The first generation of the Nikon Z7, released in 2018, and the Nikon Z6, as the company’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras, completely blew our minds. Both cameras were highly competitive, dominating the class in many aspects, but none was flawless. That is why Nikon released the Z7 II and Z6 II versions of the camera shortly after the original generation was released.
This second generation incorporates a feeling of honing and refining and a slight reorientation to respond to the criticisms that have been leveled against it. For example, the Nikon Z7 II now boasts two card slots and dual Expeed 6 image processors, improving the camera’s overall performance.
Even while we are not quite in the realm of professional sports, high-speed burst rates of 10 fps can be maintained for longer, and autofocus can be used in various situations. The video functions have also been upgraded, with the ability to record internally in 4K at 60 frames per second and Full HD at 120 frames per second.
Nikon Z7 II Design
As a result of the Z7 II’s design being so comparable to its forerunner, a significant portion of what we discussed in our review of the Nikon Z7 is applicable here. Therefore, let’s concentrate on the minor alterations.
The Z7 only has one slot for XQD cards caused several people to raise their eyebrows, particularly those concerned about card mistakes. In addition, despite the card type’s dependability, it comes at an extremely high cost. Both issues have been resolved with the Z7 II camera, which features twin card slots that are compatible with CFexpress and XQD as well as SD UHS-II memory cards.
Additionally, the lack of control buttons on the Z7’s essential vertical grip made it unappealing to some customers, who felt it was overly simple. When shooting in portrait mode, the new grip for the Z7 II, the MB-N11, has the same button arrangement as the original grip.
Nikon Z7 II Features & Performance
There is not much difference between the Nikon Z7 and the Z7 II in terms of the features they provide. For instance, we continue to use the same 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor that has a native ISO range that extends from 64 to 25,600. (with extended ISO 32 to 102,400 settings). Image stabilization of up to 5EV may also be achieved via sensor shift.
Still, noteworthy gains are the fruit of fitting in twin Expeed 6 image processors this time around – Nikon claims that this enhances processing power by up to 3.3 times. The dual image processors are housed within the camera’s image sensor.
One shooting mode that can use the increased processing power is the continuous high-speed shooting mode. The rate has been increased from 9 frames per second to 10 frames per second, but more crucially, the sequences may run noticeably longer before the camera begins to slow down (as we’ll find out in the following section). In situations that resembled actual shooting more closely, we always took more extended shots.
It is now also possible to record internal video in 4K at 60 frames per second. At this level, a crop factor of 1.08x is used; nevertheless, this is not a deal breaker since films captured in 4K at 30 frames per second are taken from the entire sensor width.
Nikon Z7 II Image Quality
If absolute image quality is your primary priority, then the Nikon Z7 II is an excellent choice that won’t disappoint you.
It utilizes the same 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor used in the Nikon Z7, which garnered a lot of praise from us. Because you have access to so many pixels, the APS-C crop mode offers a resolution of 19 megapixels, making it feasible to perform even more extensive cropping.
When combined with several of Nikon’s outstanding Z lenses and the large Nikon Z lens mount, you can achieve sharp detail from the center to the edges of your images, with a reduced likelihood of experiencing the adverse effects of distortion and diffraction that are associated with using smaller lens mounts.
Noise levels are likewise well-controlled due to the back-illuminated nature of the sensor. For clear raw shots, we’d be happy to utilize ISO 1600, while ISO 6400 keeps plenty of detail intact.
In conjunction with optical stabilization, sensor-based image stabilization makes handheld shooting far more effective. This is especially true at these unforgivingly high resolutions.
The outcomes will be determined by how far away your subject is, but generally speaking, we obtained three stops of stability using this method. Although you might be able to produce satisfactory images with shutter speeds as low as 0.5 seconds for objects that are far away, it is better to utilize 1/4 seconds as a safety precaution.
Last but not least, if you set the camera to its lowest ISO level of 64, you’ll be able to take advantage of an industry-leading dynamic range. This implies that you can bring back details when forced to underexpose by a couple of stops.
Therefore, even though not much has changed in the past two years, this could not be terrible. Regarding image quality, the Nikon Z7 II is one of the most remarkable cameras that money can buy now.
Nikon Z7 II Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||8256 x 5504|
|Other resolutions||5408 x 3600 (DX crop), 6880 x 5504 (5:4), 5504 x 5504 (1:1), 8256 x 4640 (16:9)|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||46 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||47 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)|
|Processor||Dual Expeed 6|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||32|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||102400|
|White balance presets||12|
|Custom white balance||Yes (6 slots)|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, normal, basic|
|File format||JPEGRaw (NEF, 12 or 14-bit)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||493|
|Lens mount||Nikon Z|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||900 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash modes||Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off|
|Flash X sync speed||1/200 sec|
|Continuous drive||10.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||CFexpress Type B / XQD, UHS-II SD|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (mini HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11ac + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (via MC-DC2 or smartphone)|
|Battery description||EN-EL15c lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||705 g (1.55 lb / 24.87 oz)|
|Dimensions||134 x 101 x 70 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.76″)|
Nikon Z7 II Verdict
The Nikon Z7 II is a refined improvement over the original Z7 owing to the inclusion of two card slots and twin processors that enhance the camera’s overall performance. In other respects, it’s a delightfully familiar landscape, and the Nikon Z system is continually expanding. We had hoped for a more substantial update, but it seems as though the transition to Nikon mirrorless is a safe bet at this point — provided you have the necessary funds.