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Nikon Z7 vs Z7 II

The Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2018 and October 2020. Both the Z7 and the Z7 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 45.4 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z7
versus
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Nikon Z mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor 45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/60p Video
ISO 64-25,600 (32 - 102,400) ISO 64-25,600 (32 - 102,400)
Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots) Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)
3.2 LCD, 2100k dots 3.2 LCD, 2100k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
330 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
134 x 101 x 67 mm, 675 g 134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon Z7 vs Nikon Z7 II
Compare Z7 versus Z7 II top
Comparison Z7 or Z7 II rear

In this particular case, the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the Z7 II is slightly heavier (4 percent) than the Z7. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the Z7 gets 330 shots out of its EN-EL15b battery, while the Z7 II can take 420 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15c power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z7 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II 134 mm 101 mm 70 mm 705 g 420 Y Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon R5 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 738 g 320 Y Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Nikon Z5 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 470 Y Jul 2020 1,399 i
5.
 
Nikon Z6 II 134 mm 101 mm 70 mm 705 g 410 Y Oct 2020 1,999 i
6.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D850 146 mm 124 mm 79 mm 1005 g 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i
8.
 
Panasonic S1R 149 mm 110 mm 97 mm 1016 g 380 Y Feb 2019 3,699 i
9.
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 i
10.
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i
11.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i
12.
 
Sony A99 II 143 mm 104 mm 76 mm 849 g 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i
13.
 
Sony A7R II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 625 g 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199 i
14.
 
Sony A7S II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 627 g 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Z7 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 12 percent) than the Z7, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.

Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z7 II sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 45.4 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the Z7 and the Z7 II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the Z7 II is much more recent (by 2 years and 1 month) than the Z7, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Nikon Z7 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 64 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 32-102400. The Nikon Z7 II offers exactly the same ISO settings.

Z7 versus Z7 II MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar 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
1.
 
Nikon Z7 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.62668 99
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/60p26.314.72841 100
3.
 
Canon R5 Full Frame 44.8 8192 54648k/30p25.314.63042 95
4.
 
Nikon Z5 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40164K/30p...... ..
5.
 
Nikon Z6 II Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/60p...... ..
6.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.33299 95
7.
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660 100
8.
 
Panasonic S1R Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/60p26.414.13525 100
9.
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p26.014.83344 99
10.
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523 100
11.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.33517 92
12.
 
Sony A99 II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.42317 92
13.
 
Sony A7R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.93434 98
14.
 
Sony A7S II Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.32993 85

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the Z7 II provides a faster frame rate than the Z7. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/60p, while the Z7 is limited to 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Z7 and the Z7 II are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 3690k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon Z7 and 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
1.
 
Nikon Z73690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
3.
 
Canon R55760 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
4.
 
Nikon Z53690 n 3.2 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 4.5 n Y
5.
 
Nikon Z6 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 14.0 n Y
6.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
7.
 
Nikon D850optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n
8.
 
Panasonic S1R5760 Y 3.2 2100 full-flex Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y
9.
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
10.
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
11.
 
Sony A93686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y
12.
 
Sony A99 II2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
13.
 
Sony A7R II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y
14.
 
Sony A7S II2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The Z7 writes its imaging data to XQD cards, while the Z7 II uses CFexpress or SDXC cards. The Z7 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the Z7 only has one slot.

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Connectivity 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 and 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
1.
 
Nikon Z7YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
2.
 
Nikon Z7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
3.
 
Canon R5YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Nikon Z5YstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
5.
 
Nikon Z6 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
6.
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
7.
 
Nikon D850YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
8.
 
Panasonic S1RYstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-Y
9.
 
Sony A7R IVYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
10.
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
11.
 
Sony A9YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
12.
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY
13.
 
Sony A7R IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony A7S IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-

The Z7 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the Z7 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the Z7 was succeeded by the Nikon Z7 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Nikon Z7:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2018).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon Z7 II:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (4K/60p versus 4K/30p).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 330) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.2 vs 3.1).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (12 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 1 month of technical progress since the Z7 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Z7 II is the clear winner of the contest (6 : 1 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

Z7 01:06 Z7 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Z7 or the Z7 II. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z75/5+89/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II4.5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon R54.5/5..91/1004.5/54.5/5 Jul 2020 3,899 i
4.
 
Nikon Z54/5..89/1004.5/54/5 Jul 2020 1,399 i
5.
 
Nikon Z6 II4.5/5..89/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2020 1,999 i
6.
 
Nikon Z65/5....4.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i
7.
 
Nikon D8504.5/5+ +89/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i
8.
 
Panasonic S1R4.5/5..89/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2019 3,699 i
9.
 
Sony A7R IV5/5+91/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 i
10.
 
Sony A7R III..+ +90/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i
11.
 
Sony A95/5+ +89/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i
12.
 
Sony A99 II....85/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i
13.
 
Sony A7R II5/5+ +90/1005/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199 i
14.
 
Sony A7S II5/5+..4.5/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon Z7:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon Z7 II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon Z7 vs Nikon Z7 II

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon Z mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2018 October 2020
    Launch Price USD 3,399 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 858.01 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 45.4 Megapixels 45.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 8256 x 5504 pixels 8256 x 5504 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.35 μm 4.35 μm
    Pixel Density 5.30 MP/cm2 5.30 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/60p Video
    ISO Setting 64 - 25,600 ISO 64 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 32 - 102,400 ISO 32 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 6 DUAL EXPEED 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 99 100
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 26.3 26.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.6 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2668 2841
    Screen Specs Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.80x 0.80x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3690k dots 3690k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 2100k dots 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/8000sup to 1/8000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium XQD cards CFexpress or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.1 USB 3.2
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon Z7 Nikon Z7 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15b EN-EL15c
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 101 x 67 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
    134 x 101 x 70 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 675 g (23.8 oz) 705 g (24.9 oz)

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