How Nikon’s mirrorless did not make me sell my Sony


nikon 20mm 1.8g close up marmot
Nikon D800 | Nikon AF-S 20mm 1.8G | f/2.8

So far Sony is pretty much the only noteworthy contender when it comes to fullframe mirrorless cameras, but it is only a matter of time until Canon and Nikon will join the party. But what would it take for me to sell my Sony cameras and get a Nikon (once again)?
Update: now that the cat is out of the bag it was time for a recap of what we know and what we got

Why mirrorless?

Why did I sell my Nikon DSLR and most of the lenses I had and went for Sony mirrorless in the first place? Probably the most important aspect is the lens choice. I am now using lenses not only from different manufacturers but for different mounts on my Sony cameras. Small manual M-mount lenses up to Canon EF superteles (even with AF) and a lot in between.
This lets me cherry pick the best lenses for my needs across a pretty damn big board.
And there are simply lenses, which there are no equivalents for in the DSLR world. Obvious ones would be the Voigtlander 10mm 5.6 or the Mitakon 50mm 0.95, but this is not the whole story: try finding a lens with sunstars as nice as the Loxias for your Nikon DSLR…

I don’t want to make this article too long in ordner not to bore you, so here are a few other things the A7 cameras do a better job for me than a Nikon DSLR:

  • manual focus experience
  • you see the correct DoF in the viewfinder (barely anyone knows this is not the case with modern DSLRs though…)
  • in camere image stabilizer (IBIS)
  • no back-/frontfocus issues
  • eye-AF
  • focus peaking and zebra mode (for overexposure warning)
  • size/weight
  • electronic/silent shutter

Why Nikon?

nikon new mirrorless z-mount noct
Nikon D800 | AF-S 200mm 2.0G VRI | f/2.0

After having used Nikon DSLRs for several years I can say they get three things right: handling, image quality and AF (are you aware the D5 also has eye-AF?).
I really miss the responsiveness and the fast processor in the Nikon DSLRs.
Furthermore it was a tough fight to finally get lossless raw-files, but why uncompressed? Nikon has that one right for almost two decades now.
There are also some interesting lenses (300mm 4.0 PF, 200-500mm 5.6, 58mm 1.4 to name a few) which there is no equivalent for and which are not that much fun to adapt to Sony compared to Canon lenses.

The cameras

I will spare you the specifications, you can find them pretty much everywhere on the web. We got Z6 (24mp, mirrorless D750, A7III competitor) and Z7 (45mp, mirrorless D850, A7rIII competitor).

A few weeks ago I made this list what features those cameras would need to have for me to seriously consider getting one. I marked what we did get, what we didn’t get and what I am still not sure about:

  • fullframe sensor without reflection issues
  • short flange distance
  • in camera image stabilizer
  • better manual focus experience with split image (see Fuji)
  • faster processor for good responsiveness
  • better EVF (see Leica SL)
  • programmable menu system
  • electronic and mechanical shutter with auto option (see this article)
  • lossless compressed, not precooked RAW files

This was my personal list, but there are a few other things missing, that might be of interest to you:

  • no Eye-AF
  • only 1 XQD card slot
  • battery life (rated 330 shots)

The absence of Eye-AF is a real bummer, as with fast portrait lenses my keeper rate is now much higher compared to back when I was using Nikon DSLRs.
Having 2 card slots does not matter as much to me as it might matter to some of you, yet it was standard in the higher end Nikon cameras to have 2, so I am a bit surpised here.
Battery life we should wait for the first field tests before we complain.

The Lenses

The lenses we actually get soon

We got a 4/24-70 standardzoom, a 1.8/35 wide prime and a 1.8/50. Many people are complaining, but it is very similar to Sony’s inital line up (ZA 4/24-70, ZA 2.8/35 and ZA 1.8/55) and from the sample images I have seen so far I expect them to be better for most applications than these Sony’s offerings.

The latest Nikon DSLR lenses have been well rounded instruments. This also means they do not exactly excel at a certain thing (like the FE 85mm 1.4 GM with its smooth bokeh rendering or the Loxia lenses for the astonishing contrast and edge acuity) but they rarely had an outstanding flaw. The only one I can think of is the correction of loCA, but this was less of a problem with the most current lenses (1.4/28 and 1.4/105) and I don’t expect it to be a problem with the mirrorless lenses either.
Higher correction means these are not super cheap though, more on that in the next section.

All these new AF lenses will have speed sensitive focus-by-wire focus rings. Yes, that is the dreadful type I hated so much in the early Sony lenses (and Batis lenses).

The FTZ adapter

This adapter is pretty cheap, as apparently you can get it for 100$ if you buy one of the two cameras. I still have no idea how good or bad it is, but this might be the way to go if you are on a budget but still desperately want to have one of these two camera bodies.
Autofocus won’t be working with AF(-D) lenses, only with AF-S lenses (and probably the few AF-I super tele lenses) though. You have many good yet cheap lenses to choose from, there isn’t really a dud in the f/1.8 prime series (1.8/35 probably the worst though) and they are very competitively priced.

We also have to see if it actually works with third party lenses like Sigma and Tamron.

The lenses on the road map

To my utmost surprise Nikon also published a lens road map for the next 3 years. It looks to me as if they prioritized the lenses that do best as DSLR versions and by the end of 2020 we might have a (more or less) full set of f/4 zooms, f/2.8 zooms and a few primes.
Most notable is probably the 4/14-30 with a 82mm filter thread, but it is only a prototype, so we have to wait and see for the actual lens. I will talk about the 0.95/58 in the next section.

The specifications of the new Z-mount are not open, so third parties have to reverse engineer the protocols again. I am not yet sure what that means for the likes of Zeiss, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina.

The Halo 58mm f/0.95

This is the lens that probably caught the most attention. A modern lens like this from one of the big manufacturers with a high grade of correction coupled with the Eye-AF abilities of mirrorless cameras, that I would have wanted to add to my kit.

It is really big, but that is the price to be paid for a lens which is arguably that good, at least they thought of a tripod collar. But being an MF lens without autofocus, that really caught me by surprise and limits its usefulness to me significantly (not that the cameras have Eye-AF yet anyway…).
The ridiculous part is this: as far as I know this lens is also a focus by wire design, there are motors in there to move the lens groups, so why on earth is there no AF compatibility? I don’t get it.

I still regularly use the Mitakon 0.95/50 and obviously there are some limitations regarding focus accuracy – especially with moving subjects – so I expected the Noct to be an improvement in this regard, but this is not what it looks like so far.

That yellow “Noct” writing on the lens also strikes me as ugly and childish looking. Why they did not go with that Times New Roman like font from the trademark papers?


I switched to Sony cameras mostly because of the lens options (via adapter at that time) not because of the cameras themselves.

Sony A7rII | Zeiss Loxia 21mm 2.8 | f/5.6

Now the Zeiss Loxia lenses – and also some of the Voigtlander and Laowa lenses – meet my own criteria for landscape and architecture photography like none of the Nikon DSLR lenses ever could.

nikon new mirrorless z-mount noct
Sony A7rII | Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM | f/1.4

Of all the portrait lenses I used, reviewed and owned so far the Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM is the best match to my taste in bokeh with its slightly undercorrected SA at f/1.4.

I don’t think Nikon’s first attempt is a fail, but the current line up will mostly appeal to existing Nikon customers who want a mirrorless camera but so far did not switch to Sony.

If you already have an A7III, A7rIII or A9 and/or you could already find the lenses you need in Sony’s lineup I doubt there is much for you to gain from getting one of these Nikon cameras.

If you are new to the mirrorless world and debating between the Sony cameras and the Nikon cameras it probably depends on how good that FTZ adapter works and what lenses you are actually interested in.

So: I am not buying.

Further Reading

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My name is Bastian and I am your expert here when it comes to ultra wide angle lenses, super fast portrait lenses (ranging from a 50mm f/0.95 to a 200mm f/1.8) and I also have reviewed way too many 35mm lenses. Don't ask me anything about macro or wildlife shooting though.

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69 thoughts on “How Nikon’s mirrorless did not make me sell my Sony”

  1. I switched from Nikon as well and I definitely agree with you on the subject of what Nikon does right over Sony. I wonder if Zeiss would be willing to adapt their Loxia lenses to Nikon’s new mount, they may be able to “pull a Sigma” and stick a Nikon mirrorless mount on their existing lenses.

  2. I switched from Canon DSLR to Sony because of size, weight and the possibility to use my Leica M lenses. Especially the last reason could be a game changer depending on the filter stack size of the Nikon sensor.
    The only thing that makes me worry is, that I am not sure if Nikon will give use the possibility to use that many other lens manufacturer instead of “Nikon only”.

    1. It will be very interesting to see what kind of sensor stack the Nikon mirrorless comes with.
      But we will have to wait at least a few weeks for the first adapters anyway.

  3. I also switched from Nikon to Sony (and previously I had switched from Canon to Nikon). But now, after loosing so much money while selling all that gear, I’m much more reluctant to change again unless… the new Nikon system were a real game changer! 🙂

    1. I think you make a very good point as the cost of converting a system is high.
      I would need a really significant change in the photo experience to take a loss on all my Canon gear.
      OTOH, with adapters one could conceivably minimize switching costs to just the loss on the bodies and adapters.

  4. Thanks for this article Bastian.

    I’m eagerly waiting for the Nikon FF ML, but if they won’t release the specs of their mount like Sony did so that we’ll be able to adapt any lens to the new system I’m definitely not going to buy into it and remain with my (recently acquired, after a NEX-5T and a NEX-7) a7 Sony camera.

  5. I switched to Sony from Canon for the same reason. I wanted to use Zeiss manual lenses and now my lens kit is made exclusively of the Loxia line. I like the rendering of these lenses so much that I sacrificed autofocus. It will take Nikon a few years until their new system has as many native lens options as Sony does now.

  6. Thank you very much, Bastian, for this lucid and reasoned article!

    It has a beneficial effect to read your text after I took a look at the endless (and still growing) comments on the DPReview article about Nikon’s second teaser ( The discussion there contains some useful hints and ideas, too, but there are many rude and stupid comments, especially arrogant sideswipes against Sony cameras and even general insults of all users of Sony cameras … That’s not the appropriate way to discuss about stuff like digital cameras. Your article shows how to do better.

  7. Hi Bastian,
    as you know, I am an old Nikon lover, having used them for 35 years. My switch originally was also induced by free lens choice, especially by the lack of high quality affordable longer tele lens in Nikons line up at that time (no 4/300, no 5.6/400, no GOOD 70—300, no GOOD 70 or 100—400…). One may assume I have changed from Nikon to Sony to be able to use Canon lenses, funny thought.
    From a mere camera point of view, I still feel that lets say a Nikon D810 (was my last) not only handled much more pleasingly and ergonomically compared to Sony, but also is MUCH sturdier and more robust. It feels much more relaxed to have a big lens on the Nikon bayonet compared to a Gen. 3 Sony. And that Sony’s moisture protection means almost… nothing, well, we all know. Oh, and the big quality issues, like totally inappropriate bayonet mount on the first generation combined with simply arrogant claim handling… my company surely would loose the customer treated like Sony’s customers.
    As for the lenses, Sony also started with a (mediocre) 4/24—70…. often badly decentered… So, I am pretty sure Zeiss and Sigma will launch lenses for CaNikon mirrorless, simply because the SLR segment will shrink into a niche and I think they still like to sell or (Zeiss) license lenses. I am also not so fixed (in a freudian way) upon 10 blade apertures, you yourself have posted very nice sunstars coming from 9 blades…
    But would I change back? No, most likely not, not even, if the new Nikon is marvellous. For once, I am too old, it would take too long to change the system (not considering the cost), better to spend that time exercising photography. And finally, I got used to my Sony’s, they work for me and I like them (not as much as my late D810, though). Also the lens line up is ok.
    What Sony could do (besides the usual sensor improvements): make the cameras sturdier. Implement a better sensor cleaning, and implement something like a curtain, which protects the sensor during lens changes (like OLD medium format film cameras with changeable magazines could do 40 years ago). Add GPS, I still find it very cumbersome to employ a smartphone for that. Maybe make a separate “PHOTO line” of cameras without too much video capabilities, but better features for still. Implement multiple exposure capabilities like Fuji. That’s it for me.
    and thanks for your thoughts,

  8. Bonjour,

    Thanks Bastian!

    I do not think I will go back to Canon or Nikon.
    I like the small camera body’s, and do not need more grip.
    I have no problem with the menu’s.
    Lots of people laughed at Sony, but they had the guts to come with something new. And they do not stop inventing and make things better.
    Small is… YES!
    So please, make small lenses like the FE 55mm, or the Loxia’s, Bâtis or Voigtlander, with perfect glass. f1.8-2.0 is OK with me.
    24×36! Do not need a bigger sensor, which means bigger and heavier lenses.
    The A7R3 is not Sony’s last Camera I bought.

  9. A Sony A7rII working flawless with Leica-M lenses, even in Leica-M Mount, with Fuji help for focusing, and the IBIS of Olympus… A dream

  10. Very nice article Bastian!
    We have to admit the generation 3 of our beloved Sony A7xx became more serious.
    I switch 5 months ago from a A7II to a A7RIII and I can definitely say the camera is faster than its predecessors.
    Sadly I cannot compare with any Nikon high-end DSLR but I have got several times a 5D Mark IV in my hands. The Sony A7RIII feels serious, no doubt.

    What I would like to see in the near future is more choice when it comes to mirorless full frame cameras.
    Please Nikon, make your first iteration a good camera and please Fuji, come into the game!


  11. After switching from Nikon to Sony, I’ll stay with Sony. I’m very happy with my great lens collection (Batis 18/25/135, 55/1.8, 85/1.4 GM, 90/2.8 G, 70-200/4 G) and it will take a long time, until I can get something similar for that new Nikon.

    And will the Nikon be any better, except having a bigger grip (which can easily be added to the Sony)? I don’t care.

  12. BastianK, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    In the last two years the amount of travel I am doing increased exponentially. Only this year I flew 6 times to Korea and 5 to Japan and other remote place like Indonesia, New Zealand etc. For that reason, I switched to Sony plus Loxia/Batis lenses. After hiking in the Rocky Mountains national park for 3 days last November I started thinking for downsizing. Sony A7 cameras where the perfect solution when for landscape and portraits. I also have fuji kit which I use for street photography, but the A7RIII + Loxia 35mm works very well as well. However, I still carry the Fuji kit with (long/longish) zooms.

    I asked Zeiss if their would be making Loxia lenses for the upcoming Nikon mirrorless cameras and they replied that Nikon has not officially shared any information about the new mount with them. They are also waiting for the specs.

    Sony cameras are not as bad as people say and despite a few hick-ups the switch worked for me. The reason I am considering the Nikon is weather sealing and Nikon Professional Services. It is impossible to get that with Sony when using Zeiss and other adapted lenses :).

  13. While I still maintain my Nikon DSLR bodies, I have probably over 60 Nikkor lenses which I can use on the Nikon’s and now on my Leica SL via Novoflex adapters. I have several Leica M primes and R primes which I use on the SL.

    I also do landscape/ travel photography and possess several fairly exotic lenses which, fortunately, adapt well to the SL.

    My favorite set up is the Nikkor 13mm f/5.6 AIS lens mounted on the Leica SL.

    Santa Barbara, Calif

  14. Switched from Canon to Sony ML only for old manual focus lenses (amateur photographer, 99% portraits)…..after 4 years still miss the Canon colours. Hope Nikon do better colour science than Sony (or wait for Canon FF ML)

  15. Well, the new Nikon Z is there. Not really revolutionary, perhaps some things are better as the last Sony’s, but what we have seen is that Sony is the team that makes the inventions. Nikon just a follower.
    Next new Sony’s will surpass the Nikon, so it’s good there is competition which will stimulate both camps.
    It will take a while for Nikon to have Z-lenses. So I stick to my Sony with EYE-AF.

  16. I actually recently sold all my Sony lenses. I’m moving to Seattle Washington soon and it rains a lot there, so I’m not sure I’ll be staying with Sony (last time I visited I tried shooting in the rain and my camera was acting up so I put it away). I don’t want to shoot with a plastic bag over my camera all the time. I’ll probably shoot with my Olympus again for awhile until I decide what to do. The Z6 looks very temping given the weather sealing. I’ve read its sealing is as good as the D850’s, which is very good. I’ll keep my Sony for now though and just shoot my legacy manual focus lenses on days that the weather is nice.

      1. Thanks, Bastian. I’ll try that next time I’m out in the rain. I’m hoping Sony will provide better weather sealing soon. The mark III versions are a little better but still only top half of the camera is sealed. I’m probably going to shoot with the Olympus for awhile in inclement weather until I make up my mind. I have the 12-40 and 40-150 Pros and they’re both well sealed, so it’s a good system for the rain. But I would like something that is a little better in low light and for more demanding landscape shots. I do have a bag to put over my Sony so I’ll make do when I really need it but it’s not ideal for me since the bag has a drawstring that encloses around the lens and makes turning the focus ring a little more challenging. The weather sealed body and lenses of the Nikon are appealing to me for these reasons.

      2. Bastian, could you explain the “hot shoe cover” comment? I just put gaffer tape over the hot shoe–is there a particular after-market product that would work better?

          1. Thanks for your reply.

            Dave Etchell’s of Imaging Resource commented following his “water torture test” of Sony, Nikon and Canon cameras that he didn’t think that the (more expensive BS-3) Nikon hot shoe cover would be of much help because the Nikon cover doesn’t match the configuration at the front of the Sony hot shoe. Etchell’s wrote:

            “I don’t know how much concern to have about the A7R III’s hot shoe, found it interesting that the [Sony] hot shoe cover actually has a little tongue that sticks forward to cover the row of electrical contacts tucked up in the camera body in front of the hot shoe. It seems to me that might help some with keeping water out. . . .Given that the top of the camera seemed to be the main source of the leaks, the simple solution of a bit of gaffer’s tape over the left side and the hot shoe could eliminate a lot of the problem.”

    1. Roger Cicala’s strip down of the Nikon Z7, today, was very, very complementary. Not only does it have professional level build quality, it also has professional level weather sealing. It is, he claims much better built than the Sonys. Maybe this is also a sign of better build quality and weather sealing in the lenses as well. That would make it a no brainer for the Nikon for me.

  17. Hi,
    Thank you very much for this article !
    Could you please try to explain why you feel the new Z-Lenses will do better than their direct Sony competitors ? Especially for the 55 1.8, which I thought was known as a very good lense !
    There is a great avantage Sony still has over Nikon and that you didn’t pointed out : Sony is still selling the three A7 generations ! For some amateur like me, that cannot spend thousands but still wants to go for a full frame mirrorless and uses only manual lenses, you can have a new camera that is still great for much less !
    By launching the Z- series, Nikon is putting a lot of hype on the mirrorless and might even lose more Nikon users… they will have to release new models very quickly and pull down the prices just after Christmas !

    1. I think the 55mm 1.8 is a pretty overhyped lens.
      Yes, it offers high resolution, but contrast is not top notch, there are huge amounts of loCA and onion ring bokeh.
      From the few samples I have seen the latter two do no seem to be present in the Nikon lens.

  18. Thanks for this article I was waiting for.
    – You say there is no better EVF with the new Nikons. It depends on what Sony camera do you compare. Nikon Z6 has a better EVF than Sony A7iii (but Z7 not better than A7Riii).
    I own a sony A7II and I am interested by a better EVF for manual focus. I don’t want a Sony A7R3 because of the price and the huge 45Mp files (well, think I am going to wait the Sony a7 iiii ).
    – I really like the little LCD on the Z6/Z7. May be it’s a gadget but I used to have one on my last reflex (Nikon D90). Fuji added one too on their last X-H1.

    1. On spec the Sony A7rIII has a similar EVF resolution to the Nikon Z7. However, we need to be more careful. The Sony only uses full resolution in playback mode, in taking mode it does not. Nikon have also given a lot of attention to the optics in the viewfinder, which are apparrently much higher quality than in the Sony and even the Canon. My brief experience with the Sony and the Nikon revealed the Nikon to be noticeably crisper and sharper – enough for an automatic feeling that I didn’t want the Sony. (I shoot Canon and have no Nikon equipment).

        1. The difference in the functioning of the evfs is commented on in the Nikon review up today on DPR review, but has been mentioned many times before in other sources. The Sonys do not use full resolution in shooting mode, only in playback mode. Perhaps it requires actually comparing side by side to see the difference, but to me it was immediately clear. The better optics in the viewfinder are also obvious.

          A caveat, also mentioned in the DPR review, is the weakness of the Nikon viewfinder when used in continuous mode, where the image can even get stuck. Since I never use this mode it would be irrelevant to me though.

  19. Well,
    Nikon has a tricky game to play: they have to make milc which is better than Sony but worse than dslrs in eyes of all current and prospective Nikon users. And they probably don’t give a damn about other systems users for now. I think they got it right, and given the lens situation, for most current Nikon users D750 is a better deal than z6, whereas D850 is a better deal than z7 if you’re not into video. And Nikon users are not 😉 For few who are, or like Evfs, both Zs are also a clear win over Sony if you have a score of f-mounts already, so the leak of the ones tempted to switch to Sony will be stopped. I doubt though that they will attract any canon or Sony users. Canonians will wait for canons move, and I have not read yet a Sony user writing he switches back 😉 I might consider z6 over a7iii closer to Christmas, if it has a thin filter stack, as I mostly shoot m-glass nowadays, and only have fe28 to loose. But there are few people like me 😉 what I dislike about both z6 and a7iii is that they got Fat and heavy! Why can’t Sony remake original a7 with a bsi Sensor and thin filter stack 🙁 the Nikon apparently is not going to play the light milc game 🙁 and probably also canon will not 🙁

  20. Competition would be great to drop the prices of full frame mirrorless. But instead like high end cell phones there is collusion not competition.

  21. 58mm Noct isn’t focus by wire. The distance scale is engraved on the focus ring, which means there’s a permanent mechanical linkage to the focusing group. Most likely traditional helicoid, based on almost 360 degrees focus throw.

  22. I don’t know,i’ve been using sony a7r first version for 3/4 years now and the sensor is Very Good (i come from analogic,pentax 6/7 mamiya 7 etc so i’m not bothered with camera shake and all those defects people found in this first model) But one thing i didn’t maybe get completely used still is the camera handling. The grip is not so comfortable and this makes me look at the Nikon z with some kind of envy.. but changing everything means throwing away 2/3 thousands € and i’m not enthousiast about the idea.
    Probably though soon there will be an adapter to use fe lenses on the nikon z and this could be interesting…

  23. The Sony A7Riii is a superior camera to either new Nikon mirrorless. There are good lenses available by Sony, Voigtlander, Carl Zeiss and others in autofocus and manual. For people with bigger hands you can get an adapter for comfort and for those who wanted a smaller camera no need to change from Sony. It is about time Nikon did some research and it took years before they entered the mirrorless market.

  24. Feeling sad about the update. As a previous Nikon shooter myself I was also having high hope, especially if I could use that D850 sensor.
    Is there a further update titled “How Canon’s mirrorless could make me sell my Sony”?

    1. With the Canon the big question marks are flange distance (I think they might keep EF but make lenses that protude into the body) and sensor quality. As soon as there is more intel we may write a similar article 🙂

  25. I shoot mainly street and landscape photography so a second memory card is not relevant to me and EYE AF is not essential. I used to own Nikon D810 and many Nikon and Tamron lenses. After I bought a Sony A7R2, I shot the D810 and the A7R2 side by side for a year. The D810 mirror was such a pain I eventually sold all of the Nikon gear. I now own the A7R3, A7R2, A6500, and both Sony and Zeiss lenses. I also own the Fuji X-T2 and the Fuji 100-400mm lens. I got to handle the Nikon Z7 with the S-line 24-70 f4 and the 50mm f1.8 early this week. My thoughts: The Z7 EVF is comparable to the Sony A7R3 EVF for single shot mode but doesn’t dumb down when shooting continuous like the Sony EVF. The Z7 LCD is superior in both resolution and function. The Z7 IBS locks when the camera turns off. The Z7 grip and camera controls feel better than the Sony grip and controls and weather sealing is probably superior. No EYE AF on the Z7. Z7 AF is fast and accurate for single shot mode. The new Nikon f4 lenses are very sharp and superior to Sony f4 lenses. I expect that the Z-mount will enable the development of smaller and better lenses than the F-mount or Sony E-mount. I think both Sony and Nikon mirrorless camera functions are compromises because of camera processor speed limitations. Sony prioritized frame rate and EYE AF; Nikon prioritized EVF and LCD functionality in order to give Nikon customers an attractive Nikon mirrorless option. Except for the EVF and size and weight, the D850 is an equal or superior photography tool to the Z7. Next week we will probably see what Canon prioritizes. I have the Nikon Z7 and the S-line 24-70 f4 lens on order, but only to have the option of purchasing them in a few months after reviews of the production units are available–I will probably cancel the order before it ships. It is expensive to change systems. You can only recover 30-40% of your investment. And it seems silly to purchase F-mount lenses only to eventually replace them with Z-mount lenses.

  26. Currently a Nikon Df shooter with Zeiss ZF and Nikon ai manual lenses. Had an opportunity to shoot with a Sony A7iii and the Zeiss Loxia line of lenses and came away very impressed. I was considering a A7iii before that to use an m adapter for Zeiss ZM lenses, but the Loxias to me rendered beautifully. I decided to wait and see if Nikon will eventually allow Zeiss to adapt a Z mount for their Loxia line, much like they did years ago with the ZF. If that happens, being a Nikon shooter for over 40 years, I would invest in the Nikon Z over the Sony A7. Hopefully Zeiss will be able to move in the direction of a Loxia Z-mount line.

  27. Have to comment that regarding Nikon f1.8 lenses, I was never quite happy with the 85/1.8 AF-S: massive CA and fringing, flared easily and focusing wasn’t rock solid. One of the first lenses I purchased when I got a Sony was the Batis 85, which fixed all these problems and provides an overall nice image quality. The CA of the Sony 55/1.8 is no issue at all when coming from Nikon 😉

    Didn’t try out other f1.8 lenses though, they came so late. Apparently the 50/1.8 and 20/1.8 are very good.

  28. Bitte bringt mal mehr Objektivvergleiche “alt gegen bezahlbar neu”, mit den Schwerpunktenen Auflösung und Leistung an den Rändern. Und zwar jeweils an Vollformat und APS-C. Es gibt wenige Review-Seiten, die letzteres regelhaft tun, dabei ist das Ergebnis immer erhellend. Und da bei APS-C der Schritt von 24MP in höhere Regionen ansteht und sich auch viele mittlerweile den 42MP VF-Sensor leisten können, seit die A7R2 im Preis sinkt, wird das Thema relevant.
    Da Spiegellos aber für Amateure weiterhin teuer bleibt, bleiben bezahlbare Linsen bzw Altglas wichtig.
    Deswegen wären zB spannend, an A7R(x) und A6500 bzw dem Nachfolger:

    FE 1.8/85 gegen das aktuelle Samyang und zB das Minolta MD 1,7/85

    FE 1,8/55 gegen Samyang 50mm AF und Minolta Rokkor PG 1,4/50 und MC-II 1,4/58. (Da hat Philip den Vergleich mal gemacht, leider mit dem eher schwachen 1,7/55 und nur an 24MP VF)

    FE 2,8/35 gegen Samyang AF 35mm und späteres Minolta MC/MD 2,8/35

    24mm: Aktuelle Festbrennweiten gegen alte (Minolta MD und zB Sigma Super Wide II), aber auch gegen die bezahlbaren Zooms, also 4/24-70 und 24-105.

    135 bzw 200mm haben heute die meisten eher im Zoom, also zB 4/70-200 nicht nur gegen das Minolta 70-210, wie ihr es schonmal sehr schön gemacht habt, sondern auch gegen MD 2,8/135 und 4/200

    *Minolta natürlich auch als Platzhalter für andere repräsentative Scherben anderer Hersteller

    1. Mit dem Einstieg ins Berufsleben ist bei mir inzwischen Zeit der knappe Faktor während das Geld etwas lockerer sitzt. In der Konsequenz nutze ich meist lieber moderne Voigtländer oder Sony Objektive. Die sind teuer aber in mir wichtigen Disziplinen wie dem Gegenlichtverhalten einem alten Minolta haushoch überlegen. Reviews werden in meinen Augen dann gut, wenn man die Objektive wirklich zum fotografieren nutzt. Da wir das bei Altglas nur noch wenig tun gibt’s hier auch wenigee Altglas reviews. Erst recht nicht an APS-C.

  29. Nikon and Canon have a number of years to see what Sony has been doing with mirrorless and still haven’t totally matched or bettered them on most of the full frame specifications. ALSO, they have no APSC mirrorless cameras – WHY – They will not be able to attract entry level customers or enthusiastic amateurs like me.

  30. A few things seem to have arisen since this was written, which may bring about a change of mind.

    1. From all reports I’ve read and briefly experienced, the EVF is considerably better than that on the Sony A7rIII. Not only are the optics in the EVF of much higher quality, it is also at full resolution in shooting mode, whereas the Sony is not. It only reveals full resolution in playback mode.

    2. Today, Roger Cicala of LensRentals in his strip down, claims that the Nikon Z7 is the highest quality mirrorless camera he has so far taken apart. He strongly complements the neatness and the high quality of the internal componentry, electrics and especially the professional level weather proofing.

    3. comments are starting to come in that the 5-axis stabiliser is more effective than on the Sony.

    4. most interesting to me, but perhaps not for everyone, is that this plays far, far more effectively with M- mount lenses than the Sony. See here:
    Some testers are saying they work as well on the Nikon as on the Leica SL – even such lenses as the 21/3.8 SEM. So wide angle lenses seem to work well, something that can’t be said about any of the Sonys. The secret seems to be the much thinner cover glass.

    5. perhaps a little esoteric, but Nikon claim that their wide mount gives them. Much more flexibility in designing faster, better lenses. That of course remains to be seen.

    So, better build quality, better EVF, better weather-proofing, better stabilisation, better lenses (possibly), better rear screen, and definitely better with M wides adds up to quite a sunstantial improvement in those areas over the Sony.

  31. Isn’t a real issue hoe the Nikon will work with older lenses? The Sony cameras are pretty problematic. And the early indications are that the Nikon is going to possibly be significantly better. For me the rest of the characteristics of the camera bodies are quite secondary. But for you?

    There is a thread on Fred Miranda that gives me impression that my next camera will be a Nikon, not the Sony A7RIII that was my plan.

    1. The only M-mount lens still in my kit that is affected by the filter stack is the Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7 which works flawlessly with the 5m PCX on stock Sony.
      So for me Nikon is 2-3 years late to the game.
      And now that we have first reviews and measurements I must say the Nikon S lenses that have been released so far are much worse than I would have expected…
      I am still waiting for a review sample of the Z7 nevertheless.

  32. Hello Bastian!

    It is an interesting article, but I have some doubts, maybe you can help me? I’m actually a Nikon user, shooting mostly landscapes and travel with D610+16-35F4 + 70-200 F4 + 85 1.8 + Samyang 14mm. I’ve tried A7ii and was really confused by it’s Jpeg performance. Nikon gives much more pleasing colors. In RAW everything is ok of course, but I don’t process all photos, only best. And most of the others are just in jpeg for family archive.
    You have A7R2 and it has another sensor than a7ii. Have you noticed something like this when migrated from D800 to A7R2?

    1. First: I never use Jpeg, so I cannot tell you anything about D800 in comparison to A7r2 here.
      In Raw I don’t see myself adjusting more on Sony cameras compared to Nikon, maybe I adjust different things though
      (Nikon I often adjusted the red, Sony I adjust the blue).

  33. Wonderful article. Very informative and accurate and truthful.
    However I want to clarify one statement you made “no back-/frontfocus issues and true DOF”. That is true in most cases except for the Zeiss ZE classic Canon mount lenses, in which case I have found that the only time this is true is if you are using a Metabones IV OR V adapter in Advanced mode. It does not work in green mode or with the Sigma mc-11 or any other adapter.

  34. Thank you for sharing your experience and analysis Bastian. I was not as brave as you and did not switch to Sony although I always hated the weight and bulk of Nikon DSLR. I was more than happy to see Nikon come with Z cameras and I bought one but until very recently I only could benefit more or less the same lenses as before except the few ones released. But during the last couple of weeks I got a couple of adapters and tested some other lesnses and even bought a Voigtländer 15mm VM mount. I took a few sunset images with that and the day after I saw the release of Sony E to Nikon Z adapter. Off course I ordered one at once. I sent back my Voigt VM and bouht a Sony E mount 15mm instead, now all the EXIF and other data is also available in the camera. Also bought a vintage Konica AR 40mm F1.7 and adapter and took a few images with that.
    I also tested Sony 85mm AF, Loxia 21mm 2.8 and Sony AF 135mm on my Z6. AF worked also fine.
    It is thought interesting to compare the quality of these lenses on Nikon Z with the same lenses on Sony A7 iii. Not sure if you have built any opinions on that matter.

  35. Also missing Eye-AF feature mentioned in the article as bummer is not true anymore. If you buy a camera today it comes with the new firmware (v2.0) that has added the Eye-AF feature to the camera. One can also upgrade the firmware of early release Z76/Z7 at home to get that feature working in the camera.


  36. Hi Bastian, i left this request on another page as well..
    Request you/team to maybe test Nikon 300mm F4 VR on a Sony. It will still be useful to some if it is tested as a manual focus lens, being very light and small (755 grams) and hiking friendly.

    1. It is already on the list of lenses I would be interested in reviewing, unfortunately the questionable Commlite adapter is necessary to even change the aperture, as the 300mm is an E lens.

      1. Thank you. As you suggested to me sometime back, you can change the aperture by using a Nikon body.
        Also, Commlite works fine with this lens. (V.06).

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