Nikon Z7 Review

October 1, 2018 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star

Introduction

The Nikon Z7 full-frame mirrorless camera - Nikon’s first - was introduced in August 2018 after several weeks of speculation and online teasers. The Nikon Z7 was launched as part of Nikon’s brand new “Z system”, and debuted alongside its more affordable sibling the Z6. Both use the same body design, but are equipped with slightly different internal specifications.

- 45 megapixel full-frame sensor
- 4K UHD video recording
- 493-point Phase-detect AF system
- 3.2-inch tilting touschcreen LCD
- 0.80x, 3.6m-Dot electronic viewfinder
- 9fps burst shooting
- ISO range of 64-25600
- 5-axis vibration reduction
- 8K timelapses
- XQD memory card
- 330 shot battery life

The Nikon Z7 is the first of the pair to arrive in an increasingly competitive market for mirrorless cameras, and makes its entry with a £3,399 / $3,399 price point (body only). This compares with Nikon’s wildly popular D850 DSLR at £2999 / $3300. It will face stiff competition from Sony’s breakout, high-end mirrorless success the A7R III, as well as Canon’s still-new full-frame mirrorless camera the EOS R.

As the Z series uses a brand new mount, a new range of lenses is also being launched, along with a Z-mount adapter which can be bought with the Nikon Z7 as part of a kit.

Ease of Use

Nikon Z7
Front of the Nikon Z7

In terms of design, Nikon has very much stuck with what it knows with the Z7, creating a full-frame mirrorless camera which, in essence, looks very similar to a small DSLR. It keeps the body of the camera chunky enough to be comfortable to use, while still reducing the size somewhat. Importantly, it remains relatively well-balanced even if you choose to use heavier lenses. The layout of the buttons and so on is also extremely similar to existing Nikon cameras – if you’re already used to using one of Nikon's DSLRs you should very comfortable using the Z7.

There’s also weatherproofing, which is claimed to be to the same level as the D850, while the overall build quality feels very robust and well-made. During testing, it was used during a heavy downpour to shoot a football match and survived to tell the tale.

On the back of the camera, the majority of the buttons are found grouped on the right hand side. You’ve also got a joystick which you can use to move focus points around the frame – it’s also got a ridged coating to help you easily lay your thumb on it when using the viewfinder. Although it’s not possible to use the touch-sensitive screen while looking through the viewfinder, it’s a fast enough experience using the joystick for it not to be too much of a problem. 

Nikon Z7
Front of the Nikon Z7

Otherwise there’s very familiar (to Nikon shooters) buttons in the shape of an AF-On button, Menu button and a switch for flicking between shooting video and shooting stills. The new Z mount has been given four connection points, rather than three, making it feel very secure when attaching lenses to it. Just to the right of the lens mount you’ll find two customisable function buttons, while on its left is the lens release button.

On the top of the Nikon Z7 is a mode dial for quickly moving between the various exposure modes the camera offers. You’ll find M/A/S/P as well as a fully automatic option, plus space for three different groups of custom settings. In order to move the dial, you’ll need to hold down a button in the middle of the dial – which helps to prevent accidental changes in bags and so on. Also on the top you’ll find a dial for changing certain settings depending on the shooting mode you’re in, which can be used in conjunction with a secondary dial built into the camera’s grip.

Around the on/off switch is a video record button, ISO button and exposure compensation button, while the shutter release is found in the centre of the switch. A top panel displays key shooting settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO and so on.  

Nikon Z7
Rear of the Nikon Z7

A high-resolution, class-leading, 3.6-million-dot EVF is used on both mirrorless cameras, offering 0.8x magnification. In use, the EVF is fantastic, with lots of detail and an extremely pleasant view of the scene.

The Nikon Z7 uses a 2.1-million dot tilting touch-sensitive screen. The touch options have been very well implemented, and makes it a much pleasant experience than shooting with Sony's A7R III. (See our Sony A7R III review here.) You can use the screen to make various selections in either the main or quick menu (which is accessed by pressing the “I” button on the back of the camera). You can also use it to select a specific focus point around the frame – one slight disappointment is that you can’t use the touchscreen in conjunction with the electronic viewfinder, though.

As the Nikon Z7 is a mirrorless camera, you can now activate a truly silent mode, something which pros will likely find useful in a wide variety of scenarios. For example, wedding photographers shooting in a quiet church, or sports photographers keen not to disturb an all-important golf swing can take advantage of zero shutter noise. Of course this is not something which is new to the market -- mirrorless cameras in 2018 aren't a novelty — but it does open up some new photographic opportunities. Even without silent shutter activated, the shutter sound isn’t too loud.

Aside from the differences in sensor resolution, another difference between the Z7 and the Z6 is the AF system. The higher resolution Z7 uses a 493-point hybrid AF system, while the Z6 uses a 273-point system. The Z7 offers 9fps shooting, while the Z6 can manage 12fps. 

Nikon Z7
Top of the Nikon Z7

The Nikon Z7 is clearly not targeted as a sports or action camera, but none-the-less it offers AF tracking when shooting under the Auto-Area AF mode. In practice, the Z7 struggles a little to keep track of particularly erratic or very fast-moving subjects. It’s as though the  Z7 is ever so slightly behind the subject – that can result in pictures which don’t display critically sharp focus when zoomed in 100%, but still look good when used at smaller sizes. Overall, it’s easier to get good results when keeping the focus point on Single-Point AF or Wide-Area AF and trying to keep the subject underneath the same focus point where possible.

Otherwise, for more static subjects, autofocusing is fast and accurate. In low light, a rather bright green autofocusing assist lamp can help to gain focus, but if you prefer discreetness that can be switched off. In which case, autofocusing in very low light can sometimes take a little longer to acquire focus, but it’s rare for it to be missed altogether.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are included in both mirrorless cameras, with Nikon claiming that connections should be more stable than those seen in previous cameras thanks to a dedicated processor. On the whole, it works extremely well with an iPhone, but we’ve had less success with a Huawei P20 Pro. It could perhaps be because of aggressive power-saving management by the Huawei shutting down the app from running in the background, but it seems that it doesn’t want to maintain the automatic transfer unless the app is open on the phone. Still, it’s certainly a much smoother experience than in the past. 

Nikon Z7
Tilting LCD Screen

A little controversially, Nikon has decided to equip both the Z6 and the Z7 with just a single XQD card slot. So far, the only other cameras available to buy on the market to use XQD cards are Nikon’s own high-end cameras, so for many buying the Nikon Z7, they’ll also have to factor in the expense of additional memory cards and readers. Having a single slot also means no back-up or overflow storage. Nikon says that the reason for this is because there isn’t enough room for two XQD card slots, and, research suggests that relatively few photographers use a second card slot for backup. You only have to read forum posts and social media to see the uproar this has caused, but it’s certainly true that XQD cards are more robust than SD cards. It would also seem pretty likely that at some point in the future – distant or otherwise – Nikon will release an even higher-end mirrorless camera than the Nikon Z7 which will have multiple card slots.

At launch, just three Z-mount lenses are announced for the mirrorless system – a 24-70 f/4, a 35mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.8. Of those three, just the 24-70mm and the 35mm are available to buy from launch, with the 50mm expected later in the year. The new lens mount adaptor does not include a built-in autofocus motor, so, while that means it is compatible with Nikon’s extensive back catalogue of lenses, only those with focusing motors inside them will be compatible with the Z7/Z6’s autofocusing system.

Nikon Z7
The Nikon Z7 In-hand

We’ve used the Nikon Z7 with a variety of existing F mount lenses and it has worked extremely well, displaying very little difference – if any – to using said lenses with something like a Z7. Third-party lenses should also work just as well in theory, but Nikon gives no guarantees of this. If you’ve got very old or unusual lenses you may also find that there’s limits to how the lenses work with the Z system, but that’s unlikely to be of huge concern to the vast majority of users.

Battery life for the Nikon Z7 is rated at 330 shots, according to CIPA. This rating is granted using quite unrealistic methods, so in real-world shooting, you’re likely to get far more from the Z7. During our tests, we were able to fill a 32GB card and the battery depleted to 71%. During a 90-minute football game, two batteries were needed – but considering the camera was on – and in use – for pretty much the entirety of the game, this is a pretty good performance. Buying an extra battery for pro users is definitely recommended. The good news for existing D850 owners is that the battery is the same size and therefore is accepted by the Z7. If you’re using the Nikon Z7 as a backup camera, you will be able to share batteries between cameras. However, it’s worth noting that although the Z7 supports USB charging, older batteries (such as those found in the D850) cannot be charged in this way.

Conclusion

There’s absolutely no doubt that Nikon users have been waiting for a viable mirrorless option for some time now. The ill-fated Nikon 1 series certainly didn’t tick the right boxes for the vast majority of pro photographers, while the Z7 finally feels like the company is heading in the right direction.

The Nikon Z7 feels like a camera which can be picked up by existing Nikon DSLR users without hesitation about how it works or what certain things do. While some things will be slightly different and may take some to get used to, all in all, it’s very much like using a smaller and lighter Nikon DSLR.

Having a mirrorless model opens up certain shooting scenarios for photographers that may otherwise have been more difficult or even impossible. The silent shooting function is a great example of that and we can see it being particularly popular with wedding photographers and in other situations where being discreet is important.

That said, the Nikon Z7 is probably not the perfect model for everybody. If you shoot a lot of sports or action, there are certainly better tracking focus and burst speeds on the market – both inside and outside the mirrorless realm. There’s also the issue of the single card slot – it seems likely that many will either learn to live with the risk of one of the cards corrupting, or wait even longer to see what Nikon produces next.

Either way, it’s clear to see that this is just the beginning. Right now we have the Z7 and the Z6, but how long will it be until we see a Z3, Z1 or even APS-C models to really open it up to the consumer market. DSLR production is still going strong, but it could become somewhat of a niche in the years to come. It finally feels as if Nikon is no longer scared to admit that and is open to the possibility of the mainstream future being mirrorless.

For a first iteration of a brand new system and mount, the Nikon Z7 is really quite remarkable – it’s a truly exciting time in the market and it feels like Nikon has got it right this time.

Your move, Sony.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 45.7 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 25Mb.

Nikon spent a long time building up expectations for the Z7, and by using a sensor which is very similar to the D850, hopes were high that image quality would be just as superb (if not better).

The good news is that the Nikon Z7 doesn’t disappoint, resulting in images which are simply fantastic. The first two new lenses are also excellent performers, and we’re excited to see what else will be made in the new “S” line-up. Being able to use your existing Nikon lenses with the very capable Z mount adapter is also great news for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Detail is very well maintained up until ISO 6400, which is where you’ll start to see noticeable noise especially at larger sizes. Even some images shot at the very top native ISO speed of 25600 are usable, depending on the conditions, with JPEG images giving fairly natural results after noise reduction has been applied in-camera, but it’s best if you can keep to below ISO 12800 if possible. If you’re keen to extract further detail, you can get it from the raw format file.

Shooting in the all-purpose metering mode, known as matrix-metering on Nikon cameras, generally results in pleasing exposures, which is only usually thrown by very extreme, high-contrast situations. Automatic white balance copes well with artificial lights to produce natural colours, but daylight images are arguably a little cooler than you might like. Shooting in raw format means you can adjust in post-production if you’re not happy with the results, while shooting in one of the Z7’s white balance presets can yield more accurate results.

In body image stabilisation is included with the Nikon Z7, which is another marked difference from Nikon’s DSLRs including the D850. This gives you a good advantage when shooting in low light handheld to keep shots as sharp as possible while using longer shutter speeds.

Noise

The base sensitivity of the Nikon Z7 is ISO 64 but you can go down to ISO 32 (L1.0) if you wish. At the other end of the scale, the highest native sensitivity of the Nikon Z7 is ISO 25600, but two boosted settings, ISO 51200 and ISO 102400, are also available.

JPEG RAW

LO 1EV (ISO 32) (100% Crop)

LO 1EV (ISO 32) (100% Crop)

iso32.jpg iso32raw.jpg

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

iso64.jpg iso64raw.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso12800.jpg iso12800raw.jpg

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso25600.jpg iso25600raw.jpg

HI 1EV (ISO 51200) (100% Crop)

HI 1EV (ISO 51200) (100% Crop)

iso51200.jpg iso51200raw.jpg

HI 2EV (ISO 102400) (100% Crop)

HI 2EV (ISO 102400) (100% Crop)

iso102400.jpg iso102400raw.jpg

File Quality

The file quality settings available on the Nikon Z7 include Basic, Normal and Fine for JPEGs, and the camera can also shoot 12- or 14-bit NEFs (Nikon's proprietary raw file format) and 8-bit TIFFs.

Fine (13.4Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (10.1Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg
Basic (2.19Mb) (100% Crop)

Raw (42.1Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_basic.jpg quality_raw.jpg
Tiff (132Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_tiff.jpg

Low Light

The Nikon Z7 lets you dial in shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds and has a Bulb mode as well for exposure times of practically any length, which is very good news if you are seriously interested in night photography. There is an optional long-exposure noise reduction function that can be activated to filter out any hot pixels that may appear when extremely slow shutter speeds are used.

Low Light

lowlight.jpg

Active D-lighting (ADL)

D-lighting is Nikon's dynamic range optimisation tool that attempts to squeeze the full dynamic range of the sensor into JPEGs. Active D-lighting works “on the fly”, before the in-camera processing engine converts the raw image data into JPEGs. The available settings are Off, Low, Normal, High and Extra High, plus an Auto mode.

Off

adl_01.jpg
Low
adl_02.jpg

Normal

adl_03.jpg
High
adl_04.jpg

Extra High

adl_05.jpg

Auto

adl_06.jpg

Picture Controls

Nikon's Picture Controls are preset combinations of sharpening, contrast, brightness, saturation and hue. All 28 different Picture Controls can be tweaked to your liking, then saved and transferred to other cameras.

Auto

Binary

PictureControl-Auto.JPG PictureControl-Binary.JPG
Bleach Blue
PictureControl-Bleach.JPG PictureControl-Blue.JPG

Carbon

Charcoal

PictureControl-Carbon.JPG PictureControl-Charcoal.JPG
Denim Drama
PictureControl-Denim.JPG PictureControl-Drama.JPG

Dream

Flat

PictureControl-Dream.JPG PictureControl-Flat.JPG
Graphite Landscape
PictureControl-Graphite.JPG PictureControl-Landscape.JPG
Melancholic Monochrome
PictureControl-Melancholic.JPG PictureControl-Monochrome.JPG
Morning Neutral
PictureControl-Morning.JPG PictureControl-Neutral.JPG
Pink Pop
PictureControl-Pink.JPG PictureControl-Pop.JPG
Portrait Pure
PictureControl-Portrait.JPG PictureControl-Pure.JPG
Red Sepia
PictureControl-Red.JPG PictureControl-Sepia.JPG
Silence Somber
PictureControl-Silence.JPG PictureControl-Somber.JPG
Standard Sunday
PictureControl-Standard.JPG PictureControl-Sunday.JPG
Toy Vivid
PictureControl-Toy.JPG PictureControl-Vivid.JPG

Crop Modes

The Nikon Z7 is an FX camera but it can also shoot in one of four crop modes, including a 19.5-megapixel DX crop mode, a 37.9-megapixel 5:4 mode that uses the full height of the sensor but trims the sides, a 38.3 megapixel 16:9 mode, and a 30.3-megapixel 1:1 square mode. The boundaries of the cropped areas are denoted with thin black lines in the viewfinder, which otherwise continues to show the full FX view, allowing you to see what's happening outside the cropped frame - perfect for sports and action shooting.

FX
crop_mode_01.jpg

DX

crop_mode_02.jpg
16:9
crop_mode_03.jpg

5:4

crop_mode_04.jpg

1:1

crop_mode_05.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Z7 camera, which were all taken using the 45.7 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon Z7 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 18 second movie is 278Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 60 frames per second. Please note that this 22 second movie is 132Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 16 second movie is 51.8Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 120 frames per second. Please note that this 19 second movie is 303Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Conclusion

There’s absolutely no doubt that Nikon users have been waiting for a viable mirrorless option for some time now. The ill-fated Nikon 1 series certainly didn’t tick the right boxes for the vast majority of pro photographers, while the Z7 finally feels like the company is heading in the right direction.

The Nikon Z7 feels like a camera which can be picked up by existing Nikon DSLR users without hesitation about how it works or what certain things do. While some things will be slightly different and may take some to get used to, all in all, it’s very much like using a smaller and lighter Nikon DSLR.

Having a mirrorless model opens up certain shooting scenarios for photographers that may otherwise have been more difficult or even impossible. The silent shooting function is a great example of that and we can see it being particularly popular with wedding photographers and in other situations where being discreet is important.

That said, the Nikon Z7 is probably not the perfect model for everybody. If you shoot a lot of sports or action, there are certainly better tracking focus and burst speeds on the market – both inside and outside the mirrorless realm. There’s also the issue of the single card slot – it seems likely that many will either learn to live with the risk of one of the cards corrupting, or wait even longer to see what Nikon produces next.

Either way, it’s clear to see that this is just the beginning. Right now we have the Z7 and the Z6, but how long will it be until we see a Z3, Z1 or even APS-C models to really open it up to the consumer market. DSLR production is still going strong, but it could become somewhat of a niche in the years to come. It finally feels as if Nikon is no longer scared to admit that and is open to the possibility of the mainstream future being mirrorless.

For a first iteration of a brand new system and mount, the Nikon Z7 is really quite remarkable – it’s a truly exciting time in the market and it feels like Nikon has got it right this time.

Your move, Sony.

5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Z7.

Canon EOS 5DS R

The Canon EOS 5DS R DSLR boasts a massive 50 megapixel sensor with a low-pass cancellation filter to maximise the sharpness of the camera's sensor. Does the brand new Canon 5DS R offer the best image quality from a DSLR? Read our detailed Canon EOS 5DS R review to find out...

Fujifilm GFX 50S

The Fujifilm GFX 50S is a new medium-format mirrorless camera, offering a 50 megapixel sensor, a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD and a removable electronic viewfinder in a body that's no bigger than a 35mm full-frame DSLR. Read our in-depth Fujifilm GFX 50S review now...

Hasselblad X1D-50c

The Hasselblad X1D-50c is a new medium-format compact system camera, offering a 50 megapixel sensor, a 3-inch touchscreen LCD and an electronic viewfinder in a stunningly-designed body that's smaller than many DSLRs. Read our in-depth Hasselblad X1D-50c review now...

Leica SL (Typ 601)

The Leica SL (Typ 601) is a new compact system camera for professionals, offering a 24 megapixel full-frame sensor, 4K video recording, 11fps burst shooting, a class-leading EVF, fast auto-focusing and a 3-inch touchscreen. Read our in-depth Leica SL (Typ 601) review now...

Nikon D850

The Nikon D850 is a brand new 45.7 megapixel full-frame BSI sensor DSLR camera with no optical low pass filter. The D850 also offers 4K video recording, a 3.2-inch tilting LCD touchscreen, 153-point AF system, an optical viewfinder with 0.75x magnification, 7fps burst shooting and 1,840 shot battery life. Read our in-depth Nikon D850 review to find out if this is the best all-round DSLR camera on the market...

Pentax K-1 Mark II

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is a modest upgrade of the 18-month-old K-1 35mm full-frame DSLR camera, principally adding just three new features. Are they enough to warrant upgrading and do they keep the Mark II competitive? Find out by reading our Pentax K-1 Mark II review...

Sony A7R II

The Sony A7R II is a hotly-anticipated full-frame compact system camera that promises to outclass the DSLR competition. Is this the best full-frame camera on the market? Read our Sony A7R II review to find out...

Sony A7R III

The Sony A7R III is a 42 megapixel camera that can shoot at 10fps with continuous auto-focusing. Yes, you read that right - 42 megapixels at 10fps. Find out why we think this is one of the best cameras available today by reading our full Sony A7R III review, complete with full-size sample images and videos...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Z7 from around the web.

digitalcameraworld.com »

With straight fives for features, build & handling and performance, the Nikon Z7 is an instant classic. It’s a superb (and superbly made) mirrorless camera.
Read the full review »

amateurphotographer.co.uk »

Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless is remarkably accomplished for a first-generation product, says Andy Westlake, and one of the best cameras the firm has ever made.
Read the full review »

techradar.com »

The Z7 may not be the prettiest camera, and it's certainly not cheap either, but it's still a formidable debut model in the Z system. With excellent image quality, great videos, lovely handling and a wonderful EVF, together with much-appreciated support for F-mount optics, Nikon has smashed our expectations.
Read the full review »

blog.mingthein.com »

Executive summary: the last bastions of mirrors have both joined the brave new world. Nikon’s effort feels like a D850 and an E-M1.2 met in a bar and had an illegitimate child. Yes, it’s expensive; yes, for the most part, it performs pretty much how you’d expect. It doesn’t feel like a first effort except for a couple of relatively minor things (as it shouldn’t given how long Nikon took to release it) – if anything, they should be commended for releasing it when ready rather than as soon as possible. And yes, I bought one.
Read the full review »

thenewcamera.com »

Nikon z7 is Nikon first high resolution full frame mirrorless camera. It’s somehow look similar to Nikon D850 DSLR when we are talking about resolution but at the same time it is far more different. Nikon z7 mirrorless camera you are having a blazing fast continuous shooting speed all the time either you are creating a still images or recording a video.
Read the full review »

Specifications

Type

Mirrorless

Lens mount

Nikon Z mount

Effective angle of view

FX (full-frame)

Image sensor

CMOS, 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm

Total pixels

46.89 million

Dust-reduction system

Image Dust Off reference data (requires Capture NX-D); image sensor cleaning.

Effective pixels

45.7 million

Image size (pixels)

FX (36x24) image area, (L) 8256 x 5504 (45.4 million), (M) 6192 x 4128 ( 25.6 million), (S) 4128 x 2752 (11.4 million).
DX (24x16) image area, (L) 5408 x 3600 (19.5 million), (M) 4048 x 2696 (10.9 million), (S) 2704 x 1800 (4.9 million).
5 : 4 (30x24) image area, (L) 6880 x 5504 (37.9 million), (M) 5152 x 4120 (21.2 million), (S) 3440 x 2752 (9.5 million).
1 :1 (24x24) image area, (L) 5504 x 5504 (30.3 million), (M) 4128 x 4128 (17.0 million), (S) 2752 x 2752 (7.6 million).
16 : 9 (36x20) image area, (L) 8256 x 4640 (38.3 million), (M) 6192 x 3480 (21.5 million), (S) 4128 x 2320 (9.6 million).
Photographs taken during movie recording at a frame size of 3840 x 2160: 3840 x 2160.
Photographs taken during movie recording at other frame sizes: 1920 x 1080.

Storage file formats

NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit (lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed); large, medium, and small available (medium and small images are recorded at a bit depth of 12 bits using lossless compression).
TIFF (RGB).
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression; optimal quality compression available.
NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats.

Picture Control System

Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat.
Creative Picture Controls (Dream, Morning, Pop, Sunday, Somber, Dramatic, Silence, Bleached, Melancholic, Pure, Denim, Toy, Sepia, Blue, Red, Pink, Charcoal, Graphite, Binary, Carbon); selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls.

Card slot

1 XQD card

File system

DCF 2.0, Exif 2.31, PictBridge

Viewfinder

1.27-cm/0.5-in. approx. 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED with color balance and auto and 11-level manual brightness controls

Frame coverage

Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical

Magnification

Approx. 0.8× (50 mm lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)

Eyepoint

21 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)

Diopter adjustment

-4 to +2 m-1

Eye sensor

Automatically switches between monitor and viewfinder displays

Compatible lenses

Z mount NIKKOR lenses. F mount NIKKOR lenses with mount adapter; restrictions may apply.

Shutter type

Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter; electronic shutter.

Shutter speed

1/8000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV, bulb, time, X200

Flash sync speed

X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower; Auto FP High-Speed sync supported

Release mode

Single frame, low-speed continuous, high-speed continuous, high-speed continuous (extended), self-timer

Frame advance rate

Up to 9 fps. Low-speed continuous: 1 to 5 fps. High-speed continuous: 5.5 fps (14-bit NEF/RAW: 5 fps). High-speed continuous (extended): 9 fps (14-bit NEF/RAW: 8 fps). (measured under Nikon-specified test conditions)

Self-timer

2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s

Exposure metering

TTL exposure metering

Metering method

Matrix metering.
Center-weighted metering: Weight of 75% given to 12 mm circle in center of frame; weighting can instead be based on average of entire frame.
Spot metering: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point.
Highlight-weighted metering.

Metering range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)

–3 to +17 EV (ISO 100, f/2.0 lens, 20 °C/68 °F)

Exposure meter coupling

CPU

Mode

Auto; programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M); user settings (U1, U2, U3)

Exposure compensation

–5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 EV available in modes P, S, A, and M

Exposure lock

Luminosity locked at detected value

ISO sensitivity

ISO 64 to 25600 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV.
Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 32 equivalent) below ISO 64 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 25600; auto ISO sensitivity control available

Active D-Lighting

Can be selected from Auto, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off

Multiple exposure

Add, average, lighten, darken

Other options

HDR (high dynamic range), photo mode flicker reduction

Autofocus

493 points (phase-detection, in single-point AF) / 90% coverage vertically & horizontally.
Hybrid phase-detection/contrast AF with AF assist.

Detection range

-1 to +19 EV (-4 to +19 EV with low-light AF)

Lens servo

Autofocus (AF):
Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), full-time AF (AF-F; available only in movie mode); predictive focus tracking.
Manual focus (M):
Electronic rangefinder can be used

Focus points

493 (single-point AF)

AF-area mode

Pinpoint, single-point, and dynamic-area AF (pinpoint and dynamic-area AF available in photo mode only); wide-area AF (S); wide-area AF (L); auto-area AF

Focus lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing the center of the sub-selector

Camera VR

5-axis image sensor shift

Lens VR

Lens shift (available with VR lenses)

Flash control

TTL: i-TTL flash control; i-TTL balanced fill-flash is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL fill-flash with spot metering

Flash modes

Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off

Flash compensation

-3 to +1 EV in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV available in modes P, S, A, and M

Flash-ready indicator

Lights when optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes as underexposure warning after flash is fired at full output

Accessory shoe

ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock

Nikon Creative Lighting System

i-TTL flash control, radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, optical Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illumination, FV lock, Color Information Communication, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, unified flash control

White balance

Auto (3 types), natural light auto, direct sunlight, cloudy, shade, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), flash, choose color temperature (2500 K to 10,000 K), preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored), all except choose color temperature with fine-tuning

Bracketing types

Exposure, Flash, White balance, ADL

Movie - metering

TTL exposure metering using main image sensor

Movie - metering method

Matrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted

Movie - frame size (pixels) and frame rate

3840 x 2160 (4K UHD); 30p (progressive), 25p, 24p.
1920 x 1080; 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p.
1920×1080 (slow-mo); 30p ×4, 25p ×4, 24p ×5.
Actual frame rates for 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 119.88, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; quality selection available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080 120p/100p, and 1920 x 1080 slow-mo, when quality is fixed at high.

Movie - file format

MOV , MP4

Movie - video compression

H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

Movie - audio recording format

Linear PCM , AAC

Movie - audio recording device

Built-in stereo or external microphone with attenuator option; sensitivity adjustable

Movie - ISO sensitivity

Auto: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 64 to 25600).
P, S, A: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 64 to Hi 2) with selectable upper limit.
M: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 64 to Hi 2) available with selectable upper limit; manual selection (ISO 64 to 25600 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV) with additional options available equivalent to approximately 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 25600.

Movie - Active D-Lighting

Can be selected from Same as photo settings, Extra high, High, Normal, Low, or Off

Movie - Other options

Time-lapse movies, electronic vibration reduction, time codes, movie log output (N-Log)

Monitor

8 -cm ( 3.2 –in.) diagonal. Tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle, approximately 100% frame coverage, and color balance and 11-level manual brightness controls. Approx. 2100 k-dot.

Playback

Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, playback zoom cropping, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, picture rating, and auto image rotation.

USB

Type C connector (SuperSpeed USB). Connection to built-in USB port is recommended.

HDMI output

Type C HDMI connector

Audio input

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported)

Audio output

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Accessory terminal(s)

Can be used with MC-DC2 and other optional accessories

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards

IEEE 802.11b/g/n/a/ac

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) operating frequency

2412 to 2462 MHz (channel 11) and 5180 to 5320 MHz

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) maximum output power

2.4 GHz band: 7.0 dBm. 5 GHz band: 12.1 dBm

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) security

Authentication: Open system, WPA2-PSK

Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) range (line of sight)

Approximately 10 m (32 ft) without interference; range may vary with signal strength and presence or absence of obstacles

Bluetooth standards

Communication protocols: Bluetooth Specification Version 4.2;
Operating frequency: Bluetooth: 2402 to 2480 MHz; Bluetooth Low Energy: 2402 to 2480 MHz

Supported languages

Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

Battery

One EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion battery; EN-EL15a/EN-EL15 can also be used, but note that fewer pictures can be taken on a single charge and that charging AC adapter can be used to charge EN-EL15b batteries only

AC adapter

EH-5c/EH-5b AC adapter (requires EP-5B power connector, which is available separately)

Tripod socket

1/4–in. (ISO 1222)

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 134 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm (5.3 x 4 x 2.7 in.)

Weight

Approx. 675 g (1 lb. 7.9 oz.) with battery and memory card but without body cap; approx. 585 g/1 lb. 4.7 oz. (camera body only)

Operating environment - temperature

0 °C to 40 °C (+32 °F to 104 °F)

Operating environment - humidity

85% or less (no condensation)

Supplied accessories

BF-N1 Body Cap, DK-29 Rubber Eyecup (comes attached to camera), EN-EL15b Rechargeable Li-ion, Battery with terminal cover, MH-25a Battery Charger (comes with either an AC wall adapter or power cable of a type and shape that varies with the country or region of sale), AN-DC19 Strap, EH-7P Charging AC Adapter (supplied with a plug adapter attached in countries or regions where required; shape depends on country of sale), HDMI/USB Cable Clip, UC-E24 USB Cable, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover.

News

Nikon has announced the release of two full-frame, Nikon FX format mirrorless cameras, the Z7 and Z6, as well as NIKKOR Z lenses, featuring a new, larger-diameter mount.

The Z7 has 45.7 effective megapixels, and supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64–25600.

The Z6 is an all-purpose FX-format camera with an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports the wide range of ISO 100–51200 standard sensitivities, plus full-frame 4K UHD movie recording with full pixel readout.

The MB-N10 battery pack that is currently in development will hold two EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion batteries.

The Nikon Z 7 will be available September 27 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $3399.95* for the body-only configuration, or for $3999.95* SRP as a kit with the new NIKKOR Z 24-70 f/4 S lens. The Nikon Z 6 will be available in late November for the $1995.95* SRP for the body only configuration, or for the $2,599.95* SRP with the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens kit.

Nikon UK Press Release

Nikon introduces the new Z mount system, and releases two full-frame mirrorless cameras: the Z7 and Z6

London, United Kingdom, 23rd August 2018: Nikon is pleased to announce the release of the full-frame, Nikon FX format mirrorless cameras, the Z7 and Z6, as well as NIKKOR Z lenses, featuring a new, larger-diameter mount.

Details regarding the NIKKOR Z lenses can be found here.

Mirrorless Reinvented through the Nikon Z mount system

The Z mount system is comprised of mirrorless cameras featuring a new, larger-diameter mount, as well as compatible NIKKOR lenses and accessories. This system has been realised through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance. It has inherited Nikon’s tradition of quality, superior imaging technology, great operability, and high reliability, all innovated from its digital SLR cameras.

At the heart of the new Z mount system is the new, larger-diameter mount, which unlocks further possibilities of lens design, increasing greater capabilities in optical performance The Z mount system will offer a variety of high-performance lenses*, including the fastest lens in Nikon history with f/0.95. Additionally, the new mount adapter will enable compatibility with NIKKOR F mount lenses, offering photographers more choice.

The letter “Z” represents the bridge to a new chapter. The Nikon Z is about Nikon’s relentless pursuit of ultimate performance. It is about redefining possibilities and providing photographers with tools to realise greater creativity.

Nikon will expand the value of mirrorless cameras through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance and by upholding Nikon’s tradition of quality while responding to the evolution of imaging technology. By providing photographers with stimulating new products, Nikon will continue to lead imaging culture.

*Within interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Advanced Cameras with Interchangeable Lens

Z7 and Z6 product overview

The Z7 and Z6 are equipped with a new backside illumination full-frame, Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF and the latest image-processing engine, EXPEED 6.

The Z7 has 45.7 effective megapixels, and supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64–25600. In combination with NIKKOR Z lenses, the camera achieves an outstanding level of sharpness and detail, all the way to the edges of the image.

The Z6 is an all-purpose FX-format camera with an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports the wide range of ISO 100–51200 standard sensitivities. With superior performance at high sensitivities and full-frame 4K UHD movie recording with full pixel readout, the Z6 responds to a variety of needs, such as shooting in dimly lit environments, and movie recording. 

Primary features of the Z7 and Z6

1. Equipped with a new backside illumination Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF

A backside illumination CMOS sensor, with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF points, has been adopted for both the Z7 and the Z6. The Z7 has an effective pixel count of 45.7 megapixels, and supports ISO 64–25600 range of standard sensitivities (reduction to the equivalent of ISO 32 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 102400 is also possible). The Z6 has an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports a broad range of standard sensitivities, from ISO 100–51200 (additional reduction to the equivalent of ISO 50 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 204800).

2. A hybrid AF system with focus points covering approximately 90% of the imaging area

The Z7 has 493 focus points* and the Z6 has 273, enabling broad coverage of approximately 90% of the imaging area both horizontally and vertically. This hybrid AF system uses an algorithm optimised for the FX-format sensor, to automatically switch between focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detect AF with focusing. The use of NIKKOR Z lenses further maximises AF accuracy with both still images and movies.

*With FX (36×24) image area and single-point AF enabled.

3. The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine for sharp and clear imaging and new functions that support creative expression

The Z7 and Z6 are equipped with the new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine. Employing the superior resolving power of NIKKOR Z and NIKKOR F mount lenses, subjects are rendered more sharply than ever before. Noise is also effectively reduced.

Additionally, a mid-range sharpening option has been added to Picture Control sharpness parameters. This option, along with existing sharpening and clarity parameters, allows users to make various textures within the screen sharper or softer, for both still images and movies*. The cameras also offer 20 options of Creative Picture Control, supporting creative expression. The effect level is adjustable from 0 to 100.

*Mid-range sharpness adjustment is only possible at “High quality” movie setting.

4. An electronic viewfinder that utilises Nikon's superior optical and image-processing technologies to offer a clear and natural view

The electronic viewfinder adopted for the Z7 and Z6 is comfortable and easy to use, comparable to optical viewfinders. Both cameras are equipped with an electronic viewfinder for which an approximately 3,690k-dot OLED panel has been adopted. The electronic viewfinder has, respectively, frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8×, as well as an approximately 37.0° diagonal viewing angle. It draws on Nikon's superior optical technologies and image-processing technologies, ensuring a clear and comfortable view comparable to that of optical viewfinders, with reduced aberration and minimum eyestrain, even during extended shoots. Furthermore, a fluorine coat that effectively repels dirt has been applied to the eyepiece protection window. In addition, the i menu can be displayed in the electronic viewfinder, allowing users to quickly view and adjust a variety of shooting settings, including ISO sensitivity, AF-area mode, and Picture Control, all while looking through the viewfinder.

5. An ergonomic design unique to Nikon that enables intuitive operation

The Z7 and Z6 have inherited the superior operability that Nikon has cultivated over the years through its development of cameras. The bodies are compact, while boasting a firm grip that is easy to hold, and buttons such as that for the subselector, AF-ON, ISO, and exposure compensation are all placed so that they can be operated swiftly and easily. Additionally, a display panel has been placed on the top part of the camera, where information about settings can be displayed, same as with high-end digital SLR camera models.

6. Movie functions such as 10-bit N-Log that enables wide dynamic range, and timecoding that respond to professional needs

The Z7 and Z6 support recording of not only full-frame 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/30p movies using the FX-based movie format, but also full-HD/120p movies. Sharper 4K UHD movies are made possible, using the full-pixel readout.*1 Additionally, Active D-Lighting, electronic vibration reduction, and focus peaking can be used with 4K UHD and full-HD movie recording. Nikon’s original N-Log can also be used with 10-bit*2 HDMI output. The cameras utilise extensive colour depth and twelve-stop, 1,300% dynamic range to record*3 a wealth of tone information from highlights and shadows for more effective colour grading. Timecode support makes synchronising video and sound to footage recorded across multiple devices easier. Additionally, the control ring built into NIKKOR Z lenses can be used to quietly and smoothly adjust settings such as aperture and exposure compensation.

*1 Excluding FX base movie format for the Z7

*2 Simultaneous recording of 4K UHD movies with 10-bit output to the camera's memory card is not possible.

*3Not available when shooting slow-motion movies. .

7. Nikon's first*1 in-camera vibration reduction with approx. 5.0-stop*2 effectiveness

The Z7 and Z6 are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR). The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately 5.0 stops*1. This function can also be used effectively with NIKKOR F lenses, including those not equipped with a VR function, with the FTZ mount adapter (sold separately)*3.

*1 Among interchangeable-lens cameras

*2 Measured in accordance with CIPA standards (using the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S at the telephoto zoom position).

*3 The level of compensation achieved when a NIKKOR F mount lens is used is not as high as when a NIKKOR Z lens is used.

8. Other features

•           Operation system that is inherited from Nikon digital SLR cameras enables intuitive operation of buttons and switches

•          Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body

•           An 8.0-cm 3.2-in., approximately 2,100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism

•           Silent photography eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release. A new peaking stack image function*1 allows the user to confirm the correct settings after focus shift shooting. A simulated monochrome image using focus peaking technology emulates how the depth of field will look after all images are combined to a focus stack in editing software*2

•           High-speed continuous shooting (extended)*3 at approximately 9 fps (Z7) and 12 fps (Z6) captures fast motion

•           Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z7) time-lapse movie creation*2 possible

•           An extended low-light metering range*4 allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using auto exposure

•           Built-in Wi-Fi® for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge

•           Built-in Wi-Fi® makes the transfer of images and movies to a computer possible

•           Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the WT-7 wireless transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible 

*1 Can only be confirmed using the camera with which focus shift was performed.

*2 Third-party software is required.

*3 Continuous H (extended) in 12-bit RAW, JPEG, or TIFF format

*4 With interval timer shooting or time-lapse movie recording with silent photography and exposure smoothing enabled.

Development of the MB-N10 Battery Pack

The MB-N10 battery pack that is currently in development will hold two EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion batteries, effectively increasing the number of shots possible and/or movie recording time by approximately 1.8×. It will provide the same level of dust and drip resistance as the Z 7 and Z 6, and will support USB charging using the EH-7P charging AC adapter.

Information regarding the release of this product will be announced at a later date.

Trade names (companies, products, services, etc.) are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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First Impressions

Photography Blog attended the London, UK launch of the new Nikon Z7 and Z6 mirrorless cameras - find out what we thought by reading our detailed first impressions...

After weeks of teasers, Nikon has finally announced not one, but two full-frame mirrorless cameras. Both cameras use the same body, but have two different sensors – one 45.7 megapixels, and the other 24 megapixels, and a couple of other differences.

Alongside the two new models, Nikon is also launching three lenses which are all designed to fit a brand new Z-mount. An adapter will also be available which means existing Nikon F-mount lenses can be used with the new cameras.

Looking set to tackle the might of Sony’s full-frame mirrorless dominance, these models are quite possibly Nikon’s most important announcement of recent years. Other important features to note include a 3.6-million dot EVF, a 2.1-million dot tilting screen, 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilisation in the camera itself, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and in-camera charging via the USB port.

The cameras will have two separate sales-start dates. The Z7 is to go on sale first, in September, for £3,399 body only, while the Z6 will be available to buy from November for £2,099.

Ease of Use

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

In terms of design, Nikon has very much stuck with what it knows, creating something which looks like, in essence, a smaller DSLR. It keeps the body of the camera(s) chunky enough to be comfortable to use, while still reducing the size somewhat. Importantly, it remains relatiively well-balanced even if you choose to use heavier lenses. The layout of the buttons and so on is also extremely similar to existing Nikon DSLRs – if you’re already used to using a Nikon DSLR you should very comfortable using either the Z7 or the Z6 (which are exactly the same on the exterior).

There’s also weatherproofing, which is claimed to be to the same level as the D850, while the overall build quality feels very robust and well-made.

On the back of the camera, the majority of the buttons are found grouped on the right hand side. You’ve also got a joystick which you can use to move focus points around the frame – it’s also got a ridged coating to help you easily lay your thumb on it when using the viewfinder.

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

Otherwise there’s very familiar (to Nikon DSLR owners) buttons in the shape of an AF-On button, Menu button and a switch for flicking between shooting video and shooting stills.

On the top of the camera is a mode dial for quickly moving between the various exposure modes the camera offers. You’ll find M/A/S/P as well as a fully automatic option, plus space for three different groups of custom settings. In order to move the dial, you’ll need to hold down a button in the middle of the dial – which helps to prevent accidental changes in bags and so on. Also on the top you’ll find a dial for changing certain settings depending on the shooting mode you’re in, which can used in conjunction with a secondary dial built into the camera’s grip – so again it’s very much like using a DSLR.

Around the on/off switch is a video record button, ISO button and exposure compensation button, while the shutter release is found in the centre of the switch.

A top panel displays key shooting settings, such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO and so on.

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

A high-resolution, class-leading, 3.6-million-dot EVF is used on both cameras, offering 0.8x magnification. In use, the EVF is fantastic, with lots of detail and an extremely pleasant view of the scene. Similarly, both cameras use a 2.1-million dot tilting touch-sensitive screen. You can use this to make various selections in either the main or quick menu (which is accessed by pressing the “I” button on the back of the camera). You can also use it to select a specific focus point around the frame – one disappointment is that you can’t use the touchscreen in conjunction with the electronic viewfinder, though.

Aside from the differences in resolutio, another difference between the two cameras is the AF system. The higher resolution Z7 uses a 493-point phase detection AF system, while the Z6 uses a 273-point phase detection AF system. The Z7 offers 9fps shooting, while the Z6 can manage 12fps.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are included in both the cameras, with Nikon claiming that connections should be more stable than those seen in previous cameras thanks to a dedicated processor. We haven’t yet had chance to put this to the test, but it’ll be a welcome improvement if stability between the camera and Nikon’s free Snapbridge app could better.

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

A little controversially, Nikon has decided to equip both the Z6 and the Z7 with just a single XQD card slot. So far, the only other cameras on the market to use XQD cards are Nikon’s high-end DSLRs, so for many buying the Z7/Z6, they’ll also have to factor in the expense of additional memory cards and readers. Having a single slot also means no back-up or overflow storage. Nikon says that the reason for this is because there isn’t enough room for two XQD card slots, and, research suggests that relatively few photographers use a second card slot for backup. Having an SD card slot for the second slot wouldn’t be as fast as an XQD card. Still, it’s likely to cause some contention with photographers – especially professionals.

At launch, just three Z-mount lenses are announced – a 24-70 f/4, a 35mm f/1.8 and a 50mm f/1.8.  The new lens mount will not include a built-in autofocus motor, so, while that means it is compatible with Nikon’s extensive back catalogue of lenses, only those with focusing motors inside them will be compatible with the Z7/Z6’s autofocusing system.

Image Quality

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

Although we have had a chance to try out the Z7 cameras, we were not permitted to take away any photos for close examination, as only pre-production models were available.

However, early indications from looking at shots on the screen look very promising – as well as some of the sample images taken by photographers who have had early access to the camera.

Images appear to be exceptionally sharp, with excellent colours (particularly skin tones), while dynamic range and overall exposure looks very good too.

We’ll of course be keen to put it properly through its paces as soon as a full production sample becomes available.

Early Verdict

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6

Obviously we have had to wait some time for Nikon’s entry into the full-frame mirrorless market.

Although Nikon has attempted mirrorless before, with its ill-fated Nikon 1 system, this time it feels as if it has got the formula right. It seems to have stopped worrying about cannibalising DSLR sales, and is actively looking towards the future of photography.

For now, it’s likely that the Z6/Z7 will be mostly of interest to early adopters, but it’s an extremely interesting and promising first attempt. To say that we are excited to fully put the new camera(s) through their paces is an understatement – watch this space.

Hands On

Want to see exactly what the new Nikon Z7 and Z6 full-frame mirrorless cameras look like in the flesh?

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of the Nikon Z7 and Z6 FX format cameras now.

A gallery of hands-on photos of the Nikon Z7 and Z6 full-frame mirrorless cameras.

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Preview Images

Ahead of our full review, here are some sample JPEG and Raw images taken with a full production version of the brand new Nikon Z7 compact system camera and the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f4 S and Nikkor Z 35mm F1.8 S lenses.

A gallery of sample images taken with the new Nikon Z7 compact system camera.

Nikon Z7 Sample Images

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon Z7 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

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