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The first full-frame mirrorless from Nikon took its time, but was worth the wait Nikon Z 7

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SPECS ›  Prices £1500 (good), £1750-£1850 (very good/excellent condition) ›  Sensor 45.7-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor ›  Sensor format Full-frame 35.9x23.9mm, 8256x5504 pixels ›  ISO range 64-25,600 (expandable to L1.0 32 and H1.0 51,200 H2.0 102,400 equivalent) ›  Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec, flash sync at 1/200sec ›  Drive modes Fastest rate 9fps (12-bit, AE locked) ›  Metering system Matrix, centre-weighted, spot, highlight-weighted ›  Exposure modes PASM ›  Exposure compensation +/-5EV ›  Monitor 2.1m dot tilting 3.2in touchscreen, 100% frame coverage ›  Viewfinder 493 phase detection points in single AF covering 90% of the image area – usable in single-point, pinpoint, dynamic area, wide area, auto area ›  Video 4K UHD 3840x2160 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, sensor-shift IS ›  Battery EN-EL15b (USB) rechargeable, EN-EL15a can be used, but with lower capacity and no USB recharging ›  Storage media 1x XQD slot ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 134x100.5x67.5mm ›  Weight 675g body with battery and card ›  Contact

NIKON’S IN THE news at the moment for its award-winning Z 9. It’s without doubt an incredible camera with an awesome feature set, including first-rate AF that’s a match for anything out there. Let’s turn the clock back to 2018, when the Z series was introduced with the Z 6 and Z 7 – Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras. Externally, the two shared the same look, but while the Z 6 was a 24-megapixel stills camera touted as the video-friendly model, the Z 7 was “USING A LEXAR CFEXPRESS TYPE B CARD SHOOTING 12-BIT RAWS, YOU GET AROUND 27 SHOTS BEFORE THE CAMERA BEGINS TO BUFFER”

a top-of-the-range, high-resolution beast using a 45.7-megapixel sensor – and it, too, had hybrid pretensions. A video feature set included an ability to capture 4K/30p, with 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log output to an external recorder with HDMI. The back-side illuminated CMOS sensor was impressive, in conjunction with the Nikon Expeed 6 image processor that made its first appearance here. Native ISO topped out at 25,600; even at this stratospheric speed, image quality was more than a little decent, with files showing fine detail only slightly marred by digital noise. Shot at ISO 100, Z 7 Raws showed they could cope with extreme contrast. Autofocus was handled by a 493-zone phase detection system (in single point AF), with coverage across 90% of the image format. The usual array of multi-zone and smaller zone options were featured, in addition to face, eye and animal detection. Firmware updates have since enhanced the Z 7’s AF skills, and it’s a reliable performer in this respect.

SCENIC SPLENDOUR The Z 7 really excels in detail-rich settings like this. Taken with a Nikon Z 14-30mm f/4 lens at 15mm, exposure of 1/100sec at f/14 and ISO 100

modest buffer meant you couldn’t exactly blast away with alacrity, and burst shooting management was vital. Using a Lexar CFexpress Type B card shooting 12-bit Raws, you’d get around 27 shots (20 with 14-bit) before the camera began to buffer. That’s still good enough for most. Overall, the Z 7 was a pleasure. For Nikon newbies, control layout and

As you might expect from an older model – even upgraded – its subject/ eye detection and tracking skills are not up to the level of newer rivals. Despite shooting full-resolution, 45.7-megapixel files, it could truck along at 9fps capturing 12-bit Raws, slowing to 8fps with 14-bit Raws. So, while the Z 7 wasn’t action-specific, it was still pretty rapid. Although a

PLAYING CARDS Nikon’s Z 7 accepts a single CFexpress Type B or XQD card – no dual card slots, unfortunately

64 Photography News | Issue 100

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