D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Started 7 months ago | Questions
aniltulsi
aniltulsi Regular Member • Posts: 220
Re: Wait...

Spare-time photog wrote:

aniltulsi wrote:

I think you should wait. Next generation of Z cameras will surely be better than today's Z6/Z7s and if you can wait longer, the generation after will be even better than next generation ones, and next to next generation will be far far superior.

And imagine the camera ten generations later... Waiting is the best thing you can do...

I got your point and you are right. But for me it is not a matter of will the next gen. camera be better than this one. It is a matter of will this camera meet my main requirements, because every upgrade of gear means a loss of money.

I am glad you took this post in right spirit. I was expecting some fireworks here...

I moved from D800 to Z6, and haven't touched my D800 since last 3 months. I love my D800, so haven't sold it, but I enjoy using Z6 so much, I don't think I will pick up my D800 again.

Is my Z6 better than D800 in all the parameters you mentioned? Yes it is. Is it perfect? No... It does hunt in low light, and 3D tracking is bad. Still, I have changed my style of using the camera to suit it to get best out of Z6, because it is surely joy using it. Controlled exposure due to EVF is best feature for me, followed by the full screen AF points. And as no AF fine tuning is needed, even my 28-300 lens gives much better pictures. Video is something that I have started looking at seriously, after moving to Z6. Even after using SLR/DSLR for over 30 years, and being in love with them, I don't think I am going back to them ever.

But you know your use cases better, and if you don't have any pressing reason to upgrade, you don't have to. D800 is still a wonderful camera, and you can't differentiate the pictures taken by it and by any other camera, at least till ISO-6400.

butterbeer Forum Member • Posts: 81
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?
2

Spare-time photog wrote:

Although I followed this forum in the last months, I am quite unsure at the moment if I should buy the Z7 and sell the D800, or wait for the next generation model. Currently I am using a D800 for my amateur photography.

Main interests are portraiture (on location and sometimes in a studio), landscape, travel and to some extent events, i.e. small concerts in dimly lit rooms. BIF, wildlife, sports and action only to a very, very small amount, next to nothing.
I use speedlights for my portraiture work and also available light, partly I shoot at night, with the citylights as a background, hence the use of flash

What are my main requirements?

1.) My main reason to switch is to get rid of AF fine tune/AF micro adjustments and to get precise AF all the time. This requirement is madatory. The more I dived deeper in portraiture the more I recognised, that the focus was not nailed in a lot of pictures. I fiddled around with Reikan software to AFMA my lenses but only with limited success. 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, as the focus problems in the past seem to be distance and brightness dependent and quite complex. At the end it is a DSLR.

2.) Sometimes my D800 AF is hunting in dimly lit situations, and so does the life view AF, so it would be nice if the new camera shows an improved behavior in dim light conditions. This would be a nice to have feature, but it is not mandatory.

3.) I want (nearly) full frame AF point coverage. Obviously this box is ticked, the Z7 fullfills that requirement.

I was lucky to use the Z7 for two or three hours during a workshop under real conditions, with an early 1.0.x firmware. Regrettably I wasn't instantly convinced, the AF system seems to be a weakness, i.e. I got the impression, that it is not that much superior in comparision to my D800:
At the moment I am shooting in AF-C with back button focus nearly all the time, but with the Z7 I tried, I noticed several times even under daylight conditions, that it hunts more then once. That was new to me, although I had to admit, that I can't say wether my D800 is quite free of hunting in such situations or if I got only used to it, so I don't recognize it anymore or if it was just a user error handling the Z7.
So I switched to AF-S and the hit rate was dramatically higher. But even there I had a series of pictures which are out of focus, whatever it was at the end of the day I had mixed feelings about the Z7, which brought me to this forum.

Hopefully I can get here some valuable experiences of former D800 users, who can give a comparision of the Z7's AF system related to the D800 in general and especially the experience with the AF-C modes.

My third worry:

As I use very often flash, I am a little bit concerned by the shorter flash sync time, being 1/200 (Z7) and 1/250 (my D800).
Is this of any major importance? I understand that there will be a significant loss in flash output at shutter speeds at or shorter than 1/250 with the Z7, but should I worry about it? Some kind of complication that I am not aware of at the moment?

But my main concern is the potential need for AF fine tune. After reading all that stuff here and in blogs (e.g. https://blog.reikanfocal.com/2018/10/the-new-nikon-z7-investigating-with-reikan-focal/ and this one https://eduardolibby.com/2018/12/22/nikons-z7-requires-af-fine-tuning/ ) I feel unsure if a switch to the Z7 is the right step to get rid of AFMA now and forever.

Thank you very much for reading all the text!

Get the Z7.

I have the D850 as well, and it's all about learning the new AF system. Just 3 hours isn't enough to acclimate yourself to the differences between how the two AF systems behave - I'm still learning new things about how to optimize performance after several months of heavy usage (I'm a full time pro).

I find that AF performance is comparable to the D850 for what I shoot, which is primarily portraiture, some dance, occasional MMA/UFC fight, and a dozen or so weddings a year.

I've owned the A7R3, as well as almost every other Sony FF and crop body (shot sony for several years) and I much prefer the Z7.

OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

butterbeer wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

Although I followed this forum in the last months, I am quite unsure at the moment if I should buy the Z7 and sell the D800, or wait for the next generation model. Currently I am using a D800 for my amateur photography.

Main interests are portraiture (on location and sometimes in a studio), landscape, travel and to some extent events, i.e. small concerts in dimly lit rooms. BIF, wildlife, sports and action only to a very, very small amount, next to nothing.
I use speedlights for my portraiture work and also available light, partly I shoot at night, with the citylights as a background, hence the use of flash

What are my main requirements?

1.) My main reason to switch is to get rid of AF fine tune/AF micro adjustments and to get precise AF all the time. This requirement is madatory. The more I dived deeper in portraiture the more I recognised, that the focus was not nailed in a lot of pictures. I fiddled around with Reikan software to AFMA my lenses but only with limited success. 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, as the focus problems in the past seem to be distance and brightness dependent and quite complex. At the end it is a DSLR.

2.) Sometimes my D800 AF is hunting in dimly lit situations, and so does the life view AF, so it would be nice if the new camera shows an improved behavior in dim light conditions. This would be a nice to have feature, but it is not mandatory.

3.) I want (nearly) full frame AF point coverage. Obviously this box is ticked, the Z7 fullfills that requirement.

I was lucky to use the Z7 for two or three hours during a workshop under real conditions, with an early 1.0.x firmware. Regrettably I wasn't instantly convinced, the AF system seems to be a weakness, i.e. I got the impression, that it is not that much superior in comparision to my D800:
At the moment I am shooting in AF-C with back button focus nearly all the time, but with the Z7 I tried, I noticed several times even under daylight conditions, that it hunts more then once. That was new to me, although I had to admit, that I can't say wether my D800 is quite free of hunting in such situations or if I got only used to it, so I don't recognize it anymore or if it was just a user error handling the Z7.
So I switched to AF-S and the hit rate was dramatically higher. But even there I had a series of pictures which are out of focus, whatever it was at the end of the day I had mixed feelings about the Z7, which brought me to this forum.

Hopefully I can get here some valuable experiences of former D800 users, who can give a comparision of the Z7's AF system related to the D800 in general and especially the experience with the AF-C modes.

My third worry:

As I use very often flash, I am a little bit concerned by the shorter flash sync time, being 1/200 (Z7) and 1/250 (my D800).
Is this of any major importance? I understand that there will be a significant loss in flash output at shutter speeds at or shorter than 1/250 with the Z7, but should I worry about it? Some kind of complication that I am not aware of at the moment?

But my main concern is the potential need for AF fine tune. After reading all that stuff here and in blogs (e.g. https://blog.reikanfocal.com/2018/10/the-new-nikon-z7-investigating-with-reikan-focal/ and this one https://eduardolibby.com/2018/12/22/nikons-z7-requires-af-fine-tuning/ ) I feel unsure if a switch to the Z7 is the right step to get rid of AFMA now and forever.

Thank you very much for reading all the text!

Get the Z7.

I have the D850 as well, and it's all about learning the new AF system. Just 3 hours isn't enough to acclimate yourself to the differences between how the two AF systems behave - I'm still learning new things about how to optimize performance after several months of heavy usage (I'm a full time pro).

So your experience is based on usage in a real life environment with sometimes tough and difficult conditions I suppose.

I find that AF performance is comparable to the D850 for what I shoot, which is primarily portraiture, some dance, occasional MMA/UFC fight, and a dozen or so weddings a year.

It seems that your use cases are very similar to mine, of course with the difference that I am just a newbie photog who is trying to get better.

I am not that familiar with UFC/MMA fights, but I guess that along with dance there is some kind of dynamic motion involved. That brings me to the conclusion, that the Z7 is indeed appropriate for dynamic scenes as long as they are not blazing fast.

I've owned the A7R3, as well as almost every other Sony FF and crop body (shot sony for several years) and I much prefer the Z7.

Although the A7R3 has a sophisticated AF system with eye AF?

 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
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Wait...

aniltulsi wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

aniltulsi wrote:

I think you should wait. Next generation of Z cameras will surely be better than today's Z6/Z7s and if you can wait longer, the generation after will be even better than next generation ones, and next to next generation will be far far superior.

And imagine the camera ten generations later... Waiting is the best thing you can do...

I got your point and you are right. But for me it is not a matter of will the next gen. camera be better than this one. It is a matter of will this camera meet my main requirements, because every upgrade of gear means a loss of money.

I am glad you took this post in right spirit. I was expecting some fireworks here...

I moved from D800 to Z6, and haven't touched my D800 since last 3 months. I love my D800, so haven't sold it, but I enjoy using Z6 so much, I don't think I will pick up my D800 again.

Is my Z6 better than D800 in all the parameters you mentioned? Yes it is. Is it perfect? No... It does hunt in low light, and 3D tracking is bad.

To be honest I have never used 3D tracking with my D800, so i don't loose that much.

Still, I have changed my style of using the camera to suit it to get best out of Z6, because it is surely joy using it. Controlled exposure due to EVF is best feature for me, followed by the full screen AF points. And as no AF fine tuning is needed, even my 28-300 lens gives much better pictures.

That would be the biggest benefit for me. To get rid of the need for focus tuning. And as an extra plus: the AF points cover almost the full frame.

Video is something that I have started looking at seriously, after moving to Z6. Even after using SLR/DSLR for over 30 years, and being in love with them, I don't think I am going back to them ever.

But you know your use cases better, and if you don't have any pressing reason to upgrade, you don't have to. D800 is still a wonderful camera, and you can't differentiate the pictures taken by it and by any other camera, at least till ISO-6400.

It is not really a better image quality that I am hoping for, I know that the difference between both cameras is quality wise not a giant leap if at all.

If there is no AFMA anymore and the AF is reliable and appropriate for modest dynamic scenes and I can use back button focus with AF-C on the same level as with my D800, then it is worth the purchase and I will be satisfied.

 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
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Wait...

shuncheung wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

aniltulsi wrote:

I think you should wait. Next generation of Z cameras will surely be better than today's Z6/Z7s and if you can wait longer, the generation after will be even better than next generation ones, and next to next generation will be far far superior.

And imagine the camera ten generations later... Waiting is the best thing you can do...

I got your point and you are right. But for me it is not a matter of will the next gen. camera be better than this one. It is a matter of will this camera meet my main requirements, because every upgrade of gear means a loss of money.

First of all, I have a Z6 since as soon as it was available. As a 40+ year Nikon user, I am eager to gain experience on mirrorless cameras. Needless to say, I am not that young any more and would rather seize my opportunities.

The Z6 and Z7 are more like generation 1.5 cameras. They are the first Nikon FX mirrorless bodies, but Nikon does have plenty of experience making Nikon 1 mirrorless for 4, 5 years, although that product line wasn't very successful.

Being early generation cameras, the Z6 and Z7 still have some rough edges. Opinions may differ, but I think they are too small for comfortable holding

That was okay for me. At least for the short period of time handling it during the workshop...

and some dedicated buttons are missing, e.g. the two-button card format, dedicated metering mode button ....

Yes, I agree.

As much as I like XQD and find them reliable, I still prefer dual cards.

Me too. Together with the relative small buffer I got the impression that the Z7 was a little bit crippled by design. Perhaps intentionally to assure room for next generation models or the rumored sports Z coming next year or whenever it will come.

Only you can decide whether the Z7 meets your needs. I prefer not to invest that much into an early-generation product, hence the Z6. Generally speaking, if you can hang onto your D800 for another year or two, I would wait for a 2nd-gen product so that Nikon can iron out some of the more serious shortcomings.

One or two years can be a long time as I am already waiting for at least over a year since I heard the first rumors about a Nikon mirrorless camera.

Concerning loss of money, I am afraid that each one of us will eventually leave this world without taking any money with us. In that sense all of our money will be lost anyway, some day. I am not suggesting that one should go out and buy lots of camera gear and then starve, but if you can afford it, get it. Who knows when the day we lose all of our money anyway will come?

Sadly, that is so true.

I appreciate your opinion, thanks.

 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
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Much the same

kanocto wrote:

JacquesC wrote:

Ira Blumberg wrote:

For me it was a no-brainer. The D800 was a nice camera, but it was sufficiently large and heavy that I almost never took it out. Instead, I used a D7200 and a Fuji X-T2. Given that the D800 was gathering dust, it made sense for me to dump it while it still had some resale / trade-in value. In addition, I dumped the D7200. It was a fine DX camera, but the Z7 is still smaller, lighter and it provides about the same resolution in DX crop format as the D7200. Thus, for me the Z7 replaced 2 cameras.

In fact, the Z7 with the kit 24-70 lens is only a bit larger and heavier than the X-T2 with its (very nice) 18-55 kit lens. Now, whenever I travel or spend the day away from home, I almost always take the Z7 rather than the Fuji. The Fuji still wins if I mount the pancake 27mm lens as that combo is really small and light. If only Nikon or Sigma would make a pancake lens in the 30mm to 40mm range for the Z, then I might not need the Fuji at all.

Anyway, if you are still using the D800 and its size and weight are not slowing you down, you can likely afford to wait for the next Z camera and a few more native Z lenses. Otherwise, if the D800 met your shooting needs, but you want something smaller and lighter, I don't think you lose anything going with the Z7.

Good luck

Much like you, I replaced two cameras (a D750 and a complete X-T2 system) with a Z7.

You have both now convinced me to go for z7.

Cool.

At least he is totally convinced and my thread was helpful for others as well!

 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
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Happy with my D810 to Z7 jump

Laslo Varadi wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

RumpelHund wrote:

Loving to shoot wide open (85/1.4, 24/1.4 and 200/2) I was massivly annoyed when I stepped from D700 to D800 and threw in another chunk of money for the D810.

To be honest, I didn't dare to buy the 85/1.4, instead I bought the 85/1.8, because I have not that much confidence in the D800 AF to manage that shallow DoF.

D700: no issues I ever realized

D800: AF on everything but eyes no matter what. AF plain unuasable in dark tungsten or even candle light.

Well, in my experience it is not that bad. Although the lighting conditions you describe are sometimes challenging. Often they lead to missfocued shoots, indeed.

D810: better than D800 but lots of misses on candle light or on backlight situations still, kept me frustrated

z7: The combination of silent shooting, in-body-IS and on-chip-focussing makes it joy to shoot again on not too moving subjects. Would not bet on it for my dog running towards cam, here the D810 is better still.

Running or walking? A walking model is hopefully covered by the AF system?

No problem at all with such subjects.

Thanks.

 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
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 17,782
Re: Wait...

Spare-time photog wrote:

It is not really a better image quality that I am hoping for, I know that the difference between both cameras is quality wise not a giant leap if at all.

It depends.

50mm f1.8 G a very slight advantage - if processed in Nikon software - to Z.

There is a distinct image quality improvement with the 50mm f1.8 S on Z.

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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 D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 +25 more
greyhoundrick
greyhoundrick Regular Member • Posts: 228
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Hello!

I wanted to get back with you regarding your concerns and give you my opinions. These are just my opinions and could easily differ from the consensus, but if they help out a bit that would be great. Im sorry I cant give you my opinion of the D800 as you have asked, but Im hoping that my comments with regard to a D850 will help you.

Ive shot for years with a D3, for months with a D850 and for a few weeks with a Z7. Not the most experienced with any of the cameras, but hopefully experienced enough to give some helpful input.

Main Advantages of the Z7 vs. the D850 (I do not use either camera for video whatsoever):

1. No Auto AF Fine Tune necessary

2. More information in the EVF

3. New lens mount set up for future development. The S lenses are fantastic.

4. IBIS

Main Advantages of the D850 over the Z7:

1. Feels and handles much more like a pro camera as I actually like the feeling of a heavier and bigger camera. More buttons and better balanced for me personally. The Z7 just doesn't feel like a true professional camera. I get the feeling like Im shooting with an inferior camera vs. the D3/D850. This opinion is with regard to the "feel" not the performance. If feel is important to you as a photographer then this is germane, but if it is not that important then not so much.

2. Auto Focus is multiple times superior. I cannot tell you how big of a factor this is for me. It is so big that I would give up 1-4 listed above in order to have the auto focus of the D5/D850/D500 vs. the Z7. I do not like using a camera that has to hunt, is slower to focus or in some situations cannot focus at all. It takes away so much from the experience that it is a deal breaker. Plus, I shoot in AF-C mode 99% of the time.

3. No worry about banding with images that require major exposure adjustments in post.

4. I don't like the F Mount lenses with the FTZ Adaptor. Others may find them identical on the D850 vs. the Z7, but I don't see it in my experiences. The F mount lenses work better with the D850 in my opinion.

5. I prefer the OVF over the EVF. No comparison (for me) on this one. I don't like the EVF at all. I feel I am a step behind with it at start up and to me, it doesn't look as good as an OVF when shooting.

With regard to strobes...I have had zero problems with the Z7 and my Pocket Wizards, Nikon Speed Lights and controllers for my Alien Bees studio lights. They work very well together.

Sync speed of 1/200 vs. 1/250 is a bit of a disappointment for me as I like having the extra speed.

I don't mean to sound like Im bashing on the Z7. I think it is a fantastic camera and will be an excellent tool for many/most people who purchase it. However, I lean toward the D850 for the aforementioned reasons. It just feels and works more like a camera I would trust and one in which I would rather take to an important shoot. Also, I believe the D850 is the most capable DSLR ever made. I cant say the same for the Z7 with respect to mirrorless.

I hope this helps and best to you always,

Rick

OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?
1

At first thank you for your long and detailed comment.

greyhoundrick wrote:

Hello!

I wanted to get back with you regarding your concerns and give you my opinions. These are just my opinions and could easily differ from the consensus, but if they help out a bit that would be great. Im sorry I cant give you my opinion of the D800 as you have asked, but Im hoping that my comments with regard to a D850 will help you.

Ive shot for years with a D3, for months with a D850 and for a few weeks with a Z7. Not the most experienced with any of the cameras, but hopefully experienced enough to give some helpful input.

Main Advantages of the Z7 vs. the D850 (I do not use either camera for video whatsoever):

1. No Auto AF Fine Tune necessary

My biggest wish on my list!

2. More information in the EVF

3. New lens mount set up for future development. The S lenses are fantastic.

4. IBIS

These are all nice to have, but for me the biggest point is No AF fine tune. The rest is a bonus on top.

Main Advantages of the D850 over the Z7:

1. Feels and handles much more like a pro camera as I actually like the feeling of a heavier and bigger camera. More buttons and better balanced for me personally. The Z7 just doesn't feel like a true professional camera. I get the feeling like Im shooting with an inferior camera vs. the D3/D850. This opinion is with regard to the "feel" not the performance. If feel is important to you as a photographer then this is germane, but if it is not that important then not so much.

That is not that much of importance to me. Although I talked to full-time pro photogs who said that it is partly the customer who is convinced that a bigger camera means professional output.

2. Auto Focus is multiple times superior. I cannot tell you how big of a factor this is for me. It is so big that I would give up 1-4 listed above in order to have the auto focus of the D5/D850/D500 vs. the Z7. I do not like using a camera that has to hunt, is slower to focus or in some situations cannot focus at all. It takes away so much from the experience that it is a deal breaker. Plus, I shoot in AF-C mode 99% of the time.

As I have never used a D5/D850 or D500 I am perhaps in a better situation as I can't compare the Z7 to them.

So I can only compare to my old D800 which has definitely weaknesses. Right after the release some photogs called her diva, and to be honest a D800 isn't one of the fastes cameras on earth.

But again, the Z7's AF system is also my main concern. I can live with it if it is at least as good (or bad if you like) as my D800 and there is no need to AF fine tune. In that case I would be totally happy!

3. No worry about banding with images that require major exposure adjustments in post.

But luckily there are fixes for that, but I agree, I would be miles better if there would be no need for that fixes!

4. I don't like the F Mount lenses with the FTZ Adaptor. Others may find them identical on the D850 vs. the Z7, but I don't see it in my experiences. The F mount lenses work better with the D850 in my opinion.

What do you mean? Do you think the image quality is not the same or the focus speed?

5. I prefer the OVF over the EVF. No comparison (for me) on this one. I don't like the EVF at all. I feel I am a step behind with it at start up and to me, it doesn't look as good as an OVF when shooting.

With regard to strobes...I have had zero problems with the Z7 and my Pocket Wizards, Nikon Speed Lights and controllers for my Alien Bees studio lights. They work very well together.

Sync speed of 1/200 vs. 1/250 is a bit of a disappointment for me as I like having the extra speed.

I don't mean to sound like Im bashing on the Z7. I think it is a fantastic camera and will be an excellent tool for many/most people who purchase it. However, I lean toward the D850 for the aforementioned reasons. It just feels and works more like a camera I would trust and one in which I would rather take to an important shoot. Also, I believe the D850 is the most capable DSLR ever made. I cant say the same for the Z7 with respect to mirrorless.

I think the road to a D850 mirrorless camera is still very long and rough. And perhaps not only for Nikon, but perhaps for all brands.

I hope this helps and best to you always,

Rick

Thank you again and best wishes.

 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
greyhoundrick
greyhoundrick Regular Member • Posts: 228
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

You are quite welcome and I wish you the very best with your purchases in the future. Would love to hear how everything works for you!

With regard to the FTZ and F Mount lenses...The image quality is just the same in my opinion. The difference is like you said, focus speed. I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

It sounds like if the firmware update helps improve the autofocus, which I think it will, that you will be more than happy with the Z7!

All the best,

Rick

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 17,782
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

greyhoundrick wrote:

I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

My experience is a little different.

Z is limited by having none of the more efficient cross type sensors, and individual AF points on the Z 7 are very small.

When the AF subject is right for Z (in itself a limitation) AF is no slower and on my 200-400 and 300 f2.8 VR seems a little quicker than my D850.

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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 D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 +25 more
ericbowles
ericbowles Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?
1

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

greyhoundrick wrote:

I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

My experience is a little different.

Z is limited by having none of the more efficient cross type sensors, and individual AF points on the Z 7 are very small.

When the AF subject is right for Z (in itself a limitation) AF is no slower and on my 200-400 and 300 f2.8 VR seems a little quicker than my D850.

My experience is similar to Leonard's report - the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII is very quick when set up optimally.  I recently started on a moving subject using AF-S and focus was awful, but after correcting my setting to AF-C and Single point, it was fast and on the money.

I've had a lot of success using the older 300 f/4 AFS with the TC14E II teleconverter and the FTZ.  The combination has been remarkable in picking up and maintaining focus on small birds in thick wooded or brushy areas.  In this situation it has been much better than my D850.

Most of the time AF is very fast and accurate with the Z6 and FTZ or S lenses.

-- hide signature --

Eric Bowles
BowlesImages.com

 ericbowles's gear list:ericbowles's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR +14 more
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

ericbowles wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

greyhoundrick wrote:

I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

My experience is a little different.

Z is limited by having none of the more efficient cross type sensors, and individual AF points on the Z 7 are very small.

Isn't it more of an advantage that the focus points are very small? I think so, because it should be easier to focus for example the eyes in a portrait session, if one is standing further away from the subject, thus the eye is also smaller and covers a lot less space in the frame.

When the AF subject is right for Z (in itself a limitation) AF is no slower and on my 200-400 and 300 f2.8 VR seems a little quicker than my D850.

My experience is similar to Leonard's report - the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII is very quick when set up optimally. I recently started on a moving subject using AF-S and focus was awful, but after correcting my setting to AF-C and Single point, it was fast and on the money.

I've had a lot of success using the older 300 f/4 AFS with the TC14E II teleconverter and the FTZ. The combination has been remarkable in picking up and maintaining focus on small birds in thick wooded or brushy areas.

I think this supports my thesis stated above.

In this situation it has been much better than my D850.

Most of the time AF is very fast and accurate with the Z6 and FTZ or S lenses.

That is nice to hear.

 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
greyhoundrick
greyhoundrick Regular Member • Posts: 228
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Spare-time photog wrote:

ericbowles wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

greyhoundrick wrote:

I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

My experience is a little different.

Z is limited by having none of the more efficient cross type sensors, and individual AF points on the Z 7 are very small.

Isn't it more of an advantage that the focus points are very small? I think so, because it should be easier to focus for example the eyes in a portrait session, if one is standing further away from the subject, thus the eye is also smaller and covers a lot less space in the frame.

When the AF subject is right for Z (in itself a limitation) AF is no slower and on my 200-400 and 300 f2.8 VR seems a little quicker than my D850.

My experience is similar to Leonard's report - the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII is very quick when set up optimally. I recently started on a moving subject using AF-S and focus was awful, but after correcting my setting to AF-C and Single point, it was fast and on the money.

I've had a lot of success using the older 300 f/4 AFS with the TC14E II teleconverter and the FTZ. The combination has been remarkable in picking up and maintaining focus on small birds in thick wooded or brushy areas.

I think this supports my thesis stated above.

In this situation it has been much better than my D850.

Most of the time AF is very fast and accurate with the Z6 and FTZ or S lenses.

That is nice to hear.

Im glad to hear that you have been able to get the Z cameras to work for you with the auto focus. Nice job!

For me, the D850 is a much better performer in the Auto Focus Arena, but thats just my experience. I feel like its much more reliable, faster and more accurate. It might be because I am more comfortable with DSLRs as that is all Id ever shot with for the last 12 years.

Continued success with your new cameras and please keep us posted as to how you are doing with them.

best,

Rick

Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 17,782
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

ericbowles wrote:

the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII is very quick when set up optimally. I recently started on a moving subject using AF-S and focus was awful, but after correcting my setting to AF-C and Single point, it was fast and on the money.

AF-C, as you found, is crucial to maintaininggood focus when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera

I've had a lot of success using the older 300 f/4 AFS with the TC14E II teleconverter and the FTZ. The combination has been remarkable in picking up and maintaining focus on small birds in thick wooded or brushy areas. In this situation it has been much better than my D850.

This is an interesting observation

You seem to be referring to how small a subject an AF system can detect.

One way to learn this is to test a camera AF with smaller and smaller subjects until it gets AF wrong - it is this simple

The Z7 has more than 3 times the number of AF points of the D850 - though the Z 7 AF points cover more of the screen area.

The Z7 AF seems to me able to lock on a subject about half the size the D850 can achieve.

The D500 may not be as good as the D850 with small subjects when maintaining the same angle of view as the AF points then cover a bigger percentage of the screen area. Used with the same marked focal length to achieve more subject magnification I find small subject performance similar between D500 and D850.

A camera like the D610 with just 39 relatively large AF points is unlikely to be a front runner for your specific need.

Digressing slightly Nikon do not mention a minimum usable AF aperture in the specification for the Z7.

f11 works quite well with the 500 f5.6 and 2x. You should be OK with a 2x in place of the 1.4 when you need even more subject magnification.

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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 D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 +25 more
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 17,782
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

greyhoundrick wrote:

For me, the D850 is a much better performer in the Auto Focus Arena, but thats just my experience.

Everybody takes different types of subject.

My current preference is the Z7 for general AF and subjects moving around in the frame area, the D850 for some types of action, and the D500 for bird photography on the Farne Islands when 20 different birds can be in the frame flying in 10 or more different directions.

I find the Z7 at least as fast, and slightly faster with an S lens, for AF speed as the D850.

The current relative limitation IMO of the current Z AF is the relatively few group AF options compared to a D5, D850 and D500 or the earlier D810, D800 and D7200 AF systems.

-- hide signature --

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 D810 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 +25 more
maljo@inreach.com Veteran Member • Posts: 7,749
I'm waiting...

the D850 is terrific and I will buy a mirrorless Nikon when the AF tacks moving targets as well as the D850.

maljo

 maljo@inreach.com's gear list:maljo@inreach.com's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Nikon D500 Nikon D850
OP Spare-time photog Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

greyhoundrick wrote:

Spare-time photog wrote:

ericbowles wrote:

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

greyhoundrick wrote:

I used a 70-200 f/2.8 VRI on the D3/D300/D850 and it focused lightning fast. On the Z7 with the FTZ converter it was slower and hunted more.

My experience is a little different.

Z is limited by having none of the more efficient cross type sensors, and individual AF points on the Z 7 are very small.

Isn't it more of an advantage that the focus points are very small? I think so, because it should be easier to focus for example the eyes in a portrait session, if one is standing further away from the subject, thus the eye is also smaller and covers a lot less space in the frame.

When the AF subject is right for Z (in itself a limitation) AF is no slower and on my 200-400 and 300 f2.8 VR seems a little quicker than my D850.

My experience is similar to Leonard's report - the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII is very quick when set up optimally. I recently started on a moving subject using AF-S and focus was awful, but after correcting my setting to AF-C and Single point, it was fast and on the money.

I've had a lot of success using the older 300 f/4 AFS with the TC14E II teleconverter and the FTZ. The combination has been remarkable in picking up and maintaining focus on small birds in thick wooded or brushy areas.

I think this supports my thesis stated above.

In this situation it has been much better than my D850.

Most of the time AF is very fast and accurate with the Z6 and FTZ or S lenses.

That is nice to hear.

Im glad to hear that you have been able to get the Z cameras to work for you with the auto focus. Nice job!

Just to avoid a possible misconception: it is Eric Bowles (and Leonard Shepherd), who described his good experience with the Z7 AF. I am just sitting on the fence waiting....

For me, the D850 is a much better performer in the Auto Focus Arena, but thats just my experience. I feel like its much more reliable, faster and more accurate. It might be because I am more comfortable with DSLRs as that is all Id ever shot with for the last 12 years.

Continued success with your new cameras and please keep us posted as to how you are doing with them.

Of course I will do that as soon as my decision is final.

best,

Rick

 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
KuvaPanda Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: D800->Z7 or wait for next generation?

Regarding waiting for next generation or not, I think it's important to consider how long you intend on keeping the camera? Personally I assume next gen Z will have better autofocus, so if you want to keep the camera for 6-7 years better wait for next generation so you get a mature product... But if you intend to upgrade or are at least willing to upgrade if needed, then you should buy the Z7.

I'm sure D850 is overall better camera, but with it, each new lens you buy will get old after you upgrade to mirrorless later.

Someone here said F lenses are not good on Z and I agree. They are too large, the adapter itself is quite thick, so while a 50mm Sigma Art was perfect on D800, on Z with adapter it's not. F mount lenses also suffer from the same problems as native lenses on Z, namely lack of cross type AF points and low sensitivity.

 KuvaPanda's gear list:KuvaPanda's gear list
Nikon Z7 Sigma 85mm F1.4 Art Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 +2 more
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