Last Updated on 06/29/2020 by Mark Beckenbach
Nikon has worked pretty hard to improve the Nikon z7, and it shows that they’re really trying now instead of sitting on their high horse.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very harsh on Nikon’s products. A company that went from a failed series of overhyped point and shoots, the KeyMission cameras, and creating a mirrorless system just to catch up and be overshadowed by its DSLRs while riding its high horse, in my opinion, deserves it. But what’s speaks louder is consumers with their wallets. And because of folks like you, the company has worked to really improve and fine-tune the Nikon z7 and the Nikon z6. Of the two, the Nikon z7 was always my favorite. I like resolution and color depth because I print a lot in my office. And with firmware updates, the Nikon z7 transformed from an expensive doorstop to an excellent camera. In fact, the Nikon z7 is so usable now that I’d recommend it for actual fieldwork. It’s a professional tool for sure. And while there are some hardware issues like the lack of dual card slots, I think that Nikon should be praised for the strides they’ve made to improve their products.
Today, we’ve updated the Nikon z7 review–specifically the autofocus section. In stills mode, the autofocus is pretty darned good now. It’s fast. It’s reliable. It works well in low light. And you can expect it to do what you need it to while being accurate. But the tracking and continuous autofocus still have some catching up to do. In video mode, I’ll say the same thing. Since Nikon has been positioning this camera so much at their Nikon F mount users, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s safe to expand beyond that now. The z series lenses are stellar. They’re small, well balanced with the camera body, weather-sealed, etc. I really like them. The size is something that Canon could learn from, though Canon’s lens innovation is one that Nikon is badly needing. For the most part, I feel Nikon is playing catch up and trying to create lenses everyone else has. The Noct is an exception and a scarce one at that.
And here is where I’m a bit perplexed. I don’t know if it’s worth it for Nikon financially to just come out with new cameras with upgraded autofocus. Upgrading these current cameras and getting them in the hands of photographers is probably the best thing to do. They’re already doing aggressive pricing and such. Yes, there’s the single XQD card that’s really odd. And yes, they decided to keep a lot of the quirks Nikon has, which no other camera system does. But they’re good cameras. The company can’t really sit on top of that high horse, but nothing they’re making is positively awful.
The other night on Pro Camera Reviews, Brett said that the z50 was nice. But at the same time, he said he can’t see why someone would buy it over another camera. And that’s how I feel about the z7 right now. It’s a much smaller Panasonic S1R and a slightly larger Sony a7r III or Sony a7r IV. Sony and Panasonic both have access to more lenses. So why buy a Nikon?
I really, really hope that Nikon does some more revamps and finds a way to stay competitive lest we lose them. The entire photo industry needs to adapt, and that’s been desperately needed with Nikon for years now.