Actually, it IS a game changer

Started Oct 22, 2018 | User reviews
jeremygreen
jeremygreen New Member • Posts: 18
Actually, it IS a game changer
51

I did all the reading up on the Nikon Z7 and watched as many online videos as I could before sinking serious money into an untried new camera. Most of what I read and saw was from professional reviewers who had not actually had the real finished camera in their hands, and they seemed to come from a skeptical and critical point of view. Fine, but I bought it anyway to take along on a job in Philadelphia for a long time sculptor client. My main camera has been the D810 for a good while, and I planned on just trying out the Z7 on the side when I could during the 3 to 4 days and nights that I was working. The more I used it, the more I liked it. I especially liked the small size and feel of the Z7 + NTZ adapter when attached to my big fast lenses. The camera was more like an attachment to the lens rather than the other way around, so it changed the way I hold and shoot with it. The VR was great to have, and eventually I found myself hand holding shots at night with confidence that I never would have ever attempted before. So in many situations on this job I found that I could shoot just a few frames hand held and then move on to the next thing. Not using a tripod as much resulted in my shooting more angles faster and in a different way than before. The end result was that my client got more good usable photography in the same length of time, which makes me a better value to him. When the job was wrapped up, I had a day and a night to walk the streets of Philadelphia and shoot for myself with the Z7 + NTZ with my Nikkor 24-70 f:2.8 E. Before the night was done I was getting really nice shots that I wouldn't have attempted with the D810. The color is rich and the files are beautiful! Even the high ISO images are within my very particular range of acceptability. I'm an old school professional photographer, schooled at Brooks Institute and shooting professionally since 1980. I'm not one who changes easily, but the Z7 has me convinced that the transition from DSLR to mirrorless will be faster than some are predicting. The train seems to be leaving the station already. This camera is a fully professional piece of equipment, and I can tell you that for me there is no choice between using the Z7 or my D810. The DSLR is going to be parked in my camera case as the backup body. If I had the D850, which I don't because I haven't found it readily available, I still think I'd be choosing the smaller, lighter, all VR option of the Z7 with focus points everywhere in the frame. So it's a game changer for this photographer.

It is true that as a photographer of sculpture and as a portrait photographer, I don't find it pertinent to see follow-focus tests (including that one by DP Review) of people riding bicycles in a zigzag pattern towards the camera in low light. I've yet to be hired to do that in almost 40 years of all kinds of jobs, but others (wedding, video, wildlife, and sports photographers) may find those tests helpful. What is extremely helpful is being able to focus anywhere in the entire frame, and quickly, with that little joystick. I was never happy with the limitations of focus points of DSLR's. I like the XQD card for its reputed sturdiness. Although I would have preferred 2 card slots, I'm very impressed with this camera's engineering and design as is. My guess is that designers are "future-planning" that one card in camera will be sufficient because a second copy will be uploaded wirelessly to a hard drive or off site to the cloud...just a guess. On this 3 and a half day job I shot just under 3,500 frames in 14 bit lossless compressed format using two 128GB XQD cards, downloading, backing up, and reformatting each night. Two EN-EL 15b batteries covered each 12 hour day's shoot just fine in cold blustery weather in the 50's. Everything worked great for me in my real world professional situation, so I doubt that I will be buying the D850 afterall. When the top of the line S lenses for the Z system are available, I may convert my glass, but probably not before then.

 jeremygreen's gear list:jeremygreen's gear list
Sony RX100 IV Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +12 more
Nikon Z7
46 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Aug 23, 2018
jeremygreen's score
4.5
Average community score
4.6
bad for good for
Kids / pets
unrated
Action / sports
unrated
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
excellent
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
excellent
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Nikon D810 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7
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Thoughts R Us
Thoughts R Us Senior Member • Posts: 2,905
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
9

Thank you for the review.  It seems that with the Z when someone gets their hands on one and actually bothers to learn to use it, that they love it.

Most of the critics do not have a Z and have never handled one.

(unknown member) Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
1

jeremygreen wrote:

Before the night was done I was getting really nice shots that I wouldn't have attempted with the D810.

I have the D850, which I take out at night a lot; so, I'm curious to know what exactly it is about the X7 that gave you the additional freedom.

You mention the in-body VR, but the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 E already has VR, so I can't see how that would make much of a difference.

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,779
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
1

tripbeetle wrote:

You mention the in-body VR, but the Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 E already has VR, so I can't see how that would make much of a difference.

The Z7 adds additional VR functions (though not the full 5 axis) when lenses with inbuilt VR are attached. This can give Z7 VR an advantage over a D850 with this lens.

The Z7 does not have a mirror to create mirror bounce. I find I can get slightly sharper slow shutter speed hand-held shots with the Z7.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,779
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
1

Thoughts R Us wrote:

Thank you for the review. It seems that with the Z when someone gets their hands on one and actually bothers to learn to use it, that they love it.

I put it slightly differently.

What is not to like about a new camera that is "better" (primarily the viewfinder experience and no shutter bounce) for landscape, many portraits, macro, some action and sports (though not all), and which for manual focus or checking dof through the viewfinder is IMO much better than a D850?

Battery life, buffer and price can be handicaps.

Most of the critics do not have a Z and have never handled one.

Can any-one be an honest critic of the Z7 without using one?

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED +27 more
CanonSharpShooter
CanonSharpShooter Regular Member • Posts: 483
Well if it is truly a game changer
4

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony. But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,779
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
5

CanonSharpShooter wrote:

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony.

Early ML was substantially inferior to the latest ML or, in many respects, to high end DSLRs.

But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

Maybe the Z6/7 are not "just catching up" - maybe they are entering the market at a point in time where the best ML can overall give a good DSLR a good run for the money.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
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ActionPhotoPassion Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
2

CanonSharpShooter wrote:

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony. But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

I was thinking the same for the title that Sony had already changes that gamme years ago.

Still I understand the OP as a Nikon shooter didn't want to invest in a full newly system, thus discovering this New "game"

OTOH I'd like to see some night stuff from the OP that claims that the new Z7 is helping him not to use anymore a tripod.

When I shoot at night I barely go without a tripod or at least a monopod. I dislike very much to have to bump my ISO and try to shoot at max at 800 ISO even if my camera can cope easily with 12k ISO. So just curious to understand the OP on this.

Still I'm interested by this camera when the UWA lens will have been tested and the results will be known.

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fpessolano
fpessolano Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
8

They would have with their last generation (A7III is the first truly capable beast ML) if they did focus less on specs and more on ergonomics.

Ergonomics makes me more excited to hold a Fuji XT or a Nikon Z than a sony. The sony makes me excited when I read about its specs and capabilities … until I took one in my hand.

What is also exciting (but for a Nikon/Canon user only) is that at least with the so much trolled Nikon/Canon we are given a choice toi have a DSLR and a ML finally with some complementarity of functions and uses with the same lenses. This would be even true with a focal reducer/extender/wharever_we_could_call_it ZTF (which is probably impossible to make).

People for who the above do not matter or like to do full system switch on yearly or periodic times, well … I doubt they were in the demographics Nikon considered for their ML system at this time. Hopefully, they will move on so that this forum starts to move more to tricks, techniques and photography than gear bashing.

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Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 21,779
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
1

fpessolano wrote:

more on ergonomics.

Everybody is different.

I find carrying a Z7 with small/medium size F lens attached via the MTZ adaptor a much better experience than the same lens on the D850.

Z7 differences include its compact size, light weight, proportionately large grip, and an extra 1.25 inches lens length from the length of the MTZ.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED +27 more
fpessolano
fpessolano Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
3

Indeed … but … for some reason I have not met anybody happy with the Sony ergonomics be it the UI or the hand feeling. Maybe is a regional thing. No clue

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ActionPhotoPassion Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
2

fpessolano wrote:

Indeed … but … for some reason I have not met anybody happy with the Sony ergonomics be it the UI or the hand feeling. Maybe is a regional thing. No clue

I love the ergonomics and handling of the Sony A mount. And I dislike those on Sony Emount especially the handling.

Reason why I am on Nikon and Panasonic MILC side since their announcements. The handling of those must be fantastic. More DSLR like.

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fpessolano
fpessolano Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer

I need to specify the Sony A7 line.

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whimsicalmike
whimsicalmike Contributing Member • Posts: 819
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
21

CanonSharpShooter wrote:

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony. But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

To people with big bags of F glass Sony is irrelevant. Now Nikon has a very good mirrorless then it is a game changer for the Nikon fans and users.

I wish the Sony trolls could get that princciple in thier head instead of the millions of posts worshiping at the Sony alter.

Please let it rest, it is getting way past boring.

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Chandrahadi Junarto
Chandrahadi Junarto Regular Member • Posts: 498
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
2

To people with big bags of F glass Sony is irrelevant. Now Nikon has a very good mirrorless then it is a game changer for the Nikon fans and users.

Agreed, it's a game changer for me. Now I'm holding back buying new fuji lens and body, starting dust off my nikon lens in the dry box just because Z coming, i foresee my df has a new friend next year

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focus on you Regular Member • Posts: 257
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
14

whimsicalmike wrote:

CanonSharpShooter wrote:

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony. But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

To people with big bags of F glass Sony is irrelevant. Now Nikon has a very good mirrorless then it is a game changer for the Nikon fans and users.

I wish the Sony trolls could get that princciple in thier head instead of the millions of posts worshiping at the Sony alter.

Please let it rest, it is getting way past boring.

You don't have to be already invested in Nikon glass to be interested in the new Z. I've been using Sony for years because I like the concept of mirrorless. I shot Sony because they were the only game in town. Now that Nikon is seriously in the mirrorless game, I'm switching because I believe Nikon can do it better.

This first Z camera is leaps and bounds beyond where Sony started. In fact, it's only in the past year that Sony are beginning to get it right with the A7III, A7RIII, and A9. The A7, A7II, A7R, and A7RII all had serious deficits compared to the Z7. So when I hear people say that Sony are years ahead in development, I know they haven't been paying attention to Sony's development - or, they are simply Sony fanboys who are brand loyal.

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 19,061
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
4

Its a bit weird that you give a rating but have never shot with any other mirrorless ;-)so your only comparing it to your dslr.

Don

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ActionPhotoPassion Senior Member • Posts: 2,073
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer

Donald B wrote:

Its a bit weird that you give a rating but have never shot with any other mirrorless ;-)so your only comparing it to your dslr.

Don

The review is not especially shocking me in this sense.

Just like the review of Matt Granger, we don't have head to head / toe to toe image quality comparisons. This wwould come with a review of Dustin Abbott I imagine.

nyhow for what I want, I wait for UWA lenses where the challenge is. I had alreay seen images of the edges and corners of the new Sony E FF and I am far from impressed.

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commiebiker
commiebiker Senior Member • Posts: 2,720
Re: Well if it is truly a game changer
4

focus on you wrote:

whimsicalmike wrote:

CanonSharpShooter wrote:

If it's truly a game changer than the game has already been changed years ago by Sony. But obviously dslrs (D850) are still king and MILC (Z6/7) are just catching up. Maybe generation 2/3

To people with big bags of F glass Sony is irrelevant. Now Nikon has a very good mirrorless then it is a game changer for the Nikon fans and users.

I wish the Sony trolls could get that princciple in thier head instead of the millions of posts worshiping at the Sony alter.

Please let it rest, it is getting way past boring.

You don't have to be already invested in Nikon glass to be interested in the new Z. I've been using Sony for years because I like the concept of mirrorless. I shot Sony because they were the only game in town. Now that Nikon is seriously in the mirrorless game, I'm switching because I believe Nikon can do it better.

This first Z camera is leaps and bounds beyond where Sony started. In fact, it's only in the past year that Sony are beginning to get it right with the A7III, A7RIII, and A9. The A7, A7II, A7R, and A7RII all had serious deficits compared to the Z7. So when I hear people say that Sony are years ahead in development, I know they haven't been paying attention to Sony's development - or, they are simply Sony fanboys who are brand loyal.

Totally agree, and I've sold off all my Sony gear to move back to Nikon

Now that there are choices, the decision is more around mirrorless vs DSLR, and like the OP my DSLRs don't get used unless there is a specific need (for example sports with a D4)   Given the choice for most photography, I'd much rather use mirrorless.

For those of us with big piles of Nikon gear, that makes the Z series a no brainier choice over the A series

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jeremygreen
OP jeremygreen New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Actually, it IS a game changer
1

I’m sure I’d be happy with the D850 paired with the 24-70E when shooting at night, but I have 5 out of 7 lenses without built-in VR. Additionally, that the camera focuses all over the frame is huge for me, and the EVF is bright when shooting at night. The D810 seemed behemoth after using the Z7 for 3 days & nights.

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Sony RX100 IV Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +12 more
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