Nikon Z7 Camera Review: Full-frame mirrorless cameras are gradually becoming the rage. The ease of use and versatility of this relatively new segment could make it more popular with professionals, and all companies are preparing for this by offering the best possible specs here. After testing Sony and Panasonic, we now have our hands on the Nikon Z7 which wants to stand out in this crowd with its backside illumination 45.7MP CMOS sensor.
The Nikon Z7 comes across as a pretty compact camera despite the full-frame specifications. It is not much larger than regular Nikon DSLRs are weighs about the same. However, this offers more rugged capabilities for those who want to take their camera on more adventurous pursuits. It offers a good grip and is easy to operate with one hand too.
I used the camera with a Nikon S 24-70/4 lens which came with a turn to unlock feature. You have to extend the lens before it starts working. This also makes it a bit more smaller than other lenses of the same range. The camera offers a large viewfinder as well as a 3.2-inch tiltable touchscreen. Though I am an old-fashioned photographer, of late I have been realising that the touchscreen offers more control on how you want to focus. Maybe with time, I will also shift to this, more convenient, mode.
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At first, I thought the camera had some issue. It was not clicking photos when I pressed the trigger. In a few minutes I realised this was the new silent shooting mode on the camera, which lets you take a picture without a click, literally. However, this was a bit disorienting for me as there is decades of memory associated with hearing the shutter with each click. But then it has its advantages too while clicking some subjects.
But this also means you lack the feedback that allows for a soft press to trigger the shutter. In this mode, you do end up pressing a bit more and maybe shaking the camera. This is where Nikon’s vibration reduction comes in handy to reduce shake.
The Nikon Z7 offers an exhaustive range of controls for photographers. For instance, the new creative picture control mode gives so many options on how you want your photos to show. In these days of Instagram, this is a good means to offer photographers a way to express themselves better. There will be those who say this is not photography, I side with those who think photography is an art that should offer its creators more liberty.
If you are picking an mirrorless camera over a regular DSLR, one of then reasons has to be the ability to shoot better in low light. The Nikon Z7 too excels in the same with an ISO range of 64-25600. What this camera does better is offer more vivid colours in low, or unnatural, light. Then there is the range finder that gives you a clear indication of where you are focusing.
The Nikon Z7 is also a full-fledged video camera, though it does not offer video as a mode. You can just press record and shoot, if 4K if you so desire. Most of the controls available for stills are offered for video mode too along with the ability to add accessories like microphones. Given the compact nature of the camera, I think a lot of videographers might be inclined to opt for the Nikon Z7.
The Nikon Z7 connects wirelessly with smart devices via the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app which you can use to share photos or even control the camera remotely. However, you cannot use this mode to transfer the videos shot on the camera. You will need to do this using a cable as the camera uses only the new XQD card format to store images.
Overall, the Nikon Z7 comes across a good allrounder with both versatility and stunning image quality. The pricing of the Z7, though, might make it more of a professional-only camera in initial days. But it does offer a good mirrorless full format upgrade option for those who love Nikon cameras.