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Thread: Got my mitts on the Nikon Z7

  1. #1
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Got my mitts on the Nikon Z7

    Plenty of other "hands on" reviews now hitting the interwebs, so won't repeat the specs and stuff. There's a quick (under 2 min) DPreview video here:

    https://youtu.be/2KMz1ZT1z98

    (Get used to it being called the "Zee 7"...)

    I had a play with the Z7 which is the 45.7MP version. Photos offer 8256◊5504 pixels. A lower-resolution (24MP) Z6 will follow later this year. I think we can assume that Nikon is seeking to mop up the high end revenue first, before the inevitable Z5,4,3,2,1 models follow later, filling out the budget end. Nikon knows what it is doing in releasing the top model first.

    The camera was fitted with the 24-70/f4 lens. It's a collapsible lens, so you have to turn the zoom ring a bit to get the camera to acknowledge its presence. I'm not a great fan of these in general, but of its type, it felt fine with very positive zooming and an obvious tactile detent at the wide end before it collapses.

    Here it is in the middle. I didn't see the other lenses for sale yet, but it is notable that they are all rather similarly-sized:


    (source: DPreview)

    The first thing that struck me when I picked up the camera was the weight. Or lack of it. Some small cameras surprise with their heft (in a positive way). This camera is the opposite. It is very well made and finished, and you expect it to be a weighty thing. But it isn't. Even with the zoom lens attached. Official figures (I had to check when I got home) are a quite staggering 585g for the body, excl battery and card, or 90g more with those included. That's less than many a prosumer APS-C DSLR (Nikon's own APS-C D500 is 670g) and approaching much smaller format mirrorless too. The u43 OM-D EM1 mkii is 498g body-only, for example. The comparable full-frame Nikon D850 is over 900g, and the Pentax full-frame K1 over one kilogram.

    So it is light, and it is compact too. It looks a little ungainly in photos possibly because of the asymmetry.

    The second thing that struck me was the handling. It handles rather like a D700 or D500 (this is a good thing), albeit one that has gone on a diet. Buttons were in the right place, including the two around the lens mount, and it all felt "right". Quite odd for a long-time Nikon user to have the pro-level controls (Nikon cameras generally either have the pro controls or the consumer controls) with the consumer level weight.

    Third thing, in my quick test, was the focussing. I was indoors and just focussing on random static and moving objects. It is very quick (as you'd expect of any modern camera) and silent. Completely silent. Given the size of the lens and the amount of glass moving, it was almost like a magic trick or special effect focussing from near to far, in an instant, silently.

    I can see a lot of people liking this style of camera. Maybe not the Z7 in particular, due to its cost (~$4000). But the lower-end ones should find a ready market. Full frame, stabilised in-body, and compact/light enough to be credible to carry. It seems clear to me that Nikon are serious about this new mount. I suspect it will have to carry them for another 50 years, or at least until the end of the market. Last gasp perhaps, for the standalone not-an-iphone camera. But a really good and well thought out statement of intent.

    Final thought: The rows and rows of other cameras in the shop all started to suddenly look a bit tired. Playing hard at a game that few remain interested in, performing their show to a dwindling audience. Regardless of sensor size or presence/absence of a mirror, I couldn't get interested in any of them. I think these are the very last moves in this game. Canon has also moved. Panasonic are rumoured to be next with a full frame mirrorless. It may be all-but-over (for the consumer market) in under 5 years if these don't catch on.
    Last edited by Tokyo Tokei; 21st September 2018 at 13:35.

  2. #2
    It's all over until we move into the next phase - medium format. And this is slowly kicking off now with Fuji said to announce their entrance into the space. And if I am honest, this is what I am waiting for. And in typical Canikon fashion, they enter the market when its a little too late - I wanted to see this a few years ago.

    The problem I see with FF mirrorless is size of lenses - you can't get over physics, though Nikon is trying its damn hardest. Personally in FF world, I just can't full get over what mirrorless solves. Look at that 1.2 58mm beast...why!?!?! I'll stick with my D750 until the next game starts.

    Thanks for your hands on - I take it it's not high on your buying list

  3. #3
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Indeed I won't be buying it, but it's a fine camera.

    I had a think about why I take photos at all any more. I am not a social-media hound, and my kids are past the age where they will tolerate being snapped and printed as house decoration. So I'll dive into the bargain bins from time to time, and find something that needs saving and using.

    Such as today, when I picked up a Pentax K5 (a model released in 2010) with only 2700 actuations. It cost £100. So someone bought that and barely used it. Shame, but perhaps they were swayed to upgrade (again and again...?) and now have a hard drive full of photos they can debate CA, motion-tracking focus performance and per-pixel sharpness on DPreview, but which otherwise serve no purpose. A blokey thing, like hi-fi.

    As for the lenses and physics. Yes indeed. Quite why no one other than Leica and Pentax make small full frame lenses though, I do not understand. To re-use that picture I put in the other thread:



    That 40mm/2.8 lens is mounted on a K5 there, but the lens covers a full 35mm frame. It works perfectly on the full frame K1. The other "limited" Pentax lens are a little larger, but barely so. They work very nicely.

    This manual 50mm/f2 on my istDS is smaller than the lens hood, and also covers a full frame:



    It would be nice if the mainstream manufacturers would offer the world some smaller lenses for their full frame bodies. I suspect that boat has sailed.
    Last edited by Tokyo Tokei; 22nd September 2018 at 11:44.

  4. #4
    You've already convinced me on the Pentax. I think that with the limited 40mm lens solves my small and light longer option.

    Question - is that 40mm FF or in aspc (so then what is FF equivalent)....my head hurts

  5. #5
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Question - is that 40mm FF or in aspc (so then what is FF equivalent)....my head hurts
    It is a 40mm lens. Focal length is 40mm, whatever camera it is mounted on. On an APS-C camera, the lens' image circle overlaps the small sensor, which therefore captures a smaller image. One that would be "equivalent" to that of a 60mm lens on a 35mm sensor.

    But it's still a 40mm lens :)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    It is a 40mm lens. Focal length is 40mm, whatever camera it is mounted on. On an APS-C camera, the lens' image circle overlaps the small sensor, which therefore captures a smaller image. One that would be "equivalent" to that of a 60mm lens on a 35mm sensor.

    But it's still a 40mm lens :)
    Smart ass - I'll rephrase the question more accurately next time . I totally missed your point of it covering the full 35mm imaging circle (thanks for the answer!)

  7. #7
    Master
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    Interesting read on the Z7. For now Iíll stick with my D850 which should keep my going to the end for now. If I want to go small / lighter I go M4/3 with my Olympus OM-D MK2. Then for casual snaps just the XPhone.

    I have a film Nikon F for backup.

  8. #8
    Master Tokyo Tokei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Smart ass - I'll rephrase the question more accurately next time . I totally missed your point of it covering the full 35mm imaging circle (thanks for the answer!)
    Sorry, I knew you knew all that stuff as I was typing it out late last night. But it is confusing, all this "focal length equivalent" stuff. I still absolutely think of a GR lens, for example, as 28mm. But it isn't. Should probably have all used field of view, and just left focal length as a defined property of the lens. Thirty five millimetre film has a lot to answer for!

    D750 btw is an excellent camera. Traded mine for a D500, thinking the opportunity for smaller lenses and the addition of Snapbridge was worth it. But I missed the enormous viewfinder, and lack of crop on my Nikkors. I should have stuck with the D750. Traded the D500 and it all kicked off again. Now at least with my old Pentaxes I have the small lenses again.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post
    Sorry, I knew you knew all that stuff as I was typing it out late last night. But it is confusing, all this "focal length equivalent" stuff. I still absolutely think of a GR lens, for example, as 28mm. But it isn't. Should probably have all used field of view, and just left focal length as a defined property of the lens. Thirty five millimetre film has a lot to answer for!

    D750 btw is an excellent camera. Traded mine for a D500, thinking the opportunity for smaller lenses and the addition of Snapbridge was worth it. But I missed the enormous viewfinder, and lack of crop on my Nikkors. I should have stuck with the D750. Traded the D500 and it all kicked off again. Now at least with my old Pentaxes I have the small lenses again.
    No problems at all TT - there will potentially be people reading this who don't fully know, and it's a reminder it sometimes is good to be pedantic/accurate.

    Personally unless you understand why you need a smaller a certain camera, a FF like the D750 is beyond all you need. Actually come to think of it, maybe too much knowledge confuses the whole thing too! I am quite clear on my intentions and tend to make the 'right' decisions for me.

    I only have one zoom - the Nikon 70-200 f4. In general primes and sticking to a focal length when shooting suits me. Forces one to focus. And with the Pentax you have some classics!

  10. #10
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the posting.

    I do find that my Nikon D750 + 18-300mm f3.5-5.6 combination is heavy enough that there are times when I don't feel like carrying it around all day, and I find that I'm taking my Sony RX100 Mk3 with me more and more often.

    I've been contemplating upgrading all my DX lens to FX equivalents (not a cheap process...) and I'm nor wondering whether a move to mirrorless wouldn't actually make more sense.

    The old saying is true - the best camera for taking photographs is the one you actually have with you.
    Last edited by PhilipK; 23rd September 2018 at 12:00.

  11. #11
    Good old Ming has done a review of the Z7. I think pretty consistent with TT's view on things.

    https://blog.mingthein.com/2018/09/2...view/#comments

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