Nikon Z6II & Z7II: The wait is over

Nikon pro, Paul Carroll is planning to ditch his D5 in favour of the new Z7II

Nikon Z7II review
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I’ve been eagerly anticipating Nikon’s announcement of the Z7II and Z6II. But, after months of sheltering away during the pandemic, being busy with family and surprisingly busy with photography work, it rather crept up on me.

Then, as I was editing away in the office, Nikon’s press announcement of Z6II and Z7II landed in my inbox and I was like, yes! I’m excited for the Z6 II and Z7 II, let me tell you why.

I’ve shot with Nikon cameras for 20 years and I love the brand. I flirted with a Sony A7R when there was a buzz about them, but never really got on with it. So when Nikon launched the original Z7, I got one straight away.

At first, I was a bit ambivalent. The AF wasn’t as good as my D5s, it felt a bit like a compact camera – I know it’s got a better handgrip and size than many mirrorless cameras, but still, to me, it felt small and fiddly. I wanted the 45MP sensor and extended dynamic range though, and really to have a mirrorless camera.

It took a while. But I’ve fallen in love with my Nikon Z7. Honestly, I rarely get my D5s out of the bag now, unless I’m shooting in really terrible light.

The Z7’s built-in stabilisation, the instant image preview, the in-EVF spirit level and eye-tracking AF have really changed the way I work. I don’t use exposure preview in the EVF – I turned it off, as I’m so used to DSLRs I couldn’t get on with it – but I think I’ll give it another go.

Most importantly, the Z7’s image quality is amazing.

Even so, with the Z7, I didn’t feel I could fully switch away from my D5. At the time the S lenses line was a little limited and I can’t live without a proper vertical grip. The single card slot bothered me slightly less – an XQD card has never failed on me – but instant back-up would obviously be preferable.

So, Nikon has delivered pretty much what I wanted from the Z7 II. If I’m honest, I’d really prefer a fully pro-level body with a built-in vertical grip, but a proper accessory attachment will do for now.

I can’t wait to get my hands on one to test. If it delivers, it’s goodbye to DSLRs for me.

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