New Delhi: Mirrorless cameras have come of age. They are no longer just lighter and compact siblings to digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, but have a lot in common with them. The Nikon Z7 is a case in point. It uses the same 45.7 megapixels full-frame (35mm) sensor as Nikon’s flagship D850 and runs on the latest Expeed 6 processor.
Design- Like most mirrorless cameras, the Z7 impresses with its size and compact form factor. At 675g, it is 30-40% lighter than the likes of D850, which makes it easy to carry on the shoulder or neck with the strap attached. Unlike other mirrorless cameras, this one offers a more prominent grip so users can hold the camera for long comfortably.
Despite the smaller footprint, the body has all the important controls lined up for quick access. The PSAM (program, standard, auto and manual) dial with a button in the middle lets users lock on the camera mode they want to use while the joystick makes adjusting autofocusing points easy. In addition to pre-defined camera modes, there are three customizable modes for users who want to create and save their own settings.
Display and viewfinder- For navigation, there is a touch-enabled 3.2-inch LCD screen which can be tilted up and down, keeping users aware of the photo composition. The only limitation is that it doesn’t swivel sideways.
The LCD screen is also bright enough for outdoor use. The Z7 comes with a high resolution OLED electronic viewfinder, which provides a more accurate idea of the exposure and depth-of-field in photos unlike optical viewfinders.
Performance- The camera switches on quickly and can capture continuous shots at 9 frames per second in RAW format, which puts it on a par with premium DSLRs.
It can also record 4K videos at 30 frames per second. It uses 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that is built into the body. This means users won’t have to rely on the lens’s OIS (optical image stabilization) to minimize shakes in low light or while shooting from a moving vehicle.
So, any F mount lens (developed by Nikon for its 35mm format single-lens reflex cameras) without image stabilization will still capture stable shots with this camera.
It has a hybrid auto focus system that offers 493 auto focusing points, allowing greater coverage, unlike some DSLR cameras where the auto focus points are limited.
Powered by a single Lithium-ion battery, the camera can muster slightly over 300 shots, if you stick to electronic viewfinder (EVF).
Colours and detail reproduction in well-lit and outdoor scenarios is impressive. Even in low light, it can capture well-lit and crisp-looking close ups and portraits.
Lenses- The Z7 uses the new Z mount, with a slightly larger diameter of 55mm and flange length (distance between mounting ring and sensor plane) of 16mm. Also, it has four ridges instead of three to hold the lens more securely. The legacy F mount lenses won’t directly work with it and will need the FTZ (F to Z) adapter that will make them compatible with the new camera.
Verdict- The Nikon Z7 impresses with many good points, but if you don’t want to spend so much there are less pricey options available, like Sony’s full-frame mirrorless Alpha 7 R II, which starts at ₹1,57,490.
For professional photographers the Nikon D850 is a more viable option and the fact that it belongs in a similar price bracket as the Z7 makes it a more alluring deal.