Best Nikon camera – Nikon Z7 review

nikon z7
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The Z7 Mirrorless Digital Camera is Nikon’s most well-rounded camera till now. Not only it features a plethora of functions, but it is also well-suited for both video and stills.

The quality and handling both are impressive, with a build that is reliable and durable. Its design offers a smaller plus lighter body that is compatible with the all-new Nikon Z-mount.

In August 2018, in Japan, the Nikon company did what would be one of its most essential announcements (and one of the most anticipated) in a long time.

It was the launch of its new commitment to mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses. They did this with their two innovative models, which we already know as the Z6 and Z7.

Nikon’s first mirrorless 4K-capable machine employs a variant of the 46MP BSI CMOS sensor and mechanical stabilization and on-sensor phase-detection AF pixels.

Nikon Z7 review

The Nikon Z7 is the most advanced model, which Nikon wants to remark a before and after in photographs equipment.

This is a model, which these days, is still considered one of the most complete, ambitious, and which came to be able to compete and gain its market. It shares among the full-frame CSCs, which this year has taken so much prominence.

With a 45.7MP full-frame BSI-CMOS sensor and in-body 5-axis image stabilization, this camera performs like a champion. It also provides exceptional viewing with 90% horizontal and vertical coverage of the frame, 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder, 2.1M-dot tilting touch LCD, and OLED top plate display.

The performance is also on point with ISO range of 64-25,6b00, Up to 9 fps shooting, UHD 4K capture up to 30p, and 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log output over HDMI.

There are many other supplementary features, including Up to 100Mbps H.264 8-bit internal video capture, Wi-Fi system, Bluetooth, and many more. The only area where we think that the Z7 lacks is autofocus reliability.

The Nikon Z7 was born with the spirit of being a qualified machine. This is due to the high resolution with this equipment, which is available thanks to its full-frame sensor, which means that we obtain 45.7 megapixels of quality in photography.

A camera that produces a high-quality image. This quality can include an exclusive club to which only a handful of high-end cameras belongs.

A piece of high-quality equipment isn’t cheap. Its price is around 3500 U.S. dollars (without objective), which means you are in front of a professional camera.

So let us look in details the features of Nikon Z7 to understand what makes it so unique:

Product overview:

As you might expect, this Z7 – like all other Nikon creation – has an ideal design and built. Nikon has done a lot to ensure that its feel and handling are the same as high-end cameras. So the Key Takeaway for this camera is its build, which is small yet comfortable.

The construction is also quite sturdy and reliable. It also has weather-sealing and feels durable. The design is also impeccable as the manufacturers have put a lot of thought into it.

The first thing that can be seen in the Nikon Z7 is its design, which, taking into account that this is the first camera with this new system, still has many modern features and details that can be discussed.

Logically it is lighter than a normal full-frame reflex, resulting in a light camera (weighing almost 700 grams with the battery and the XQD memory card). Without sacrificing the feeling of being a solid camera and with a good grip.

nikon z7 screen

The dial and button behavior are highly consistent with previous DSLR models, and all the buttons are placed perfectly for ease of use. It also provides a fairly deep grip and feels solid and secure in hands. Not only that, but it also looks classy in hands.

The Nikon Z7 turns out to be very comfortable when operating it. This camera has a size which, taking into account its weight, is complemented by making this model have tight measurements.

Another point is important to remark; this device has a construction that guarantees its capacity to withstand inclement weather since it comes with a sealed and guaranteed body. So you can use it in the rain, even in a cold winter.

Nikon Z7 features:

The Z7 features a viewfinder that remains highly detailed in all modes. Nikon has ensured that its viewing quality remains above its competitors.

That is why the company has worked to give its users a viewfinder panel, which is a 3.69M-dot display and gives 1280 x 960-pixel resolution and is the same as highest-end models of Panasonic and Fuji film.

The grip that has this camera is excellent, and it can help you a more comfortable grip despite that contained size.

In general, it is ergonomics and very good, and even those who like large cameras will not have too many problems to adapt to their handling.

The Z7 also offers several rear screen modes, including the ability to use the finder and not the rear screen. There is also an option to select from the different menus which are offered in these modes.

Camera controls

Users can cycle through their selected options by using a button placed on the side of the finder.

As far as the camera controls are concerned, their layout and design does not vary too much from the usual that is known from Nikon equipment.

These buttons are right where they are expected to be, with easy and intuitive access, without surprises and betting on what has been observed and known in previous SLR models from Nikon.

Next is the operation of Z7, which like all Nikon cameras, is on point. Like always, the manufacturers have been successful in keeping the operation as smooth as possible.

They have ensured that this camera’s workings are familiar to its existing DSLRs so that the users feel comfortable.

Both the menus and the interface of this Z7 are similar to Nikon’s previous models. Only the AF system is unfamiliar and not as efficient as others.

Although it must be borne in mind that, being a model whose size is smaller than a D850, there is not enough space to add some extra buttons.

However, the major ones are located where they are expected. Besides, a joystick button is included, which is very comfortable and precise; that way will be easier to use the camera.

Touchscreen capability

The touchscreen is also appropriate for extensive use. The only lacking is that there is no AF touchpad option and a dedicated AF mode button.

The menu is even customizable and touch-sensitive, and the buttons are also highly customizable with separate options for videos and images.

The touchscreen can be used for many things, including setting the AF point, navigating and zooming images, interacting with menus, etc. The only omission is that it can’t be used when the camera is held to the eye.

The dial mode surprises us with up to three customizable modes (U1, U2, U3). Thus leaving a great option to include different settings in one shot and have it at hand quickly.

For example, it can be easily configured, a mode for portrait photos, another for landscapes, and one for night or interior shots.

All this, just by turning this dial (which has a central button that keeps it locked to avoid its accidental turn), we can already have the configuration that we want easily and directly.

Another key takeaway for Nikon Z7 is its versatility as this camera is a well-rounded camera making it suitable for professional photography and casual shooting.

Functionality

Based on our testing, it can be used for many purposes, including traveling, action photography, capturing Portraits, landscape photography, covering family moments like weddings, and many more.

This is because it’s small size, excellent video and image quality, and full-frame makes it a very appealing option for all sorts of photographers.

One of the Nikon Z7 camera’s notable and useful features is the superior OLED screen, which despite being small, turns out to be useful enough.

It provides the main data at a glance, such as the exposure adjustment, compensation, battery level, and remaining file capacity on the card.

Of course, this screen is not customizable, so you cannot add any other information. We have to conform as it is designed.

Despite that, it is an excellent screen, for the price that the camera costs, we believe that it would have been pleasant to possess that possibility.

nikon z7 top view

Moreover, its in-body stabilization for hand-held video, ready-to-share JPEGs, Bluetooth-supported Wi-Fi, and USB charging makes it ideal for travel photographers.

It is also perfect for those keen on having a durable camera as this camera is rather well-built with weather-sealing and rough and tough construction.

The only lacking here is its short battery life and single card slot, which can be quite inconvenient at times.

The Nikon Z7 debuts a new autofocus system. Remember that it has 493 points and that, for extra, and it has a high reputation of the Nikon D850, D750, which has a high-speed and precise autofocus system.

The Z7 can do an excellent job considering low-light focus, although in the most difficult and demanding scenes (like action, sports, or low contrast areas). It is where it does not achieve the quality observed in the D850, as mentioned earlier.

Impressive video features

It employs an in-body stabilization, which results in high-quality moviemaking with painless hand-holding.

Moreover, it has an APS-C crop/Super 35 mode, which delivers excellent oversampled 4K video.

Still, the Z7 demonstrates the advantage in more common and easy conditions like well-lit areas with static objects, making the results outstanding.

Thanks to the electronic viewfinder on the screen, you can achieve magnification and high precision before shooting.

It also has Nikon’s Flat Picture profile and 10-bit Log footage for advanced users. Additionally, video autofocus is also very reliable and useful in many situations.

Other supplementary features are also there, which enhance video making, such as Focus peaking, Zebra warnings, and separate exposure settings for stills and videos.

Audio features

There are headphone and mic sockets for audio as well. The only con is that it doesn’t have a flip-around screen for vlogging.

Something very remarkable is that the Z7 camera has decided to bet on stabilization in the same body. It is the first Nikon that incorporates it in this way, and the truth is that they have achieved full success with this. Check for second opinions if you wish.

Its performance is outstanding, much better than expected. Even Nikon guarantees that its operation is perfectly compatible with stabilized optics.

This allows us to shoot at low speeds, thus having a great guarantee and, of course, it is where its great performance is appreciated in video recording.

Coming on the AF-C performance, we used a single point to test the camera’s continuous AF ability to drive the lens to the right location. The Z7 can easily maintain focus on a subject when using a single point with a nearly 100% hit rate.

Nikon Z7 has vast AF coverage, is precise in its focus on static subjects, and accurate in its focus on moving subjects (using a single point). Still, its AF tracking of moving subjects is not as reliable as the 3D-Tracking mode found in Nikon DSLRs.

What’s in the box?

  • Nikon Z 7 Mirrorless Digital Camera
  • MH-25A Battery Charger for EN-EL15 Li-Ion Battery
  • EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
  • EH-7P Charging AC Adapter
  • Nikon UC-E24 USB Cable
  • Nikon BS-1 Hot Shoe Cover for Nikon SLR Cameras
  • HDMI/USB Cable Clip
  • Nikon AN-DC19 Camera Strap
  • DK-29 Rubber Eyecup
  • Nikon BF-N1 Body Cap
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty

Nikon Z7 specifications:

  • Lens Mount: Nikon Z
  • Camera Format: Full-Frame (1x Crop Factor)
  • Max Resolution: 8256 x 5504
  • Actual Pixels: 46.89 Megapixel
  • Effective Pixels: 45.7 Megapixel
  • Aspect Ratio: 1:1, 3:2, 4:5, 16:9
  • Sensor Type: CMOS
  • Sensor Size: 35.9 x 23.9 mm
  • Bit Depth: 14-Bit
  • Image File Format: JPEG, RAW
  • Image Stabilization: Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
  • ISO Sensitivity Auto: 64 to 25600
  • Electronic Front Curtain Shutter: 1/8000 to 30 Seconds
  • Extended: 32 to 102400
  • Metering Method: Center-Weighted Average, Highlight Weighted, Matrix, Spot
  • Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Auto, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
  • Exposure Compensation: -5 to +5 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
  • White Balance: Auto, Cloudy, Color Temperature, Flash, Direct Sunlight, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Preset Manual, Shade
  • Metering Range: -3 to 17 EV
  • Continuous Shooting: Up to 9 fps at 45.7 MP
  • Interval Recording: Yes
  • Recording Modes: MOV/MP4/H.264, UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p, Full HD (1920 x 1080) at 23.976p/25p/29.97p/50p/59.94p/100p/119.88p
  • Self-Timer: 2/5/10/20-Second Delay
  • External Recording Modes: 10-Bit, UHD 4K (3840 x 2160), Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Recording Limit: 29 Minutes, 59 Seconds
  • Video Encoding: NTSC/PAL
  • Audio File Format: AAC, Linear PCM (Stereo)
  • Audio Recording: Built-In Microphone (Stereo), External Microphone Input
  • Focus Type: Auto and Manual Focus
  • Phase Detection: 493
  • Focus Mode: Continuous-Servo AF (C), Full-time Servo (F), Manual Focus (M), Single-Servo AF (S)
  • Viewfinder Type: Electronic
  • Viewfinder Size: 0.5″
  • Viewfinder Resolution: 3,690,000 Dot
  • Viewfinder Eye Point: 21 mm
  • Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.8x
  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
  • Diopter Adjustment: -4 to +2
  • Monitor Resolution: 2,100,000 Dot
  • Monitor Size: 3.2″
  • Monitor Type: Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Flash Modes: First-Curtain Sync, Off, Rear Curtain/Slow Sync, Rear Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync/Red-Eye Reduction
  • Built-In Flash: No
  • Maximum Sync Speed: 1/200 Second
  • Flash Compensation: -3 to +1 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
  • External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe
  • Dedicated Flash System: iTTL
  • Internal Memory: None
  • Memory Card: Single Slot XQD
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm Headphone, 3.5mm Microphone, HDMI C (Mini), Nikon DC2, USB Type-C (USB 3.0)
  • GPS: No
  • Wi-Fi: yes
  • Bluetooth: yes
  • Operating Temperature: 32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C
  • Operating Humidity: 0 to 85%
  • Dimensions: 134 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm / 5.3 x 4 x 2.7″
  • Battery: 1 x EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
  • Weight (Body Only): 585 g / 1.29 lb.

Pros:

  • It employs a 45.7MP BSI-CMOS sensor
  • It has excellent resolution and image quality
  • It features In-body stabilization
  • It has highly-detailed EVF
  • It offers a usable silent shutter mode
  • It features touchscreen and joysticks for AF point placement
  • It also has a Flip-out screen for high and low shots
  • It has Top-plate info display
  • It offers full-frame 4K
  • It features 10-bit Log 4K footage over HDMI
  • It is small and lightweight yet sturdy
  • It has weather-sealing which makes it durable
  • It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth which makes sharing easy

Cons:

  • Dedicated AF mode button is absent
  • Auto Focus is not very reliable
  • When using the EVF, the touchscreen cannot be used for touchpad AF
  • No flip-around screen for vlogging
  • Battery life is short
  • Single card slot

Conclusion

Summing it up, this camera is perfect in all aspects. Be it handling, ease of use, or ergonomics, and it never ceases to surprise us.

So, all in all, we are very impressed with the Z7 because it is the best-rounded stills and video camera ever launched by Nikon.

In the Nikon Z7, we can see that this is a camera that has impressive characteristics and skill. Nikon knew how to exploit and create a unique camera in an excellent way and outstanding results in comparison to other cameras.

One of the best features of this camera is recording 4K videos thanks to the surface sensor.

It can also have a very solvent focus system and the possibility of taking bursts of up to nine photos per second. A high number, if we consider the very high resolution of this camera.

Even though it lacks, they are minute, so we give it a straight five on five for its features, build, and performance.

Thus, Nikon has indeed successfully created a classic mirrorless camera that is both great and superbly made. Add it to your gear <- Affiliate Link 🙂 and let it weave magic for you!

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