Teardown of Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Shows 'Immaculate and Thoughtful Design'

Teardown of Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Shows 'Immaculate and Thoughtful Design'

What happens when you take the new Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera apart piece by piece and inspect its construction? The experts make some mightily impressive claims.

There have been some unprecedented moves in the camera world in the last few months that have seen some extremely rigorous and often heated debates flare up across the industry. Everyone has an opinion on what the future holds for mirrorless systems, but a lot of the arguments and reviews to date have centered around such things as performance and image quality. But what about actual build construction and engineering design?

Roger Cicala, the founder of Lens Rentals, revels in taking cameras apart, gutting them screw by screw, plate by plate, board by board, and wire by wire, then commenting on their construction and how well they've been put together purely from a build perspective. To be sure, he makes absolutely no comment about their performance or image quality, it's all about the construction. 

And in his latest teardown of the Nikon Z7, the results are very, very impressive. So much so that he says about the Nikon Z7:

This is as robustly weather sealed a camera as we've ever disassembled.

Interestingly, he took the new Canon EOS R apart recently too and is very clear that the Nikon Z7 is far more robust and better built than the Canon. Last week, I wrote an article that looked at some potential construction issues with the Canon EOS R. However, at their respective prices, Cicala is well aware and forthright that it's not a like-for-like comparison between the EOS R and the Z7.

Regardless, if you're thinking about buying the new Nikon Z7, you can be sure that it's a beautifully designed and very well constructed camera.

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Spy Black's picture

Ranting will begin in 3, 2,...

user-206386's picture

Raving too - takes a real camera company to build it right! Not some TV or printer company. Pfaugh.

Iain Stanley's picture

Can’t see why you’d rant - it gets 10 thumbs up (a mighty effort!) for its construction

Spy Black's picture

Because it won't be someone's favorite brand. ;-)

Iain Stanley's picture

This is true. As a Canon user I thought I was being incredibly fair and objective :)

revo nevo's picture

For me Z6 looks more interesting so I wonder are they built the same ?

Matt Williams's picture

All accounts suggest they are the same body, I suspect weather-sealing would be the same too.

revo nevo's picture

That would be great. 2000$ body with IBIS, 3.6mpix 0.80x EVF and good weather sealing

Matt Williams's picture

They definitely have the same IBIS, EVF, etc. I can't say for certain about weather sealing internally, but I don't know why it wouldn't be the same. Seems like making them different would be more expensive. I assume a major reason they used the same body for both models is because it's cheaper.

>> Interestingly, he took the new Canon EOS R apart recently too and is very clear that the Nikon Z7 is far more robust and better built than the Canon. <<

..Nope. Better yes, but "far more" is distortion. He actually said that the R was reasonably built for the price and that he wouldn't trust the weather sealing on EITHER and would stick to baggies and rubber bands...

Iain Stanley's picture

No, that's not what he said. If you read his teardown of the Canon EOS R he said that the Canon EOS R and the Sony a7rIII are pretty similar in their weather-sealing - neither is great. However, in his teardown of the Nikon Z7 he says, and I quote:

"This is not marketing department weather resistance. This is engineering department weather resistance. Anything that can be sealed has been sealed. I’m impressed, and I will say for future cut-and-paste blurbs: this is as robustly weather sealed a camera as we’ve ever disassembled."

"I don’t believe in weather resistance myself. I believe like life; water will find a way. I believe in plastic baggies and rubber bands. I am, however, a great believer in the idea that if you claim to do something, then damn well do it right. This is done right."

"I’m impressed by the very solid construction of the chassis and IBIS unit. I’m impressed with the neat, modern engineering of the electrical connections."

His teardown of the EOS R says it's decent enough but nothing particularly special. The Nikon Z7? Well you can read what I just quoted. So it's not "distortion" at all to say that he is far more impressed by the Z7's construction than the EOS R's. But like I said, it's not apples and apples coz of the price difference.

Yes: your quotes are accurate. Your summary was not.

Iain Stanley's picture

Which part? Have you actually read both teardowns? If so it's abundantly clear he thinks the construction of the Nikon Z7 is far better than both the Canon EOS R and the Sony a7rIII. He's talking about construction only, not image quality or performance but I can't really see how you'd interpret it any differently. The quotes I used above sum up his feelings on the Nikon Z7. If you really want me to I can give you quotes from the Canon EOS R teardown too...