The new Nikon Z7 - And A Shameful Admission...

on December 12, 2018
Look carefully at the heading image. It contains a hidden secret that Nikon will tell you all about. If you think to ask them... Here's another clue: That's a slot for the memory card - cleverly backed onto a rather good thumb rest. It opens easily and shuts securely...and if you are not careful, that's all it does. I was not careful this week and I have an embarrassing admission to make: I did not have a memory card for the test camera. That's an empty slot and a door of disappointment... You see, I failed to realise that Nikon have changed away from the SD-series of cards into a new memory format; the XQD. They are advertised to be enormously faster than the SD types and Nikon have decided to include one slot for them in these new cameras. The dimensions of the card are greater, the connections more complex. The price is probably higher, too, in keeping with the faster data handling. For those of us with a water bucket full of SD cards, it's bad news. For the people who are worried about data backup, and who shoot twin-slot cameras in a duplicate mode, it can also be a major concern. Anyone who feels this to be of absolute importance will need to keep this in mind while looking at the new Nikon system. To be fair, most of my cameras are one-card affairs, and I only switch the two-card Fujifilm X-T2 into a parallel recording mode on special occasions...but it is nice to have the insurance of that second card. It was not all misery and gloom in the studio - there is always some little " demo-only " memory in Nikon cameras and you get to take up to three little shots before it wipes one out to overlay it. I was able to shoot and peer at the results on the LCD - just not bring it home. On the bright side, Nikon have remembered to put two function buttons right down at the right side of the lens - where we old guys expect to find them. I only wanted one, but I wanted it badly - I programmed one to act as a stop-down button for checking depth of field on studio shots. The EVF and LCD can be presented with either the exact exposure as visualisation or one with boosted brightness - the latter is a real blessing when you want to see what you're going to get. And great big red Little Studio bouquet to Nikon for making the focus-checking on manual focus so easy. There's a red-boost circuit that outlines the plane of focus in bright red - much better than any other camera I've seen. This means that the use of oddball lenses in oddball circumstances will be a lot easier. I kept it in continuous operation while experimenting with old Nikon lenses.