Nikon Z7 II Review

Because we are not breaking any new ground with the Z7 II, we have taken a more conservative approach. However, there is something that should make you feel more at ease about this situation. First of all, the camera is now more adaptable, and second of all, the Nikon Z system has developed significantly over the last two years.

There is an increased number of Z lenses as well as improved accessories (including a new vertical grip). And now, with these improved cameras, the vast majority of skeptics must definitely be contemplating the Nikon Z as a reliable system to embrace, even making the transition from DSLR to mirrorless.

We applaud the fact that Nikon has introduced the Z7 II at a price that is significantly cheaper than the price of the Z7 when it was first released; its body-only price tag of $2,999 / £2,999 / AU$5,499 is competitive when compared to the prices of its rivals.

In addition, the Z7 II is compatible with memory cards of the SD and CFexpress formats, both of which are substantially more affordable than the XQD card type used by the Z7 (though the Z7 II will still take XQD cards, too).

You could save money by purchasing a Nikon Z7 that is two years old and costs less money, and for the most part, the shooting experience would be very comparable. Nevertheless, when everything is taken into account, the initial investment required to participate in the system will most likely wind up being the same.

In general, the Nikon Z7 II is a moderately updated version of its predecessor; nonetheless, the inclusion of twin processors, two card slots, better autofocus, and deeper buffers all contribute to the camera’s ability to compete favorably against other models that are marginally more expensive.

The wider picture paints a positive image as well: Nikon has a fair track record of improvements via firmware upgrades, and the expanding Nikon Z system looks like it may be a winner. It is without a doubt one of the greatest cameras for photography, and if you are a lover of Nikon’s design and lens system, it is without a doubt one of the best cameras for landscape photographers.

Design

  • Now incorporates support for two different types of card slots (SD UHS-II and CFExpress/XQD).
  • Very similar in appearance to the Z7, with the same electronic viewfinder and screen.
  • Exceptional shape and control arrangement, respectively.

As a result of the Z7 II’s design being so comparable to that of its forerunner, a significant portion of what we discussed in our review of the Nikon Z7 is applicable here. Therefore, let’s concentrate on the minor alterations.

The grip also contains two batteries, providing an additional source of power; the one on the exterior of the grip may be removed and replaced even while the camera is being used. This comes in quite helpful, particularly when capturing longer video segments.

When it comes to battery life, the Z7 II has been upgraded from the Z7’s meager 330 shots to a more reasonable 420 shots. This is an improvement over the Z7. This is mostly because to an updated model of the battery (known as the EN-EL15c), which features a USB-C port that enables it to be charged while the device is in use.

In other areas, we are actually operating on terrain that is known to us. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – much like the Z7, the Z7 II fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, and the emphasized thumb grip provides a wonderfully secure grasp on the device.

Features & Performance

  • 493-point autofocus system with the ability to recognize human and animal eyes and faces
  • Produces up to 200 JPEG photos at a rate of 10 frames per second.
  • Five-axis image stabilization

There is not much of a difference between the Nikon Z7 and the Z7 II in terms of the features that they provide. For instance, we continue to use the same 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor that has a native ISO range that extends from 64 to 25,600. (with extended ISO 32 to 102,400 settings). Image stabilization of up to 5EV may also be achieved via sensor shift.

Still, noteworthy gains are the fruit of fitting in twin Expeed 6 image processors this time around – Nikon claims that this enhances processing power by up to 3.3 times. The dual image processors are housed within the camera’s image sensor.

One of the shooting modes that can take use of the increased processing power is the continuous high-speed shooting mode. The rate has been increased from 9 frames per second to 10 frames per second, but more crucially, the sequences may run noticeably longer before the camera begins to slow down (as we’ll find out in the following section). When we were filming in more realistic environments, we always took longer sequences of shots.

It is now also possible to record internal video in 4K at 60 frames per second. At this level, a crop factor of 1.08x is used; nevertheless, this is not a deal breaker, since films captured in 4K at 30 frames per second are taken from the entire width of the sensor.

Image quality

  • The identical image quality as the Nikon Z7, which leads its class in dynamic range
  • The detail is crisp from the center to the periphery thanks to Nikon Z glass
  • If the absolute image quality is your primary priority, then the Nikon Z7 II is an excellent choice that won’t let you down.

It utilizes the same 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor that is used in the Nikon Z7, which garnered a lot of praise from us. Because you have access to so many pixels, the APS-C crop mode offers a resolution of 19 megapixels, and it is absolutely feasible to perform even more extensive cropping.

When combined with several of Nikon’s outstanding Z lenses and the large Nikon Z lens mount, you can achieve sharp detail from the center to the edges of the image, with a reduced likelihood of experiencing the negative effects of distortion and diffraction that are associated with using smaller lens mounts.

Noise levels are likewise well-controlled, due to the back-illuminated nature of the sensor. For clear raw shots, we’d be happy to utilize ISO 1600, while ISO 6400 retains plenty of detail.

In conjunction with optical stabilization, sensor-based image stabilization makes handheld shooting far more effective. This is especially true at these unforgivingly high resolutions.

The outcomes will be determined by how far away your subject is, but generally speaking, we obtained three stops of stability using this method. Although you might be able to produce satisfactory images with shutter speeds as low as 0.5 seconds for objects that are far away, it is better to utilize 1/4 seconds as a safety precaution.

Verdict

The Nikon Z7 II is a refined improvement over the original Z7 owing to the inclusion of two card slots as well as twin processors that enhance the camera’s overall performance in all aspects. In other respects, it’s a delightfully familiar landscape, and the Nikon Z system is always expanding. We had hoped for a more substantial update, but it seems as though the transition to Nikon mirrorless is a safe bet at this point — provided you have the necessary funds.

The fact that the Z7 only has one slot for XQD cards caused several people to raise their eyebrows, particularly those who were concerned about card mistakes. In addition, despite the card type’s dependability, it comes at an extremely high cost. Both issues have been resolved with the Z7 II camera, which features twin card slots that are compatible with CFexpress and XQD as well as SD UHS-II memory cards.

Additionally, the lack of control buttons on the Z7’s basic vertical grip made it unappealing to some customers, who felt it was overly simple. When shooting in portrait mode, the new grip for the Z7 II, the MB-N11, has the same button arrangement as the original grip. To double-check:

Nikon Z7 II Specs

Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Other resolutions5408 x 3600 (DX crop), 6880 x 5504 (5:4), 5504 x 5504 (1:1), 8256 x 4640 (16:9)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels46 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorDual Expeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
CIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File formatJPEGRaw (NEF, 12 or 14-bit)
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points493
Lens mountNikon Z
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.8×
Viewfinder resolution3,690,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed900 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 60p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesCFexpress Type B / XQD, UHS-II SD
Connectivity
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via MC-DC2 or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15c lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)420
Weight (inc. batteries)705 g (1.55 lb / 24.87 oz)
Dimensions134 x 101 x 70 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.76″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone
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The Z7 II is a very capable all-rounder, and its capabilities have been bolstered by the inclusion of dual card slots as well as the option to attach a battery grip. It boasts excellent image quality, reliable autofocus, and respectable video specifications. However, the fact that it is offered at a price that is marginally lower than its competitors is the primary factor that sets it apart from the highly competitive group. Totally endearing in every way.Nikon Z7 II Review