Sep 2018 08:06

  • Nikon just released what I would quote a very mature nikon raw converter and compatible with Z7 and Z6 NEFs.

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  • I exclusively use Nikon software for NEF conversion since day one despite the fact that I have PS and other software.

  • After conversion, I still use the old Capture NX2 for further PP.

    :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: Image

  • Adobe PS for © and text... ;)

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:idea: :arrow: You can support this website...
related topic :arrow: Nikon Z event on YouTube
related topic :arrow: The F mount adapter quality will be the key part…
related topic :arrow: Pre-order your Z6, Z7 with 24-70 F4 + FTZ adapter at A&C
kindest regards,

Stany
I like better one good shot in a day than 10 bad ones in a second...
http://www.nikonuser.info
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