Cameras

Nikon Z7 Review

The initial attempt that Nikon made at the mirrorless game was fascinating, but it was not quite as successful as the firm had presumably anticipated.

Although its models had a few distinctive characteristics and performed very well in certain regions, there just wasn’t enough here to entice enthusiasts to switch from the gear they were already using. Their relatively small 1-inch sensors and bodies that were too devoid of physical control meant that there just wasn’t enough here to tempt them away (or rival mirrorless lines).

The new Z system from the corporation is unique, and the Nikon Z7 is the first of two cameras in the line-up. Its launch companion is the Z6, which was also released simultaneously. This is a system that many photographers have wanted ever since it was initially introduced since it has a brand new lens mount that was designed with a wide-aperture lens design in mind. Its initial two models were built around full-frame sensors.

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Nikon Z7 Features

The Nikon Z7 and the company’s still-popular D850 DSLR have sensors that have a backside-illuminated (BSI) design to help with light capture and no anti-aliasing filter for improved detail capture. The Z7 has a pixel count of 45.7 megapixels (effective), while the D850 has a pixel count of 45.7 megapixels.

On the other hand, the sensor included in the Nikon Z7 is different; although we aren’t informed precisely how it compares in terms of performance, it does have 493 phase-detect AF pixels to assist with focusing; more on this will be discussed later.

There is also a new lens mount, which at the moment, is compatible with only three native lenses but will take a great deal more over the next few years. The flange depth is only 16 millimeters, and the diameter of the lens mount is a generous 55 millimeters, both of which are positive signs for producing high-quality lenses that include wide apertures.

For example, an NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens is scheduled to be released in 2019, and Nikon has been making a lot of noise about this lens since the Z system was first introduced.

Images with the Nikon Z7 have a maximum resolution of 8256 by 5504 pixels and typically weigh between 17 and 31 megabytes. The size of the photos might vary based on the subject matter, ISO level, and other factors. When opened in Photoshop, these take up a whopping 130 MB when the default settings are used.

Nikon Z7 Build Quality

The Nikon Z7 excels in various areas, but its aesthetic appeal is not one of them. The Z7 seems most similar to the company’s Nikon 1 V2 model, with some Samsung NX1 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II(opens in new tab) influence tossed on top. It has a thick grip and a viewfinder chamber that sits proud of the top plate.

We may have too many alternatives, with Olympus’s PEN range, Fujifilm’s X series, and more out-of-left-field choices from Leica. However, none of this should matter since how a camera is handled and operated should always precede how it appears.

And once you begin using the Z7, it becomes clear exactly why Nikon has made the judgments that it has made. Nikon has done an excellent job of maintaining what is fantastic about the models that many are already acquainted with while infusing something more distinctive to the Z7. This is the case even though the Z7’s configuration is slightly different from the typical DSLR.

Nikon Z7 Autofocus

When taking pictures with the Nikon Z7, you can use either the single- or the continuous-focus mode for the camera’s autofocus system. When filming, you have the option of using the full-time autofocus mode. You can also retain a lock on a topic by using the Z7’s predictive focus tracking feature, which you may set up any way you choose.

In addition to the auto-area AF and single-point patterns, you now have the option to select the pinpoint pattern, which allows you to zero in on excellent subjects, along with the wide-area pattern and the dynamic pattern. The finishing touch is the use of manual focus with focus peaking.

Both phase- and contrast-detect technologies are utilized in the Z7’s focusing system; they appear to perform quite admirably in their designated roles. Even while the camera usually finds focus exceptionally quickly when there is sufficient light, it may be a few hundredths of a second slower than the norm established by specific other models.

Nikon Z7 Performance

When first powered on, mirrorless cameras are sometimes slower to respond than DSLRs, which is one of how they are inferior to DSLRs. Although the Z7 comes to life fast, with the viewfinder active and the autofocus system ready to work with practically no delay, the delay between turning on the camera and everything else waking up might mean that you miss a crucial moment.

The viewfinder on the Nikon Z7 is just fantastic. When you get the Z7 up to where it naturally feels correct, the 0.80x magnification and 21mm eyepoint combo is a beautiful mix, providing an expansive vision while also being comfortable.

If you wear glasses, you may find that the very borders of the eyecup start to encroach on the vision after you have reached this point. However, this is the limit of where you can still see the subject without peering around the viewfinder.

There is a typical assortment of information regarding exposure and shooting down the bottom of the LCD of the Z7, as well as a plethora of additional knowledge just above it. This information includes Picture Style, White Balance, battery life, and Vibration Reduction.

Nikon Z7 Image Quality

The Z7 may measure light using a matrix, a center-weighted, or a highlight-weighted metering pattern, and the behavior of the default setting is consistent. The vast majority of locations do not need for any manual adjustment; nonetheless, there is a little tendency to underexpose when the lighting is relatively flat.

In these kinds of settings, increasing the exposure value by +1/3EV can help open up the shadows, but Active D-Lighting is also an excellent method for producing more outstanding balance.

Scenes with large, bright areas will frequently be slightly underexposed because the Z7 attempted to retain detail in all areas; however, this can be easily remedied with either exposure compensation or Active D-Lighting, which is available in four different flavors in addition to an Auto setting.

Nikon Z7 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Other resolutions5408 x 3600 (DX crop), 6880 x 5504 (5:4), 5504 x 5504 (1:1), 8256 x 4640 (16:9)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels46 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
CIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEGRaw (NEF, 12 or 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points493
Lens mountNikon Z
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.8×
Viewfinder resolution3,690,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 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
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesXQD card
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via MC-DC2 or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15b lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)330
Weight (inc. batteries)675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz)
Dimensions134 x 101 x 68 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.68″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Nikon Z7 Verdict

The Nikon Z7 is a powerful first-generation model for the Z system, even though it is not the most attractive camera and is undoubtedly not the most affordable one. Nikon has exceeded our expectations with the Z7 by providing support for F-mount optics, which is greatly welcomed, fantastic picture quality, beautiful handling, a good electronic viewfinder (EVF), superb handling, and a wonderful EVF.

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