D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Started 6 months ago | Questions thread
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

ericbowles wrote:

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.

Well, I agree, but only to a certain extent.

Yes, you are right, the D800 is capable of stunning and sharp images, no question. And of course it is the photographer not the tool, not the camera. I am not so naive to think that I will take better images with a Z7 or any other camera.

But, and now I have to diagree, in my opinion some issues are not insignificant. They are becoming more and more significant if these issues begin to rain on your parade. I was already afraid of buying a f/1.8 lens after my mixed experiences with my 2.8 lenses wide open, although I originally wanted a f/1.4 lens. And the focus problem of both 85/1.8 lenses were visible using the center focus points. The next shootings will tell wether the problem is solved or persistent.

I just want to get rid of the DSLR's inherent possible AF problems, i.e. AFMA, that I experienced. That is my main expectation and my hope a Z7 has to fullfil. I don't want to care if my camera can handle a f/1.2 or not or if I have to better use only the centre AF fields, I just want to be confident in my camera and I want to concentrate in composing and in taking the picture, capture the moment and to become a better photographer, what is already hard enough.

Of course everyone has different experiences, I respect that. And of course I am not stating that it is impossible to get sharp images with a DSLR or the D800, but to be honest, at the moment I am a little bit frustrated.

At the end it seems that I am not alone, as one can read in this thread and here in this forum in general.

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.

If I zoom in the EVF, does the frame rate decrease drastically?

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.

 Spare-time photog's gear list:Spare-time photog's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon 85mm F1.8G
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