Why This Photographer Does Not Recommend the New Nikon Mirrorless to Professional Photographers

The new Nikon mirrorless cameras have been announced and with that comes all the opinions on who these cameras are for. Should professionals use these cameras?

In this video, Tony Northrup goes through the pros and cons of the newly announced Nikon mirrorless system. He is by far one of the best and non-biased on YouTube for comparing cameras. He compares the Z6 and Z7 to the original DSLR Nikon cameras, the D750 and D850, and the Sony a7R III and a7 III cameras

 The pros of the new Nikon cameras will hopefully push Sony to improve on their system too. A mirrorless camera with the weather sealing of a D850 is a huge improvement to many landscape photographers. Let us hope Sony will do something about this in the future.

Nevertheless, as we say in Denmark, “The trees does not grow into the heavens.” Spec-wise the Nikon and Sony mirrorless cameras look very alike with only minor differences. The Z6 and Z7 are supposed to compete directly with the a7R III and a7 III. This is a bit of a disappointment to those who wanted something new.

Northrup even goes as far as to not recommending the Nikon mirrorless to professionals. As he stresses though, it is of course always up to the individual photographer to make the final judgment. Check out the comparison and preview video of the Z6 and Z7 above to hear why.

What are your thoughts on the pros and cons of the Nikon mirrorless system?

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162 Comments

Gerald williams's picture

I guess you dont want to give it away before folks watch the video. But Tony can't recommend these Z6 and Z7 cameras to pros because they both have a single memory card slot. That is a no-no for pros who can't afford a memory card failure to cause them to lose irreplaceable images, like from a wedding. It is just too risky, and card failures do happen. They have happened to Tony, to me and countless other pros. In my case and Tony's case we had redundancy with the second cards in our cameras, which saved our images, and our reputations with our clients. This is huge mistake and miscalculation by Nikon as they are pushing these cameras as professional quality. They will lose some potential buyers who like everything else about the cameras ,but just cant take a chance on them for paid work. Maybe Nikon wants one good reason for people to still buy the dual-card slot D850, as otherwise the Z7's mirrorless features and better video autofocus make the D850 now a much less relevant choice. Jared Polin also ranted about Nikon bringing these cameras out with a single card slot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaTBY_dw0Ak&t=916s

Deleted Account's picture

Or for a landscape photographer. You spent 2 years planning and saving for that trip to Africa, and...

Deleted Account's picture

If I spent 2 years planning and saving for a trip to Africa, I'd buy new memory cards. :-/ And in my case, put two of them in my camera, setting the second slot to backup! ;-)

Motti Bembaron's picture

Sam, the new Nikon has only ONE CARD SLOT, no second backup. When a card fails there is a good chance you will not recover the images from it. It does not matter how many cards you have, you can only use one in the camera.

So, you planed and saved for months, go for the trip and half way through your card fails. All the images you took are gone. You should backup every day but you potentially will loose at least everything you shot since your last backup.

Having one card slot is a dumb and stupid move from Nikon. Not the first nor the last I am afraid.

Deleted Account's picture

I was kidding.

Deleted Account's picture

Without question, Sam. I run single card cameras and would buy a new camera for that.

Deleted Account's picture

I've had dual card cameras for as long as they've been available and set them to backup when important but, honestly, I've only ever had one card fail and wouldn't have lost any photos in that case, had there not been a backup. Have you ever lost any photos due to a failed card?

Deleted Account's picture

Never

john wheatley's picture

Not yet !!

Deleted Account's picture

Fair call.

Gerald williams's picture

Yes of course I have, and other pros have too including Tony Northrup and Jared Polin. it is just unacceptable and irresponsible when you are getting paid by a client, not to have redundancy to cover irreplaceable event coverage. Would you skydive without a backup parachute just because your main chute had never failed before. You can try and dismiss this, but Nikon has cost themselves some sales here as this is a deal-breaker for many.

Leon Kolenda's picture

Sorry that's a Stupid analogy! "Sky diving with out a back up parachute!" That's a life saving back-up. A Failed Memory card is Not!

Deleted Account's picture

If your livelihood depends on photography, not just a single shoot but your reputation, it can feel like a life saving backup.

Noe Solozano's picture

It is if its you career. If the thing that puts food on the table and a roof over your head is jeopardized because of it. Shot! ppl have killed themselves and their families when their career hits rock bottom. so yes for some it is life saving....

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Winner for the most over the top response to not having 2 card slots!

Jason Frels's picture

One day I missed work because the battery in my car failed. How did I move on with my life? Should I now have redundant batteries in my car?

The risk is you lose some picture on what, 1 job in 10,000? Is that career over? What if your camera over-heats and destroys your memory cards? What your sensor goes bad and you don't notice until you have missed 50 shots that much in the info is trash? What if you break that super important lens? What if you get physically ill?

Noe Solozano's picture

i drive a E500, it has 2 batteries. And you should shoot with 2 cameras, have prime and zoom lenses and a second shooter. BOOM!

Jason Frels's picture

I can understand the pro wanting to mitigate risk. The memory card is only one link in the data integrity chain though and the new ones are pretty darned reliable.
The camera has wifi and Bluetooth, I wonder if it can automatically back up to your computer over wifi while shooting.

Deleted Account's picture

You actually have a valid point but you do what you have to. Dual memory cards haven't always been available.
As a side note, I wouldn't reference Tony Northrup or Jared Polin, not that they aren't pros but too many people dismiss them as hacks.

Tim Cray's picture

I've got a simple solution for your one card slot issue, Gerald. Don't buy it. What you and other "so-called" professionals seem to forget is that consumers, NOT those "so-called" professionals make up the largest market in sales. Most people that make a living taking photos will use Nikon's
or Canon's professional DSLR's, not mirrorless.

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

Seriously, if you self-proclaimed "pro-photographer" are so conserned about redundance when photographing, do you have a minimum of 2 cameras, that you shot with, and of course you have a full rig with one onsite server where you live sync all your image files directly from you camera via wireless... and that server does of course sync to a server in your office/studio and to a cloud storage...
if not, you do not have any redundance when shoting, because your camera are the first single point of failure (after the person holding the camera).

michael andrew's picture

I have had 1 card fail, a new 64 gig 1000x CF 100$ card. It was an important shoot too, really screwed me.

Deleted Account's picture

Were you able to salvage their trust in you, if not the shoot?

Felix C's picture

If I went to Africa, I would not go there with one camera.

Motti Bembaron's picture

How a second camera will save your lost photos you took for the past two days on a camera with one card? :-(

Felix C's picture

First and foremost, cameras also fail. And, 1) I woulds take shots with both cameras, 2) I would back up every night. I shoot a lot of weddings where the video is only on one card so I also shoot with three cameras. I do not remove the card from the camera until after I download the videos through USB and have several backups. I do the same procedure for stills at weddings. Plus, it is on a XQD card which is a lot more robust than SD, CFast or CompactFlash cards. With CFast and CompactFlash, I never remove the cards because of the pins. With SD, they are fragile and bend and have fallen apart.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I agree that taking out and inserting cards do damage them, I have a couple of those (hoping to fix them one day?).

Still, I AM ON VACATION!! :-) I have a hard time carrying one camera now you want me to carry two? For an important safari trip I would definitely take a second body and lots of cards and batteries but regardless, none of it will save me when a card fails and I have few hundreds unrecoverable images on it.

We are talking about a camera that has one card slot, not how many cameras we should carry.

One card is a stupid move from Nikon!

Deleted Account's picture

I have to say that the A6xxx series is super compact and light. As a backup it works well.

Motti Bembaron's picture

If the the F lenses can work well with the Nikon mirrorless then the Z is now on my wish list.

Deleted Account's picture

I agree it's foolish but how much, depends on what their target market is. These cameras seem to be straddling two, admittedly overlapping, segments. Probably because they've only got the two cameras and are trying to reach the broadest segment possible.
If their choice was one XQD or two SD, for space considerations, I'd be hard pressed to make that choice. If they'd chosen two SD cards, how many people would complain about that? Keep in mind, the Z7 is moving a lot of data that would be bottlenecked by SD, especially in backup mode.

Leon Kolenda's picture

Felix, your anal dude, If I had to do that every time I took a paid job, I would quit Photography!

Steve Beck's picture

At this price point I’d think the target audience is a pro. Dual memory cards is a must for any pro. If not then your like that guy that tries to squeeze 20 more miles in when his gas light came on 30 miles ago.

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

You dont shoot for 2 days on one card, unless you are stupid or ignorant...

Motti Bembaron's picture

Gee, thanks for the kind words, fought with your wife lately :-). Go troll others please.

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

The truth is harsh...

simple as that...

Deleted Account's picture

I would also take a second body, but it doesn't help when you don't realise images are not being written to card.

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

The truth is harsh...

simple as that...

Felix C's picture

And you do realize that the Z6 and Z7 are not pro cameras? Nikon has very specific features on the body that distinguishes pro cameras from their consumer cameras.

Eric Salas's picture

But the A7riii and A7iii are being used by professionals daily and BOTH are cheaper than these.

So, why buy the Nikon?

Rob Davis's picture

Like who?

Eric Salas's picture

Michael Shainblum, Brian Smith, David Mclain, Jason Lanier, Gary Fong, Will Chao, Serge Ramelli...I could continue.

All those jumped in 2015.

Now go ahead and say, "those aren't professionals!"

But you also aren't a real photographer to me. You have no photos uploaded to a photography site you're a member of but you sure have a lot of comments so I know you know how to use a computer. The last guy I called out on this at least uploaded a stuffed animal photo in response.

Rob Davis's picture

I like my privacy and my photos would not make my words any more or less truthful, they would only influence your perception of the value of my words of which I care not.

Looking at most of those names I would say they're pros. Do you know why they switched? Are they sponsored brand ambassadors or aspiring brand ambassadors? What really is the motivation to proclaim your process as a craftsman/woman?

All I can go by is what I see used in the field whenever I see when I look at groups of working photographers. It's not A7's, nor is it Nikon D750's or Canon 6D's either, the other enthusiast cameras in the A7's price point.

Eric Salas's picture

That sounds like you don’t know how to think for yourself. For man of your age to depend on other’s opinions and then defend your opinion - based on one you didn’t even make yourself - is disappointing.

Ripping other professionals because you don’t like their hat or disagree with their attitude is childish as well but you’re old enough to know that.

Eric Salas's picture

I understand. I don’t follow him much anymore but I respect his work. The work is all I’m concerned about with who I allow to influence my future work or just simply admire.
Photos SOC are great but we all know the real “magic” is post processing today.

Even Nikon used Brandon W. To promote their new camera and he’s all post processing. His work is great but where he shines isnt SOC images. Good marketing move by Nikon on that part.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

To be honest most of the "pros" on you tube are shilling for themselves, their workshops, SM likes and hits, and getting sponsors. So take whatever they say with a giant grain of salt. There are a fewy who were shooting before they reached internet fame but most are 15% photography and 85% branding and self promo.

There are other levels of non celebrity pros who are doing work for clients, not content for themselves. They don't have time to blog everyday and make a 15 minute youtube every other day about lenscaps or why camera A is great, and start ever convo with "Hey guys..."

Eric Salas's picture

We all know that but most pros also know if you can’t market yourself and find multiple avenues to promote your work you’ll always struggle.
Can’t knock them for utilizing technology. They’re making money and making the photography world a better place regardless of what you think of their work.
More photographers is never a bad thing unless your work is getting passed up by the ones you bash.

J. W.'s picture

The standard for being a pro photographer is now having a net worth over 5 million dollars? Camera manufacturers best concentrate on P&S because there just aren't enough pros to sell to.

Deleted Account's picture

Everyone has to decide what compromises they're willing to make. For some, the lighter weight and/or benefits of mirrorless were more important than the advantages of DSLRs so they bought the Sonys. I wouldn't have a Sony if it were given to me but that's probably just me.

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