A BRIEF ENCOUNTER WITH THE NIKON Z7 MIRRORLESS CAMERA

 The Nikon Z7 with new 24-70mm f4.0 at District Camera launch event in Washington, D.C.

The Nikon Z7 with new 24-70mm f4.0 at District Camera launch event in Washington, D.C.

I wasn’t that excited when I first heard that Nikon was entering the mirrorless camera space. I was curious, for sure, but just wasn’t expecting too much.

I was disappointed before. Remember the Nikon 1 J1? Or, maybe the Coolpix? Decent cameras, however, I kept waiting for Nikon to release a small form factor camera that was capable of meeting my needs. Over the years I’ve watched as Sony, Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic all released mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras capable of providing professional results.

Finally, after giving up on a Nikon mirrorless, I purchased the Fujifilm X100S, followed by the Fujifilm X-Pro2, and have never looked back. I’ve written often about Fujifilm cameras on this Blog and provided many reasons why I love both the X100S and the X-Pro2.

However, to be fair, in my professional life, I never gave up on Nikon and currently shoot with a couple of Nikon D4Ss and all the associated pro lenses. As much as I loved my Fujifilm cameras for my personal photography, I was never comfortable enough to consider replacing the Nikon DSLRs at work.

When I was invited to a Nikon Z7 launch dealer event at District Camera in Washington, D.C., through Nikon Professional Services, I knew it was time to take a look. I have been watching and reading all the reviews following Nikon’s announcement a couple of week’s back and this would figured it would be foolish to pass on the chance to get a first-hand look.

Cutting to the chase, I think Nikon finally got it right. Even though I was only able to handle the camera for about a half hour, and not allowed to use my own XQD card (I tried), what I was able to see, amazed me. More importantly, I could instantly start to see how this camera would fit nicely into my existing system and production schedule.

 I was not able to use my own XQD card or take any images with me to process, so I used my phone to photograph the display, left, and then I double-tapped the screen to zoom in.

I was not able to use my own XQD card or take any images with me to process, so I used my phone to photograph the display, left, and then I double-tapped the screen to zoom in.

The electronic viewfinder is bright, the touch-screen display is large and responsive, the buttons and menus are all familiar to Nikon users, and the 24-70mm f4.0 lens was tact sharp. This camera also feels right in the hand thanks to a great design and a nice beefy grip. But, what really impressed me, and probably sold me, was the FTZ adaptor which allows the seamless connection of existing F-mount lenses to the Z-mount on the body. That’s what would make it fit instantly into my workflow.

For years now I have been trying to find smaller and lighter equipment in an effort to make travel easier and take some strain off of my aging body. I just couldn’t compromise the end product, either with video or stills. With the Nikon Z7, I don’t think I have to.