Initial thoughts on Z6 and Z7 - Steve Perry

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
18,332
Location
Idaho
* I posted this on DPReview (with some additions), but I'll post it here as well!

I've been using mirrorless for 8 years and honestly all first generation mirrorless cameras lacked in some way when first introduced. Putting the hype aside, the Nikon Z cameras in comparison are very good for Nikon's first FF mirrorless effort. The Z bodies are not perfect and Nikon kind of screwed up the marketing blitz, but honestly looking at the cameras subjectively, they're very solid with potential firmware improvements and Nikon can easily make mid-cycle hardware revisions.

Nikon has done buffer upgrades in the past to cameras like the D1X and D3 and they've added a second card slot to the D300S when they implemented video. Also the tried-and-true mantra of avoiding 1st generation "anything" should always be followed! The best thing to do is flood Nikon Japan's email inbox directly and demand the features you want. If they didn't take mirrorless seriously, they wouldn't have made this camera to begin with.

Nikon got a lot right out the box in regards to 5-axis IBIS, image quality, high ISO, Nikon metering, ergonomics, build quality, touch screen, flash compatibility, weather sealed F-mount adapter, etc. People forget Sony launched the original Sony A7 with a freaking plastic mount, sensor reflections, undersized battery, terrible low light performance and a rear screen that would peel after prolonged use! Compared to the Olympus E-M1 that was released around the same time, (besides sensor) the E-M1 outclassed the A7 in every metric!

Looking at it holistically, the Z mount has very good future potential and now that the physical framework has been established, Nikon can put more resources into improving the firmware/software side. I think Nikon's main objective here was to stop the hemorrhaging of mirrorless switchers, establish a solid base to build off and give Nikon access to go fully digital moving forward. I'll probably avoid the first bodies and take a wait and see approach, but for the most part I think Nikon is on-track to build a solid system!
This is a good post, Jonathan. I hope you didn't get bashed on DPReview for it.
 
Having a couple of months ago returned to DPR after a lengthy absence, it did not take me long to see how some things have not changed, including an atmosphere which at times can be highly emotionally charged, quite challenging and not exactly pleasant. Wow!! It makes me appreciate the ambiance here at the Cafe all the more!! :). We all owe so many thanks to the original founders of the Cafe, Flew and Patrick.....and thanks to Mike and then Amin, who have kept us up and running through the years.

So, yes, it wouldn’t be surprising to me at all if Jonathan was bashed and battered for his comments there at DPR..... And that is a real shame, as he does make some very serious, thoughtful and valid points in his post.

Jonathan: I thought you had or were going to preorder one of the new Z cameras?
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,380
Location
Eden, NY
Nikon Rumors currently has this headline:

Nikon executive on whether Nikon will release a pro model like the D5 in the Z-line: “Count on it!”

Read more: Nikon Rumors
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Messages
1,463
Location
SE USA
Japan Olympic Summer games start June or July 2020. A D6 or Z? could be announced as soon as September 2019 and in stores no later than April 1, 2020. If we start setting aside say $100 per week now, by April 2020 we will be good to go for getting a real Pro ML.
 
D

Deleted member 13260

Guest
What gear do you shoot with, Ziggy?
I work both sides of the street crazy ;)
Panasonic G9 (mirrorless), D500 and D810.
If Nikon made a decent mirrorless D500 I'd be interested.
The G9 does a thing called PreBurst in which you keep a half e-shutter button press and it buffers 8 (RAW) or c. 30 shots (1 sec at 30 fps; produces 18 MP JPEGs) and writes them and succeeding shots with a full press. That allows captures in my bird photography that effectively turn the clock back.
It's the kind of thing that going electronic allows and it's a game changer.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
7,982
Location
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
I guess we are in the "sobering up" stage. Personally I'm annoyed at the omission of a proper buffer and the "fake frame rates" in the Z7 and Z6. Especially buffer, why have XQD if it doesn't have a proper buffer? It's Deja D7100 all over again. I thought Nikon should have known better than that. As foer the fake frame rates this is a pure marketing failure, it should have been stated as 5.5fps (9fps with fixed AE)

I guess we all thought Nikon was targeting our personal needs with these cameras, but the reality is that they are competing with the Sony's not catering to what we think our needs are. I wanted a D850 competitor with buffer et al. And or a Z6 with 12fps and D500 buffer/AF features. What we got was the current Z7 and the Z6, Higher end consumer oriented Sony competitors....

As for my personal needs this is my analysis:

Birding and nature:

The competitors for the Z7 is my my D500 and old D800e plus of course ty Canon gear (7DMKII, 600 ISII, 400DO F4 etc):
  • My D500 has the same pixel density as a D850 and no buffer and framerate issues, and superior battery life
  • My D800e for stills if I can get close enough is still a fair alternative to a Z7, not far away in IQ, no focus peaking etc, much better in live view of course
  • Canons coming ? 7DMKII is very interesting because of my lens collection and maybe Canon gets eye focus etc. But the are probably not going to announce it until the 1DX MKIV is announced before the Olympics ???? = next spring
  • The D6 is probably coming next spring, maybe 24 mp14fps and buffer galore, new AF etc.
  • A Z7 is a bit of a hard sell in this scenario

Closeup, landscape, hiking, travel, family and the few event like things I do
  • Z7 seems like a good (but costly) upgrade for me. lighter then my D800e I would probably get a 24-70 F4 kitlens, and of course an adapter to F mount. CAD$5668 with tax. Pricey
  • I could trade in the D800e to make up for part of the difference

I will ponder further, not an easy sell for the Z7…..
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,107
Location
Los Angeles, USA
So, yes, it wouldn’t be surprising to me at all if Jonathan was bashed and battered for his comments there at DPR..... And that is a real shame, as he does make some very serious, thoughtful and valid points in his post.

Jonathan: I thought you had or were going to preorder one of the new Z cameras?
Haha, my voice was drowned out by all the crying on DPReview over the drama of #onecardslot so I was neither bashed or praised! :D

I received some conflicting news from NPS. On one hand, I was told that they would ship me a priority order to the dealer of my choice. Yet my local NPS rep emailed me separately saying I need to place an order on the Nikon website or order directly from the dealer and then send my invoice number to Nikon so they can tag my Z6 when they ship it. I'm also number 6 at my local camera store on the wait list! ;)

Saying that, I still want to try out the Z cameras in-person. There's so much conflicting news floating around, I'm not sure what to believe. I have to admit, the Sony A7III is a fantastic camera and truly ticks all the right boxes in regards to focusing and hardware. I can buy one right now and I consider it the closest thing to a mirrorless D750. Basically if Nikon just copied the A7III, there would be nothing but praise right now.

I just want to add, Nikon can only improve from here on out. All the mirrorless manufacturers had subpar cameras that eventually improved (except Panasonic which has had some of the fastest single point AF from the beginning). I hate to say it, but Nikon will probably have to pull a few Sony moves and maybe release faster updates or even mid-cycle revisions (ex: Z6S , Z7S) at the detriment of early adopters. If the improved models show vast improvement, people will forgive Nikon as long as customer demands are met.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
7,982
Location
Maple Bay, Duncan, BC, Canada
Real Name
Andreas Berglund
There is another way and that is to update the firmware on a regular basis, and change and add new features , Sony did and Fuji and it has helped them a lot.

If we get a statement from Nikon that they will do this, it will mean a lot for our confidence in Nikon.

And maybe Nikon could even start listening to their customers (?)


Haha, my voice was drowned out by all the crying on DPReview over the drama of #onecardslot so I was neither bashed or praised! :D

I received some conflicting news from NPS. On one hand, I was told that they would ship me a priority order to the dealer of my choice. Yet my local NPS rep emailed me separately saying I need to place an order on the Nikon website or order directly from the dealer and then send my invoice number to Nikon so they can tag my Z6 when they ship it. I'm also number 6 at my local camera store on the wait list! ;)

Saying that, I still want to try out the Z cameras in-person. There's so much conflicting news floating around, I'm not sure what to believe. I have to admit, the Sony A7III is a fantastic camera and truly ticks all the right boxes in regards to focusing and hardware. I can buy one right now and I consider it the closest thing to a mirrorless D750. Basically if Nikon just copied the A7III, there would be nothing but praise right now.

I just want to add, Nikon can only improve from here on out. All the mirrorless manufacturers had subpar cameras that eventually improved (except Panasonic which has had some of the fastest single point AF from the beginning). I hate to say it, but Nikon will probably have to pull a few Sony moves and maybe release faster updates or even mid-cycle revisions (ex: Z6S , Z7S) at the detriment of early adopters. If the improved models show vast improvement, people will forgive Nikon as long as customer demands are met.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Messages
1,180
Location
England
Here are some thoughts from one of the quieter voices on the web: Photoshop and Digital Photography Tips, Articles & Tutorials @ Earthbound Light
A very sane article. I suspect the Z cameras will sell well, but mainly to well heeled amateurs and not pros. The online whiners seem to forget that the Z cameras provide a very high quality sensor - probably better than most Canon ones - and a new range of higher quality lenses with the advantages of an EVF and full compatibility with existing lenses having built in AF motors.

That said, when Nikon introduced the D3 it was a killer. The D700 cannibalised D3 sales but surely helped overall Nikon sales. The Z cameras have in a sense been crippled to not cannibalise D850 and D5 sales. If as some predict Nikon can’t make Z cameras fast enough, they will be proven right.
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
2,380
Location
Eden, NY
I agree with Andréas concerning advertised frame rates. The fps numbers Nikon is hyping are misleading and it's lead many of us to believe this was another fast camera suitable for Wildlife and Sports photography. That turns out to be a completely false narrative once the specifications are examined to determine real frame rates and buffer capacity. So, that initial excitement turned to disappointment.

I do believe the big story here is the new Z mount. There will be many follow on Z cams and some of those will be capable wildlife and sports cams. In the meantime my D850 is cheaper than the Z7 and it hasn't lost any luster with the Z cam introduction. But Nikon has been consistent in their message that the new mount benefits fast and wide lenses and their lens roadmap is filled with fast and wide lenses. They are putting their development money their. One look at the MTF curves of the 3 new S mount lenses shows clear improvement over similar F mount lenses. This should be very welcome news for fast and WA shooters. These cams and lenses may not suit our needs but they will be upgrades for many.

Question:
How long before some company comes out with an F mount to Z mount conversion for AF-S lenses? It seems to me it would be easy to unscrew the F mount bayonet from the rear of the lens and screw in an S mount adapter that has a built in 30.5mm extension and Z mount.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2017
Messages
1,129
Location
Central Ohio
Real Name
Andrew
Nikon has generated expectations that the cameras don't match on a number of dimensions.
Marketers tell us this is dumb.
Witness all the critical comments on the web.
There'd be even more if those commenting all had an understanding of what's been achieved in mirrorless by Fuji, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus.
I'm honestly not seeing the same things you are then. All the internet expectations I've seen were made WAY before the camera was officially announced. Too many people that are camera reviewers and not photographers pushing the agenda.

The Nikon Z cameras are not perfect, but they are certainly being held up to a standard they never asked to be held to. The rash of internet bloggers always go WAY overboard on these things, regardless of camera brand. Then you get fanboys with their panties in a bunch over some troll who comments. Too much noise and not enough substance. It takes quite a bit to dig through it all to get to the truth of the matter. We even need to push our own biases aside to be objective.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2009
Messages
2,403
Location
NC
I'm honestly not seeing the same things you are then. All the internet expectations I've seen were made WAY before the camera was officially announced. Too many people that are camera reviewers and not photographers pushing the agenda.

The Nikon Z cameras are not perfect, but they are certainly being held up to a standard they never asked to be held to. The rash of internet bloggers always go WAY overboard on these things, regardless of camera brand. Then you get fanboys with their panties in a bunch over some troll who comments. Too much noise and not enough substance. It takes quite a bit to dig through it all to get to the truth of the matter. We even need to push our own biases aside to be objective.
I agree......the moment of "truth" to me is seeing Cafe members' actual results.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
1,026
Location
Johns Creek, Ga
Interesting review of the Z7 by Corey Rich (video) and Michelle Valberg (still images) who had couple of weeks using the Z7 before the announcement. Granted they are both Nikon Ambassadors, but still interesting to hear what they had to say and see the results. This was on an Adorama you tube video. As can be expected pretty much positive as were Joe McNally’s results. My interest is peaked and looking forward to see what and how the production released camera behaves and if any changes were made to the pre-production cameras. I have the D800 currently but a Z7 may be in my future.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,107
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I'm testing the cameras tomorrow at a Nikon Z demo day. I told my wife to come home early to watch the kids, either that or I'll make them my lens sherpas so I can test all my glass!

I'll bring my Sony A7III to compare. I figure I'll come away with three possible impressions:

1. The Z cameras are great, go ahead and put a pre-order.
2. The Z cameras have potential, wait for either firmware updates or the next body iteration.
3. Stick with your Nikon DSLR or buy a Sony A7III if you want to go FF mirrorless. :D
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,107
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Jonathan, I will be most interested in the comparisons between the new Nikons and the A7III!!!! Also, of course, in how well the new adapter works with older Nikon lenses. At this point in time I am still leaning in the direction of a Sony A7III.....
I'll post my impressions here or on a new thread! I'll try posting photos and recording video as well. ;)
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom