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D850 v Z7

Discussion in 'Nikon Chat' started by cliveva, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. cliveva

    cliveva Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of mirrorless , seeing the exposure in the eyepiece, but , and this is my problem, no twin card slots and lack of battery life. My D800 will shoot 1000 + shots, and will last days in the cold, So should I wait 2 years for the twin slot mirrorless and improved battery life, or just go for the D850 now?
    PS will lens development be focused on mirrorless from now on?
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    My opinion is that you have to like more than the idea of an ELV, you need to see if you can get on with them. The ability to see the exposure in the eyepiece is great in good light, particularly it lets you see the effect of exposure compensation, but in poorer light the ones on my Fujis are very contrasty. Battery life you have to live with. I bought a second battery within days of getting my XE-2.

    I'd also test the handling to see if it suits you. I picked up a used Fuji X-H1 which still has niggles compared to my Canons but handles much like a DSLR with respect to start-up time and responsiveness. The two niggles I have with the Fuji are the focus point joystick is easily knocked - the freedom to put the focus point wherever you want palls after the 19th time it has wandered off to the edge of the frame. I use a grip so there are 2 joysticks. Second, I wear glasses and the eye detection that activates the ELV can get fooled by reflections. It is really annoying when everything goes black. Also, if you ever use it, check the burst mode controls. Mirrorless can acheive crazy burst rates so test you can control it when shooting.
  3. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I liked the idea of an EVF and even bought an OM-D E-M10 but I didn't get on with it, the image didn't snap into focus as it does with an optical view finder. Also the camera was too small for comfortable handling, a grip might have helped but I preferred swap it for a D4 instead. I have a Nikon 1 J5 which doesn't have a finder at all, the Z series have to be better than that. You need to be sure that you can get on with an EVF before spending £3,000 plus on a mirrorless camera.

    How much do you "need" twin card slots and how much is it a vague idea that it might be useful? Twin card cameras have been around for about eight years (for Nikon) which isn't long considering the Nikon F was launched nearly 70 years ago. We managed without for over 60 years, you really can cope with having only the one card. All I use my second slot for is overflow, if it wasn't there I would just have to carry a spare card, or use bigger capacity ones. The Z6 and Z7 use XQD cards and they are much faster than CF or SD and offer significantly greater capacity than current CF cards.

    Battery life is going to be a problem simply because you need power to see anything, unlike an SLR. I don't think this is going to change any time soon because new battery technology developments are concentrating on electric vehicles, small batteries will come later.

    I would expect lens development to concentrate on the new Z mount but Nikon have a very large base of users who won't be going mirrorless just yet and who expect lens improvements.
  4. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Yes and that includes everbody, even if there is not get a matching camera.
  5. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    I am not in the market for a new camera! and I really get fed up of seeing this combination question! How can one possible say that one is better than the other for that sort of money. I am quite surprised that Nikon even entered the race for a so called mirrorless camera....
  6. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Nikon has a desire to remain in business so they have to produce what the market wants. Currently what the market wants appears to be mirrorless cameras. Logically to remain in business they need mirrorless bodies. There is more to it than that of course.
  7. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    This is a difficult question to answer even if one owns both of the cameras in question. I do not own either but do own D500 which shares the very capable AF system of the D850. I also own a little used D800. There is no doubt that you would find either of the D850 or Z7 quite amazing. I am not offering advice on which to buy. I do mention considerations.
    For Studio or landscape type use, the Z7 is likely to beat the D850.
    For action sports or active wildlife the D850 is likely to beat the Z7.
    For what its worth I am fighting an urge to trade in the D800 for a D850 under the current trade in deal. I have no urge to be an early adopter of Nikon's mirrorless marvel whatsoever.
    My betting is that after five years DSLRs will be quaint history being featured by John Wade in his Blast from the Past articles. And Roger H will still be making good photographs with LF Gandolfi, 35mm Leica and Alpa, and Nikon Df. Adrian's D200 will likely have packed up and he may be using a D500.
    Do we really want, even less need, to spend any money at all?
  8. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    cliveva likes this.
  9. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    From the look of things, Nikon may actually be thinking a little more about how their gear develops. Their latest is a roadmap of sorts for firmware for the Z series, including eye focusing AF, raw video output and CFexpress support.

    It would be nice if they look at their customers as investments rather than cash cows, and continual firmware improvement is a step in the right direction.

  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    It would be nice if they rolled out CFExpress support to the D4, D5 D850 and D500 too.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  11. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    That would be good.
    However, they don't have a good track record of actually improving their DSLRs if they can sell us a new one (D6 is expected this year)
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately true. I like the idea of a D6, it might mean that some D5s become available at a price I can afford!
    Jimbo57 likes this.
  13. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I hope one day to get an opportunity to explore a Z7 without pretending that I want to buy one. I’d like to check how well I get on with the viewfinder (and in particular, would I find it as easy to pick the best orientation for my polarizer?), whether the AF joystick brings as big an advantage as I expect (I know the D850 also has one, but my D800 doesn’t), and how well its size and ergonomics suit me. If the EVF and ergonomics are OK, I doubt whether I’ll ever buy another DSLR.

    Main attractions of the Z system to me are:
    • I experience periodic loss of contact between lens and camera. I haven’t got properly to the bottom of this, but I fear it’s strain of the mount from long, heavy lenses, The Z series, with larger diameter and 4 lugs, should be much more robust.
    • IBIS (although it might be included in future Nikon DSLRs).
    • The prospect, as I get older, of a Z body and f/4 24-70mm exceeding the image quality of my D800 with f/2.8 24-70mm, despite a big saving in weight.
    • Getting away from the loss of image quality due to mirror slap I experience with my DX 55-200mm telephoto (although I believe the D850 is better damped than the D800).
    • No reason to switch from the viewfinder to LCD for best autofocusing performance on a tripod (and more accurate hand-held autofocusing).
    Although I find the limited battery life and single card slot of the Z7 discouraging, I’d be more concerned about:
    • Poor AF performance in low light or when tracking, and the associated banding in high-ISO images.
    • Absence of built-in flash (D850 doesn’t have one either).
    • What might replace my Solmeta Pro2 GPS, which tags my photos, logs where I walked for display on Google Earth, and includes a wireless remote release.
    I’ll probably pass on the Z7, but I might be tempted by its replacement if it solves most of the Z7's bugs and weaknesses.

    I assume Nikon will still release a few new F lenses, but it seems inevitable that most of their effort will go into Z lenses (and presumably they’ll need to offer entry-level APS-C mirrorless before too long).

  14. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member


    Personally I find the Z 6 much better (for my use) than the Z 7. The D850 is excellent too.

    But it all boils down to "horses for courses" for me at least. I do alot of work with performance artists, often in dark conditions, and quite a lot of the time with little or no music or sound - the Z 6 is really excellent in these conditions as there is NO NOISE when I press the shutter button.

    The two-card slot is a total non argument for me - the camera was supplied with a 64Gb XQD card which is MASSIVE in terms of storage, and I always have a spare battery (or two) so that's a no brainer also.

    Sadly a large amount of the comments, here and elsewhere, seem to come from people "Imagining" using these cameras, rather than actual real-world use.

    Of course the Z 6 is not perfect - show me a first generation camera that is/was - and the low-light auto-focus will need tweaking, but for my work it has made a huge difference, due to the silent shutter option and the fact I can see a playback of my shots in the viewfinder - very important when one is surrounded by a paying audience…

    Back to the original question - yes, of course, wait for the 'perfect' beast...in a few years time
    IvorCamera likes this.
  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you wait a while both will be obsolete, and another difficult decision will present itself regarding their successors.
    You could save a fortune.
  16. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That's two good reasons!

    I just filled in a focus group questionnaire for Canon and one question was how important is a silent release. I hadn't thought about it. The "silent" release on my DSLRs just damps the mirror a bit and isn't that quiet.

    I never imagined using an ELV for playback. That is a good idea for your circumstances.
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    If the Zee 6 and 7 are so bloody marvelous then just wait a year or two for their successors. The originals will be as cheap as chips and just as good as they ever were.
    Just a few days to go before the opportunity to trade in a D40x, or D800 to get a D850 with Nikon's trade in deal worth(?)£450. I have resisted well so far. Perhaps I should resist temptation further by transfering some cash from my current account to Premium Bonds. GAS is certainly a very difficult syndrome to fight.
    Purely as a matter of interest of course how much on top of the trade in offer should I expect for a D40x or D800. Both are in near mint condition with a low shutter count. I was thinking thirty quid for the D40x or six hundred for the D800.
  18. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    For the work I do, I don't see any reason to wait, and wait, and wait just in case someone designs EXACTLY the camera I'm looking for. I actually USE my cameras.

    I have waited some years for a REALLY silent release, and with the stock of Nikon glass I own I'm not looking anywhere else other than NIKON. So, for ME (yes, I'm a cuss...) this is the right way to go. And frankly I'm enjoying myself (more important than you might think...) using the Z 6

    I have a colleague who waits at least six months, deciding wether or not to purchase anything - as a general rule the offers he saw, when he originally started looking, exist no longer and he actually ends up paying more. This has happened on numerous occasions - we all have a good laugh. I fully understand there may be teething problems with the new Z series - I don't care as the difference it makes to my work flow is VERY marked and I only wish they had done this 5 years ago...!
  19. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    The silent release on the Z 6 is exactly that - it uses the electronic shutter and as there is no noise, vibration or anything, the viewfinder cuts out for a fraction of a second to show you that the shot has been taken. As I mentioned, I am often in the middle (well, at the front!) of a paying audience, and it's not a great idea to have lights flashing and shutters crashing...I turn off everything, cover up the green 'copy to card' LED etc. and anything else that can betray that I'm using the camera. The fact that I can easily preview IN THE VIEWFINDER is pure magic - imagine a group of jugglers all dressed in black, on a black background lit entirely with candles! This is an example of the situations I come across... Now I can actually see what the auto-ISO is doing, in real time, and adjust as needs be - and all without looking at an external screen (and p**sing off the neighboring public)
  20. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    For you Ian either of the Z cameras seems to be perfect. It is not the same for everybody. I see that Nikon are uncharacteristically adding functionallity as well as bug fixes to the firmware of the Z cameras. It seems that Nikon are catering for people with different priorities. That is good. They can make money from both of us;)
    IanG1957 likes this.

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