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Reader Comment: Nikon Z7 Features/Controls

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David T writes:

I’m actually really surprised about your positive comments on the camera.

- The controls seem to be more Sony like (which I can’t stand) than Nikon like. I mean really that shitty D70-like left dial.

- No buttons for WB, Exposure Mode, or Focus mode.

- No Eye AF and no 3D Focus mode.

And what is the point of a 58mm 0.95 lens if it’s not AF. Good luck focusing that for anything OTHER than landscape/architecture. I was so pumped for this and it seems like a let down. Initial previews seem to be underwhelming!

Nikon Z7

DIGLLOYD: I’m not going to assume too much one way or another. The Nikon Z7 looks to me to have some limitations that I will find troublesome but on the whole I am feeling pretty positive about it after reading Nikon’s various brochures.

  • The controls need some hands-on to be sure, but they are very similar to a D850. Button placement is such that finger memorization is possible, and I expect the haptics are superior to Sony buttons (which suck). Button size on the Z7 looks smaller than on the D850 and that that might be concerning, particularly with gloves. I think that Nikon made the same mistake as did Sony in making the camera too small.
  • The grip looks promising but I can’t tell until I hold it in my largish hands.
  • The Play/Delete buttons at upper left are one of the best design choices out there. One need only use a Hasselblad X1D to quickly discover how awful it is to have all buttons on one side and all feeling identical.
  • Since I shoot raw, I need a reliable histogram (one that does not change give variable and thus confusing results depending on camera-chosen white balance), so a WB button is of no value at all to me.
  • Lack of Eye AF is indeed a major bummer. I wanted both Eye AF and Animal Eye AF (which I’m sure any wildlife photographer would lust after).

Nikon has taken a video-centric design goal on all the lenses by minimizing mechanical/electronic noise and breathing. So the Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct makes perfect sense.

The Nikon NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct probably could not have used autofocus without compromising the optical design—remember how slow the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L was (the II model is better but not fast). Adding another half-stop would mean moving heavy lens elements around or compromising the optical design in an undesirable way (e.g. inserting an AF group that is small and light and would alter bokeh). So I am A-OK with the manual focus decision. Plus I expect that together with PDAF and CDAF together that focus assist might be spot-on 'killer' accurate.

Nikon Z7
Nikon Z7
Nikon Z7
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