Let’s get real: It’s WAY too early to compare the Nikon Z7 to the Sony A7R III


posted Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 12:44 PM EDT


It’s been less than a week since Nikon announced their impending Z7 and Z6 cameras, and already we’re seeing articles by what should be respected outlets comparing these new Nikon mirrorless cameras to Sony’s Alpha series. It’s a logical comparison, for sure, but if you’re reading any articles that are making conclusions already, you’re wasting your time.

It is simply not possible right now to compare the Z series to the Alpha series. It cannot be done. Or rather, it shouldn't be done. Not yet.

If you’ve noticed, no one of consequence has actually completed a review of the Nikon Z7, and if they claim to have done so, they’re taking a lot for granted and drawing conclusions based on insufficient evidence. Journalists the world over have had extremely limited time with this camera in demo/controlled situations with pre-production firmware.

Very limited time. Demo environments. Beta firmware.

That translates to: "I’ve used this for a few hours, but not in ways a real photographer would use it, with camera firmware that isn’t ready for the public."

How could you possibly be ready to start making calls on what is better or worse with such an experience with any product? Really, the key here is that Nikon told all who have seen and held the camera that they are pre-production units. The cameras are not complete, and there could still be changes made to the final shipped product. How many changes? How drastic will they be?

We don’t know! And that’s the crux of the matter. There is just far too much that no one outside of Nikon employees knows the answers to.

In all likelihood, the changes won’t be anything crazy, but to assume otherwise is playing fast and loose with journalistic integrity. Proper journalists will withhold judgment until a product is finalized and has been fully tested. To sit in an office chair and determine a winner or loser at this point is patently ridiculous.

So until Nikon releases finished products and these cameras have seen more of the real world, it would be best if you ignored anyone starting to call winners and losers in specific categories of camera design and function.

Is the Sony a7R III better than the Nikon Z7? Is the Nikon Z7 better than the A7R III? These are burning questions. I get it. But be patient. No one is forcing you to run out and buy either of these cameras today. They’re investments, they’re expensive, and your patience will be rewarded.


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(A note added by IR Founder and Publisher Dave Etchells)

Several readers mentioned in the comments below the practice of click-baiting to draw pre-orders. That's a good point, and may in fact be what's behind the trend this article was written about.

The thing is, affiliate sales are incredibly important for us as well; one affilate sale can easily bring as much revenue as 5,000 -10,000 ad impressions, and we typically only get well-paying ads a couple of times a year. Using one of our affiliate links costs you nothing extra, but makes a huge difference in supporting our work

So if you value our approach and content, would you consider using one of the links below to place any pre-orders or orders you might make? Believe me, it makes a huge difference for us!

(It's worth noting too, that it looks like Nikon is in the process of being overwhelmed by demand again, similar to what happened with the D850. So if you think you might want one any time soon, it'd be a really good idea to place a pre-order. You aren't charged until it ships, and can always cancel if you change your mind. But getting in line ASAP would be smart if you'd like one any time in the next few months :-)

Related IR content:

Nikon Z7 OverviewSony A7R III Overview

Nikon Z7 vs Sony A7R III (specs)