I think the Nikon Z 7 has failed before it’s been released. A while ago, I wrote a page about the Sony mirrorless system, the article primarily focused on defending Sony against people who blindly hate the company. I didn’t write it to engage in internet drama, but I know there’s a lot of people who read the internet, listen to the negative comments and get put off from buying a product. I am not a Sony “fanboy” as they get called. I have no loyalty to a particular brand. I’ve spent my money, they already have enough from me.
Please note that these are my thoughts so far. It hasn’t been released yet so I can’t know for certain if my opinions are based on accurate information. I can only go by what I’ve seen in pre-release videos and whatnot.
The Nikon Z 7 is quite a failure
I’m not a great photographer but I understand a lot about technology, and on a technical level, the Nikon Z 7 is a bit of a failure. Despite owning a Sony camera and being invested in the system, I still wanted it to succeed. Why? Competition is always good. It helps companies innovate and also decrease their costs.
One Card Slot
My Sony a7rII has one card slot. It received a lot of negative points in reviews for this. I doubt the Nikon Z 7 is going to get hammered in the same way for it, but I think Nikon should be criticised more. Why? When Sony made their cameras, there was nothing really like it to compare to. Nikon have seen the failures Sony made (of which there’s quite a few e.g. RAW file problems, etc.) and should have learned. Additionally, the Sony a7rIII is in a similar prize bracket to the Nikon Z 7 and it’s going to get compared to it. People making a purchasing decision, people who were perhaps on the fence between Sony and Nikon, might just think hmm “this has more features”.
It’s not a particularly well used card type at that–XQD.
Lack of lenses
Again, I got into a few discussions with this. People said there’d be a hybrid Nikon camera others argued “There’s also a very easy way for Nikon to provide an EVF without changing the viewfinder at all.” The reason this is illogical is because of the way DSLRs are designed. They have a secondary autofocus sensor, separate to the image sensor. When the mirror is up, light doesn’t hit this secondary autofocus sensor; therefore, it’s as good as inactive. If you design a hybrid camera, you have to think about ways in which the light can hit the sensor. Sony tried it with a translucent mirror, but in my opinion it was a failure. Additionally, if you start adding mirrorless into a DSLR body, the camera has to have a sensor far back into the body. You also need to have servos with specific servo designs and it’s all a bit of a mess.
I’m keeping this a bit bland because I’ve already discussed it at the link above and this isn’t the issue here. Nikon did right to pick a new mount for their mirrorless cameras. It allows them to design different lenses compared to a DSLR lens (lens element groups don’t have to be added to extend the back focal length unnecessarily for the non-existent mirror).
They’ve failed in terms of their lens line up. They must have known what the sensor to lens mount distance would be, ages ago. They didn’t have to wait for their camera to be manufactured. They could design lenses in the lab with a sensor mounted to a board, pretty much. I’m being a bit facetious but what they have here is similar to what Sony came out with, with the Sony a7. You may think I’m holding them to a different standard to Sony, and I am. Sony didn’t have competition in the mirrorless market. Nikon has it, they had to do better.
The focus system
It’s like the liveview in their DSLR. Lacklustre, not nearly as good as the Sony. I’m sorry I keep quoting Sony, but aside from Leica, there’s not really any full-frame cameras to speak of in the mirrorless market.
The PASM dial
I like where they’re going with the OLED screen. I would like one on my Sony a7rII and I’d certainly like to see one on the Sony a7rIIII. My issue is that the PASM dial is ridiculous. If you’ve got an OLED screen, there’s no reason you can’t make your dials do more than one thing. For example, you move your dial and it selects from “M” to “A”, and this is shown on the screen. Then imagine you press a button, and now the screen shows ISO instead and when you move the dial, it changes the ISO.
Having a marked PASM dial, with a lock nonetheless, limits it somewhat. Perhaps the lock acts more like a switch, where you press it the once and it locks, press it again and it unlocks. Perhaps the PASM dial can be configured to control different things. I guess we’ll see :).
Up to 9 fps shooting
It’s a minor point, and I don’t need anything that shoots this fast. I doubt the average person does either, but if the competition is offering 10FPS and 20FPS options, Nikon probably should too.
The lens mount is ridiculous
People argued the Sony lens mount is too small for a full-frame sensor. When you look at where the light comes from and whatnot, this is complete nonsensense. The Nikon mount on the other hand, it’s gigantic. It seems unnecessarily large, unless the sensor is moving ten meters left and right because of image stabilisation? On the full frame camera, I admit it’s not quite as terrible. What about if they use the same mount for a potential crop camera though? That’s going to be ridiculous.
It’s as if they thought, “hmm, Sony received a lot of criticism from people with absolutely no knowledge regarding physics, optics or lens design. Let’s go against what we know and just make the biggest lens mount possible!”
They’ve succeeded in a lot of areas
The screen on the back looks well designed. The cameras ergonomics look good, as does the menu systems, the OLED, the button layout, the sensor performance, etc.