Nikon Z7 II Mirrorless Camera: Overview
High-Resolution Image Making
The Nikon Z7 II takes everything that was great about the first one and makes it even better. It has better processing, more options, and a familiar design. With a high-resolution 45.7MP FX-format BSI CMOS sensor and two EXPEED 6 image processors, it's clear that the Z7 II is made for photographers who care a lot about details. Second Generation Z Nikon has made changes to the Z7 platform that give the camera more speed, faster processing, and more options without changing what people liked about the original camera. The sensor doesn't have an optical low-pass filter, so it can record more details. It also has a native sensitivity range that goes down to ISO 64, so it can take photos with a lot of colour and detail. The updated processing also makes the camera faster, with a faster continuous shooting rate of 10 fps and a larger buffer for working with moving subjects. UHD 4K 60p video is also supported, and you can record in 10-bit N-Log or HLG (HDR) modes from the outside.
- Dual EXPEED 6 image processors offer increased buffer performance, a faster 10 fps continuous shooting rate, and noticeably reduced blackout times in the viewfinder.
- Updated autofocus now includes Eye and Face Detection for both humans and animals in the Wide-Area AF mode, for both photo and video recording.
- Timed long exposure shooting is now possible for up to 900 seconds (15 minutes) without the need of an external remote.
- Dual memory card slots offer more flexible file storage capabilities; one CFexpress Type B and one SD UHS-II slot permit overflow, segregated, and repetitive saving options.
- USB Type-C port permits in-camera charging or continuous power for on-the-go charging or extended shooting times.
- The rotation direction of the focus ring on lenses can be switched to suit one's familiarity.
- Support for HDR (HLG) mode when recording externally gives instant HDR-suitable video files for immediate playback. N-Log is also available for enhanced control during post-production and grading, too.
- Eligible for an optional ProRes RAW upgrade, enabling the camera to output ProRes RAW footage to a compatible Atomos external recorder. This upgrade provides greater color grading flexibility with the ProRes codec along with the ability to output uncompressed 12-bit raw footage over HDMI. This upgrade will be available in early 2021.
- The SnapBridge wireless connectivity can be used to update the camera's firmware, instead of relying on a memory card-based system of updating.
- Updated creative shooting modes include Multiple Exposure, 20 different Picture Control settings, and in-camera Timelapse recording. There is also a Focus Shift mode for recording up to 300 sequential frames with the focus position shifted between exposures for focus stacking applications.
- Compatible with optional MB-N11 Power Battery Pack for additional battery life and improved handling.
45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor and Dual EXPEED 6 Processors
A 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor is used for high-resolution shooting, great low-light quality, and fast readout speeds that help with continuous shooting, movies, and time-lapse recording. The back-illuminated design of the sensor gives it clean high-sensitivity output and less noise when working at high ISO values, up to a native ISO 25600, as well as bright and smooth quality at sensitivities as low as ISO 64. The design of the sensor also leaves out the usual optical low-pass filter so that the sensor can be as sharp and clear as possible. The sensor is helped by the fact that it has two EXPEED 6 image processors. This gives the camera system a lot of speed, including the ability to shoot continuously at 10 fps for up to 50 frames.
UHD 4K Video Recording
The Z7 II is a more than capable multimedia camera that can use the sensor and processor for more than just still images. UHD 4K video can be recorded up to 60p, and Full HD 1080p video can be recorded up to 120p so that it can be played back in slow motion. Video files can be saved to the memory cards in the camera or as an uncompressed file to an external recorder, which is an option, through HDMI out.
With the Z7 II, more advanced video features have been added, such as the N-Log gamma for capturing flat-looking footage with the most dynamic range and the HLG (HDR) for recording footage that is ready for HDR. Also new is the ability to send high-quality 10-bit data over HDMI and an Electronic VR function that makes it easier to shoot smoothly while holding the camera. Focus Peaking can help with manual focus control, and the Zebra Stripes option can help you find parts of the frame that are overexposed. The built-in stereo microphone can be used to record audio, or an external mic can be plugged into the 3.5mm stereo jack for more quality control. The headphone jack can be used to listen to live audio.
Firmware version 1.10 allows UHD 4K recording at 60p and 50p frame rates and raw video output to Blackmagic Design Video Assist external recorders. It also improves eye detection in Auto-Area AF and Wide-Area AF modes.
493-Point Phase-Detect AF System & Vibration Reduction
On the sensor, there is a grid of 493 phase-detection autofocus points that cover 90% of the image area in both directions. This lets you focus quickly and accurately on stills and videos, and because it covers a large area, you can track your subject all the way to the edges of the frame. For video, you can use Hybrid AF, which will automatically switch between phase- and contrast-detect systems to keep the focus smooth while you're shooting. Also, the newest NIKKOR Z lenses are made to work as quietly as possible. In-body 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction makes up for up to 5 stops of camera shake, no matter what kind of Z-type lens is being used. This system also works with F-mount lenses that have been adapted, as long as you use the optional FTZ Adapter, which has 3-axis stabilisation.
- A large 3.2" 2.1m-dot LCD screen is available for bright, clear, and vivid image playback and live view shooting. The screen has a tilting design to benefit working from both high and low angles, and it is also a touchscreen for more intuitive operation, navigation, and settings control.
- A 3.6m-dot OLED electronic finder is present for comfortable eye-level viewing. It has a high 0.80x magnification and uses NIKKOR optics to guarantee a sharp, clear image. The finder also has a fluorine coating for easier cleaning.
- The top panel of the Z7 II is configured with a dot-matrix OLED. This low-energy display provides quick access to important camera settings.
- Configured with one CFexpress Type B/XQD memory card slot and one UHS-II SD card slot, flexible file storage is possible with the option to use repetitive, overflow, or segregated storage methods.
- A robust magnesium alloy chassis is both dust- and weather-resistant to benefit working in harsh climates and inclement conditions.
- The ergonomic grip and overall form factor is shaped to benefit handling for extended periods of time and is further accentuated by an anti-slip material and a joystick for seamless settings and focus point selection.
- Built-in SnapBridge connectivity to enable seamless transfer of low-resolution imagery as well as remote shooting capabilities. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and Wi-Fi enables communication between the camera and a smart device and, additionally, the mobile device can remotely trigger the shutter and display a live view image from the camera to enable working from a distance. Additionally, SnapBridge can also be used as an easier method of updating the camera's firmware.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens (Nikon Z)
The Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S is a wide-angle to short-telephoto zoom covering an incredibly useful range of focal lengths to benefit a multitude of applications from landscape to portraiture. It is a genuinely adaptable everyday lens. The lens has a cutting-edge optical construction for outstanding sharpness and clarity, and its constant f/4 maximum aperture ensures consistent performance throughout the zoom range. This lens is a go-to option for most requirements and features a reasonably small and lightweight design.
- Both chromatic and spherical aberrations are successfully reduced throughout the zoom range thanks to a combination of three ED elements, one aspherical ED element, and three aspherical elements, resulting in notably sharp and clear images.
- When working in intense lighting and backlit environments, ARNEO and Nano Crystal Coats are used to eliminate ghosting, reflections, and flare in order to achieve increased contrast and clarity. While the ARNEO Coat regulates incident light from a vertical direction, the Nano Crystal Coat does it in a diagonal direction.
- The multi-focus technology uses two independent AF drive units that are synced together to give particularly quick and precise focusing throughout the zoom range. Stepping motors, which are used in this system, provide remarkably silent and smooth focusing performance that works well for both stills and video applications.
- An internal focusing design is employed, in which only the internal lens groups are altered while focusing, to retain the overall length of the lens throughout the operation and to encourage faster focusing speeds. Full-time manual focus override is another option.
- Dedicated manual focus ring at the rear of the lens for tactile and precise control over the focus position.
- Minimum focusing distance of 1.1', along with a maximum magnification of 0.39x, benefits working with close-up subjects.
Handling and Design
- Programmable Control Ring can be used to control aperture, ISO, or exposure compensation.
- Assignable L.Fn button works in conjunction with camera-based Fn buttons to provide seamless points for quickly changing exposure settings and other functions.
- Dust- and moisture-resistant lens barrel, along with a front fluorine coating, benefits the lens' use in inclement conditions.