Nikon Z7 Review: Does Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless meet lofty expectations?


posted Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 2:50 PM EDT

Click here to read our Nikon Z7 Review Conclusion


For Nikon fans, especially after many rumors and teasers, it was not a matter of "if" Nikon would release a full-frame mirrorless camera system, but "when." The wait finally ended this past September when the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera hit the scene. Equipped with a 45.7-megapixel full-frame image sensor, the same megapixel count as 2017's Nikon D850, the Z7 is the company's first high-end, high-resolution mirrorless camera. It is all about pro-level performance across the board.

The Z7 may be much more compact than a Nikon DSLR camera, but it shares a lot in common with Nikon's prior cameras in terms of control layout and functionality. It feels different yet immediately familiar. One of the biggest differences between a DSLR and a mirrorless camera, apart from overall size, is with respect to the viewfinder. Gone is an optical viewfinder and in its place is an excellent OLED electronic viewfinder with superb resolution and magnification. Simply put, it may very well be one the best electronic viewfinders on the market. The 3.2-inch touchscreen is excellent as well, although perhaps underutilized in terms of the overall user experience.

Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S at 70mm, f/16, 3s, ISO 64

As is to be expected, given the imaging performance of the Nikon D850, the Z7 delivers fantastic image quality. Both JPEG and raw files are sharp and highly detailed across a wide range of ISO settings. The Z7 is speedy as well, capable of shooting at up to 9 frames per second thanks to its new EXPEED 6 image processor. While buffer depths don't match the level of the D850, the Z7 still delivers very good overall performance.

One of the biggest differences in terms of the shooting experience between the Z7 and the D850 is with respect to the new autofocus system. The Z7 has a brand-new hybrid autofocus system featuring 493 AF points, which cover approximately 90 percent of the horizontal and vertical area of the image frame. This excellent autofocus coverage is paired with fast focusing, particularly when in AF-S mode. Continuous autofocus and subject tracking is good as well, although not as reliable nor as sophisticated as some of the tracking technology found in Nikon's high-end DSLR cameras.

Adapted Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E PF at 500mm, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 4,000. This image has been modified.

To read all our Nikon Z7 coverage and testing, head to our in-depth Nikon Z7 Review. To skip ahead to our final verdict on their first full-frame mirrorless camera, click here for our Nikon Z7 Review Conclusion. You can also catch up on some of our prior coverage by clicking the links below.

Nikon Z7 ReviewConclusion

Field Test IField Test IIImage QualityPerformance •