The biggest trend in photography over the last five years or so, and not counting smartphones, has been the emergence and maturity of mirror-free camera systems. These operate in a completely different way from traditional SLR cameras, and as such market leaders with decades built in the latter – Canon and Nikon – have resisted to make the switch. It is changing for Nikon today with its announcement of Z6 and Z7, which shows that the company makes the change wholeheartedly.
The Z series consists of both of these two cameras and a new lens mount that in many ways are the most important news for photographers. The F-assembly has been around for decades and has some of the world's best glasses. But in the end, a more or less pure break was necessary, and the Z mountain managed to give it, as well as solid back compatibility for those who can not bear to share with their old standby set.
The cameras themselves, which have been rumored for years and were known to be imminent, are both full frames, which means that the sensor is as big as a 35mm still movie frame. Full-frame cameras are generally intended for professional or deep-pocketed hobbyists: Bodies generally cost well over $ 1
So it's something ambitious for Nikon to aim for this high market, where competition is tough, standards are high and prices are higher. Old favorites like the Canon 5D vie with new challengers like Sony's A9, and it seems like it's slowly but surely coming out at the top because of not a small part of the benefits assigned to them by their non-free nature .
The Z7 starts at $ 3,400, which puts it all in professional territory. Z6, at $ 2000, offers resolution, but offers some other benefits – apart from holding it $ 1,400. If it were me, I would go on the latter, no doubt.
Big and Small Changes
The Z7 is the new flagship, and replicates the ability of Nikon D850 to compare, while adding a number of improvements. Most obvious is body size; The camera is much, much smaller and lighter than its reflector, but is still far from petite. It also improves on a few statistics such as brast rate and autofocus in ways that will be valued by professionals, and a new 10-bit N-LOG video output mode will provide more flexibility in mail.
Siblingen Z6 has a lower megapixel count (24 versus 45), but improves further burst rate and can actually prove superior in video performance.
Both make the switch to an electronic searcher, or EVF, and apparently Nikon was very special about this component. The resolution of the OLED eyepiece is 1280 × 960, which sounds low compared to phone and VR monitors, but should be good – and really, motion and color are more important. The rear LCD screen is also OLED, as there is a small upside-down status display on the top cover.
Both also have stabilization in the body, which means that the lenses can be lighter and cheaper. Stabilization will also work with older lenses (more about this in an instant) and in cases where a long lens has its own stabilization system, the camera will be exposed to it at least on some axes.
I have not had a chance to play with these in person, but I expect that soon; In the meantime, DPReview always has a solid set of first impressions.
Z-mount in the future
For many, the biggest change is changing to the new Z-mount system. There will be a series of Z lenses, and the bonny lenses they want to be, with the new dimensions that provide improved optics across the board. Everyone is hot about a F / 0.95 Noct lens Nikon has been bothering for 2019. But with hundreds of millions of F lenses out there, backward compatibility is a must.
For them, the FTZ adapter fits Z and the old lens, bridges the old technology and the new one. If the lens is relatively new and automatically supports aperture and focus, they will be available. And in reality, these lenses will benefit from the new autofocus system and can perform better than they originally, if not identical. There will no doubt be small changes in addition to the new optics.
Older lenses, like manual focus and aperture classics, will still fit the adapter, but can not be magically equipped with automatic features.
The adapter is not insignificant in size – more like a pancake lens than a filter. So your favorite lightweight walk-around setup can be adversely affected. But overall it seems that it will be good for most people.
Nikon has made its game and the Z series looks like a natural hope for thousands of photographers who have stuck on the brand for many years without loyalty and investment. It does not take much away, it adds a little and for a few years there will probably be a no-brainer instead of a "well, maybe."