Nikon Z7 II Comparison Review
The Nikon Z7 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in October 2020 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 45.4 megapixel.
Is the Nikon Z7 II a good camera? The Z7 II has a Camera Elo of 3209. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The Z7 II ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the Z7 II also ranks among the top 10 percent.
|Nikon Z7 II|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Nikon Z mount lenses|
|45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 64 - 25 600 (32 - 102 400)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)|
|3.2 LCD, 2100k dots|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|420 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon Z7 II vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Z7 II alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Nikon Z7 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||420||Y||Oct 2020||2,999|
|Canon R5||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||738 g||320||Y||Jul 2020||3,899|
|Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499|
|Nikon Z5||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||470||Y||Jul 2020||1,399|
|Nikon Z6 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||410||Y||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999|
|Nikon Z7||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||330||Y||Aug 2018||3,399|
|Sony A7S III||127 mm||97 mm||81 mm||699 g||600||Y||Jul 2020||3,499|
|Sony A7R IV||129 mm||96 mm||78 mm||665 g||670||Y||Jul 2019||3,499|
|Sony A7R III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||650||Y||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Sony A99 II||143 mm||104 mm||76 mm||849 g||490||Y||Sep 2016||3,199|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon Z7 II was launched in the US market at a price of $2,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon Z7 II features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon Z7 II among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Nikon Z7 II||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon R5||Full Frame||44.8||8192||5464||8k/30p||25.3||14.6||3042||95|
|Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|Nikon Z5||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z6 II||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|Nikon Z7||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.3||14.6||2668||99|
|Sony A7S III||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/120p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony A7R IV||Full Frame||60.2||9504||6336||4K/30p||26.0||14.8||3344||99|
|Sony A7R III||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||26.0||14.7||3523||100|
|Sony A99 II||Full Frame||42.2||7952||5304||4K/30p||25.4||13.4||2317||92|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Z7 II indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Z7 II can use is 4K/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z7 II has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3690k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.80x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon Z7 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon Z7 II||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Nikon Z6 II||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7S III||9440||n||3.0||1440||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7R IV||5760||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7R III||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A99 II||2400||Y||3.0||1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
One useful feature of the Z7 II is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Z7 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Nikon Z7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Nikon Z6 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Sony A7S III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Sony A7R IV||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony A7R III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony A99 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the Z7 II has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the Z7 II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon Z7 II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Oct 2020||2,999|
|Canon R5||..||91/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jul 2020||3,899|
|Canon R6||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499|
|Nikon Z5||..||89/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jul 2020||1,399|
|Nikon Z6 II||..||89/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Nikon Z6||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999|
|Nikon Z7||+||89/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||3,399|
|Sony A7S III||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jul 2020||3,499|
|Sony A7R IV||+||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2019||3,499|
|Sony A7R III||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2017||3,199|
|Sony A99 II||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||3,199|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon Z7 II FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Z7 II.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the Z7 II based on?
The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Nikon equipped the Z7 II with the DUAL EXPEED 6 image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Z7 II?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 64 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 32-102400.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon Z7 II?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the Z7 II. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the Z7 II over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon Z7 II?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Nikon Z7 II has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Nikon Z7 II?
The Z7 II offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Nikon Z7 II feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The Z7 II's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Does the Nikon Z7 II support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).
Which battery does the Z7 II use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL15c, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the Z7 II?
Yes, Nikon offers the MB-N11 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Nikon Z7 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon Z mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 2 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||858 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||45.4 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8 256 x 5 504 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.35 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.30 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||64 - 25 600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||32 - 102 400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DUAL EXPEED 6|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFexpress or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL15c power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
134 x 101 x 70 mm
(5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||705 g (24.9 oz)|
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