Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Camera Review

Nikkor has taken the next step in their image journey with the introduction of the Z7 Mirrorless Camera, called “The Perfectionist,” as well as the groundbreaking Z System. It is the first camera to use the Z Mount, a large diameter design with a short 16mm flange distance that allows Nikon to manufacture tiny, yet powerful cameras and develop more sophisticated lenses.

The Z Mount was introduced with this high-resolution FX-format camera. The Z7 is one of the series’ original models, and it has a 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and an EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine, which together give superb image quality and speed while operating within an ISO 64-25600 native sensitivity range.

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The sensor incorporates a superior phase-detect autofocus system with 493 points that cover 90 percent of the picture area, as well as 5-axis Vibration Reduction technology, which allows for more stable photographs and videos regardless of the lens being used.

This innovative hybrid autofocus technique will also be beneficial in the video domain. The Z7 is capable of UHD 4K recording at up to 30 frames per second and can produce cinema-quality footage by employing the N-Log gamma profile in conjunction with the camera’s 10-bit HDMI output. Because of the camera’s high-resolution sensor, it is also possible to shoot in 8K Time-Lapse mode.

Similar to many mirrorless systems, the Z Series has a significantly smaller footprint than its DSLR equivalents, which makes it ideal for travel. Because of its slimmer shape and lighter structure, the Z7 is no exception; nonetheless, it also retains Nikon’s weather sealing and ergonomics, for which the company is well-known.

Multiple displays and screens are provided for user convenience, including a 0.80x 3.6m-dot electronic viewfinder with NIKKOR optics and a Fluorine coating that ensures crystal-clear vision. The camera’s rear panel is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel sensor “The bottom of the device has a 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen LCD, while the top has a dot-matrix OLED for fast reviewing settings. In addition, the body is equipped with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology for connectivity.

Nikon Z System (Nikon Z System)

Thanks to the introduction of the Z mount, Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless system will be able to provide class-leading picture quality and optics in a more compact package. The Z mount itself, with a 17 percent bigger inner diameter than the F mount, enables the adoption of more modern optics and lens designs, including ultra-fast f/0.95 choices, which would otherwise be impossible.

The Z mount has a 65 percent lower flange distance, measuring just 16mm, which allows for significantly smaller camera and lens bodies. This allows for significantly smaller camera and lens bodies. As a result of the bigger amount, communications between the body and lens are faster and greater in volume, which results in improved overall performance across the system.

Nikon Z7 Sensor & Processor

In order to achieve high-resolution photography, exceptional low-light quality, and rapid readout times, a 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor is employed, which is beneficial for continuous shooting, movies, and time-lapse recording. With the back-illuminated sensor design, the high-sensitivity output is noticeably cleaner, resulting in reduced noise when working at high ISO values, up to a native ISO of 25600.

The sensor also produces vivid and smooth images at sensitivities as low as ISO 64, thanks to the sensor’s back illumination. In addition, the sensor’s design does not have the standard optical low-pass filter, which allows for the highest possible sharpness and resolution from the sensor. The EXPEED 6 image processor, which is optimized for the sensor, provides a plethora of speed across the camera system, including the ability to shoot continuously at 9 frames per second in raw.

Nikon Z7 Video Quality

The Z7 is a versatile multimedia camera that makes extensive use of its sensor and CPU capabilities. It is capable of shooting video as well as still images. Video recording in UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) is available using either the full-frame area or a DX crop region at frame rates of 30p, 25p, or 24p utilizing either full-frame area or a DX crop area.

Videos may be recorded in full HD 1080p resolution at up to 120 frames per second for slow-motion playback, and they are stored on the camera’s internal memory cards or as an uncompressed file to an optional external recorder through the HDMI out connector.

With the Z7, users will have access to more advanced video features. Among these is the N-Log gamma, which is used to capture flat-looking footage while maximizing dynamic range. Among the other enhancements are the ability to export high-quality 10-bit data through HDMI as well as an Electronic VR capability for smooth handheld videography.

When used in conjunction with manual focus adjustment, Focus Peaking can be beneficial, and a Zebra Stripes option is also available to aid in the detection of overexposed regions inside the frame. Using the built-in stereo microphone, you may record audio, or an optional external microphone can be connected via the 3.5mm stereo socket for even more control over the quality of the recording. Live monitoring is also possible through the headphone port.

In addition to its video capabilities, the Z7 is available for an optional ProRes RAW update, which allows the camera to send ProRes RAW footage to an Atomos external recorder that is compatible with the format. The ProRes codec has been enhanced to enable better color grading freedom, and the option to transmit uncompressed 12-bit raw video through HDMI has been included to the package.

For this upgrade to be completed, the camera must be sent to Nikon’s Service Department for installation.

The Z7 also combines still and video capabilities, with the ability to produce 8K time-lapses using the Interval Timer Mode or in-camera 4K time-lapse movies, with the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method.

The Z7 also has a variety of other features, including the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method. It also makes use of an energy-efficient silent interval timer, which does not generate shutter noise, does not contribute to wear on the shutter mechanism, and allows the battery life to be extended as much as possible.

Nikon Z7 AutoFocus

An array of 493 phase-detect autofocus points is located on the sensor, which covers 90 percent of the picture area both vertically and horizontally in both directions. Because of the large coverage area, subject tracking will work out to the corners of the frame, allowing for quick and precise focusing for both stills and video. For video, hybrid autofocus (Hybrid AF) is provided, which will automatically swap between phase- and contrast-detect systems to give smooth focus while recording is in progress.

Additional improvements include enhanced quiet operation for the newest NIKKOR Z lenses.

Nikon Z7 Specs

MSRP$3399 (body only), $3999 (w/24-70 F4 lens)
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Other resolutions5408 x 3600 (DX crop), 6880 x 5504 (5:4), 5504 x 5504 (1:1), 8256 x 4640 (16:9)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels46 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors47 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
ISOAuto, 64-25600 (expands to 32-102400)
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes5-axis
CIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points493
Lens mountNikon Z
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,100,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.8×
Viewfinder resolution3,690,000
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
Continuous drive9.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10 or 20 secs)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 56 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p / 28 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesXQD card
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via MC-DC2 or smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15b lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)330
Weight (inc. batteries)675 g (1.49 lb / 23.81 oz)
Dimensions134 x 101 x 68 mm (5.28 x 3.98 x 2.68″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Nikon Z7 Price