Nikon Z7 for Wildlife Photography

Nikon Z7 and 600mm

You can take a look at my Nikon Z7 review at the URL below.  After doing a few weeks of shooting and testing the Nikon Z7 for general photography I took the camera out for some Bird Photography and here are my thoughts.

I set my Z7 up with three User settings that I can dial in quickly depending on my day of shooting.  Today I use my U2 mode set up for birds in general and toggle between spot focus mode and wide area mode with the bird is in flight. I find the wide area focus mode with spot metering works the best for me. I also toggle between Auto ISO on with a high ISO of 1600 to maintain a shutter of at least 1/1250s when the situation dictates - otherwise I use manual ISO for more control.

Inbound Landing Missed
Capturing Birds in Flight with the Nikon Z7: This is my personal struggle even with my D850 and my focus failures are more of my poor technique by not keeping the bird in the cameras field of view vs the camera. When using a 600mm telephotos with a teleconverter you have little room for error, as the bird is usually faster than your reflexes and can make sudden un-predicable moves, and tracking the subject is something I struggle with on a personal note. There is a saying for bird photographers - "think like a bird" which means, keep your attention on the bird and try to anticipate the bird's next move - get to know what the bird will do next.  This photo is the only one usable following the inbound landing of the Great Blue Heron in flight. This was not the best of day light as the sun was at a harsh angle and the Great Blue was at least 100 meters across open water - image quality reduced by refraction.  Due to the time of year in my location I don't have as many opportunities for Birds in Flight.

Nikon Z7 with 600mm f/4
Awesome details using the Nikon Z7 and a Nikkor 600mm f/4
Birds in Trees with the Nikon Z7:  Nice and easy as I call it.  The Nikon Z7 performed equally well as my D850.  I shot several busy North American Robins foraging for food in this tree at about 10 AM in the fall and the sun angle was still on the pleasant side. These North American Robin photos were taken with a Nikon 600mm f/4 using the FTZ adapter on a Nikon Z7 with a 1.4 TC at ISO 800.  The Nikon combination was excellent in handling these birds in tree shots. Birds in general do not stay in a single spot for long and the photographer has only a few seconds to acquire focus and exposure before the bird moves on.  For this shot I use spot metering with single point focus mode with manual aperture and exposure with +.3.  The Nikon Z7 makes it easy to switch between custom camera profiles assigned to U1, U2, and U3 or just go full manual.  I love the Z7! 

Tiny Starling Far Away
A Starling So Far Away
Tiny Starling so far away - Longshot, as I call it (100% Crop) high in the old tree, was captured using manual mode on the Nikon Z7 with ISO 400 f/1250, Nikkor 600mm at f/7.1 - Nothing can escape Nikon glass and camera technology not even this small Starling Bird.  I enjoy using the Nikon Z7 as my all-purpose camera and appreciate what the new mount has in store for the future - I can only imagine a day when a Z camera has a native 600mm f/2.8.

Note: All images were converted to medium resolution Jpegs to facilitate speed of downloading/viewing.

  • Nikkor 600mm f/4 FL ED VR
Camera Body
  • Nikon Z7
Accessories Used
  • TC-14E III
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Z7 with FTZ Adapter for Nikkor FX/DX lenses  Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 ED Lens  Binoculars 
Binoculars for Birding

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Author: TrueToad
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Categories: The Photography Blog, ReviewsNumber of views: 198



I live at the edge of the forest in semi-moist locations, I enjoy larva, and other delights. Although I am toothless and mostly warty, I am a sight to see.

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