My Z7 impressions

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Heartily agree with that. Unfortunately no matter how much tweaking Nikon does with the firmware (yet to be seen) the Z7/Z6 will never be able to match the AF capability of the D5/D850D/D500...that's at least a generation away yet. That being said the Z7 is a sweet little camera and joy to use...sad to say my clunky D850 is going to collect a lot of dust over the winter sitting on the shelf waiting for the birds to return next season. What is clear to me is that mirrorless is next evolution in photography. It's surprising that Canikon took so long to recognize that and start responding. I predict that at most we're going to see one more pro-DSLR release from Canikon, and after that the DSLR market will fall off a cliff. Really.
After trying the Z7 for a few weeks with a manual in my hand, I now feel I cannot go back to the DSLR world. Some people feel they will never go to mirrorless - probably because of the viewfinder (which is the major and probably the only difference from DSLR), and I was one of them. I did not want to give up the clear, real image of the glass prism: The EVF is like looking into a tiny TV. Having viewed the Nikon EVF, I changed my mind. The EVF technology is constantly improving. Even in Sony, the latest models like A9, A7III are better than old models. But the ultimate fact surrounding the mirrorless vs DSLR issue is that we cannot reverse or stop the flow of technology. The DSLRs are things in the past. (No worries for DSLR users; Nikon will support them for the next 10 years.) There are huge advantages of mirrorless compared with DSLR. Not least of which, ironically, is what you can see in the EVF. The EVF image quality simply has to improve more, including the refresh rate. Soon, all the mirrorless cameras will have an electronics shutter only: The current focal-plane shutter that comes with a mirrorless as an "add-on" is a thing in the past, just like the DSLR's mirror box is. For this to happen, the CMOS sensor read speed just has to be increased... The camera technology is heading in the right direction...
Now, my impression on the Z7 + 24-70mm: It is a very solidly-built pro camera. Its viewfinder is superb. The AF is very good, even with the FTZ adapter with AF-S Nikkors, under AF-S (single AF) mode. I was a bit disappointed with the AF-C (continuous) performance. The Z7 is a $3000+ camera after all. It should perform at least as good as the D850. (Not fair to compare with $6500 D5.) Having said that, the Z7 distills all the features of the D850 in a much more compact, lighter body, and yet its hand-holding grip is as solid as any pro cameras. And it is a mirrorless with all the benefit mirrorless can offer. Also, the Z7's in-camera VR is simply amazing, a hand-held 1/2 sec shooting at 24mm is possible. I was also very much impressed by this "S-line" 24-70mm f/4 lens. It performs great even at f/4 wide-open. Nano-crystal coating prevents ghost/flare very effectively at night. I was reminded that the lens technology is constantly improving still. The lens quality is particularly important when you are using a 45MP camera. At this "film" resolution, the lens, rather than the film, can become limiting. Using my good old Ai Nikkor 20mm f/3.5, I can see that the lens resolution is becoming a bottleneck in the overall final outcome.
So to sum up, my impression of the Z7 is: It is a good pro camera. I would recommend getting the Z7 instead of the D850, UNLESS your field requires fast-AF shooting, like sport and wild life, in which case the D5 is the best, but the D850 (with a battery grip) comes so close, with 45MP. For the majority of photographers using or thinking about the D850, the Z7 is as good or better than the D850. The Z7 is the future; DSLRs are a legacy (you do have 10 years left though).
 
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Camera that is lighter but has documented, demonstrated and personally experienced AF issues vs. heavier camera (body to body) with truly exceptional AF.
To me, other checklists of features is moot if this first hurdle isn't met. I'll try again in a few years, God willing.

Easy choice.
 
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Diglloyd has a different opinion about 24-70/4 and Z lenses (here)(at least those available today):
"The Nikon NIKKOR Z lenses have been a disappointment at best, so I look forward to testing the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM because it seems that Canon is taking the pro market seriously in terms of lenses, but Nikon is not, at least not yet." :(

Perspective. The bloggers and media are stating that the Z6/Z7 are "PRO" cameras and the 2 primes "S" primes released are "PRO". They are not and neither is the 24-70/4S. Nikon has what people would consider "pro" lenses already in f-mount that can be adapted and used until they bring out more "S" series lenses.

Nikon has entered into the mirrorless market with some seriousness now with a bit of a different perspective.

I feel the bloggers are reacting to what they see and not taking the time to look at what is being done and why.
This is not a situation like what Olympus did a bit ago with the OMD EM1 Mark 2, publicly proclaiming that the camera and AF system are just as good as top of the line DSLRs. That means, at the time, just as good as the D5/D500/D850. That proved to not be the case and soured quite a lot of people.

Nikon is not doing that. They are not making claims on performance that the camera cannot live up to. They are not claiming that this is a camera that people will be dropping their D5/D500/D850 for. It is an option for those currently with Nikon to stay there, or those that were waiting for Nikon to have a viable mirrorless option to jump on.
 
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Perspective. The bloggers and media are stating that the Z6/Z7 are "PRO" cameras and the 2 primes "S" primes released are "PRO". They are not and neither is the 24-70/4S. Nikon has what people would consider "pro" lenses already in f-mount that can be adapted and used until they bring out more "S" series lenses.

Nikon has entered into the mirrorless market with some seriousness now with a bit of a different perspective.

I feel the bloggers are reacting to what they see and not taking the time to look at what is being done and why.
This is not a situation like what Olympus did a bit ago with the OMD EM1 Mark 2, publicly proclaiming that the camera and AF system are just as good as top of the line DSLRs. That means, at the time, just as good as the D5/D500/D850. That proved to not be the case and soured quite a lot of people.

Nikon is not doing that. They are not making claims on performance that the camera cannot live up to. They are not claiming that this is a camera that people will be dropping their D5/D500/D850 for. It is an option for those currently with Nikon to stay there, or those that were waiting for Nikon to have a viable mirrorless option to jump on.
I think this is right on the mark.
I looked through the Nikon literature about the Z7 and the closest they come to comparing it to anything is to say that it is "inspired by the D850." This is pretty vague marketing speak but certainly doesn't claim D850 performance.
 
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The same holds for Canon.


Probably some demanding bloggers who test gear put themselves in customers' shoes, thus commenting on > 3 k$ professional body that has no pro lenses (at least not yet) with the same bayonet mount (which has been much advertised for the "miracles" its larger diameter and shorter distance from the sensor can do) and suitable to 45 MP resolution, with limited field curvature, no focus shift etc. ;)
BTW, Diglloyd likes the Z7. He's complaining about (currently available) lenses.

You are using the word "professional" again. That is not a correct assessment of the camera Nikon released.
Again, I think the bloggers are looking for sensationalism to boost viewership and clicks. I'm all for people earning a living and if that comes from blogging, that is fine...but I'd rather pay to see some truth an not what 99% of the bloggers out there are doing, which is nothing more than click baiting and unfounded statements to get people buzzing.
 
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@Ripolini , here's a link to Nikon's official Z7 page. Please scan through it and point to where Nikon proclaims that this is a professional camera (spoiler alert: I've already done this and "professional" is not mentioned ONCE).

Any such reference about the Z7 being a "pro" camera does not come from Nikon, but are instead the opinion of the reviewer. Please stop confusing the two.
 
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So has there been any extensive testing of the 24-70 S yet? I'm primarily concerned with across the frame sharpness when shot wide open vs. f/8 or f/11.

I handled a Z7 & 24-70 S this past weekend, but stupid me didn't think to shoot these kinds of images for myself :banghead:
 
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Here's a good article from PhotographyLife on the 24-70 S on the Z7

Key takeaways:
  • Coma performance is good
  • Vignetting is definitely present (performs a smidge worse than the 24-120 f/4 G)
  • Sharpness is very good (look at the landscape shot of the Aspens). Only in the EXTREME corners do we see some "smearing" of details (likely caused by software correction of distortion).
  • Flare performance is VERY good
  • Sunstars are very good (but not pin-sharp like what we see with Canon's EF lenses)
Honestly, for a $600 "kit lens" on a 46MP sensor, the lens looks like it does a damn fine job to me.
 
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Diglloyd has a different opinion about 24-70/4 and Z lenses (here)(at least those available today):
"The Nikon NIKKOR Z lenses have been a disappointment at best, so I look forward to testing the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM because it seems that Canon is taking the pro market seriously in terms of lenses, but Nikon is not, at least not yet."

Wow. So he's "disappointed" in the performance of the $1,000 ($600 in kit form) 24-70 f/4 S, and hopes that the $3,000 28-70 performs better. For $2,400 more, it better damn well sure perform better! Also, let's not discount the factor of size & weight in to this. Which would you rather carry around all day?

Canon sure is embracing that "smaller and light" mirrorless design philosophy though, right :rolleyes:?

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Go to Reader Questions About the Nikon Z6/Z7 | Sans Mirror | Thom Hogan, and search for NPS.
BTW, a camera costing >3$ isn't an amateur camera.
My EOS M3 costed me ten time less and I didn't expect a pro body ...
Nevertheless, it works fine and can produce pro pictures.
By that reasoning, a Leica Q is 50% more 'pro' than a Z7?
And giving NPS members early access to a new release still doesn't make it a 'pro' camera - It only means the NPS members have early access, nothing more and nothing less . . .
 
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Go to Reader Questions About the Nikon Z6/Z7 | Sans Mirror | Thom Hogan, and search for NPS.
BTW, a camera costing >3$ isn't an amateur camera.
My EOS M3 costed me ten time less and I didn't expect a pro body ...
Nevertheless, it works fine and can produce pro pictures.

I know a commercial photographer that shoots with a Canon Rebel and makes 6 figures a year...so if you want to go splitting hairs about what is "pro" gear and what is not, that is a much larger philosophical discussion. The results that someone produces and their business acumen make them and their work "pro", not the gear - not ever.

NPS - you might want to look into what it takes to be part of the Nikon NPS system. I just went through that a few months ago. Not everything in the list of camera bodies, lenses and accessories, requirements fits your or diglloyd's definition of "pro".
All that NPS statement on Hogan's site states is that NPS members get to jump the line on gear - which is any gear, not just the Z6/Z7. A perk of being part of NPS.

Again, the perspective is out of proportion and the internet hype is making more out of all the new mirrorless releases right now (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pana/Leica SL) than is in reality.
 
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So you're referencing an independent blogger who has zero affiliation with Nikon, and not Nikon themselves. Got it.

BTW, a camera costing >3$ isn't an amateur camera.

So is it now price that determines what is professional and what is not professional? If so, where is that line drawn? Do you consider the D750 "professional", despite only having a 1/4000 top shutter speed?

What about Fuji's $5,500 GFX 50s. That's an even more expensive camera, can only do 1/4000 with the mechanical shutter, 1/125s flash sync speed, has even worse C-AF performance, and can only shoot 3fps for 8 frames before the buffer fills up. How can Fuji justify the price of that camera since its specs are worse than cheaper cameras on the market?

My EOS M3 costed me ten time less and I didn't expect a pro body ...
Nevertheless, it works fine and can produce pro pictures.

Yes, and m43 cameras with even smaller sensors can product stunning, professional images as well. People love to blame their gear, but the reality is that a true professional can capture great images regardless of what you put in their hands to use.

Have you seen any full-res picture from that review?

Did you look at the 1:1 crops provided? They're right there in the article, focusing on the corner of the image, which will be the worst area to look at.

Another possibility is: significant sample variation. The sample used by Diglloys wasn't as good as the sample Nasin tested.

This is more likely the case, and is prevalent across the industry today. If you read the PhotographyLife article, you would've noticed that they're receiving an additional 5 copies of the 24-70 S, and they plan to evaluate all of them to get an idea of sample variation present in the lens. Unfortunately, that review has not come out yet.
 
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Have you seen any full-res picture from that review?
Another possibility is: significant sample variation. The sample used by Diglloys wasn't as good as the sample Nasin tested.

If he considers those sample images "poor" then I've got to question his objectiveness. That and given that this is a new system, only taking a few images.....my trust level is very low. Not sure what more someone could ask from a camera and lens combo given the subject matter.

Now, I feel you are just arguing to argue.
 
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Personally I really like Nikon's initial S-lens offerings ... the S24-70/4 is perfect for my general shooting needs as an amateur and I fully expect the 14-30/4 will be as well. My now-sold 24-70/2.8E was a fantastic lens but overkill for my needs. I'm very happy Nikon is initially focusing on the "prosumer" end of the market with their S-glass rather than what Canon is doing and I couldn't care less if the new S-lenses come up a bit short against Zeiss etc. I'll admit the Z7 is a tad pricey but otherwise I think the future of the Z/S-line is very bright.
 
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I don't know you, but IF I pay 3 k$ I WANT pro performances. And ACTUALLY the Z7 has several characteristics typical of a pro body (last but least its selling price). Anyway, the 24-70/4 seems to suffer, according to some blogger who seems rather skilled, from field curvature, focus shift etc. which are evident on a 45 Mpix sensor. Probably the problems are mitigated on Z6. Time will tell.

Then I posit that you are putting your priorities in the wrong place. Cost is not the end all be all. If you want pro performance, then buy the camera that has those qualities. Technically, there are some m43 cameras that can do more than some DSLR flagships, but are under $2000.

Performance is based on what the photographer needs, not the price point. Some people, based on their work require different things. We need to stop throwing the word PRO around like it has some kind of fixed definition in the photography gear context.
 
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Jim I agree with you.
However, you're implicitly stating that sharing information and opinions in fora are meaningless.

Opinions are fine to share. You stated your opinion that at $3,400 USD, the Z7 was a "professional" camera, despite Nikon never stating that anywhere on their website.

I opined that if cost is the determining factor of what is professional and what is not, what your opinion was of the $5,500 Fuji GFX 50S, since that camera has a slower max shutter speed, worse flash sync speed, slower FPS, and smaller buffer.

If $3,400 is professional, then $5,500 must be VERY professional. But the camera has even worse specs than the Z7.

OK. Z7 is the best value for money and the 24-70/4 is an optical gem.

About what I expected in terms of a response. Rather than attempting to have a discussion, you default to the "oh you don't agree with me? Then I must be 100% wrong and you're 100% right!" response, which is par for the course on the internet these days.

It's sad that people can't actually discuss anything these days with those who have a differing opinion. Oh well...
 

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