The beauty of the Z 7II is its in its simplicity – at first glance.
If you’re a hardcore pro or just a camera geek, for instance, fascinated by every last detail about the camera and are eager to learn to use each and every feature, the Z 7II will oblige.
But on the other hand, if you’re a novice wanting to graduate from your phone to a state-of-the-art unit rather than going to Best Buy and choosing “the red one!” from the lineup of cheap cameras, this is one of the best as well.
You can unbox, charge the battery, install the SIM card and get out there shooting, lickety-split, and then learn as you go. The more you learn, the more you will want to learn. When folks today say “Photography!” is one of their hobbies, they may not just be talking about the photos. They may be talking about cameras like this, which one can and will, if you so desire, spend many happy hours getting to know.
The Z 7II is actually an update to the Z 7 but Nikon has improved it in almost every way, including a slightly lower price. (But not that low – it’s $2,999 dollars for the body by itself, and the lens included in my tester, the NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S is $1,099.95.)
Here are five reasons why the Nikon Z 7II is a great choice for car and bike snappers.
*Its low-light capabilities
Car shooters know the best time to snap is either dawn or dusk, where the light is still good but pesky “hot spots,” which must be removed post-production, are at a minimum. However, especially at sundown, you may find yourself with just a few minutes to get what you need before things get too dark and that’s the end of that.
While other cameras like the Z6 II are slightly better at capturing great shots in low light, I was happy to see my results during my sundown shoots, like good focus and minimal requirement of Photoshop post-production. Speed and accuracy were not affected by low light, I got what I needed every time and was almost always delighted with the results.
*They’ve added a second card slot
While it’s easy to think “It’s digital, so I can shoot as many photos as I want,” anyone out in the field knows you can fill those cards up easier than you think. The second card slot enables you to keep on shooting, using as a backup if needed, or perhaps use that card for video and the other for shots.
*It’s small but doesn’t feel dinky
Especially when compared to DSLR cameras, the Z7 II is compact at 1.4 pounds and also at least 30% lighter than those type cameras, making it less of a chore to haul it around everywhere for long periods of time, especially when hung around your neck. It’s also got a substantial grip that neatly fit my hand and let me get to work.
*Its buttons are logically laid out
How many times have I unboxed a new camera and thought “They put that where? Why?” The Z 7 II’s controls are all intuitively laid out, meaning it’ll work for someone just starting out as well as someone like me, who tests a lot of cameras and doesn’t have oodles of patience to figure out how to, for example, set the self-timer.
*Updates are available digitally
Using the SnapBridge app allows you upload the the latest software improvements and modifications that high-end cameras inevitably need, instead of feeling like you have to wait until the next update and buy another camera to get them.
*Its silent shutter option
Cars and bikes don’t care if they hear the sound of a shutter, but there will be times when you want to shoot wildlife, or perhaps a wedding, without having the subject necessarily aware of your presence, so the silent shutter is a nice feature.
My only gripes:
*I miss a built-in flash, but that’s pretty 2008 of me, so it’s not a biggie. Also, since the camera does great in low light, it’s not really necessary.
*The self-timer cancels too easily – if you shut the camera off, as you will between set-ups, you have to re-set the timer when you turn it back on. But that’s it as far as complaints.
There is more, of course. But based on this test, limited almost exclusively to cars and motorcycles, the Z 7II gets a big fat thumbs-up. Click here to read more about it.