Questions for DSLR/Z7 Converts

Joined
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First for anyone who might pitch in with "why not try Sony, Canon, etc,?" please don't. Similarly please no misdirects onto Z6, Z50, etc. I've got first hand experience with a couple of other mirrorless kits. What I'm looking for is input on as close as possible to an apples/apples comparison between high end Nikon DSLR to comparable mirrorless.

1) What were the hardest things to get used to?

2) Any pleasant surprises?

3) Knowing what you know now would you do it again or wait for the second gen mirrorless before giving it a try?
 
Joined
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Stafford, UK
Ok, let me try.

I was reluctant convert to mirrorless. I started in full frame digital with D700 back at launch, after several years I acquired Leica M9, followed by M240 and finally SL601. All this time I used M, R and Nikkor/Zeiss manual focus lenses. Note, previous Leica was always part exchanged for a next model. I also acquired M246, this being unique monochrome camera is a keeper.

During all this time i never warmed up to Sony primarily due to complex user interface and lagging in few key areas, essentially I view it as a brand that was churning models at high rate and offering improvements but essentially being more a play station than a camera (caveat, highly personal opinion).

Once Z6/7 were announced I was bowled over by the well thought out camera systemspecification. The Leica SL601 was part exchanged for Z7 kit, followed by purchase of 50, 85 and 24mm Z primes. Soon one of my prized but little used Leica R lens will be sold to fund Z 70-200mm. As an engineer I always appreciated compatibility and continuity in the product development. Nikon is pretty good at it. At launch FTZ adaptor is providing excellent utilisation of old lens stable and new cameras. My SB800 flash works perfectly on the Z7.

Coming from M240 with sub-par external EVF and later SL601 the Z7 was easy transition, Z7 offered several welcome features; IBIS, compatible flash and affordable native AF lenses, compact size and excellent user interface, ability to save compressed lossless RAW, general feel and ease of use. Let’s not forget hinged rear screen is brilliant feature providing some extra flexibility.

Comparing on spec sheet alone can be mugs game, for instance EVF on Z7 is somewhat lagging on spec sheet compared to SL601 but in real life use it is brilliant, and more than adequate for pretty much all shooting scenarios I experienced, including wedding, holidays, slide copy, goofing around, it just works.

I could go on.
 
Joined
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Melbourne - Australia
I guess it depends on what you like to photograph, and how good your eyesight is.

I've been using mirrorless and DSLR camera's, even on the same photowalk, for several years.

My eyesight is not the best, and I find using the screen more beneficial for many of the genres I like to photograph. IMO, Nikon's implementation of LV in their DSLR's is a joke. Slow and clunky to operate, this is where mirrorless shines. I know a few Nikon users switch to Canon due to the LV. I guess these days they may go mirrorless.

Another issue I experience with mirrorless cameras, and I use three brands of mirrorless, is trying to focus on small subjects. One of the brands I use is stella, and even when on a photowalk, users of DSLR's, other brands of mirrorless, and bridge cameras all tend to struggle to focus on these small items. Nine times out of ten they revert to manual focus. Then there is the tracking of these subjects as they move in the breeze.

I only take mirrorless on holiday now. I find using the rear screen whether I'm photographing architecture or landscapes allows me to change the height of the camera easier than trying to use the viewfinder. When it comes to seascapes or waterfalls and using ND filters, the mirrorless cameras just see through the filters and allow you to compose and focus with the filters in place.

However, the best thing IMO, is IBIS. Once you use a body with a great IBIS system, it makes photography even more fun!
 
Joined
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I shoot a lot of BIF and don't foresee giving up my DSLR for that. My thoughts are to perhaps switch to mirrorless for other subject matter and to carry as my second body. But if the controls etc are radically different probably not. One reason I like Nikon and have stuck with them so long is ergonomics that work for me. For convenience I carry an A6000 on holiday and hate every minute of it.
 
Joined
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Nikon Z physical controls are a little bit different from Nikon DSLR yet very similar, in my opinion any Nikon DSLR user can pick up Z camera and familiarise with controls and go to shoot as a matter of minutes.

The approach to menu system is pretty much identical on both systems. I like the customisation options on the Z system accessible via function and info buttons.
 
Joined
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Winter Haven, florida
I recently switched to a different brand’s system. I too was having issues with fast random shooting, such as birds in flight. I am just coming back from a week at Bosque, with a full week of birds in flight, although the flight paths are somewhat predictable. The mirrorless nailed it by the end of the week. Nailed it. My nikon gear never came out of the bag. There is a learning curve, and it takes a while. The first couple of days was ugly, but then as I got it dialed in and changed some habits everything just clicked. I was shocked. The newer mirrorless cameras are terrific, and will handle your bif with no issues. But it will take a while to relearn everything.
Gary
 
Joined
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SF Bay Area, California, USA
#1 - Reduced battery life (different brand). :(
With a dSLR, I'm used to being able to shoot the entire weekend on a single battery with a single charge and still have power left over for Monday.​
With the mirrorless, depending on which lens I use, I get 4-6 hours continuous on run time.​
This affects battery logistics for a long shoot or going on a trip/vacation.​
Shooting sports is a "worse case" situation, as the camera is ON continuously, with no chance to power down to extend the battery life.​
But my last vacation, standing on the observation deck of the train, I was shooting continuous ON for HOURS. So the same as shooting sports, but even longer, 8 hours.​
To extend the battery run time, you have to put the camera to sleep or turn it OFF, more often.​

#2 - EVF for use in difficult lighting conditions :)
I can adjust the exposure BEFORE pressing the shutter, rather than the shoot, chimp, adjust, repeat process.​
This was so much more useful than I had thought before. Now it is hard to go back to an OVF, for that single reason.​
 
Joined
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Messages
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Alaska
...in my opinion any Nikon DSLR user can pick up Z camera and familiarise with controls and go to shoot as a matter of minutes.

The approach to menu system is pretty much identical on both systems. I like the customisation options on the Z system accessible via function and info buttons.
Thanks for the additional comments. Yes the ability to customize button functions on the current gen DSLRs is extremely useful.
...The newer mirrorless cameras are terrific, and will handle your bif with no issues. But it will take a while to relearn everything.
Thanks for the input, Gary. To date EVF lag is the one thing that has made mirrorless a non-starter for me. I even struggle with the 60 percent blackout time of the D500 at 10fps and consequently keep it turned to to 7 or 8 fps. Maybe it is as simple as just having to power through the learning curve.
#1 - Reduced battery life (different brand). :(
...To extend the battery run time, you have to put the camera to sleep or turn it OFF, more often.​

#2 - EVF for use in difficult lighting conditions :)
Thanks for the thoughts. Yes even on long shoots battery management is rarely an issue with a DSLR. Compatibility between bodies/chargers is a frustration.

And maybe I undervalue the WYSIWYG aspect of the EVF.
 
Joined
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SW Virginia
And maybe I undervalue the WYSIWYG aspect of the EVF.
Maybe the same for me. Never having used that capability, I've always thought that it would be nice but not important enough to make a change. I might be wrong about that.
I'm finding it a major advantage. Not only can you adjust the exposure and see the effect before you shoot, you can adjust white balance to match what you see with your eyes.

Of course, shooting raw you can always adjust white balance later. But how many of us remember the colors in the scene with unerring accuracy a few days later? Not me.
 
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#1 - Reduced battery life (different brand). :(
With a dSLR, I'm used to being able to shoot the entire weekend on a single battery with a single charge and still have power left over for Monday.​
With the mirrorless, depending on which lens I use, I get 4-6 hours continuous on run time.​
This affects battery logistics for a long shoot or going on a trip/vacation.​
Shooting sports is a "worse case" situation, as the camera is ON continuously, with no chance to power down to extend the battery life.​
But my last vacation, standing on the observation deck of the train, I was shooting continuous ON for HOURS. So the same as shooting sports, but even longer, 8 hours.​
To extend the battery run time, you have to put the camera to sleep or turn it OFF, more often.​

#2 - EVF for use in difficult lighting conditions :)
I can adjust the exposure BEFORE pressing the shutter, rather than the shoot, chimp, adjust, repeat process.​
This was so much more useful than I had thought before. Now it is hard to go back to an OVF, for that single reason.​
this is huge and I didn't know it was possible until I took a shot and adjusted exposure.
 
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Maybe the same for me. Never having used that capability, I've always thought that it would be nice but not important enough to make a change. I might be wrong about that.
as long as we've been doing this it's not a surprise but confirmation but a nice to have......i'm curious to test things like a white bird in fl.....
 
Joined
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And maybe I undervalue the WYSIWYG aspect of the EVF.

I just came back from shooting for a week solid at Bosque. A couple of other mirrorless shooters out there and I was fortunate enough to run into a couple of fellows on the same system. I learned A LOT. I have to think differently. The WYSISYG is awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Did I say it worked. It does. I have to think differently. But I can experiment through the viewfinder. I know what the image is going to look like. I was shocked. DSLR gear never came out of my bag.
Gary
 
Joined
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Messages
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CHARLOTTE
Real Name
Randy
And maybe I undervalue the WYSIWYG aspect of the EVF.

I just came back from shooting for a week solid at Bosque. A couple of other mirrorless shooters out there and I was fortunate enough to run into a couple of fellows on the same system. I learned A LOT. I have to think differently. The WYSISYG is awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Did I say it worked. It does. I have to think differently. But I can experiment through the viewfinder. I know what the image is going to look like. I was shocked. DSLR gear never came out of my bag.
Gary
you shoulda seen my face yesterday morning when I 1st took the Z50 on the deck for some backyard play. When I changed the EV I saw the change, wow that's a huge tool to have before you take a picture. But what's up with the blackout right after the picture ? Is that just the way it is ?
 
Joined
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
you shoulda seen my face yesterday morning when I 1st took the Z50 on the deck for some backyard play. When I changed the EV I saw the change, wow that's a huge tool to have before you take a picture. But what's up with the blackout right after the picture ? Is that just the way it is ?
Yup. The evf giveth and the evf taketh away. EVF lag and blackout are the biggest challenges using mirrorless for action. The Z series evf's are among the better ones available but no one has totally eliminated the lag and blackout. I need to dig into the Z6 menus. The Olympus bodies had an adjustment that minimized the blackout. Maybe the Z does too.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
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436
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MN, USA
For me, the Live Histogram (though understand it is not strictly based on the RAW data) is a game changer. But what really sets the Z system apart for me are the S lenses - effortless sharpness edge to edge at all nearly all apertures. I believe every S lens outperforms its G counterpart.
 
Battery life has improved significantly with Sony's new batteries for the A7R IV; when I bought the camera I immediately bought two extra batteries thinking that they would be necessary based on my experiences with the NEX-7 earlier, but was pleasantly surprised at the longer battery life with the FZ100. That said, though, so far I have not taken the camera on any extended intensive several-hour or all-day shooting trips.....

Sony has eliminated blackout in its A9 series (those cameras are meant for sports and BIF shooting) and also, interestingly, in its small RX100 VII. Blackout still occurs in other models, though, including the A7R IV.

Years ago when I first got the NEX-7 I was immediately impressed by the EVF, especially that I could see what impact any adjustments I might make would be on the image before I actually took the shot, and that is indeed valuable, especially in tricky lighting situations. EVFs in current mirrorless cameras do not have the problematic lag issue that the first generations did, and the difference is noticeable. I think I would have a hard time trying to go back to an optical VF now.
 
Joined
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Moscow, Idaho
EVF for use in difficult lighting conditions :)
I can adjust the exposure BEFORE pressing the shutter, rather than the shoot, chimp, adjust, repeat process.This was so much more useful than I had thought before. Now it is hard to go back to an OVF, for that single reason.
Absolutely my favorite new feature. It also alerts me to when I forget to change exposure settings from the previous shot/s. :rolleyes:
 
Joined
May 3, 2007
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
you shoulda seen my face yesterday morning when I 1st took the Z50 on the deck for some backyard play. When I changed the EV I saw the change, wow that's a huge tool to have before you take a picture. But what's up with the blackout right after the picture ? Is that just the way it is ?
Check in the Playback menu. If Image Review is on, try turning it off. This doesn't eliminate blackout but, if the camera is set to evf and display or display only, turning it off seems to help. Might just be my imagination but worth a try.
 

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