There have been 2 MAJOR announcements this week in the photography world!

NIKON NEWS!

Firstly, Nikon has announced it’s very first full frame Mirrorless cameras (2 Cameras), the Nikon Z6 (24.5MP) and Z7 (45.7MP). The camera’s sport a brand new mount system named the Z-Mount System and will launch with 3 lenses. Watch Nikon’s Keynote and Review Videos Below ↓↓↓

DJI NEWS!

Secondly, DJI has introduced 2 brand new drones in its lineup, the Mavic 2 Pro And Mavic 2 Zoom.  The Mavic 2 Pro, will be the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera (after DJI purchased Hasselblad), and the Mavic 2 Zoom, will be the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Watch DJI’s Keynote and Hands on Videos Below ↓↓↓

Nikon's Mirrorless Z6 and Z7

Nikon has finally entered the Mirrorless camera market after giving other brands free rein for the last 6 years, notable the Sony and Fuji mirrorless systems.

 

Let’s begin with Specs

Nikon Z7:

  • 45.7 MP
  • 9 Frames/sec
  • ISO 64 – 25,600 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
  • 4K UHD 3,840×2,160 / 30 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 120 fps
  • Touch-Sensitive LCD
  • 1X – XQD memory card slot
  • 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED Viwefinder
  • Z mount NIKKOR lenses
  • F mount NIKKOR lenses with mount adapter; restrictions may apply

Nikon Z6:

  • 24.5 MP
  • 12 Frames/sec
  • 1X – XQD memory card slot
  • ISO 100 – 51,200 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV
  • 4K UHD 3,840×2,160 / 30 fps
  • Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 100 fps
  • Touch-Sensitive LCD
  • 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED Viewfinder
  • Z mount NIKKOR lenses
  • F mount NIKKOR lenses with mount adapter; restrictions may apply

 

In the Nikon Official keynote the pricing is mentioned as such and I have listed prices on the United States Nikon website as well as Australian. I should mention that in Australia we always get charged a premium price for camera gear:

  • Z7 Body Only – 440,000 ¥ Japanese Yen / USD $3,399.95 / AUD $5,499.95
  • Z6 Body Only – 270,000 ¥ Japanese Yen / USD $1,999.95 / AUD $3,499.95

On release there will be 3 native Z mount lenses available,

  • 35 f/1.8 S-Line
  • 50mm f/1.8 S-Line
  • and the 24-70mm f/4 S-Line

I took this screenshot below from the Nikon Z mirrorless camera keynote last night and it shows Nikon’s Z Mount lens release plan for the next 2 years. 

nikon-z-mount-lense-plan-2018-2019-2020

In 2019 Nikon plans to launch 6 NIKKOR Z lenses:

  • 58mm f/0.95 S
  • 20mm f/1.8
  • 85mm f/1.8
  • 24-70mm f/2.8
  • 70-200mm f/2.8
  • 14-30mm f/4

As you can see they are releasing a very fast f/0.95 58mm and a faster 24-70 at f/2.8. Many were curious as to them not releasing the camera with 24-70 f/2.8 and instead the slower f/4. A notable lens for the landscape crew will be the 14-30mm f/4.

Then in 2020 Nikon plans to launch 3 NIKKOR Z lenses:

  • 50mm f/1.2
  • 24mm f/1.8
  • 14-24mm f/2.8

Another fast 50mm (f/1.2) and it looks like a mirrorless version of Nikkor’s flagship landscape lense the 14-24mm f/2.8. I actually owned and used the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 DSLR lens for about 6 years and can say, except for the weight, it is the best landscape lens ever. So you can expect great things from this new S-Line landscape 14-24mm.

 

Further thoughts on the Z Series:

With a mirrorless announcement like this from one of the juggernauts of the camera market there is going to be a lot of chatter from camera Pros and enthusiasts alike using a vast variety of camera systems. The photography forums and social media are ablaze with this news and everyone has an opinion on it.

So, I’ve watched a lot of hands videos with the Nikon Z7 & Z6 (pre-production versions of the cameras) and I’ve read a lot of Z7 reviews on blogs, forums, etc.. The Z7 would be the camera that would give me the most benefit as a landscape photographer. Consensus seems to be that it’s a “wait and watch” situation with the system in general. Nikon has created an amazing system but has thrown around phrases like “reinvented the mirrorless camera”, when in actuality it’s very similar to all of the current mirrorless cameras on the market, possibly even a bit behind them (some bloggers have said) with the Nikon brand on it. The camera is marketed as a D850 with a mirrorless body but what is lacking in the Nikon Z7/Z6 bodies is a 2nd memory card slot and that spot on focus system that the D850. The memory card is an issue for pro photographers that rely on dual card slots to create backups as they go and won’t lose all their shots. Wedding photographers/sports photographers/journalist photographers all shoot tonnes of photos out in the field and may only get 1 chance at getting the shot and it is standard that many pro-line camera’s now have dual memory card slots. You can set these cameras to save the photo twice and even in different formats on each memory card. On another note, many people have had focusing issues with the camera in pre-release models but they want to try and be positive about the camera’s announcements but are finding that hard (Watch the 1st suggested video below to see what I mean- Tony & Chelsea). In particular Tony & Chelsea did have a lot of issues and say the Z6/7 can’t compare to similar pro model DSLR’s or the latest Fuji and Sony mirrorless camera models (Sony A7 III & Sony A7R III). But, they did say these issues could possibly be fixed with firmware updates in the future (possibly). Sony has a system called iAF which is excellent at tracking and keeping an object in focus and Nikon has tried to do something similar with face detection and it really can’t stand up to the Sony system.

There are a lot of positives that come with the cameras being produced from a powerhouse like “Nikon” and we can expect the system to eventually grow and thrive in the market. Whether or not that’s going to be with their 2nd or even 3rd gen Z-series cameras we aren’t sure, but it will definitely be later down the track when they actually have a decent amount of lenses. If you think about the Canon FD-Mount system was introduced in around 50 years ago and is still used today. The Nikon Z mount is much wider than the Sony FE mount and it really is a mount system built for the future that can transfer a lot of data between the lens and the body. On the other hand, Sony has had a 6 year head start creating their own FE lenses as well as companies like Zeiss, Sigma, Samyang, Meike and Sainsonic all producing FE mount versions of their lenses that connect to the native Sony FE mount without any adaptors. So Sony mirrorless camera owners have tonnes of lenses to choose from at this stage and can always use adaptors to partner their old glass, be it Nikon, Canon, Sigma…

Nikon has a lot of catching up to do. I trust that Nikon can make it up though as they haven’t been around since 1915 for nothing! They make exceptional gear and many of the criticisms have been made on pre-release camera’s in low-light situations. I love the Nikon brand and want it to do well.

It has to be said that these Megapixel numbers are identical to their direct competitors in the mirrorless market, Sony. Nikons Z6 has 24.5MP and Sony’s A7 III has 24MP. Nikons Z7 has 45.7MP and Sony’s A7R III has 42MP. The camera’s are almost identical when it comes to MP and after that it becomes a personal choice with features, systems and lenses etc.

Personally, I use a Sony A7r with a Sony Zeiss 16-35mm since the A7R cameras release. Before that, I was using the Nikon D800 + Nikkor 14-24mm for all my landscape photography so I am well acquainted with Nikon’s camera systems and features.

After being a Nikon shooter and selling my D800 and most of my Nikon glass 6 years ago to switch to Sony will this be enough to make me want to switch back to Nikon? The answer is a solid no, haha. Nikon won’t even have a native Z-Mount super-wide angle lens until late 2019, the 14-30mm f/4, and then the 14-24m f/2.8 in 2020. To me, it feels like where Sony was at 5 years ago…

I can say from personal experience that shooting with the native lenses is so much better than shooting with an adapted lens because of the focus systems and other in viewfinder systems that you get with mirrorless cameras. It’s a different world having writing and information flashed across your viewfinder to the old DLSR viewfinders. I love all the new tech inside those tiny viewfinders. With native lenses you can use autofocus and get given live antialiasing in your EVF. The live antialiasing is amazing, if you haven’t heard of it then look it up. It basically uses outlines, in a colour of your choice (I use red!), to let you know what is in focus in your frame. So if you want to focus in on a person you can adjust the focus until they have a red outline, indicating their in focus.

 

Suggested Video Reviews of the Nikon Z Series Cameras:

 

Suggested Podcast Discussion from TWIP on Nikon Z mirrorless & bonus DJI Mavic 2:

 

Nikon’s Official Keynote Video:

Also here is Nikon’s Keynote presentation for the Z-series cameras. I found that the presentation was very lacklustre and didn’t have any of the excitement that I was expecting. I mean they were announcing their very first mirrorless camera and they had a president in a suit just reading a teleprompter and pulling back a small napkin to reveal the camera. Imagine if Steve Jobs was up there??? He would have had you wanting to buy the Z Series cameras right now!

 

In the Keynote the Nikons President states:

That the Nikon Z6 & Z7 is “Mirrorless Reinvented” through these 3 new values that Nikon is bringing to the market with this Z-Mount system.:

  • A new dimension in optical performance
  • Nikon Quality
  • Future Proof

I will leave it up to you decide if they have reinvented the mirrorless camera system by watching the keynote for yourself. I watched it all the way through and the most exciting part is at the end when they get 2 photographers to share their experiences with the cameras, but I felt like they had to say 100% positive things considering they’re Nikon Ambassadors lol.

 

Release dates and prices as of the keynote above:

Nikon Z7 Body only Estimated RRP ¥440,000 Japanese Yen incl. tax, End of September 2018.

Nikon Z6 Body only Estimated RRP ¥270,000 Japanese Yen incl. tax, End of November 2018.

Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/4 S, Estimated RRP ¥136,500 Japanese Yen excl. tax., End of Sept 2018

Nikkor Z 35mm F/1.8 S, RRP ¥114,000 Japanese Yen, excl tax., End of Sept 2018

Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S, Estimated RRP ¥83,500 excl tax., End of October 2018

Mount Adaptor FTZ, Estimated RRP ¥36,500 Japanese Yen excl tax., End of Sept 2018

DJI Annonces Mavic 2 PRO and Mavic 2 Zoom

Everyone who is into drones is losing their marbles and selling gear to scrape enough money together to buy the 2nd gen. versions in DJI’s Mavic drone series. So why is everyone so excited? Well a few reasons, firstly the Mavic PRO 2 has a hasselblad lens partnered with a 1-inch Sony sensor. Can’t stress how amazing that is, Hasselblad for decades has been the top end leader in Medium Format photography with camera bodies costing anyone above $25k. Another reason is that the mapping feature for it to not run into objects (ActiveTrack 2.0) whilst the drone automatically follows you, like running into trees and buildings, has been vastly improved… like out of this world improved! Next up is the many different modes and settings you can put the camera in when shooting video and stills including the ability to change f/stop and how wide of a view you will see (lens length). The ability to shoot 4k at 120fps and many many other features like the follow me mode.

Something pretty amazing is the dolly zoom effect on the Mavic 2 Zoom, the cheaper of the 2 new drones.

@Official DJI footage

If you really want to do this dolly zoom effect and you have a PRO 1 and and are on the fence with the PRO 2 well you can easily create the dolly zoom effect with some quick video editing on your computer.

 

DJI Official Keynote for Mavic 2 PRO / Mavic 2 ZOOM

 

The Specs for these new drones for those that are into numbers are as such:

MAVIC 2 PRO:

  • Hasselblad L1D-20c Camera
  • 20 MP 1″ CMOS Sensor
  • Adjustable Aperture, f/2.8-f/11
  • 10-bit Dlog-M colour profile
  • 10-bit HDR Video

MAVIC 2 ZOOM

  • 24-48mm Optical Zoom Camera
  • 12 MP 1/2.3″ CMOS Sensor
  • 4x Lossless Zoom FHD Video
  • Dolly Zoom

Both Drones have:

  • Up to 8km 1080p Video Transmission
  • Up to 31-min Flight Time
  • Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensor
  • ActiveTrack 2.0
  • Hyperlapse Mode
  • Compatible with DJI Goggles
  • Foldable and Portable

Pricing:

  • Mavic 2 Zoom – AUD $1,999 / USD $1,249
  • Mavic 2 Pro – AUD $2,299 / USD $1,449

 

Suggested Video with DJI Mavic 2 PRO hands on: 

 

Suggested Video with DJI Mavic 2 ZOOM hands on: 

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