Initial Reviews for Nikon Mirrorless Are Not Good

When Nikon first started with their teasers, there was a lot of excitement. Many people were intrigued about the larger lens mount and the potential for super-wide-aperture lenses. The excitement now seems to be fading and the reality of Nikon's mirrorless system is starting to set in.   

It wasn't very long ago that Nikon and Canon shooters were mockingly pointing at Sony cameras: terrible battery life, the single card slot, and an ineffective focus system. It would seem like Nikon has inherited these flaws. In their latest video, Tony and Chelsea Northrup describe their first impressions using the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. Although the cameras they tested were pre-production models, the initial impressions are not great. Nikon really needed a home run with this camera, and so far, we're not seeing that. The Z6 and Z7 were supposed to be mirrorless versions of the Nikon D850 and the D750; instead, they seem like the less professional, more expensive option. The issue I'm seeing is that I can't seem to think of any reason why someone would want to buy the Z7 over the D850 and adapt F-mount lenses. Sure, you can shoot with native, but the price point makes things relatively difficult. In any case, the advice from Tony and Chelsea is that you may want to wait a little before ordering yours. 

Check out the full video to see how these cameras perform. 

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174 Comments

It's always a good idea to wait for real-world reviews before buying a new product and that goes doubly for the first in a new line. Having said that, couldn't you find a review by someone else? Really? Nobody else? :-(
Disclaimer: I didn't watch the video for obvious reasons.

Usman Dawood's picture

Why not Tony and Chelsea?

He makes things up. Things that can be easily checked. He has no credibility.

Usman Dawood's picture

Do you have an example of this?

Let's start with a simple one, his Ansel Adams video. And you do not even need to go past the 2 minute mark.

What did he make up? You mention not needing to even go past the two minute mark and everything seemed pretty accurate compared to what I've seen and read about him. Here's just one source that squarly confirms what Tony said.
http://anseladams.com/ansel-adams-bio/

Their info was taken from a biography published by Oxford University Press, it doesn't really get better than that.

Really, explain how Ansel Adams who was born in 1902 got to see the Golden Gate Bridge when he was growing up? (I will save you some time, the bridge did not start construction till 1932 and finished in 1937.) He is loose and careless with his facts. He may have used the Oxford University Press as his guide, but he got the facts wrong, and he does that a lot.

In the video on the Z7, he transposed the price of the 35mm and 50mm lenses.

Accuracy does not seem to be one of his hallmarks. How can you trust his reviews if he is inaccurate?

user-201621's picture

Here is a example of this and this is why I don't trust their reviews, a few of us called them out on this but they never responded, just pause it at 1:37 and look at the camera settings, they claim that the Canon at 200mm is closer than the Sigma at 300mm but the Sigma is clearly set to 240mm. Also Chelsea looks like she took her photo a bit closer and the sensor plane really doesn't look equal.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HZ2pvfmT_s

William Faucher's picture

I have to agree to an extent, while they are usually pretty accurate, there has been quite a number of times where I had a WTF moment from some nonsense. One such time was when they were comparing high ISO results between Sony Canon and Nikon sensors. Compared Sony's native 25000 ISO against the Nikon D800's max native high ISO of 6400 or something, and bumped up the D800 to Hi 3 or whatever it is, which is just a boosted signal and cant be compared rationally. It was just such a poor and unfair comparison that I just immediately lost my trust in the Northrups overall.

dale clark's picture

I've never heard anything inaccurate from Tony and Chelsea. Of course they may have opinions about a product that many may not like or agree with...however...their reviews of products I have purchased have been spot on.

You'll always disagree with another photographer about subjective topics but, well... what Felix C wrote!

Their work is usually well researched and very well explained. You are doing the Trump thing. You exchange things you don't like by alternate facts.

Oh! That's what I'm doing. Good to know. I thought I based my opinion of them on the actual things I've seen them say and do but now I know better. Thanks! :-/

I think Tony and Chelsea have done a decent job of delivering content, even with their own personal biases. It is truly hard to be impartial when as a photographer, you have your own uses of camera equipment... your own pet peeves, etc. I watched their video on the Nikon Mirrorless system and found it interesting like so many other videos. The fact that they plan on taking more time to review the camera before issuing their own final opinions is commendable. The reality is... not everybody will agree with their opinions. Thats fine.

I didn't comment on this particular review because I didn't watch it. They may have done a really good job. I just don't care for their videos, in general, for various reasons. I'm sure they're very nice people; being photographers, they'd pretty much have to be! :-) I have tunnel vision and often forget someone, other than my intended audience will read my opinions. I didn't give examples of why I don't like their videos as everyone should make those kinds of decisions for themselves. I really didn't intend for anyone to reply or thumbs up or thumbs down my comment. I just wish Fstoppers wouldn't show so many of their (Northrups) videos, especially regarding topics for which I would like to see what someone else thinks.

Leigh Miller's picture

Seriously... it's far too early for anyone to be doing a "review" of these new cameras. Unless I'm mistaken these are pre-release units with unfinalised firmware.

Indeed, these cameras are not even available until November. As a product developer I can tell you that the firmware is being polished up and finished up until the hardware is ready for release and shippable to customers. And these were prototypes with beta firmware.

So all of this talk about autofocus should be taken with a big grain of salt. Let's see a real released camera with real released firmware.

Nikon stated the Z7 is released in September and the Z6 in November. While there certainly could be some last minute tweaks, with less then a month before release I wouldn't expect major improvements.

dale clark's picture

Nikon (or any manufacturer with new products) is not smart enough to know what their product lacks? Why would they even release such to a reviewer knowing the initial reviews are what is going to drive or kill the product for many? It's one thing to release a product to reviewers and say "we will be offering more aspect ratio options on final release". That is not the case here. I'd say 99% of what you see is what you are going to get. In fact, with just a few weeks away, there is probably inventory already built up in warehouses.

With all that said, Nikon was developing this a couple years ago when Sony's prior-2 card slot versions hit the market. Once development gets to a certain point (I know this after 20 years in the auto industry), it's too late to go back unless you are willing to wait additional months. Drawings, manufacturing molds and tooling, purchasing deals with suppliers (Many suppliers have to make manufacturing molds and production tooling as well-plus source their suppliers)...engineering, testing...you name it.....takes more than a few days. I say the development of the next generation of the camera is 25% complete in the planning stages.

Simon Patterson's picture

It's the perfect time for a review! What else does Nikon provide pre-release models for, if not for reviewers to tell the world what it's like?

Usman Dawood's picture

They're on pre-order, Nikon want people to buy their cameras and these are the reviews and demo units to try and persuade people. The review isn't too early, Nikon is late.

'Nikon is never late, nor are they early, they deliver precisely when they mean to!' with apologies to Gandalf. :-)

I agree they messed up by bringing out pre-production models that weren't ready for primetime.

Leigh Miller's picture

Right and wrong all at the same time...like most of your other articles.

Of course Nikon wants to pad the pre-orders. Why else give access to unfinished products to "reviewers". The pre-orders are about hype.

The point is, you claim to know something about cameras and so do some of those reviewers. A "review" at this stage is out of order and not to even be considered credible or news worthy.

Usman Dawood's picture

I do claim to know "something" about these cameras because Nikon has revealed that information. I have made no claims about what this camera can do that hasn't been revealed by Nikon.

If you want to pad the preorders using unfinished products then expect some negative comments. They invited the press so what do you want people to do just not have an opinion when they've literally been called for that purpose. Also, the card slot isn't unfinished, battery life isn't unfinished. I make comments on that so, stop talking nonsense.

Leigh Miller's picture

In my experience, the people who claim to "know" something usually don't.

Read into that anyway you like.

Your article in no way adds or subtracts from that Northrup video. Frankly it's a replay of a number of articles I've seen in my inbox and RSS feed. Be original. Everyone else is taken bro.

Usman Dawood's picture

Are you asking for alternative facts lol?

Once again I only know what Nikon has revealed that's all I claim to know personally. I make no other claim you're just trying to find something that doesn't exist as a way to discredit me.

Leigh Miller's picture

The "Trump" thing....really?

Lame bro...real lame. All you did was repost a video, one I might add that mirrors that of a handful of others. You added nothing to the conversation. Work for Tony and Chelsea instead of FS maybe?

And you only discredit yourself by writing this non-article. Makes me wonder if you are phoning it in from a beach somewhere.

Usman Dawood's picture

This a post about the video. At Fstoppers we try not take other peoples content and do a full and complete write up thus preventing the need to watch the video. Content creators work hard and they deserve the views, we will not undermine their efforts.

Also, I just did a full and detailed review of the Fuji Instax camera.

https://fstoppers.com/film/fstoppers-reviews-fujifilm-instax-square-sq6-...

Also about the alternative facts thing, you want me to be original with facts lol. Come on man.

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