Top critical review
Smaller and better video, but some struggles
October 9, 2018
This is basically what we’ve been hoping for, a d850 but smaller. It has a lot more potential for recording video than any previous Nikon. I’m still adjusting to it, but here are some quick thoughts for new owners and people on the fence:
- the EVF takes some time to get used to. In some ways it’s better, but it gives an electrified video look to whatever you’re pointing at, so it’s hard to picture the resulting picture might come out looking good.
- The lens cap feels oddly cheap and is easy to knock off.
- The front custom buttons are not hard to reach, but are softer to the touch than I expected.
- The front dial is just low enough that it’s a bit awkward to reach with your pointer finger. If they’d angled it slightly up the ergonomics would have been better.
- The buttons are all very customizable.
- I was desperate to get focus peaking at 4K (yay!) but the face follow focus feature is good enough that now I probably won’t need it as much. Still getting used to how it works, it’s not quite as intuitive as some demo videos show.
- The electronic video stabilization feature is worthless, it destroys small stretches of video by doing weird corner pin transforms and smearing the image.
- As mentioned elsewhere, the white balance seems less than optimal, hopefully they will improve this with software updates.
Aside from that mostly nit picky list, I’d say this is a really solid camera and much more convenient than the boat I’m replacing.
EDIT: In the last week (within a couple months of purchase), the eye sensor seems to have stopped working consistently, so the camera will not always switch between EVF and back monitor, unless I pull it far away from my body (take the strap off my neck). And even then I sometimes fight with it. Kind of a big deal!
I also have really been bothered by how the EVF blacks out as you shoot. On the D850 I can shoot to my heart's content and only briefly lose my image as the mirror flips. On the Z7 it's extremely hard to track motion because as soon as I start shooting, I'm basically mostly seeing black and guessing at where my subject will go next.
Deducting a star for these major issues.