Incredibly Fun Morning with the Z7
Ft Worth Camera and Nikon brought me into Ft Worth for the weekend to talk aviation photography. We had a Friday night presentation and a Saturday shoot at the Vintage Flying Musuem. Though it rained the entire time, luckily for us we had two massive hangars of subjects to work with. Better yet for me, my good friend Terrence had a preproducton Z7 / Z24-70 for me to shoot with. It’s my first opportunity to shoot real world work with the Z7 which I’ve been dying to do ever since the launch! This is how I made the most of my time, something that might help you with your next body purchase.
The last thing you want to do is take your new camera out of the box and just start shooting! Terrence handed me the Z7 / Z24-70 the night before the shoot. This permitted me to go through all the settings in the camera and learn them, play with them and set them to my preferences BEFORE shooting. What if you don’t know what settings to use? You could head to my D850 Settings and suprisingly, set many of the Z7 the same and you’ll be fine. Part of the brilliance of the Z7 is it’s so like your Nikon DSLR! Yes, the Z7 has some unique and killer settings unique to it (I’ll post those later) but this will get you up and shooting. And that’s what I did and it worked great because I had a great time shooting.
The first thing I wanted to photograph was the eight .50 cal guns on the B-26. I needed to get higher but there was no ladder so I went with “over the head, fold out monitor” technique. You can do that with many cameras these days but the first thing I noticed shooting with the Z7 was there was no mirror slop. Holding a camera over your head is far from proper hand-holding but it was so much easier shooting with no mirror bouncing about, I was sold! I then started shooting holding the camera at the ground to see if the mirrorless benefit worked shooting that awkward method. It was brilliant! With that instant affirmation that the Z7 is a valid tool, I went to work. The first thing I wanted to prove to myself that the Z7 and in this case, shooting with the Z24-70 captured the light, color and sharpness my clients have come to expect from my images. It most certainly does! I really love the color (shooting Auto Natural Auto WB), shadow detail and blackness and really sharp files I captured. I shot all hand-held from ISO 64 – 400 at f/4 to f/22. Going through all I shot, I have no reservation that they will produce gorgeous 24×30 prints (which I can’t wait to make).
The best part of my Z7 / Z24-70 experience which I shared with all the folks was that after four hours of shooting, I didn’t feel beaten up working with a heavy rig! I shot laying on the floor to up a top of a ladder. Even through we were in just two hangars, I walked just shy of two miles. The whole time shooting with the Z7 / Z24-70 and its small size and weight was like, wow, almost nothing compared to my DSLR rigs. I’m loving that aspect of the mirrorless experience. I have a lot more to report from my moring shoot with the Z7 / Z24-70 but the most important to me was, it was simply an incredibly fun morning! mtc