Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel

Started Aug 25, 2019 | User reviews
RichyjV
RichyjV Senior Member • Posts: 1,105
Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel
7

Wanted to put up a Z7 review after using it for a few months.

Coming from a D800E, it's a huge step up for what I shoot, simple as that.

What I like:

  • IQ is outstanding (as expected) including with kit lens
  • IQ through FTZ is also outstanding, my Zeiss primes and Sigma Arts shine on the Z7
  • With the kit 24-70f4 its a really superb travel camera, the IQ, size, and the stabelisation all work together really well
  • The EVF is an absolute pleasure to use and when assigning a button to toggle 200% zoom and with focus peaking on low, my manual focus lenses are just vastly easier to use than on my D800E - using my Zeiss 135 F2 APO more and more to shoot my kids running around, and being able to see the plane of focus more easily on a tilt and shift also a major plus
  • The non continuous autofocus is excellent for landscape and travel
  • Continuous AF needs learning time, its strong once I worked out how to make it work for me, but needed that time to get the results going
  • Eye AF is something I turn on just occasionally with my kids, works pretty well, not something that features that heavily in my shooting
  • Snapbridge is finally decent, I find that taking RAW + basic small jpeg then download the full size small jpegs to be the best way to get good images onto my phone quickly, the 2mp alternative just not good enough quality to be worth using for me

What could be better:

  • I'm indifferent about the single memory card. Although I had 2 slots on my D800E I very very rarely shot something where I duplicated content onto both
  • Battery life is quite good, a full charge does a couple of days of heavy shooting the way I shoot, down somewhat from my D800E but I've not managed to eat up a whole battery in a day - I have a backup which I've charged, carried with me occasionally, and never used
  • Action AF is good, its not what this camera is really for. It isn't as good as the best alternatives either from Nikon or other brands, so if you were buying for action you might not go Z7, but its still much better than anything on the market a few years back so hardly 'bad'
  • Pricing of S lenses, other than the superb price for the kit 24-70f4. The lenses are basically really good, but they've been priced a little high. This doesn't mean they aren't worth the cost, but for example the 14-30f4 at 70% of its listed price would have been almost an auto-buy for me, instead it isn't, and I think Nikon would have been better off pricing there and getting users a little more committed to their ecosystem

It should be evident from the things I've described that this camera fits my use of landscapes, cities, and travel very very well, hence the rating. These aren't the areas which the weaker points of the camera especially impact.

Nikon Z7
46 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Aug 23, 2018
RichyjV's score
4.5
Average community score
4.6
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
okay
Landscapes / scenery
excellent
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
great
Flash photography (social)
great
Studio / still life
excellent
= community average
Rafagraphy Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel

This is a nice round-up of hands on experience with Z7. I am going thru web at present to read stuff like this that can help with my decision to buy into Nikon Z mirror-less system. Before a bit background, how would you rate the change from OVF to EVF? Did you find EVF (digital reproduction of a view) better than looking at a real view? I don't know why I feel may be I won't like EVF as much as I like to see the scene in reality.

Background

I basically use a D850 for everything from ultra-wide landscapes (14-24mm f2.8) to wildlife (300mm pf + 1.4 TC). However, may be this is aging effect or the compactness of Z system that the bulk and weight of D850 is being felt now. This summer travel and shooting wildlife with the lightest possible combo (300mm pf+1.4tc) isn't fun anymore.

My View

I am thinking of using Z7 on the wider side as a landscape/normal setup and D850 as a telephoto setup from 70mm  onwards. Because looking at landscape images, I like the colors from Z7 more than D850. Also, while travelling, this setup will keep the weight/bulk less and with mindshift rotation 180 my hands and neck shall be free. While D850 with 70-200mm hooked to backpack straps with PD capture, ready to shoot.

Your Recommendation / Advice

Would you sell your 14-24 f2.8 for a 14-30 f4 S (keeping filters in mind)?

Would you buy an f2.8 version of 24-70mm S or f4 (If IQ is more important than money)?

Would you sell your Sigma 24-35mm f2 & 50mm f1.4, if you decided to buy 24-70mm f4?

Would you buy-into Z system fully and replace your D850 with D500 or D7500 for birds?

 Rafagraphy's gear list:Rafagraphy's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR +5 more
RichyjV
OP RichyjV Senior Member • Posts: 1,105
Re: Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel
2

Rafagraphy wrote:

This is a nice round-up of hands on experience with Z7. I am going thru web at present to read stuff like this that can help with my decision to buy into Nikon Z mirror-less system. Before a bit background, how would you rate the change from OVF to EVF? Did you find EVF (digital reproduction of a view) better than looking at a real view? I don't know why I feel may be I won't like EVF as much as I like to see the scene in reality.

I find it better, because I've a couple of manual focus lenses which it breaths new life into. Also it zooms straight to 100 or 200% and you select which point you want to zoom into, so if there is something you can see with your native eye and you aren't quite sure what it is, you can see it immediately.

Background

I basically use a D850 for everything from ultra-wide landscapes (14-24mm f2.8) to wildlife (300mm pf + 1.4 TC). However, may be this is aging effect or the compactness of Z system that the bulk and weight of D850 is being felt now. This summer travel and shooting wildlife with the lightest possible combo (300mm pf+1.4tc) isn't fun anymore.

My View

I am thinking of using Z7 on the wider side as a landscape/normal setup and D850 as a telephoto setup from 70mm onwards. Because looking at landscape images, I like the colors from Z7 more than D850. Also, while travelling, this setup will keep the weight/bulk less and with mindshift rotation 180 my hands and neck shall be free. While D850 with 70-200mm hooked to backpack straps with PD capture, ready to shoot.

Your Recommendation / Advice

Would you sell your 14-24 f2.8 for a 14-30 f4 S (keeping filters in mind)?

For IQ it's not going to be a huge change, for portability it is. So that would be a hefty amount to spend on that benefit so have a think about how much that is worth to you. Although I spent years collecting superb glass and printing big, the 24-70f4 is giving me 'good enough' image quality for my purposes at a weight and size that are really beneficial to me. I was often not bringing my camera to various places unless I expected to see something superb, just because it was big and heavy, and now I'm shooting much more, and if I am doing any significant hiking it really helps.

Would you buy an f2.8 version of 24-70mm S or f4 (If IQ is more important than money)?

I'd buy the f4 because the value proposition is immense, and if you want to take your camera casually somewhere it's the automatic choice. I might buy the 2.8 if I was happy with the weight vs IQ and speed improvement debate (if money no object). For me, the 24-70f4 is surprisingly good enough.

Would you sell your Sigma 24-35mm f2 & 50mm f1.4, if you decided to buy 24-70mm f4?

Me, yes. Just about. That stabelisation is so good I can shoot the f4 at 1/10 or slower even at 70mm and still get critical sharpness if I take a few gos. I have a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 which is just gathering dust now, and its a brilliant lens, I can only imagine using it if I needed something very fast. Actually if I was just trying to improve my collection without cost concern I'd sell the Sigma and go for one of the 35 or 50 1.8 S lenses to fulfil that without having to use the adaptor.

Would you buy-into Z system fully and replace your D850 with D500 or D7500 for birds?

If money no object, and if I had dedicated bird shooting trips so I'd know that I'm taking camera A or B out for specific purpose, then yes, I think so. Will it make your bird shooting much better? A little I would think. That money no object criteria really impacts the recommendation, for most people the answer would be that its an expensive way to get something slightly better. But I'd definitely buy into the Z system again, I'm not even 40 yet but it's nice to reduce the weight significantly like that.

Geomaticsman Senior Member • Posts: 2,991
Re: Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel

Good, balanced review - nicely done, thanks for the effort. I'm sure it will help a few mirrorless "tire-kickers" to make a decision on the Z's, keeping in mind the biggest difference between the Z6 & Z7 is that the Z6 has fewer pixels and a lower price....otherwise they behave very similarly from what I can see.

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Garfield

 Geomaticsman's gear list:Geomaticsman's gear list
Sony a1 Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Sony 1.4x Teleconverter (2016) Sony 2x Teleconverter (2016) Sony FE 200-600 F5.6-6.3 +1 more
Rafagraphy Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel

Really appreciated RichyjV

 Rafagraphy's gear list:Rafagraphy's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | A Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR +5 more
AM4L
AM4L Senior Member • Posts: 2,834
Re: Review: landscape, cityscapes, travel

Nice realistic review, thanks for taking the time to share with us!

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Photos create emotions from memories!
AM4L

 AM4L's gear list:AM4L's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Nikon Df Nikon D500 Nikon D850 +28 more
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