In this article, I share an in-depth comparison of Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II.
Note that the Z7 II is the latest version of the Z7 line, so – as you’d expect – it is better than its predecessor, the Z7, at least in many ways. The real question isn’t whether the Z7 II is the superior camera, but whether it’s worth the extra cost (and for those who already own the Z7, whether it’s worth the upgrade).
So if you’re struggling to decide between these two cameras, or are hesitant about upgrading, keep reading!
Nikon Z7: Overview
The Nikon Z7 is a mirrorless camera with a 45 MP full-frame sensor. It was launched in August 2018 as Nikon’s first Z-mount model.
The Z7 was designed to bridge the company’s long tradition with the promising future of new mirrorless technology. Although the Z7 was a well-received camera, it has some flaws, as is the case with first-generation devices.
The original MSRP was $3400, but at the time of writing you can buy the Z7 for around $2500.
Nikon Z7 II: Overview
The Nikon Z7 II launched in October 2020, more than two years after the Z7 was released. As the successor of the Z7, it inherited most of the qualities of the Z7, including an exceptional 45 MP sensor.
The Z7 II has one notable improvement though: the addition of a Dual EXPEED 6 processor. the Z7 II’s continuous view, as well as its AF performance, especially its eye detection and tracking.
The Z7 II also includes two memory card slots, unlike the Z7. The original MSRP was $3,000 (less than the Z7’s MSRP), but it currently sells for around $2,900.
1. Nikon Z7 vs. Z7 II: Ergonomics
The Nikon Z7 and Z7 II look very similar; both cameras sport weather-sealed housings and lack built-in flashes. But the dimensions differ and a few more changes to the Z7 II are worth discussing.
The Z7 weighs 1.49 lbs (675g) with battery and card, and it measures 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7 inches (134 x 101 x 68 mm). The Z7 II weighs a little more than its predecessor, at 1.55 lbs (705 g), and it’s (imperceptibly) larger, at 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 inches (134 x 101 x 70 mm ).
Neither camera is lightweight and compact, at least not compared to smaller full-frame mirrorless cameras and especially APS-C mirrorless cameras. But old DSLR owners will appreciate the lower volume, and the Z7 and Z7 II do both offer a good compromise between robustness and portability.
Both cameras feature an electronic viewfinder with 3.6 million dot resolution and 0.8x magnification, so you can expect a great shooting experience with a true-to-life display. The Nikon Z7 II, however, has shorter burst times in burst mode, which can be useful for tracking fast-moving subjects.
One of the main criticisms of the Nikon Z7 is the lack of a second memory card slot (it only supports one CFexpress or XQD card). But the Z7 II adds a second slot, an SD UHS-II option to complete the CFexpress option. While most beginners don’t really need two slots, pros will appreciate the ability to create an automatic backup of files while shooting.
The Z7 and Z7 II have respectable 3.2-inch articulating touchscreens with 2.1 million dot resolution. However, the Z7 II has a clutter-free option when using Live View, which can be assigned to a custom button. And the Z7 II is programmed to keep the EVF dark when the screen is tilted up, which will help save battery life when shooting via LCD.
2. Nikon Z7 vs. Z7 II: image quality
The Z7 and Z7 II use identical sensors, a 45.7-megapixel back-illuminated full-frame model capable of exceptional detail, color rendition and dynamic range.
You can use either camera for professional commercial photography, macro photography, and especially landscape photography, where the Z7 and Z7 II’s impressive high megapixel capacities allow for huge, detailed prints, and the performance High ISOs of both cameras come in handy for low – light shoots.
Note that neither the Nikon Z7 nor the Nikon Z7 II use a low-pass filter – so you can expect extra detail but more prevalent moiré – and they both include built-in 5-axis image stabilization , which will help you capture sharp images when shooting in low light.
Bottom line: you’ll get the same incredible image quality with both cameras. Whether you want to do portrait, landscape, still life or product photography, you won’t notice any real difference between the models.
3. Nikon Z7 vs. Z7 II: Autofocus
Both the Z7 and Z7 II feature the same hybrid AF system with 493 focus points, but the Z7 II far exceeds the performance of its predecessor.
The most significant improvement is in the eye/face detection feature. In the original Z7, human and animal eye/face detection was not available when using wide-area AF modes; the Z7 II not only has this feature with wide-area AF, but also allows you to target a specific part of the frame.
Also face/eye detection is available when shooting video on the Z7 II which was not an option on the Z7 and is a big help when recording sports footage or animals.
The Nikon Z7 II also offers superior focusing in low light. The Nikon Z7 operates from -2 to +19 EV (-4 to +19 EV with low-light AF enabled), while the Z7 II operates from -3 to +19 EV (-4 to +19 EV with low-light AF on). light on). In other words, the Z7 II will continue to focus in darker scenarios, even if the Z7 starts to struggle.
Ultimately, the Z7 and Z7 II have solid AF systems, but if you’re serious about creating action and/or low-light photos or video, the Z7 II is the better buy.
4. Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II: continuous shooting
Earlier in this article, I mentioned that the Z7 II adds a dual EXPEED 6 image processor; this primarily affects the camera’s continuous shooting capabilities.
While the Nikon Z7 can shoot up to 9 fps 12-bit and 8 fps 14-bit, the Z7 II gets an upgrade: 10 fps 12-bit and 9 fps 14-bit . While none of these numbers can rival a professional sports camera, the extra frame per second is an improvement worth considering, especially if you plan to do frequent wildlife or sports.
But the biggest improvement comes from camera buffering:
When shooting lossless 12-bit RAW files, the Z7 II allows for an impressive 77 shots, compared to just 23 shots on the Z7. You can capture sustained bursts without the camera locking up, which is essential for serious action photography.
5. Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II: video quality
Videographers will appreciate a major upgrade to the Z7 II: while both cameras shoot 4K UHD video, the new camera’s maximum frame rate is 60p, compared to 30p on the Nikon Z7.
However, the Z7 II does level out a small crop (1.08x) when shooting 4K/60p video. It’s not very noticeable – for example a 50mm lens will provide a field of view equivalent to 54mm – but you may struggle to capture wide-angle footage, so if you’re a fan of the ultra-wide look , keep that in mind.
Of course, you don’t have to work at 60 frames per second; for many functions, 30fps is fine, and the Z7 and Z7 II offer uncropped 4K/30p video.
6. Nikon Z7 vs. Z7 II: Battery life
The Nikon Z7 II has benefited from a considerable increase in battery life when shooting: you now get 105 minutes of recording time, compared to 85 minutes on the Z7.
The Z7 II has also increased battery life for photographers, although it’s not as significant. The Z7 can shoot 330 frames on a full charge, while the Z7 II lasts 360 shots. (Note that these official numbers are often very pessimistic, and you can expect much higher usage from a single battery.)
The battery grip offered by the Z7 II is also different. The new MB-N11 offers basic controls, contains two batteries and allows USB charging. The MB-N10 packs two batteries, but it doesn’t have controls and doesn’t support USB power, so it won’t give you the same level of flexibility when shooting.
7. Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II: additional features
The Z7 and Z7 II are identical in many other ways. Both cameras offer Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, both have intervalometer and allow time-lapse movies, and both have a flash sync speed of 1/200s.
However, the Nikon Z7 II lets you select shutter speeds from 1/8000s to 900s, compared to 1/8000s to 30s on the Z7. Note that you can still capture long exposures on the Z7, but you’ll have to use the less convenient Bulb mode. For serious long exposure shooters, the Z7 II is therefore the best choice.
Finally, the Nikon Z7 II allows firmware updates via Nikon’s SnapBridge app.
Nikon Z7 vs Nikon Z7 II: which camera to buy?
As you can see, the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z7 II are more alike than different – but the few improvements made to the Z7 II are important, if only for certain types of photographers.
If you do a lot of action photography, including sports, wildlife and bird photography, you can definitely benefit from the Z7 II upgrades. The increased continuous shooting speeds and additional buffer capacity, plus dual memory card slots, are worth the extra investment.
And videographers who prefer to work in 4K/60p might also consider the Z7 II over the Z7. (And the extra battery life is a helpful bonus.)
Finally, if you’re primarily concerned with image quality for still life, product or landscape photography, then the Nikon Z7 will do the trick; I recommend you buy the old model and save some money.
Which camera are you planning to buy, the Z7 or the Z7 II? Which do you prefer? Share your opinion in the comments below!