It is ten days now since the official announcement of the Nikon Z – Nikon’s first mirrorless cameras. There was (and still is) a huge interest among the entire photography world – internet is full with articles, specification comparisons, details, and pictures. YouTube is on alert as well. Many people are disappointed, many are praising the new cameras. Nothing new under the sun, you’ll say, and you’ll be right. But it is interesting to see what the initial reaction of the photography community was. Did it match the excitement of Nikon managers, ambassadors, sales reps, and pure fanboys?
In this article, which I am going to split to two parts, I’ll go through the most popular commentaries on YouTube, starting the day before the cameras were officially announced but specs were already leaked. In a follow-up, third article, I will share my personal opinion with you, my dear readers. I’ll link to the other articles here, once they are published. Updated: link to part 2:
It is going to be a long one, so get something to eat and drink and happy reading/watching.
Aug 21, 2018
Ed Gregory from Photos In Color posted phenomenal video on his YouTube channel just over a day before Nikon’s announcement. The video is named “Dear Sony – Thank you for the mirrorless camera revolution”. There he compares Sony with Apple – being a company that pushed the boundaries of the industry forward. And not only that, but aiming at the new generation, listening to its customers, and constantly delivering newer, better, and desirable products. Ed says that in opposite to Microsoft, Apple “innovated it every step by creating products for the next generation. By pushing boundaries, creating technologies, and of course – making mistakes along the way… well, whis is the Sony of the last five years. They took a command of a new industry, the mirrorless camera world, and focused on the consumer first… Like Apple they created hype, launched products almost yearly, and creating a marketing storm every time. Their products look incredible, Sony built a community of people who wanted to show off they had Sony mirrorless cameras. Sony focused on the new world. Their products were socially viable… Sony has beautiful, sharp, shiny, sleek edges, they look strong, angular, sexy. They look like the new shooter, the young, the hip, and the early adopters.”
Of course we can argue that other companies also have their share in the technological development of today’s photography equipment. And this is right. But we have to agree that Sony really pushed the industry forward. May be because they didn’t have much to lose. Their A-mount cameras, although amazing were never as popular as the top DSLRs from Nikon and Canon. May be, because this was their last chance, but they pushed it hard to dominate the full frame mirrorless market today. Ed continues: “In the past, companies dictated to the consumer what they should want. Sony was different. People said to Sony: we want better focusing – they did it, better batteries – done, 5-axis sensor stabilization – done. Perfect first time – not always, but hey, they were listening, trying and often delivering. Just sitting back and saying “we’ve done this for over 100 years just isn’t good enough. We, the consumer, don’t care what you did. We care what you are doing… today!”
Did you get the note about 100 anniversary of Nikon? They created a hype, and we all expected something breathtaking. Partially that happened with the release of D850, which is one of the best, if not the best DSLR in the world today. But that was all. Nothing else for the big birthday! No retro camera (DF II), no mirrorless which came one year later. May be because Sony released the A7III, which confused a bit the two big players with it’s low price and packed features. Who knows?
Ed gregory finishes his video with: “Apple doesn’t necessarily make the best smartphones. But they are the company who drove the industry forward, forcing innovation and creativity…. more competition driving innovation, pushing technological boundaries. The more players in the game, the faster the innovation. Thanks to Sony we are going to see the fastest technological advancement in digital photography we have ever seen. With more companies bringing out mirrorless systems, we’ll start seeing features we could never have dream about. We’ll see companies fail, see products fail, but we will see the bar raised higher, leaps made larger, and progress made faster. Thank you, Sony, for starting the mirrorless revolution, and thank you to all the companies who are about to challenge you!” Full video here:
And here are the challenges coming…
Aug 22, 2018
Right after the announcement press-conference on 22-23 of August, the youtuber Theoria Apophasis shared his first thoughts about the announced cameras. In his video “Nikon Z Facepalm! YOU FAILED NIKON! Z Mirrorless. One Card & worse” the “angry photographer” – Ken Wheeler considered the press-conference to be “absolutely beyond pathetic”. His first reaction about the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT on Z6 & Z7 is that it is an ”epic failure from Nikon”. Next thing he complains about are the high prices and that the FZ adapter is not compatible with the D-lenses. Next target are the announced Z-lenses. He thinks “they look worse than the cheapest junk kit lens”. Lastly, he speaks about the 330 images coming from the new EN-EL15b battery. Three things he finds “incredibly depressing”. First is the presentation video itself, which lasted over one hour and he calls it “the most abysmal height fest of nonsense I’ve ever seen in my life” and “disgusting hype fest of nonsense”, bashing Nikon for using the phrase “mirrorless reinvented” more than 50 times, as there was nothing special reinvented. Second, he accuses Nikon that the cameras are in fact intermediate level but are priced as a pro level. And third, he was disappointed by the year and a half anniversary hype that ended with these two cameras. As much as he “hates” Sony and Sony fanboys, he said that Sony fans should be laughing their a** off and popping a cork of champagne at the stupidity of these low level intermediate cameras”. I’ll leave for you to comment his statements. I’m only presenting the feedback to you. Full video here:
Aug 23, 2018
Gordon Laing from Camera Labs was the first one to publish a hands-on video. In his balanced and informative video “Nikon Z6 Z7 review first looks – not a Sony killer yet!” he shares his first impression from the two Z cameras. Gordon likes that despite the smaller size, the cameras “remain comfortable to hold with a decent grip” but he is disappointed that although high end cameras, the buttons are not backlit as in the pro DSLRs. Also he is not happy with the consumer level of the top dial which lacks second layer. For him “the controls didn’t feel like a significant ergonomic step-up from Sony”. Gordon likes the 3.2 inches screen but being only tilted and not fully articulated he things will not in a favor for the vloggers.
Gordon likes the touch screen and that “unlike Sony you can scroll and tap your way through the menus”. He also likes that Nikon uses XQD card, but finds it “one of the most disappointing aspects of the camera that it only has ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT”. Gordon thinks that this “could be a real deal breaker for some photographers and it’s an unusual move for Nikon”. Full video here:
Darren Miles, a wedding photographer from Florida, quickly followed with a very short video named “Nikon Z? Sorry, Not for Me…” where he shares how excited he was about the Nikon’s announcement but then… he saw that the camera has only ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT “and as a wedding photography professional I’m not going to risk my career with a camera with one card slot” he said. Darren will be waiting for Z mark II. Full video here:
Steve Huff in his video named “Thoughts…NIKON Z6 vs SONY A7III. Where the Nikon Fails AND Wins” shars the three things he thinks Nikon dropped the ball, saying that A7III is still a better bet than Z6. First thing is the battery life. Second is the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT. I’m not going to write about all details and explanations Steve makes in his video, but you can watch it yourself at the link below. The third thing is that the adapted lenses will not perform as fast as native Z lenses. Things he liked are the top screen, the 5-axis IBIS, and the weather sealing. His suggestion is that Nikon kept the beefy battery, the dual card slots, etc. for their top end DSLR, so they don’t kill their sales.
Steve asks the hypothetical question: “If you have A7III do you switch to Z6?” And answers “Absolutely NOT!” He thinks that the new Nikons are not exciting enough and will not make people who already switched to Sony to switch back to Nikon. For himself he says “this (Z6) excites me but not enough to buy it”. Full video here:
Joseph Cristina (JCristina) posted a commentary video named “Nikon Z6 or Z7 Mirrorless Camera To Buy Or Not To Buy”. He starts with disappointment from the Nikon’s presentation. “The actual presentation was just a lackluster at best” says Joseph.
What Joseph Cristina likes in the new Nikon cameras is the weather sealing, the PDAF and that it covers 90% of the screen. As a big positive he considers the N-log. But then he comes to the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT he says: “You are now making a camera that’s supposed to be for the future. Why put one card slot – I don’t get it!” As another negative he sees the lack of articulating screen. He agrees with those who are saying that if the camera does not have articulated screen they won’t buy it. He finds odd to not include this feature which is already in the D5000 series – Nikon does not need to reinvent the wheel. As last negative he considers the price. With all these Joseph thinks that Nikon is aiming at only to stop bleeding their customers to Sony, but this won’t bring new customers to Nikon.
In general Cristina likes the Nikons – he likes the design, the bodies, he thinks that once the reviews start coming they will show some stellar video and some amazing photos. But he asks if this is enough? After all the videos, all the hype he feels the cameras were going to be more inspiring. He said “they are good, but not monumental, not the big thing”. Full video here:
Eric Rossi, in his video “Nikon’s Mirrorless Lens Roadmap 2018, 2019 & 2020: Is It Enough?” talks about the announced lenses and the lens roadmap for the next 2 years. He finds that the fist three lenses look cheap, but the most important Pro lenses – the 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 are coming in 2019. Full video here:
In another video “Nikon Z6 & Z7 Mirrorless Camera Official Preview: Pros, Cons and It’s About Time!” he shares his thoughts about the cameras. Starting with Nikon’s phrase “Mirrorless reinvented. Capture tomorrow!” he responds: “I want to capture today!” He was upset for the missing glowing mount, as it was shown in the teaser ads. In general he likes the cameras – the bright EVFs, 5-axi IBIS, the 4k video, the FUll HD in 120fps, N-log, top LCD screen, the joystick, face detection, and the dual – mic and headphone jacks. As cons Eric mentions the lack of eye AF to compete with Sony, no 60fps in 4K, and of course the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT which he thinks is a “very, very, very missed opportunity”. Lastly he doesn’t like that the FZ adapter is not included for free with the Z cameras. Full video here:
Toby Gelston from PhotoRec TV created an interesting video (as always), named “Nikon Z7 & Z6 – My Thoughts & TWO DEAL BREAKERS!!” There he starts with some good sides he sees in the new Z cameras. Weather sealing is the first welcomed feature, the N-log and 4:2:2 10 bit external recording, the 493 phase detect AF points, the 5-axis IBIS, which Nikon calls B.I.V.R. (Built-In Vibration Reduction). Toby likes the FULLY touch screen, criticising Sony for their “not-so-full-touch” screen. Controversy, he doesn’t like the buffer of the new Nikon cameras and the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT. He shares his recent experience of a card slot failure (not the card itself). He also doesn’t like the 310-330 shots coming from the battery. He expects it will be much more in reality but not as good as Sony. He misses the eye AF which Sony has. Toby is impressed by the big mount and the good ergonomics. Full video here:
Kai Wong in his “Nikon Z7 Hands-on First Look” shares that the Nikon Z7 camera“ is quite rugged. It feels nice and firm in the hands and has quite decent grip… not like Sony A cameras. Kai is impressed with the EVF and that it has no lag at all. He likes the top LCD but he doesn’t like the ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT. The thing that is interesting for Kai is the short flange distance of only 16mm, which is the smallest of all other camera manufacturer’s. Kai did not like the smaller buffer of Z7 but enjoys the 493 phase AF points which cover 90% of the sensor. He welcomes the 4:2:2 10 bit recording (although externally) N-log, saying that this is the first full frame camera that does that. He concludes “Nikon really had to make a splash with their entry and they really haven’t disappointed. It’s got the sensor size, the body, the image, the performance and surprisingly the video feature that is pretty damn good.” Full video here:
The Photo/Video Show in his “Morning Jolt # 9 – Nikon Never Fails to Disappoint (Z6 & Z7)” is very critical about Nikon’s new release. He starts with “Mistakes was made!” and shares that he likes the EVF, the 5-axis IBIS, the hybrid AF system, the Mic and Phones in/outputs, and the top LCD, although “borrowed” from Fuji. And then he starts with the negative stuff. Oh, man… You really have to watch this: “Absolutely the first and foremost thing – no dual cards slots??? (i.e. ONE MEMORY CARD SLOT) What genius thought that was going to be a swell idea? It’s priced like a high-end enthusiast/professional camera, but it’s not professional enough for the professionals. Pros won’t pick it because they have no redundant card slot. The hobbyists and low end consumers they’re not going to pick this because it’s too expensive. There are other options that do exactly the same thing for way, way less… Nikon “had five years to get this right. Not just to meet the market. Not just kind of be in the same range as all other mirrorless camera companies, but to exceed, to innovate, to dominate, and they did none of that!”
He said that now we just have another mirrorless camera in the ocean of other mirrorless cameras. Nothing extraordinary here, and for that reason he left Nikon years ago. He thinks that Nikon had a real opportunity, real chance and they just didn’t deliver. I’m not going to cite the entire video here, but you can watch it on the link below. Full video here:
Continue in part 2 with Tony & Chelsea Northrup, Matt from Art of the Image, Jason Lanier, Jared Polin, Dan Watson, and many more…
List of the videos mentioned in the article:
Photos In Color – Dear Sony – Thank you for the mirrorless camera revolution
Theoria Apophasis – Nikon Z Facepalm. YOU FAILED NIKON! Z Mirrorless. One Card & worse
Gordon Laing – Nikon Z6 Z7 review first looks – not a Sony killer yet!
Darren Miles – Nikon Z? Sorry, Not for Me…
Steve Huff – Thoughts…NIKON Z6 vs SONY A7III. Where the Nikon Fails AND Wins.
JCristina – Nikon Z6 or Z7 Mirrorless Camera To Buy Or Not To Buy
Eric Rossi – Nikon’s Mirrorless Lens Roadmap 2018, 2019 & 2020: Is It Enough?
PhotoRec TV – Nikon Z7 & Z6 – My Thoughts & TWO DEAL BREAKERS!!
Eric Rossi – Nikon Z6 & Z7 Mirrorless Camera Official Preview: Pros, Cons and It’s About Time!
Kai W – Nikon Z7 Hands-on First Look
The Photo/Video Show – Morning Jolt # 9 – Nikon Never Fails to Disappoint (Z6 & Z7)