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Nikon Z Series – here’s what we want to Zee next

Rumours are spreading fast about several new Nikon Z Series bodies soon to launch, and obviously it’ll be exciting to see Nikon’s full frame mirrorless range fleshed out. The Z6 and Z7 did a grand job of launching Nikon into the full-frame mirrorless market, but as first-generation models, they were bound to come with a few little disappointments for photographers along the way. And while Nikon has already added improvements via a recent firmware upgrade, of course we want more than that, don’t we?
Nikon did a great job with the [Z6](https://store.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-z6-body/MTEwNjA5OA_A_A#utm_source=bokeh%2520en&utm_medium=body%2520text&utm_campaign=Nikon%20Z6) and [Z7](https://store.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-z7-body/MTEwNjA5OQ_A_A#utm_source=bokeh%2520en&utm_medium=body%2520text&utm_campaign=Nikon%20Z7) but these are first generation cameras and refinements are required.text

There’s talk of a new high-spec flagship model, possibly called the Z9, as well as a full-frame entry level Z1 at the other end of the scale to attract newbies, the latter coming without an EVF. And there’s even some chat about a Z Series body with an APS-C sized sensor, which seems a bit bizarre, but if it’s a super high-speed or video-heavy version that would certainly be interesting.
If you've used the [Z6](https://store.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-z6-body/MTEwNjA5OA_A_A#utm_source=bokeh%2520en&utm_medium=body%2520text&utm_campaign=Nikon%20Z6) or [Z7](https://store.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-z7-body/MTEwNjA5OQ_A_A#utm_source=bokeh%2520en&utm_medium=body%2520text&utm_campaign=Nikon%20Z7) a fair amount you'll have a good idea about what needs to be upgraded on them.text

But what else could a new Z Series camera feature, particularly a flagship model? Here are a few ideas and cravings…

A new sensor and a new resolution

The Z9’s resolution certainly doesn’t need to be any higher. Having used both the D850 and Z7 for well over a year now, I’ve found the 45.7Mp resolution has plenty of juice; there’s bags of detail and the ability to make big crops, too. I don’t think a flagship Z camera will offer much less resolution than the Z7, but I could actually take a dip to 35-40Mp, especially if it meant speedier operation, a big leap in noise performance, and other welcome upgrades like blackout-free high-speed shooting. Sadly, the latter may require a stacked sensor design like Sony’s A9, and who knows when that technological goodness will filter down from the sensor-making mothership.
Are any more megapixels needed? The [Z7](https://store.digitalrev.com/product/nikon-z7-body/MTEwNjA5OQ_A_A#utm_source=bokeh%2520en&utm_medium=body%2520text&utm_campaign=Nikon%20Z7) has ample resolution so other advancements are more necessary.text

New sensor functionality

If, like Nikon, you shift your image stabilisation from the lens to the sensor, you get to do a lot of interesting stuff as well as offset camera shake. Olympus, Pentax and others have made some neat features out of shifting the sensor, and these include increasing resolution when required, improving colour and detail recording, and fun stuff like Pentax’s GPS-sync’d Astrotracer mode where the sensor tracks star movement during very long exposures. Of course the camera would need a built in, or accessory GPS unit for this to happen, too.

Once your image stabilisation system is allied to the sensor it can be move to do all sorts of things, such as with Pentax's Astrotracer function that rotates the sensor to track star movement.

Once your image stabilisation system is allied to the sensor it can be move to do all sorts of things, such as with Pentax’s Astrotracer function that rotates the sensor to track star movement.

An articulating screen, with benefits

There’s nothing much wrong with the Z6 and Z7’s LCD displays – they’re big, bright and able to tilt for low and high angle shooting. But ever since manufacturers started putting articulating screens on their cameras I’ve just preferred the ones that can twist out to the side, and, most importantly, turn over to leave the rear of the camera screenless. In that position, there’s nothing to say that the rear of the screen can’t be home to more buttons and dials, even in conjunction with a lower-res quick menu, maybe?

An articulating screen could open up new possibilities for information and button layout.

An articulating screen could open up new possibilities for information and button layout.

A second card slot

I’m 50/50 on this, because although the Z6 and Z7’s single XQD slot was a worry when the cameras were launched, I’ve now spent a lot of time with both and never had a problem that two slots would’ve solved. But it’s come to be seen as normal to have dual card options these days, so it’d be good to see two XQDs or an XQD and SD combo on new bodies. To save space, some have suggested using a micro SD format alongside the XQD, but this might cause an imbalance in write speed. Still, a solution could be found in writing to the fastest card first, then backing up to the slower card when the camera is idle? Just saying.

Adding another card slot to the next Z Series body would win Nikon a lot of friends.

Adding another card slot to the next Z Series body would win Nikon a lot of friends.

A removable or tilting EVF

It’s a bit out there, but with the architecture of an EVF replacing an optical viewfinder come a lot possibilities. As on medium format bodies, like Fujifilm’s GFX series, one of them is to take the EVF off entirely if you don’t need it, but you can also upgrade to an EVF that does something different, like titling for low-angle work, or maybe offering greater resolution and magnification.

You can swap lenses and flashes, so why not EVFs? A tilting version would be great, as pictured here on Fujifilm's medium format bodies.

You can swap lenses and flashes, so why not EVFs? A tilting version would be great, as pictured here on Fujifilm’s medium format bodies.

An integrated vertical grip – or one to add at least

The Z6 and Z7 handle really well, with a comfortable grip and excellent button layout, especially if you’re used to Nikon’s other high-end models. The one thing that’s missing is a grip for vertical shooting. If you’re used to shooting with an accessory grip or one that’s integrated into the body, it’s tough to do without. Nikon released details of a battery grip at the launch of the Z6 and Z7, but it’s yet to be revealed, and problematically it’s unlikely to feature a shutter button or any other inputs as there’s no option for a physical connection built into the existing bodies. A Z Series body with a grip would be larger, sure, but that would also add room for another card slot, and the included battery would increase the Z Series’ current lifespan.

Get a grip. You'll never look back.

Get a grip. You’ll never look back.

Bring back the pro buttons

If Nikon wants to make a camera that sits at the top of its Z Series line, it needs to function like other top end bodies, and that means losing the traditional Mode dial from the top of the Z6 and Z7, and replacing it with a dedicated Mode, WB, Qual and Metering buttons.

Dedicated buttons for Mode, WB and so on, plus a drive mode selector would be better than dipping into menus.

Dedicated buttons for Mode, WB and so on, plus a drive mode selector would be better than dipping into menus.

Light up buttons

Something the Nikon D850 and D500 did really well was allow illumination of buttons around the body, with an extra nudge of the on/off dial. You might think this is a questionable refinement, but use it for night and low-light shooting just the one time, and you’re left wondering why the feature isn’t used on all cameras. Pentax’s K-1 did this really well, too.

Illuminated buttons help with low-light shooting and it's the sort of feature all high-end cameras should have.

Illuminated buttons help with low-light shooting and it’s the sort of feature all high-end cameras should have.

More function buttons

To begin with, I wasn’t convinced by the paddle-like function buttons near the lens mount of the Z6 and Z7, and I was even less keen to see the AF, AF Area and AF Mode selectors from the D8xx series had been lost entirely from the other side. But I grew to love the functions buttons and now I want more of them. A third alongside the original two would be great, as well as a fourth – or a return of the AF controls – on the opposite side somewhere.

More function buttons or a dedicated AF controller would be a big hit on the next Z Series.

More function buttons or a dedicated AF controller would be a big hit on the next Z Series.

Built in NDs

It’s not going to happen, but I live in hope. As anyone who’s used proper video cameras, or compacts spec'd for video like Panasonic's FZ2500 will know, built-in NDs are a lifesaver in bright light, and take no more than a simple flick of a lever or press of a button to engage. Even a little 2 Stop ND would be a big benefit when using fast lenses on sunny days. There ought to be a way to include one in a mirrorless camera body, but considering the reduced flange distance of the Z Series mount it would take some grade A engineering, or possibly actual magic to do it. Fingers crossed though.

Built-in ND filters are amazing to find on any camera, let alone a CSC, though for engineering reasons they're unlikely to feature.

Built-in ND filters are amazing to find on any camera, let alone a CSC, though for engineering reasons they’re unlikely to feature.

Animal Eye AF

Nikon has added Eye AF to the Z6 and Z7 via a recent firmware update, and that’s great, especially when shooting moving people and when using a very shallow depth-of-field, but does it solve those same problems when shooting animals? The jury’s out on that. Adding a proper Animal Eye AF, as found on Sony’s Alpha bodies, would be awesome for me.

The current Z cameras have Eye AF, designed for humans, but what about more intelligent species?

The current Z cameras have Eye AF, designed for humans, but what about more intelligent species?

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Best $500 Youtuber Camera in 2019

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 The Nikon Z6 is the company’s second release into full frame 35mm mirrorless. Just like Z7, it;’s exactly what you’d expect from a Nikon. Handling is awesome. Wide grip, thumb rest and dials for easy one-handed control. The big story here is the BSI 24MP imaging sensor. That gives you the perfect balance of […]

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Best cheap camera deals for May 2019

On the hunt for a new camera? Looking around for a great deal on a snapper? Then let us help you out, as we round up some of the top offers on our recommended cameras. 

All of the below are all top items, gaining four or five stars in our reviews. That ensures that besides being great deals, they’re endorsed by Pocket-lint as top cameras.

In the mix are mirrorless, DSLRs and compact cameras from Sony, Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Panasonic.  

So bookmark this page, make sure you come back, as we’re regularly updating it.

 

Sony A7R III

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  • Sharp images with plenty of detail and exceptional dynamic range
  • Lovely electronic viewfinder
  • Very respectable high-speed performance

Save over £1190 on the Sony A7R III which is the epitome of competence, whatever your genre of photography, now costing £1999.99 (previously £3199).

 

Nikon D850

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  • Excellent dynamic range
  • High-resolution and sharp detail 
  • New silent shooting mode
  • Large viewfinder

There’s over a £1200 discount on the Nikon D850, now priced at £2059.99 (was £3299). It impresses on paper, and it actually blew us away in use with its capability to produce crisp and highly detailed images, with a dynamic range that is almost unreal.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

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  • Very fast
  • Quick autofocus
  • Articulated touchscreen
  • Image stabilisation is unreal

There’s more than a £950 saving on the E-M1 Mark II. Not only is it better than the original model in every way – principal to its success is the built-in image stabilisation – it’s one of the best sensor-based system we’ve used, costing £899.99 (was £1850).

 

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

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  • Vari-angle screen is useful and live view better than Nikon’s offering
  • Smaller and lighter than similar full-frame models
  • Finds a resolution sweet-spot

Canon EOS 6D Mark II is one of the most balanced full-frame propositions, and it now has over a £650 saving with its price of £1346 (previously £2000).

 

Nikon D7500

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  • Features inherited from the class-leading Nikon D500
  • Large and vibrant tilt LCD touchscreen
  • Excellent build quality and handling
  • Pin-sharp images

Save over £290 on the Nikon D7500, priced at £1005.71 (previously £1300). It’s one a cracking camera, thanks to it’s fast processor, solid build, bright viewfinder and responsive tilt-angle touchscreen.

 

Panasonic Lumix G9

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  • Huge range of Micro Four Thirds lenses
  • Massive viewfinder and useful vari-angle LCD
  • 4K video and 6K stills modes

We found the G9 has a mighty impressive image stabilisation, an ultra-sensitive shutter, super-fast burst mode, accomplished continuous autofocus and burst shooting – plus with a £450 discount – what’s not to like? Priced at £1048.95 with John Lewis, Wex and Park Cameras, factoring in £150 cashback from Panasonic.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

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  • It’s so small considering the sensor size
  • Great image quality from APS-C size sensor
  • Dual Pixel AF is a capable autofocus system

You can save over £240 on the G1 X III. It’s an outstanding camera and with its small scale, it’ll be great for keen enthusiast buyers looking for a second camera, costing £999 with a further £150 cashback.

Other camera deals

Still searching for a top offers on a decent snapper, but none of the above have taken your fancy? Feel free to take a look at the retailer links below, and bookmark this page as we’ll be updating it regularly.

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New Panasonic S1 Series Camera Announcement on May 31, 2019

According to latest information coming from rumor mills, Panasonic May 31 announcement is a Cinema L-Mount product, possibly a new S1 Series camera dedicated for cinematography.  It’s not GH series camera according to sources of reputed rumor mill.

Panasonic Upcoming L-Mount camera specification

Panasonic Cine Lumix will be announced on May 31
It’s L-mount
New Full Frame sensors
Cinematography dream

Continue reading New Panasonic S1 Series Camera Announcement on May 31, 2019

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Amazon has rolled out a new update to its cloud cam security camera range adding a number of new features tweaks and enhancements available to purchase priced at $120. The Amazon Cloud cam security camera has been designed to function with Alexa and now includes notifications and detection alerts via echo devices. The latest update […]

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Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera

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Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR with Low-Pass Filter

  Are you looking for a camera that lives up to the high expectations you have when it comes to picture quality? If so you may just love the Canon EOS 5DS R Digital SLR with Low-Pass Filter Effect Cancellation. FEATURES EOS 5DS R digital SLR borrows all the awesome features of its predecessor EOS 5DS […]

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