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Railfan Technology > Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?


Date: 01/09/20 18:26
Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: walstib

I was wondering if anyone has first-hand experience using Nikon's Z6 or Z7 mirrorless cameras for train photography.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Z7 to supplement my other gear. Probably with a 24-70 f/2.8, z-mount lens to start. And this week Nikon announced a new 70-200 f/2.8 z-mount lens, which has rekindled my interest in the mirrorless models. (I'm not especially interested in the clunky adapter to use F-mount lenses on the Z bodies.)

While the Z6 and Z7 have gotten decent reviews, apparently the auto-focus system leaves something to be desired, especially in low-light situations. That's a likely deal killer for me.

So, I was wondering if any of you have actually used the Z6 or Z7, and what your experience has been.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/20 20:02 by walstib.



Date: 01/10/20 04:41
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: birdman

Thom Hogan is the pre-eminent expert on all things Nikon.  Suggest you go to his website and read what he has to say.  His web site is       bythom.com.



Date: 01/10/20 06:03
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: walstib

Thanks, I'll check it out.



Date: 01/10/20 11:02
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: overniteman

Check out https://photographylife.com

Nice factual Nikon site.



Date: 01/10/20 11:30
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: robj

Thinking about this myself.  However, going to a Z-6(I have a 750) seems more reasonable than to Z-7 in terms of most train photographers.  I use mostly quality primes and one zoom.
I don't have an interest in buying new lenses and certainly not maintaining some type of dual system of cameras and lenses..  Unfortunately still photographers are made to pay for largely video advances.

The 750 is such a great camera for this hobby I am not in a hurry to change.  There is new a D-780 which is getting a little bad press on price but probably will be the way I will go.
However, I will look for someone with a Z-6 to let me see the advantages first hand.

Bob

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/20 11:52 by robj.



Date: 01/10/20 16:29
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: TheNavigator

walstib Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So, I was wondering if any of you have actually
> used the Z6 or Z7, and what your experience has
> been.

I would be interested as well, especially with respect to EVF lag.  While not an issue with still subjects, I found the EVF lag on the Sony a99ii, for example, to render it unusable for burst shooting or quick focus/recompose.  Switched to Nikon and a D850 after that experience.
GK 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/20 16:34 by TheNavigator.



Date: 01/10/20 16:53
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: TCnR

Another vote for Electronic viewfiinder lag time, sometimes called Latency in Data situations. I would think there would be a point where the loading memory keeps the CPU busy enough to slow the viewfinder down. May be ok for Video but the question would be with stills, Mountains don't move very quickly but trains do. I try to look at the Wildlife phottogers or sports action for info about speed.

Mirrorless seems like a big deal but it looks like the cost of design and building is the main economy.



Date: 01/11/20 05:21
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: bobwilcox

Mirrorless cameras appear to be the next great thing.  Perhaps it would be best to wait for version 2.0.  In the meantime, I plan to think carefully about just what my needs are in a world where 99% of my images go out to the world on Trainorders, Flicker, National Geographic and Instagram.

Bob Wilcox
Charlottesville, VA
My Flickr Shots



Date: 01/13/20 05:56
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: Arved

If you're not going to keep the "ecosystem" of your current system (Nikon), then why limit yourself to Nikon's mirrorless offerings?

There are quite a few "street photographers" using mirrorless cameras. The genre demands capturing the "critical moment" of moving subjects (people on the street).

SLRs have shutter lag as well, as they have to retract the mirror before the shutter can open to expose the sensor (or film in days gone by). Instantaneous shutter response only happens when you don't compose through the lens. i.e. rangefinder and TLR film cameras, and those fell out of favor with sports and nature photographers as SLRs matured (late '50s to mid- '70s - who didn't own a Canon AE-1 or it's competitors?).

Lastly, why not rent for a weekend or two before you buy to assure the camera you want will meet your expectations? Weekend rental is cheaper than the depreciation of selling a camera you've found unsuitable.

Good luck!

Arved Grass
Fleming Island, FL
Arved Grass



Date: 01/14/20 11:30
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: robj

I think a lot depends on your use, what you have invested in lenses. I see going to Nikon mirrorless and using adapter as a bridge eventually leading to new lenses.  If I had a DX or an older FX with a couple kits zooms it would be an easier choice to move to mirrorless than with an an investment in good FX lenses.  I shoot a lot in low light underexposing so being able to see what the image looks like when shot would not be a positive, lots of mine only look like a few bright lights until I get into PS

Top street photography  is with compact cameras??.  One technique is to not even look thru viewfinder but to shoot from hip, so here size is primary concern, you dont want to be walking around look like a phtographer but remain as obscure as possible.  Big slr with a 2.8 zoom is maybe not the best for several reasons in a city.  Seeing accurate DOF in mirrorless would be an advantage, not so much in our hobbly

The time lags between mirrorless and DLSR take place at different times but pretty certain the biggest time lag is user reaction and then focus. At night I always prefocus and then turn off focus with the little camera focus switch that Z-6 does not have so that is a negative. 

Built in Image Stabilization is a plus for primes if you have that but modern zooms have that built in.

So anyway, there seem to some tradeoffs, but with a D-750 I don't see a big rush, Z-6 or 780 only seem marginally better.

Bob



Date: 01/17/20 11:50
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: walstib

Thanks for all the comments.

I decided to go for it, so I bought a Z7 with the 24-70 f/2.8 at Samy's in Los Angeles the other day. (Much to my chagrin, Samy's closed its Santa Barbara store lasrt year.)

So far, I like it. It takes some getting used to, most notably having to warm-up the camera before being able to see anything through the viewfinder. 

I really like the size, and I expect I will use this in situations where I don't want to lug the DSLR. But, time will tell.

In the meantime, here's one of the first shots out of the Z7 — a duck boat crosses Montecito Street while the Coast Star;light dwells in Santa Barbara.

 




Date: 01/20/20 16:25
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: TheNavigator

A couple of posters have addressed "shutter lag."  To be clear, that's different from EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) lag.  Shutter lag is, as was stated, virtually non-existent for OVF and EVF cameras.  EVF lag exists only for cameras with an electronic viewfinder.  It is the time consumed by digitizing the image for display in the viewfinder.  In my experience, it showed up when burst shooting action, using focus/recompose.
GK 



Date: 02/05/20 14:29
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: tramfan

While not a Nikon user, I made the move late last year to mirror-less cameras and traded in all of my DSLR bodies and lenses. I have had problems with Nikon and Canon support in the past so have been using Sony DSLR cameras since 2007. I have owned the original Alpha A100, A57, A65, and A77 II. What moved me was a 3-week trip to Europe. I had purchased a used A6000 to compare and  to bring along with the A65 and A77 II. The weight of the bodies and lenses for the DSLR over the three weeks made me question portability. So for this year's month long trip, I bought my wife an A6400 and an A6500 for myself.  Along with the three bodies, I was able to carry two more additional lenses than before - plus be able  to interchange with all three bodies. The only downside with Sony's A6XXX cameras are their appetite for batteries. I had three for each but found that I could have made do with the three for the bodies plus two extras. I was able to re-charge them at the end of each day. Between my wife and I we shot over 10,000 images between the two of us over 30 days. Thank goodness for digital as opposed to rolls of film!



Date: 02/05/20 16:37
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: woytekd

I use a Nikon Z7 and have had no problems with focus, though I normally use manual focus. I gave my Nikon D810 to my son with a few lenses. These shots were with the Z7 using a 24-70mm f4 lens.








Date: 03/10/20 07:31
Re: Nikon's Mirrorless Cameras — Anybody Using Them?
Author: ddavies

I use a D850 with a 70-200 mm f2.8 and a Z7 with a 300mm f4.0.  The 300 works well with the Z7, since it has no mount, but I use the Z7 conversion to mount a mono pod.  My news page has images taken with both the D850 and Z7.  http://members.trainorders.com/ddavies/News/news.htm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/20 07:32 by ddavies.



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