Well, it’s the end of 2019 and it’s time to reflect on the changing fortunes of the Nikon Z7 camera. Why do we now regard this as a top tier camera? Because we do. Our journey and Nikon is discussed below.
As those of you who will have read some of the comments on this site will know, we were really excited about this camera and when we got a hold of it and felt the way it was laid out, the button placement, the sensor, the stabilisation and so forth, we were incredibly impressed. The image quality from the camera being superb.
And it came with just the one caveat and that caveat was the focus. We waited for firmware updates and they came and I have to tell you that they certainly did improve the camera. Time went again we were nervous to use the camera initially because we found that it hunted in all conditions. It wasn’t very good. For example, when we tried to take photographs of flowers that were just blowing in the wind: Something that was easily within the capability of its big brother, the Nikon D850 well, it was well out of the range as far as the Z7 was concerned. But it was a sort of camera because of its size and weight that ticks so many boxes that we kept coming back to it over and over and when Nikon decided to release firmware updates, we were quick to install them because we just felt that we needed to have something that light.
So, where the Nikon scores is in a very important area and that is that it fulfills specifically the idea of the mirrorless camera. The whole concept to the mirrorless camera was to be able to use smaller and lighter cameras that will give the same image quality as DSLR cameras. And of course, many camera companies have taken this idea and then just seem to lose sight of the whole idea because they produce small camera bodies, sometimes awkwardly small, and then they put great chunky heavy lenses on the front, which just kills the whole concept. They’re front heavy. They just aren’t comfortable to work with.
The Z7 is just a perfectly sized body. Everything is laid out beautifully. It’s got a very nice weight factor to it. And while some people did criticize it for it’s single card slot, [in the past, we’ve always taken the view that it’s good to have two card slots, especially for safety and back up commercially] the fact is that the XQD slot is a very good idea and works exceptionally well.
The Nikon Z7 is easily one of the finest cameras that has ever been made for comfort, layout and, design. It even has a beautiful top screen with valuable information photographers need.
When people talk about buying cameras one of the things that is talked about is the ergonomics of the camera, the way it sits in the hand and how comfortable it is in use. The Nikon Z7 is easily one of the finest cameras that has ever been made for comfort, layout and, design. It even has a beautiful top screen with valuable information photographers need. [HINT TO SONY] And now with the firmware updates, when we shoot with the camera, we find that it’s nailing a lot more images than it did previously. The image quality is outstanding.
In fact, not so long ago, we took it on a shoot and we just had it as the backup camera because we were still overcoming our nervousness with the focus difficulties with the camera and in some situations and we just took photos with the camera just because we wanted to give it a go. It’s a really comfortable camera in the hand. And the 24 to 70 F4 lens is outstanding, lightweight, comfortable, exactly what mirrorless cameras should be. Anyway when we came back to the files, we found that the Nikon Z7 performed better than the other cameras that we were shooting with, which coincidentally came from Sony and Panasonic. So it really has made big improvements. Whereas initially, we were really nervous about the focus. The fact is that it has improved quite a lot and Nikon have done a lot to really improve this camera in the firmware.
The Nikon Z7 it is well above 90% of its peers. The Nikon Z7 is well ahead of a large section of the camera market at this level.
It is an exceptionally usable camera. Is it a camera that’s as good as the Nikon D850 in terms of auto-focus? No. Having said that it is well above 90% of its peers. The Nikon Z7 is well ahead of a large section of the camera market at this level. So you have to reject some of the hype. You’re not buying a camera that is deficient when you buy into the Z7 system, one that it isn’t suitable for professional work. We would have to say that it’s easily in the top 10% of the field as far as cameras are concerned and possibly higher. Although we’d be interested in hearing other peoples comments on that.
I love using it. Whereas at one time I was nervous to use it, hesitant to use it and I was honest about its autofocus difficulties. I now thoroughly enjoy using this camera. If this is where Nikon are going, then all I can say is that Nikon are heading in very much the right direction and this is a camera that is really doing well.
So if you’ve not used the camera with the latest firmware, if you’ve been put off by people commenting that the autofocus isn’t good, look at the date when those comments were made and you will find that when the camera was first released people were much more worried about focus. But now with the latest firmware, there is little reason for taking that position anymore. It really is an outstanding camera.
The Nikon S series 24 to 70 F4 lens is exactly what mirrorless is all about because that combination gives you a beautiful lightweight body with a beautiful lightweight lens, excellent optical results, excellent performance, and is capable of some critically sharp images that really are truly outstanding.
So we’ve come a long way and I’m really looking at Nikon and thinking that these people are going to set the pace for the future as far as mirrorless cameras are concerned, Sony have yet to create a body that’s as comfortable as the bodies that Nikon have put into the Z series. We’ve yet to see anything like that from Sony.
Sony camera bodies are smaller and do have a certain amount of additional weight to their construction and a certain lack of comfort that sort of forces you to buy other bits to sort of feel comfortable using them. For example, with the Sony A9 which is a marvelous camera that we use, we use a battery grip because that makes it a comfortable camera to hold with the G master lenses.
Image wise, use the Nikon Z7 with the 24 to 70 F4 lens, and do yourself a favor and just do a comparison. Nikon have nailed the body first run out of the blocks. And now with firmware changes they have made it highly usable. In mirrorless we put it in the top three cameras we’ve used alongside the Sony A7r3 and the Panasonic S1R. So hats off to Nikon. This is the future photography. We wish them all the best and we revise our original view where we were a little bit more nervous. Now I feel confident using the Nikon Z7. Nikon have come a long way, and if they keep going in this direction, I think they’re going to keep some really big goals in the days going forward. Can’t wait to see what they will do next!