With straight fives for features, build & handling and performance, the Nikon Z7 is an on the spot standard. It’s a fantastic (and excellently prepared) mirror less camera.
|Sensor-based VR works fine||Only XQD card slot|
|Excellent handling|| No more than three S|
lenses this year
|Great MP/fps balance||Lenses are costly on their own|
A Nikon mirrorless camera is a big deal. A exceptionally big deal. The start on of the Nikon Z7 couldn’t have come at a faster time for the camera corporation. It has had to take a seat there and watch as Sony has dominated this profitable, and progressively trendier, area of the camera marketplace.
UPDATE: It looks approximating the Nikon Z7 is set to get eye-tracking autofocus in a forthcoming firmware update. This means that the AF functionality will be immeasurably improved. Other updates contain CFexpress memory card support and RAW Video support.
But the coming of the Nikon Z7 means that Sony no longer has the full-frame mirrorless camera marketplace to itself – and with Canon joining the battle with its own full-frame mirrorless opponent, the Canon EOS R, there are thrilling times to the lead.
It is worth noting by you read our Nikon Z7 review that the Nikon Z6 will be a more reasonably priced 24-megapixel model aimed at enthusiasts, while the Z7 is the 45.7-megapixel flagship model.
Specifications of Nikon Z7
|Sensor||45.7MP full-frame CMOS, 35.9 x 23.9mm|
|Max image size||8,256 x 5,504px|
|Metering zones||Not quoted|
|Viewfinder||EVF, 3,690k dots, 100% coverage|
|Memory card||XQD card|
|LCD||3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100K dots|
|Video||4K UHD at 30p, 25p, 24p|
|Image processor||Expeed 6|
|AF points||493-point hybrid phase/contrast AF|
|ISO range||64 to 25,600 (exp. 32-102,400)|
|Size||134 x 101 x 68mm (body only)|
|Weight||675g (body only, with battery and memory card)|
Key Features of Nikon Z7
The full-frame CMOS sensor in the Z7 sounds exceedingly similar to the one in the Nikon D850 DSLR. The dissimilarity here is that Nikon has manufactured in a complicated on-sensor phase-detection system.
Its 493 phase-detection AF points cover up 90% of the picture area and work in combination with a conservative contrast autofocus system.
It’s a pretty spectacular-sounding system for a primary attempt at full-frame hybrid autofocus; Nikon definitely emerges to have hit the floor running.
Also new is an in-camera image stabilization system (IBIS). This is one more first for Nikon, as all of its preceding exchangeable lens cameras have used lens-based VR (vibration decrease).
The Z6 and Z7 can still make use of presented Nikon VR lenses (more on this shortly), and the two systems should work flawlessly together. The in-body VR, however, means that Nikon users will also get the advantage of the new 5-axis, 5-stop VR system, even with non-VR lenses.
With the new mirrorless body design comes a new lens mount. At 55mm across, the new Nikon Z mount is 11mm wider than its Nikon F DSLR mount, and Nikon says this has “liberated” its lens designers, making it promising to manufacture new, extra determined lenses (a 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens is on its means) and deliver a step up in ocular class.
The flange-to-sensor distance is just 16mm, which is a lot shorter than the usual Nikon F mount.
This allows abundance of space for the fresh Nikon FTZ lens adaptor, which can be purchase individually or as part of a package with the latest cameras. With this adaptor, you can fit all 90 or so existing Nikon lenses and find full autofocus and automatic contact, and up to 360 lenses with only auto exposure.
The new mount does not have an autofocus screw driver, so older AF lenses are limited to manual focus, but this broad compatibility with existing Nikon F lenses will make it simple for existing Nikon owners to travel to the new mount at their own pace.
Previous to, Nikon owners tempted by full-frame mirrorless systems faced an entire and highly priced system swap to a dissimilar brand. Now all you have to do is purchase a new body.
There are latest Z-mount lenses to go with the fresh cameras, of course. Firstly, there’s a 24-70mm f/4 lens, a 35mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.8, and we’ve tested the first two beside the Z7 in this review.
Nikon’s roadmaps comprise one more six Nikkor Z-mount lenses in 2019 and three more in 2020. We’ve tried the Z7 and mount adaptor with numerous DSLR lenses from Nikon and Sigma, both full-frame and APS-C set-up, and all come out to work absolutely with the fresh camera.
For anyone who’s yet to make a decision on their full-frame mirrorless system, the Nikon Z7 offers a convincing choice to the Sony Alpha 7R III. In many compliments the two cameras are very similar, so the specs are expected to be examined incredibly strongly.
These also contain an ISO range of 64-25,600, or ISO 32-102,400 in extended mode, 9fps continuous shooting, 4K UHD video recording, a weather-resistant magnesium alloy body and a 200,000-shot shutter life.
The single promising point of disagreement is Nikon’s selection of memory card format. There’s no more than one card slot, for a start, and it’s XQD. It’s a quick, robust, advanced format completely appropriate for the Z7 and its audience, but it does mean opening a whole new memory card collection for anybody who’s been using SD or CF cards.
We’re told the card slot will be well-matched with the brand-new and even quicker CFexpress card format when it arrives – bodily, these are the same as XQD cards.
Build and Managing
It’s greatly lesser than the Nikon D850, the DSLR whose technology it mainly shares. The smaller size can be both a first-class and a bad thing. It makes mirrorless cameras like these both lighter and extra portable – one of their key advertising points – but it can make the handling feel unbalanced when you make use of bigger lenses.
Outwardly, the Z7 is a lot like its principal mirrorless challenger, the Sony A7 series, and completely unlike Nikon’s DSLRs.
This is possibly less of a difficulty for the Nikon Z7 than it is for the Sony A7. The Nikon feels somewhat bigger and has a good-sized grip. It is also released with the fresh, compact Z-mount 24-70mm f/4, which feels like it was designed to fit the camera body accurately.
Even with the FTZ adaptor fitted and used with some of Nikon’s bulkier pro DSLR lenses, the Z7 isn’t thrown too roughly out of balance, and the coming of its dedicated battery grip should extra get better the handling with large lenses.
Nikon fans should note that the Z7’s manage layout is not the similar as on Nikon’s pro DSLRs. as an alternative, it has a normal mode dial rather than a easy mode button, and the drive mode is selected via a button rather than a devoted control dial.
The minor body leaves just a little less space for exterior controls, though there is still room on the back for a focus point lever and an AF-On button. The four-way navigation pad feels to some extent small and firm, but if not the Z7 handles very well.
The viewing system is excellent too. Some photographers will still favor an ocular viewfinder over an electronic one, but Nikon has however pulled out all the stops to make the Z7’s EVF as excellent as possible.
With a resolution of 3.69 million dots, it’s so sharp that you actually don’t see any granularity at all, and its digital nature only becomes obvious if you shift the camera rapidly and observe some slight ‘lag’ or blurring. Having said that, the Z7’s EVF seems less prone to lag and smearing than others we’ve tried.
Viewfinder lag isn’t an issue during usual stationary photo shooting, and might only be noticeable with fast panning activities and during continuous photo shooting.
Like other electronic viewfinders, it has a distracting ‘stop-frame’ look at high continuous shooting frame rates, rather than the liquid appearance of an optical viewfinder. It doesn’t prevent you getting the shot, but it’s something you might not get used to to straight away.
Nikon has obviously made viewfinder quality a priority, although, using an aspherical element and fluorine coatings for the viewfinder eyepiece.
The rear touchscreen display is quite excellent too. Its 2.1-million-pixel resolution means it looks enormously obvious and sharp, and the leaning mechanism is, as ever, helpful for low-angle shots and video. It’s a disgrace there’s no to one side pivot, although, because the tilting mechanism is only helpful when the camera is seized horizontally.
You can make use of touch control to select the focus point, focus and shoot with a single tap, and make changes to the camera settings.
It is actually helpful to be able to tap the screen to shoot when the camera is being held away from your eye, but the downside of touch control on all cameras (not just this one) is that it’s simple to change settings by chance while handling the camera, or find that the focus point is way off in the corner of the frame when you go to take a picture.
One more problem is that when you turn over the rear screen for a low-angle shot and make use of your finger to set the focus point, the viewfinder’s eye sensor is make active and the camera switches the display to the viewfinder. You can find round this by manually switching between the viewfinder and screen display, but it is a mild irritation all the same.
The OLED status panel on the top of the Z7 is a big step forward, although. It’s not especially large, but the reversed white-on-black text is a great deal to see than the information on standard ‘green’ LCD displays.
With its 45.7-megapixel sensor and new-generation Z-mount lenses, the Z7’s image class is going to be a major selling point.
It doesn’t dissatisfy. We’ve already seen what this can do in the Nikon D850, and in our lab tests the Z7 matches or even improves on this performance. The resolution of both cameras is the maximum we’ve recorded from full-frame cameras, hitting the highest 40 resolution of our optical test chart right up to ISO 3,200.
Noise levels are to some extent higher than the Sony Alpha 7R III, its major opponent, but we’ve seen this before with Nikon cameras and the dissimilarities are not too great. What is exciting, although, is that the Z7 produced slightly less noise and higher dynamic range in our lab tests than the D850, perhaps as a result of the Z7’s newer Expeed 6 image processor.
The lab results are borne out in real-world use, where the mixture of this high-resolution sensor and Nikon’s new Z-mount lenses proves pretty impressive.
Nikon’s default Matrix metering system proved as consistent as ever in our tests, and if something seemed tuned towards preserving highlights.
The autofocus system is particularly impressive. It’s speedy and quiet and its wide frame coverage makes it stretchy too. Much of the credit for the autofocus performance should go to the new lenses, which are smooth and near-silent in operation – this makes them ideal for video too, and not just stills photography.
This is an intensely imposing camera. It’s the company’s first-ever full-frame mirrorless camera, but it’s such a polished, well-designed camera you’d think Nikon had been making them for years.
The Z7, D850 and Sony A7 III all match or go beyond our chart’s 40lw/picture height limit at low to medium ISOs, although color moiré have an effect on the Sony’s results.
Signal to sound ratio
The Canon has a small noise benefit across the ISO range, as you’d imagine from its lower-resolution sensor. The Z7 is somewhat less noisy than the D850.
All four cameras are incredibly closely matched. The Canon EOS 5D IV has an especially slight improvement at lower ISOs, but this disappears by ISO 1,600.
With straight fives for features, build & handling and performance, the Nikon Z7 is an on the spot standard. It’s a fantastic (and excellently prepared) mirrorless camera.