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It’s no so very long ago that the rumour mill had Nikon down as a company in trouble seeking a cash injection from its main rivals. Today Nikon launch two new cameras and three new lenses thereby pretty much scotching that rumour.
The New Nikon Z
So what’s so special you ask, don’t camera manufacturers launch new products every year? Not like these, today Nikon has released the pre production versions of two all new mirrorless full frame DSLR format cameras with a brand new larger lens mount. Don’t despair if you have a bag full of ‘F’ mount lenses an adaptor is also on its way to enable you to use the majority of your current Nikkor favourites.
The Z7 like the D850 features a 45 million pixel sensor while the Z6 has 24mp both using CMOS chips. There are other differences of course but the key point is these two have different ISO ranges so if you shoot a lot of low light photography take a look at the Z6 as this has the wider range from 100 - 51200 and shoots at up to 12 frames per second - good for sports photographers. The Z7 has an ISO range from 64 up to 25600mp and shoots at up to 9 frames per second.
Both cameras use the XCD card format, it’s fast read and write speeds make it ideal for video. but surprisingly there is only one slot, its not a problem and shouldn’t put you off but there is no option to shoot JPEG at the same time or have a second RAW card for back-up.
If you take a look at the first impressionson any of the many Youtube videos that popped up this morning opinions appear to be mostly favourable and the inevitable comparisons between the Sony A7-III and the new Nikons suggest the Nikon will be a better camera but we will have to wait for a production model before real comparisons can be made. One of the most often heard complaints about the Sony is the User Interface and how complicated the menu structure this. Nikons have always had a great and easy to follow UI.
Apparently photographers have repeated requested in camera image stabilisation. Your prayers have been heard, in the Z series a five axis image stabilisation been incorporated into the body and Nikon say you can shoot up to five stop slower than otherwise possible.
4K video, its what you’d expected but it is now 10 bit depth enabling you to retrieve 4x more information than with standard 8 bit, in simple terms better quality when you come to edit and colour grade. What is also nice is that Nikon have considered external recorders and have adopted the “Atmos open” protocol meaning you can use Atmos external recorders for longer shooting times. Timecode is also improved and Active D-lighting will improve the light balance in high contrast scenes.
There are more details on all of the above on the Nikon website - www.nikonuk.co.uk
Three new lenses with the new larger mount:
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f4 S
Nikkor Z 35mm f1.8 S
Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 S
The 24 - 70mm focal range is a favourite among photographers but f4 is disappointing when both the 35mm and 50mm are f1.8. Nikon will argue that a 24-70 f2.8 is available in F mount but that’s not the point f2.8 would have been nice.
The Z6 & Z7 enter a less than crowded market as the competition comprises the the Sony A99, the more popular A7 III and the Leica SL. The A7 has proved very popular, the Leica is an excellent camera but significantly more expensive. The Nikon Z7 at £3,499 is almost £1400 more than the A7 III, the Z6 just under £2,100 is a couple of hundred pounds more.
Should you buy one? Read the reviews, watch the videos and go and test them when they hit the dealers.
Mirrorless has changed the landscape forever. Camera bodies are lighter, smaller and have less moving parts. The Electronic View Finders continue to get better and faster reacting, the main complaint against mirrorless.
Canon launched their 30MP full frame mirrorless camera on September 5th with four new lenses, a 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.2, 24-105mm f4 and 28-70mm f2.