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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.

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Is the Nikon Z7 II a good camera? The Z7 II has a Camera Elo of 3523. 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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z7 II
Mirrorless system camera
Nikon Z mount lenses
45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/60p Video
ISO 64 - 25 600 (32 - 102 400)
Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)
3.2 LCD, 2100k dots
Tilting touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
420 shots per battery charge
134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g


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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.

Nikon Z7 II vs credit card front
Z7 II versus credit card top view
Z7 II and credit card rear side

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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon Z7 II 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.8 in 24.9 oz 420 Y Oct 2020 2,999 i
 
Canon R5 5.4 in 3.9 in 3.5 in 26.0 oz 320 Y Jul 2020 3,899 i
 
Canon R6 5.4 in 3.9 in 3.5 in 24.0 oz 360 Y Jul 2020 2,499 i
 
Nikon Z5 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 470 Y Jul 2020 1,399 i
 
Nikon Z6 II 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.8 in 24.9 oz 410 Y Oct 2020 1,999 i
 
Nikon Z6 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i
 
Nikon Z7 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399i
 
Sony A7S III 5.0 in 3.8 in 3.2 in 24.7 oz 600 Y Jul 2020 3,499 i
 
Sony A7R IV 5.1 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 23.5 oz 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
 
Sony A7R III 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A99 II 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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.

Nikon Z7 II:
Check Amazon price

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.

Nikon Z7 II sensor measures

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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon Z7 II Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/60p........
 
Canon R5 Full Frame 44.8 8192 54648k/30p........
 
Canon R6 Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484k/60p........
 
Nikon Z5 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40164K/30p........
 
Nikon Z6 II Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/60p........
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
 
Nikon Z7 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.6266899
 
Sony A7S III Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/120p........
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p........
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
 
Sony A99 II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792

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.

Feature comparison

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.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon Z7 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Canon R55760 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
 
Canon R65760 n 3.0 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Nikon Z53690 n 3.2 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 4.5 n Y
 
Nikon Z6 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 14.0 n Y
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
 
Nikon Z73690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y
 
Sony A7S III9440 n 3.0 1440 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Sony A99 II2400 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.

Connection comparison

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.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon Z7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Canon R5YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Canon R6YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Nikon Z5YstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Nikon Z6 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
 
Nikon Z7YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
 
Sony A7S IIIYstereomonoYYfull3.2Y-Y
 
Sony A7R IVYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY

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.

Expert reviews

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).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon Z7 II.......... Oct 2020 2,999 i
 
Canon R5..91/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2020 3,899 i
 
Canon R6+ +90/1004.5/5..5/5 Jul 2020 2,499 i
 
Nikon Z5..89/1004.5/5..4/5 Jul 2020 1,399 i
 
Nikon Z6 II.......... Oct 2020 1,999 i
 
Nikon Z6....4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i
 
Nikon Z7+89/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399i
 
Sony A7S III+ +......5/5 Jul 2020 3,499 i
 
Sony A7R IV+91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
 
Sony A7R III+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
 
Sony A99 II..85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i
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.

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    Specifications Summary
    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 Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    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
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.80x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3690k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-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
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    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
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15c power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 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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