The Nikon Z7 couldn’t attended at a much better time for the camera company. Nikon has already established to sit there watching as Sony has dominated this profitable, and increasingly popular, section of the camera market.
More: Best Lenses for Nikon Z7
Nikon Z7 Price
However the arrival of the Nikon Z7 means that Sony no much longer gets the full-frame mirrorless camera marketplace to itself. Actually, the Z7 is easily among the best mirrorless cameras you can purchase – and with Canon and Panasonic joining the fray with their own full-frame mirrorless competitors, like the Canon EOS R and Lumix S1/S1R, there are exciting moments ahead.
It is value noting before you read our Nikon Z7 review that the Nikon Z6 is a far more affordable 24-megapixel model targeted at enthusiasts, as the Z7 is the 45.7-megapixel flagship model.
The full-frame CMOS sensor in the Z7 sounds nearly the same as the main one in the Nikon D850 DSLR. The difference here’s that Nikon has generated in an advanced on-sensor phase-detection system.
Its 493 phase-recognition AF points cover 90% of the image region and work in mixture with a typical contrast autofocus system.
It’s a fairly spectacular-sounding setup for an initial attempt at full-frame hybrid autofocus; Nikon certainly seems to have hit the bottom running.
Also new is an in-camera image stabilisation system (IBIS). This is another first for Nikon, as most of its previous interchangeable lens digital cameras have used lens-based VR (vibration reduction).
The Z6 and Z7 can still use existing Nikon VR lenses (even more on this shortly), and both systems should work seamlessly together. The in-body VR, however, implies that Nikon users may also get the advantage of the new 5-axis, 5-stop VR system, despite having non-VR lenses.
With the brand new mirrorless body design comes a fresh lens mount. At 55mm across, the new Nikon Z mount is 11mm wider than its Nikon F DSLR mount, and Nikon says it has “liberated” its zoom lens designers, which makes it possible to create new, more ambitious lenses (a 58mm f/0.95 Noct lens is coming) and deliver an intensify in optical quality.
The flange-to-sensor range is just 16mm, which really is a lot shorter compared to the regular Nikon F attach.
This allows lots of space for the brand new Nikon FTZ lens adaptor, which may be bought separately or within a bundle with the new cameras. With this adaptor, you can fit all 90 roughly current Nikon lenses and obtain full autofocus and automated exposure, or more to 360 lenses with just auto exposure.
Build and handling
Externally, the Z7 is like its chief mirrorless rival, the Sony A7 series, and totally unlike Nikon’s DSLRs.
It’s much smaller than the Nikon D850, the DSLR whose technology it largely shares. The smaller size could be both an excellent and a poor thing. It creates mirrorless cameras such as this both lighter and even more portable – among their key selling factors – but it could make the handling experience unbalanced by using larger lenses.
That is perhaps less of a problem for the Nikon Z7 than it really is for the Sony A7. The Nikon feels somewhat larger and has a good-sized grip. Additionally it is released with the brand new, compact Z-install 24-70mm f/4, which feels as though it was made to match the camera body exactly.
Despite having the FTZ adaptor fitted and used in combination with a few of Nikon’s bulkier pro DSLR lenses, the Z7 isn’t thrown too badly away of balance, and the arrival of its devoted battery grip should further enhance the handling with big lenses.
Nikon fans should remember that the Z7’s control layout isn’t the same as on Nikon’s pro DSLRs. Rather, it includes a regular setting dial rather than a straightforward mode button, and the drive setting is selected with a button instead of a devoted control dial.
Small body leaves only a small less space for external controls, although there continues to be room on the trunk for a focus point lever and an AF-On button. The four-way routing pad feels slightly little and stiff, but usually the Z7 handles perfectly.
Using its 45.7-megapixel sensor and new-generation Z-mount lenses, the Z7’s image quality will be a major feature.
It doesn’t disappoint. We’ve currently noticed what this sensor (or its close relative) can perform in the Nikon D850, and inside our tests the Z7 fits or even improves upon this performance. The resolution of both cameras may be the highest we’ve documented from full-frame cameras, hitting the utmost 40 quality of our optical check chart correct up to ISO 3,200.
Noise amounts are slightly greater than the Sony Alpha 7R III, the chief rival, but we’ve seen this before with Nikon digital cameras and the differences aren’t too great. What’s interesting, though, is usually that the Z7 created slightly less sound and higher powerful range in our lab tests compared to the D850, perhaps as a result of the Z7’s newer Expeed 6 picture processor.
The lab email address details are borne out in real-world use, where in fact the combination of the high-resolution sensor and Nikon’s new Z-mount lenses proves pretty spectacular.
Nikon’s default Matrix metering program proved as reliable as ever inside our testing, and if anything seemed tuned towards preserving highlights.
The autofocus system is particularly impressive. It’s fast and calm and its own wide frame coverage helps it be flexible too. A lot of the credit for the autofocus functionality must visit the new lenses, which are soft and near-silent in procedure – this makes them ideal for video as well, and not simply stills photography.
With straight fives for features, build & handling and performance, the Nikon Z7 can be an instant classic. It’s an outstanding (and superbly produced) mirrorless camera.