Nikon finally stepped into professional mirrorless cameras, and its Flagship Z7 isn’t just a slimmed-down virsion of the Nikon D850, even if the two share many similar specifications. Both feature a 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor, 4K video, and an almost identical price point. But the Nikon Z7 adds in-body image stabilization and a processor that’s even faster than the one inside the D850. So which camera is better? The choice is a tough one.

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7

Key Feature

  • 45.7MP BSI full-frame sensor
  • 5-axis Vibration Reduction system
  • 4K UHD video recording

The Nikon Z7 shares a 45.7MP (effective) pixel count with the company’s still-popular D850 DSLR, and both sensors have a backside-illuminated (BSI) design to help with light capture, together with no anti-aliasing feature  for better detail capture. The sensor in the Nikon Z7, however, is different; while we’re not told quite how it compares in terms of performance, it contains 493 phase-detect AF pixels to help with focusing – more on this later.

There’s also a new lens mount, which currently accepts three native lenses, but many more are promised over the next few years. The flange depth measures just 16mm and the diameter of the lens mount is a wide 55mm, which bodes well for high-quality lenses with wide apertures. 2019, for example, will welcome a NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct lens, which Nikon has made a lot of noise about since the launch of the Z system.

Images from the Nikon Z7 are output at a maximum resolution of 8256 x 5504 and tend to weigh around 17-31MB, depending on what it is you’re capturing, ISO setting and so on. Opened up in Photoshop, these measure a hefty 130MB at default settings. 

The Nikon Z7 can also be set to capture 14-bit raw files, in either compressed, losslessly compressed or uncompressed formats, and you can also output TIFFs straight away if you need to.

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

When Nikon introduced the D800 and D800E, it set a new benchmark for DSLR image quality and super high resolution photography that approached medium format. Now, five years later, Nikon proudly introduces the next evolution in high resolution DSLRs, a camera that allows photographers to capture fast action in 45.7 megapixels of brilliant resolution. With remarkable advancements across the board—sensor design, autofocus, dynamic range, sensitivity, Speedlight control, battery life, shutter and mirror drive mechanisms, Silent Photography in Live-View mode, focus shift capability and more—this is quite possibly the most impressive, well-rounded DSLR yet

The Nikon D850 sets remarkable standards of quality in both, possessing an impressive 45.7 effective megapixels that allows it to capture the most awe-inspiring images and produce phenomenal 8K UHD time-lapse movies via images taken with its silent interval timer shooting. Create epic film masterpieces in full-frame 4K UHD with NIKKOR wide-angle lenses, or prolong exquisite moments with its 120p/100p Full HD slow-motion recording. It also boasts enhanced superior agility to keep up with the demands of the modern photographer, such as continuous shooting functions at speeds approximately 7 frames per second (fps) or 9 fps1, and a revolutionary shutter and mirror drive mechanism that improve the stability of the composition. Whether your interest lies with the fields of fashion, nature, sports or wedding photography and videography, you will always be inspired to bring out your best with the game-changing


Nikon D850 vs Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7 Nikon D850

Sensor45.7 megapixel full-frame CMOS without optical low pass filter45.7 megapixel full-frame CMOS without optical low pass filter
Burst Speed9 fps in extended mode or 5.5 fps with live view7 fps (9 fps with optional battery pack)
Shutter Speed30 sec. to 1/8000, bulb30 sec. to 1/8000, bulb
ISO64 – 25,600 (32 – 102,400 extended)64 – 25,600 (32 – 102,400 extended)
Autofocus493-point hybrid phase-detection contrast AF153 dynamic area phase-dtection points (contrast detection AF in Live View)
Low Light AF-1 to +19 EV (-4 to +19 in low light AF mode)-4 to +20 EV
Flash Sync1/2001/250
Image Stabilization5-axis sensor shiftNone (available in some lenses)
Video4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 120 fps4K at 30 fps, 1080p up to 5x slow mo
Viewfinder0.5-inch, 3.69-million dot EVF, 100-percent coverageOptical, 100-percent coverage
LCD3.2 inch, 2.10 million dot tilting touchscreen3.2 inch 2.359 million dot tilting touchscreen
Media SlotsSingle XQD card slotOne XQD, one SD (UHS-II compliant) slot
Battery330 shots1,840
Dimensions (WxHxD)5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches5.8 x 4.9 x 3.1
Weight1.29 lbs. (body only)2.02 pounds (body only)

The move to mirrorless shaves more than a half pound, putting the Nikon Z7 at a weight that’s comfortable for longer shoots. Smaller isn’t always better, and thankfully Nikon included a DSLR-sized grip on the Z7 so you don’t sacrifice ergonomics. The viewfinder also juts out from the back of the camera, helping to prevent your nose from making contact with the touchscreen. This means you don’t save a huge amount of space in the camera bag over the D850, but the Z7 is still noticeably more compact.


While the Z7 is smaller, the Nikon D850 has more room for physical controls, and — a sticking point for many pros — dual media card slots. The D850 uses a control layout that is very familiar for anyone who has used a Nikon DSLR, with plenty direct-access control. Several of the D850’s buttons can also be illuminated for working in the dark.

The Z7 has a surprising number of similarities with the D850 despite the smaller profile. Both have top screens, dual control wheels, joysticks, tilting touchscreens and many buttons in common, along with robust weather sealing. The Z7 ditches the drive mode dial and shortuct button cluster found on the D850 in favor of a traditional exposure mode dial. The Z7 maintains two customizable buttons near the lens mount. Even with the added options, the Z7 is still missing a few physical controls (which ones depends on what’s assigned to those front two buttons). While the design isn’t a reason not to choose the Z7, the D850 just has more space for a more robust control scheme and those dual card slots.

The Z7 does have another design feature that the D850 doesn’t — an electronic viewfinder, which unlike its optical sibling, displays an accurate exposure and depth of field, along with tools like focus peaking.

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