Z7: rubber wearing off on the grip?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
AZSeth Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Installed EasyCover

Michael1000 wrote:

Took my Z7 with black EasyCover to the photo shoot. Lots of photographers. I didn't get one comment about the EasyCover. I don't think anyone even noticed. I liked it. The EasyCover material was very grippy, and the buttons all worked fine. I didn't have to worry about my fingernails or sunscreen on my hands.

I'm not really a pro photographer in my civilian life, just a hobbyist, but on this military deployment I'm on (almost done, yay!) I'm a working photographer who is either out on missions taking photos, or taking them around garrison of events, ceremonies, for command photos, or whatever on a near-daily basis.

I got an EasyCover for my Z7 and have worked with it for probably a couple of months now, and with many thousands of photos taken with it on I got lots and lots of experience using it in environments and under time pressures where I had to use the camera quickly, seamlessly, and accurately, and in my opinion the stock EasyCover makes that very difficult to do. In particular the AF-ON button, the joystick (especially the joystick), and that multi-directional switch with the OK button in the middle were very difficult to quickly and accurately manipulate through the EasyCover. Also, the little ridge of rubber right under the photo/video mode selector switch made it awkward to quickly switch between modes with my thumb. Finally, I couldn't get that flash hot-shoe cover flap to insert easily into the flash hot shoe so it just kind of flopped around, getting in the way and making it very inconvenient to actually install or remove a flash (had to grab the flap and pull it way back and down to clear the hot-shoe so the flash would go in).

My solution was to field-mod the EasyCover to eliminate those problems. I cut the flash hot shoe flap right off. I cut off that little half-flap that covered part of the multi-directional switch. I cut out the little rubber nibs that covered the AF-ON button and the joystick. I put my tripod mounting plate on over the rubber, traced around it with the knife tip, then cut that rubber out so that the tripod plate mounts directly up against the camera instead of on top of the EasyCover.

Here's a link to a post I made in the other currently active "my rubber is flaking!" posts, with photos showing the mods I made to the EasyCover, as well as some rubber flaking and aggressive rubber-smoothing wear that my Z7 accumulated over about four months of near-daily use.

My opinion on the EasyCover is that in its stock configuration it dramatically encrappens the usability of the camera under real-world, time-constrained working conditions, but that with the mods that I've done it's OK, and that it will offer some impact resistance and whatnot that I value. A side benefit is that the EasyCover covers up all those places where I and others have been getting that flaking rubber wear. Btw, I don't have acidic sweat, acidic skin oils, or any other of the hypotheses that people have put forth about the flaking rubber things. This is purely a result of using the camera a lot. People saying they've had the camera for so many months and see no wear mean nothing to me, without knowing how hard they've used it in those months. I'm sitting around 24k photos and video clips over about six a half months, the last two with the EasyCover on, to get the rubber flaking I show in that posting. It's been used hard, but not nearly as hard as multiple years of a pro taking 200k+ photos with a serious camera. I'd expect everyone, acidic sweat or not, to see their rubber look like this after enough use, which I think is a shame. Some "earned" wear and tear on a camera I think looks nice, like an old violin, but this is excessive.

 AZSeth's gear list:AZSeth's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon D200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR +3 more
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