Z v F

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Mar 1, 2015
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I've been looking at the forums for a few months now and trying to weigh things up. I'm (really) early into my eighth decade so I do understand a desire for less weight. However I am not seeing huge weight savings when comparing my present D750 and D7200 and the lenses I have with the Z equivalents - especially when using the FTZ adaptor. I'm actually OK, weight-wise, with what I have. I don't go walkabout with all the kit I have, as I am sure must be the case with most folk here. My own normal shoulder bag allows for one camera and a couple of lenses - three max, including one on the camera. I don't walk with more and in fact usually walk with less. I don't travel with more. So what is there about the Z range that might make me change? Are there pictures I could take with a Z 6 or a Z 50 that I could not take with what I have now? Or, perhaps, are there photographs I could take more easily with or achieve better results with, by using the Z cameras? I'm not sure at all. I also think, perhaps incorrectly, that there must be a penalty to pay should I switch from, for example, F mount + TC + lens to Z mount + adaptor + TC +lens. Additionally, although the cameras are smaller, I am not seeing smaller lenses.

For now, I can see that I could, for example, get an improvement re wildlife and action pics by switching from the D7200 to a D500, but I'm not sure that would happen with a switch from the D7200 to anything Z. In both cases though I might have to spend on PP software.

I think I would prefer to spend my (very) slowly accumulating photography pennies on improving my lenses.

Or switching to something that is both smaller and better, regardless of make.
 
Joined
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I had the same concerns you did for several months before succumbing to a Z 6. I also have a D750 and a D7200 (and a D5500 for hiking). But after a couple of months with the Z 6 it's about all I am using. It's just more pleasant to use than the other cameras. I really like being able to see in the viewfinder almost exactly what the photo is going to look like before pressing the shutter, and the focus peaking when I'm playing with my MF lenses.

Even though the measured weight is greater, I'm finding little difference in the subjective experience between the Z 6/24-70 and the D5500/18-55 for hiking.

I still use my D7200 occasionally for the extra reach when photographing birds, but I don't think I've used my D750 at all.
 
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Joined
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I don't think any pictures that you can be made only by Z cameras but not by a F-mount camera. Pictures are made by you :).
But... this is my experience. When I switched from Sony A7R3, I ordered Z6 kit and FTZ adaptor (since I saved $100 for the adaptor). I then ordered 50mm 1.8G and used it with FTZ. I liked it until.... a month later, when I bought Z 50mm 1.8S. Oh man... Since the minute I got the native 1.8S, I never toughed the FTZ adaptor and 50 1.8G again until I sold them both. I also never bought any other F lenses. The adaptor made the system become really bulky which I didn't want, and AF was not as fast and quiet as the native Z lenses (of course).
Unless you need lenses that Nikon haven't made in Z mount yet, I would recommend to use native 1.8S for reduced size and faster AF.
Yet, many many people make great pictures with their Z cameras and FTZ adaptors.
I, however, started from scratch when I jumped off the boat from Sony so my experience is little bit different.
 
Joined
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Andrew
Don't think about it from a "what pictures will I get from the Z that I couldn't from the F mount". Look at it from a perspective of how much easier can the Z mount cameras get the images you want.

EVF - WYSIWYG exposure, live histogram
IBIS - if you get a Z6/Z7, you can use it hand held in some situation you may not even try with a non stabilized camera. Want a stabilized prime? any of the Z or F mount primes can be. Before that was not even an option. I just got done shooting an event this past weekend and IBIS was something that I definitely appreciated. I could have taken a tripod...but now I didn't have to.
quiet shutter / silent shooting - if you need this, the Z6 is close to almost silent even in mechanical shutter mode. The only camera I think is quieter is the Fuji X-H1. If you are shooting a music recital, event where loud noises are frowned upon, this is a benefit.
accurate AF - I cannot tell you how happy I am to not have to worry so much about focus calibration anymore.
manual focusing aids - if you like using manual focus lenses - punch in zoom and peaking - so good on the Z6. I used an old pre-AI Nikon 200/4 on the Z6 this weekend. Worked a charm! I can manual focus on my other cameras, but not as quickly and it takes into account the focus point I'm using to set the rangefinder dot. peaking allows me to manual focus without having to move a focus point around or recompose.

One other thing. I absolutely LOVE the Nikon Df. While it is not the greatest auto focuser and the continuous speed of 5.5 pales in comparison to the D500...that sensor is just awesome and the controls of that camera sing to me. I have a fondness for the ability to adapt manual Nikkor lenses on it. The Z6 + FTZ allow me to adapt all those same lenses but with the benefit of advanced manual focusing aids.

Hope that bit of information is useful to you.
 
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Don't think about it from a "what pictures will I get from the Z that I couldn't from the F mount". Look at it from a perspective of how much easier can the Z mount cameras get the images you want.

EVF - WYSIWYG exposure, live histogram
IBIS - if you get a Z6/Z7, you can use it hand held in some situation you may not even try with a non stabilized camera. Want a stabilized prime? any of the Z or F mount primes can be. Before that was not even an option. I just got done shooting an event this past weekend and IBIS was something that I definitely appreciated. I could have taken a tripod...but now I didn't have to.
quiet shutter / silent shooting - if you need this, the Z6 is close to almost silent even in mechanical shutter mode. The only camera I think is quieter is the Fuji X-H1. If you are shooting a music recital, event where loud noises are frowned upon, this is a benefit.
accurate AF - I cannot tell you how happy I am to not have to worry so much about focus calibration anymore.
manual focusing aids - if you like using manual focus lenses - punch in zoom and peaking - so good on the Z6. I used an old pre-AI Nikon 200/4 on the Z6 this weekend. Worked a charm! I can manual focus on my other cameras, but not as quickly and it takes into account the focus point I'm using to set the rangefinder dot. peaking allows me to manual focus without having to move a focus point around or recompose.

One other thing. I absolutely LOVE the Nikon Df. While it is not the greatest auto focuser and the continuous speed of 5.5 pales in comparison to the D500...that sensor is just awesome and the controls of that camera sing to me. I have a fondness for the ability to adapt manual Nikkor lenses on it. The Z6 + FTZ allow me to adapt all those same lenses but with the benefit of advanced manual focusing aids.

Hope that bit of information is useful to you.
Very well thought out and helpful post.
 
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
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Melbourne - Australia
Although I still have a few DSLR bodies, I use mirrorless more often than not.

While I'm not your vintage, as yet, and weight of the gear is not too much of an issue, my eyesight is not the best. Due in part to my eyesight, and also the odd angles I like to take photos, I use Liveview most of the time. IMO, Nikon have never had a decent LV option for any of their DSLR bodies. Way too slow and clunky for the way I like to take photos.
I use LV for native orchids, fungi, land and seascapes, and basically most genres in-between. About the only time I use a viewfinder is for birds or if the lighting makes it hard to see the screen.

Another plus for me and mirroless is using bodies with IBIS
 
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You also do a lot of focus bracketing, which seems to be available more in mirrorless cameras than dSLR cameras.
Yes, I do. Particularly for closeup and macro work

Here is a ten image focus stack of a Duck Orchid. These are actually quite small. The flowers are smaller than a dime.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
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Thank you all for these helpful replies - and a fabulous image from Richard. I have already visited my local dealer and three times have handled a Z 6 and three times have come away preferring the grip and feel of my D750 especially and still also that of the D7200 over the Z. There is enough food for thought in your replies though for me to make another visit. Perhaps I should explain the way I work my photography hobby. Firstly, I always try to have a camera with me, with a little Panasonic LX100 usually in the car whenever I go out or in my jacket pocket if I am out on a really wet day. Otherwise I decide on a camera/lens combination before heading out on dog walks or just to take pics. That is often the D7200 with 300 f4 PF and 1.4TC in a LowePro Toploader Zoom bag. The camera is on a wrist strap. The alternative bag is a LowePro Novo 170AW shoulder bag, usually with the D750 fitted with one lens plus one, sometimes two others, depending on what I feel like. Again, the camera is on a wrist strap. That bag is also the one I take with me whenever we go away, home or abroad, and also contains accessories. The choice of lens is whatever I may feel like on the day or, for a trip away, whatever I believe will cover most eventualities. Foreign travel would usually see me taking the 24-85 VR and my old 35mm f2D. For me, that covers most inside/outside circumstances but I sometimes add the 70-300, now an AF-P, that being dependent on how much else I am carrying.

So, has anyone used a Z with a longer lens on a TC and the FTZ and if so, how stable was it all for hand-held shooting?

Second, to pick up on one of the points in Andrew's very helpful response, could you expand a little on the "accurate AF" point please? If, for example, I put my 24mm 1.4G onto a Z, what is the process for checking/achieving accurate AF? As an aside, it is interesting that you mention the X-H1. That, or more likely its successor, should they make one, could take me Fuji-wards because I do like their more compact lens line-up. Pity they don't have something like the 300 f4 PF.

Meanwhile, I will make another trip to my local dealer. Thank you all again.
 
Joined
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Because the phase detection array on a DSLR is not on the sensor plane, there are tendencies for it to be miscalibrated. This can throw off your AF accuracy. This can be from New or happen over time. Also, Nikon lenses AF-S motors can shift accuracy as well.

With an on sensor PDAF, and contrast detection sub system for focusing on a mirrorless camera, your chances of AF inaccuracies goes down to almost zero if not actually so.
Because it can confirm focus with the contrast detect system,. Slight calibration issue in the lens or PDAF system can be mitigated.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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Idaho
I think it's a hard decision because it's not something you can figure out by analyzing all the features, comparing weights, and looking at the item in the store. It takes real world usage to really find out what a pleasure it is to shoot with the Z camera. When they first came out, I listened to all the negative reviews. (Those reviewers had very limited time on the cameras before they came to their conclusions.) A few months later I started reading all the real world positive reviews by cafe members and found some YouTubers who were professionally using the cameras and were loving them. I decided to take the plunge. It has a learning curve, but I had owned an Olympus mirrorless camera previously and was experienced with mirrorless and knew how much I liked having IBIS and an EVF. I have hardly picked up a DSLR since purchasing the Z 6. Good luck. I know it's sort of an agonizing decision because it does take quite a bit of money to switch. It seems that you are happy with what you already own. I have no suggestions one way or the other, but just have empathy for the process it takes to make this sort of decision. Whatever you choose, you will have great gear to shoot with whether it's a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera.
 
Joined
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Me.

I have used my 300 PF + 1.4TC +FTZ on my Z6. I notice very little difference between that combo and the 300PF+TC on my D7200. It's physically longer with less reach, so I'll probably keep my D7200 for that reason.
When I said I notice little difference, I mean in the handling aspect, which is what Ron was asking about.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
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Me.

I have used my 300 PF + 1.4TC +FTZ on my Z6. I notice very little difference between that combo and the 300PF+TC on my D7200. It's physically longer with less reach, so I'll probably keep my D7200 for that reason.
Thanks for that Jim. Could be interesting come the Z 50. Meanwhile, as mentioned, I'll get back down to the dealer for another look and play.
 
Joined
Mar 1, 2015
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Location
Westmorland UK
I think it's a hard decision because it's not something you can figure out by analyzing all the features, comparing weights, and looking at the item in the store. It takes real world usage to really find out what a pleasure it is to shoot with the Z camera. When they first came out, I listened to all the negative reviews. (Those reviewers had very limited time on the cameras before they came to their conclusions.) A few months later I started reading all the real world positive reviews by cafe members and found some YouTubers who were professionally using the cameras and were loving them. I decided to take the plunge. It has a learning curve, but I had owned an Olympus mirrorless camera previously and was experienced with mirrorless and knew how much I liked having IBIS and an EVF. I have hardly picked up a DSLR since purchasing the Z 6. Good luck. I know it's sort of an agonizing decision because it does take quite a bit of money to switch. It seems that you are happy with what you already own. I have no suggestions one way or the other, but just have empathy for the process it takes to make this sort of decision. Whatever you choose, you will have great gear to shoot with whether it's a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera.
Thanks for your insight Terri. You are right when you say that it seems I'm happy with what I already own. I am, but I don't close myself off completely from new developments and one or two features of the
Z 6 would be useful at times. If I don't feel that camera is for me I might check out other makes for something better to replace my little walkabout Panasonic.
 
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