Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless is remarkably accomplished for a first-generation product, says Andy Westlake, making the Nikon Z7 one of the best cameras the firm has ever made
Nikon Z7 Review: Image quality
The Z 7 obviously uses a sensor that’s very closely related to that in the D850, which we previously found to offer class-leading image quality matched only by Sony’s 42.4MP sensor. As a result the image quality is superb; indeed the only way to get better than this is to step up to medium format.
Image files include a vast amount of detail that’s faithfully recorded across a huge dynamic range from the highlights to the deepest shadows, while high-ISO noise is kept extremely low.
Nikon Z7 Review: Resolution
Looking at raw files processed using Adobe Camera Raw, its evident that the Z 7 captures essentially as much detail as could possibly be expected from its 45.7MP sensor, which forgoes an optical low-pass filter for maximum resolution. At ISO 64 it achieves approximately 5000 lines per picture height, which is very impressive indeed. Resolution falls away gradually and monotonously as the ISO is raised, but still stays higher than most other cameras on the market could achieve. At ISO 3200 we can still measure 4400 l/ph, and over 4000 l/ph at ISO 12,800, which is the maximum you’ll get from 24MP cameras. At the top standard setting of ISO 25,600, the camera still resolves in excess to 3600 l/ph.
From the crops above, multiply the number below the lines by 400 to calculate the resolution on lines per picture height. These were shot with the Nikon 24-70mm f/4 Z at 55mm and f/5.6.
Nikon Z7 Review: ISO and noise
At its base setting of ISO 64, the Z 7 renders our studio test scene with an extraordinary level of detail, vibrant colour, and barely any visible noise. But what’s equally remarkable is how well this holds together as the sensitivity is raised; ISO 1600 images are very nearly as good. The very finest detail starts to blur at ISO 3200 which viewed on the pixel level, but this probably wouldn’t be evident except in prints of A3 or larger. Even the highest standard setting of ISO 25,600 is surprisingly usable. However the extended higher settings are distinctly marginal (at the moment Adobe software doesn’t even recognize ISO 102,400).