LensRentals Nikon Z7 Teardown: “The best built mirrorless full-frame camera we’ve taken apart”
posted Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 2:35 PM EDT
“The best built mirrorless full-frame camera we’ve taken apart.” This is how Lensrentals describes the Nikon Z7 in their newly-published teardown. These are very strong words and speak to the level of engineering-level precision which has gone into the design and construction of Nikon’s new flagship full-frame mirrorless camera.
After tearing down the Canon EOS R and finding quite a bit of weather resistance via tightly-sealed components rather than true weather sealing components, in contrast the Z7 features weather-resisting gaskets “everywhere.” According to Roger Cicala of Lensrentals, there is more sealing than was found in either the EOS R or the Sony A7R III. In many areas, the construction of the camera comprises tight seals with overlapping components screwed together and then covered with grip and adhesive, which “should not only give a superior weather seal, but it’s also probably giving some added strength to the assembly.”
With the bottom plate of the Z7 removed, Cicala and the Lensrentals team noticed that unlike prior Nikon cameras, some of the wire components were now held in place with a bracket, which is much more organized than the wiring found in their previous cameras, something Cicala has noted during prior teardowns. The bottom plate has thick weather gaskets around edges and at the tripod mount. As a note, the Canon EOS R also had gaskets around the tripod mount, but not around the edges of plates. The team also noted that while it likely won’t matter in real-world use, the Z7 has a less robust mounting plate than the EOS R.
Following removal of the grips and screws, the back panel of the camera slid off and there are many similarities between the overall layout of the internals of the Z7 and Nikon SLR cameras. The design is thoughtful, opting for flexes and short runs rather than soldered wires. The team also found thorough weather sealing around the top, bottom and all the buttons and a robust IBIS mechanism.
Something which will likely never matter for an end-user but matter a lot to the team at Lensrentals is the design of the diopter adjustment knob on the Z7. It’s incredibly hard to remove and additionally a bit flimsy. Renters will regularly be adjusting the diopter, as different customers have varying needs, so it’s a component which may need to be replaced by Lensrentals. But on the flipside, there is weather sealing under this adjustment knob. The team then took apart the main PCB, looked at ports and much more. To see a full breakdown, including many close-up shots, click here.
Kolari Vision has also performed their own teardown of the Nikon Z7. Kolari Vision is known for their infrared camera conversions, so they are well-versed in the design and assembly of many cameras. Their teardown includes many excellent pictures of the sensor assembly, the lens mount and much more, so be sure to check it out for even more photos of the Nikon Z7's internals.