The Burning Questions
The Nikon Z 7 is undeniably a professional tool. But does it have what it takes to bring countless photographers, especially pros, back into the Nikon camp? More to the point, will the Z-series put a big detour sign on future DSLR development from this manufacturer, perhaps stopping it dead in its tracks, as these new mirrorless cameras pave their own path? And will video shooters find in the Z 7 what they’ve been missing in the D850? Granted, the delay in the Z-series introduction may have weakened the initial foothold Nikon had hoped to gain, but time (and timely innovative product introductions, especially lenses) will tell if this icon in the world of photographic image-making will recapture the adoration of photo enthusiast and pro alike that this company once enjoyed.
First things first, however… How did the Nikon Z 7 fare in our real-world tests?
Even before that, allow me to add, for the most part, I am bypassing tech specs. You can read tech specs on Nikon’s website by clicking this link. Other reviews get bogged down in them. I won’t waste your time.
And Questions I Ask Myself
My go-to DSLR these days is the Nikon D500, so I naturally had to compare the new Z 7 with my D500. Of course, one key difference, aside from the mirror, is that the D500 sports the smaller APS-C sensor, compared with the full-frame sensor of the Z 7. But if sensor size were the only factor driving you to the Z-series, then you might consider the D850.
The D500 serves me well in my wildlife and bird photography, given the fast 10 fps. And, arguably, the cropped sensor proves beneficial in stretching the reach of my long zooms. And, yes, I also own a full-frame D610, which mostly sits idle these days (until I brought it out to compare with the Z 7, in terms of footprint and interface). But both the D500 and D610 DSLRs are a bit on the hefty and bulky side.
Still, the D500 is my go-to, and in testing the Z 7, my overriding thought was: Are the smaller size and weight of the Z 7 enough to sway my thinking toward mirrorless, notably the Z 7 (or any Z-series camera)? And are the newer technologies really relevant to what I photograph, notably wildlife, and my style of shooting? Will this camera benefit me, and, if so, how? Also, is it worth the price of admission and am I willing to replace a number of my lenses just to buy that ticket? Further, how much am I focused on shooting movies? This last factor could tip the scales for many photographers these days, though I'm currently on the fence when it comes to shooting video with a still camera. Read more by clicking this link.
Where Do I Get More Info? (click link)
How Much Is It?
Nikon Z 7 w/24-70mm kit lens: $3,999.95
Nikon Z 7 body only: $3,399.95