Photography News Issue 61

Camera test 50

Photography News | Issue 61 |

Nikon Z 7 With its stated aim to be number one in the full-frame camera market, Nikon is pinning its hopes on the Z System starting with the Z 7


Price Z 7 body £3399, Z 7 with 24-70mm f/4 kit £3999, Z 7 with FTZ adapter kit £3499, Z 7with 24-70mmand FTZ adapter kit £4099. Lenses 50mm f/1.8 S £599, 35mm f/1.8 S £849, 24- 70mm f/4 £999, FTZ adapter £269 Sensor 45.7-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor Sensor format 35mm full-frame 35.9x23.9mm, 8256x5504pixels ISO range 64-25,600 (expandable to Lo1.0 ISO 32 and H1.0 51,200 H2.0 102,400 equivalent) Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec plus B, flash sync at 1/200sec Drivemodes Fastest rate 9fps (12-bit, AE locked) Metering system Matrix, centre-weighted, spot, highlight weighted Exposuremodes PASM Exposure compensation +/-5EV Monitor 2.1mdot tilting 3.2in touchscreen, 100% frame coverage Viewfinder 3.6mdot EVF Focus points 493 phase detect points in single AF covering 90% of the image area – usable in single-point, pinpoint, dynamic area, wide area, auto area Video 4K UHD 3840x2190 30p (progressive), 25p 24p. 1920x1080: 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-C, USB-C Other key features Five-axis image sensor shift IS Battery EN-EL15b (USB) rechargeable, EN- EL15a can be used but with lower capacity and no USB recharging Storagemedia 1x XQD slot Dimensions (wxhxd) 134x100.5x67.5mm Weight 675g body with battery and card Contact

Words and images byWill Cheung

A new camera system is a huge commitment for all concerned but with mirrorless cameras now outselling SLRs Nikon (and Canon) had to take decisive action, and not in any half-hearted way; so now we have 35mm full-frame mirrorless systems from them both. Nikon has announced two models, the 24.5-megapixel Z 6 and the 45.7-megapixel Z 7, with the latter available now and the former following on soon. (There’ll be a review of the Z 6 in the next issue.) Both cameras are externally identical, but one key difference is the price, with the Z 7 coming in at £3399bodyonly and theZ6 at £2099. Of course, you’re not going to get very far with just a body, but if you already own Nikon F bayonet lenses you could potentially just buy the Z 7 with the FTZ adapter (£100 more when bought in the kit, £269 when bought separately) and enjoy full autofocus and exposure compatibility with 90 Nikon lenses. The Z lens mount has a 55mm diameter and a back flange distance of 16mm, a specification that means Nikon lens designers can get creative so expect to see some very exotic glass soon. For this test we had the 35mm f/1.8 S and 24-70mm f/4 S, while the 50mm f/1.8 S is also available. Standaloneprices are£849, £999and £599 respectively. The Z 7 is a 45.7-megapixel camera using a backside illuminated CMOS full-frame sensor with no optical

low pass filter. On the face of it, it is similar to the D850’s so inevitably comparisons will be made (and yes, we have, as you’ll see later) but the Z 7 has a different image engine, the EXPEED6 rather than the D850’s EXPEED5. One of the selling points of mirrorless is smaller bodyform so let’s talk size and design. Put the mirrorless Z 7 alongside the D850 DSLR and it’s dwarfed. But it’s not so small to feel awkward to get a stable grip or uncomfortable in the hand. The contoured right hand grip feels substantial and very SLR-like, and not that far different from the D850. Its shorter height might mean for those with bigger hands that your little finger has nothing to grip but it was perfect for my average- sized hand. Nikon SLR users will find the control layout and menu structure pleasingly familiar too, while those coming in from other brands will soon find their way around. Buttons are clearly marked, of a good size and protrude from the body enough so you can find and use buttons by touch without having to visually double check what you are pressing. For me, the on/off switch is in the ideal place, on a collar around the shutter button, so you can carry the

camera in the right hand and turn it on as you bring it up to the eye. Start up time is 1sec which doesn’t sound fast but it’s quick enough. Adjacent to the shutter button is the ISO, movie record and exposure compensation controls. Being able to adjust these settings while the eye remains at the viewfinder is very much a good thing. There is the option of committing the lens ring to exposure compensation and that is a better option, although you may prefer the latter to be used as an aperture or focusing ring. A small top-plate LCD info panel lets you keep an eye on key settings such as ISO and frames remaining from above, although this is only on show when the camera is switched on. The mode dial on the left-side of the body is locked in place so the centre button needs a press to allow themode centre to be adjusted. Three user settings are available so you can quickly access settings that you might prefer for different subjects. So you can have a studio set-up, one for street and another for landscape for example. If you are looking at the top-plate wondering where the drive control is, you will find it on the back and adjusting it is via the rear input dial.

Put the mirrorless Z 7 alongside the D850DSLR and it’s dwarfed

Left The Z 7’s control layout will be very familiar to current Nikon DSLR users and features such as a large, well placed AF-ON button and focus lever promote good, intuitive handling.

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