Thinking of Upgrading

Joined
Oct 1, 2019
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3
Hello. I have just found and joined this forum. Forgive me if my questions have been answered elsewhere. I couldn't find it in a quick search. I have a D7100 and intend to upgrade to a full frame model. I am leaning towards a mirrorless, either Z6 or Z7. I suppose I would describe myself as an above average amateur who is taking more photographs now that I'm retired.

Any opinions and feedback are welcomed.

My first question might seem a bit odd, but is there much offset, in the mirrorless, between what the eye sees in the viewfinder and what the sensor sees through the lens?

One thing that makes me a bit nervous about the Zs is the single card slot that takes what seems to be an uncommon memory card. The XQD cards are very expensive and seem to be made by a limited number of suppliers, i.e., Sony and any others? Is it wise to put all my memory eggs in one basket? Does a person need a special XQD card reader to open the image files on a desktop computer, for example in Lightroom or Photoshop? What if the XQD cards go the way of the 8-track tapes?

One of my weaknesses is that, when I do an upgrade like this, I tend to gravitate towards the latest and glossiest. Is the difference between a Z6 and a Z7 worth the cost difference? I have read a lot of comparison web sites. Maybe too many. At least, too many conflicting opinions. Is there anything close to a consensus in this little sandbox?

If I stay in the mirrored DSLR world, my options seem to be the D750 or the D850. The 850 looks to be heavier than the rest and it is a lot like the Z7 in terms of megapixels and focus points and price point which all makes me lean towards the Z7 which has the advantage of being a lot lighter. Is it safe to say the Z6 is the mirrorless equivalent of the D700 and the Z7 is the mirrorless equivalent of the D850?

The different lens mount is a bit of an annoyance. I have a Sigma Contemporary 150-600 that I just bought in the last six months. It's such a beautiful lens that I keep it under my pillow and cuddle up with it every night. Was the change in lens mounts a naked cash grab by Nikon, or is there another reason for it?

Thanks for any thoughts. The questions are: If you were me, what would you do? If I were you, what would I do?
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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I can answer a couple of your questions. Yes, it takes a different card reader or if you have a USB C port on your computer, you can plug your camera directly into the computer and download that way. But you still need a card reader for firmware updates. From what I understand, the lens mount allows Nikon to create better lenses. I can vouch that the two native Z lenses I have are super sharp. I haven't felt bad about not getting the Z7. Articles I have read say that the Z6 is better at video and low light shooting than the Z7. The Z7 has more resolution. So, I think it's all about what you are going to use the camera for. I'm sure others will chime in with more info. From my experience, the Z6 is an awesome camera and I love it!!
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
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Moscow, Idaho
Welcome.
With the Z6 what you see is what you get, and more-- you not only see the full scene, but you get to see the effects of exposure, white balance and focusing before and after you press the shutter, plus you get to see a finished image in the viewfinder (and can enlarge it too).
I added a Z6 to my D850. Before that was a d810 and long ago a D2X. So while my upgrade path is different from yours, my Z6 came with awfully big shoes to fill. Short version: I LOVE it. Lighter (almost 40%) than the 850, and sharper.
Th FTZ adapter is slicker than sliced bread, and with my SmallRig "L" bracket I can even remove it while on a tripod. My F series glass is sharper on the Z6. The native S glass is super, super sharp.
XQD is very robust. All the years that I had 2 slots, I never used 'em. Yeah, more money, but you are also paying for speed--lots of it. They won't be going away. Sony reader is cheap.
As a fellow retiree I find the Z6 very compatible with my new persona (getting older) and the 850 still works out on a tripod shooting landscapes, wildlife and the like.

Buy one.
 
Joined
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Upstate SC
XQD was a stop-gap measure to get to Compact Flash Express (CFe). The release of CFe is upon us, and has been adopted by nearly every flash memory manufacturer. There is an impending Nikon update that makes CFe fully backward compatible with XQD, so no worries about obsolescence. Also, XQD and CFe are built to industrial flash memory standards so failure is exceedingly rare. Plus, with so many manufacturers on board, the prices will fall at around the same rates as other memory over time.
Regarding your particular update choices, coming from a 7100, anything listed in your choices will prove an extraordinary upgrade. Your choice should consider what you shoot. I’d suggest, if you shoot a wide variety of subjects that include low light, action (including nature) look closely at the Z6. If you are a primarily static subject shooter (landscape, architecture, portrait, etc), look at the Z7. If you enjoy shooting moving images, the Z6 is at the top of the field.
Meanwhile, the D850 accomplishes all of the above if you want to stick with the more traditional dslr form factor (will also get the CFe update). The D750, while no slouch at all, would fit in at the bottom of your list.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
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Thank you all very much for your thoughtful responses. I settled on the Z6. Now I need to find a copy of Z6 for Dummies. I think there's a bit of a learning curve ahead of me. All the best to all of you.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
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Calgary
Thank you all very much for your thoughtful responses. I settled on the Z6. Now I need to find a copy of Z6 for Dummies. I think there's a bit of a learning curve ahead of me. All the best to all of you.
I would recommend Thom Hogan’s guide to the Z6. I am working my way through it. I upgraded from a D7200 to the Z6, and I find the learning curve not too bad. Good luck
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
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Melbourne - Australia
Congratulations on getting the Z6.
I went through a similar dilemma not so long ago. Regardless which body is chosen, the weight difference of both the bodies and kit lenses compared to their DSLR equivalents make them a joy to use.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
452
OK, I know I'm in a minority here, but I have large hands and the Z6/7 bodies do not feel at all comfortable - everything is too crowded. I also prefer the weight of my D810 for stability when shooting. If I were going to upgrade (which I'm not, or not any time soon) it would be for the truly superb D850 - a friend has one and it's hard to resist.

Now I'm not knocking the Z series or mirrorless in general, just making the point that there is another side to the mirrorless story.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
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Upstate SC
OK, I know I'm in a minority here, but I have large hands and the Z6/7 bodies do not feel at all comfortable - everything is too crowded. I also prefer the weight of my D810 for stability when shooting. If I were going to upgrade (which I'm not, or not any time soon) it would be for the truly superb D850 - a friend has one and it's hard to resist.

Now I'm not knocking the Z series or mirrorless in general, just making the point that there is another side to the mirrorless story.
I agree with the size, that’s why I’m anxious to get my hands on the mystery battery grip. At the very least, it’ll fit better in hand.
 
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I’m anxious to get my hands on the mystery battery grip. At the very least, it’ll fit better in hand.
Keep in mind that the battery grip will not include the extra set of dials and buttons for use in a vertical orientation. Even so, if it accomplishes your other goals it could be a good fit for you, both literally and figuratively.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
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Keep in mind that the battery grip will not include the extra set of dials and buttons for use in a vertical orientation. Even so, if it accomplishes your other goals it could be a good fit for you, both literally and figuratively.
I know. That’s pretty disappointing and a little surprising, but I still think the camera will feel more natural for me when using telephotos.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
3
As it turns out, I changed my mind and brought back the Z6 and took home a D850. More money, but I like the feel of it and I'm already comfortable with the basics of it. There's still some (maybe a lot) of learning to go through but I'm fine with that. The quality of the practice shots I've been taking since yesterday is quite amazing. This could well be the last camera I ever buy and I will not be saddled with any buyer remorse.

Here's a quick puzzler. When I shot in Raw with the D7100 I could open the nef files on the computer with Microsoft Photos. I use a Microsoft Surface Pro. It couldn't open the nef files generated by either the Z6 or the D850. Did something change in the formatting of raw files between then and now? Lightroom and Photoshop both open the new nef files. MS Photos was a handy tool for quickly browsing through the daily catch and releasing the ones that don't make the cut.
 
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Based on my experiences, if you already have the glass, Z 7....(Unless you're going to primarily do video, then Z 6)....
I really wanted the Z 7, but instead, I built up my glass collection......
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
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MN, USA
As it turns out, I changed my mind and brought back the Z6 and took home a D850. More money, but I like the feel of it and I'm already comfortable with the basics of it. There's still some (maybe a lot) of learning to go through but I'm fine with that. The quality of the practice shots I've been taking since yesterday is quite amazing. This could well be the last camera I ever buy and I will not be saddled with any buyer remorse.

Here's a quick puzzler. When I shot in Raw with the D7100 I could open the nef files on the computer with Microsoft Photos. I use a Microsoft Surface Pro. It couldn't open the nef files generated by either the Z6 or the D850. Did something change in the formatting of raw files between then and now? Lightroom and Photoshop both open the new nef files. MS Photos was a handy tool for quickly browsing through the daily catch and releasing the ones that don't make the cut.
There are benefits to both MILC and DSLRs. Despite the fact that the Z6 and Z7's generally better fit my needs (I still use a D500 for my very occasional wildlife), the D850 is probably still the best all-around camera on the market. If you like the feel of it, it's probably the right choice.

Don't Microsoft based systems require an updated codec for new camera models?
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
6,068
Location
Upstate SC
As it turns out, I changed my mind and brought back the Z6 and took home a D850. More money, but I like the feel of it and I'm already comfortable with the basics of it. There's still some (maybe a lot) of learning to go through but I'm fine with that. The quality of the practice shots I've been taking since yesterday is quite amazing. This could well be the last camera I ever buy and I will not be saddled with any buyer remorse.

Here's a quick puzzler. When I shot in Raw with the D7100 I could open the nef files on the computer with Microsoft Photos. I use a Microsoft Surface Pro. It couldn't open the nef files generated by either the Z6 or the D850. Did something change in the formatting of raw files between then and now? Lightroom and Photoshop both open the new nef files. MS Photos was a handy tool for quickly browsing through the daily catch and releasing the ones that don't make the cut.
Yes, you have to download the newest Nikon Codec for Windows. Quick, easy, and painless.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
719
Location
Berkshire, England
I agree with the size, that’s why I’m anxious to get my hands on the mystery battery grip. At the very least, it’ll fit better in hand.
Have you tried the Meike grip extension? I felt similarly that the Z6 didn't fit in the hand well, but got the Meike and I love it.
 
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Jun 13, 2019
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23
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New Zealand & Fiji
Real Name
Maurie Hill
I just love the Z7 and are constantly amazed how good the f4 S- zooms are - edge to edge super sharp, no CA. Makes my D5 and D810 and all those legacy 2.8 zooms look (feel) like dinosaurs

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Southern Alps, New Zealand. Z7 24-70/4

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Kimberleys, Western Australia. Z7 24-70/4.
 
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