Nikon Z7 Review

The relevant sections of this review, including the scoring, have been updated to reflect the AF behavior and performance of Firmware V3.0, released Feb 2020.

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The Nikon Z7 is the company's most well-rounded camera to date: it's as well spec'd and suited for video capture as it is for stills, and the quality of both is impressive. The Z7's design offers an experience that will be familiar to existing Nikon DSLR shooters, but in a smaller, lighter body, built around the all-new Nikon Z-mount.

This is Nikon's first full-frame mirrorless camera: a 4K-capable machine which features a variant of the D850's 46MP BSI CMOS sensor, but with the addition of on-sensor phase detection AF pixels and mechanical stabilization. From our testing the only area where the Z7 comes up a little short is autofocus reliability and usability - something at which Nikon's DSLRs have long excelled.

Key features:

  • 45.7MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor with on-sensor phase detection
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization (rated to 5EV)
  • 493 PDAF points with 90% horizontal and vertical coverage of the frame
  • ISO 64-25,600 (expandable to 102,400)
  • Up to 9 fps shooting (JPEG and 12-bit Raw)
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • 2.1M-dot tilting touch LCD
  • OLED top plate display
  • Single XQD card slot
  • UHD 4K capture up to 30p
  • 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log output over HDMI
  • Up to 100Mbps H.264 8-bit internal video capture
  • SnapBridge Wi-Fi system with Bluetooth, including to-PC transfer
Edited to taste in Adobe Camera Raw.
ISO 4500 | 1/500 sec | F2.8 | Shot using the Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 S

The Nikon Z7 is available now for a body-only price of $3400. It is also available kitted with the 24-70mm F4 S lens for $4000 (many retailers are offering additional kits with the 'F to Z adapter' for about $150 more).

What's new and how it compares

The Z7 isn't just a D850 without a mirror: we look at the key additions and what the Z7 offers.

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Body and handling

How the Z7 feels in the hand may be crucial to its acceptance with photographers. Have a look at the camera and its control points to see how it could work for you.

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Operation and controls

The Z7's user interface will be very familiar to existing Nikon shooters. Up to a point, that is.

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What it's like to use

The Z7 is well-suited for a wide variety of photo and video use-cases. Here are the pros and cons of using it for...

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Image quality

The Z7's 45.7MP BSI-CMOS full-frame sensor is very capable, but how does it compare to the D850?

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Dynamic range

On-sensor autofocus points limit the Z7's effective dynamic range, compared to the D850. By how much? Read on.

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Z7 autofocus performance

The Z7 mostly offers impressive autofocus performance, but struggles with tracking reliability and low light accuracy.

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Autofocus usability

AF usability is one area the Z7 lags behind its Nikon DSLR counterparts and the mirrorless competition.

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Nikon has done a lot to enhance the Z7's video, even if that's not immediately obvious from the specs.

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For a first-generation product, we're hugely impressed with the Z7. We think it's the most well-rounded stills+video camera Nikon's launched to date.

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Sample gallery

We've shot a lot with the Z7, here's our full gallery of out-of-camera JPEGs and Raw conversions.

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