Vindication for the Nikon Z System

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I'm starting to think the Z system is going to gain some much-needed momentum in the coming months. Here are a couple things that could be strong indicators:
  1. Firmware: the upcoming update - if it further refines AF and adds CF Express compatibility - could bring the Z6/Z7 up a significant notch.
  2. Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8S: the release of this optic could be a "best of both worlds" solution if it is as compact as the Canon equivalent and as good as the 70-200mm f/2.8E.
  3. D6: the fact that this body is being released fairly soon clears the way for Nikon to pull out all the stops in the next iteration of Z bodies. They'll be able to offer true pro-level gear in both their F- and Z- systems with freshly released products (and the larger profit margins associated with initial pricing of new products) in both DSLR and mirrorless simultaneously.
 
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Actually I don't think FF Z is going to do much. Where Nikon needs to push the Z system is with the Z50 and BIG TIME. First, I rarely see FF DSLRs or MILCs for casual use nowadays, unless being shot by professionals. Video is done on a hodgepodge of different systems. For stills, the most consistent form factor for casual use I've been seeing outside of smartphones are APS-C MILC cameras. In fact I was at the art museum this weekend and I mainly saw only APS-C Fuji and and Sony cameras. Canon M seems most popular with tourists from Asia (I rarely see them used by locals), but the Sony A6xxx and Fuji X-Txxx series seem to be the big sellers. The Z50 is apparently doing well in Japan, so hopefully it'll also gain momentum in the US and other regions as well.

As much as I'm impressed by how Canon has released it's core Canon R lenses already, they're also ridiculously expensive and you'd have to be a well-heeled amateur to buy their current glass. At least the current Nikon Z lenses are more reasonably priced and practical, while Nikon professionals can still use their top tier glass with the FTZ adapter. Sony though has all their bases covered with entry/mid/top level APS-C and entry/mid/top level FF bodies. Sony's biggest weakness is with prime/telephoto glass beyond 200mm that's affordable and they have no OVF option when EVFs just aren't practical in professional use.
 
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I just played with the Z50 this morning. This form factor has way more appeal to the masses in my opinion. In fact I'd rather buy this over a Z6/7 and keep my FF DSLRs. The buffer is also deep enough despite being UHS-I only.

Thinking outside the box, I'd love for Nikon to do an FF sensor in this body, maybe use the D5's sensor and skip the IBIS. Call it the Zf! :D

My daughter's NEX-5T next to the Z50:
IMG_20191216_105139465~2.jpg
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They just need to add a reasonable telephoto to have a nice trio. A retractable 70-200 f/4 to go with the other retractable f/4 zooms would be great.
I'll take a retractable f/4 zoom over a 2.8 any day. I think Canon's approach is a little wonky right now. I just can't imagine many people are dropping $2K+ USD a piece for all the premium lenses they're releasing. Also I don't think Nikon has to go crazy with Z DX lenses. Just a few native primes, a wide angle zoom and FTZ'ing the rest would do wonders for their bottom line.
 
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I would prefer a 70-200/2.8S to NOT be retractable so that it doesn't suffer breathing issues and suck dust inside the lens barrel optics where you can't get rid of it without taking it to a service center. While an internal focus / internal zoom will be heavier and larger, I think there are benefits.
 
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CF Express support but no AF upgrade in the firmware update. I'm a little disappointed.
I keep reading gripes about the Z6/Z7 auto focus? I seriously don't think it's any worst or better than the A7/R III series and that was prior to the Z firmware 2.0. Nikon would have to release a brand new camera to match the likes of the A9/A9II. What Nikon should add is button-activated eye-AF like the Sony implementation (which also has realtime eye-AF). In Nikon's defense I do like that the Z cameras have AF point skipping, since with Sony cameras there's no way to skip focus points (to make scrolling through the AF area faster) which actually makes eye-AF more of a necessity on Sony bodies.
 
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Nikon would have to release a brand new camera to match the likes of the A9/A9II
Agreed. There are still a few things with the Z6/Z7 that can and should be addressed via FW. Three items at the top of my wish list are:
  1. Focus confirmation in AF-C. It is a no-brainer to have the AF target square(s) change from red to green when focus is achieved in AF-C, just like it already does in AF-S.
  2. Eye-AF availability in all AF modes. If the capability exists, why not permit it to work within a smaller selected area of the field of view? Let the photographer "tell" the camera which face is the subject by positioning the AF target appropriately, then letting Eye-AF take over from there.
  3. The option to program eye-AF to toggle on/off with a Fn button (like you said, but perhaps this one is not possible via FW)
 
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Agreed. There are still a few things with the Z6/Z7 that can and should be addressed via FW. Three items at the top of my wish list are:
  1. Focus confirmation in AF-C. It is a no-brainer to have the AF target square(s) change from red to green when focus is achieved in AF-C, just like it already does in AF-S.
  2. Eye-AF availability in all AF modes. If the capability exists, why not permit it to work within a smaller selected area of the field of view? Let the photographer "tell" the camera which face is the subject by positioning the AF target appropriately, then letting Eye-AF take over from there.
  3. The option to program eye-AF to toggle on/off with a Fn button (like you said, but perhaps this one is not possible via FW)
I'd take all 3 in a blink of an eye! :)
 
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Agreed. There are still a few things with the Z6/Z7 that can and should be addressed via FW. Three items at the top of my wish list are:
  1. Focus confirmation in AF-C. It is a no-brainer to have the AF target square(s) change from red to green when focus is achieved in AF-C, just like it already does in AF-S.
  2. Eye-AF availability in all AF modes. If the capability exists, why not permit it to work within a smaller selected area of the field of view? Let the photographer "tell" the camera which face is the subject by positioning the AF target appropriately, then letting Eye-AF take over from there.
  3. The option to program eye-AF to toggle on/off with a Fn button (like you said, but perhaps this one is not possible via FW)
Of the three you listed, this is my order or want
#2 I would love to see this option!!!
#3 Nice option, but I don't change focus modes that often that using the i-button has not worked for me. But I would give it a try.
#1 Does seem easy enough to change via FW update, but I'm fine without it.
 
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First, I rarely see FF DSLRs or MILCs for casual use nowadays, unless being shot by professionals.
Haha, got stuck behind a very large tour group of Chinese tourists in the Vatican museum, no matter what we tried to do this group were always in the same space as us, this gave me the opportunity to look at what the photographers were carrying, I have to say that Canon was the number 1 brand, and the 5D the preferred camera, however there were a number of Sony cameras, a good few Nikon's (both Mirrorless and DSLR including a guy with a brace of D4's, one with a 14-24 and the other a 24-70 round his neck), a smattering of Fuji's and bridge cameras, last but not least an older couple touting Leica Q's.

To be fair whilst in Rome there were many photographers with FF DSLR's in the tourist locations, Canon was the most popular by some margin with EOS 1,s, 5's, and 6's very visible but there were plenty of Nikon's (the D750 appeared a lot but the D5 or D850 not that visible), surprisingly I didn't see that many Sony's. Yes crop sensor cameras were about but the number of FF's was noticeable.

What did strike me was that a lot of the cameras were being used by women, far more than what I see in the UK, the other thing that caught my eye was that there were a good number using prime lenses rather than zooms and not f1.8 but 1.4 or on one occasion I had a stunted conversation with a couple of ladies from Spain, they had a 5D's and 50mm/f1.2 on each, with some other fast lenses in their shoulder bags, they liked my Z7 so we talked, sort of.

So the FF cameras are about, I suppose it just depends on where you are at any given time.
 
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