Nikons message: “I AM back!”

Even more noticable than the announcement of the new Z lens 14-30/4 is Nikons move to add three important features to the Z cameras via a firmware update:

  • Eye-Autofocus
  • RAW video
  • Support for the new CFexpress cards (doubling the potential speed)

This sends a clear message to potential customers: Nikon is willing to improve the Z line fast. Gone are the days where Nikon was very sloooow to react to customers – at least I hope so.

Review Nikon Z7

I finally got my Nikon Z7 + Nikon S 35 /1.8 + Nikon S 24-70 / 4.0 and was able to test it for a few hours.

I took full risk in buying the camera and switching from DSLR (Nikon D850) to mirrorless. I sold my D850 a week before I got the Z7 because the earlier I sell it the more money I can realize. For me it is the right thing to do as I don’t need the speed of the D850 (fps wise) but I will benefit by the 90% AF coverage, the silent shooting (theater photography), WYSIWYG viewfinder.

My take on the Nikon Z7:

  • EVF (electronic viewfinder): excellent. For my kind of work the EVF is a 100% replacement of the OVF. My wife noticed a slight colour variation to the blue but I was able to correct this in the menue.
  • Camera body: the grip is much better than expected, the cam definitely has a “Nikon feeling”. I have no small hands and if the body was even smaller I would get a problem. What I miss? Dedicated buttons e.g. for AF, illumnated buttons (come on Nikon).
  • To be able to control exposure compensation via the ring on the objective is an excellent feature, this way I’m much faster than using the +/- button. Caveat: still not sure if I will use it in real conditions, it’s way to easy to accidentally change it by touching the objective. It would be better if the ring was a bit tighter.
  • Loudness: finally a silent camera, yeah! Not only the camera but also both objectives.
  • 90% AF coverage: finally!
  • AF speed in AF-S mode: for me on the level of the D850.
  • Face tracking: seems to work, but not 100% – e.g. I had a case where it detected a hand as a face. I will see if the hit rate is high enough that this will prove as a useful feature
  • EVF blackout: no problem for me but I don’t take pictures of racing cars.

Verdict: it will take few days to get used to the Z7 but for my kind of shootings it will be perfect. No showstoppers, it seems Nikon got it right a the first try (if you dont count the Nikon 1).

Lightroom CC/7 and how Adobe sees the world

Let’s see:

  • No updates for Lightroom 6 after 2017
  • “Lightroom CC” becomes “Lightroom CC Classic”, is available only via subscription (*cough* ransomware *cough*) and its future is uncertain
  • Adobe introducdes a new “Lightroom CC” that has flaws like subscription model, no printing (why on earth somebody should print a photo???), forces you to upload your pictures to Adobe (ever heard about photogs with slow internet?), problems with keywords, no map module, no tethering, no multiple catalogs, and so on…

I see sales for Capture One Pro skyrocketing. Or look for alternatives like RawTherapee, Darktable, ACDsee,…

My personal answer is: Adobe, rot in hell! I will stop buying Adobe software.

Just think about this: some time in the future Adobe will “concentrate on the cloud version” and stop developing the “Classic” one – simply to reduce development costs and to increase profits from storage options. Simply say no to someone who helds hostage years of your work.

Nikon D850 first DSLR to hit 100 points on DxOMark

Nikon obviously has delivered a hit: the D850 is the first DSLR camera to get 100 points on DxOMarks sensor test: https://www.dxomark.com/nikon-d850-sensor-review-first-dslr-hit-100-points/

Its predecessor D810 already had a very high 97 score. That the best-selling D850 now hits 100 points fits perfectly for Nikon’s hundredth anniversary year.

Nikon D850

Nikon today announced the D850, the successor for the D810.

  • 45.7 Megapixel BSI sensor without low pass filter
  • Three raw modes delivering 45.7 MP, 25.6 MP or 11.4 MP
  • Quite fast 7 fps with AF or 9 fps with the battery grip
  • The excellent 153 point autofocus system from the flagship camera D5 (99 cross-type sensors), providing 30% wider coverage than the D810
  • The largest optical viewfinder on any Nikon DSLR (0.75x)
  • ISO 64 to 25,600 (with boost 32 to 102,400)
  • 4k video at 24/30 fps, Full HD 1080p at up to 120 fps
  • 8k time lapse
  • Finally focus peaking (1080p-only) and zebra stripes, uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit 4K HDMI output and microphone/headphone inputs
  • Finally illuminated buttons like the D5
  • Redesigned shutter and mirror mechanism to better handle shutter shock
  • Tilting 3.2″ 2.36M dot touchscreen
  • Dual card slots (XQD and SD)
  • Snapbridge to connect to a mobile app (but it will transfer 46 MP file over bluetooth, probably not a good idea)
  • Weather sealed magnesium alloy body

Available in September for a MSRP of $3,299.95 or EUR 3.800

Seems like a very capable camera and probably offers the quality of the Fujifilm GFX 50S combined with the autofocus performance of the Nikon flagship D5.