The Lowlight Capabilities of the Nikon Z7 II

For Photography in Dim Light, Use a Nikon Z7 II

You may have heard that high-resolution sensors have difficulty performing well at high ISOs, however, with today’s cameras, that statement is becoming less and less accurate. The image quality of the original Nikon Z7 was superior to that of the Nikon Z6 up to an ISO of at least 1600 and maybe all the way up to ISO 6400. (where it had a bit more noise, but also a bit more sharpness than the Z6). How does the Nikon Z7 II stack up against its competitors?

Comparison of the High ISO Performance of the Nikon Z7 and Z7 II

Despite the fact that both the Nikon Z7 and the Nikon Z7 II feature sensors with the same resolution, this does not necessarily guarantee that their high ISO performance is identical. For instance, the Nikon D750 and the Nikon D780 both feature a sensor with 24 megapixels, but the D780, which is more recent, performs better at high ISO settings.

The Z7 and the Z7 II, on the other hand, provide results that are indistinguishable from one another. The following is a series of crops that compares the two cameras throughout the entirety of respective ISO ranges. The Z7 can be seen on the left side of each of these photos, while the Z7 II can be seen on the right. These are 100% cropped versions of the RAW photographs that were processed in Adobe Lightroom.

Because noise can alter in a random pattern from one photograph to the next, you could notice some variations in the pattern of noise while working with higher ISO settings. But in terms of whether one is better or worse, if you can see any benefits or drawbacks here, you have better eyes than we do. If you can see any advantages or downsides here.

Already, we have put the Nikon Z7 through its paces in comparison to the Nikon Z6, the Panasonic S1R, and the Sony A7r. Although it was comparable to the other two cameras, it lagged behind the Z6 in performance. (For more information on the tests that we are referring to, see our reviews of the Nikon Z6 and the Panasonic S1R.)

It is not difficult to anticipate that the Z7 II will behave in the same manner: it will be marginally less capable than the most recent 24-megapixel sensors, but it will be on par with its high-resolution competitors. That ought to be more than adequate for any real-world applications, including things like photography of the Milky Way, among other things like that.

Having to Focus in Dim Light

The performance of the Nikon Z7 II’s autofocus in dim light has previously been discussed in earlier chapters of this review; nonetheless, we will go over the most important takeaways once again here.

To begin, the Z7 II performs a pretty decent job of focusing in low light provided that the subject you are photographing is not moving. If there is still a significant amount of light in the sky, you shouldn’t have any trouble focusing on subjects like landscapes even though some other cameras, like the Nikon Z6 II, can do a little bit better in this regard. However, you will.

Since the speed of focusing in low light has been increased a little since the firmware version 1.20 and the accuracy was already top-notch, the Nikon Z7 II is not a slouch when it comes to things like blue hour photography.

If your topic is one that moves, the situation is a little bit different. Even though the camera does a fantastic job of tracking the faces and eyes of people and pets, it has a long way to go before it can catch up to the much more intelligent and intuitive autofocus systems produced by Sony and Canon.

These systems rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine what subjects are being photographed. It should come as no surprise that these faults become more pronounced in low light, and the newly released firmware update 1.20 does not address them in a way that our tests could detect.

The Z7 II is not the best camera for focusing in dim light, but it does a good job providing the subject you are photographing remains still.

IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) (In-Body Image Stabilization)

The outstanding in-body image stabilization mechanism of the Nikon Z7 has been inherited by the Nikon Z7 II. This allows photographers to shoot handheld at shutter speeds that are relatively lengthy without running the risk of blurring their images due to camera shake.

On the Z7 II, Nikon claims that it has included five stops of image stabilization, and our testing indicates that this is very accurate. If you take a rapid succession of images, you can improve your chances of capturing a shot that is worthy of being kept by doing so. Additionally, make sure that you are holding your camera as firmly in your hands as possible.

You’ll still receive roughly five stops of stabilization if your lens has its own VR (vibration reduction), which it should if you’re adapting lenses using the FTZ adapter rather than utilizing native lenses. This is assuming that your lens already has VR. If you adopt a lens that does not have image stabilization, the Z7 II’s IBIS will only be able to provide you with around three stops of image stabilization.

It is important to bear in mind that even in the best of circumstances, IBIS will focus more on maintaining the sharpness of the image in the center than on the corners. This is due to the fact that rotational blur is more likely to appear in the corners of a photograph.

Therefore, it is still better to use a tripod whenever feasible, and you shouldn’t be hesitant to bump up ISO a bit in order to maintain your handheld shutter speeds as normal as possible. When shooting handheld, it is recommended to use a tripod whenever possible.

On the following page of this evaluation, we are going to investigate the Nikon Z lenses and determine whether or not the Z System can be regarded as finished at this point. Therefore, click the link below to go to the page titled “FTZ Adapter with Nikon Z Lenses.”

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