Nikon Z7 Review

The Nikon Z7 is the most fully-rounded camera that the business has produced to this point. It is just as well equipped and designed for video capture as it is for still photography, and the quality of both types of media is excellent. The Z7’s design provides a shooting experience that will be familiar to those who already use Nikon DSLRs, but in a body that is more compact and lighter and that is designed on the brand-new Nikon Z-mount.

This is Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. It is a 4K-capable machine that incorporates a variation of the D850’s 46MP BSI CMOS sensor but with the addition of on-sensor phase detection AF pixels and mechanical stabilization. This camera is Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. According to our tests, the one area in which the Z7 falls a bit short is in terms of the focusing system’s dependability and usability, two areas in which Nikon’s DSLRs have always excelled.

Body & Design

There are apparent parallels to be seen between the Nikon Z7 and more recent models of Nikon DSLR cameras, such as the Nikon D850 when comparing the two products side-by-side for the first time. This was, without a doubt, done on purpose.

The design and technical staff at Nikon intended the Z7 to have the same familiar feel as other Nikon cameras. This is accomplished by placing the buttons in well-known positions, giving the shutter release a similar feel, and giving the grip a similar surface and shape.

Key Specs

  • BSI-CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase detection and 45.7 megapixels full-frame resolution
  • Internal picture stabilization on all five axes (rated to 5EV)493 PDAF points, with 90 percent coverage across both the horizontal and vertical axes of the frame
  • ISO 64-25,600 (expandable to 102,400) (expandable to 102,400)
  • Photographic rates of up to 9 frames per second (JPEG and 12-bit Raw)
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • 2.1 million dot tilting touch screen LCD OLED display on the top plate
  • Single XQD card slot
  • UHD 4K captures up to 30p
  • N-Log output in 10-bit 4:2:2 format via HDMI
  • Internal video capture at speeds of up to 100 Mbps H.264 8-bit
  • The SnapBridge Wi-Fi system also has Bluetooth, and it can transfer data to a PC.

Although they are comparable in many ways, Nikon’s full-frame DSLR cameras are noticeably larger and heavier than the Z7. The grip and a few of the buttons have been shrunk down to a more manageable size. It’s possible that the Z7 will seem undersized to certain users. In our opinion, the proportion of its size to its usefulness was rather satisfactory.

Electronic viewfinders have come a long way over the years, and the one that comes built into the Z7 camera is easily one of the nicest we’ve ever used. It is an OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a 0.5-inch display, 0.8x magnification, and 3,690k dots.

The final effect of having such a high resolution and magnification is that the shooting experience will seem more natural to the user. Even though electronic viewfinders (EVFs) were formerly looked down upon, there are a lot of reasons why shooting with the EVF on the Z7 is a good idea.

The camera possesses additional wonderful characteristics, one of which is a very fine LCD found on the rear of the device. The screen has a high quality of 2,100k dots and is 3.2 inches diagonally, which is fairly huge for the body of a tiny camera. The screen is quite clear, it has a wide viewing angle, and it can be tilted both above and downwards.

In addition to that, it has a touchscreen; nonetheless, Nikon’s touch-based user interface still has some room for improvement in certain areas. The camera has a touch AF and touches shutter, both of which operate effectively; however, you are unable to utilize the back display as an AF touchpad. This means that you cannot use the electronic viewfinder (EVF) to take pictures while concurrently adjusting the AF point using the rear display. You may, however, adjust the point by using the joystick that is specifically designed for use with the autofocus system, which works really well.

Image Quality

The sensor of the Z7 is completely new, yet it offers image quality that is quite comparable to that of the D850, including dynamic range. Having said that, the Z7 does improve upon several aspects, such as better control over the sharpness, richer colors, and stronger contrast than the extremely popular D850.

The performance at high ISO is likewise quite similar to that of the D850, which is to say that it is extremely good. The Z7’s photographs print exceptionally well, and even at ISO 1600, they can produce prints that look good up to 30 by 40 inches in size. Even more amazing is the fact that it can make a good print of 24 by 36 inches at an ISO setting of 3200 and a great 8 by 10 print at an ISO setting of 25,600. That is outstanding in every way.

AutoFocus and Performance

The Nikon Z7 has an all-new hybrid focusing mechanism in its design. The camera incorporates 493 focusing points, which collectively cover approximately 90 percent of the frame’s horizontal and vertical space. When compared to the specialized phase-detection AF system found in the Nikon D850, this is a significant advancement in terms of both the number of points and the coverage it offers.

Although its low-light autofocus performance varied quite a bit depending on the subject you were photographing and what settings you used, we found that the Z7 was fairly quick to focus and generally did a good job in difficult lighting situations. In terms of speed, we found that the Z7 was fairly quick to focus, and it generally did a good job in difficult lighting situations.

(You need a dedicated Low-light AF mode to be able to focus in very low light, and you need to turn off the Z7’s exposure simulation if you don’t want the camera to use the selected aperture when focusing unless you’re shooting wide-open.)

The Z7’s continuous autofocus performance was quite good; however, in comparison to the D850’s performance in real-world testing, it did not appear to be quite as adept as the D850 in terms of subject tracking.

Conclusion

The Z7 is an extremely significant model for Nikon because it is the first full-frame mirrorless camera ever produced by the company. The camera incorporates a wide variety of innovative features and technologies, such as a brand-new Z mount. This amount is significantly smaller in flange back distance and has a larger diameter than the mounts found in the company’s SLR cameras. This allows Nikon to move beyond the limitations of the F mount, which has been in use for the past 60 years.

In-body image stabilization, a first for Nikon, and a new hybrid autofocus system are two other innovations that the Z7 brings to the table that Nikon’s DSLRs do not have. Because Nikon has been under increasing amounts of pressure from rival manufacturers of mirrorless cameras over the past few years, the company was forced to pull out all the stops in order to launch their new mirrorless system in the most successful way possible.

Nikon Z7 Specifications

Price
MSRP$3399 (body only), $3999 (w/24-70 F4 lens)
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
ProcessorExpeed 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 speed30 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 drive9.0 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 @ 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 typesXQD card
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-EL15b lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)330
Weight (inc. batteries)675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz)
Dimensions134 x 101 x 68 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.68″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Nikon Z7 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Superb still picture quality
  • Excellent performance with high ISO settings
  • photographs with a very high degree of clarity and sharpness
  • Excellent dynamic range
Need Improvements
  • There is no swivel feature available for the rear display.
  • a single slot for a card
  • Touchscreens, despite their responsiveness, are not being exploited to their full potential (no AF touchpad function)
  • Restricted depths of the buffers
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