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Z7ii vs D850 (not the same ol question)

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I recently posted about wanting to buy a 2nd D850, Nikon D850 used vs grey and being unable to find any new ones in stock on my time frame.

I am currently shooting D850 as my primary unit and I am very happy with it. I use a D7100 as a back up or occasionally when I need a second camera. The problem I run into is with my selection of quality lens it is hard to shoot 2 different formats. Also the controls being different is not optimal but I manage.

I am getting to a point where I really need 2 matching bodies for when I shoot events.

I have an event coming up in less than a month and right now the most appropriate deal I can find on a used D850 from a reputable authorized dealer is $2400 (vs $3000 new).
This has lead me to considering a z7ii ($3100 with FTZ) or basically the same price as a new D850 since they are in-stock. While I love my D850 it is hard to put down that much money on "old" technology.......

The 2 main downsides I see with this is that I will still have 2 different bodies for this event and I would not have any native Z lenses.

If I do go with a z7ii, I would end up selling my current D850 and D7100 to go toward a 2nd z7ii, but this would not happen until after shooting my September event.

If I do go with the z7ii I would likely buy the 50mm 1.8s lens to go with it so I have a high quality prime to go with it as my current 50mm will not auto focus with the z7ii. I would then mostly use my D850 with 70-200mm 2.8 or 85mm 1.8. My second shooter is running the z6 with 24-70mm 2.8s and some primes.

How do I decide to stick with the D850 or make the jump? All options are expensive in one way or another.
 
I use a D850 / D500 combination, mainly for nature / wildlife / birding. The controls on both are virtually identical with the D850 having a few more features like focus peaking. of course the D850 is FF and the D500 is DX. I recommend renting a Z7ii with FTZ adapter and see if you are happy with your current glass. My experience is that you will not see any degradation in IQ with dslr glass, just not get the boost in IQ that comes with better Z glass. You might want to rent some Z glass as well. Personally, I use a D800 as a backup to my D850 for events. It is an excellent general purpose camera. Another option is the workhorse of wedding photographers - the D750.
 
How do I decide to stick with the D850 or make the jump? All options are expensive in one way or another.


It is a business decision, simply.

Even at the same price. there are still the two systems and the gear accessibility.
F mount lenses system is very well optimised and matured… reliable investment.
I like that what ever combo I use, it feels right in the hands and offers predictable
performances and results. I'd stick with it.

A FF business decision.
 
I switched from a D500 to a Z6II last year - not exactly the same switch, but comparable. Here are my thoughts:
  • The balance of the smaller mirrorless body is different, especially when using heavier adapted F-mount lenses, but overall the feeling is very similar and really no learning curve.
  • There are a few default settings on the Z-series bodies you'll probably want to change to make it behave more like you're used to on a DSLR. Nothing major, but a few customizations make a big difference.
  • Face and subject tracking focus modes are a game changer, but I would definitely recommend taking some time to learn how to use them, when they work well, and when you're better off switching back to regular AF modes.
  • I have heard from some people that low light autofocus is not quite as good as on D850/500, although I haven't experienced any issues myself
I agree with @Strodav that renting one (or buying it from somewhere with a generous return policy) is probably your best bet to see if it's something you like. Just make sure you have time to learn the system before the next event!
 
I use a D850 / D500 combination, mainly for nature / wildlife / birding. The controls on both are virtually identical with the D850 having a few more features like focus peaking. of course the D850 is FF and the D500 is DX. I recommend renting a Z7ii with FTZ adapter and see if you are happy with your current glass. My experience is that you will not see any degradation in IQ with dslr glass, just not get the boost in IQ that comes with better Z glass. You might want to rent some Z glass as well. Personally, I use a D800 as a backup to my D850 for events. It is an excellent general purpose camera. Another option is the workhorse of wedding photographers - the D750.
That is similar to what I do now. I am not looking as much to increase IQ as I am getting matching format cameras and matching controls.

This means I can run a wider angle or a prime on one body and a zoom on the other being able to quickly and easily transition between the two.
 
It is a business decision, simply.

Even at the same price. there are still the two systems and the gear accessibility.
F mount lenses system is very well optimised and matured… reliable investment.
I like that what ever combo I use, it feels right in the hands and offers predictable
performances and results. I'd stick with it.

A FF business decision.
Yes it is a business decision. I have no problem with the D850. I am just struggling to invest money into an "old", not bad, system.
 
I switched from a D500 to a Z6II last year - not exactly the same switch, but comparable. Here are my thoughts:
  • The balance of the smaller mirrorless body is different, especially when using heavier adapted F-mount lenses, but overall the feeling is very similar and really no learning curve.
  • There are a few default settings on the Z-series bodies you'll probably want to change to make it behave more like you're used to on a DSLR. Nothing major, but a few customizations make a big difference.
  • Face and subject tracking focus modes are a game changer, but I would definitely recommend taking some time to learn how to use them, when they work well, and when you're better off switching back to regular AF modes.
  • I have heard from some people that low light autofocus is not quite as good as on D850/500, although I haven't experienced any issues myself
I agree with @Strodav that renting one (or buying it from somewhere with a generous return policy) is probably your best bet to see if it's something you like. Just make sure you have time to learn the system before the next event!
Thank you for the first hand experience.

The 2 things I think I would like most in the z is auto eye focus and IBIS.

I have looked at renting. Just thought I would hit the forms first.
 
Heck, I still use a d700 as my second camera to the 850, but I like the d300 as an inexpensive alternative in the $700 range. Will your clients be able to tell the difference in results?
 
Heck, I still use a d700 as my second camera to the 850, but I like the d300 as an inexpensive alternative in the $700 range. Will your clients be able to tell the difference in results?

While everything is about the client, this not about the client.

Shooting a DX and FX body creates lens choice issues. For example say I primarily plan on using the 70-200mm I will put it on my main FX body. For wider secondary shots I would have to put my 24-70, 35 or 50 on my DX which may not be wide enough. In open spaces this is not as much of an issue, but in confined areas it is.

My other issue is control. While both bodies have similar controls, they are different. It would be really nice to pick up a body and not have to "think" about which body it is to make the right changes quickly.

When shooting with a single body I have no concerns. While I mostly use my D850 last time I traveled international I took my D7100 as it would have been less of an issue financially or operationally if it was lost or damaged.

This is not an issue of image quality or the client experience as they will never know the difference. What it takes to deliver that experience would be the change.
 
Hello,

F-mount glasses will work with FTZ same good as on D*** cameras .. It's looseless .. My photography buddy converted from D*** to Z6 and he doesn't have any native Z-lenses ... and he's pretty happy with FTZ performance (and he's PRO, not like me ..), so this part is OK, just grab a body with FTZ

other part that is DSRL Vs Mirrorless depends though ... I have in my todo list to upgrade to Mirrorless but I am NOT hunted by that .. my personal opinion is, that if you're used on your D850 (which is one of the best camera available on the market) I'd not sacrifice a lot of money to go to the new system .. if you would be upgrading from some lower tier then perhaps, but upgrade D850 -> Z* will not give you a significant edge ..

cheers, ~d

ps. as for secondary camera if you insist on it I'd go for Z5 + FTZ if in your shoes ..
 
I see a couple of comments about the Z having or more importantly not having advantage over the D850. That was never a main consideration as part of this decision nor the purpose of this.

The main points were having 2 matching FX bodies so the focal lengths and controls were identical.
The main problem came in with the lack of new, US version, D850 to buy prior to my event.

Had a new D850 been in stock and available in the past 30 days I would have bought one. That was not the case.
 
I see a couple of comments about the Z having or more importantly not having advantage over the D850. That was never a main consideration as part of this decision nor the purpose of this.

The main points were having 2 matching FX bodies so the focal lengths and controls were identical.
The main problem came in with the lack of new, US version, D850 to buy prior to my event.

Had a new D850 been in stock and available in the past 30 days I would have bought one. That was not the case.
This points out the importance of planning ahead, and buying accordingly. Were 2 bodies available when you bought the first one? Conditions change, of course, and I don't wish to sound critical. Good luck!
 
Since you are looking at the Z . . .

One MAJOR advantage that a mirrorless has over a dSLR is that you are looking at the exposure in real time.
For me, this means, when the lighting is difficult, and the camera cannot properly expose the image, I can adjust the exposure BEFORE I press the shutter. On my dSLR, I have to shoot, chimp the image, adjust, then repeat until the image is acceptable.

The other is that in less than bright light, the EVF is showing you the exposure image, so it is brighter than the OVF of a dSLR. And you can see the subject.
And on some cameras, you can adjust the EVF to be like a "night vision" camera, and you can see better than your bare eyes. However, that is not reflecting the exposure image. That is a NEAT option to have when using flash in a dim venue.
 
Hello,

F-mount glasses will work with FTZ same good as on D*** cameras .. It's looseless .. My photography buddy converted from D*** to Z6 and he doesn't have any native Z-lenses ... and he's pretty happy with FTZ performance (and he's PRO, not like me ..), so this part is OK, just grab a body with FTZ

other part that is DSRL Vs Mirrorless depends though ... I have in my todo list to upgrade to Mirrorless but I am NOT hunted by that .. my personal opinion is, that if you're used on your D850 (which is one of the best camera available on the market) I'd not sacrifice a lot of money to go to the new system .. if you would be upgrading from some lower tier then perhaps, but upgrade D850 -> Z* will not give you a significant edge ..

cheers, ~d

ps. as for secondary camera if you insist on it I'd go for Z5 + FTZ if in your shoes ..

The FTZ adapter will only autofocus the AF-S and AF-P lenses.
The FTZ adapter will NOT autofocus the older AF lenses with mechanical autofocus.
For long time Nikon shooters, that is an important distinction, as we have mechanical AF lenses.
 

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