Photography News 85 Web

Big test

PERFORMANCE: EXPOSURE LATITUDE I shot several exposure brackets in different lighting conditions using the Z 7II, from the brightest to the dullest of days. Here, the files were exposure corrected in Lightroom.

On the evidence of these shots, overexposed Raws coped less well with even the 2EV shot looking contrasty and over-saturated, compared with the correctly exposed frame, although more considered processing would resolve that. Underexposed Raws were much more amenable to being abused, and even the -4EV shots recovered to look close to the correctly exposed frame. However, there was a slight gain in noise, visible in midtones. Low levels of noise were seen with the recovered -3EV shot, but the overall result looked impressive and identical to the correctly exposed shot, and this applied to the -2EV and -1EV shots, too.

IMAGES The Z 7II ’ s monitor flips up or down for convenient high and low/waist-level shooting and when used, deactivates the monitor/EVF auto switchover feature

Final word Verdict

IMAGES This sunlit bracket was taken with the Z 7II fitted with the Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S lens with the camera set to record 14-bit lossless Raws

-4EV

-3EV

-2EV

To answer the questions posed right at the start of this review. Yes, the Nikon Z 7II is what the Z 7 could have been – Z 7 owners will see a minor performance benefit and the dual card slot option is important, so it ’ s maybe worth upgrading. And, yes, the Z 7II has the potential to tempt Nikon DSLR owners to mirrorless, but as ever it depends on expectation, needs, budget and any number of subjective imponderables. To sum up, the Nikon Z 7II is undoubtedly a very fine camera and hugely capable, too. True, it’s a ‘mere’ 45.7 megapixels and some people might have expected Nikon to have exceeded this with its new flagship mirrorless. But this level of resolution is still more than enough for even the most hardened pursuer of megapixels. It’s also true that the Z 7II is not a great stills/video hybrid, but Nikon has that covered with the Z 6II. Priced at £2999 (which is more than 10% cheaper than the Z 7 when it launched in 2018), the Z 7II has much to commend it. If a top-end full-frame Nikon mirrorless is your dream, this is the camera to consider.

-1EV

0

+1EV

+2EV

+3EV

+4V

24 /25

FEATURES An impressive features list for shooters who demand top quality HANDLING Overall, very good and a couple of minor negatives, but not deal-breaking PERFORMANCE Excellent ISO showing, AF good and fine out-of-camera JPEGs VALUE FOR MONEY £3k is a significant sum, but the Z 7II is a highly capable full-frame system camera OVERALL The Z 7II has much to recommend it, so it is definitely worth shortlisting if you want a top-end mirrorless full-frame camera

24 /25

prolonged continuous bursts is unusual and we’ve all grown used to managing memory. However, when maximum capacity is required, the CFexpress option is the one to go for, but even a fast (say, 1000x) SD card can cope well. All in all, the Z 7II is lovely to use. OK, there are a few niggles, but there’s nothing deal-breaking. Amulti-shot high-res mode would be nice and would appeal to archivists and those who want the ultimate image quality, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a terrific camera. WC

the CFexpress) in the continuous H extended setting and 63 Raws at 5.5fps in continuous high with the buffer clearing in around 15 to 18 seconds. While the SD card is slower and limits ultimate shooting speed, it’s still good. Moreover, having the option is a good thing, because this card type is much cheaper than CFexpress/XQD and you probably own a bagful already. While there are cameras that can shoot more frames more quickly, the Z 7II is still a formidable performer and fast enough for most users – shooting

With the CFexpress card in the Z 7II set to the continuous H extended drive setting and using the mechanical shutter recording 14-bit lossless compressed Raws, I got 47 shots at 9fps. By comparison, the same card in the Z 7 managed 19 14-bit Raws. Going to the Z 7II's continuous high mode, I got 200 Raws at 5.5fps – this was the frame limit set in the camera menu. The buffer cleared in around eight to 12 seconds. With the SD card, the Z 7II gave 34 Raws at 8fps (1fps slower than

24 /25

23 /25

95 /100

PROS Two card slots, image quality, ISO performance, dynamic range of Raws, AF swift and responsive, lovely handling, out-of-camera JPEGs CONS No info-free monitor view option, no multi-shot high-resolution mode, self-timer cancels on power down, tracking/face AF not as tenacious as rivals

THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO MAKE GOOD USE

Where will your kit go next? Inspire others, make some extra cash and make a difference. Sell your used kit and let someone else love it as much as you have. Make good use of your used gear. Sell yours today at mpb.com/sell

32 Photography News | Issue 85

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