Author Topic: Advice regarding Z7  (Read 666 times)

Lars Hansen

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Advice regarding Z7
« on: May 10, 2022, 19:43:46 »
I'd really appreciate a little advice. I might have a chance to get a second hand Z7 in good condition but until now I've mainly considered the Z6/Z6II. I've been impressed with the D850 output and understand that the Z7 sensor have nearly same output quality.

I like shooting landscapes/nature and have an A3 printer (I won't be printing anything bigger). My immediate thought was that 45 mp is overkill and might introduce more disadvantages than advantages.

But, after some consideration and reading..
I do like the idea of having the extra pixels that allow me to do more cropping, using different aspect ratios, fx wide/panorama.
I have no interest in video and high frame rates - it will be a still image camera aimed at landscape/nature photography but also for more casual shots.
The base ISO at 64 and better DR is "nice to have" (I have a tripod.. and no ND filters) and I prefer the low iso performance compared to better high iso performance.
At 45 mp it's probably less forgiving wrt. optical quality of lenses.
Also less forgiving to sloppy handheld shooting, but I assume IBIS helps a fair degree.
I know there are some banding issues with Z7/Z6 sensors but it's not a major concern.
The increased file size will take some extra disk space and getting used to compared to my current 16 mp files :-)
I've tested processing some sample NEF's using my current computer and Capture One Pro and it works well.
I've read that the high mp count requires more attention wrt. downsampling and sharpening - maybe a small concern.
 
Are there any other major disadvantages I haven't considered?

Thanks...   
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2022, 20:29:20 »
Unless you have really steady hands, be careful with using the Z7 hand-held and still expect ultra-sharp outcomes. VR [IBIS] notwithstanding, by the way, as VR in-camera actually can rob some image sharpness under certain conditions. JFYI.

For landscapes, put the camera on a good tripod and enjoy the excellent image quality you can extrract from the 45MPix sensor.

The above are my personal conclusions and your mileage may deviate (a lot) from my experiences. I have 2*Z7 and they both are used in a studio setting for close-ups and photomacrography, the requirements of which Z7 excels. I did use use them outdoors for a (rather short) while to learn how they performed first, before locking them up in the studio.


Lars Hansen

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2022, 22:53:10 »
Many thanks for your advice Birna.

I don't think my hands are extraordinary steady so that is an important point I will reconsider. I have no experience with in-camera stabilization but my experience with OIS when using my Fuji's has been surprisingly positive ... it has probably also caused my handheld shooting to become sloppy over time :)         

I did notice that you use your Z7's in the studio and I believe I see far more Z6's being used by people on NG than the Z7 - the 24 mp Z6 is probably a more versatile camera (including a very good camera for landscape/nature).

   
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2022, 11:19:53 »
I do have Z6 (several, some modified to "full spectrum"), but have no special sentiment for any of them. Z5 likewise. I'm sure most people will think otherwise, but that's me. I'm still enamoured by the little Z fc and use it a lot  -- sometimes concurrent with Df --  and perhaps the Z9 will take its rightful position as my top-of-the-line camera model for a general-purpose device. The jury is still out.

You mentioned 'developing sloppy hand-held shooting' and that is an issue for most users over time. We tend to become dependent on the technology and are too lazy to master it so instead let us be commanded by the features. In this perspective, any camera will do as long as you take the time and efforts to really learn its ways, and use these to your pictorial advantage. The camera has yet to "make" the picture, that is the privilege of the user.

Lars Hansen

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2022, 17:47:05 »
Thanks again Birna - much appreciated.

I have two small Fuji's and really like the retro style of the controls combined with all the features of the mirrorless design. To me it's intuitive and works for my kind of photography - I have fairly basic needs and still use my cameras similar to when shooting film cameras from the early 1980's ... apart from my thumb now gets more rest :D I will undoubtedly have a learning curve to make best use of a Z7 (or Z6/Z5) and I honestly haven't missed the Nikon camera controls after I switched to Fuji.   

Regarding hand-held shooting technique. I've read some posts (elsewhere) from Z7 owners who are happy with the image quality of the DX crop mode (and other crop modes as well) but I guess it's simply an internal crop of the 45 mp file? I assume using DX lenses is a different matter? - would that be somewhat similar to hand held shooting with a 20 mp DX camera? I have 3 Nikon DX lenses collecting dust so it sounds tempting (if the lenses are compatible..) - also to have an extra 20 mp DX camera for casual shots with the properties of the Z7 sensor :)

What matters most to me, and why I even consider the Z7, is the image quality wrt. color accuracy and tone similar to the D850. I've had lots of fun with my 16 mp Fuji's but color wise I often find myself struggling with the output and it's often a compromise.

Just to understand what you wrote:
VR [IBIS] notwithstanding, by the way, as VR in-camera actually can rob some image sharpness under certain conditions. JFYI.

Is this a general issue with VR in-camera or is it an issue specific for the Z cameras? I've seen Z7/Z6 users reporting blurry images when using mechanical shutter combined with VR at certain shutter speeds - which can be mitigated/avoided by using electronic shutter instead.
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2022, 22:00:26 »
DX lenses on Z7 (andZ9) are non-problematic. The finder adjusts itself and only the file sizes later disclose you have been in DX mode.

The problem mentioned for VR  likely is of a general nature, but nothing the manufacturers advertise :( You might think of it as Artificial Intelligence (AI) not entirely living up to its claims.

Has been known for many years, I noted it myself when I tested some long Nikkors with VR. To be on the safe side, in-camera VR is switched off with my Z7 units when I do close-up and photomacrography. The electronic curtsain seems to be OK and "roilling shutter" is hardly an issue for my kind of photography.

paul hofseth

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2022, 09:54:30 »
Be aware that if you use manual focus lenses, the focus point has a nasty habit of moving "on its own"
 and if you are likely to stuff the camera in a wide jacket pocket, or a crowded rucksack, the unsecured exposure compensation wheel may accidentally be moved.

Both can be fixed by faffing around with buttons and  double checking viewfinder chaos, but should be fixed by firmware options and a Leitz-R-like locking knob on the compensation wheel.

p.

Lars Hansen

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2022, 12:52:23 »
DX lenses on Z7 (andZ9) are non-problematic. The finder adjusts itself and only the file sizes later disclose you have been in DX mode.

The problem mentioned for VR  likely is of a general nature, but nothing the manufacturers advertise :( You might think of it as Artificial Intelligence (AI) not entirely living up to its claims.

Has been known for many years, I noted it myself when I tested some long Nikkors with VR. To be on the safe side, in-camera VR is switched off with my Z7 units when I do close-up and photomacrography. The electronic curtsain seems to be OK and "roilling shutter" is hardly an issue for my kind of photography.

Thanks again Birna for the input - being able to use Nikon DX lenses with a 20 mp crop is a very nice feature and the camera body is only a bit larger than my Fuji's.   
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Lars Hansen

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 13:14:07 »
Be aware that if you use manual focus lenses, the focus point has a nasty habit of moving "on its own"
 and if you are likely to stuff the camera in a wide jacket pocket, or a crowded rucksack, the unsecured exposure compensation wheel may accidentally be moved.

Both can be fixed by faffing around with buttons and  double checking viewfinder chaos, but should be fixed by firmware options and a Leitz-R-like locking knob on the compensation wheel.

p.

Many thanks for your input Paul - I do plan to use my manual focus lenses and with the Fuji's I have focus peaking that works well but I've never experienced that the peaking areas moves on its own. Is it a flaw in the Z7's software? However, I do have one of my "focus by wire" Fuji lenses that tends to "jump" a bit when I use the focus ring in manual focus mode - those jumps is caused by the AF motor so fully mechanical lenses works fine.

Good point with the compensation wheel - I do tend to wrap my camera in a cloth in a crowded rucksack when I'm on a small walk.
   
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2022, 13:35:21 »
Although there is undeniably a weakness in the control layout, fortunately you can mitigate (to some extent) the flaw by putting focus reset to centre on one or more of the control buttons.

Ian Watson

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 18:34:14 »
Turning off the camera before putting it in the bag avoids the problem of controls being moved unintentionally. Why would you leave it on?

Lars Hansen

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2022, 18:50:11 »
Turning off the camera before putting it in the bag avoids the problem of controls being moved unintentionally. Why would you leave it on?

Thanks Ian, makes sense, but I haven't yet tried the Z7 and on my Fuji's the compensation dial is a mechanical one so you can adjust unintentionally without the camera being switched on .. which is even worse :)
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Lars Hansen

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Thanks!: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2022, 19:16:08 »

Thanks Birna, Paul and Ian for your input - no scary issues/flaws turned up so I'll just have to decide if it might be too much camera (resolution wise + higher price) for me or it actually is an advantage if it works well as both a 20 mp DX and FX camera (with D850 like IQ) in one. A good deal on a Z6 would also still make sense - and cheaper.         
Lars Hansen - with Fujifilm X-E1 and X-T1

Anthony

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2022, 15:47:54 »
Be aware that if you use manual focus lenses, the focus point has a nasty habit of moving "on its own"
 and if you are likely to stuff the camera in a wide jacket pocket, or a crowded rucksack, the unsecured exposure compensation wheel may accidentally be moved.

Both can be fixed by faffing around with buttons and  double checking viewfinder chaos, but should be fixed by firmware options and a Leitz-R-like locking knob on the compensation wheel.

p.

Could this be caused by the touch screen?
Anthony Macaulay

paul hofseth

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Re: Advice regarding Z7
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2022, 19:35:44 »
as to gthe touch screen Q. I never have that switched on. The point moves because the "no joy"stick is inadvertently pressed while handling the camera, and this is absolutely unwanted. It can be easily rectified if your discover it in time, but when one takes a picture one usually likes to pay attention on the total image while focussing and measuring light on a particular  point . hunting for the various distracting elements in the viewfinder is not a priority. Especially having to press the button to recenter the focus point is annoying.

As a very posiiive element of the Z7 must be the ability to easily enlarge the view when focussing and apart from the two shortcomings and the ugly SLR-bump which gets in the way of stuffing it in not so narrow pockets, I do not regret having switched from Oly M4/3 and Leitz 35mm.

p.