On August 23rd I ordered my copy of the new Z7 from NikonUSA. I am excited that this milestone has finally arrived and if you are a Nikon person I know you are too. Nikon is a company who has chosen a careful strategy for a position aligned to the future of photography and like the F series 60 years ago the Z series is the next platform. I am pleased to be part of Nikon's first generation of mirrorless cameras and lens. It is more about the totality of everything then the simplistic measure of one thing our Next Generation is Here, and the journey will be fantastic.
Before diving into the Z7 I see the Z7 as a transitionary mirrorless camera for Nikon which will allow the legacy DSLRs to continue to live alongside this camera body without doing too much sales damage to the D850. not because Nikon or Canon cannot release a dual slot Pro level Mirrorless with better performance than this first release. Over time we will shelve our trusty DSLRs and speak in fond memories, just like we do the SLR.
Thoughts on the Z7: Looking over the technical specifications the Z7 seems to be a solid pro-level camera - I am sure many will complain about only one card slot, while this is not a big concern of mine I know it will turn others off for sure. While I have a large collection of FX glass - I have no S glass as of yet and did now buy one of the kit lenses that were offered. In the short term, I will rely on the mount adapter as I transition into the new platform and Nikon release more S lenses that suit my needs better. If you know Nikon - Nikon will make the wait for S glass well worth it.
Z price point for these Z cameras the pricing seem a bit high. I wished it were less than 3K, but I was somewhat pleased the Z6 is under 2K. The Z7 price is a bit high if you ask me, and the kit lenses are as well.
No eye tracking - From my use thus far the face tracking is working well enough to suit my shooting needs.
In-Camera Stabilization: Yes the Z has IBIS, In-Body Image Stabilization. I say any in-camera stabilization is better than none.
The 1 slot issue: People have choices, and if the 1 slot is just too much of bad pill to swallow I would consider buying another camera that has dual slots! I would imagine most Wedding photographers already own a dual slot camera such as Sony, D850 or D5 anyway - so what is the big deal - just keep using that until Nikon releases the next gen or maybe use the WT-7/A and send JPGs images to a laptop while you shoot could be a second camera backup solution. I own a WT-7/A and it works well but you would need a WiFi hotspot - which are available now in a small form factor. I have a Hoo Too that works very well - JPEGs only though.
Buy good quality cards I test mine before serious use and replace them on a recurring basis every couple of years. The biggest issue is buying cheap no brand cards, and thinking they will last 10 years. I buy the highest rated, name brand cards, test them and replace them about every 2nd year, just like my batteries which I mark the month and year I placed them in use, and if I had a very serious shoot - I take NEW cards - it only takes a few seconds to remove and slide in another card after x number of photos- at least not all images will be lost if something goes wrong. Yes, two slots are better for sure but gotta live and adapt with what u got.
Lack of native lens - Other than the three announced, lets see how fast Tamron, Sigma and other 3rd party lenses companies come to the table to fill gaps alongside what Nikon will be doing, a perfect opportunity for 3rd party lens companies to offer their awesome glass to supplement Nikon's offering - just like always! The FTZ lens adapter will help all of us through the transition. Take a look a the Nikon FX Lens line up - NOW close your eyes and slowly open your eyes to see a NEW line up of improved S lenses, granted it will take time and I pray the pricing is not off the charts. Some reviewers stated not have better S lenses a letdown, and I do agree especially the 24-70 f/4. The saving point is the FTZ lens adapter for all your Nikkor glass.
The biggest improvement not being talked up is the NEW lens mount. This is AWESOME!! I can not wait until Nikon releases the 400mm f 1.4, 600mm f2.8, or the 800mm f/4. If like me you have been with the Nikon brand for a long time you know what to expect in upcoming lens releases. Nikon has a huge hit here on this new platform that will lead in superior low light imaging because like in 1959 the F mount and now - it is a whole new ball game. Keep in mind the larger mount means less glass and light bending to render an image on the sensor! The new larger mount is our transition period to the new Nikon system, and I for one welcome moving ahead and Nikon did the right thing by not following suit with the dated mount. This new lens mount is a foundation for some amazing things to come.
If you are up for a new journey into Nikon Mirrorless photography - your wait is over.
Final thought: Don't get too worked by haters on details, this a new era for Nikon and like 60 years ago the F mount was a game changer just like this mount will change how we collectively move forward.
The FTZ lens adapter - is a huge benefit to launching this Z camera line considering the Z/S lens roadmap will extend over several years and we may just have to wait for that new S 600mm f/2.8 a couple years, but for now If the FTZ adapter is a solid performer it means the transition to the new Z standard will be much easier, allowing you to pick and choose over time.
Photography used to be mechanical and chemical but now - we are all collectively moving to the age of full digital & electronic imaging. This is our transition period and it will last well into the next decade. Never think what we have today is settled, progress is always before us waiting to be discovered. Nikon has a long history of compatibility, with that comes the challenge of moving forward all the while keeping its customer base happy, and content with the knowledge the future of Nikon photography looks promising.
The YouTube Commentary: Like all Ground Breaking Camera Releases comes with it the opinions. No getting around it, people want to say something, some say smart things other not soo much. I started my SLR Photography with a Minolta SRT 101, I stayed with Minolta until the XD 11 - what followed was too unbearable for me to continue and that is when I changed to Nikon - why? I wanted a compatible lens system, and I have been with Nikon ever since. I bring this tidbit of my background to light simply to state I don't chase the next little shiny thing that company x is doing. I invest my time and effort in one company primarily but enjoy other company offerings such as FujiFilm, Sigma, Tamron, Nissin, Tokina, etc.. I like to have a base foundation that is reliable and Nikon is that foundation and company for me.
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