Nikon Z7 Field Test Part II: A flexible and versatile full-frame mirrorless camera with few flaws
posted Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 4:15 PM EDT
In my first Nikon Z7 Field Test, I discussed the camera’s design, autofocus performance and JPEG image quality. In my second Field Test, the focus has shifted to shooting with the FTZ mount adapter, the new 24-70mm lens, shooting the Z7 for landscapes and wildlife, recording video and working with the Z7’s raw files. Where the first Field Test was somewhat broad, this second one is more about the smaller details of working with Nikon’s new mirrorless camera.
Without many native Z Mount lenses available — I had access to two of them and a third is releasing soon — the ability to adapt existing Nikon F mount lenses will be important for most prospective customers. I shot a lot with an adapted Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E zoom lens and in most cases it worked well, although it wasn’t without a quirk here and there. Autofocus speeds were impressive, but in my opinion, not quite as fast as the lens is on my D500 and the D850 I tested last year. The FTZ adapter also worked well with my 20mm f/1.8 lens, adding image stabilization functionality thanks to the Z7’s built-in five-axis image stabilization.
I also discuss the Z7’s usefulness as a landscape camera, as this is the type of photography I do most frequently. The Z7’s EVF and tilting touchscreen worked well, as did its manual focus capabilities when the light was too low. Further, the camera produces very flexible raw files which offer a lot of latitude during editing as well as excellent sharpness and detail. While the camera is great for landscapes and other types of shooting, it may not be perfect for everyone due to the lack of eye detect autofocus, somewhat limited subject tracking capabilities and absence of a second card slot.
A full video test will be forthcoming, but I also shot video with the Z7 and tested its 4K/30p video capabilities. Video AF is improved over the D850, although it did struggle a bit in low light. The video quality itself is nice, even at higher ISO settings, and the camera has a lot of nice video features. You can read all about my Z7 experience by clicking here.