Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
99tollap Regular Member • Posts: 138
Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
1

I'm thinking of upgrading to a Nikon mirrorless for taking photos during hiking, and would love to hear some thoughts on the original Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II, which both currently sell for a similar body-only price.

I currently have a Sony RX100 VI, which gives really nice photos and is super easy to carry around (don't even notice it in my pocket). The 24-200 range is very flexible and combined with the fast autofocus, allows me to capture great landscapes and even a bit of wildlife (with some cropping). However, I find the shooting experience rather cumbersome (i.e., not fun) and in bright light, the tiny EVF and poor back screen make composition quite tough. Plus, even at low ISO's the images can be a rather noisy when zooming in. The lens is very soft in the corners at some focal lengths, particulars 24 mm.

I tried a Z7 last year in a shop and really loved the handling, design, and I find the lens choices are far more suitable to my style of photography than competitors (I discount Sony here because I don't like the handling of their alpha range).

So I'm weighing up the relative benefits of the Z7 and Z6 II. Both I would combine with the 24-200 since this offers maximum flexibility without needing lens changes. The Z7 has worse autofocus which might impair some spontaneous wildlife/action photography? But on the other hand, the greater megapixels will be handy when cropping. The Z6 II has worse (but still good) resolution, better autofocus and probably more future-proofed.

Do you think the greater resolution at the expense of autofocus capability is the better sacrifice? I have included some images below to give an idea of what I like to photograph

Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II Sony RX100 VI
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LHMF Regular Member • Posts: 102
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
2

I changed from a Z6 to a Z7 beacuse of more pixel - i often print i A2 and have more crop (DX). The 24-200 is not my favourite after testing - I take the 24-70 f/4 plus the 70-300 p for better picture quality.

Qbalion
Qbalion Contributing Member • Posts: 566
Z50 if compactness is a prio
5

If you consider a bit smaller sensor size then I'd suggest looking at Z50. It is a pretty powerful instrument in a light and compact body. There are 2 Z DX zoom lenses available at the moment: 16-50 f/3.5-6.3 which is 24-75mm equivalent and a 50-250 f/4-6.3 which give up to 375mm full-frame equivalence of focal length. Both lenses are offering good image quality which is significantly better than those taken with many DSLR or earlier mirrorless kit lenses.

Z50 is not that efficient in very low light as Z6/Z7 but many believe that it does better in this department than the Z5 FX body.

The body with a smaller lens is very light and easily fits a medium-size pocket

 Qbalion's gear list:Qbalion's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon Z50 Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 +2 more
OP 99tollap Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Z50 if compactness is a prio

Qbalion wrote:

If you consider a bit smaller sensor size then I'd suggest looking at Z50. It is a pretty powerful instrument in a light and compact body. There are 2 Z DX zoom lenses available at the moment: 16-50 f/3.5-6.3 which is 24-75mm equivalent and a 50-250 f/4-6.3 which give up to 375mm full-frame equivalence of focal length. Both lenses are offering good image quality which is significantly better than those taken with many DSLR or earlier mirrorless kit lenses.

Z50 is not that efficient in very low light as Z6/Z7 but many believe that it does better in this department than the Z5 FX body.

The body with a smaller lens is very light and easily fits a medium-size pocket

Thanks for the suggestion. I am really looking for a one-lens solution though, and if I'm going to invest in a new system I would like to make sure it going to be well-supported for a long time. I'm not sure their APSC is going to get many more lenses.

jrscls Veteran Member • Posts: 6,414
Re: Z50 if compactness is a prio
2

I have the 24-200 and the Z6 and really like the combo which would work great for the type of images you posted. I also love the f/1.8 primes when you need faster aperture like the 50mm, which is a gem.

 jrscls's gear list:jrscls's gear list
Sony a7 III Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 III Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD Samyang AF 75mm F1.8 FE +1 more
goactive Senior Member • Posts: 1,974
Re: Z50 if compactness is a prio
2

I can print any size print I want from the Z6 and with a lot of cropping in so see no reason for the Z7 at all.

We printed hundreds of 24x36s from the older Nikon 12mp D700 and billboards now at 24mp with the Z6 it is overkill.

-- hide signature --

Started shooting digital back with the first 2MP cameras. Over 20 cameras later still going. I shoot family and people portraits, weddings, Sports and a little of everything.

 goactive's gear list:goactive's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon 1 J5 Nikon Z50 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +21 more
TheWillRogers
TheWillRogers Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
2

From what I understand the 24-200mm is a great lens. I have a Z50 so i'm hoping that 18-140mm gets let loose sometime soon lol.

Here's a video of Nigel Danson fawning over the 24-200mm, which he uses with his Z7ii. It should be beautiful on any Z series it's hooked up to.

 TheWillRogers's gear list:TheWillRogers's gear list
Nikon Z50 Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR Nikon Z 16-50mm F3.5-6.3 VR Nikon Z 50-250mm F4.5-6.3 VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +5 more
George Paulides Senior Member • Posts: 1,313
Re: Z50 if compactness is a prio

Qbalion wrote:

Z50 is not that efficient in very low light as Z6/Z7 but many believe that it does better in this department than the Z5 FX body.

I do not think this is a true statement of the Z5. Although it has a different sensor compared to the Z6 there is not that much of an actual difference in low light autofocus capability or sensitivity. It will be a much of muchness in real life.

Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,268
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
1

99tollap wrote:

So I'm weighing up the relative benefits of the Z7 and Z6 II. Both I would combine with the 24-200 since this offers maximum flexibility without needing lens changes. The Z7 has worse autofocus which might impair some spontaneous wildlife/action photography? But on the other hand, the greater megapixels will be handy when cropping. The Z6 II has worse (but still good) resolution, better autofocus and probably more future-proofed.

Where are you getting information that the Z7 is so inferior to the Z6 for autofocus? You'll have to find some uses that highly stress the AF systems to see any difference in the two cameras. I have the RX10 IV, and have owned several RX100 series cameras up through the RX100 VI. I owned the Z7 before trading up to the Z7 II. With those cameras as my personal experience, I can tell you the the Z6, Z6 II, Z7 and Z7 II will all run circles around your RX100 VI when it comes to AF. The images you posted are just not even remotely difficult for any of the Z cameras to handle. If you're generally happy with the AF of your RX100 VI, don't let the particular Z model concern you at all when it comes to AF. Let other parameters be your guide in which Z model you pick.

I like the higher resolution Z7 and Z7 II for their ability to give you very high resolution, even after heavy cropping. You have experience with 200mm (equivalent) shots to know how often and how much you need to crop, and how big you print. Do you often wish you had more megapixels? No? Get the Z6 or Z6 II. If the answer is yes, get the Z7 or Z7 II. With an ILC, you also have the ability to buy longer lenses in the future. You won't be limited to 200mm. That would reduce your need to crop.

The bottom line is that any of the Z cameras are going to be a huge step up from your current camera. I traded up to the Z7 II primarily to future proof my set up. My belief is that the Z6 and Z7 are very unlikely to receive future upgrades. If you are concerned about future proofing, spend a few hundred dollars more and buy a second generation model. Keep in mind that whatever you buy, it will eventually become obsolete.

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Steve

jthomas39 Regular Member • Posts: 480
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

On a related topic, the Peak Design Slide Lite strap is great for hiking. I do the cross body sling carry, using the left strap d-ring and a connector on the bottom tripod plate. Check out the demo video at the link.

I can easily shorten the strap and carry the camera in front, around belt height. It doesn't bounce around as I walk, and it doesn't interfere with trekking poles or a day pack.

When I don't have poles or day pack, a bit longer strap length lets the camera sit in the small of my back.

j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,193
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
1

99tollap wrote:

So I'm weighing up the relative benefits of the Z7 and Z6 II. Both I would combine with the 24-200 since this offers maximum flexibility without needing lens changes. The Z7 has worse autofocus which might impair some spontaneous wildlife/action photography? But on the other hand, the greater megapixels will be handy when cropping. The Z6 II has worse (but still good) resolution, better autofocus and probably more future-proofed

I have both the Z7 and the Z6 II. I think you are overestimating the difference between the two. I have yet to encounter a situation where I thought one could signficantly outperform the other. I do think the Z6 II is a bit more future proofed. For example, there is an upcoming firmware upgrade for the Z6 II and Z7 II that will add some enhancement to eye detect focus. But we've likely seen the last of the focus improvements for the original Z6 and Z7.

 j_photo's gear list:j_photo's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 II
lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 2,164
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
3

I just upgraded from a Z7 to a Z7 II and found the differences to be less relevant than I thought they would be. This is to say: yes, the II model focuses a little faster and has other changes (second card slot etc.) that matter to some people, but with what you share about your shooting preferences, I think you'll be happy with either of them. All of the Z's still struggle with some of the more extreme wildlife shooting challenges, like erratically moving birds in flight, which is why I am keeping my Nikon DSLRs. But let's be honest: 200mm is way too short for most of those shots, anyway. The Z's do a fine job with more predictable subjects like birds of prey, though, and their general IQ, as well as the quality of the lenses, are very high.

The decision between a Z6 and Z7 is a personal one, I think. Their AF qualities are very similar, so I would not worry about that. The Z6 performs slightly better in low light from a noise perspective, but that really is only slightly so. I prefer the Z7 and Z7 II for their larger resolution, not so much because I make large prints but because I love the level of detail the images offer, plus I tend to crop after the fact quite often, for instance when shooting smaller birds or when deciding an image will look better cropped than the way I originally took it.

The Z 24-200, which I also have, is a fine lens, though predictably not fully at par with the others, given its wide zoom range. A great travel choice nonetheless. For landscapes, I mostly use the Z 14-30 and 24-70 f/4 lenses and am VERY happy with both of them.

 lokatz's gear list:lokatz's gear list
Panasonic ZS100 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G +26 more
Russ G
Russ G Regular Member • Posts: 266
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
2

I recently moved from a D800E to a Z 7ii for my landscape camera. I didn't purchase the 24-200 lens, I bought the body with the kit 24-70 f4 lens, and I added the 14-30 f4 and the 70-200 f2.8. I couldn't be more happy with the z system.  If you decide on a z camera, I'd definitely rule out the first generation of the z 6 or z 7. Not that they aren't great cameras, I just can't fathom why you would invest hard-earned money in hardware that has been significantly updated in the new versions, with those updates not achievable via a firmware update.

That being said, I'm going to throw you a curve ball. Since you say you're happy with the image quality of your RX100, but dont like the handling and ergonomics, I would strongly suggest you take a hard look at the Sony RX10M4. I'm not sure I'd consider the z 7ii/24-200 combo a hiking camera, but I can see how others might. I also own the RX10M4, and it has been my versatile grab-n-go camera for when I didn't want to lug the D800E and its glass around. The RX10M4 has the same sensor as your RX100, so image quality should be indistinguishable between the two. What differentiates the RX10 from the R100 is the fact that it feels and shoots just like an interchangeable lens mirrorless camera, and its truly remarkable Sony/Zeiss lens. The lens has an amazing 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-600mm, a constant maximum aperture of f4, and is tack sharp. In my opinion, the RX10M4 sits right in the middle, between your RX100 and a z 6/7ii kit on the hikability scale. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not saying my RX10M4 equates in any way to my z 7ii kit in terms of absolute image quality, that would be ridiculous. However, depending on how much you value less weight and extreme flexibility for your hiking camera, the equation starts to change significantly. My RX10M4 will still serve the same function it did alongside my D800E kit. It's not getting much attention right now, as I am spending all my photography time right now getting comfortable with the new z 7ii, but the relationship between the two kits will return to normal in due time. Also, consider that the RX10M4 can be purchased new for considerably less money than any z camera and lens, and the learning curve of jumping from your RX100 to the RX10M4, will be virtually non-existent. In fact, you could bounce between the RX100 an RX10 with no Sony/Nikon translation required, which is something I have to deal with when I bounce between my two kits.

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 Russ G's gear list:Russ G's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 70-200 F2.8 VR
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,268
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

That’s a great suggestion that I didn’t consider. Owning the RX 10 IV, I should have. Even with the Z7 II, and a number of fine lenses that cover more focal length range than the RX10 IV, I wouldn’t think of getting rid of the Sony. It’s a technological wonder, worthy of high praise.

Not to split hairs, but the Sony is not really a constant f/4 lens. It might as well be. It starts at f/2.4 on the short end, but quickly goes to f/4 as you zoom in. It then remains at f/4 all the way to 220mm (600mm equivalent). I know you know that. I’m just niggling you.

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Steve

Nevermess Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
1

If you want one lens solution and your main lens is going to be is 24-200 than go for Z6II. With this lens you will not exploit the massive resolution of Z7.

 Nevermess's gear list:Nevermess's gear list
Nikon D5100 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX +4 more
Russ G
Russ G Regular Member • Posts: 266
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

Yes, I misspoke about the constant aperture on the RX10M4. I don't know if I was thinking about my Nikon f-mount f4 lenses, or the fact that I usually shoot with the RX10M4 as if it was a constant f4 aperture. I typically leave the aperture at f4 for most situations. I rarely open the lens up more unless I really need the light, and even then, it's only possible at shorter focal lengths. And you really don't want to stop down any further than f8 on that camera due to diffraction. So usually it's f4 or f5.6 for me on the RX10M4 (I almost always shoot in aperture priority mode).

The blessing and the curse of this camera is its 1" sensor. The blessing is what makes it possible to have a fast lens with a 24-600mm range without requiring a Sherpa to carry it. The curse is that the sensor requires light, and lots of it. Low light/high ISO are not this camera's strong suit. But given decent light, it's impossible not to acknowledge this camera's extreme versatility and good image quality in such a tidy package. Oh, and it's really fun to shoot with.

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 Russ G's gear list:Russ G's gear list
Sony RX10 IV Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 70-200 F2.8 VR
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,268
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

Russ G wrote:

Yes, I misspoke about the constant aperture on the RX10M4. I don't know if I was thinking about my Nikon f-mount f4 lenses, or the fact that I usually shoot with the RX10M4 as if it was a constant f4 aperture. I typically leave the aperture at f4 for most situations. I rarely open the lens up more unless I really need the light, and even then, it's only possible at shorter focal lengths. And you really don't want to stop down any further than f8 on that camera due to diffraction. So usually it's f4 or f5.6 for me on the RX10M4 (I almost always shoot in aperture priority mode).

The blessing and the curse of this camera is its 1" sensor. The blessing is what makes it possible to have a fast lens with a 24-600mm range without requiring a Sherpa to carry it. The curse is that the sensor requires light, and lots of it. Low light/high ISO are not this camera's strong suit. But given decent light, it's impossible not to acknowledge this camera's extreme versatility and good image quality in such a tidy package. Oh, and it's really fun to shoot with.

I knew you were just confused about the constant aperture. No biggie. I too, shoot almost exclusively in aperture priority. It doesn't matter what the camera is. It's my go-to setting. With the RX, I typically leave it set for wide open. That lens performs admirably when wide open. I never stop down below f/5.6. You don't need to in order to get greater DOF. And, as you said, diffraction sets in beyond that. The problem is trying to get a more shallow DOF. So it is with small sensors.

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Steve

mikereport Regular Member • Posts: 130
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?

I purchased the Z5/24-200 combo last year. I like it (them) a lot!

However . . . I was surprised, a little, at how bulky and heavy the combo is. Of course, bulk and weight are relative things.

I know that if I was going on a truly long hike/backpack I'd most likely default to my Olympus equipment.

Mike Mundy

http://mikereport.blogspot.com/

seanie2322
seanie2322 Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: Nikon Z7 I vs Z6 II (+ 24-200) for hiking?
1

LHMF wrote:

I changed from a Z6 to a Z7 beacuse of more pixel - i often print i A2 and have more crop (DX). The 24-200 is not my favourite after testing - I take the 24-70 f/4 plus the 70-300 p for better picture quality.

I can second this. I love the 24-70 F4 for hiking and general shooting and I also carry the 70-300 Af-P attached to the FTZ adapter for the longer reach. Great combo.

I also print quite big and have sold prints from between A2 to A0 recently which were shot on my Z6 with no complaints from the customer. I would love a Z7 but the extra storage I would need to upgrade to cope with the size of the raw files just isnt worth it.

 seanie2322's gear list:seanie2322's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z50 Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 +1 more
(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 11,837
Yes, yes, yes
3

I bought the Z7 and a 24-20 especially for hiking and travel.

I weighs about the same as the M43 EM1 +12-100 which many recommend.

It is no problem to carry the kit along with the 14-30F4. Highly recommended.

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