Possible disappointments on Z - PL

Joined
May 7, 2005
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2,382
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Eden, NY
It's clear Nikon made choices to not cannibalize DSLR sales. The buffer size being one case in point. The lack of a second slot is a turn off to some and a 'who cares' to others and then there is battery capacity which is concerning. I strongly suspect Nikon eliminated the 2nd slot in an attempt to maximize battery capacity while also providing an impetus to move into a DSLR for those who care about a 2nd slot.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
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15,554
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Nashua, NH
I find a second slot important. I don't need 2 cards for a session but I take my main card out when I get home to download images to my computer. I have at times forgotten to put it back in the camera before the next session - saved by the second card.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
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15,119
Location
Los Angeles, USA
This is my feelings regarding the article -

Single XQD slot:
Not a deal breaker, but also a step backwards. The second slot is useful to have mainly due to possible card failure. Saying that, I've never had a card go corrupt on any mirrorless camera I've owned in the last 8 years and I'm a pretty heavy-handed shooter. I just checked prices and you can get a Sony 64GB XQD card for about $125-140 USD. Since I only shoot with 32gb cards right now, 64gb is plenty for me!

The biggest solution in my mind is just get the highest capacity card you need and just use the USB-C slot to download your images to avoid having to take your card out. I picked up a USB Type-C cord for $4 USD off Amazon Prime. USB Type-C is way more robust compared to the older Micro USB 2.0 port so it should handle the rigors of constant file transfers.

Battery life:
I don't follow battery ratings. I've shot approximately 650 frames on the Sony A7II with the older low capacity NP-FW50 batteries, so the ratings are a major underestimation. My feeling is that the issue will rear it's ugly head with video. I've done videos with the EN-EL15 battery with my D750 and they don't last nearly as long. Not sure if the Z cameras will have better power management, but it's yet to be seen.

High FPS/Buffer limitation:
This one kind of sucks, because my A7III has an amazingly deep buffer and it doesn't require XQD memory cards (and comes with 2 SD card slots). I'll have to see this in person if this affects the way I shoot, I'm guessing not. For sports shooters you might be better off sticking to your D500 or D5 bodies.

The new auto focus arrangement:
Not sure what Nikon was thinking here. They should of just stuck with their group AF configurations. Olympus and Panasonic even emulate Nikon's own group AF configuration and yet Nikon couldn't bother to follow it themselves. Sony's AF options aren't all that great and I find myself using the single point center most of the time! Sony's Eye-AF is actually their saving grace and that only was implemented across the board with the 3rd generation bodies. If you don't shoot people, eye-AF doesn't help much.

My initial conclusion:
A lot of these issues can be ironed out, but Nikon now has a solid base to build on now. Their mount is rock solid. They've included an amazingly high res EVF in their Z6 model for the same price as the Sony A7III which has a low res EVF. Sony while a tech powerhouse doesn't really function or take into account how a photographer works. There are a lot of little things that bug me when shooting Sony (like no raw editing or raw-to-jpeg conversions in-camera). I actually like that Nikon stayed with the EN-EL15/A/B battery. Buffer might be the biggest issue with these cameras, but Nikon has done buffer upgrades in the past (D1X, D3) and mid-cycle upgrades (D300S, D2XS, D3S, D810, D4S) so these claims that Nikon will be slow to release cameras compared to Sony is hyperbole by a bunch of millennial hipsters. Also the auto focus grid and AF arrangement can still be fixed via firmware and if Nikon is on their "A" game, they'll make sure to issue firmware updates consistently. I think Nikon has done a commendable job for their first FF mirrorless camera. I'm going to try and test the Z cameras next week in-person, so I'll give a more in-depth opinion!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
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1,465
Location
SE USA
Until there are product user manuals to read, we really do not know much about these two cameras. I have read the two specification sheets and I have read the product brochure and there is not enough information there for me to decide if I am interested or not interested. Some things sound like it could be interesting, and some things sound like they could be disappointing. Add in that no one has seen a production camera yet much less actually spent a week testing it, so I am looking forward to what we find out in six months or so.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
658
Location
Cape Coral, Florida, USA
Did anyone ever try loading two rolls of film in a camera for a "backup"? :D:D:D
Yeah, but it's not 1980 either, and I don't carry extra 500 volt batteries for my monster flash.

Back in the day I thought power door locks were silly and air conditioning in a car a luxury feature; today I wouldn't buy one without it.

I'm not quite there for dual slots, but I definitely agree with those saying this was a mistake.

With no offense to all those so inclined, they built this camera for the retired birder/landscape guy, who wants a light kit, small body, high resolution, and rarely uses the term "built like a tank" to describe their camera, and has plenty of time to fiddle with menu options and doesn't need a dozen buttons and 3000 shot batteries. To be fair, there are a LOT more of them than there are people who buy D5's.

The real question for me is when they will try to provide a mirrorless for the D5 user. Or even "if". I want a big body, lots of buttons, endless buffer, etc.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
18,348
Location
Idaho
Yeah, but it's not 1980 either, and I don't carry extra 500 volt batteries for my monster flash.

Back in the day I thought power door locks were silly and air conditioning in a car a luxury feature; today I wouldn't buy one without it.

I'm not quite there for dual slots, but I definitely agree with those saying this was a mistake.

With no offense to all those so inclined, they built this camera for the retired birder/landscape guy, who wants a light kit, small body, high resolution, and rarely uses the term "built like a tank" to describe their camera, and has plenty of time to fiddle with menu options and doesn't need a dozen buttons and 3000 shot batteries. To be fair, there are a LOT more of them than there are people who buy D5's.

The real question for me is when they will try to provide a mirrorless for the D5 user. Or even "if". I want a big body, lots of buttons, endless buffer, etc.
I take no offense but think I fit your description of who you think the camera is suited for perfectly!
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,119
Location
Los Angeles, USA
The problem is that the Sony A9, A7III and A7RIII exist. I own the A7III and despite some shortcomings, it's one of the first mirrorless cameras that I could confidently use in a work capacity. Dual card slots, fast AF, deep buffer, long lasting battery, great high ISO, silent shutter and excellent image quality. It's not so much that these new Nikon's are bad, but the Sony cameras are so good now.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
18,348
Location
Idaho
Well, there is always the Z7x, that will be coming out in, oh a year and a half, or so :whistle::rolleyes::D
This is my feelings regarding the article -

Single XQD slot:
Not a deal breaker, but also a step backwards. The second slot is useful to have mainly due to possible card failure. Saying that, I've never had a card go corrupt on any mirrorless camera I've owned in the last 8 years and I'm a pretty heavy-handed shooter. I just checked prices and you can get a Sony 64GB XQD card for about $125-140 USD. Since I only shoot with 32gb cards right now, 64gb is plenty for me!

The biggest solution in my mind is just get the highest capacity card you need and just use the USB-C slot to download your images to avoid having to take your card out. I picked up a USB Type-C cord for $4 USD off Amazon Prime. USB Type-C is way more robust compared to the older Micro USB 2.0 port so it should handle the rigors of constant file transfers.

Battery life:
I don't follow battery ratings. I've shot approximately 650 frames on the Sony A7II with the older low capacity NP-FW50 batteries, so the ratings are a major underestimation. My feeling is that the issue will rear it's ugly head with video. I've done videos with the EN-EL15 battery with my D750 and they don't last nearly as long. Not sure if the Z cameras will have better power management, but it's yet to be seen.

High FPS/Buffer limitation:
This one kind of sucks, because my A7III has an amazingly deep buffer and it doesn't require XQD memory cards (and comes with 2 SD card slots). I'll have to see this in person if this affects the way I shoot, I'm guessing not. For sports shooters you might be better off sticking to your D500 or D5 bodies.

The new auto focus arrangement:
Not sure what Nikon was thinking here. They should of just stuck with their group AF configurations. Olympus and Panasonic even emulate Nikon's own group AF configuration and yet Nikon couldn't bother to follow it themselves. Sony's AF options aren't all that great and I find myself using the single point center most of the time! Sony's Eye-AF is actually their saving grace and that only was implemented across the board with the 3rd generation bodies. If you don't shoot people, eye-AF doesn't help much.

My initial conclusion:
A lot of these issues can be ironed out, but Nikon now has a solid base to build on now. Their mount is rock solid. They've included an amazingly high res EVF in their Z6 model for the same price as the Sony A7III which has a low res EVF. Sony while a tech powerhouse doesn't really function or take into account how a photographer works. There are a lot of little things that bug me when shooting Sony (like no raw editing or raw-to-jpeg conversions in-camera). I actually like that Nikon stayed with the EN-EL15/A/B battery. Buffer might be the biggest issue with these cameras, but Nikon has done buffer upgrades in the past (D1X, D3) and mid-cycle upgrades (D300S, D2XS, D3S, D810, D4S) so these claims that Nikon will be slow to release cameras compared to Sony is hyperbole by a bunch of millennial hipsters. Also the auto focus grid and AF arrangement can still be fixed via firmware and if Nikon is on their "A" game, they'll make sure to issue firmware updates consistently. I think Nikon has done a commendable job for their first FF mirrorless camera. I'm going to try and test the Z cameras next week in-person, so I'll give a more in-depth opinion!
I look forward to your opinions!
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,475
Location
Lompoc, CA
Yeah, but it's not 1980 either, and I don't carry extra 500 volt batteries for my monster flash.

Back in the day I thought power door locks were silly and air conditioning in a car a luxury feature; today I wouldn't buy one without it.

I'm not quite there for dual slots, but I definitely agree with those saying this was a mistake.

With no offense to all those so inclined, they built this camera for the retired birder/landscape guy, who wants a light kit, small body, high resolution, and rarely uses the term "built like a tank" to describe their camera, and has plenty of time to fiddle with menu options and doesn't need a dozen buttons and 3000 shot batteries. To be fair, there are a LOT more of them than there are people who buy D5's.

The real question for me is when they will try to provide a mirrorless for the D5 user. Or even "if". I want a big body, lots of buttons, endless buffer, etc.
I agree with pretty much everything you say but perhaps quibble with the idea that if these cameras were aimed at birders or landscape photogs they would be released with Z mount lenses appropriate for same. I would imagine a D5 level Z camera will follow when there are Z mount equivalents to the lenses a D5 users would typically buy. For me I wouldn't give up a high end DSLR kit to use F mount lenses with an adapter on mirrorless.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
4,508
Location
Redwood City, CA
I think Nikon might entice users with lenses like the 58/.95. Ultra-wides might also provide image improvements over the smaller f-mount. Since the Nikon mount is larger than Sony's it has inherent advantages for wide and fast.
 
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