Hands on with the Nikon Z7!
Last weekend I had the opportunity to get my hands on the brand new Nikon Z7, Nikon’s 45.7 megapixel mirrorless monster courtesy of Clifton Cameras.
I want to preface this post by stating that I’m not a technical photographer and this is definitely not a technical review of the product, merely my thoughts and opinions from spending an evening shooting portraits and night photography with it.
Picking up the Z7 felt familiar to me given that I currently shoot mainly with the Sony A7III. The large mode dial on the left of the viewfinder made it easy to choose the required mode. Coming from a Canon background, I liked this feature given the fact I always hated Nikon DSLR’s where you had to push a mode button and then scroll a wheel to switch between modes. The addition of the top LCD screen is a nice little touch too.
The large grip on the Z7 felt really nice in the hands, even when putting larger lenses on it, something I feel the Sony bodies could do with improving.
Talking of lenses, I tried out the “kit” 24-70mm f/4 S lens and also used the new FTZ adaptor to mount a Nikon AF-S Micro 105mm f2.8G IF-ED VR. I put kit in inverted commas due to the fact the lens feels nothing like your standard kit lens. It’s really well built and produces some incredibly detailed images.
The FTZ adaptor is a really useful addition to the Z7 allowing current Nikon users to use their existing glass whilst also taking advantage of the 5 axis in-built image stabilisation of the Z7.
The electronic viewfinder on the Z7 is awesome, it’s super bright and sharp making it a joy to use in situations where you can’t use the rear LCD, for example in bright sunlight although I didn’t run into this issue on the evening I used the camera. The rear LCD is also great. You can use touch control to select the focus point, focus and shoot with a single tap, and make changes to the camera settings making it extremely easy to make changes on the fly!
Autofocus on the Z7 is quick and snappy, even in tough conditions like backlit subjects. The facial recognition works well picking up subjects faces relatively quickly, however my one gripe with this is that it’s not as good as Sony’s eye autofocus. When shooting wide open I missed a lot of shots where the camera missed focus on the eye and focused elsewhere for example the nose. For some people this may not be an issue but as I shoot a lot of portraits, eye autofocus on the Sony has become a must have feature for me.
One of the most impressive features on this camera is its ability to shoot in low light conditions with fantastic noise performance. I shoot a lot of night photography and I was seriously impressed at how the Z7 handled noise at high ISO’s. For photographers that regularly shoot in low light conditions without a flash, this is a great selling point.
The image below was shot handheld using the 24-70mm f/4 S lens at 70mm, 1/80s at ISO 12800 and hasn’t been edited or had any noise reduction applied to it.
Given that this is Nikon’s first offering in the mirrorless market, I have to put my brand loyalties aside and say bravo. I didn’t get an awful lot of time to shoot with it but from my first impressions I have to say Nikon have produced a fantastic full frame mirrorless system that should satisfy existing Nikon users and will present consumers with a real headache of a choice when it comes to the day they want to put down their DSLR and enter the full frame mirrorless market.
You can pre-order yourself a Nikon Z7 right now at Clifton Cameras by clicking here!