Nikon Z7

45.7MP full-frame sensor | In-body image stabilization | 4K UHD video capture

What we like:

  • Excellent image quality
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • Top-plate LCD

What we don't:

  • "Striping" reduces dynamic range
  • Continuous AF may "hunt" in low light
  • So-so battery life
The Nikon Z7 is a professional-grade full-frame mirrorless camera. At its core is a 46MP sensor that offers excellent excellent image quality, full-width 4K video capture and 493 phase-detect AF points.
The body is weather-sealed and very comfortable to hold. Its buttons are placed in a similar fashion to Nikon DSLRs, and a rear AF joystick allows for painless selection of autofocus points. The Z7's EVF is detailed and crisp, but the refresh rate drops significantly when shooting bursts, making it tough to follow action.
The Nikon Z7 is an extremely well-rounded digital camera and an impressive first generation offering
Autofocus performance is reliable in good light, but 'hunting' can sometimes be an issue in low light. Subject tracking is less reliable than competing models, but firmware updates have made it much easier to engage. The Z7's fastest burst with a 'live feed' is 5.5 fps, but the buffer fills and the camera slows down after about 4 seconds. Battery life is rated at 400 shots using the LCD, but as usual, stamina is better than this in everyday shooting.
The Z7 is capable of impressive image quality. Dynamic range at the base ISO value of 64 actually competes against some medium-format cameras. Unfortunately, its usable dynamic range falls a little behind its DSLR cousin, the D850, due to striping (banding) from the addition of the on-sensor PDAF system. The camera's JPEG engine offers pleasing color and good sharpening, but noise reduction can be a tad aggressive at high ISOs.
The Z7 can shoot stabilized UHD 4K video using the entire width of the sensor with phase detect AF, making it a good choice for run-and-gun video shoots. It also offers 10-bit log available over HDMI and headphone and microphone ports are included. Video purists might be disappointed that manual focus - at least with current Z lenses - uses a focus-by-wire system.
The Nikon Z7 is an extremely well-rounded digital camera and an impressive first generation offering. It's very capable in terms of both still and video capture, and Nikon has steadily improved its AF system through firmware updates. For stills shooters, we'd recommend waiting another generation, but for video fans, we think the Z7 gets enough right to be worth your consideration.

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