Nikon Z7 Mirrorless system review




Nikon Z7 first thoughts.



So after seeing so many reviews of the not yet finished Nikon mirrorless system, I thought something needs to be said.




This camera system was all about a statement and it has really made one.



I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed to see a single card slot in the Z7 and almost immediately discounted that model as a result of that slip-up.


I am eagerly awaiting the Z9 next year now, this is the camera that most people will lust after.



On the other hand, I have a Nikon D850 which in my mind is still the best full frame all-rounder camera out there (yes even comparing it to the A7riii). So I was in absolutely no hurry to change.



This camera system launch was so vitally important for Nikon as the Sony A7 and the A9 series were starting to slightly cut into their market share.



Now, on the other hand, I believe the Sony A7 series was the real Canon killer, the sheer volume of Canon photographers moving to Sony over the last two years has been frightening.



We all know about the Nikon-Cannon rivalry over the previous decades, let's face it very few Cannon users would willingly move to Nikon, so was Sony was the easier solution?


Hopefully, the new Cannon mirrorless system being launched, will be a huge success and keep Cannon one of the great camera makers in the camera market for decades to come.



There have also obviously been a good few Nikon users move to Sony, a few of them have also moved back again, that in itself is incredibly powerful. Sometimes the hype just can live in the real world, don't get me wrong I am not at all knocking Sony and their wonderful camera's.



Just compare the Sony A7riii and the Nikon D850 there is very little between them, look at feel, comfort ease of use and battery life and for me the D850 clearly edges well ahead. So why is it shouted from the rooftops everywhere you look now that the Sony A7riii, is it maybe their advertising or choice of promoters? It just doesn't add up.



Nikon obviously over the last year or two didn't want to lose market share so hence the D850 came along and more than competed with the mirrorless systems.



The Z7 was the first full-frame mirrorless camera Nikon produced and while the aim was not to produce a flop it was also a statement to their loyal users and Sony also.



Was everyone going to buy the Z7?

Well no, that was never going to happen but what it was truly all about was could they compete with Sony.



Sure there are negative reviews about the camera online but you also need to remember it's not the fully functioning final release model people are testing. There are firmware patches yet to be finalised and little bugs to be cleared up.



So it's a bit like judging the aesthetics of a wedding cake before the icing even goes on!!! 




Back to the point.

Did it work?

Did it convince loyal clients to not jump ship to Sony?



I completely believe it did work, most professional photographers I have talked to are staggered at the concept of a mass produced 58mm F0.95 lens and a whole series of new lenses with incredibly fast apertures on the way.



This made the new series a hit even before the Z7 was launched.



Don't be fooled this is and never was about the Z7 this was about what's coming down the line. With the D850 there as an option, there was never a huge push for mirrorless today. 


The real intent is going to be launched with the Z9 and a series of lenses to next year, mirrorless is still in its infancy and until it finds its feet I certainly won't be buying one.


Spending hours a day at a pc screen editing images, editing video's, responding to emails and writing the odd silly blog are giving me a slight case of digital eye strain, I certainly don't want to be topping that up by adding another 3 or 4 hours a day looking at an EVF. The optical viewfinder is something I will really struggle to leave behind.



The reality of the situation is, if you are going to change from the F-mount then it would have to be something incredibly worthwhile and this Z Mount looks like it is going to be just that.



Imagine shooting at F1.2 & F1.4 and getting incredibly sharp images! I don't just mean sharp I mean staggeringly sharp.



This could really be a game changer for any serious photographers and it's something no other full frame camera can currently achieve.



Yes for landscape photographers, it's no big deal, but that's just one genre of photography, on the real professional end of the business it's going to be huge for...  wedding, commercial, product and portrait photographers, we are all taking note and drooling over the prospects this new series could produce.



The other area where this lens mount is going to draw in some serious fans is Astrophotography, this genre of photography will really get an incredible boost from these incredible fast lenses.



For landscape photographers, the single card slot isn't the end of the world but for pro togs that is still a big let down.





So what happens now?


Well, nothing really, I believe most pro togs will just wait for Nikon's version 2 and that's going to be the real model for true professionals as the lens lineup grows.



Giving us incredibly fast apertures and fantastic detail, that's what photography is all about.



Do you need to change to mirrorless now? 

For me absolutely not, it's currently pointless. The benefits just aren't there yet.



Give it another 2 or 3 years and it is, without doubt, going to be the dslr killer, for now, it's only slowly upsetting them.





So the D850 and the D5 remain the go-to camera's for professional Nikon users for now.



There are two real questions to be answered after the Z7 launch.



Question 1.

Has this stemmed the flow from Nikon to Sony?

I believe it completely has and could see more professional photographers come back to Nikon.



I have no loyalty to any brand but I must say I love the feel of the Nikon camera's and don't at all like the feel of the Sony's. This may seem biased and could change as products vary but when you hold a camera in your hand for 5+ hours a day on a fashion shoot then I can tell you feel is everything.



Sure it's a bit heavier but dear god it's not like its a kg heavier. If you want to save weight then choose another profession, it's not about weight, comfort or anything photography is about skill and results, it's as simple as that.



When we lust after those Hasselblad camera's do we look at the weight specs? No, we don't.



So for me, it's the D850 all the way until the future Z series camera's are released.




Question 2.

For the people that have reviewed the Z7 and criticised its lack of lenses, I have a simple question why don't you tell us about how good the F to Z mount adaptor is? 



The reality of it is that anyone buying the Z7 is going to already have the glass. So why not tell us about the adaptor?



This has been missing from any review I have seen as of yet, it's really the key selling point of this system, isn't it?




These are all my own personal thoughts and yes I ramble on a lot :-)




Remember Nikon has been producing exceptional camera's for over 100 years, they are not going to stop now and competition in the marketplace is great for us all.



It pushes forward development and keeps companies on their toe's in both pricing and spec wise.


See you out there,












Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nikon Z7 camera and the future of mirrorless system systems including the Z9
Author Rating
★ ★ ★ ★