Impression of Nikon Z7 after 3 days

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Symtex Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Impression of Nikon Z7 after 3 days

Last week I've mention that I wanted to switch from Canon to Nikon So I acquire the Z7 + 24-70mm kit lens on Thursday night.  I did some shooting on Friday and Saturday. This is my ad-hoc impression and experience as a first time Nikon shooter.

Ergonomics :  I really like the ergonomics. It's a bit weird coming from Canon as the grip and button placement are quite different.  After a few hours, I felt normal. I really like the size and weight of the camera.  I do find the joystick in the back to be quite sensitive and it's easy to press it when you want to go from side to side or up and down. I found myself clicking it at more than 1 occasion.  I am still getting acquainted with the dial position and the 2 function button.

Just a note. I love how small and inconspicuous the camera looks to others. I don't think anyone noticed that I had a very expensive Nikon with me. When I go out with the big DSLR, I get noticed right away. People stop by and start asking question. This didn't happen with the Z7. Maybe people thought I had an D3300 camera. I really like that as it is hard to get any shot done at time in populated area.

Operations :  I can't lie. I am totally lost with the Nikon menus. Nothings make sense and I have to google where to find specific option.  I really like the touchscreen and it took me a while to figure out how to disable shutter touch on AF.  The I button was really easy to use. Very similar to the Q button on Canon. With the touchscreen, it made all the changes possible. Friday was mostly handheld day. I took a lot of shoot at the 1/50 - 1/30sec shutter speed and the result came out tack sharp. (more on the lens later).  I love the tilt screen. Very similar to my Fuji. No complains there.  before someone ask, I don't care about 1 memory card slot. I am not a pro. It was never an issue for me.

The camera did came with the FTZ adapter but I don't have any FX lenses yet. I will comments on the use of the adapter once I get one.

Autofocus :  Since I did mostly landscape and cityscape photography. I mainly use AF-S mode. I found the camera focus fast enough for the type of use. It actually was very quick. I was surprise how quick and accurate it was. On Saturday night, I went to shoot the sunset and I saw my first failure attempt at focusing as the light went down.  the lens was hunting at F8. Most camera would struggle anyway. I didn't find the Z7 to be worst than most DSLR. I took the opportunity to switch to manual and try focus peaking.  No issue there.  I didn't get the chance to try face detection yet.  I've been shooting mirrorless for a while now (Fuji X-T2) and compare to my Fuji, I would say the Z7 is as fast or better than the Fuji X-T2 (which was already excellent).

Battery life : in both shooting session, I never felt like I was going to run out of battery and that's with the Bluetooth + wireless on at times. I normally shoot with EVF only but I did use the liveview extensively during my Saturday night session.  The battery life is excellent for what I used it for. No complains.

Kit Lens 24-70 F4/S : I really love the form factor of this lens. I don't care about the more plastic feel of it as long as it does the job.  I found this lens to be very sharp even wide open. I am shocked how good it is. Better than any kit lens I have ever used. It puts my Canon 24-105mm L to shame and I wouldn't be surprised if it was better than the Canon 24-70mm F2.8 II.  If the rest of the lens line up is going to reflect this lens than I am very excited about the future. I really don't need the F2.8 when I want to shoot landscape so I really not bother this lens is an F4.  As you might of read previously, I have an Canon TSE 24mm F3.5 II. That is my go to lens when I shoot landscape. Of course the 24-70mm F4/S doesn't have any shifting/tilting function, I would say the sharpness is very close or equivalents. That says a lot.  I shot at about 24mm and 70mm range of the lens. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this lens to anyone.

IBIS  : One of the main reason I wanted the Z7 was for the IBIS. It seems to work fairly well for me. I did have a few hit and miss but overall it does the job very well. I did turn it off when I was using the camera on a tripod. Of course, I don't have any longs telephoto lens so I cannot really test the effectiveness of the IBIS fully.

Image quality :  I really like the cleanliness of the raw files the camera output. No I didn't not see any banding while lifting shadow. I think the internet has blown this problem out of proportion. I did lift the shadow quite a bit in many pictures and it there was very little noise and no banding of course. I think it has been mention that if you have to raise your exposure by 5 EV, you have done something wrong and I agree. I thought it was easier to work with the Nikon RAW than Canon Raw. The dynamic range is excellent. All the picture I took ( and share on this website) were done with sharpness at 0 in Lightroom. I didn't feel like I had to add more sharpness to the raw. There were already very sharp. I normally use Nik plugin tools to add sharpening but I didn't feel like I needed too.  It only has been 3 days and I got some excellent result. I can only imagine what I am going to get once I get much better with this camera.

Conclusion :  I really love the short experience I had with the Z7. I feel like there is a lot more exploring I need to do.  On Sunday, I decided to start listing my Canon gear on CL. I know that If I don't fully commit to Nikon, I will always hang on to the past.  Canon has provided great glass and camera body for the past 15 years but it's no longer the innovative company they used to be.  I am sad and excited. I found a new friend in the Z7 but that means I have to let go of the old one.

I am looking forward to this new experience. I am already looking at Nikkor lenses to replace my 70-200mm, 50mm 1.4 and 150-600mm.  I might even get an 85mm. I might wait for the 70-200 Z mount.

end of my rambling.

Canon 5DS R, Canon EF 24-105L, Tamron 150-600mm, Canon TSE-24m II, Fuji X-T2
Flickr :

 Symtex's gear list:Symtex's gear list
Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon Z7 Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +8 more
Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D3300 Nikon Z7
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