I have several photographer friends who have switched from a standard dSLR to a mirrorless camera at some point during the last years. Each time I would see their printed images I would think that the images were so much sharper than my dSLR cameras, even though I always carefully sharpen my images at the end of processing. That alone, the perceived sharpness, made me want to try out a mirrorless camera with the lighter weight and smaller body being a second reason. Until recently, of course, I could not have purchased a quality mirrorless camera from Nikon so I continued to use my D800 and D500 as I did not want to use a different brand of camera. However, when Nikon announced that one of their new mirrorless cameras would be available in October I immediately hit that order button at B&H as my Nikon D800 was fairly worn out and giving me problems. I had hoped that the new Z7 mirrorless camera would arrive in time for me to try it out prior to my upcoming December trip to Cuba to learn street photography and it did. In fact, I took possession of it in the second week of October, a day before a planned trip to see if I could get some fall color shots in the High Sierra mountain range. It was a perfect opportunity to try out the new camera and I took the Z7 and the D500 with me, leaving the D800 at home. Since then, I have shot several hundred images with the Z7 and the sharpness and color of my images amazes me.
I ordered the Z7 with the f/4 24-70 lens as I did not have that lens and it seemed to be a good choice to round out my gear. I also ordered the adapter to use the camera with my other Nikon lenses. Initially, when shooting with it, it felt odd: I’m so used to a much heavier, more “meaty” type camera and I felt and still feel like I’m carrying around a little point-and-shoot camera, although it is anything but that. It is not only lighter but smaller and so much easier to handle than the larger dSLR cameras. To date, I’ve shot landscape scenes as well as a few shots of small animals and the camera has performed very well. Most recently I photographed some fall pumpkins with it and the color it produces is wonderful. I also shot a bee on a bush using the 24-70 lens and then enlarged it in processing using Lightroom and the sharpness is still amazing. I have not yet used it on a tripod as I need to find out if Really Right Stuff has the connecter I need for my tripod, so everything has been hand-held to date. I do have a tripod connecter from some other camera that fits the bottom, with no ability to turn the camera vertical, so I can use a tripod but it’s been so easy to shoot hand-held with it that I have not even tried that.
Fall Color, Hwy. 395
Nikon Z7, Nikon 24-70 mirrorless lens, 1/200 at f/8, ISO 400, shot at 70mm. It was the usual slightly windy day as I was looking for fall color shots off of Hwy. 395 in Northern California. This image shows how sharp the scene turned out and the inset gives you a closer view.
Click for an enlargement
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