I’m going to buy into the Z system - some advice needed

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Some may know me from the mu43 forum. I’m a pretty committed Olympus user with two bodies and a decent set of lenses. I’m mostly happy with the results I get, but since I do a decent amount of landscapes, I do find m43 can be limiting in terms of shadow pushing in high DR scenes, even at base ISO.

I recently upgraded to the EM1.3, mainly for its hand held hi res mode (HHHR), since as well as increased resolution (which was not my primary goal), it does deliver much improved shadow noise. However, it’s not all roses since there are some notable limitations with HHHR:

- It’s slow - about 20s per image to do the stacking. It might not sound a lot, but it can be frustrating when you have fleeting light (sunset, fast moving clouds etc), and you want to take a few shots from different perspectives.

- The burst is taken fairly quickly, but even so, subject movement can be a problem. Foliage in a wind just turns to mush.

- Olympus in their wisdom have limited HHHR to f8 or wider. It’s so that diffraction doesn’t impact resolution - but it means sunstars are a no-no - which I find pretty annoying since I love sunstars!

- The perennial issue of blown highlights is still there, and I don’t know what in detail Olympus have done on the EM1.3, but it’s notably worse than on the EM1.2. I find I’m having to pull the exposure back by 0.5-1.0 EV compared to the older model, which is obviating some of the shadow improvements from HHHR.

So, I’m looking at the Z6/Z7 again - I’ve always liked the feel of these cameras and really like the EVF, screen, handling, and access to the lens back catalogue. I’ve looked very closely at it all before and almost pressed the button, but I’m definitely going to do it this time. I’ve already sold a number of my lenses and the Pen F is up for sale too. I’ll probably keep the EM1.3 plus 40-150 & TC for long lens shooting, but otherwise switch to Nikon for the wide and landscape work.

So, a few questions:

- Do I go for the 6 or the 7? Part of me would love that extra resolution, but the size of the files puts me off and I’m not unhappy with the 20Mp on m43 at the moment. I ran a Sony A7r2 briefly (42Mp), and enjoyed the IQ a lot, but didn’t feel the resolution was the important bit. If the 6 offers as good or better DR and noise as the 7, then I’d be happy with that I think. Are there other differences between them besides the sensor?

- For lenses, I’m thinking the 14-30 plus either the 24-70 or the 24-200 would be a good start since I’m running the 8-18 and 12-100on the Olympus. I also have (and love) the 8mm fisheye, so would want a Nikon fisheye too. If I get the 24-200, I may get the 24-70/4 too since as a kit it’s not a lot more. Thoughts?

- I like and use the Livetime feature a lot on the Olympus. Is there anything even near on the Z?

Thanks!
 

NCV

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I have just changed from an a complete M43 system to a Nikon Z7 based system. I also have a D810 and a few F lenses.

The only regret I have is that I should have done it sooner. I bought a Z7 kit with a 24-70 F4 and a FTZ converter. I soon added the 14-30 which is a great lens.

If you can I would advise going for the Z7 as for landscape the extra resolution is useful.

I thought about getting the cheaper Z6, but I knew that I would be always be lusting for the Z7, so I made the effort, sold every bit of underused kit I had and got what I really wanted.

The amount of shadow detail you can pull from these FF files is far superior to M43. There is a quality to the files that is far superior in every way to M43.

I compared the EM1 with 12-100 and the Z7 with the new 24-200 for weight. They weigh about the same. This is important because I want to use the Z7 for hikes.
 
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Hi Paul!

Good to see you over here on the Nikon side! ;)

If for mostly landscapes, the extra resolution of the Z7 would be a benefit...but as you said, the extra file size comes at a cost on the back end.
I've been running the Z6 now since launch and I have very few regrets. The C-AF could be a touch better, but I put it up there with a Nikon D750 or am EM1.2

I find the Nikon RAW files very pliable and easy to work with.

Nikon does not have a LiveTime like feature, so you will miss out on that.

I have the 24-70/4S and it is a great lens. I've not had a chance to use the 24-200, but would think it massively useful as an all in one lens for when the light is good to moderate.
It may not appeal to you, but there are a lot of great, lower cost f-mount options that are available. The FTZ does a great job on the AF-P and AF-S focusing lenses.
I'm currently using the Nikon 50/1.8, 85/1.8 and 70-300 AF-P on the Z6 and there are zero issues.

The IBIS is very good, but not Olympus good. Very close, but no dual IS like Oly.

There is a lot to like about the Nikon Z. There may also be a lot you miss out on software features-wise coming from the Olympus flagships. For me, I found that I rarely if at all used features like the livetime or proCapture.

My summation would be:

Nikon Z6
Nikon FTZ
Nikon 24-70/4S and Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR
or
Nikon 24-200 (then supplement with the Z primes or adapted AF-S f-mount primes if needed).
 
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Hi Paul!

Good to see you over here on the Nikon side! ;)

If for mostly landscapes, the extra resolution of the Z7 would be a benefit...but as you said, the extra file size comes at a cost on the back end.
I've been running the Z6 now since launch and I have very few regrets. The C-AF could be a touch better, but I put it up there with a Nikon D750 or am EM1.2

I find the Nikon RAW files very pliable and easy to work with.

Nikon does not have a LiveTime like feature, so you will miss out on that.

I have the 24-70/4S and it is a great lens. I've not had a chance to use the 24-200, but would think it massively useful as an all in one lens for when the light is good to moderate.
It may not appeal to you, but there are a lot of great, lower cost f-mount options that are available. The FTZ does a great job on the AF-P and AF-S focusing lenses.
I'm currently using the Nikon 50/1.8, 85/1.8 and 70-300 AF-P on the Z6 and there are zero issues.

The IBIS is very good, but not Olympus good. Very close, but no dual IS like Oly.

There is a lot to like about the Nikon Z. There may also be a lot you miss out on software features-wise coming from the Olympus flagships. For me, I found that I rarely if at all used features like the livetime or proCapture.

My summation would be:

Nikon Z6
Nikon FTZ
Nikon 24-70/4S and Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6E AF-P VR
or
Nikon 24-200 (then supplement with the Z primes or adapted AF-S f-mount primes if needed).
Thanks Andrew - that's very helpful. The Z6 is quite a bit cheaper than the Z7 in the UK at the moment, so that's a factor too.

Actually, I don't do a lot of long lens work, so my strategy might be to keep the Pen-F and let the EM1.3 go. Then I'd just keep the Pen-F with a couple of small primes (17, 45, maybe 25 too). That would release a lot of cash in the other m43 lenses which would give me plenty to spend on the Z stuff :)

I have a 70-300mm f4.5-f5.6 AF-S ED G VR sat in front of me - it's a friend's who asked me to sell it on eBay for her. It's not sold yet so I might just buy it from her. It would probably suit me for what little long lens work I do.
 
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As with several others, I came from M43 - an Oly EM1-II and a Pen-f (sound familiar?) which were really both wonderful cameras. For my purposes, the Z's are much better. The Oly Hi-Res mode is really astonishing though as you point out, it does have some caveats.

The Z6 has somewhat better DR and high ISO performance as both my impression and testing tends to bear out:
PTP

Though at base ISO they are pretty indistinguishable. You certainly pay a premium for the Z7 over the Z6 and there are many good arguments for putting that price difference towards some of the Z glass. But there are also some interesting ways to think about the Z7 as well. The increased resolution is fun (think of it as every image is in Oly High Res mode without the artifacts) though unless you crop or regularly print humongous images, resolution is IMHO overrated. You can use it in DX crop mode so you basically get the same resolution as your Oly's (there is some cost in DR here) or use it in square (1:1 image size) and still get almost 25mb resolution.

The S24-70 f4 is as good as (or better) than the sterling Oly 12-40 2.8 in terms of clarity and edge to edge sharpness. The S24-70 2.8 takes it even a step further. The Nikon S50 1.8 is stellar - full stop. The Z6/7 bodies are about the same mass as the OM1-II though a bit taller. But the real difference, as you realize, is in the clean RAW files at low ISO and better high ISO performance compared to M43.

Unless you depend on Oly's slightly better IBIS (and much better Synch IS with that 12-100), or the pro-capture mode, or the in-body focus stacking (both of which I used a couple times but never really depended upon), then the Z is really a wonderful system.

I would definitely keep that 70-300. Best bang for the buck.
 
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Thanks Andrew - that's very helpful. The Z6 is quite a bit cheaper than the Z7 in the UK at the moment, so that's a factor too.

Actually, I don't do a lot of long lens work, so my strategy might be to keep the Pen-F and let the EM1.3 go. Then I'd just keep the Pen-F with a couple of small primes (17, 45, maybe 25 too). That would release a lot of cash in the other m43 lenses which would give me plenty to spend on the Z stuff :)

I have a 70-300mm f4.5-f5.6 AF-S ED G VR sat in front of me - it's a friend's who asked me to sell it on eBay for her. It's not sold yet so I might just buy it from her. It would probably suit me for what little long lens work I do.
That is a good lens. I agree, if you are not doing a lot of long lens work, then I'd get the Z6 and 24-70/4 kit + FTZ and call it a day.
 
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I have a 70-300mm f4.5-f5.6 AF-S ED G VR sat in front of me - it's a friend's who asked me to sell it on eBay for her. It's not sold yet so I might just buy it from her. It would probably suit me for what little long lens work I do.
You probably know that that's not the AF-P version that Andrew is recommending. The newest AF-P is quite a bit better than the old G model. Read Thom Hogan's review.

I still had my G model when I got the AF-P, and I absolutely agree with Thom.
 
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You probably know that that's not the AF-P version that Andrew is recommending. The newest AF-P is quite a bit better than the old G model. Read Thom Hogan's review.

I still had my G model when I got the AF-P, and I absolutely agree with Thom.
Thanks Pa. I missed that. The G version is generally considered a good lens up from 70 to about 250. The newer P version is much better in both focussing speed and IQ through the entire range.
 
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Thanks for that. I may leave the 70-300 on eBay then. Just read a Cameralabs review of the AF-P incl comparison against the AF-S and it does indeed look like a significant upgrade. However, edge sharpness on 300mm lenses isn't that big a deal, and as I say I really don't use anything beyond 150mm ish much.
 

NCV

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Has anyone got the 24-200 yet? If so, what's your thoughts?
It has not been released yet out into the wild. I have hunted for reviews, but I have not found anything.

I went down the Z road thinking of this lens, which if it is good , will be a great 1 lens solution for hiking.
 
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It has not been released yet out into the wild. I have hunted for reviews, but I have not found anything.

I went down the Z road thinking of this lens, which if it is good , will be a great 1 lens solution for hiking.
Ah, OK - thanks. I guess that cements the need to buy the 24-70 then!
 

NCV

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Ah, OK - thanks. I guess that cements the need to buy the 24-70 then!
If you get in as part of a kit, costs much less. The 24-70 is a good sized lens to carry around for casual photography.
 
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If you want the resolution, to replace HHHR of the Olympus, then Z7.
The Z6 is 24MP, or similar to the EM1-mk3. So you have no resolution improvement.
Yes the Z7 files are larger, but your computer will handle it, or plan to upgrade the computer/disc. I had to as pic files went from 3MP to 6MP to 24MP.

Unlike the Olympus 12-100, the Nikon 24-200 is NOT a pro lens. So IQ will not be near as good.
If you want Pro glass, then it is the Nikon 24-70 + 70-200.

If you thought Olympus Pro lenses were expensive, Nikon Pro lenses are EXPENSIVE.

For the same magnification, the FX lenses will be bigger and heavier.
A 4x 100mm m4/3 lens will need a 200mm FX lens.
I can hand hold the Olympus 40-150/2.8, but NOT the Nikon 300/2.8.
A 12x 300mm m4/3 lens (Olym 75-300) needs a big/heavy 600mm FX lens (similar to the Sigma or Tamron 150-600).

That all said, the Nikon Z system is a good system.
Just go in with your eyes open.
 
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If you want the resolution, to replace HHHR of the Olympus, then Z7.
The Z6 is 24MP, or similar to the EM1-mk3. So you have no resolution improvement.
Yes the Z7 files are larger, but your computer will handle it, or plan to upgrade the computer/disc. I had to as pic files went from 3MP to 6MP to 24MP.

Unlike the Olympus 12-100, the Nikon 24-200 is NOT a pro lens. So IQ will not be near as good.
If you want Pro glass, then it is the Nikon 24-70 + 70-200.

If you thought Olympus Pro lenses were expensive, Nikon Pro lenses are EXPENSIVE.

For the same magnification, the FX lenses will be bigger and heavier.
A 4x 100mm m4/3 lens will need a 200mm FX lens.
I can hand hold the Olympus 40-150/2.8, but NOT the Nikon 300/2.8.
A 12x 300mm m4/3 lens (Olym 75-300) needs a big/heavy 600mm FX lens (similar to the Sigma or Tamron 150-600).

That all said, the Nikon Z system is a good system.
Just go in with your eyes open.
Yes, all good points - but long lens work is not my thing (not in to sports/birds/motorsport etc). I have the 40-150 Pro but it gathers more dust than photons!

And I have no interest in the f2.8 zooms - not only EXPENSIVE, but big and heavy. I ran Canon FF gear years ago so know all about f2.8 FF zooms! Right now, I'm looking at:

- 14-30
- 24-70/4
- 24-200 (when it arrives)
- a Prosumer 70-300 for the occasional long lens use I have
- a fisheye

That's it really. I might get a 35/1.8 at some point (since I like the 35mm FOV), but I'd be in no hurry.

The 24-200 is definitely of interest though - I've surprised myself by finding the Olympus 12-100 a very useful lens. I'd be happy to forsake its WR, but I'd be disappointed if the 24-200 didn't get close to its optical performance.
 
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Yes, all good points - but long lens work is not my thing (not in to sports/birds/motorsport etc). I have the 40-150 Pro but it gathers more dust than photons!

And I have no interest in the f2.8 zooms - not only EXPENSIVE, but big and heavy. I ran Canon FF gear years ago so know all about f2.8 FF zooms! Right now, I'm looking at:

- 14-30
- 24-70/4
- 24-200 (when it arrives)
- a Prosumer 70-300 for the occasional long lens use I have
- a fisheye

That's it really. I might get a 35/1.8 at some point (since I like the 35mm FOV), but I'd be in no hurry.

The 24-200 is definitely of interest though - I've surprised myself by finding the Olympus 12-100 a very useful lens. I'd be happy to forsake its WR, but I'd be disappointed if the 24-200 didn't get close to its optical performance.
I know what you mean about the f/2.8 lenses.
I got the 70-200/4 specifically because the f/2.8 lens was 2x the weight. After shooting for 5-6 hours, I was glad I went with the lighter f/4 lens.

I would be interested in seeing the specs and price of the 24-105/4.
To me, that would be a better range for a GP lens than the 24-70/4, IF it is not too heavy.

The Nikon Z glass is good, but again, the 24-200 is a consumer/prosumer lens, NOT a pro grade lens. So I would not get your hopes up too high.
Having said that, the 24-200 would be a great travel lens when combined with a 35/1.8 for indoor low light.
 
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When I first looked at the 'Z' system I couldn't decide which way to go, so I opted for the Z7. Nothing worse than buyers remorse IMO. :)

Since then I have also added the Z6 to the mix.

While I like and enjoy taking the Z bodies out on a photowalk, they are not a patch on the Olympus for AF on very small subjects. However, for larger subjects e.g. roses, the AF works a treat.

I gave up years ago trying to make one system be a jack of all trades. These days I use a combo which I know works well for me, and makes taking photos fun. Nothing worse than getting frustrated either because you can't focus, or get results you are happy with.
 
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Yes, all good points - but long lens work is not my thing (not in to sports/birds/motorsport etc). I have the 40-150 Pro but it gathers more dust than photons!

And I have no interest in the f2.8 zooms - not only EXPENSIVE, but big and heavy. I ran Canon FF gear years ago so know all about f2.8 FF zooms! Right now, I'm looking at:

- 14-30
- 24-70/4
- 24-200 (when it arrives)
- a Prosumer 70-300 for the occasional long lens use I have
- a fisheye

That's it really. I might get a 35/1.8 at some point (since I like the 35mm FOV), but I'd be in no hurry.

The 24-200 is definitely of interest though - I've surprised myself by finding the Olympus 12-100 a very useful lens. I'd be happy to forsake its WR, but I'd be disappointed if the 24-200 didn't get close to its optical performance.
Since almost no one has access to a 24-200, there is literally no way to know how good optically it is. But it is worth noting that the S grade of Nikon lenses designates build quality and features (programmable buttons, steel (I believe) mounts, weather sealing, LCD displays, special coatings etc.) and not just optical performance.

Look at the reviews of the 16-50 Z dx which most of us find is shockingly close to the performance 24-70 f4. It's slower; it's plastic; it's cheap - but for most uses you'd be hard pressed to tell which image is from which lens. The 50-250 is again slow, plastic mount, and cheap but I would put it against any other lens that is 2x it's cost.

My point is that optically Nikon is redefining lens performance in the Z line even in their non-S line. Again, no one knows how the 24-200 will perform but given their track record so far . . .

I also urge you to take a look at the S 50 f1.8 even though you don't have it in your wish list. It is just a joy to shoot with and I was always pretty indifferent to the 50mm focal length - but it is so good it makes you want to shoot with it.
 

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