I had the incredible opportunity to have 2 weeks of hands on experience with Nikon’s new mirrorless camera – the Z7 and it is a game changer! I was given a preproduction model to test and shoot campaign images for Nikon Canada and I put the camera through its paces capturing everything from fashion to landscapes, commercial, sports and wildlife.
The camera itself feels unmistakably Nikon, and I instantly felt at home with it. There are a few new buttons and placements, but I soon learned to love the improvements. I honestly didn’t think I was going to love the electronic viewfinder, because I have tried others in the past and not been satisfied. However this was different, this electronic viewfinder is the brightest and clearest that I have ever used and after a short adjustment period coming from an optical viewfinder world it just felt that I was actually looking through a DSLR. The electronic viewfinder gives you immediate feedback and you get to see your exposure, white balance settings and any heads-up info you want displayed before you even take the image… it’s really amazing and a feature I now love. It changes the way you photograph but seems to speed up and enhance the process and allow you to feel even more connected to the camera. With the FTZ adapter I was able to use all of my existing Nikon lenses, and I also had the opportunity to use the new 35mm 1.8 S lens and was absolutely blown away by the image quality. Perfect sharpness at 1.8 and the nicest bokeh I have ever seen on a Nikon lens. The new larger Z mount is going to mean more beautiful, higher quality glass than ever.
The most surprising thing that I found using the camera was the Vibration Reduction on the sensor. It gives you up to 5-stops of VR, even on non-VR lenses and it really works well! I was able to shoot landscapes at 1/15sec hand-held that were perfectly sharp at full resolution. I could even capture 4K video with my 300mm PF, 1.4x tele and FTZ adapter hand-held of a bird floating in the water and it looked like I had the camera on a gimbal. For video, there are so many wonderful new features, like 10-bit recording, focus peaking at all resolutions, and a whole lot more.
As far as quality goes, it is basically the same quality as a Nikon D850 in a 25% smaller and lighter unit. The images that I captured with the Z7, even preproduction were some of the highest quality images that I have ever shot. What I was able to get in only 2 weeks is a real testament to how good this camera really is. I feel like everything I shot… I nailed it… and that is always a really great feeling for any photographer.
Nikon took the time to design this camera from the ground up, and it shows, it is really remarkable and definitely worth taking a look! I can’t wait to get mine!!!
I am posting the Nikon Z7 images I shot for the next month on my instagram: @kristianbogner Check them out, comment and I am happy to answer questions about the camera on my instagram as well.