Sony has dominated the professional full-frame mirrorless camera market for a few years now, with Nikon and Canon seemingly way behind, and to some observers (such as me) dispassionate about the mirrorless market. That changed with today's long-rumored, but now formal announcement of Nikon's Z-series Z6 and Z7 full frame, FX-format mirrorless cameras. (Click the links for specs.) They are also rolling out a new Nikkor Z-series line of lenses. There is the FTZ adapter for those who have F-mount glass, but obviously there will be limits to how well the adapter will work for older lenses.
The flagship, Z7 ($3,395) boasts a high-megapixel, full-frame sensor coming in at 45.7 MP, nearly 500 auto focus points, max ISO of 25600, 9 fps shooting, UHD4K recording with N-LOG, 10-bit recording. The Z6 ($1,995) features a more modest megapixel count at 24.5 MP, but it does feature another stop of ISO at 51,200, up to 12 fps shooting, as well as the video features of the Z7. Both cameras record to XQD cards.
As for lenses, the new Z-series lenses available at launch will be:
- Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens $996.95
- Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens $846.95
- Z 50mm f/1.8 S Lens $596.95
- Mount Adapter FTZ $249.95
Prices by B&H.
These are certainly exciting times for Nikon users, and the professional photography community as a whole. Sony has really set the full-frame mirrorless standard with their A7 series, but seeing Nikon take the plunge head-on is exciting. Competition in this market has been pretty much non-existent, however, Nikon is making it clear that their vision for a full-frame mirrorless future is solid. That vision is all over their glossy (but mostly uninformative) sneak-peek videos. Of course, we will have to wait and see later this fall what the general word is regarding their IQ, real-world feel, etc. but the future of photography is certainly taking a big step forward with this announcement from Nikon.
As a full-in Canon shooter, I wonder what is next for us ...? The rumors are certainly out there that Canon has their entries getting ready in the wings, but the pressure truly is on for them to make a strong statement with whatever they unveil.
For me, I really want to take advantage of the drop in weight. When I shoot gymnastics I am holding over 100 ounces (6.7 lbs!) of camera and lens. I like to handhold for gymnastics as I feel that I can work faster than when on a monopod. However, the strain of that over the course of a day or two of shooting can be brutal. By comparison, the new Nikon Z7 (granted with a kit lens, and not a 2.8 70-200) comes in at 40 or so ounces, body, lens and battery! - that's 2.5 lbs compared to almost 7 pounds! The difference in weight is huge. Of course, the 1DC I shoot with can shoot 14 fps and has a deeper ISO, but there are certainly features I would be willing to trade-off to have a significant reduction in weight.
Only time will tell for Canon, but good for Nikon for taking a firm step into the future of mirrorless.