The new Nikon Z7 and Z6 devices will feature new lenses and lens mount, and will be lighter than the current pro-grade cameras, the company said.
The Z 7 and Z 6 are physically almost identical, with the main differences being internal: pixel count, number of autofocus points and maximum burst rate. The $4,000 Z7, which will have a 45.7 megapixel sensor, will go on sale in late September, followed by the Z6, which will have 24.5 megapixels, cost 270,000 yen and hit stores in November.
The Z 7 is a 45.7MP camera with built-in 5-axis image stabilization. It can shoot at up to 9 frames per second and capture 4K video or output a 10-bit 4:2:2 Log video stream over HDMI.
The Z-mount is the largest full-frame mirrorless mount on the market with a diameter of 55mm, allowing it to support lenses as fast as F0.95. The flange distance is just 16mm, the shortest of any full-frame mirrorless system. The Z-mount has a 65% smaller flange and 17% larger diameter than the legacy F-mount.
The Z 7 is the flagship model and has a lot in common with the D850, both in terms of core features and price. It features a Nikon-designed 45.7 BSI-CMOS sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilization and a hybrid autofocus system with 493 phase-detect points.
It features an ultra-high-resolution electronic viewfinder with 3.6 million dots and 0.8x magnification, along with a 3.2" 2.1M-dot tilting touchscreen display on the rear of the camera. On the top plate is an OLED display showing current camera settings. The Z 7 has a single XQD slot, which will support CFexpress via a firmware upgrade in the near future.
The camera's in-body Vibration Reduction system can reduce shake by up to 5 stops and, when used with the optional F-mount adapter, provides 5-axis stabilization for VR-equipped lenses and 3-axis for those without VR.
The autofocus system features 493 PDAF points with 90% vertical and horizontal coverage. While the camera can detect faces, it lacks an equivalent to Sony's useful Eye AF.
The Z 7 can shoot bursts at 9 fps with full autofocus but with exposure locked on the first shot, or at 5.5 fps with with continuous exposure and focus. The Z 7's buffer fills up after about 18 14-bit compressed and 23 12-bit lossless compressed Raws. Battery life is rated at 330 shots per charge (CIPA) and a battery grip will be available in the future.
The camera captures UHD 4K video at 30p and 24p using the full width of the sensor. When using a Super 35/DX crop of 1.5x, the camera uses all the pixels in that region to produce its video. There are 435 phase-detect points available when capturing video, with both in-body and electronic VR available to reduce shake.
The Z 7 supports 10-bit N-LOG (4:2:2) when output over HDMI as well as the ability to simultaneously output video (8-bit 4:2:0) while recording to the memory card. There's also live focus peaking, zebra stripes, adjustable AF tracking speeds, time code while in 4K mode.
The Z 7 uses the latest version of the company's SnapBridge wireless system, which includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Users can transfer JPEGs and Raws direct to a PC and, of course, remotely control the camera from a smartphone. The currently available WT-7A wireless transmitter set is also compatible, allowing Wi-Fi transfer outside the SnapBridge system.
High-grade mirrorless cameras excel at capturing sharp images of fast-moving objects. Canon has also said that it's considering its own model, setting the stage for a battle for professionals and enthusiasts. Mirrorless cameras have been around for more than a decade, but Sony's efforts in recent years to embed them with the larger full-frame image sensors have put them on par with SLRs in terms of picture quality. The design also makes cameras lighter, smaller and quieter.