D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
ericbowles Regular Member • Posts: 310
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Spare-time photog wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

So I send all my gear (the D800, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8) to Nikon to check and adjust. The result is better, but sometimes the camera struggles to nail the focus. Then I bought a 85/1.8 lens and it missed the focus a lot. By the way a second lens was even worse in combination with my camera. So Nikon checked and adjusted the 85 lens, too. The results are better, but I am still not convinced, that the miss-focus plague is gone forever,


Hire a Z 7 with FTZ and try it during a portrait session - ideal after the May update.

A possible reason for your current AF frustration is you have not realised D800 outer points do not detect detail parallel to the long dimension of the frame.

Well, I know that the outer AF points are not cross type, but no matter how the detail is oriented, in my experience the outer points are rather weak and unreliable. FWIW that was also the result of several measurements with Reikan Focal. And the misfocus of the 85/1.8G was clear to see even using only the center field.

This is less than ideal for focussing on an eye with the camera in portrait position, especially if the sitter does not wear strong eye make up.

The Z's do not work well with detail parallel to the long dimension of the frame which is OK for some subjects but not for others.

You could end up jumping out of the frying pan into the fire with some AF subjects.

Ok, I think I got your point: As the Z7 has no cross type AF points, the AF system is probably as problematic as my D800, right?

The Z's should be better for focussing on the eye in portraiture once the May update is released.

Hopefully that update will not only include the eye tracking, but will also include enhancements of the capabilities of the AF system itself (and some usability improvements).

By hiring a Z you can quickly learn if you find it overall better or worse for the photography you do.

Yes, you are right, I am also considering a rent. But again I have mixed feelings, because even if I would rent it for a day, I am not sure if I can gain so much insights in such a short time compared to someone who has used it for weeks or months. Thus I created this thread to listen to the experiences and opinions of other users.

I think what Len is saying is that with all cameras, the skill in getting sharp images comes from the photographer rather than the gear.  If you can't get sharp images with the D800, it's you - not the camera.  Sure - there are settings that don't work as you might like, and you can choose AF sensors that are better or worse than others, but those are normal things for any camera.  In skilled hands these issues are insignificant.  Even the best technology requires you know when and how to use it effectively.

My experience is that while the Z6/Z7 does not have cross AF points, its usually not a barrier to sharp images.  It has more AF points and you can use the EVF to check focus and adjust if needed.  Focus peaking is only available with manual focus - but that can help too.

I do agree - a one day rental won't tell you much.  Most likely you'll spend several hours figuring out how to tweak the camera for your use, and understanding how to choose the right AF setting.  You'll have to be willing to modify your technique to fit the camera.   But once you know the camera, there is no question that the results are superior to your D800.

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Eric Bowles

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