Thông tin sản phẩm

With the second iteration of its high speed, full-frame mirrorless

camera

, Sony has concentrated on subtle, rather than dramatic improvements. The a9 II ($4,499.99, body only) is the equal of its predecessor, the

a9

, from an imaging perspective. Improvements are largely ergonomic, so there’s little reason for a9 owners to upgrade. But that doesn’t detract from just how good the a9 II is for capturing sports, wildlife, and other subjects that task autofocus to its limits. Its performance is class-leading, and it undercuts its competitors in price by a wide margin, making it our Editors’ Choice.

Familiar, But Improved

The a9 II feels familiar and comfortable in the hand. Its body isn’t that much different from the a9, launched in 2017. The grip is improved, and controls have been updated to match the feel of what you get with Sony’s specialized high-resolution model, the

a7R IV

.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 3200

The body is pro-grade, with magnesium alloy construction, five-axis image stabilization, and weather protection. It’s smaller than similar models from Canon and Nikon, which incorporate vertical shooting grips into the body, but an add-on grip is available if you prefer a beefier build. On its own, the a9 II measures 3.8 by 5.1 by 3.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.5 pounds.

The camera is sold as a body only, but there are a wealth of

lenses

available for the system. All of the standard options that pros wants are there, and Sony has a couple of exotic telephoto primes, the FE 400mm F2.8 GM and

FE 600mm F4 GM

, both with teleconverter compatibility. Canon and Nikon go a little bit further—each offers 500mm and 800mm prime lens options as well.

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Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000

If you do prefer a bigger camera, the VG-C4EM battery grip is available for $349.99. It attaches to the bottom and supports two batteries and adds controls for more comfortable operation when holding the camera in portrait orientation. It’s not the same grip from the a9, though, so you’ll need to get a new one if you’re upgrading. The VG-C4EM can also be used with the a7R IV, if you happen to own both cameras.

Subtle Changes to Controls

The a9 II puts its buttons and dials in roughly the same place as they are on the a9, but there are some minor changes here and there. You’ll notice a pair when looking at the top plate—the rear control dial is now exposed entirely, instead of recessed into the body, and the EV dial now has a central locking post. Both of these changes were seen earlier in the a7R IV.

Sony a9 II

Other top controls include programmable C1 and C2 buttons, the forward command dial (integrated into the handgrip), the Mode dial, and the shutter release. The a9 II includes one feature not found on the otherwise identical a7R IV body, a dedicated dial for setting drive mode and focus options. It’s at the left of the top plate and gives you quick access to change from single exposure to one of three continuous drive modes, and to switch between single, continuous, and manual focus without diving into menus.

Rear controls include a programmable C3 and Menu buttons, both at the top left corner. Record, AF-ON, and AE-L sit together in a row along the top, just to the right of the EVF eyecup. Below them you’ll see the eight-way controller used to set the active autofocus area, the rear command dial, and the Fn, Play, and Delete/C4 buttons.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1000

Many of the a9 II’s physical controls are customizable, including all of the C buttons and each of the directional presses. They’re supplemented with an on-screen overlay menu. It includes twelve slots for additional settings, and can be tuned separately for photo and video modes.

LCD and EVF

The a9 II doesn’t make any changes from the a9 in terms of display or EVF. It sports the same 3-inch, tilting LCD. The display supports touch input, sharp (1,440k-dot) resolution, and adjustable brightness—when set to Daylight mode, it’s very usable in bright sunlight.

Sony a9 II

Touch support works well, but it’s not widely implemented. You can tap to set a focus point, even when framing shots with the EVF, but on-screen menus aren’t navigable by touch. Sony has been slower to fully embrace it when compared with other brands, most of which include menus with full touch input support.

The a9’s EVF was already class-leading, one of the first to sport the 3.68-million-dot resolution we now expect in a premium model. It’s not just sharp, it’s also quite large to the eye, with a 0.78x magnification rating.

It’s the EVF that makes the a9 II fundamentally different from its closest competitors from Canon and Nikon. Both still use SLR designs for their top-end sports cameras—the latest are the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and Nikon D6.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 4000

With an SLR you lose sight of your shot every time the mirror flaps open and the shutter opens and closes, delivering a stop-motion view of the action. The a9 II uses an electronic shutter for its 20fps mode, so it’s able to rattle off shots without disrupting your view of the scene. It’s a technological feat that translates into a practical ergonomic improvement—it’s simply easier to keep your lens honed on fast-moving targets without any sort of blackout.

Connectivity and Power

The a9 II is Sony’s most connected camera. It includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for cable-free image transfer to a smartphone or, via your smartphone, to an FTP server. There’s also an RJ-45 Ethernet port with support for Gigabit transfer.

The Wi-Fi features work with the Sony Imaging Edge Mobile app, a free download for Android and iOS devices. Its basic functions include image transfer to your smartphone or tablet, and remote camera control.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000

A second companion app, Sony Transfer & Tagging, is used for FTP transfers. The a9 and a9 II support the same level of functionality for transfer—the app will automatically upload your shots to an FTP server as you shoot.

The a9 II offers one extra feature, not supported by its predecessor. It’s able to add a recorded voice memo to any photo. Making notes can be useful if you need to caption photos later, or if you’re sending them to a remote editor to get online. The app uses voice recognition to convert your notes to text and puts it in the IPTC metadata.

In addition to the Ethernet port, the camera has a PC Sync socket and a hot shoe for flash connection, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, a micro HDMI output, and both USB-C and micro USB connectors.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1600

Sony has (finally) dropped support for its esoteric Memory Stick format. The a9 II sports two SDXC memory card slots, both with support for the fastest UHS-II cards. This is an upgrade over the a9—it only offers UHS-II speeds in one of its two card slots.

As for power, the a9 II is driven by a NP-FZ100 battery. It’s rated by CIPA for up to 690 shots (when using the LCD) or about 500 with the EVF. You’ll get more if you utilize the 20fps burst shooting mode, of course.

Even though its battery is excellent for a mirrorless camera, big, gripped SLRs shoot for longer—the Nikon D6 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark III are both rated for a few thousand shots using the same methodology.

Tracking Autofocus and Blackout-Free Capture

The a9 II’s autofocus is the best we’ve seen in any camera. It spreads coverage across almost the entire surface area of the sensor, missing just the very outer edges, and it’s eerily fast and accurate.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 2500

Face and eye detection are included, for both people and pets, and the a9’s subject tracking is absolutely superlative. It’s only available in AF-C mode, but when engaged it locks onto a target and sticks with it.

See How We Test Digital Cameras

There are several zones to choose from for initial acquisition, including a wide area that lets the camera pick its target. I lean most heavily on the Expanded Flexible Spot option, one that gives me a small box to move around the frame to find a target. I typically leave it centered, lock my subject, and then concentrate on composition and capturing the moment.

You may work differently, of course, and the a9 II is flexible enough to allow you to do so. The eight-way rear focus control is comfortable to use and responsive, and you can opt for various sizes of flexible spot, as well as focus areas that cover up wider portions of the frame. The camera gives you the tools to work the way you want to.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1000

With sports shut down at the time of testing, I didn’t have opportunities to put the a9 II through its paces on the athletic field. It’s the absolute equal of the a9 with Firmware 5.0 loaded, though, a camera that I’ve used often. Last year I tested its Firmware 5.0 at pro

rugby

and soccer matches, and the Real Time Tracking focus system rarely faltered.

Once the camera locks onto a subject it sticks with it, so you’ve got freedom to concentrate on composition and pressing the shutter at the decisive moment. And, for those who may not be quite perfect at timing, the 20fps burst rate makes it just a little bit easier to capture the perfect slice of action.

When you’re using the electronic shutter, you don’t lose view of your subject either. A solid outline flashes toward the edges of your frame, a visual clue that the camera is making an exposure. Audio cues are available if you’d like, but I turned them off to ensure the camera was entirely silent when making images—a big plus for photographing birds and other skittish wildlife.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000

The shooting buffer is ample; at top speed I was able to net 215 Raw+JPG, 230 Raw, or 415 JPGs before it fills and the camera pauses capture. I used the Compressed Raw option for buffer tests; there’s no advantage to using larger, Uncompressed Raw images along with the electronic shutter—you end up with the same quality image, but with a bigger file size.

You can start making images again as the buffer clears to memory, but you can’t switch to video capture. It’s rare that you’ll have the need to shoot a few hundred shots at 20fps, but if you do fill up the buffer you’ll have to wait a bit as images write to memory. With a 300MBps Sony Tough UHS-II card, I clocked a 3.5 minute duration for Raw+JPG, 1 minute for Raw, and 3 minutes for JPG.

There is also a mechanical shutter, capable of burst rates of up to 10fps, with tracking, a significant upgrade over the a9’s 5fps mechanical shutter. You’ll experience the same type of finder blackout as with other mirrorless cameras when opting for it, but there are reasons to use it over the fully electronic one.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 8000

In rare situations, certain types of LED lighting used in stadium displays can induce banding—for more detail, read Rishi Sanyal’s

detailed analysis

at DPReview. Shutter speed and the type of lighting and its intensity are factors.

The electronic shutter doesn’t play well with flashes either—you’ll need to use the mechanical shutter when working with strobes; it supports sync at 1/250-second. Sony did a good thing by improving the speed of the mechanical shutter—the a9 II is just as adept for studio work as the a7R IV and

a7 III

.

24MP Full-Frame Sensor

The a9 II sports the same BSI CMOS image sensor as its predecessor. It boasts 24MP resolution, a 24-by-36mm full-frame design, and incorporates fast DRAM as part of its stacked design. It’s the stacking that gives it a very fast readout speed, so the electronic shutter is useful for capturing fast-moving subjects.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 6400

You can capture images in JPG or Raw format. The JPG photos are processed in-camera, and show strong detail from the base ISO 100 sensitivity through ISO 6400. Fine lines show some blur at ISO 12800 and 25600, but are very usable.

It’s at more extreme settings, ISO 51200 and higher, where JPG images suffer more noticeably. The top setting is ISO 204800, and while image quality slightly ekes out the Nikon D5 shot at the same ISO, the emphasis is on slightly. You can tune the a9’s noise reduction if you work in JPG format and want more detail at higher settings, but it also comes with more grain.

If you work in Raw format, you’ll move noise reduction to your processing software. Images loaded in our standard, Adobe Lightroom, show strong detail through ISO 25600, and while they show some grain when pushed that far, it’s not overwhelming. Output at ISO 51200 is rougher, but still usable. Grain is heavy and noticeably harms detail at ISO 102400 and 204800.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1250

You’ll also enjoy more flexibility to edit exposure and colors in Raw format. Images are saved at 12-bit quality when using the electronic shutter and 14-bit quality using the mechanical one. You’ll have ample room to open shadows, curb highlights, and adjust color, even with the 12-bit files.

4K Video Too

The a9 II is also an adept video camera. It supports 4K recording at up to 30fps and can go to 120fps at 1080p. Video is recorded internally with 4:2:0 8-bit quality and XAVC compression. You can output clean 4:2:2 8-bit footage to an

Atomos Ninja

or similar external recorder.

Slow-motion is available in-camera as well. The S&Q setting records silent footage at up to 120fps, with multiple slow playback options ranging from half to one-fifth speed.

There are a number of features for pro videographers. The sensor is stabilized for one, and the camera supports both XLR (via an add-on adapter) and digital microphones. Low-quality proxy files, recorded alongside higher-quality video, are available to put less stress on your computer when editing footage.

Sony has opted not to add its Picture Profiles to the a9 II, which is disappointing. The Profiles, available on models like the a7 III and a7R IV, include S-Log profiles with lowered contrast and color saturation.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 4000

S-Log video looks dull and flat out of camera, but gives more freedom for videographers to apply color correction. The a9 II has a Neutral profile that you can use instead, but it’s not as malleable as a true flat profile. Canon goes much further with video in its latest flagship; the EOS-1D X Mark III supports Raw video at 5.5K resolution.

Unmatched Experience for Action Photography

As far as Mark II updates go, the a9 II is a rather modest one. It makes some welcome improvements to ergonomics, speeds up the mechanical shutter, and now supports voice memos. It maintains the other things we love about the a9, including superlative focus tracking, a 20fps capture rate, and full-frame image quality.

Sample ImageFE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 2500

It’s the experience behind the camera that sets it apart from competitors. The

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

and the Nikon D6 are the biggest, baddest SLRs you can buy—but they bring the SLR baggage along with them. You’ll get a stuttering view of action, interrupted by the flapping mirror and opening and closing shutter when using their viewfinders.

With the a9 II the view is uninterrupted, as long as you opt for the electronic shutter. Longtime SLR owners may experience an adjustment period, but the EVF is no longer an inferior option. The a9 II sports one of the best you’ll find—crisp, big to the eye, and with a real preview of what your finished shot will look like.

Sony a9 II

It may require more to sway longtime Canon and Nikon pros away from their 1D and D6 bodies, but the a9 II takes them on with wider autofocus coverage, effective subject tracking, and in-body image stabilization, and it does so for $2,000 less. That’s more than enough to earn it our Editors’ Choice.

Sony a9 II

4.5

Editors’ Choice

Sony a9 II Image

See It
$4,498.00 at Amazon

MSRP $4,499.99

Pros

  • Blackout-free capture at 20fps
  • Superlative autofocus system
  • 24MP full-frame sensor
  • Dust and splash protection
  • 5-axis IBIS
  • 4K video
  • Wired and wireless file transfer

View More

Cons

  • No S-Log video profiles included
  • Battery doesn’t match SLR rivals
  • Can’t switch to video when clearing image buffer

The Bottom Line

The Sony a9 II’s blackout-free capture experience sets it apart from its full-frame rivals, and its 20fps subject tracking is unmatched.

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Canon and Nikon go a little bit furtheru2014each offers 500mm and 800mm prime lens options as well.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-10.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"If you do prefer a bigger camera, the VG-C4EM battery grip is available for $349.99. It attaches to the bottom and supports two batteries and adds controls for more comfortable operation when holding the camera in portrait orientation. It's not the same grip from the a9, though, so you'll need to get a new one if you're upgrading. The VG-C4EM can also be used with the a7R IV, if you happen to own both cameras.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"Subtle Changes to Controls","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II puts its buttons and dials in roughly the same place as they are on the a9, but there are some minor changes here and there. You'll notice a pair when looking at the top plateu2014the rear control dial is now exposed entirely, instead of recessed into the body, and the EV dial now has a central locking post. Both of these changes were seen earlier in the a7R IV.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-3.jpg","altText":"Sony a9 II","caption":null}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Other top controls include programmable C1 and C2 buttons, the forward command dial (integrated into the handgrip), the Mode dial, and the shutter release. The a9 II includes one feature not found on the otherwise identical a7R IV body, a dedicated dial for setting drive mode and focus options. It's at the left of the top plate and gives you quick access to change from single exposure to one of three continuous drive modes, and to switch between single, continuous, and manual focus without diving into menus.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Rear controls include a programmable C3 and Menu buttons, both at the top left corner. Record, AF-ON, and AE-L sit together in a row along the top, just to the right of the EVF eyecup. 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It's not just sharp, it's also quite large to the eye, with a 0.78x magnification rating.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"It's the EVF that makes the a9 II fundamentally different from its closest competitors from Canon and Nikon. Both still use SLR designs for their top-end sports camerasu2014the latest are the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III and Nikon D6.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-14.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 4000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"With an SLR you lose sight of your shot every time the mirror flaps open and the shutter opens and closes, delivering a stop-motion view of the action. The a9 II uses an electronic shutter for its 20fps mode, so it's able to rattle off shots without disrupting your view of the scene. It's a technological feat that translates into a practical ergonomic improvementu2014it's simply easier to keep your lens honed on fast-moving targets without any sort of blackout.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"Connectivity and Power","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II is Sony's most connected camera. It includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for cable-free image transfer to a smartphone or, via your smartphone, to an FTP server. There's also an RJ-45 Ethernet port with support for Gigabit transfer.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The Wi-Fi features work with the Sony Imaging Edge Mobile app, a free download for Android and iOS devices. Its basic functions include image transfer to your smartphone or tablet, and remote camera control.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-16.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"A second companion app, Sony Transfer & Tagging, is used for FTP transfers. The a9 and a9 II support the same level of functionality for transferu2014the app will automatically upload your shots to an FTP server as you shoot.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II offers one extra feature, not supported by its predecessor. It's able to add a recorded voice memo to any photo. Making notes can be useful if you need to caption photos later, or if you're sending them to a remote editor to get online. The app uses voice recognition to convert your notes to text and puts it in the IPTC metadata.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"In addition to the Ethernet port, the camera has a PC Sync socket and a hot shoe for flash connection, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, a micro HDMI output, and both USB-C and micro USB connectors.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-7.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1600"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Sony has (finally) dropped support for its esoteric Memory Stick format. The a9 II sports two SDXC memory card slots, both with support for the fastest UHS-II cards. This is an upgrade over the a9u2014it only offers UHS-II speeds in one of its two card slots.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"As for power, the a9 II is driven by a NP-FZ100 battery. It's rated by CIPA for up to 690 shots (when using the LCD) or about 500 with the EVF. You'll get more if you utilize the 20fps burst shooting mode, of course.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Even though its battery is excellent for a mirrorless camera, big, gripped SLRs shoot for longeru2014the Nikon D6 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark III are both rated for a few thousand shots using the same methodology.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"Tracking Autofocus and Blackout-Free Capture","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II's autofocus is the best we've seen in any camera. It spreads coverage across almost the entire surface area of the sensor, missing just the very outer edges, and it's eerily fast and accurate.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-12.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 2500"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Face and eye detection are included, for both people and pets, and the a9's subject tracking is absolutely superlative. It's only available in AF-C mode, but when engaged it locks onto a target and sticks with it.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"See How We Test Digital Cameras","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"bold"},{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.pcmag.com/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras"}}]}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"There are several zones to choose from for initial acquisition, including a wide area that lets the camera pick its target. I lean most heavily on the Expanded Flexible Spot option, one that gives me a small box to move around the frame to find a target. I typically leave it centered, lock my subject, and then concentrate on composition and capturing the moment.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"You may work differently, of course, and the a9 II is flexible enough to allow you to do so. The eight-way rear focus control is comfortable to use and responsive, and you can opt for various sizes of flexible spot, as well as focus areas that cover up wider portions of the frame. The camera gives you the tools to work the way you want to.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-5.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"With sports shut down at the time of testing, I didn't have opportunities to put the a9 II through its paces on the athletic field. It's the absolute equal of the a9 with Firmware 5.0 loaded, though, a camera that I've used often. Last year I tested its Firmware 5.0 at pro ","type":"text"},{"text":"rugby","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.pcmag.com/news/capturing-pro-rugby-with-sony-a9-firmware-50"}}]},{"text":" and soccer matches, and the Real Time Tracking focus system rarely faltered.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Once the camera locks onto a subject it sticks with it, so you've got freedom to concentrate on composition and pressing the shutter at the decisive moment. And, for those who may not be quite perfect at timing, the 20fps burst rate makes it just a little bit easier to capture the perfect slice of action.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"When you're using the electronic shutter, you don't lose view of your subject either. A solid outline flashes toward the edges of your frame, a visual clue that the camera is making an exposure. Audio cues are available if you'd like, but I turned them off to ensure the camera was entirely silent when making imagesu2014a big plus for photographing birds and other skittish wildlife.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-9.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 5000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The shooting buffer is ample; at top speed I was able to net 215 Raw+JPG, 230 Raw, or 415 JPGs before it fills and the camera pauses capture. I used the Compressed Raw option for buffer tests; there's no advantage to using larger, Uncompressed Raw images along with the electronic shutteru2014you end up with the same quality image, but with a bigger file size.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"You can start making images again as the buffer clears to memory, but you can't switch to video capture. It's rare that you'll have the need to shoot a few hundred shots at 20fps, but if you do fill up the buffer you'll have to wait a bit as images write to memory. With a 300MBps Sony Tough UHS-II card, I clocked a 3.5 minute duration for Raw+JPG, 1 minute for Raw, and 3 minutes for JPG.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"There is also a mechanical shutter, capable of burst rates of up to 10fps, with tracking, a significant upgrade over the a9's 5fps mechanical shutter. You'll experience the same type of finder blackout as with other mirrorless cameras when opting for it, but there are reasons to use it over the fully electronic one.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-15.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 8000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"In rare situations, certain types of LED lighting used in stadium displays can induce bandingu2014for more detail, read Rishi Sanyal's ","type":"text"},{"text":"detailed analysis","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.dpreview.com/articles/7370859353/sony-a9-banding-reported-by-fro-fact-or-fiction"}}]},{"text":" at DPReview. Shutter speed and the type of lighting and its intensity are factors.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The electronic shutter doesn't play well with flashes eitheru2014you'll need to use the mechanical shutter when working with strobes; it supports sync at 1/250-second. Sony did a good thing by improving the speed of the mechanical shutteru2014the a9 II is just as adept for studio work as the a7R IV and ","type":"text"},{"text":"a7 III","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-a7-iii"}}]},{"text":".","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"24MP Full-Frame Sensor","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II sports the same BSI CMOS image sensor as its predecessor. It boasts 24MP resolution, a 24-by-36mm full-frame design, and incorporates fast DRAM as part of its stacked design. It's the stacking that gives it a very fast readout speed, so the electronic shutter is useful for capturing fast-moving subjects.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-17.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 6400"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"You can capture images in JPG or Raw format. The JPG photos are processed in-camera, and show strong detail from the base ISO 100 sensitivity through ISO 6400. Fine lines show some blur at ISO 12800 and 25600, but are very usable.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"It's at more extreme settings, ISO 51200 and higher, where JPG images suffer more noticeably. The top setting is ISO 204800, and while image quality slightly ekes out the Nikon D5 shot at the same ISO, the emphasis is on slightly. You can tune the a9's noise reduction if you work in JPG format and want more detail at higher settings, but it also comes with more grain.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"If you work in Raw format, you'll move noise reduction to your processing software. Images loaded in our standard, Adobe Lightroom, show strong detail through ISO 25600, and while they show some grain when pushed that far, it's not overwhelming. Output at ISO 51200 is rougher, but still usable. Grain is heavy and noticeably harms detail at ISO 102400 and 204800.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-18.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/1,000-second, ISO 1250"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"You'll also enjoy more flexibility to edit exposure and colors in Raw format. Images are saved at 12-bit quality when using the electronic shutter and 14-bit quality using the mechanical one. You'll have ample room to open shadows, curb highlights, and adjust color, even with the 12-bit files.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"4K Video Too","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"The a9 II is also an adept video camera. It supports 4K recording at up to 30fps and can go to 120fps at 1080p. Video is recorded internally with 4:2:0 8-bit quality and XAVC compression. You can output clean 4:2:2 8-bit footage to an ","type":"text"},{"text":"Atomos Ninja","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/atomos-ninja-v"}}]},{"text":" or similar external recorder.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Slow-motion is available in-camera as well. The S&Q setting records silent footage at up to 120fps, with multiple slow playback options ranging from half to one-fifth speed.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"There are a number of features for pro videographers. The sensor is stabilized for one, and the camera supports both XLR (via an add-on adapter) and digital microphones. Low-quality proxy files, recorded alongside higher-quality video, are available to put less stress on your computer when editing footage.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"Sony has opted not to add its Picture Profiles to the a9 II, which is disappointing. The Profiles, available on models like the a7 III and a7R IV, include S-Log profiles with lowered contrast and color saturation.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-8.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 4000"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"S-Log video looks dull and flat out of camera, but gives more freedom for videographers to apply color correction. The a9 II has a Neutral profile that you can use instead, but it's not as malleable as a true flat profile. Canon goes much further with video in its latest flagship; the EOS-1D X Mark III supports Raw video at 5.5K resolution.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"heading","attrs":{"level":2},"content":[{"text":"Unmatched Experience for Action Photography","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"As far as Mark II updates go, the a9 II is a rather modest one. It makes some welcome improvements to ergonomics, speeds up the mechanical shutter, and now supports voice memos. It maintains the other things we love about the a9, including superlative focus tracking, a 20fps capture rate, and full-frame image quality.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-13.jpg","altText":"Sample Image","caption":"FE 200-600mm, 600mm, f/6.3, 1/500-second, ISO 2500"}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"It's the experience behind the camera that sets it apart from competitors. The ","type":"text"},{"text":"Canon EOS-1D X Mark III","type":"text","marks":[{"type":"link","attrs":{"href":"https://www.pcmag.com/news/canon-releases-details-on-flagship-eos-1d-x-mark-iii-slr"}}]},{"text":" and the Nikon D6 are the biggest, baddest SLRs you can buyu2014but they bring the SLR baggage along with them. You'll get a stuttering view of action, interrupted by the flapping mirror and opening and closing shutter when using their viewfinders.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"With the a9 II the view is uninterrupted, as long as you opt for the electronic shutter. Longtime SLR owners may experience an adjustment period, but the EVF is no longer an inferior option. The a9 II sports one of the best you'll findu2014crisp, big to the eye, and with a real preview of what your finished shot will look like.","type":"text"}]},{"type":"eloquent_imagery_image","attrs":{"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-2.jpg","altText":"Sony a9 II","caption":null}},{"type":"paragraph","content":[{"text":"It may require more to sway longtime Canon and Nikon pros away from their 1D and D6 bodies, but the a9 II takes them on with wider autofocus coverage, effective subject tracking, and in-body image stabilization, and it does so for $2,000 less. That's more than enough to earn it our Editors' Choice.","type":"text"}]}]},"images":{"autoincrement":19,"images":[{"index":1,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":3840,"height":2159,"hash":"935eccb3593d3be2b7c4eb6c5eefe9e7","timestamp":1592511905,"metadata":[]},{"index":2,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":3840,"height":2159,"hash":"70f4051bf2078d8f3d43ddcd78f51754","timestamp":1592511905,"metadata":[]},{"index":3,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-3.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":3840,"height":2159,"hash":"d29900a8b62b497ffe6367c849a1b499","timestamp":1592511905,"metadata":[]},{"index":4,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-4.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":3840,"height":2159,"hash":"331f76c712119886258629e7676a2403","timestamp":1592511906,"metadata":[]},{"index":5,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-5.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"3eafb8167eac52a04b654f1ab822a71e","timestamp":1592511989,"metadata":[]},{"index":6,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-6.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"7222f9847fa692d63d8c630c8a962d53","timestamp":1592511989,"metadata":[]},{"index":7,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-7.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"ca1449bae82c5453f46cf1fd4566ef72","timestamp":1592511989,"metadata":[]},{"index":8,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-8.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"ca2c739c64c6d1dda9dd2e45a2a598c0","timestamp":1592511990,"metadata":[]},{"index":9,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-9.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"b02ecd8fe2a851ca38085c3b97d7c82a","timestamp":1592512042,"metadata":[]},{"index":10,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-10.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":1365,"height":2048,"hash":"f3ed64947ef9521bba43f96d0e9c8c0e","timestamp":1592512042,"metadata":[]},{"index":11,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-11.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2559,"height":1706,"hash":"ddef7fb58a890abe19a2ab517ab1fb3a","timestamp":1592512042,"metadata":[]},{"index":12,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-12.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"f835a38ac0863bb89a5c79d5fa591521","timestamp":1592512042,"metadata":[]},{"index":13,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-13.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"df61a61430968db7637eedba536d85ad","timestamp":1592512107,"metadata":[]},{"index":14,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-14.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"845370ad693f2c6146db42e9b8857f0a","timestamp":1592512107,"metadata":[]},{"index":15,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-15.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"76ec84f0554425003bd54e9d346a03d5","timestamp":1592512107,"metadata":[]},{"index":16,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-16.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"d6f505eba52bd212d61d5b3a19e3f718","timestamp":1592512108,"metadata":[]},{"index":17,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-17.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"c905173569f730a450f8417ba7dbc38f","timestamp":1592513568,"metadata":[]},{"index":18,"path":"reviews/07wdjcXlVZGIICP6UEMbHF6-18.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":2560,"height":1707,"hash":"9ac9c514a7cd963cf2a02ceb75b2ca80","timestamp":1592513569,"metadata":[]}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"Blackout-free capture at 20fpsnSuperlative autofocus systemn24MP full-frame sensornDust and splash protectionn5-axis IBISn4K videonWired and wireless file transfer","cons":"No S-Log video profiles includednBattery doesn't match SLR rivalsnCan't switch to video when clearing image buffer","bottom_line":"The Sony a9 II's blackout-free capture experience sets it apart from its full-frame rivals, and its 20fps subject tracking is unmatched.","best_for":"Best for Sports and Wildlife Pros","first_published_at":"2020-06-22T15:49:50.000000Z","published_at":"2020-06-22T15:49:50.000000Z","last_published_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:31.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:38.000000Z","related_reviews":[{"id":2039,"legacy_id":353274,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A","status":"Published","product_uuid":"047LaATBfcLJrkrYrmo98xB","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Sony a9","slug":"sony-a9","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":true,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"4.5","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":3584,"body":"<p class="p1"><span class="s1">nn<a href="/news/the-best-products-of-2017" class="no-underline" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="31727"><span><img alt=’Best of the Year 2017′ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 93 150’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-1.fit_lim.size_93x150.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Best of the Year 2017′ width=’93’ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-1.fit_lim.size_93x150.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-1.jpg’></noscript></span></a>nnPhotographers shooting demanding subjects&mdash;auto racing, sailing, sports, wildlife, and the like&mdash;have long been limited to using the highest of high-end SLRs in order to capture fast action. Full-frame bodies like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1D X Mark II shoot at a blistering rate and track subjects with aplomb, but are heavy and priced in the $6,000 range. Sony’s full-frame <a href="/picks/the-best-dslr-and-mirrorless-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="12">mirrorless</a> system has proven to be a formidable option for photographers whose needs fall shy of capturing the fastest action. With the new a9 ($4,499.99), sports shooters have a body that meets their demanding needs. Using a stacked sensor design, the camera captures at 20fps using an electronic shutter, without any sort of blackout during exposure, so you can keep tracking moving targets. Its performance in real life lives up to the promises on paper, so we’re naming the a9 our Editors’ Choice.<br /><br /><em>Note: This review has been updated to reflect changes in the a9 autofocus system added by its <a href="https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/downloads/00015843" target="_blank">Firmware 5.0</a> update.</em><br /></span></p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Design</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 <span data-commerce-link="047LaATBfcLJrkrYrmo98xB"></span> looks a lot like the full-frame bodies in the a7 II family at a glance. Its body isn’t that far off in size&mdash;it measures 3.9 by 5.0 by 2.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.5 pounds without a lens. There are a few physical differences on the body itself&mdash;an extra control dial to the left of the EVF, a touch screen, and a dedicated joystick to select a focus point being the most noticeable.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-22.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The body itself is protected from dust and moisture. I’ve not had an opportunity to shoot with the a9 in bad weather, but I have used a7 II <span data-commerce-link="05HKxBdU0qOy09psXAkwGSe"></span> models in rough conditions and they’ve performed quite well. It will take a teardown to see just how well the a9 is sealed, but given its price point and target audience, I hope Sony delivers protection that’s at least as good as you get with a7 cameras.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="300" height="150" style="width: 100%; height: 100%;" src="https://mashable.com/videos/blueprint:O4oKAARwnd/embed/?player=pcmag&amp;autoplay=true&amp;mute=true" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Sensor resolution is 24MP, which is plenty for most applications, but sounds paltry when you know that Sony also makes a 42MP full-frame image sensor. But while the 42MP sensor used in the a7R II, a99 II, and RX1R II delivers fantastic image quality, it doesn’t offer as much speed as the a9’s stacked CMOS design, which, in very basic terms, improves readout speed by putting RAM right on the image sensor. Like the 42MP sensor, the a9’s 24MP chip features a BSI design, so it has an advantage over the a7 II at high ISO settings. The a7 II tops out at ISO 25600, but you can push the a9 to ISO 204800.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-23.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-3.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-3.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-3.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 includes a command dial on its front handgrip, along with the power switch and shutter release at an angle at its top. On the top plate itself you’ll find programmable C1 and C2 buttons behind the shutter, along with an EV compensation dial (with settings from -3 to +3 EV in third-stop increments) and a standard locking mode dial.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The hot shoe sits at the center of the top plate&mdash;the camera sports a mechanical shutter for use with flash, with sync available at 1/250-second. You’re limited to an external strobe, as there’s no flash built into the body itself. To the left is an additional dial, a differentiating factor from the Alpha 7 II body design. It sets the Drive mode, with single, three levels of continuous speed, a self timer, and automated exposure bracketing options available. Nested into its base is a switch that changes between AF-S, AF-C, DMF, and MF focus modes.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-24.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 370’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-4.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-4.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-4.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Below the focus control, on the rear, are C3 and Menu buttons. They’re nestled into the corner between the top of the LCD and to the left of the EVF eyecup. To the right of the eyepiece you’ll find a dedicated Record button for video, along with AF-ON and AEL buttons, and a rear control wheel.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s a modest thumb rest area on the rear, finished in textured rubber. The new focus joystick, a small eight-way control nub that moves the active focus area, sits between the thumb rest area and LCD. Below it is the Fn button, which launches an on-screen control menu, a flat command dial with four directional press controls and a center button, and the Play and Delete/C4 buttons. The up position is locked into adjusting what’s displayed on the viewfinder and rear LCD, but the other directions can be customized.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-25.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Pressing Fn launches an on-screen control bank, arranged in two rows of six boxes at the bottom of the screen. You can customize each box to suit your liking, but you’ll need to dive into the a9’s menu system to do so.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Sony has long been criticized for menus that are on the confusing side. If you’re unfamiliar with which items are located on which screens, you may find yourself searching through pages and pages of options just to format a memory card. After a full day of use, the a9’s menu seems better organized to me, but the camera does a lot, so there’s no shortage of screens.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-26.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">To lessen hunting through pages of settings, there’s now a My Menu option. You can place as many individual menu settings as you’d like on this page&mdash;which expands to multiple pages if you assign enough options&mdash;and you can also customize the order in which they appear. You may spend some time configuring the a9 to suit your needs, but doing so will reward you in the long run.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The 3-inch rear LCD is about the same size as you get with other full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras. But it’s sharper, at 1,440k dots, and sensitive to touch. It’s mounted on a hinge, and, perhaps simply to make me happy after previous gripes, Sony’s engineering team has disabled the EVF eye sensor when the display isn’t flush with the rear. If you’re framing a shot with the LCD tilted out, you can put the camera right up to your body without the rear display going black. Earlier models were very sensitive, going dark even when holding the camera a comfortable distance away from your person.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-27.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 925’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-7.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-7.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EVF is also an upgrade over the <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="11231">a7 II</a> family. It’s larger, sporting a 0.5-inch design that delivers 0.78x magnification to your eye, and sharper at 3,686k dots. It also refreshes very quickly, at your choice of 60 or 120fps. The latter is ideal for shooting fast-moving action. I won’t say that I forgot I was using an EVF when shooting with the a9&mdash;the overlaid information is a reminder you’re not using an optical viewfinder&mdash;but it in no way hindered my photography. In fact, coupled with the constant feed, free of blackout, I felt more in tune with the scene in front of me than I do with an SLR&mdash;it’s similar to shooting with a rangefinder or <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin-lens_reflex_camera" target="_blank"><span class="s2">TLR</span></a>.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Connectivity</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 is the first Sony mirrorless camera to include an Ethernet port, a must for photographers working for wire agencies covering major events. You also get a PC sync socket for plugging into studio lights, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, micro HDMI, and micro USB.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-28.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-8.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-8.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Sony really loves in-camera charging. Battery life in the a9 is a lot better than in past cameras&mdash;it uses a new battery with more than double the capacity of the a7 II battery. Its CIPA rating is fairly low, at 480 shots using the EVF or 650 using the LCD. But CIPA’s standardized testing methodology doesn’t apply to shooting at high frame rates. In one day, I shot 3,750 Raw+JPG frames and about 10 minutes of video, and was left with 35 percent on my battery&mdash;at that pace, I’d have been able to get more than 5,000 images on a single charge using a similar shooting style.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you’re using the camera professionally, you’ll want to carry a backup battery with you no matter how confident you are in its ability to run all day; they cost about $80. If you invest in a few extra batteries also consider a multi-battery charger. It’s a $400 accessory, but can replenish four batteries at a time.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-29.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-9.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-9.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-9.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-9.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 also works with a vertical shooting grip ($350). It holds two batteries, but connects to the camera via the battery compartment so only expect double life. It also adds a vertical shutter release and additional controls (including a focus joystick).</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are two memory card slots. Slot 1, the bottom of the two, supports UHS-II SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory. Slot 2 only offers UHS-I speeds, so you can’t take advantage of the fastest SD cards, but it also works with Sony’s Memory Stick media. I really would have liked to see both slots support UHS-II, as swapping one card to another in the midst of shooting action is a pain, and you lose the ability to create a real-time backup of shots without sacrificing write speed.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-30.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-10.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-10.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-10.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-10.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Longtime a9 owners have used the Sony PlayMemories app to transfer images to Android and iOS devices. PlayMemories has been replaced with Imaging Edge Mobile&mdash;you don’t have to download a new app, an update will load the new software if you don’t have it already. It adds some features that are very specific to a9 customers, including support for FTP transfer over Wi-Fi (as opposed to Ethernet), with support for IPTC annotation via voice or your phone’s keyboard. Those are features photographers capturing live events use to get images out to the world in real time. If you’re more concerned about your social media presence, the a9 and the app make it very easy to send images to your smartphone for a quick Instagram post.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Performance and Autofocus</h2>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-31.v_1569469929.gif’, ‘Sony a9 : Benchmark Tests’, ‘Sony a9 : Benchmark Tests’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Benchmark Tests’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 111 88’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-11.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469929.gif"}’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-11.gif’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Benchmark Tests’ width=’111′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-11.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469929.gif’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-11.gif’></noscript></a></span>The a9 is all about speed. It turns on, focuses, and fires in about 1.6 seconds. Its focus system locks on in as close to no time as possible, netting an average 0.01-second in our standard stopwatch focus test. But it’s in tracking fast action where the camera really excels. In our standard focus lab test, which tracks a target moving toward and away from the lens, the a9 fires off shots at 20fps and nails focus on almost every one.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-32.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-12.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Burst duration varies based on file format. If you’re shooting Compressed Raw+JPG you get 225 shots at a time, with about 73.7 seconds required to clear the buffer to a Lexar 300MBps memory card. Compressed Raw capture extends the duration slightly, to 230 shots, but cuts the buffer clearing time to 67.2 seconds. JPG shooters enjoy 378 images in a burst, but it takes about 129.4 seconds to commit all of those images to memory. Of course, you can capture more images as the buffer clears.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GSuwSBP8gKI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Uncompressed Raw capture is also an option, but you only reap its full benefits when using the mechanical shutter. When you shoot Uncompressed Raw with the electronic shutter the burst rate slows to 12fps, but as with all electronic shutter images, Raw quality is 12-bit. It keeps its pace for 118 Raw+JPG and 122 Raw shots, with 53.1 and 44.2 seconds required to clear the buffer, respectively.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-13.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-13.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-13.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you want to shoot full quality, 14-bit Raw images (in either compressed or uncompressed flavors), you’ll need to use the mechanical shutter. Doing so limits the maximum burst rate to a meager 5fps. If you’re not shooting fast action, and want the extra exposure latitude that a 14-bit file delivers, switching to the mechanical shutter when you’re not shooting action is a wise choice. The a9 defaults to mechanical shutter when in single drive mode. You can force the camera to use either mechanical or electronic capture if desired with the C3 button, or via the menu system if you opt to assign C3 to a different function.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-33.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-14.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-14.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">You sholdn’t worry too much about shooting compressed files when tracking fast action. Sports photographers are often shooting in JPG in order to speed transfer of images to an editor for publication. And if you’re shooting Raw with the intention of spending more time processing images, tests with other Sony cameras that offer compressed and uncompressed options have proven the differences to be <a href="https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6144418951/what-difference-does-it-make-sony-uncompressed-raw" target="_blank">quite subtle</a>. You should expect to see some false color around bright sources of light against darker backgrounds, but it takes pretty close examination to notice.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There have been isolated reports of the a9 displaying overheating warnings during burst shooting. One photographer received a <a href="https://petapixel.com/2017/05/30/sony-a9-showed-overheating-warning-20-minutes-photog-says/" target="_blank">warning</a> after 20 minutes of use at a humid swim meet, although it should be noted that the camera kept working fine. I’ve now shot with three separate a9 bodies in a variety of conditions, including under the bright southern California sun, and haven’t been able to force the camera to overheat, even after extensive burst shooting.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-34.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 907’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-15.fit_lim.size_740x907.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-15.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-15.fit_lim.size_740x907.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The autofocus system isn’t just fast, it also covers a very large area of the sensor, about 93 percent. Unlike most SLRs, that have focus systems that only cover a central area, the a9’s hybrid phase and contrast detection goes almost to the very edge of the frame. No matter where your subject is placed, the a9 can lock on. It also supports Eye AF, which identifies human eyes and locks focus, a fantastic tool for keeping your subject’s face in crisp focus.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">I’ve shot various types of action with the a9 before its recent firmware update&mdash;pro soccer, figure skating, ice hockey, skateboarding, and track-and-field among them. Firmware 5.0 changes the way subject tracking and Eye AF work, both for the better. Instead of having to press a button to engage Eye AF, it now just works as long as you enable it in the menu. Sony promises to add support for animals in Firmware 6.0, which is set for a summer release&mdash;it will also add an in-camera intervalometer for time-lapse.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-35.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">I went <a href="/news/capturing-pro-rugby-with-sony-a9-firmware-50" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="33233">in-depth</a> with the new subject tracking system capturing action at a pro rugby match. Sony has replaced the original method, Lock-On AF, with a mode that’s simply calling Tracking in-camera, but is marketed as Real Time Tracking.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">It works well. When the camera is set to AF-C it appears as an option, with wide, flexible spot and expanded flexible spot coverage areas. The wide setting will pick a subject on its own, while the flexible spot modes will restrict focus to a movable area (three sizes are available). Expanded flexible spot looks a little bit outside the area, helpful if you might be struggling to keep up with a fast-moving target for the initial focus acquisition.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CypuXrGjBEw" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Once the subject is locked, the a9 sticks with it. It takes several factors into account, including pattern recognition, face detection, and distance. During the rugby match, I was happy to see the a9 kept up with its intended subject&mdash;number 15 in the blue jersey in the sequence above&mdash;even as he is obscured by a player from the other team. In practice, the system works much like the 3D Tracking mode in Nikon SLRs, but with a much wider area of coverage than an SLR can manage.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-36.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-17.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-17.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-17.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-17.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">I’m used to employing the wide setting when shooting action with the a7 series, as changing the focus point during shooting is a pain. But the a9’s focus joystick makes it very easy to move the focus area around the frame. Overall, I’m confident that the autofocus is on the same level as what you get with the <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8399">EOS-1D X Mark II</a> or Nikon D5, and in some ways&mdash;including the coverage area, burst rate, and Eye AF capability, it goes beyond what those flagship SLRs can do.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-37.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-18.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-18.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-18.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-18.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">A good telephoto lens is the go-to option for covering many types of action. Sony rolled out a new lens with the a9, the <a href="/reviews/sony-fe-100-400mm-f45-56-gm-oss" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6430">FE 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 GM OSS</a>. It has since been joined by the $12,000 FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS, and both lenses can be used with a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter. We’re eager to see if Sony, or third parties&mdash;Sigma and Tamron are both making lenses for the system&mdash;will add some more in the future.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Adapted lenses are an option. I’ve used Canon EF lenses with Sony bodies with success using the <a href="/reviews/sigma-mount-converter-mc-11" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6836">Sigma MC-11</a>. Just be aware that the a9 is limited to 10fps capture when using an adapted lens.</p>rnrn<h2>Image and Video Quality</h2>rnrn<p>The a9 sports a 24MP image sensor with a BSI design. It’s similar to the BSI sensor used by the high-resolution <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="1046">a7R II</a>, just with fewer pixels. It delivers very strong performance in difficult light, controlling noise and preserving detail even at high ISO settings.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-38.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-19.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-19.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-19.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-19.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Imatest tells us that the a9 keeps noise under 1.5 percent through ISO 12800. When shooting JPGs at default settings, images are crisp through ISO 6400. There’s some slight blur at ISO 12800 and 25600, but I’d not hesitate to use those settings. Images at ISO 51200 take a step back in quality, and a more noticeable hit at ISO 102400. You can push the a9 to ISO 204800, which nets results that verge on blurry, but are just a little bit clearer than you get from the <a href="/reviews/nikon-d5" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9201">Nikon D5</a> at the same setting. If you prefer a bit more grain, but also a bit more detail, you can reduce or eliminate the amount of in-camera noise reduction applied to JPGs.</p>rnrn<p>Shooting in Raw format eliminates in-camera noise reduction. Raw images deliver strong detail through ISO 25600, and while there’s some grain, it isn’t overwhelming or offensive. Grain is rougher at ISO 51200, but fine lines are still visible. At ISO 102400 images have a very rough appearance, and fine lines run together. Photos are rougher still at ISO 204800, maybe a little more than the Nikon D5’s ISO 204800 output, but not dramatically so.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-39.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-20.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-20.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-20.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-20.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9’s image quality at extreme ISO settings adds some reasons for a7 II owners who often cover events and weddings to consider an upgrade to the a9. You won’t need to shoot at 20fps to fire off shots at a typical reception, of course, but there are certain churches and venues where flash is forbidden, and the a9 delivers cleaner high ISO images than the a7 II. The camera’s ability to nab strong images in low light is further aided by its 5-axis sensor stabilization system. Any lens you attach, even a fast prime like a 35mm f/1.4 without in-lens stabilization, benefits. It’s a feature you don’t get in full-frame SLRs from Canon and Nikon.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LYLCO5PoGMM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 shoots video at 4K quality at 24 or 30fps, with 60 or 100Mbps bit rates available. I didn’t shoot a heavy amount of video, but did check to see how well the a9 tracks moving subjects when filming. It’s using the same autofocus system, so in theory it should be just as good as still, but I did see some moving in and out of focus during fast motion, as you can see with the shot of the figure skater in our sample video.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you opt for 1080p, the top frame rate improves to 120fps. That’s a big plus if you’re into slow-motion capture. I shot some long jumpers at 120fps and slowed the footage down for 30fps playback&mdash;one-quarter speed. Autofocus is quite strong here, just as good as it is for 4K capture. If I have a complaint about the video options, it’s that you must wait for stills to commit to memory before starting a video. The shooting buffer is huge, so if you fill it up you’ll have to wait a while, sometimes upward of two minutes, to start recording a video.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9rHaz3t826w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Conclusions</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The Sony a9 is a big step forward for mirrorless technology. It betters the fastest, most expensive SLRs in capture rate, spreads its autofocus system across almost the entirety of a full-fame image sensor, and has a really fantastic EVF&mdash;one that, in many ways, is a better option for shooting action than an optical finder. It’s also significantly smaller and lighter than a top-end Canon or Nikon, and less expensive&mdash;although that advantage is lessened by the need to buy some extra batteries and a charger, lenses that trend a bit higher in cost, and a lack of strong third-party lens support.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-40.v_1569469929.jpg’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a9 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-21.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-21.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a9 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-21.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469929.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-21.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The camera’s best attribute isn’t its burst speed alone. The complete lack of blackout when capturing images changes the way you can capture quick-moving subjects. If a basketball player makes a sudden juke in an unexpected direction, you’ll be able to better follow them with your lens. Likewise, if you’re trying to grab a shot of erratic fauna, like a swallow in flight, the camera can better keep up with their movements, even when using a lens long enough to keep them tightly framed. And because the autofocus system covers so much of the image sensor area, you don’t have to worry about your subject moving outside of the range of autofocus.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The a9 stands alone in its class in the mirrorless world&mdash;nothing else has as big of a sensor or shoots so quickly. If you’re invested in the system and have been patiently waiting for a camera like this, your patience has been rewarded. The a9 is a reminder that mirorrless cameras have come a long way, and in some ways have moved beyond what even the highest-grade SLRs can accomplish. It may not be enough to sway Canon and Nikon owners with years of muscle memory and deep investments in hardware away from their chosen system, but it’s a clear sign that Sony has every intention of remaining a very serious player in the professional photography space.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":77,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":93,"height":150,"hash":"639478d067217aabc6a76c4884432aa9","timestamp":1569469929,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Best of the Year 2017","caption":"","alt_text":"Best of the Year 2017","legacy_id":"550847","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-11-16 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(Crop)","legacy_id":"531642","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":16,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:49.993"}},{"index":57,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-57.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"2b2e70df2378cf3cde8c674370e97f77","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 1600 (Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 1600 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531659","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":17,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.000"}},{"index":58,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-58.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"e780862e2402b686fe13bcf765b4edbf","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 3200 (Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 3200 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531645","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":18,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.003"}},{"index":59,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-59.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"6e966fa1ae61c21f5bba017c0cccaa5b","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 6400 (Crop)","caption":"When shooting JPGs at default settings, images are crisp through ISO 6400.","alt_text":"ISO 6400 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531644","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":19,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.010"}},{"index":60,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-60.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"d0829ea424b949c216f765c5a465cc3c","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 12800 (Crop)","caption":"There’s some slight blur at ISO 12800 and 25600, but I’d not hesitate to use those settings.","alt_text":"ISO 12800 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531650","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":20,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.013"}},{"index":61,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-61.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"09e744c5d340feebda009699c3a7d134","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 25600 (Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 25600 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531667","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":21,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.020"}},{"index":62,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-62.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"54a7bfe4838a4fe8a12bfa7dc8fc7a00","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 51200 (Crop)","caption":"Images at ISO 51200 take a step back in quality.","alt_text":"ISO 51200 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531666","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":22,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.023"}},{"index":63,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-63.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"2b97ad0976697a6842e2920d5b3284aa","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 102400 (Crop)","caption":"Image quality takes a more noticeable hit at ISO 102400.","alt_text":"ISO 102400 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531648","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":23,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.030"}},{"index":64,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-64.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"591f3a13b77ce35ab3df42951258d372","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 204800 (Crop)","caption":"You can push the a9 to ISO 204800, which nets results that verge on blurry, but are just a little bit clearer than you get from the Nikon D5 at the same setting.","alt_text":"ISO 204800 (Crop)","legacy_id":"531665","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":24,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.033"}},{"index":65,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-65.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"b0c153f53506297cc19fb645c2769d51","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 100 (Raw Crop)","caption":"The following crops are taken from uncompressed Raw images converted using Adobe Lightroom CC.","alt_text":"ISO 100 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531653","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":25,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.047"}},{"index":66,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-66.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"b46cfe21f654a0ce0e1d54a5d6e414ba","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531649","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":26,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.050"}},{"index":67,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-67.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"b77fdc8b0c5090425eadc192802651a1","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531646","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":27,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.057"}},{"index":68,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-68.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"508575d1f40d7abdbb31d4b903a4314f","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531660","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":28,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.063"}},{"index":69,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-69.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"7d45425097116c2ef2abf95be52616ec","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 1600 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 1600 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531652","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":29,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.070"}},{"index":70,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-70.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"701abb3625be243c6796df011006327e","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 3200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 3200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531664","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":30,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.073"}},{"index":71,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-71.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"f96f93f1de1044c35ddac6491440f9e6","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 6400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 6400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531643","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":31,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.080"}},{"index":72,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-72.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"0f008424c355c259c53ecd37d51ac6f6","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 12800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 12800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531647","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":32,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.083"}},{"index":73,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-73.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"6be1632edbec5c7084393ee234a0bb9c","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 25600 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Raw images deliver strong detail through ISO 25600, and while there’s some grain, it isn’t overwhelming or offensive.","alt_text":"ISO 25600 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531661","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":33,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.090"}},{"index":74,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-74.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"92f2f8a818f84405aafc559b18a0ce41","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Grain is rougher at ISO 51200, but fine lines are still visible.","alt_text":"ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531658","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":34,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.097"}},{"index":75,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-75.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"fd81dbddd02cc767192dc45a3377adf5","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"At ISO 102400, images have a very rough appearance, and fine lines run together.","alt_text":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531651","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":35,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.107"}},{"index":76,"path":"reviews/07cuNKpZMjdAaRmm8o6Z17A-76.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"400cbc1fb33bcad156fd85a3e7f00721","timestamp":1569472984,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Photos are rougher still at ISO 204800, maybe a little more than the Nikon D5’s ISO 204800 output, but not dramatically so.","alt_text":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"531654","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":36,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2017-06-06 15:34:50.110"}}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"Shoots at 20fps with subject tracking.nFull-frame 24MP image sensor.n93-percent focus coverage.nElectronic shutter eliminates blackout.nAlso supports traditional mechanical shutter.nLarge, crisp EVF.nTilting touch LCD.nIn-body 5-axis stabilization.nNew high-capacity battery.nDual SD slots.n4K video.nWi-Fi and Ethernet.","cons":"Pricey.nOnly one slot UHS-II compliant.nDense menu system.nUncompressed Raw capture cuts speed to 12fps.nLens library missing wide aperture super telephoto options.","bottom_line":"The Sony a9 camera packs an incredible autofocus system, full-frame image sensor, and 4K video, all in a body that’s smaller than most SLRs.","best_for":"Best for Fast Action","first_published_at":"2017-06-07T10:51:12.000000Z","published_at":"2019-04-17T15:07:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2019-04-17T15:15:18.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2017-04-24T23:14:01.000000Z","updated_at":"2019-04-17T20:15:16.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":2039,"rank":1,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":9201,"legacy_id":346761,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW","status":"Published","product_uuid":"06hupPKzSRIOTGWutLBW8tn","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Nikon D5","slug":"nikon-d5","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":true,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"4.5","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":3227,"body":"<p class="p1"><span class="s1">If you’re looking in the market for a true pro-grade <a href="/picks/the-best-dslr-and-mirrorless-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="12">SLR</a>&mdash;one with a huge battery, a build that’s going to withstand the rigors of daily use, a <a href="/picks/the-best-full-frame-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="2">full-frame</a> image sensor, and a focus system that can keep up with high frame rates&mdash;you have two real choices: Canon or Nikon. If you land on the Nikon side of the fence, its latest top-tier model, the D5 ($6,499.95, body only), gives owners of the <a href="/reviews/nikon-d4" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8448">D4 <span data-commerce-link="02zVytYw8rtS8ASn4si8cnb"></span> </a> and <a href="/reviews/nikon-d4s" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="148">D4S <span data-commerce-link="04YaTN9wtRxAImxjBV3Zt3X"></span> </a> serious reasons to upgrade. The new <a href="/picks/the-best-digital-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="29">camera</a> features a redesigned autofocus system with 153 individual focus points, an updated image sensor with more resolution and excellent low-light quality, and 4K video recording. It just barely edges out the rival <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8399">Canon EOS-1D X Mark II <span data-commerce-link="02B74w1MUnxwq7REkp9RhVR"></span> </a> to earn Editors’ Choice honors in its class, inheriting the title from the D4S in the process.</span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"><b>Design and Controls<br /></b>Nikon sells the D5 in two versions&mdash;one with dual XQD memory card slots <span data-commerce-link="06hupPKzSRIOTGWutLBW8tn"></span> and another with dual Compact Flash (CF) slots <span data-commerce-link="07jebL9S5VrvE0erfmOsgvS"></span> . Both versions are priced the same, and are physically identical aside from the memory card slots.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-19.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-1.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-1.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 is one of the largest SLRs you can buy. It measures 6.2 by 6.3 by 3.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.1 pounds without a lens attached. The large body incorporates an integrated vertical shooting grip&mdash;with smaller bodies like the <a href="/reviews/nikon-d810" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="7219">D810 <span data-commerce-link="07i476XOSkiPwVt2x5QuXck"></span> </a> (3.9 by 5.8 by 3.3 inches, 2 pounds) that’s an optional add-on. The huge battery is rated for 3,780 shots by CIPA, more than three times that of the 1D X Mark II. There’s no built-in flash, but that’s not a big deal for pro users&mdash;it’s not a feature that you’ll find on a camera of this type.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_Vz_mUIsvNU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s nothing less than pro-grade about the D5’s body. Its chassis is magnesium, finished in matte black and covered with textured rubber in places that you’ll hold on to. There is extensive sealing to protect the internal electronics from dust and moisture, allowing you to use the D5 in almost any environment. And it’s built for the long haul&mdash;its shutter is rated for 400,000 images, which is a number you may hit when shooting at 12fps.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-20.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The optical viewfinder is rated at 0.72x magnification and is quite bright and clear. The area of focus coverage is marked by a thin black outline, and active focus points light up in red; a framing grid can also be displayed if desired. Exposure settings run along the bottom, below the image, in crisp blue LED lighting. The current EV compensation setting is shown to the right of the image. The viewfinder supports diopter adjustment, and has enough eye relief for photographers with glasses to use comfortably. The eyepiece unscrews and can be replaced with an additional diopter correction, with options available for both nearsighted and farsighted photographers. There is also has an internal cover that can be used to block incoming light during long exposures.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you’re familiar with the D4 or D4s, you’ll feel right at home picking up the D5. There are a few <a href="http://nps.nikonimaging.com/technical_solutions/d5_tips/useful/d5_d4S/" target="_blank"><span class="s2">minor changes</span></a>, but for the most part the controls you’re used to using in day-to-day photography are in the same places.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-21.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-3.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-3.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-3.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Three buttons, accessible using your right hand, are nestled between the handgrip and lens mount. Pv (Depth of Field Preview), Fn1, and Fn2 are aligned in a column and spaced out so that you can trigger each with a different finger. Like most of the controls on the body, all three can be assigned a custom function via the camera menu. Out of the box Preview and Fn2 perform the same action, and Fn1 is unassigned. On the left side of the lens mount you’ll find the release button, used to change lenses, and a toggle switch with an integrated button that controls the focus system.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Moving to the top plate, there’s a Drive Mode dial to the left of the viewfinder hump and hot shoe. Three buttons are perched on its top&mdash;Mode, BKT for bracketing, and a button to adjust the metering pattern. In addition to the standard, matrix, center-weighted, and spot options, the D5 supports Highlight-Weighted metering, which bases exposure on the brightest part of the scene in order to prevent blown highlights. That’s best used in conjunction with Raw shooting, of course, as there’s a chance some details you want will be darker than desired when using this mode.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-22.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-4.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-4.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-4.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">A large monochrome information display sits to the right of the hot shoe. Even when the D5 is turned off it displays the number of shots that can be stored in available memory as well as the size of the burst shooting buffer. When the D5 is on it also displays the shooting mode, metering pattern, focus settings, an exposure compensation scale, shutter speed and aperture, ISO, and lets you know if you’re working with one of the four available Custom or Photo settings banks. The display is backlit&mdash;moving the power switch beyond its On position turns the light on. The same light also illuminates buttons on the rear of the camera, and the rear monochrome information LCD.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Exposure Compensation, ISO, and Record buttons sit ahead of the top LCD, crossing over into the top of the handgrip, which sits at a slight downward angle. They’re joined by the power switch, which surrounds the shutter release, and the front control wheel. The shutter release and both rear and front control dials are mirrored on the vertical shooting grip, along with an unmarked button that activates Autoexposure Lock (AE-L).</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-23.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Play and Delete buttons sit at the top left corner of the rear. A column of buttons&mdash;Menu, Lock, Zoom In, Zoom Out, OK, and Fn3&mdash;run down the side, to the left of the rear display. Below the LCD there’s a second monochrome information panel, this one showing the file format, Drive mode, image quality settings, and current White Balance setting. A row of buttons is below, allowing you to quickly adjust how fast the camera shoots, image quality, and white balance. The Info button is there as well; it displays current exposure settings on the rear LCD. When working under bright light it’s shown as black text against a white background, and in dim light it switches to gray text against black.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Live View toggle button is also located beneath the LCD; it’s surrounded by a switch that toggles between video and still modes. The remainder of the rear controls sit to the right of the LCD. At the top you’ll find the rear control dial, with the AF-ON button to its left. Photographers who prefer to split the focus and shutter release functions between two buttons will appreciate that one; a second AF-ON button is on the rear, more easily accessible when holding the D5 in portrait orientation.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-24.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are also two small joysticks. The Sub-Selector is used in landscape orientation to select the focus point and also to activate AE-L when pressed in. The same control for portrait shooting also lets you select the focus point, but it doesn’t work for AE-L&mdash;the button on the vertical grip is used for that function. Both can be locked by engaging the Lock switch, which is just below the Multi-Selector joypad. The joypad also adjusts the focus point, and is used for menu navigation, with a center button that confirms settings. Finally, there’s the <i>i</i> button, which launches an on-screen menu that gives you quick access to adjust additional camera settings.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s a lot to take in, but given some time with the D5, you’ll get used to where everything is, and learn to appreciate the amount of control that it delivers right to your fingertips.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-25.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-7.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-7.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 uses a 3.2-inch LCD with touch input capability and a 2,359k-dot resolution for Live View photography and image review. The LCD is bright and extremely crisp. Touch input is a bit limited&mdash;you can’t use it to navigate menus, but you can swipe through photos during review, and double tap or pinch to zoom in to check focus. In Live View touch can be used to choose a focus point.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are a number of connectivity options. Rubber flaps cover PC sync and remote control connectors on the front plate, with the bulk of ports on the left side of the camera also protected by flaps. They include a proprietary accessory port, micro USB 3.0, a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack, mini HDMI, and Ethernet.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-26.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-8.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-8.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The dual memory card slots are covered by a locking door&mdash;you need to lift a plastic flap and press a button to open it. Depending on which version of the D5 you buy, you’ll get dual XQD or dual CF slots. The battery slides out of the grip with the twist of its removable locking cover (so you can store the D5 without a battery, but with the compartment still sealed). The charger that ships with the camera can handle two batteries simultaneously, but only one is included.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><b>Performance and Autofocus</b><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-27.v_1569469974.gif’, ‘Nikon D5 : Benchmark Tests’, ‘Nikon D5 : Benchmark Tests’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Benchmark Tests’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 111 88’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-9.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469974.gif"}’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-9.gif’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Benchmark Tests’ width=’111′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-9.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469974.gif’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-9.gif’></noscript></a></span><b><br /></b>The D5 won’t leave you wanting in terms of speed. It starts, focuses, and fires in about 0.4-second. In bright light it locks focus almost instantly, although it can slow to about 0.3-second in very dim conditions. If you use Live View for focus, expect about a 0.5-second delay as the camera locks on and fires an image, both in bright and dim light. The D5’s focus system can lock onto targets in light as low as -4EV, about as bright as the illumination given off by a waning gibbous moon.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-28.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-10.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-10.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-10.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-10.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Burst shooting is possible at up to 12fps with focus and exposure adjusted for every shot, or up to 14fps with the mirror locked in the up position. When shooting at 14fps you won’t be able to see the scene as it changes, which limits its practicality. When shooting Raw+JPG the D5 can keep the 12fps pace for 84 shots, with a minimal delay before being able to shoot again, or for 200 Raw or JPG images. With either of those formats you can start shooting again almost immediately after the 200-shot limit is reached. Those results are based on testing the XQD version of the camera with Lexar 440MBps memory installed.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-11.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-11.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-11.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-11.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 has the most advanced autofocus system that Nikon has put into a full-frame camera. It features 153 phase detection sensors, 99 of which are the more sensitive cross-type and 15 points that can be used with lenses with a maximum f/8 aperture. You can’t manually select each and every point, as only 55 are visible in the viewfinder; the extra sensors are used to better track moving subjects.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-29.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-12.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Focus can be set to single or continuous mode, and you can set the system to automatically choose a point, select a single point manually, or leverage the Group AF function. It acts like the single point selection, so you can still move it around using the rear joystick, but looks for focus across a wider area. The entirety of the focus points cover about the width of an APS-C image sensor, so you don’t get coverage up to the edges of the frame. The <a href="/reviews/nikon-d500" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="3363">Nikon D500 <span data-commerce-link="04LW4CMcLMwkulHYA9dNgoD"></span> </a> pairs the same focus system with an APS-C (DX) format image sensor, so coverage extends almost to the edge of the frame.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Most SLRs can lock focus on static subjects with aplomb. The D5’s strength is in continuous autofocus, and its ability to shoot away at a high frame rate while keeping moving targets in crisp focus. In AF-C mode the D5 does just that. There are a number of different, movable focus points available&mdash;including both a single point and Group AF, and movable 9-point, 25-point, and 72-point selection areas. There’s also a dynamic 153 area selection, which uses the entirety of the focus system, and an automatic point selection mode.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-30.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 740’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-13.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-13.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">But the real strength of the Nikon system, and what sets it apart from the Canon 1D X Mark II, is its 3D tracking function. In this mode you have a single focus point (which can be manually moved around the frame), and once you’ve used it to lock focus on a target, the camera moves the point around automatically to follow said subject. It works exceptionally well, as long as the subject remains within the area of the frame that the focus point covers. It’s very useful for tracking subjects as they move through the frame, and also works well for portraiture&mdash;set the point on your subject’s eye and it will stay there, even if the subject moves or if you move the camera to recompose the shot.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s another neat feature offered by the focus system&mdash;automatic calibration. Like the D500, the D5 can use its contrast-based Live View focus system to determine if the phase detection system isn’t properly focusing with a lens, and dial in an offset based on any discrepancy in order to ensure that a particular lens catches subjects in crisp focus.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-31.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-14.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-14.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"><b>Image and Video Quality<br /></b>The D5 uses a 20.8-megapixel full-frame image sensor, an increase in resolution from the 16-megapixel sensor used by the D4 and D4S. I used <a href="http://www.imatest.com" target="_blank"><span class="s2">Imatest</span></a> to check the amount of noise that the sensor records when its ISO is pushed&mdash;and you can push the D5 far, all the way to ISO 3276800. When shooting JPGs at default settings, noise stays under 1.5 percent through 12800, and under 2 percent through ISO 51200. The camera isn’t at its best at ISO 12800&mdash;there’s some very fine detail that you can see in ISO 6400 images that is smudged at ISO 12800&mdash;but images are certainly useable. As you move to higher sensitivities image quality suffers. At ISO 25600 and 51200 details are blurrier, and become downright muddy at the top native setting, ISO 102400. The extended settings, ISO 204800 and beyond, are very rough, with objects becoming almost unrecognizable from ISO 819200 through the top setting. They’ll help you get a shot if you’re staking out a suspect, but aren’t useable for fine art work.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 also supports Raw capture, which will net you crisper, more detailed results at higher sensitivity settings. Images are rife with detail, with little distracting noise through ISO 25600. At ISO 51200 there’s a grainy quality, but details are still very clear. Noise starts to overtake photos and detract from clarity at ISO 102400. You can get away with shooting at ISO 204800 if you don’t mind an image with rough, excessive grain, but if you move beyond image quality falls apart. Still, those are fantastic results; the Canon 1D X Mark II falls behind the D5 by about a stop in terms of high ISO noise control.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-32.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-15.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-15.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-15.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 has taken some criticism for a lack of dynamic range when compared with its predecessors. This is evident when attempting to pull detail out of the shadows in Raw images, especially those shot with a wide range of exposure in a single scene and at a lower ISO. If you want to brighten the shadows to show more detail, you’re going to see more noise than with other Nikon cameras, including the D500 and D810. If you often find yourself processing images in this manner, take note. But when shooting in challenging light, the D5’s high ISO capabilities outshine the competition, a plus for photographers who need to shoot at very short shutter speeds in order to freeze fast-moving action. The D5’s shutter can fire as quickly as 1/8,000-second, and long exposures are possible at durations of up to 30 seconds, with longer bulb and timed exposures possible when shooting in Manual mode.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Video capabilities are strong. The camera records crisp 4K footage at 24, 25, or 30fps to internal memory in QuickTime format, and can record in 1080p and 720p at standard frame rates up to 60fps. Video recorded to a memory card is compressed, but the D5 can output an uncompressed 4K signal over HDMI, so you have the ability to use a field recorder if desired. When the camera launched 4K recording was limited to 3 minutes per clip, but a firmware update has extended this limit to the more common 30-minute duration.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-33.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">When shooting in 4K the footage is cropped by about 1.5x, mimicking the field of view delivered by an APS-C image sensor. This limits your ability to record footage with an ultra-wide lens. You do have the option of using DX lenses, which are made for the APS-C format, so you can use a lens like the <a href="/reviews/nikon-af-s-dx-nikkor-10-24mm-f35-45g-ed" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="1251">AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED <span data-commerce-link="06JMRqpoknMIqJNh78BV8GO"></span> </a> or the <a href="/archive/sigma-8-16mm-f45-56-ds-hsm-300797" data-link-type="archive" data-link-id="75782">Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DS HSM <span data-commerce-link="00GhTxvgk9d4q4tclfi8Wun"></span> </a> to compensate for the crop.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">You can record in 1080p or 720p without a crop, using the full width of the sensor. Alternatively, if you want to shoot some extreme telephoto video, a 3x crop mode is available in 1080p. It uses the central 1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) area of the sensor only.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-34.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-17.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-17.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-17.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-17.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The D5 uses contrast-based focus for video and Live View. It’s accurate and fast, but it does have to move past the point of peak focus and quickly return to it in order to lock on to a target. This quick back-and-forth effect is distracting. You’ll get the best results by locking focus before starting a shot, and manually focusing when required. Mirrorless cameras like the 4K-capable <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="1046">Sony Alpha 7R II <span data-commerce-link="04HzmMETmX7aXBxAllBlg8L"></span> </a> and SLRs with on-sensor phase detection like the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II are better choices for autofocus video, as there’s no back-and-forth when acquiring focus.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The sound quality from the internal mic is what you’d expect&mdash;it picks up voices clearly when the subject is close to the camera, but also picks up a lot of background noise. You’ll want to invest in an external mic for serious video work. Audio level control is an option, and there’s a headphone jack for monitoring during recording.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-35.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon D5 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-18.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-18.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon D5 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-18.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-18.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"><b>Conclusions<br /></b>If you want a top-end SLR that can keep focus locked on moving subjects, shoot at an incredible burst rate, and deliver the image quality you expect from a full-frame system, you have two excellent options among current models. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is one, and the Nikon D5 is the other. You’ll pay a premium for either choice, but will walk away with an excellent camera that is built to withstand demanding use. If you’re heavily invested in and comfortable with the ergonomics of either system, your preference is likely already determined.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">But for photographers on the fence, the answer isn’t as transparent. The D5 and 1D X Mark II are very close in performance, with Canon earning points for its video autofocus capability, shadow recovery, built-in GPS, and higher maximum shooting rate, and Nikon winning the battle in high ISO image quality, battery life, and automatic focus calibration. The D5 also has a leg up in terms of pure video quality, supporting uncompressed 4K output, even though it isn’t as convenient for autofocus. And it has some ergonomic benefits, including a sharper rear display and backlit control buttons. For this reviewer, the decision comes down to the autofocus system, and the D5’s is just a bit snappier, and its 3D tracking system gives you more control than Canon’s. The capabilities of the 1D X Mark II and the D5 are both top-notch, but the D5 has a slight overall edge, and earns our Editors’ Choice recommendation for high-end SLRs.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":79,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":494,"hash":"99b509e3f97db76cda97f2ca0dbf1237","timestamp":1569469974,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Nikon D5 : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Nikon D5 : Sample Image","legacy_id":"500175","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-04 13:36:55.733"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":494,"hash":"1fb1ac3314880488cd44b06aecde2ad9","timestamp":1569469974,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Nikon D5 : Sample 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51200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500137","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":37,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.680"}},{"index":73,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-73.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"4093ba3c65a51cabdfb62ef224dd8e57","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Noise begins to overtake photos and detracts from image clarity at ISO 102400.","alt_text":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500159","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":38,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.687"}},{"index":74,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-74.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"7223637653ab7480ce8f26d9a875c022","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"You can get away with shooting at ISO 204800 if you don’t mind rough, excessive grain.","alt_text":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500151","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":39,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.690"}},{"index":75,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-75.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"7139dc2fe42cf1632bd1fc40adb1cb93","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 409600 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Images really fall apart when the camera is pushed to ISO 409600 and beyond.","alt_text":"ISO 409600 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500133","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":40,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.693"}},{"index":76,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-76.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"54b5ef742bb1c2e942b7bf14f8617e15","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 819200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"These extreme ISO settings can be helpful for law enforcement using the camera for nighttime surveillance, but won’t do you any good at a wedding.","alt_text":"ISO 819200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500131","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":41,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.697"}},{"index":77,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-77.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"1f5d5a18b78e50b8c069f797ab43107d","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 1638400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 1638400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500135","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":42,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.707"}},{"index":78,"path":"reviews/04HhhjQa1NCBctCkcIWIIaW-78.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"51ca7753ce9042d25b04010e63407854","timestamp":1569480699,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 3276800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 3276800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"500153","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":43,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 09:30:36.710"}}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"Fast 153-point autofocus system.n12fps continuous shooting.nStrong high ISO image quality.n20MP full-frame image sensor.nTough, durable build.n3.2-inch touch LCD.nClean HDMI output.n4K video capture.nAvailable with dual XQD or CF slots.","cons":"4K video is cropped.nUnderwhelming autofocus for video.nNo Wi-Fi or GPS.nOmits in-body flash.","bottom_line":"The top-of-the-line Nikon D5 SLR doesn’t disappoint thanks to best-in-class autofocus, 4K video recording, and a full-frame image sensor.","best_for":"Best for Fast Action","first_published_at":"2016-08-08T09:29:00.000000Z","published_at":"2016-08-08T09:29:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2017-09-19T11:05:09.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2016-08-04T16:31:58.000000Z","updated_at":"2017-09-19T16:05:07.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":9201,"rank":2,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":8399,"legacy_id":346763,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ","status":"Published","product_uuid":"02B74w1MUnxwq7REkp9RhVR","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Canon EOS-1D X Mark II","slug":"canon-eos-1d-x-mark-ii","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":false,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"4.5","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":2663,"body":"<p>If you’re shopping for a <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-digital-cameras">camera</a> that can handle any situation&mdash;from the sidelines of an NFL game to the front lines of a war zone&mdash;you’ll quickly narrow the search to models from Canon and Nikon. The EOS-1D X Mark II ($5,999) is Canon’s top-end model. It offers some notable upgrades over the original <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-1d-x" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8514">1D X <span data-commerce-link="07b1eJgLM7pFeMpuz4mCGGD"></span> </a>, including an autofocus system that covers a wider area of the frame, vastly improved focus in Live View mode, and 4K video recording. It’s an excellent performer, and one that’s sure to be the workhorse of many a photographer. It falls just shy of Editors’ Choice marks, which belong to rival Nikon’s <a href="/reviews/nikon-d5" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9201">D5 <span data-commerce-link="06hupPKzSRIOTGWutLBW8tn"></span> </a>, but the two cameras are so close in quality that the winner had to be determined by photo finish.</p>rnrn<p><b>Design<br /></b>The 1D X Mark II <span data-commerce-link="02B74w1MUnxwq7REkp9RhVR"></span> is virtually identical to its predecessor on the outside. It’s a big camera, with an integrated vertical shooting grip, a tough magnesium build, and extensive protection from dust and splashes. It measures 6.6 by 6.2 by 3.3 inches (HWD) and weighs about 3.4 pounds without a lens. There’s no built-in flash&mdash;not an issue for pro photographers who will likely reach for a Speedlite or use the 1D in conjunction with studio lighting&mdash;but the camera does have an in-body GPS receiver. When enabled it adds location data to photos, pinpointing where they were captured.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-17.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-1.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-1.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrnrn<p>The 1D’s huge battery is rated for about 1,210 shots by CIPA, significantly less than the 3,780 images that the Nikon D5 nets by the same testing standards. The 1D X did a bit better than its rating in our field tests, staying on pace for about 1,300 images per charge, with the GPS enabled in the mode that only searches for location when the camera is turned on, but still doesn’t offer the same level of endurance as the D5.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0Z6m3pCN12E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>The optical viewfinder is huge, with a 0.77x magnification ratio, just a bit larger than you get with the D5. A black outline shows the area of the frame covered by the autofocus system, with active points lit up in red during focus. Transparent overlays show up when you’re changing settings, allowing you to easily set the shooting mode, drive mode, white balance, and focus mode without taking your eye away from the finder. When you’re shooting under artificial light at high speed the Flicker indicator will show, to let you know that the drive mode is adjusted to keep brightness consistent from shot to shot. There’s also an exclamation point that appears on rare occasion. You can dive into the menu to individually toggle any of the four instances when you’ll see it&mdash;when the camera is set to record monochrome images, when White Balance has been corrected, when one-touch image quality has been set, or when the spot meter is activated. Chances are, you won’t see it that often.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-18.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Exposure settings and the number of shots left on the memory card are displayed in a row below the optical view, lit up in green. There’s also an LCD to the right of the image; it displays the EV compensation level, the number of shots available in the shooting buffer, the active file format, and a battery life indicator. Diopter correction is available, and there’s a built-in cover to block light from entering via the finder when making long exposures.</p>rnrn<p>Canon has done everything possible to make 1D X photographers comfortable when moving up to the Mark II. There are four buttons on the front of the body, two each accessible with your right hand when shooting in landscape or portrait orientation. By default the upper button activates the registered AF point and the lower stops down the lens to preview depth of field. Both functions can be reconfigured via the Custom Controls menu setting. The only other button on the front plate is the lens release.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-19.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-3.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-3.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-3.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Three buttons sit on the top plate, to the left of the viewfinder hump and hot shoe. Each requires you to first press the button and then use the top or rear control dial to change settings. The forward button, Mode, serves a single purpose, but the middle and rear buttons do double duty&mdash;Drive/Focus mode and Metering/Flash Compensation, respectively. To the right of the viewfinder you’ll find buttons that activate the monochrome LCD backlight, set the White Balance, EV Compensation level, and ISO.</p>rnrn<p>The top LCD doesn’t display any information when the 1D X is turned off. When the camera is on it displays the shooting mode, exposure settings, shots left on the memory card, drive and focus modes, the metering pattern, ISO, Auto Lighting Optimizer status, and the current EV compensation setting. When the backlight is on the LCD has an orange tint.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-20.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 740’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-4.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-4.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-4.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Both the landscape and portrait shooting grip features an M-Fn button, a control dial, and the shutter release. By default the M-Fn button activates Flash Exposure Lock (FE-Lock), but it can be reconfigured via the menu. M-Fn has other uses. It is used to toggle through AF area settings after you’ve pressed one of the two rear AF Point Selection buttons.</p>rnrn<p>Rear controls include the aforementioned AF Point Selection; it’s located at the top right corner and is joined by Autoexposure Lock (AE-L) and AF-ON to its left. These three buttons are duplicated at the bottom right corner, so they can be accessed in the same manner when using the camera in either landscape or portrait orientation.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-21.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>You’ll also find Menu and Info buttons on the rear, to the left of the eyecup, and the Live View button and still/video toggle switch to the right. Dual joysticks, one for each orientation, are used to select the active focus point&mdash;you’ll need to first press the AF Point Selection button to use these by default. I prefer to enable direct AF Point Selection in the menu, which makes it a lot easier to select the focus point.</p>rnrn<p>Canon also puts the power switch on the rear, along with a large control dial with a center Set button, and the Q button, all located to the right of the color LCD. Q displays an on-screen bank of shooting settings. Despite having touch capability, you’ll need to use the joysticks, control dial, and Set button to navigate through them.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-22.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-6.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Below the color display is another monochrome information display. Its backlight is activated by the same button as the top LCD. It displays memory card status, file format, GPS status, and lets you know if a file transfer is in progress, either via Ethernet or an add-on Wi-Fi module. A LAN indicator light, as well as Play, Zoom, Delete, and Lock/Voice Memo controls are located above it.</p>rnrn<p>The 3.2-inch color touch-screen LCD is used for Live View framing and focus as well as image review. Touch functionality is very limited&mdash;you can use it to set a focus point when shooting stills or video in Live View, but that’s it. The LCD is crisp thanks to a 1.62 million dot resolution. The Nikon D5 has a sharper screen&mdash;2.4 million dots&mdash;but unless you’re looking at the two side-by-side, you’re not going to be able to tell the difference.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-23.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-7.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-7.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The memory card slots are protected by a locking door. Slot 1 accepts a CompactFlash card and Slot 2 supports the newer CFast card format. Despite a similar appearance and shape, the cards use a different data interface, so you’ll want to take care to put your card format of choice in the correct slot. CFast memory is still quite expensive&mdash;even more than the competing XQD format&mdash;but you’ll want to use it if you see yourself using the 14fps burst capability on a regular basis.</p>rnrn<p>All connection ports are located on the left side. They include a wired remote connector, Ethernet, microphone, headphone, PC Sync, mini HDMI, and micro USB 3.0. The battery is also removed via the left side. The 1D ships with a single battery, and includes a large charger that can handle two simultaneously. It’s physically identical to the cell used by the original 1D X, and you can use the older battery in the new camera&mdash;but the maximum shooting rate will drop to 12fps.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-24.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 740’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-8.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-8.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p><b>Performance and Autofocus<br /></b><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-25.v_1569469968.gif’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Benchmark Tests’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Benchmark Tests’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Benchmark Tests’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 111 88’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-9.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469968.gif"}’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-9.gif’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Benchmark Tests’ width=’111′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-9.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469968.gif’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-9.gif’></noscript></a></span> The 1D X Mark II is Canon’s marquee camera&mdash;the one that you see on the sidelines on Monday Night Football and at all major Olympic events&mdash;so you’d expect its performance to be phenomenal. It doesn’t disappoint in terms of speed. The Mark II starts, focuses, and fires off a shot in just 0.5-second, and confirms focus and fires in about 0.1-second in bright light and about 0.3-second in dim conditions. Focus in Live View is extremely quick, with almost no delay required to lock focus in both bright and dim light.</p>rnrn<p><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-10.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-10.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-10.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-10.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396">See How We Test Digital Cameras</a></p>rnrn<p>When shooting with the optical finder the 1D X rattles off shots at up to 14fps with focus and exposure checked for each. When paired with a Lexar 540MBps CFast 2.0 card it can keep that pace up for 160 Raw+JPG or 2,816 Raw images before slowing down. If you’re shooting in JPG format, you can keep shooting for even longer. With more than 2,000 shots in the Raw buffer, you never have to worry about the camera not being ready to take a photo. If you need to shoot faster you can switch to Live View mode and shoot at 16fps. You’ll see each shot show on the rear LCD, so you can track action, but the focus and exposure are locked after the first one.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-26.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 886’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-11.fit_lim.size_740x886.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-11.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-11.fit_lim.size_740x886.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-11.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The Mark II features a 61-point autofocus system, the same number of points as its predecessor, but it is an improved one. The points are further apart, so the area of the frame covered by AF is a little larger. Additionally, each point can focus with a f/8 lens, so photographers who employ a 1.4x or 2x teleconverter to extend the reach of a f/4 or f/5.6 telephoto lens can still take full advantage of autofocus.</p>rnrn<p>The 1D X gives you flexibility in choosing a focus point. You can select an individual point, a grouped cluster of 5 or 9 points, or the left, center, or right third of the focus area&mdash;all of which can be moved using the rear joysticks.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-27.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-12.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>You can also set the 1D X to automatically select a focus point (or points). This is where Canon’s Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) system comes into play. The Mark II automatically recognizes subjects and tracks them as they move through the frame. I found that it worked well in field tests, locking onto human faces as well as wildlife. But if you want the camera to track something, you have to rely on it first recognizing the subject. You don’t have the flexibility of manually selecting a subject to track as you do with the Nikon D5.</p>rnrn<p>Canon’s focus system is very customizable. There are six main settings, each of which can be fine-tuned. They’re referred to as Cases. Case 1 is the default and is designed to handle many different types of scenes, Case 2 tracks subjects and ignores obstacles that pop up in frame while tracking, Case 3 does the opposite, prioritizing subjects entering the frame suddenly, Case 4 is ideal for subjects that accelerate or decelerate while in motion, Case 5 tracks subjects that move erratically, and Case 6 is tuned for subjects that both change speed and direction erratically.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-28.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-13.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-13.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Overall, the 1D X Mark II delivers solid autofocus performance. It tracks subjects well, and maintains crisp focus even when shooting at a blistering 14fps frame rate. To get the best results you can tune its behavior to suit the type of action you’re capturing. It doesn’t match the D5’s 3D Tracking capability, but still delivers the consistent results that professionals demand.</p>rnrn<p><b>Image and Video Quality<br /></b>I used <a href="http://www.imatest.com" target="_blank"><span class="s2">Imatest</span></a> to see how the full-frame, 20-megapixel image sensor handles noise at high ISOs. The 1D X has a native ISO range of 100 through 51200, with 102400, 204800, and 409600 available as extended settings. When shooting JPGs at default settings noise is kept under 1.5 percent through ISO 12800, and under 2 percent through ISO 25600. Images are crisp, with little evidence of noise reduction, through ISO 6400. There is minor smudging of fine lines visible at ISO 12800. Blur increases at ISO 25600, but images are still useable. At ISO 51200 blur overtakes the image, and it increases at ISO 102400. By ISO 204800 all details are blurred away, and shapes are barely recognizable at ISO 409600.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-29.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-14.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-14.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>To get the most out of the camera at high ISOs you’ll want to shoot in Raw format. Images show little noise and excellent detail through ISO 6400. There’s some grain at ISO 12800, but very fine lines are still visible in our test scene. There’s a little more noise visible at ISO 25600, but overall image quality is still very strong. At ISO 51200 noise is an issue, and it becomes more of a problem as you push the camera further. You can still get useable results at ISO 102400, but beyond that photos are more noise than detail. The 1D X lags behind the D5 by about 1-stop in high ISO Raw image quality.</p>rnrn<p>If you opt for CFast memory you can record 4K footage at up to 60fps with the 1D X; it’s limited to 24 or 30fps capture using CompactFlash. There is a crop when shooting in 4K, about 1.3x, which limits your ability to capture video with an ultra-wide field of view. The video is a bit wider than UHD footage, coming in at 4,096 by 2,160 pixels, a 1.9:1 ratio, versus 3,840 by 2,160 for the more common UHD format, which matches the shape of a 16:9 television. Unlike the D5, which also crops 4K video, you can’t mount an EF-S (APS-C) lens to the 1D X. You can capture video using the entire width of the full-frame sensor at 1080p, also at up to 60fps.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-30.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-15.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-15.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mark II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-15.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>When recording in 1080p the 1D X supports All-I and IPB compression schemes, and you also have the option of outputting uncompressed 1080p video via the HDMI port. But the 1D X can’t output uncompressed 4K, and the Motion JPG codec used for 4K recording is an older standard that isn’t as efficient as modern high bit rate compression like XAVC S, which is offered in Sony’s line of 4K full-frame mirrorless cameras, including the <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7s-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="413">Alpha 7S II <span data-commerce-link="03yiepDgpgaxXxVplCPtq3s"></span> </a> and <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="1046">Alpha 7R II <span data-commerce-link="04HzmMETmX7aXBxAllBlg8L"></span> </a>&mdash;both of which record in 4K without cropping the frame width. You can pull 8.8-megapixel frames out of 60p 4K footage, a plus if you are working on a project that calls for both still and video capture.</p>rnrn<p>Like the mirrorless Alpha 7R II, the 1D X uses on-sensor phase detection focus for video, which Canon calls Dual Pixel AF. This gives it a camcorder-like feel, with near instant focus acquisition and subject tracking with smooth, pleasant transitions when autofocus is engaged. Full manual exposure control is available when recording.</p>rnrn<p>Audio quality is what you expect from an internal mic. Voices are picked up clearly, but the mic also picks up background noise. You can increase or decrease the microphone sensitivity as needed, but for the best sound quality you’ll want to add an external mic.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-31.v_1569469968.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-16.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-16.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469968.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p><b>Conclusions<br /></b>The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II takes the place of the older 1D X as Canon’s top-of-the-line SLR. It offers several improvements, including an upgraded autofocus system for both stills and video, 4K recording, a faster shooting rate, and the addition of in-camera GPS. It’s a pro-grade body built for the long haul, and it’s priced like one, but it delivers on promised performance.</p>rnrn<p>Despite earning one of our top ratings, the 1D X Mark II falls shy of Editors’ Choice honors. We like the Nikon D5 just a little bit more for its snappier autofocus system. But if you’re a longtime Canon shooter with a familiarity of the interface and investment in lenses and accessories, the difference between the two cameras isn’t substantial enough to lead you to switch systems.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":68,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/0571AHiMSxvsA0vbvW3szLQ-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":494,"hash":"a20b9a37a6eca6149b09ac6fa888b127","timestamp":1569469968,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Canon EOS-1D X Mak II : Sample Image","legacy_id":"500333","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2016-08-05 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Action","first_published_at":"2016-08-08T11:02:00.000000Z","published_at":"2016-08-08T11:02:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2019-10-10T16:07:15.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2016-08-04T16:44:38.000000Z","updated_at":"2019-10-10T21:07:14.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":8399,"rank":3,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":9494,"legacy_id":359636,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9","status":"Published","product_uuid":"04Muy4dAgleFScPYI6cCGLl","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Sony a7 III","slug":"sony-a7-iii","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":true,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":true,"show_toc":true,"score":"5.0","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":4047,"body":"<p>nn<a href="/news/the-best-tech-products-of-2018" class="no-underline" data-link-type="lineup" data-link-id="1708"><span><img alt=’Best of the year 2018 logo small’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 181 150’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-1.fit_lim.size_181x150.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Best of the year 2018 logo small’ width=’181′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-1.fit_lim.size_181x150.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-1.jpg’></noscript></span></a>nnIt didn’t take long for Sony to reuse the body design it introduced with last year’s high-resolution, pro-grade <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-a7r-iii">a7R III</a> in an entry-level model. But despite a friendly (for <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-full-frame-cameras">full-frame</a>) price, the a7 III ($1,999.99, body only) is anything but entry-level when it comes to its feature set. Its BSI CMOS sensor excels in all types of light, and offers incredible dynamic range. It can shoot at 10fps, with an autofocus system that covers almost the entirety of the image sensor. And it has serious video chops too, recording smooth, sharp footage at 4K, and slow-motion at 1080p. It run circles around competing models in this price range, and is our Editors’ Choice for entry-level full-frame shoppers.<br /><br /><em>Note: This review has been updated to reflect changes in the a7 III added by its <a href="https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/e-mount-body-ilce-7-series/ilce-7m3#downloads" target="_blank">Firmware 3.0</a> release.</em></p>rnrn<div class="reviewProducts" id="products31" data-commerce-module="Compare" data-pf-url="/products/1563" data-comp-url="/products/compare/1563?aid=(articleIds)">rn<h2 class="similar-products">Design</h2>rnrn<div class="similar-products">The a7 III feels a lot like the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-alpha-7-ii">a7 II</a> and a7R III in the hand. It measures 3.9 by 5.0 by 2.5 inches (HWD) without a lens, and weighs about 1.4 pounds. Its grip and body design are the same as you get with the a7R III. I find it quite comfortable to hold, even with a larger zoom like the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-fe-100-400mm-f45-56-gm-oss">FE 100-400mm</a>. The body is protected against dust and splashes, as are all Sony FE lenses.</div>rnrn</div>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-21.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 416’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-2.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-2.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrnrn<p>In addition to the body-only option, Sony is offering the a7 III in a $2,199.99 kit bundled with the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-fe-28-70mm-f35-56-oss">FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6</a> lens. The 28-70mm is one of oldest lenses in the series. I would have liked to see another bundle with the newer, more useful <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-fe-24-105mm-f4-g-oss">FE 24-105mm F4</a>. The 24-105mm is a $1,300 lens, however, so I imagine the pricing of a kit would be prohibitive for many buyers.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="300" height="150" style="width: 100%; height: 100%;" src="https://mashable.com/videos/blueprint:BblybNWzoV/embed/?player=pcmag&amp;autoplay=true&amp;mute=true" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>Handling isn’t that much different from the a7 II. You still get the EV dial on top, along with programmable C1 and C2 buttons, and a Mode dial&mdash;it’s not a locking dial like the one on the a7R III. The shutter release is on top of the handgrip, slightly lower than the rest of the top plate, and set at an angle. The On/Off switch surrounds it. The grip has a command dial, accessible using your right index finger. Its rear counterpart is slightly offset from the EV dial and is easily turned with your right thumb.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-22.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-3.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-3.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-3.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Rear controls match the a7R III and <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-a9">a9</a>. The programmable C3 button and Menu button are above the rear LCD, just to the left of the EVF eyecup. To the right, still running along the top, you find Record, AF-ON, and AEL. Below them, nestled between the rear thumb rest and LCD are the focus point selector joystick and Fn button.</p>rnrn<p>The flat rear command dial is next down in the column; it has a button at its center and directional presses to adjust Display, ISO, and the Drive mode&mdash;there’s no dedicated Drive dial like you get on the a9, that’s something Sony has decided to leave out of the a7 series. The dial itself has deep ridges so you can turn it comfortably, and the turning motion feels much better than the similar dial on the a7 II&mdash;there’s more resistance, and the dial is physically larger so the button presses offer better tactile feedback.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-23.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 370’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-4.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-4.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-4.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Rounding out the rear controls are the Play and Delete buttons. The latter doubles as the programmable C4 button when in shooting mode. By default it toggles the touch sensitivity of the rear display. The touch functions are a bit limited. You can’t navigate through menus via touch. But you can tap on the screen to set a focus point. Even if the camera is set to a wide area, tapping on a spot will override and change to a flexible spot, which can be moved via touch or the joystick; returning to wide area is done using the button at the center of the rear command dial. This method of adjusting the focus point works in both still and video capture.</p>rnrn<p>The camera also supports focus adjustment using the LCD when framing shots with the EVF. Just slide your finger on the display and the focus area will move. You can override the wide area setting with this method just as you can when shooting using the rear LCD to frame shots.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-24.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-5.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-5.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Speaking of menus, Sony has long been criticized for its rather lengthy, complex menu system. The a7 III includes some tools to help reduce the stress of trying to find the setting you want to adjust when flipping through dozens of pages of options. My Menu is fully customizable, so a setting you often adjust can be added to it for quick access. It’s a step in the right direction, though I wish Sony would go further and better organize and categorize menu options.</p>rnrn<p>The menu breaks up camera capture settings into two tabs, each with multiple pages, but mixes things up a bit. There are settings for both movies and still capture bookending a few dedicated pages for video capture squeezed in the middle. Some cleaner organization could help make finding the right setting easier.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-25.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 925’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-6.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-6.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Upgrading owners of the a7 and a7 II will notice that the apps section is gone. The a7 III doesn’t support PlayMemories Mobile camera apps. That in and of itself is not a great loss&mdash;downloading apps to extend the camera’s capabilities was a flawed concept, especially without support for third-party developers. But some functions that were available in PlayMemories, like the ability to fire the shutter using the EVF eye sensor, haven’t been integrated into the a7 III’s firmware. Time-lapse was added with Firmware 3.0 and, while the a7 III can’t output a finished video, it will automatically fire images at set intervals so you can combine them into a video later. The camera delivers enough resolution for 6K time-lapse.</p>rnrn<p>The rear display is a 3-inch LCD with touch input support. It’s a step back from the one used on the a7 II, which is a 1,228k-dot design with "white pixels" to cut through sun glare on bright days. This one is a more pedestrian 921k-dot design. Even so, I shot with it under the harsh sun in the Nevada desert and had no problems seeing the screen.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-26.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The screen tilts up and down, but it doesn’t swing out from the body to face forward like a true vari-angle display. It’s a shame, as it limits the ability of vloggers to set up shots and record video while keeping an eye on framing, and the a7 III otherwise has such solid video chops. There are also some touch controls when reviewing images; notably you can swipe around a magnified shot with your finger when playing photos back.</p>rnrn<p>The EVF is the same 0.78x magnification OLED with 2,359k dots as you get with the a7 II. The higher end models in the series, the a7R III and a9, match the a7 III in magnification, but pack more pixels into the frame, 3,686k dots. I didn’t notice the drop in resolution when picking up the a7 III for the first time&mdash;the EVF looks great and I’m able to tell if a subject is in focus when shooting. But if you use the pricier models on a regular basis, you may appreciate the difference.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p4">Power and Connectivity</h2>rnrn<p>The a7 III uses the Z battery, introduced in the a9 and also used by the a7R III. It’s good for 710 shots per CIPA ratings with the a7 III, as its power requirements are less than the a9 or a7R III, both rated for 650 images per charge. The bigger battery is a boon to enthusiasts who don’t want to buy a ton of spares, and pros alike. A grip is available; it allows the camera to use two batteries, effectively doubling its life. You won’t have to worry about running out of power when shooting a wedding, for example.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-27.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Sony doesn’t include an external charger with the a7 III. If you want to charge the battery outside the camera, you’ll need to buy one. But you can recharge via USB and an included USB-to-AC adapter in-camera. I recommend a wall charger for travelers and pros, especially those who have multiple Z batteries to recharge at the end of a long day of shooting.</p>rnrn<p>The camera has two USB ports (one USB-C and one micro USB), as well as micro HDMI, a 3.5mm microphone input, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It doesn’t include the PC Sync flash socket you get with the a7R III and a9. There is a standard hot shoe, with the extra electrical contacts for accessories like Sony’s XLR audio adapter.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-28.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-9.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-9.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>And there are two memory card slots. Slot 1, toward the bottom of the camera, supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory at UHS-II speeds. Slot 2, above it, works with all SD formats at slower UHS-I speeds, but also supports Sony Memory Stick media. I knocked the decision to only support UHS-II in one slot when I reviewed the a9 and a7R III, and do the same here&mdash;both slots should support the latest, fastest memory format. I’d be surprised if anyone outside of Sony cares about Memory Stick at this point.</p>rnrn<p>In addition to wired connectivity, the a7 III includes Bluetooth, NFC, and Wi-Fi. This allows the camera to connect to an Android or iOS device running the free Sony PlayMemories Mobile app to transfer images and video to your phone for social sharing. You can also use your phone as a wireless remote control.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p4">Performance and Autofocus</h2>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-29.v_1569469976.gif’, ‘Sony a7 III : Benchmark Tests’, ‘Sony a7 III : Benchmark Tests’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Benchmark Tests’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 111 88’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-10.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469976.gif"}’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-10.gif’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Benchmark Tests’ width=’111′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-10.fit_lim.size_111x88.v_1569469976.gif’ align="right" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-10.gif’></noscript></a></span>The a7 III starts, focuses, and fires in about 2.2 seconds. That’s one area where it’s slower than competing SLRs, like the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/canon-eos-6d-mark-ii">Canon EOS 6D Mark II</a> (0.4-second) and <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-d750">Nikon D750</a> (0.4-second). Its autofocus system is quite speedy, locking on in 0.05-second in bright light and an average of 0.4-second in very dim conditions.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-30.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-11.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-11.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-11.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-11.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>I tested the burst speed using a Lexar 300MBps memory card in the UHS-II slot. The camera manages 10fps in its fastest burst mode. The amount of shots you can take before the camera stalls varies based on the file format you use. I tested Uncompressed Raw and Extra Fine JPG (34 shots), Compressed Raw and Extra Fine JPG (78 shots), Uncompressed Raw (37 shots), Compressed Raw (103 shots), and Extra Fine JPG (164 shots). Recovery time, the duration it takes for the buffer to fully clear to the memory card, varies based on file format. If you’re shooting Raw+JPG (either format) expect to wait about 24 seconds, but only about 14 seconds for Raw alone. Because you can capture so many more JPG images at a time, the write time to clear them to the card is about 54 seconds.</p>rnrn<p><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-12.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-12.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-12.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p>Continuous autofocus is also available at 10fps. Our standard focus test, in which I shoot a target that moves directly toward or away from the lens, netted almost all shots in focus at 10fps. There were a few slight misses here and there, but nothing worth getting worked up about.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-31.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 925’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-13.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-13.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The autofocus system is similar to that in the high-end a9, but it’s not quite as uncannily intelligent. The a9’s sensor design allows for instant readout (and 20fps capture), so even though the a7 III has the same number of focus points and area of focus coverage, it doesn’t deliver the same level of performance.</p>rnrn<p>But it’s not that far off. A total of 693 phase detection points cover 93 percent of the sensor, all but its extreme edges, and are joined by 425 contrast points, more densely located in the central area of the frame. The two focus point types work together to recognize and track subjects.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/E_ECESoU3HI" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>The focus system not only supports face detection, but goes further with Sony’s Eye AF system. It can lock on to a human eye, prioritizing the one closest to the active focus point. It’s a great tool for portraits, and it works when focusing continuously, so your model can feel free to adjust a pose and you won’t have to worry about losing crisp focus on their eyes.</p>rnrn<p>The Firmware 3.0 updated improved the operability of Eye AF, allowing it to work at all times&mdash;previously it had to be engaged manually. It also adds support for <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/news/sony-cameras-can-now-focus-on-your-pets-eyes">animals</a>, specifically cats and dogs. We tested the new focus system using an a7R III, which works the exact same way, and you can see it at work in the video clip above.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-32.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 740’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-14.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-14.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>In field testing the autofocus system performed superbly. Shot after shot was sharp and crisp, even when tracking moving targets at 10fps. Of course there were occasional misses, but even the best autofocus systems miss from time to time. For example, when shooting a scene with heavy, simulated rain in the studio, with continuous lighting rather than strobes, using the wide focus area resulted in some shots that were wildly misfocused. Changing the focus area to a flexible spot, or engaging EyeAF using the rear center button righted the ship.</p>rnrn<p>Few other full-frame cameras at this price point can hit 10fps, let alone with such a wide coverage of autofocus. The closest SLR competitors in terms of price, the Nikon D750 <span data-commerce-link="03edlBb5YiITu0mHabZsBBX"></span> and Canon EOS 6D Mark II <span data-commerce-link="04dZHoV13p4GD4m9nkzjIPr"></span> , top out at 6.5fps and have focus systems that cover a much smaller area of the frame.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p4">Image Quality</h2>rnrn<p>The a7 III uses a new sensor, one that is similar in design to the 24MP sensor used by the a9, but not identical. The a9’s sensor is a stacked design, which puts memory right on the chip in order to deliver instant readout and its 20fps capture capability. The a7 III doesn’t do that. It is a BSI&mdash;Back Side Illumination&mdash;design, like the a9 and high-resolution a7R III. This type of sensor cuts the distance between its surface and light-sensitive area. The practical effect is that you get superior high ISO quality compared with sensors that put put circuitry in front of the light-gathering area rather than behind it.</p>rnrn<p>Our lab tests show that the a7 III’s image sensor performs very similarly to the a9. When shooting in JPG format <a href="http://www.imatest.com" target="_blank">Imatest</a> tells us that noise is less than 1.5 percent through ISO 25600, a stop better than the a9 and <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-d5">Nikon D5</a>. There’s certainly some in-camera noise reduction going on to get there, resulting in some smudging of fine details at ISO 25600. Images are stronger at ISO 12800, but there’s still some muddiness. At ISO 6400 photos are clean and rife with detail. Results at ISO 3200 are just as crisp as those shot at ISO 100.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-33.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 416’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-15.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-15.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-15.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Moving to the extreme ranges of the ISO range&mdash;the camera can shoot as high as ISO 204800&mdash;is a bit much for JPG shooters. You can get useable, albeit soft, results at ISO 51200. There’s quite a bit of blur at ISO 102400, though I can still make out some detail in our test images. The ISO 204800 setting delivers blurry results, but that’s to be expected when shooting at such an extreme.</p>rnrn<p>If you opt to shoot Raw you can squeeze more detail out of high ISO images. Our test images, converted using <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/adobe-lightroom-classic">Adobe Lightroom Classic CC</a> with default develop settings applied, look just as good at ISO 6400 as they do at ISO 100&mdash;just with a bit more grain. There’s a little more noise at ISO 12800 and 25600, but it’s not overwhelming. At ISO 51200 I’d call grain heavy, but there’s much more detail visible than its JPG counterpart. I’d not hesitate to use ISO 102400 for shots where a grainy look is desired&mdash;or for conversion to black-and-white&mdash;but rough noise overwhelms your images at ISO 204800. Crops, from both JPG and Raw files, are included in the slideshow that accompanies this review so you can judge for yourself.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-34.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 740’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-16.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-16.fit_lim.size_740x740.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>It’s not all about high ISO photography. At lower ISOs the a7 III delivers the image quality you expect from a 24MP, full-frame image sensor. You have extreme control over depth of field when working with a fast lens, and while you don’t get as much resolution or detail as you do from the a7R III (which uses a 42MP sensor without an optical low-pass filter), you won’t have any complaints when making prints or viewing photos at a pixel level. Sony promises that Raw images will deliver 15 stops of dynamic range at lower ISO settings, so you can reign in highlights and shadows to get an image looking just like you want it to. And it does it without adding unwanted color noise, like we saw when pulling up shadow detail from Raw images shot with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.</p>rnrn<p>There is an issue that some reviewers have noted in regards to flare. Under certain conditions, odd banding can show in subjects that are strongly backlit. It’s typically only visible when shooting at f/2 or wider, with a very strong light source entering the lens directly, and only appears toward the edge of the frame. The banding shows up as single pixel straight lines, matching the position of the on-sensor phase detection pixels. It’s not an issue that is exclusive to the a7 III&mdash;photographers have observed the effect in other cameras with on-sensor phase detection.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-35.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-17.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-17.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-17.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-17.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>I shot several dozen images with strong backlight and flare using the a7 III, like the one above, and didn’t see the lines in any of them. But I was using the 24-105mm lens, which has a maximum f/4 aperture, and I wasn’t deliberately trying to induce the effect.</p>rnrn<p>I’ve shot with a number of cameras with on-sensor phase detection points over the years and have not found this to be an issue in my images, but I tend to stop a lens down a bit when incorporating the sun or other bright source in the background in order to get a starburst flare effect. If you’re more of a wide-open shooter and love the backlit portrait look, you may encounter it from time to time. But most photographers will shoot thousands of images without ever seeing the effect.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p4">Video</h2>rnrn<p>Canon SLRs with Dual Pixel AF have caught up to mirrorless in terms of focus speed, but there are still big advantages to using a mirrorless system with on-sensor autofocus to capture video. The entire Sony a7 series has solid video chops&mdash;particularly the specialized <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-alpha-7s-ii">a7S II</a>. Despite entry-level positioning, the a7 III doesn’t skimp on features.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s80jm_SuYVg" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>It supports 4K capture at 60 or 100Mbps using the XAVC S 4K codec at your choice of 24 or 30fps. The 24fps video uses the full width of the frame (with the sensor cropped to the 16:9 ratio), but there is a modest crop applied when shooting at 30fps. Dropping down to 1080p gives you 50 or 100Mbs options at 24, 30, or 60p, and there is an in-camera slow-motion option at 60 or 100Mbps and 120fps.</p>rnrn<p>I shot our 4K test video at 24fps and 100Mbps using the Standard video profile. It was cut together in Premiere Pro, but no grading was done. I did remove audio from some clips, as copyrighted music was playing at our location, but clips with audio use the in-camera microphone.</p>rnrn<p>If you do want to grade footage, there are other profiles available, including several cinema looks, S-Log2, and S-Log3. Like the a7R III, the camera also supports HDR capture using Sony’s HybridLogGamma profile.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-36.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 370’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-18.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-18.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-18.fit_lim.size_740x370.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-18.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>All of my video was shot handheld as well, so you can see how the in-body stabilization works. I used the FE 24-105mm <span data-commerce-link="07nnuVPMvqYhf6c3jUdv3XX"></span> exclusively. As we’ve seen with other a7 models, the combination of body and lens stabilization removes jitter from footage. There’s some shake visible in shots captured from a helicopter, but it’s a lot less bumpy than what I experienced in real life.</p>rnrn<p>There’s certainly some wind noise in our outdoor shots. Thankfully you can use an external microphone with the a7 III. It has a standard 3.5mm input, as well as an output if you want to monitor audio using headphones. Sony sells an add-on accessory with balanced XLR input for projects that require true pro-grade sound.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v4isEh2kiNY" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>We’ve also included a slow-motion sample using the S&amp;Q 120fps setting. You’re limited to 1080p, but it’s a nice effect for those times when you want to slow down reality. The video is silent, as the a7 III doesn’t record audio when its Mode dial is set to the S&amp;Q position.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p4">Conclusions</h2>rnrn<p>The Sony a7 III looks a lot like the a7 II, but the upgrades inside are palpable. Its sensor offers the same resolution, but the BSI design improves high ISO performance. The autofocus system is vastly improved, with much wider coverage and 10fps capture. And a high-capacity battery keeps the camera shooting for much longer than previous a7 models. All while making few changes to the compact, sturdy body.</p>rnrn<p>I have a few small complaints. I’m not sure why Sony doesn’t use dual UHS-II memory slots&mdash;if you want to record images to two cards simultaneously, the slower UHS-I slot can slow write times when shooting. The camera menu has a lot of options, but the camera does a lot of stuff. It could be better organized; you’ll want to spend some time customizing the My Menu page before doing any serious work with the a7 III.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-37.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-19.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-19.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-19.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-19.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>But any picayune gripes are overshadowed by the a7 III’s all-around performance. It goes well beyond what similarly priced SLRs from Canon and Nikon offer. You don’t get in-body stabilization with either competing system, nor do they support 4K video capture, and their autofocus systems don’t shoot nearly as fast or cover such a large area of the frame.</p>rnrn<p>The a7 III is a lot more camera than we’re used to seeing at this price point. Instead of cutting out features to push buyers to a higher-end model, the a7 III inherits a lot of tech from the a9 and a7R III. We’re used to seeing features from high-end options trickle down to more affordable camera over a period of years, but the a9 has only been on the market for about a year and the a7R III for about half that duration.</p>rnrn<p>We’re making the a7 III our Editors’ Choice for full-frame mirrorless cameras, and do not hesitate in recommending it over its closest competition in the SLR world. The Nikon D750 is aging, and while it still delivers strong image quality, its video features are dated. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II was a bit underwhelming upon its release, and seems even more so now that the a7 III is available.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-38.v_1569469976.jpg’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7 III : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-20.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7 III : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469976.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-20.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>It compares well against pro models, too. The <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv">Canon EOS 5D Mark IV</a> has a bit more resolution (30MP), but only shoots 4K video with a crop factor and doesn’t match the a7 III’s autofocus system. The <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-d850">Nikon D850</a>, the best SLR on the market today, is in a different class as terms of resolution&mdash;its 45MP image sensor is a marvel&mdash;but does suffer from slower autofocus when shooting video. Both sell for more than $3,000.</p>rnrn<p>On the Sony front, you can still buy the a7 II, and at it remains a solid bargain for budget shoppers. The original <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-alpha-7">a7</a> is also still on sale. It doesn’t offer in-body stabilization, but it’s the least expensive point of entry into any full-frame system. Moving to higher-end options, the 42MP <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii">a7R II</a> delivers a lot more resolution, but isn’t a great choice for tracking fast action. The a7R III gives you both resolution and speed, but is a lot more expensive. On the highest end there’s the a9, a 24MP model, but one that can shoot and track action at 20fps, without any sort of blackout.</p>rnrn<p>And there are some very capable cameras out there with smaller image sensors. We just looked at the best APS-C mirrorless camera we’ve seen, the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-h1">Fujifilm X-H1</a>, and the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-d500">Nikon D500</a> is our favorite high-end APS-C SLR. There are reasons to opt for a smaller sensor, especially if you like to use long telephoto lenses to snap shots of sports and wildlife, but for many photographers there is no substitute for a sensor that matches 35mm in size. In this price range, the a7 III is the best one you can get.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":71,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":181,"height":150,"hash":"a51f02b860a7dcbcedb64147b2b9583c","timestamp":1569469976,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Best of the year 2018 logo small","caption":"","alt_text":"Best of the year 2018 logo small","legacy_id":"606098","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-11-16 15:55:41.187"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":416,"hash":"2ae617f8d1dfa817ffbcac06a864658f","timestamp":1569469976,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Sony a7 III : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Sony a7 III : Sample 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Crop)","legacy_id":"568934","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":24,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:38.260"}},{"index":63,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-63.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"afc4fb23e6a8fe556037bc8ae75aa864","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 1600 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 1600 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568935","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":25,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:39.090"}},{"index":64,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-64.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"dd5a7ffdf126fa829e1da8fcc86f1141","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 3200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 3200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568936","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":26,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:40.267"}},{"index":65,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-65.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"13d631450ed9131f7e783431d4edac97","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 6400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"The Raw output at ISO 6400 is very strong, with excellent detail and fine grain.","alt_text":"ISO 6400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568937","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":27,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:41.180"}},{"index":66,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-66.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"fad4ab3ac3c89ef6aa9e8b76f3e499a8","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 12800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"There’s a little more noise at ISO 12800 and 25600, but it’s not overwhelming. ","alt_text":"ISO 12800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568938","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":28,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:42.077"}},{"index":67,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-67.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"6698d5680222bc2dd4b922d377b47afd","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 25600 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"ISO 25600 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568939","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":29,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:42.833"}},{"index":68,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-68.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"61440bcd8f9e989411f869bbab6473df","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","caption":"At ISO 51200 I’d call grain heavy, but there’s much more detail visible than its JPG counterpart.","alt_text":"ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568940","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":30,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:43.700"}},{"index":69,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-69.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"0b5d25eb3218067fecd14dcea06411ea","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"I’d not hesitate to use ISO 102400 for shots where a grainy look is desired&mdash;or for conversion to black-and-white.","alt_text":"ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568941","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":31,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:44.527"}},{"index":70,"path":"reviews/04WZ7XCJvjrrlvI3ilFI2n9-70.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"a205204222e47dcfae98edaa141f881f","timestamp":1569480996,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","caption":"Rough noise overwhelms images at ISO 204800.","alt_text":"ISO 204800 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"568942","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":32,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-04-10 09:42:45.343"}}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"24MP full-frame BSI sensor.n10fps with tracking.n5-axis stabilization.n4K HDR video.nSilent shooting available.nTilting touch LCD.nDual SD slots.nVastly improved battery.nFocus joystick.nFlat profiles available.","cons":"Screen not true vari-angle.nOnly one card slot is UHS-II.nNo in-body flash.nShooting buffer must clear to start video.nDense menu system.nOmits PC sync socket.","bottom_line":"The Sony a7 III is an entry-level full-frame camera that goes well beyond the basics in features, with excellent image quality, 10fps subject tracking, and 4K video capture.","best_for":"Best for Enthusiasts","first_published_at":"2018-03-02T20:25:23.000000Z","published_at":"2019-05-02T16:56:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2019-07-19T16:33:27.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2018-03-02T20:41:05.000000Z","updated_at":"2019-07-19T21:33:25.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":9494,"rank":4,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":9212,"legacy_id":369650,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk","status":"Published","product_uuid":"05hjrg7FUNq6ACpttJnALiX","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Sony a7R IV","slug":"sony-a7r-iv","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":true,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":true,"show_toc":true,"score":"5.0","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":3770,"body":"<p>nn<a href="/news/the-best-tech-products-of-2019" class="no-underline" data-link-type="lineup" data-link-id="2835"><span><img alt=’Best of the year 2019 Bug’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 181 150’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-83.fit_lim.size_181x150.v_1575681024.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-83.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Best of the year 2019 Bug’ width=’181′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-83.fit_lim.size_181x150.v_1575681024.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-83.jpg’></noscript></span></a>nnThe Sony a7R IV ($3,499.99, body only) is the follow-up to the popular <a href="/reviews/sony-a7r-iii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="5221">a7R III</a>. It takes the same concept&mdash;a full-frame mirrorless <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-full-frame-cameras">camera</a> built for high-resolution capture&mdash;to the next level. Where the previous two entries in the series shared the same 42.4MP sensor, the a7R IV shoots at 60.2MP, a significant increase in resolution. It maintains its predecessors’ 10fps burst rate, improves autofocus capabilities, and offers sundry updates all around, especially in ergonomics. After some time using it, we can confidently say it’s the best high-resolution, full-frame camera on the market, and our Editors’ Choice.</p>rnrn<h2>A Tried-and-True Design</h2>rnrn<p>The a7R IV doesn’t stray too far from the template Sony has set for other recent models in the series, including the a7R III that came before it. It is sized in line with others in its class, measuring 3.8 by 5.1 by 3.1 inches (HWD) and 1.5 pounds. There is a $400 add-on vertical battery grip available if you prefer a bigger camera.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-50.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-41.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-41.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-41.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-41.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The handgrip has been changed, with a slightly larger design and deeper indentation. It feels a bit more comfortable in my hand than the a7R III, especially when pairing the camera with a big lens like the <a href="/reviews/sony-fe-200-600mm-f56-63-g-oss" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6083">FE 200-600mm</a>. The IV puts the front dial at a slight upward angle&mdash;decidedly more comfortable than the a7R III’s dial, which is positioned parallel to the top and bottom plates.</p>rnrn<p>Sony states the a7R IV features improved protection against dust and splashes, with some extra sealing around the doors that cover its data ports, as well as around the battery compartment. The memory card door has been redesigned, dropping a release switch in favor of a simple pull-to-open action.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-22.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-2.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The camera includes a stabilization system. It compensates for shake along five axes, which is certainly beneficial given its sensor design, as high-resolution images are more prone to show the effects of camera shake, and it effectively smooths away jitters and jumps in handheld video footage. It’s nothing new&mdash;Sony has included it since the second generation of a7 cameras&mdash;and it’s one of those features that works in the background, improving the images you get out of the camera without your having to think about it.</p>rnrn<p>Stabilization is also leveraged for a multi-shot mode. The a7R IV can capture a sequence of either four or 16 images in a row, shifting the sensor slightly between each exposure at half-pixel precision. Sony provides desktop software to stitch images together, with options for 240MP or 60MP output. The comparison below shows a single exposure on the left and a four-shot 60MP sample on the right. It’s clear that the multi-shot image better captures the textured surface of the stone.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-51.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Pixel Shift Comparison’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Pixel Shift Comparison’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Pixel Shift Comparison’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 336’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-42.fit_lim.size_740x336.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-42.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Pixel Shift Comparison’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-42.fit_lim.size_740x336.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-42.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The multi-shot mode is overkill for a lot of folks, but it has its uses. Museums that may have invested in high-resolution medium format equipment for archival work in the past might find the 240MP output offered by the a7R IV to be adequate. It’s certainly a more affordable option than the <a href="/reviews/phase-one-iq4-150mp" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="7908">Phase One IQ4 150MP</a>, which shoots 150MP images in a single exposure, or Hasselblad’s specialized 400MP <a href="https://www.extremetech.com/electronics/262351-hasselblad-soups-100mp-h6d-400mp-multi-shot-version">H6d-400c MS</a>, which composites 400MP photos from four shots (not unlike the a7R IV’s high-resolution mode), both of which are priced in the $50,000 neighborhood.</p>rnrn<p>Likewise, photographers doing very serious landscape work will not only appreciate the extra resolution, but the additional color fidelity offered by the multi-shot mode. Due to the nature of digital sensor design, there is some color interpolation performed during singe-shot exposures. Moving the sensor for multi-shot images isn’t just there to get crisper details, it also samples every color channel at every pixel site, removing the need for any sort of computational guesswork.</p>rnrn<h2>Controls and Menus</h2>rnrn<p>Sony skips front control buttons&mdash;you’ll find them near the lens mount in competing models like the <a href="/reviews/nikon-z-7" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="996">Nikon Z 7</a>. The only button of note on the front is the lens release.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-25.v_1578797682.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Top’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Top’, ‘Where the previous two entries in the series shared the same 42.4MP sensor, the a7R IV shoots at 60.2MP, a significant increase in resolution.’);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Top’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 809 456’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-5.fit_lim.size_809x456.v_1578797682.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Top’ width=’809′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-5.fit_lim.size_809x456.v_1578797682.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Top controls are all pushed to the right of the centered hot shoe. There are three control dials, C1 and C2 buttons, and the shutter release, which is surrounded by the On/Off toggle switch. The Mode dial has a central locking post, the style that must be depressed as you turn it.</p>rnrn<p>The EV dial also has a lock. It’s a welcome addition, and it’s the style of lock I prefer. The central post locks the wheel with a click, and unlocks it with another&mdash;just like a retractable ballpoint pen. EV dials typically turn easily, so you can make adjustments on the fly, but the downside is that they can turn when taking the camera in and out of your bag, or while it’s hanging at your side. Engaging the lock solves the problem.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-26.v_1578797682.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Rear’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Rear’, ‘It maintains its predecessors 10fps burst rate, improves autofocus capabilities, and offers sundry updates all around, especially in ergonomics. ‘);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Rear’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 810 456’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-6.fit_lim.size_810x456.v_1578797682.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Rear’ width=’810′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-6.fit_lim.size_810x456.v_1578797682.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The rear control dial is also clearly visible on the top. The visual change, moving it from a recessed location hidden inside the body, isn’t as important as the difference in feel. The a7R IV control dial turns more comfortably and confidently than in previous entries in the series. It’s a small tweak, but sometimes the little touches are what matters.</p>rnrn<p>The C3 and Menu buttons are at the top left of the rear plate. They’re in the same place as the a7 and a7R III models, but are a little more prominent. They’re surrounded by slightly raised plastic, so they jut out a little bit farther from the body.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-27.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The Record button is nestled just to the right of the EVF eyecup. It’s not easy to press with the camera to your eye, but most video work is done using the rear display or an external monitor.</p>rnrn<p>The AF-ON button sits a little farther to the right, just a short reach up from the thumb rest. Like C3 and Menu, it’s now surrounded by a bit of raised plastic, and it’s also a little bit bigger than the a7R III’s AF-ON button. If you prefer to split focus control away from the shutter release, you’ll find this to be a very comfortable setup. And if you don’t want to use AF-ON for AF, you can always customize its function. The same is true for the exposure lock (AE-L) button to its right.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-28.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The a7R III added a rear focus control&mdash;Sony calls it a multi-selector, but many will refer to it colloquially as a joystick. The a7R IV keeps the joystick in the same place, but flattens it a bit, and adds a little to its surface area. As with the top plate command dial, the result is a control surface that’s just a little bit nicer to use.</p>rnrn<p>There’s also a flat command dial on the rear, positioned below the thumb rest and to the right of the LCD. It offers four directional presses&mdash;customizable&mdash;and has a central button that isn’t marked on body, but is referred to as Enter in on-screen menus. The wheel is flanked by Fn, Play, and Delete/C4 buttons.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-21.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Buttons aren’t backlit, which is disappointment given the price. You get the feature with the mirrorless Panasonic S1R, as well as Nikon’s high-resolution D850 SLR, but Sony hasn’t adopted them. They’re helpful when doing work in dim conditions, whether it be the the studio or for astrophotography.</p>rnrn<p>The Fn launches an on-screen control menu with quick access to a dozen customizable settings banks. The a7R IV has a dense feature set, and menu to match. You’ll likely spend some time getting it configured to match your style. It is able to load saved settings from a memory card, a plus if you own multiple bodies or want to quickly set up a rental for a shoot.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-29.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-9.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-9.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Sony has done a bit of work on its camera interfaces to buck its reputation of having a confusing menu system. The a7R IV retains the absolutely necessary My Menu screen and does some good things like showing you a schematic drawing of the body as you reassign button functions. If you’re familiar with other Sony cameras, you won’t have much trouble getting around, though you may still struggle to locate a feature you don’t often utilize if you don’t know where to look for it.</p>rnrn<h2>LCD and EVF</h2>rnrn<p>You can frame shots using the rear LCD or eye-level EVF. The LCD is a 3-inch, 1,440k-dot panel with support for touch input. Sony’s touch interface isn’t as robust as others&mdash;it’s not active for camera menus, for example&mdash;but it does allow you to tap to focus and swipe through images during playback. The LCD can tilt to face up or down, but doesn’t face forward or swing out to the side.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-30.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-10.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-10.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-10.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-10.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The EVF enjoys a significant update. It still projects a large 0.78x magnification view, but the resolution is greater. The a7R III uses a 3.6-million-dot OLED panel, but it’s been updated to a 5.76-million-dot design in this model. It can be set to display at standard or high quality, the latter of which stresses the battery a little bit more, but I had a hard time noticing a difference between the two options. The EVF is among the best in the class, along with the similar panel in the Panasonic S1R.</p>rnrn<h2>Power and Connectivity</h2>rnrn<p>The camera is powered by Sony’s Z series battery, introduced with the a9 and also used by third-generation a7 models. It’s a beefy cell, rated by CIPA to provide about 530 shots when using the EVF, or up to 670 using the LCD. For video, Sony promises the battery will provide up to 170 minutes of continuous recording time.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-52.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-43.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-43.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-43.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-43.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Your mileage will vary based on how you use the camera&mdash;you can net thousands of shots on a charge if you utilize the 10fps burst mode frequently. The Z battery is now old hat, and provides similar endurance in every model it’s been used in. It’s an all-day battery for many photographers, though pros will certainly want to carry a spare. You just won’t have to carry four spares, as was the case with the underpowered W battery used by first- and second-generation a7 cameras.</p>rnrn<p>The battery charges in-camera via USB-C or micro USB&mdash;the body has both ports. Other connections include PC Sync for studio flash, 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, micro HDMI output, and Sony’s multi-interface hot shoe. The shoe is a slightly new design that works with the $350 EC1-B1M digital microphone to provide a true digital audio signal&mdash;the mic is compatible with older Sony cameras, but with a digital signal that’s converted to analog first.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-32.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-12.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-12.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are included as well. They work in conjunction with Sony Imaging Edge software, a free download for Android and iOS. You can transfer images to your phone and post on social media, and you’re also able to use your phone as a remote control.</p>rnrn<p>The a7R IV features two SDXC card slots, both supporting UHS-II speeds. This is an upgrade from previous models in the series, including the pro a9, which only offered one fast UHS-II slot, with the second slot restricted to UHS-I speeds. Support for the Sony Memory Stick format has been dropped to make this happen, but few, if any, will miss it.</p>rnrn<h2>Real-Time Tracking Focus</h2>rnrn<p>High-resolution sensors and fast-action photography were mutually exclusive concepts before the a7R III came along with its 42MP imaging and 10fps capture rate. The a7R IV continues the tradition, matching the 10fps speed, and offering improved autofocus coverage. Its phase detection area now covers 74 percent of the width of the sensor, up from 68 percent.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-33.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-13.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-13.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>That means, despite including the same Real-Time Tracking autofocus system that’s used by the a9 and a6400, if your subject falls outside of that phase detection area, the focus system will slow a bit, and accuracy can suffer when photographing moving subjects. Because of this, the a7 III and a9 are generally better options for photographing action&mdash;their focus systems cover 93 percent of the sensor width.</p>rnrn<p>The a7R IV does have one trick up its sleeve&mdash;its APS-C crop mode nets 26MP images, more than any current model Sony APS-C camera. Wildlife specialists often reach for APS-C cameras to effectively extend the reach of telephoto lenses, but the a7R IV renders that need useless. You can get higher-resolution images with a wider angle of coverage when you want, and extend the reach of your long lenses by switching to APS-C capture, or simply cropping after the fact.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JVD6qu-4Xk4" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>The Real-Time Tracking focus system is excellent. Available in AF-C mode, it identifies subjects and keeps the focus system locked on them as they move through the frame. It’s available with multiple areas of coverage, including a wide area, several sizes of flexible spot, and an expanded flexible spot. You can see it in action as it tracks our subject as he performs acrobatics. It locks onto his eyes and face when it can find them, and analyzes patterns and distance from the camera in real time to keep focus locked.</p>rnrn<p>The EyeAF system isn’t unique to Sony, but the company was the first to bring it into pro cameras and offers the best implementation we’ve seen with the latest Real-Time Tracking autofocus system.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-53.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-44.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-44.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-44.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-44.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>With a setting change, the EyeAF is able to work with animals instead of humans. At press time the camera supports cats and dogs, and I was able to reliably get perfectly focused photos of a friend’s corgi. There is a caveat&mdash;turning on Animal EyeAF disables Real-Time Tracking.</p>rnrn<p><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-14.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-14.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-14.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p>The a7R IV’s speed varies based on the type of files you’re capturing. If you use Uncompressed Raw, the camera manages about 7fps for 30 shots before the buffer fills. If you’re working in Raw+JPG expect 30 seconds to clear all those images to a fast UHS-II card; working in Raw only cuts it to 15 seconds. Also invest in a big card&mdash;each uncompressed image is 122MB in size.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-54.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-45.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-45.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-45.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-45.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The frame jumps to 10fps by switching to Sony’s Compressed Raw format, which is what I recommend using for any type of burst shooting. It keeps file sizes down, to about 60MP per photo, without any real sacrifice. The buffer is good for 74 Raw or 65 Raw+JPG snaps, clearing to memory in about 25 seconds and 60 seconds, respectively. There’s no advantage to shooting in JPG alone for speed, it delivers comparable buffer capacity and write times as capturing Compressed Raw+JPG pairs.</p>rnrn<p>In addition to the 10fps Hi+ option, the a7R IV offers an 8fps Hi drive mode. It’s a bit easier to keep track of moving targets at the slightly slower rate, and gives you a little more real-world time before the buffer fills to capacity. As with others in the series, the a7R IV can’t start shooting video and some menu options are unavailable as images are being written to memory.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-35.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-16.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-16.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>In addition to the focal plane shutter, which provides flash sync at 1/250-second, the a7R IV has a fully electronic shutter option. It’s a fine option for working in environments where you must be quiet&mdash;courtrooms and concert halls are examples&mdash;but it will absolutely introduce the rolling shutter effect for fast-moving subjects. It’s not like the a9, which uses a different type of image sensor that can read data from top to bottom much faster, so its electronic shutter is able to freeze action in its place.</p>rnrn<h2>The Most Pixels</h2>rnrn<p>The a7R IV’s image sensor is all new, with about 60MP of resolution. It’s a BSI CMOS design, with the same pixel pitch as 26MP APS-C sensors, like you find in the <a href="/reviews/fujifilm-x-t30" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="5942">Fujifilm X-T30</a>. When scaled to a larger size, this basic sensor design gives us the 100MP imager found in the <a href="/reviews/fujifilm-gfx100" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="3595">Fujifilm GFX100</a>. The three models share some common DNA; Sony’s sensor division manufacturers the sensors inside those particular Fujifilm models.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-55.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-46.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-46.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-46.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-46.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>On a pixel level, the three cameras run neck and neck. I won’t call them identical, because there are certainly variables, but they’re close. If you shoot in JPG format, the camera processing engine is a big one. The a7R IV’s JPG output shows no quality loss through ISO 800. At ISO 1600 and 3200 there is very, very slight smudging. It’s more pronounced at ISO 6400 and 12800, but details still shine through. It’s not until you move to ISO 25600 and above that images take a serious hit in quality. If you’re working at the higher end of the sensitivity range&mdash;the a7R IV can go all the way to ISO 102400&mdash;consider Raw capture instead.</p>rnrn<p>Raw images rely on desktop processing software for noise reduction. It’s typically tuned to show more detail, and a bit more grain, than a JPG engine by default. I processed Raw images from our ISO test scene in <zifffarticle id="251845">Adobe Lightroom</ziffarticle> and have included pixel-level crops from the scene the slideshow that accompanies this review.</p>rnrnrn<p>Raw shots show strong detail with little visible noise through ISO 3200. We start to see some rough, grainy texture at ISO 6400, and it’s more pronounced at ISO 12800 and ISO 25600. It’s much more significant at ISO 51200 and 102400.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-56.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-47.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-47.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-47.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-47.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Better control over noise isn’t the only reason to work in Raw format. The a7R IV’s sensor captures an incredible amount of information. Color balance and individual channels can be adjusted with aplomb with Raw, and the files deliver 15 stops of dynamic range, so you can lift shadows and reign in highlights with great freedom. If you’re buying a high-end, full-frame, 60MP camera, you’ll want to enable Raw capture to get the most out of it. (The a7R IV is perfectly capable of delivering great-looking JPGs too, but so can many cameras that don’t cost $3,500.)</p>rnrn<h2>Improved Autofocus for Video</h2>rnrn<p>Videographers hoping for the highest-end video features here will be disappointed. There’s no 10-bit capture, like we saw in the <a href="/reviews/panasonic-lumix-dc-s1" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="2002">Panasonic S1</a>, but there’s a very important distinction. The S1 has a 24MP sensor&mdash;with fewer than half the pixels, it reduces the processing effort for video capture.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9TBe1OCg8QU" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>Instead you get 8-bit capture with XAVC S compression. It can roll at 4K at 24 or 30fps at your choice of a 60 or 100Mbps bit rate. Dropping to 1080p adds support for 60fps and 120fps capture. There’s also an S&amp;Q setting on the Mode Dial that switches to in-camera slow-motion. Flat profiles and HLG HDR are also available.</p>rnrn<p>You can record 4K using the full width of the frame, or in a Super35mm crop mode. Opting for Super35mm improves the video quality, taking a 6K feed from the central area of the sensor and downsampling it to 4K. There’s no 60fps support for 4K in any mode.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/08NQ0EQsg0o" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>In most video modes&mdash;S&amp;Q is the exception&mdash;the autofocus system enjoys a big update over previous a7 models. It tracks subjects&mdash;just as you would when shooting stills, with face and eye detection&mdash;when recording at 1080p and 4K. The interface to select a subject, which requires you to tap the rear screen, is a little cumbersome.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fr03AhGuq9M" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p>You will need to change a setting in order to actually see the eye and face detection working when recording. You can see it in action in the clip above, captured using an Atomos Ninja V recorder. The camera is set to 1080p capture, but rest assured the new autofocus works at 4K as well. While I couldn’t get the a7R IV to output the overlay information over HDMI when it was set to 4K resolution, I was able to observe the system working on the camera itself.</p>rnrn<h2>Extreme Resolution, Few Compromises</h2>rnrn<p>When Sony released the first <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7r" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="699">a7R</a> in late 2013, the industry was ruled by SLRs from stalwarts Canon and Nikon. Its first round of mirrorless cameras were competitive with SLRs in image quality, bettered them in video features, but lagged well behind for action photography, with comparatively primitive autofocus systems and slower burst rates.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-57.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-48.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-48.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-48.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-48.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>The tables have turned. Sony’s latest mirrorless camera offers the best autofocus performance you’ll find in any full-frame model. It tracks subjects with tenacity, and with bursts of up to 10fps, you can snap fleeting moments of action. And it packs a big battery so you can keep making images all day.</p>rnrn<p>The body feels right at home in my hands. The grip is comfortable, giving you plenty of camera to hold onto when pairing it with a big zoom like the recent FE 200-600mm. The EVF is big and crisp, and shows a preview of your exposure&mdash;something you don’t get with an optical viewfinder. It makes getting the exposure right in tricky lighting situations, including harshly backlit subjects, that much easier.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-39.v_1569469974.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-20.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469974.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-20.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>You do have other choices for a camera of this type. If you’re married to the idea of an SLR, the Nikon D850 is absolutely the best high-resolution model you can buy. Nikon owners who want to move to mirrorless can look at the Z 7. Even after a firmware update, its autofocus system isn’t on quite the same level as the previous-generation a7R III, but it’s not that far behind. There’s also the Panasonic S1R, which lags behind all of them when photographing action, but not in image quality.</p>rnrn<p>And there’s the Fujifilm GFX100. In the past, the line between full-frame and medium format systems was clear&mdash;if you wanted a medium format camera, you had to spend a lot and stick to photographing static subjects and models. The GFX100 changes that&mdash;it’s not as fast as the a7R IV, and its focus tracking isn’t quite as good, but it’s not that far off. The GFX100 is our favorite medium format camera, but it’s still a medium format camera, which means more expense and bulk.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-58.v_1570635492.jpg’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ‘Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-49.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1570635492.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-49.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Sony a7R IV : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-49.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1570635492.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-49.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>It says something that the a7R IV, which brings with it an easily handheld form factor, a vast lens selection, and the ability to capture just about any subject, from scenice landscapes to professional sports, is downright competitive with medium format systems in terms of pixel count. So if you’re shopping for a full-frame camera, and you prefer one with a high pixel count, the Sony a7R IV should be a the very top of your list. It really puts everything together&mdash;top-notch autofocus, strong ergonomics, and a phenomenal image sensor. You’ll pay a bit more than the a7R III (still on sale) or the Nikon D850, but it’s worth it, earning our Editors’ Choice and a rare five-star rating.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":84,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":493,"hash":"2a592f6c426afcb7621b9c991c9e9a48","timestamp":1569469974,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Sony a7R IV : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Sony a7R IV : Sample Image","legacy_id":"644166","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2019-07-19 17:58:20.020"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":494,"hash":"e37abf0edc407ad4881351e092d540f0","timestamp":1569469974,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Sony a7R IV : Sample 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much more significant at ISO 51200 and 102400.","alt_text":"Sony a7R IV : ISO 51200 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"654828","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":24,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2019-10-07 09:41:16.103"}},{"index":82,"path":"reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-82.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":450,"hash":"bd4cacb046fc30ac827bbb76ec096f41","timestamp":1570636636,"metadata":{"hero":true,"logo":false,"title":"Sony a7R IV : ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","caption":"","alt_text":"Sony a7R IV : ISO 102400 (Raw Crop)","legacy_id":"654829","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":25,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2019-10-07 09:41:16.103"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/02l9pILvHYr7qIHVvTZ52kk-83.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":181,"height":150,"hash":"59c001405bd047787a7a0407b139c3d1","timestamp":1575681024,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Best of the year 2019 Bug","caption":"","alt_text":"Best of the year 2019 Bug","legacy_id":"661497","thumbnail":false,"description":"181, Best of the year 2019 Bug","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2019-11-19 08:47:55.953"}}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"60.2MP full-frame imaging.n10fps Raw capture.nReal-Time Tracking autofocus.n5-axis image stabilization.nBig, crisp EVF.nTilting touch LCD.nDual UHS-II slots.","cons":"Lower-pixel cameras are better for video.nPhase detection doesn’t extend to edge of frame.nBig file sizes.","bottom_line":"The full-frame mirrorless Sony a7R IV outshines its high-resolution competition with an outstanding autofocus system and a superlative image sensor, delivering class-leading performance.","best_for":"Best for Enthusiasts","first_published_at":"2019-07-23T16:22:32.000000Z","published_at":"2019-10-07T11:24:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2019-11-26T11:53:45.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2019-07-19T21:37:25.000000Z","updated_at":"2019-11-26T16:53:44.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":9212,"rank":5,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":996,"legacy_id":363272,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw","status":"Published","product_uuid":"06YVJJKBBry62MUtlYsO7Sk","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Nikon Z 7","slug":"nikon-z-7","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":false,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"4.0","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":6321,"body":"<p class="p1">Nikon heavily teased its <a href="/picks/the-best-full-frame-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="2">full-frame</a> mirrorless system prior to its launch. The company is starting out with two cameras&mdash;the Z 7 ($3,399.95, body only), reviewed here, a 45.7MP powerhouse for photographers who demand the most pixels, and the more affordable <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-z-6">Z 6</a>, a 24MP model with a faster burst rate for capturing action. Even after a pair of worthwhile firmware updates, the Z 7 doesn’t quite outclass the best high-resolution model we’ve tested, the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/sony-a7r-iv">Sony a7R IV</a>, but it’s good enough to be included in the same conversation with its 60MP competition.</p>rnrn<p class="p1"><em>Editors’ Note: This review has been updated to reflect the changes made with the <a href="https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/download/fw/352.html" target="_blank">Firmware 3.0</a> release and <em>additions to the lens system</em>.</em></p>rnrn<h2 class="p1">Superbly Built</h2>rnrn<p>The Z 7 looks and feels like a Nikon. The handgrip has the classic red stripe, an adornment dating back to the film era, but what’s most impressive is how well it conforms to the hand. The camera feels right and is balanced well, though it’s not that far ahead of what Sony has done with its <a href="/reviews/sony-a7-iii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9494">a7 III</a> family. I do like the way it feels more than Canon’s entry into the space, the <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-r" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="4253">EOS R</a>.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-37.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-1.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrnrn<p>Despite sporting an image sensor very similar in design to the D850, the Z 7 is smaller and lighter. It measures 4.0 by 5.3 by 2.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.5 pounds. The D850 is 4.9 by 5.8 by 3.1 inches and a half-pound heavier. The general size and shape of the Z 7 are about what we expect from a mirrorless design&mdash;dropping the moving mirror assembly and swapping an optical viewfinder for an EVF are to thank there.</p>rnrn<p>Like the Sony competition, but unlike a Nikon SLR or even the Canon EOS R mirrorless, the Z 7 features in-body image stabilization. The image sensor moves to compensate for camera shake, adding stabilization to lenses that don’t offer it, and working in conjunction with lenses with their own stabilization system. It’s good to see Nikon embrace sensor stabilization, especially given how robust the Z 7’s video capabilities are.</p>rnrn<p><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-38.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-2.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-2.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-2.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p>Nikon bills the Z 7 as having weather-sealing, which is an expected feature on a camera that costs this much. But how good is it? Roger Cicalia at Lensrentals has taken a Z 7 <a href="https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/10/teardown-of-the-nikon-z7-mirrorless-camera/" target="_blank">apart</a>. He reports its sealing is the best in any mirrorless models he’s disassembled for repair, a list that also includes the Sony a7R III and Canon EOS R. You won’t have to fret over taking the Z 7 out in the rain or snow.</p>rnrn<p>The Z 7 has a very good feel and a good number of physical controls, but it does drop one of the nicer touches found on the D850, backlit control buttons. I definitely miss them. Buttons are laid out a bit differently than the D850, which can exacerbate the problem if you are using both bodies as part of your workflow. But if the Z 7 is your main camera, you’ll learn its button placement and be able to locate the ones that matter by feel.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">As for controls, you’ll find the front command dial right where you expect it, toward the top of the handgrip. The unusually large lens mount&mdash;big to accommodate f/0.95 lenses&mdash;is flanked by two programmable buttons, Fn1 and Fn2. I mapped them to focus settings, using Fn1 to cycle through focus area and mode settings by holding it while turning the front or rear dial. I set Fn2 to magnify the frame, useful for working in manual focus mode. Aside from the Fn controls, the only other front button is the lens release. And yes, the Z system still mounts and unmounts lenses in the opposite direction as most other camera systems. Long-time Nikon devotees will feel right at home.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-129.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1500 1001’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-120.fit_lim.size_1500x1001.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-120.jpg’ width=’1500′ height=’1001′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1500′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-120.fit_lim.size_1500x1001.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-120.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">On the top you’ll find a locking Mode dial. This is a bit of a departure from Nikon’s pro SLR series, which use a Mode button and dial turn to switch between Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual operation. The dial gives you a bit quicker access, as well as full automatic operation if you want, and three custom user profiles to quickly toggle through settings for different situations. The lock design is the type that requires you to push and hold a center button while you turn the dial, not my favorite choice. I prefer the locking dials that can be locked or unlocked with a button press, but that’s simply a matter of personal taste.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">To its right is the hot shoe, which sits atop the raised area that houses the EVF. There’s a button on its left to toggle EVF only, rear LCD only, or automatic eye-sensor switching, and a locking diopter adjustment dial to tune the focus of the EVF to your eyesight.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-40.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 925’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-4.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-4.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’925′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-4.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The hot shoe can mount a microphone, external flash, wireless flash trigger, or other accessory. The Z 7 is fully compatible with Nikon’s current Speedlight flash system. There is no in-body flash, which is true for every full-frame mirrorless model to date. The camera doesn’t have a PC Sync socket, so you’ll need to use a <a href="/reviews/pocketwizard-plusx" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8809">PocketWizard</a> or similar accessory to trigger off-camera strobes.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">To the right of the hot shoe, you’ll find a monochrome OLED information display, just as you would with a pro SLR. It’s something we don’t see in every mirrorless camera. The rectangular display shows all of your exposure details, battery life, and estimated shots left on your memory card.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-41.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-5.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-5.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-5.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The rear control dial is positioned at the far right corner, while other top controls are further ahead, atop the grip. The On/Off switch surrounds the shutter release, and it’s flanked by Record, ISO, and EV compensation buttons.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7 isn’t as big as the D850, so there are some understandable changes to its rear control layout. Play and Delete are at the top left, in a corner framed by the LCD and EVF. Running along the same row at the top, but to the right of the eyecup, are the Still/Video toggle switch, with the Display button at its center, the AF-ON button, and the rear control dial.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-130.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 2000 1333’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-121.fit_lim.size_2000x1333.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-121.jpg’ width=’2000′ height=’1333′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’2000′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-121.fit_lim.size_2000x1333.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-121.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The position of the AF-ON is just about perfect. My thumb rests on it naturally, and while I’m not a personal fan of splitting the function of autofocus away from the shutter release, photographers who are will appreciate the placement. If you’re like me you’ll be happy with the ability to reconfigure the function of the button. I set it to move the focus point to the center position, but you can also set it to lock in automatic exposure, focus, or both at once.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Directly below AF-ON, to the left of the rear thumb rest, is a small joystick, used to move the active focus point around the frame. The <i>i</i> button is below&mdash;it brings up a small menu that allows you to quickly adjust certain camera settings. The menu features 12 banks, all of which are customizable, with more than 30 options available to fill it. The menu can be navigated using physical controls or via touch.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-131.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1200 800’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-122.fit_lim.size_1200x800.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-122.jpg’ width=’1200′ height=’800′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1200′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-122.fit_lim.size_1200x800.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-122.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Continuing to move down the column, there is a directional control pad with the OK button at its center. Below that are the plus and minus buttons, used to zoom in or out when reviewing photos, along with Menu and Drive Mode/Self-Timer buttons. That’s another departure from the D850, which uses a control dial to cycle through its various Drive settings. I don’t particularly mind the change to a button, but I’m not a fan of how Nikon has implemented it. An on-screen display shows the different Drive modes available right after it’s pressed, but while my instinct is to scroll through the options with the d-pad, that’s not how it works. You’ll need to use the rear command dial to swap through the options.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Conspicuously absent is a lock switch, a staple of Nikon pro cameras. I don’t think I’ll miss it. I use the D850 quite often&mdash;it’s our standard test body for Nikkor lenses&mdash;and more often than not I find that the Lock has been turned on inadvertently, which means I can’t move the focus point when I first try. But I recognize that many Nikon pros love the ability to quickly lock in the focus point.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-44.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-8.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-8.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikkor Z lenses use electronic manual focus rings. Instead of letting them lie fallow when the camera is set to autofocus, the Z 7 allows you to set the ring to adjust EV compensation or the aperture. But there’s a big problem&mdash;sensitivity. It’s very difficult to dial in a small adjustment, and on some lenses the control ring occupies most of the barrel. It’s way too easy to turn it by accident, and if it turns it’s likely dialing in at least a full stop of compensation, which can ruin an exposure.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Even after two major firmware updates, the control ring is still extremely sensitive&mdash;too sensitive for my tastes. I recommend disabling it, it’s just too easy to make unwanted changes to settings when it’s turned on. If you want easy control over EV, you can assign it to a camera dial, just as with the D850 and D500.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">One of the benefits of a mirrorless camera is a seamless transition between the rear LCD and EVF&mdash;you don’t have to lock the mirror up to switch to Live View. The Z 7’s rear display is 3.2 inches in size and very sharp at 2.1 million dots. It’s bright, with broad viewing angles, so you can use it on bright days. It supports touch input and is mounted on a hinge, so it tilts up and down. It doesn’t swing out to the side or face forward, which is a bit disappointing for videographers and vloggers.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-45.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-9.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-9.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-9.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EVF is right up there with the best you’ll find on any camera. It’s an OLED panel with stunning (3.69-million-dot) resolution, smooth display of motion, and big, 0.8x magnification. It’s on par in quality, and slightly larger, than the 0.78x OLED EVF that Sony uses in the a7R III.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Using an EVF has some advantages over an optical viewfinder. The size and weight savings gained by omitting a mirrorbox and optical pentaprism are palpable, for one. But it also means that you’re seeing an image that’s much closer to the one the camera is capturing as you’re setting up your shot. Changes to exposure are visible, and if you want to take advantage of the Z 7’s built-in artistic filters, shoot in black-and-white, or create images with dramatically mixed lighting you’ll be able to see the effects in the viewfinder, in real time. Studio shooters working with external lights, don’t fret&mdash;you can turn off the exposure preview via the menu.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Connectivity and Power</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are built in. The Z 7 supports Nikon SnapBridge, which uses Bluetooth for automatic, low-resolution image transfer to your phone, but also supports manual full-resolution JPG transfer. Wi-Fi is used for remote control from Android or iOS devices.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-46.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-10.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-10.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-10.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-10.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Setting up SnapBridge is rather quick and painless. I paired the Z 7 to my iPhone via Bluetooth using the app, a process that takes about a minute. The app can automatically switch your phone’s Wi-Fi from your home network to the one broadcast by the Z 7 for image transfer. You can browse a gallery of thumbnails and pull a 2MP or full resolution JPG to your phone over Wi-Fi. Small files transfer in about a second, but it takes about 15 seconds to copy a 45MP JPG from the Z 7 to my iPhone 8 Plus.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The thumbnail gallery loads quickly. This is an upgrade from how it worked last year when we looked at SnapBridge around the time of the D850’s release. At the time, the app was very slow to render thumbnails, to the point where Wi-Fi transfers were a cumbersome task. I’m happy that Nikon has fixed this issue.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-132.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1100 733’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-123.fit_lim.size_1100x733.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-123.jpg’ width=’1100′ height=’733′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1100′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-123.fit_lim.size_1100x733.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-123.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Remote control is available. You get a live feed from the lens, with the ability to tap on part of the frame to set the focus point, and full manual exposure control if desired. Video capture is also an option, although I was disappointed to see that manual controls aren’t available on the app control screen for movies. The Z 7 seems to use the same settings for stills as it does for video when controlled remotely&mdash;this is not the case when using physical controls for video, more on that later. So you’ll either need to dial in your exposure from the still capture screen before switching to video, or use an automatic exposure mode for remote control video recording. Hopefully Nikon fixes this bug in its app.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Automatic image transfer is also an option if you’d like, albeit only at 2MP resolution. You can have the Z 7 send every photo you capture to your smartphone, but I don’t suggest doing so. Instead, change the setting to only transfer images you flag&mdash;it’ll save your battery on both camera and phone, and won’t clutter your phone’s memory with unwanted images. Press the <em>i</em> button when reviewing photos to flag each one you’d like to transfer via Bluetooth. As long as the app is running on your phone, the photos will copy automatically.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-133.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1100 1375’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-124.fit_lim.size_1100x1375.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-124.jpg’ width=’1100′ height=’1375′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1100′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-124.fit_lim.size_1100x1375.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-124.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Physical ports include 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, a USB-C port, mini HDMI, and an accessory port, all located on the left side of the body. The battery loads in the bottom. It uses an EN-EL15b battery, which is identical to the EN-EL15a used by the D850, D500, and other Nikon SLRs in this size and shape. But the EL15b is a darker shade of gray than the EL15a, and it can be charged in-camera via USB. If you have multiple Nikon cameras, be happy to know the EL15b can be used in other models (though it will only charge in a Z 7, Z 6, or the included external battery compartment.) Likewise, you can power the Z 7 with an EL15a, but you won’t be able to charge the light gray battery in-camera.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">You can also use the first EN-EL15 version, which is identified via its matte black plastic casing. But it’s a lower power capacity, so you won’t get as many shots as you would with an "a" or "b" version. With the latest battery, CIPA rates the Z 7 for 400 shots when using the LCD or 330 with the EVF. The D850 is a lot more efficient&mdash;it’s rated for 1,840 shots&mdash;while the Sony a7R III sits in between, with 650 shots using the LCD and 530 with the EVF.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-49.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-13.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-13.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-13.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">An add-on battery grip, the MB-N10 Multi-Power Battery Pack, which holds two EN-EL15b batteries, sells for $199.95, but doesn’t add any sort of veritcal controls. It does not compromise the Z 7’s dust and splash protection when attached.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikon has opted to only put one memory card slot in the Z 7. With Firmware 3.0 it supports both CFexpress and XQD media. It’s located on the right side of the camera. The door that covers it is part of the thumb rest, which makes the body look a little odd when it’s opened. There has been a lot of noise made on the internet about the decision to only offer one slot in a camera sold for professional use. Memory card failures are rare, but can happen. It’s the reason event photographers opt to save images to two cards simultaneously, even if they’ve never personally experienced a card failure. Couples would be understandably upset if they lost their wedding photos because of a failed memory card.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-50.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-14.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-14.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-14.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">So if you need two slots, the Z 7 isn’t for you. But I’m happy to see CFexpress and XQD supported. I’ve been using the XQD format in the D850 and D500 and find the cards to be fast, sturdier than SD, and reliable. The physical format is also designed to scale for the future. CFexpress uses the same form factor, but can transfer data much more quickly.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">New System, New Challenges</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">Launching a brand-new camera system is hard. A camera without a lens is a doorstop. Nikon SLR owners are used to having access to decades worth of options, from modern high-resolution lenses to vintage glass that has tons of character.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-51.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-15.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-15.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-15.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z system launched with three lenses, but Nikon has released a few since we first looked at the camera. At press time, there are two standard zooms, the compact <a href="/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-24-70mm-f4-s" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="11285">Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S</a> and the pro-grade <a href="/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-24-70mm-f28-s" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6990">Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S</a>, and the ultra-wide <a href="/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-14-30mm-f4-s" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="942">Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S</a>. A 70-200mm f/2.8 telezoom is available for order, but isn’t yet shipping.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are prime lenses too. We’ve had a chance to review most of them, including the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-24mm-f18-s">Nikkor Z 24mm f/1.8 S</a>, the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-35mm-f18-s">35mm f/1.8 S</a>, the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-50mm-f18-s">50mm f/1.8 S</a>, and the <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-nikkor-z-85mm-f18-s">85mm f/1.8 S</a>. The Nikkor 20mm f/1.8 S is set to go on sale soon. So far, every full-frame Nikkor Z lens we’ve tried has delivered complaint-free performance.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikon also has a high-end, exotic, manual focus lens for the system. The Nikkor Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct is an $8,000 behemoth. It’s very safe to say it’s a lens that many will admire from afar.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-52.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-16.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-16.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-16.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">You can also use F-mount Nikon SLR lenses, but you’ll need to add the $249.95 <a href="/reviews/nikon-mount-adapter-ftz" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6411">Mount Adapter FTZ</a>. The adapter offers full autofocus support for Nikkor lenses with internal focus motors&mdash;screw-drive lenses can be used with manual focus. Lenses focus just as well on the Z 7 as they do on a D850. The FTZ has its own tripod mount, which is a plus for use with heavier lenses, but it does introduce one issue&mdash;if you have a quick-release plate attached to the Z 7, you’ll probaby have to remove it to attach the adapter. The Z 7’s slim body puts the adapter too close to its own tripod socket to leave clearance for most plates.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Mount Adapter FTZ is a no-brainer for photographers with a big library of F-mount glass. The caveat is for owners of lenses without internal focus motors. The FTZ adapter doesn’t have a screw-drive to focus older AF and AF-D series lenses.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Third-party lens support was an issue when the Z 7 first went on sale, but has sorted itself out. I’ve used a number of Sigma lenses with both it and the Z 6, and Tamron has <a href="https://www.tamron.com/news/press_release/20190116.html" target="_blank">tested</a> a number of its lenses with the Z 6 and FTZ.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-134.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 2560 1707’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-125.fit_lim.size_2560x1707.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-125.jpg’ width=’2560′ height=’1707′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’2560′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-125.fit_lim.size_2560x1707.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-125.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikon has shared its lens development plans for the system via a roadmap. We don’t know in what order they’ll be released, or pricing, but Nikon promises to add a bright 50mm f/1.2 prime, a pair of Micro-Nikkor macro lenses in 60mm and 105mm focal lengths, and two primes billed as compact, at 28mm and 40mm.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">For zooms, there’s a 14-24mm f/2.8 wide-angle on the horizon, a longer standard 24-105mm, as well as 100-400mm and 200-600mm telezooms. We’ve not heard anything yet about teleconverters. Nikon has also added some lenses for its DX (APS-C) <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nikon-z-50">Z 50</a> camera, and promises to add a DX 18-140mm, but they are of less interest to full-frame system owners.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-54.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-18.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-18.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’494′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-18.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-18.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Lens roadmaps can change a bit, so don’t take this as gospel, but feel comfortable that the company wants to grow the Z system lens library aggressively.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Aside from lenses, the Z series is compatible with existing flashes and many of the same accessories that work with Nikon SLRs.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Autofocus Shows Room for Growth</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7 starts, focuses, and fires off a shot in just about 1.1-second, a fine mark for a mirrorless camera. Autofocus speed is a quick 0.05-second in bright light, but isn’t as consistent in dim conditions, when the Z 7 can slow to as long as a half-second before acquiring focus. If there is any hesitation the camera fires its focus assist beam, projecting a bright green light onto your subject. It does its job, but can be distracting, especially if you’re pointing your lens at a person.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-55.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-19.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-19.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-19.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-19.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7 doesn’t benefit from the infrared focus assist projected by an external Speedlight either. Its focus system isn’t sensitive to IR light. DPReview has <a href="https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0349022850/the-essential-pro-feature-that-no-mirrorless-camera-offers" target="_blank">called out</a> this deficiency, which isn’t exclusive to the Z 7. Other mirrorless camera systems, including models from Fujifilm and Sony, also don’t work with IR focus assist. There is some speculation that a flash projecting a green grid, like the color of the Z 7’s assist beam, would speed up autofocus in very dim light, and be less distracting than a bright assist beam.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">In terms of burst shooting, the Z 7 is rated to fire at up to 9fps in Hi+ mode. But it falls slightly short in our tests. In Raw or Raw+JPG mode it actually nets about 8fps, with 9fps available when shooting JPGs. At top speed Raw image quality is cut from 14-bit to 12-bit, but you aren’t likely to notice unless you’re making heavy exposure adjustments to photos. The shooting buffer isn’t huge&mdash;expect to get 17 Raw+JPG, 19 Raw, or 27 JPGs before the buffer fills up. Thankfully, writing all of the images to a 400MBps XQD card is finished in just about six seconds. The buffer size will be less of a concern when faster CFexpress media is available.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-56.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-20.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-20.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-20.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-20.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Size and weight aren’t the only advantages to mirrorless&mdash;even though mirrorless camera bodies tend to run smaller, in reality, with a full-frame sensor, lenses are going to be similar in size to those you use with an SLR system, with some exceptions here and there. A mirrorless camera also shifts the autofocus system from a dedicated phase detection module to the sensor. Because of this, a wider area of autofocus coverage is available, and you’ll never have to dial in autofocus adjustments for individual lenses. And while calibrating focus on a D850 or <a href="/reviews/nikon-d5" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9201">D5</a> is a simple, automized affair, it’s something that you don’t want to have to do in the midst of a paid gig.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7’s on-sensor autofocus system is modern, with a mix of phase and contrast detection points&mdash;493 in total&mdash;covering 90 percent of the sensor’s surface area. That’s a much larger portion than you get with any full-frame SLR, so you have the freedom to track subjects that stray away from the central area of the image. But it also means that photographers who know how the focus system works on a Nikon SLR will have to make some adjustments.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-57.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 925’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-21.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-21.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’925′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-21.fit_lim.size_740x925.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-21.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The camera has two main autofocus modes, AF-S (Single) and AF-C (Continuous)&mdash;this isn’t anything new. AF-S locks focus once it’s acquired, while AF-C keeps focus going up until the point where you fire the shutter, making it a better choice for moving subjects.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-22.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-22.jpg’ width=’35’ height=’26’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-22.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-22.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p class="p2">You can let the Z 7 choose the focus point automatically. Its selects the area of interest automatically, but does allow you some level of control. When enabled, the camera draws yellow boxes around detected faces and eyes, with the focus sub-selector available to switch between them if needed. The system works pretty well for people.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ylF0k2GLT10" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Firmware 3.0 update adds support for pets. I was able to test it with a pair of cats and found that it worked very well for head-on acquisition, and was able to hang on as they played and moved about. It struggled a bit to pick up focus starting in profile. It also netted some interesting false positives, including picking up the holes in a pair of tan Crocs as eyes. You do have to turn the function on specifically in the menu, so leave it turned off when you’re not having a portrait session with your favorite canine or feline companion.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The update also improves the interface for subject tracking. The function is available in AF-C in the wide area only. To start tracking you’ll press OK, which puts a white box at the center of the display. Put it over your subject, engage autofocus, and it will turn yellow and follow your subject as it moves about, even as you make exposures. If you let up on focus, the system resets, and you can start to find a subject again immediately. This cuts out a couple of button presses that used to be required to switch subjects, a good thing. <span>A press of the Minus button backs out and returns you to the wide focus area.</span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-135.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1400 934’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-126.fit_lim.size_1400x934.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-126.jpg’ width=’1400′ height=’934′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1400′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-126.fit_lim.size_1400x934.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-126.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Tracking works fairly well, though it’s not perfect. If you lose track of your subject the Z 7 may or may not reacquire it properly if you are able to put it back into the frame. I had good luck keeping the tracking going as long as I didn’t let the subject leave the frame. It’s as close as you’ll get to the 3D Tracking function of Nikon SLRs with the Z 7, but since the tracking area is larger, it’s not quite as precise.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The system isn’t as slick as what we’ve seen with Sony’s latest cameras, which do a better job combining eye detection and subject tracking, but it’s very functional, and it works in both continuous and single focus modes.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">For precise focus on anything, not just an eye, the Z 7 does have a Pinpoint function, which lets you focus using a single point. You’ll need to manually place it on your subject’s eye using the rear joystick, however, and it only works in AF-S mode.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-59.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-24.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-24.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-24.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-24.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Pinpoint focus is also a little slower, requiring about a third of a second to acquire focus. If you’re working with a model or other cooperative subject you’ll be able to live with the delay, but it kills the feature if you’re interested in capturing candid images. Because the point of focus itself is so small, it also takes a bit longer to move it from one part of the frame to another. The Z 7’s touch screen does come in handy here, though, as you can tap it to put the point in the right general area and fine-tune its position using the focus joystick.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The other focus modes are simply larger flexible spots. The standard version isn’t quite as tiny as the Pinpoint, but locks on faster, is quicker to move around the frame, and works in AF-C as well as AF-S. It’s joined by two larger focus area sizes in AF-S mode. There is one additional focus mode, available only in AF-C&mdash;Dynamic Area AF. It’s similar to the same function on a Nikon SLR, and is displayed as a central box surrounded by nine small dots. The Z 7 will use the central point of the cluster if possible, but will also look for focus at the nine points that surround it.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-60.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-25.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-25.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-25.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-25.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7’s focus system did falter in one area&mdash;keeping up with a target moving toward or away from the frame. I performed our standard test with the 24-70mm zoom, photographing a target while moving the camera in and out. The D850 and a7R IV both ace the test at their respective top shooting speeds, but the Z 7 netted more blurry images than sharp. There’s a slight, but definitely noticeable, hesitation with its focus system.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">That doesn’t mean you can’t use the Z 7 to photograph moving targets. I paired it with a long lens for some wildlife photography and was very happy to see it was able to keep up with terns as they splashed into the water to find a meal. But I also noticed the camera struggled as I tried to capture an image of a slow-swimming swan that was heavily backlit by the sun. I got the shot, but probably wouldn’t if the subject was moving quickly.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-61.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-26.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-26.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-26.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-26.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">I call out wildlife here because the Z 7 is certainly going to appeal to the discipline. You can carry it instead of a D850, and use all of your current F-mount lenses via the FTZ adapter. You’ll shave a half-pound off of your kit&mdash;a concern if you’re hiking to a location&mdash;and get the benefits of the EVF. I’d say you should still take a D850 if you’re photographing big cats running toward the frame or owls diving for prey, but for subjects that aren’t quite as active, the Z 7 makes sense.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikon has made cameras with on-sensor phase detection before, in the form of its discontinued <a href="/news/nikon-puts-the-1-system-to-bed" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="8542">Nikon 1</a> mirrorless camera series. Still, even with some experience, the Z 7’s autofocus system isn’t the best we’ve seen&mdash;but that’s OK. It’s by no means bad or deficient. It’s simply a little behind what Sony is doing with the a7R III, or what Nikon offers with the D850. To me, it’s somewhere in between the <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7r-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="1046">a7R II</a> and III in overall performance.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-62.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-27.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-27.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-27.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-27.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The mechanical focal plane shutter fires from 30 seconds through 1/8,000-second in all modes. If you switch to Manual you also have the option of Bulb, which keeps the shutter open for as long as you hold the button down, and Time, which opens with a click and closes with a second press of the shutter release. Electronic first curtain is supported to minimize vibration&mdash;it’s turned off by default, so make sure to dive into the menu and enable it. There’s also a fully electronic shutter option for silent shooting. But remember the Z 7 doesn’t have a global electronic shutter, so you’ll want to avoid using the fully electronic shutter when photographing fast-moving action.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">A Sensor Second to None</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The image sensor is very similar to the one used by the D850, the only difference of note being the addition of masked phase detection pixels for autofocus on the Z 7. The D850’s sensor is the best we’ve seen in a full-frame camera, and you’re getting the same level of image quality with the Z 7, with a tiny caveat.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-63.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-28.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-28.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-28.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-28.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Because some of the pixels are dedicated to autofocus, instead of imaging, there is a possibility of a striping effect showing up in images. It’s been observed when heavily adjusting exposure&mdash;say, pushing a photo to be five stops brighter. I don’t think it’s anything to fret about, but if you disagree, the Z 7 is not the camera for you.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Unlike the D850, the Z 7’s sensor is coupled with a stabilization system. It corrects for motion along five axes, so you’ll get steadier images and video with any lens. This includes non-native and adapted lenses, although you have to input the focal length in the camera menu (similar to what Nikon SLR owners are used to doing for non-CPU SLR lenses), and you only get three axes of correction with manual focus glass. There’s a technical limitation for that&mdash;to benefit from all five axes you need to know the distance between camera and focus point, and that’s not something the camera can figure out with a manual focus lens attached.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-136.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1300 866’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-127.fit_lim.size_1300x866.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-127.jpg’ width=’1300′ height=’866′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1300′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-127.fit_lim.size_1300x866.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-127.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">As for image quality, our tests show that it’s just as good as the D850. The JPG output looks just about identical, with superb detail through ISO 800, very strong results all the way up to ISO 6400, and usable photos up to ISO 25600. You can push the camera higher&mdash;the top setting is ISO 102400&mdash;but expect blurred detail.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">I’d expect more Z 7 owners to shoot in Raw format than in JPG. As with the D850, image quality is excellent all the way through ISO 6400 when shooting in Raw. We use <a href="/reviews/adobe-lightroom-classic" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="7216">Adobe Lightroom Classic Classic CC</a> as our standard Raw developer, and always leave settings untouched from defaults in order to minimize variations in testing from camera to camera. But the Z 7 does something a little different&mdash;it has its own set of defaults, baking lens corrections and other changes into the Raw file.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-65.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-30.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-30.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-30.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-30.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Lightroom recognizes these settings and applies them. Because of this, you’re going to see some extra color noise in high-ISO images from the Z 7 versus the D850 if you don’t make any changes to settings in Lightroom. I’ve included two versions of crops for ISO 51200 and 102400 in the accompanying slideshow, as those are the only two sensitivities where Nikon’s suggested Raw settings show color noise.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The corrections also apply to lenses, removing distortion and vignetting automatically. It’s like an Adobe lens profile, but one you can’t turn off. Some pundits are outspoken against the baked-in corrections. I’m not as bothered, but that’s just me. I see software-based lens corrections as a good thing in general. It’s something that helps to improve images with minimal effort on your part. There’s also some cost-saving involved&mdash;a perfectly corrected lens is typically larger, heavier, and more expensive than one that may require some help from software.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-66.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-31.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-31.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-31.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-31.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">What I don’t like about the baked-in corrections&mdash;which affect Raw files even if you turn off in-camera corrections for JPGs&mdash;is that you can’t turn them off. This is what Adobe has been doing with compact cameras for years, and it’s not something I’ve ever thought twice about. But it seems different when it’s an interchangeable lens camera. If you use a different Raw developer this may not be a concern, but Lightroom users should taken ote.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Sharp, Stable, 4K Video</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">Adding on-sensor focus means that the Z 7 focuses as quickly and effectively when recording video as it does with stills. The slower, contrast-based focus when recording video with the D850 and other Nikon SLRs has long been a weak point, so it’s good to see the Z7 address that directly.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-67.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Step 2: Increase Your Core Clock and Re-Benchmark’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Ready to start pushing? Open MSI Afterburner (or your overclocking tool of choice), and push the Power Limit slider all the way up. Set the Temperature Limit slider to whatever you want (the maximum is usually okay, though if you\’re particularly cautious, you can move it a little lower).Then, boost your Core Clock by about 10MHz. Click the Apply button, and run Superposition again. Don\’t forget to keep an eye on those temperatures, and ensure there aren\’t any artifacts (weird lines, boxes, or static that flash on the screen) as the benchmark runs. Once it\’s done, write down your framerates and bump up the Core by 10MHz again. Keep repeating this process, boosting and benchmarking, until you run into issues.At a certain point, the benchmark will failu2014either it will crash, or you\’ll see artifacts flash across the screen as it runs. When that happens, reboot your PC. (This is important: after a crash, Superposition will ignore your set clock speeds and return to stock until you reboot.)If you want, you can stop here: return to your last stable clock speed and move down to Step 4. But if you\’re willing to push it a little farther, there are a few other things you can do.’);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-32.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-32.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-32.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-32.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">In terms of video quality, the camera records at 4K at 24, 25, or 30fps, and can utilize the full width of the frame if you’d like. Autofocus is available, and in an upgrade from the D850, you can use a peaking focus aid when working manually at 4K&mdash;the D850 only supports that function at 1080p.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The autofocus system offers adjustable speed. If you’re recording sports or other action, you can set it to react very quickly to changes in focus, or you can tune it to perform slow, cinematic racks when adjusting.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Internal recording to XQD is available with H.264 compression. Uncompressed output is available via the mini HDMI port. The uncompressed output is 10-bit quality, and a flat N-Log profile is available when using an external recorder. It’s also possible to record to the card and external recorder simultaneously, but doing so cuts the HDMI output to 8-bit.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-137.v_1583845431.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1600 1066’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-128.fit_lim.size_1600x1066.v_1583845431.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-128.jpg’ width=’1600′ height=’1066′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’1600′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-128.fit_lim.size_1600x1066.v_1583845431.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-128.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">A DX crop for video is available. When using it the Z 7 downsamples native 5K footage to 4K, which will give you the best video quality, but will sacrifice some wide-angle coverage. There’s also slow-motion, but only at 1080p. You can push the frame rate to 120fps when recording in HD, and still capture audio. There is a crop applied at 120fps, though, cutting active sensor area to roughly a Super 35 (DX/APS-C) size.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s also time-lapse. The Z 7 can record 4K time-lapse internally as a video file, or you can shoot stills and drop them into a video editor to take advantage of the sensor’s high pixel count and Raw capture. Your self-made time-lapses can be exported at 8K quality.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">A Solid Debut</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s no secret that I adore the D850&mdash;it received a five-star review, and continues to deliver superlative results when I use it for reviewing lenses and other accessories. Its image sensor never disappoints, and its autofocus system betters almost every other camera out there. The Sony a7R IV, the Z 7’s other close competition, is right up there with the D850.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-69.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-34.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-34.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-34.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-34.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7 doesn’t quite clear the bar set by two of the best cameras you can buy today, but it isn’t a bad debut by any means, and Nikon continues to improve it via firmware updates. It has the best full-frame image sensor on the market, and the sensor is stabilized along five axes, just like the one in the a7R IV, and unlike the D850, which relies exclusively on lens-based stabilization. And its autofocus system has much wider coverage than you get with any full-frame SLR, even though it doesn’t track quite as effectively.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">So who is the camera for? I see it as the right choice for existing Nikon system owners seeking both high-resolution imaging and 4K video capture. The stabilization system and sensor-based autofocus are both benefits for video work, and the image sensor is the best you can get. Weather sealing is as good as the D850, in a smaller, lighter form factor (a plus if you enjoy travel and outdoor photography). Unlike other systems, you can use the Nikon F SLR lenses with the Z 7 with full functionality, assuming you invest in the FTZ adapter.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-70.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-35.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-35.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’1110′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-35.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-35.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">And there are the folks for whom the Z 7 is definitely not. I’d still reach for a D850 or a D5 for event or sports photography, as speedy autofocus in difficult light is an absolute requirement for a wedding reception. And if you aren’t heavily invested in the Nikon system, the a7R IV is a better starting point, though over the long run Nikon has promised to grow the Z lens library aggressively.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The closest competition from Canon, the 30MP EOS R, is in a different resolution and price class, coming in at $1,100 less than the Z 7. It’s something we compare more heavily with the Nikon Z 6 and Sony a7 III, both of which sport 24MP sensors and $2,000 prices.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-71.v_1569469922.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-36.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-36.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-36.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469922.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-36.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 7 is a first-generation product, and it has some of the expected first-gen problems. The lens library is better a couple of years in than at launch, but it still has some gaps, and the camera’s autofocus isn’t quite as good as the Sony a7R IV. On the plus side, the Z 7’s image sensor is superb, autofocus during video is much better than the D850, and it’s one of the few mirrorless cameras that plays nicely with modern Nikkor lenses, by way of an affordable adapter. It’s a debut that feels more generation 1.5 than 1.0, and one that shows Nikon is serious about mirrorless.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":138,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":493,"hash":"27704d8ee44957beab24dc4c8dce02fe","timestamp":1569469922,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image","legacy_id":"603950","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-11-05 14:29:12.383"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":1110,"hash":"7d2008fb7a49c05099856dbe58421808","timestamp":1569469922,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample 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18:02:54.207"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/04iWTqsLoO7NN3x9cW0hkCw-137.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":1600,"height":1066,"hash":"00a687867045e52d31bb34fb842064bc","timestamp":1583845431,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Nikon Z 7 : Sample Image","legacy_id":"678579","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"large","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2020-03-06 18:08:55.357"}}],"metadata":[]},"pros":"45.7MP full-frame image sensor.n90 percent autofocus coverage.n9fps continuous drive.nIn-body stabilization.nTilting touch LCD.nSuperb EVF.nWorks with Nikon SLR lenses and accessories.n4K video.nWeather sealing.nBluetooth and Wi-Fi.","cons":"Autofocus could be better.nLens control ring system is too sensitive.nSingle memory card slot.nOmits PC sync socket.","bottom_line":"The Z 7 is the best full-frame mirrorless camera for photographers invested in the Nikon system, but some quirks prevent it from attaining class-leading status.","best_for":"Best for Enthusiasts","first_published_at":"2018-08-23T09:33:05.000000Z","published_at":"2020-03-10T13:44:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2020-03-10T08:45:46.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2018-08-22T19:03:05.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-03-10T13:45:44.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":996,"rank":6,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":4253,"legacy_id":365278,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG","status":"Published","product_uuid":"01aoU3qdmFMKyduRsJEolWf","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Canon EOS R","slug":"canon-eos-r","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":false,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"3.0","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":4765,"body":"<p class="p1"><span class="s1">The two biggest names in photography&mdash;Canon and Nikon&mdash;sat on the sidelines and watched as Sony became the hottest player in the <a href="/picks/the-best-full-frame-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="2">full-frame</a> mirrorless world. That changed in late summer, with both companies debuting new systems. We’ve already looked at the <a href="/reviews/nikon-z-7" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="996">Nikon Z 7</a>, which is a solid first effort. The Canon EOS R ($2,299, body only) isn’t as polished or as featured, but does have one big advantage for Canon users&mdash;it works with your existing SLR accessories, as well as lenses via an inexpensive adapter. But, despite offering a little bit more resolution, the EOS R is no threat to the <a href="/reviews/sony-a7-iii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9494">Sony a7 III</a>, our Editors’ Choice in this category.</span></p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Canon’s Design Choices</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R’s silhouette looks like a Canon&mdash;it has the gentle, sloping lines we’re used to seeing in the company’s industrial design, a contrast to the more angled feel of the <a href="/reviews/nikon-z-6" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="3667">Nikon Z 6</a>. It’s sized similarly to an entry-level SLR, minus the extra space for the mirror box of course. The EOS R measures 3.9 by 5.3 by 3.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.5 pounds (both figures are without a lens attached).</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-26.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-1.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2"></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Canon states the EOS R is protected from dust and splashes. It is, though its weather sealing is not as extensive as the <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iv" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="41">Canon EOS 5D Mark IV</a>. A <a href="https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/10/teardown-of-the-canon-eos-r-mirrorless-camera/" target="_blank"><span class="s2">teardown</span></a> by Roger Cicala at Lensrentals shows the EOS R’s sealing to be more consumer-grade, similar to the <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-6d-mark-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="7756">EOS 6D Mark II</a>. The EOS R is priced in between the two, so it’s not too surprising the camera sports the higher-end sensor from the 5D series and the lower-end build of the 6D.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R’s handgrip is very comfortable. It’s the first thing I noticed, and a big plus&mdash;but the R falters in other ergonomic areas. Many manufacturers put the power switch around the shutter release&mdash;Canon doesn’t. Its shutter releases tend to sit at a steep angle, at the top of the handgrip&mdash;a design choice that goes a long way to making the grip as comfortable as it is.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-27.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-2.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-2.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-2.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The R’s power switch is on the top plate, to the left of the EVF and hot shoe. It’s a simple two-stage design, and takes up a good amount of space. It’s space I’d prefer to see dedicated to a different control&mdash;a programmable dial perhaps. Missing are any front control buttons&mdash;they can come in handy, like the dual programmable buttons that sit next to the Nikon Z 6’s lens mount.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The right side of the top plate is also a mixed bag. I love the trend of putting information displays on the top&mdash;it’s something expected on an SLR, but often omitted from mirrorless designs. The EOS R’s panel is monochrome, with an optional backlight, and shows the current shooting mode, exposure settings, and battery life.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-28.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-3.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-3.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-3.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">A cluster of buttons sit to its right. The Backlight control is closest, with the Record button slightly right and forward, and the Lock button. You can set how much of the camera’s controls are locked down when you turn it on&mdash;by default it will prevent unwanted changes to the rear dial and lens control ring, but you can also add the front dial, touch screen, and M-Fn bar to the list of locked controls via the menu.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The front control dial sits perpendicular to the top of the handgrip, with the M-Fn button right next to it and the shutter release ahead. M-Fn brings up an on-screen menu to quickly adjust ISO, drive, autofocus, white balance, and flash power settings. The latter are only for an external Speedlite&mdash;the EOS R has no built-in flash, a feature absent from almost all modern full-frame cameras.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-29.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-4.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-4.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-4.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s the rear control wheel I find the most troublesome. It sits flat at the rear of the top plate, but is positioned so it’s a little bit of a reach to touch and turn. It’s just not quite in the right place. And, for me at least, the rear dial is an essential control.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The shooting Mode is adjusted via a button, located at the center of the rear dial. It’s an odd choice from Canon, which has used Mode dials for all but its top-end sports cameras, to go with the button with the EOS R, while Nikon, which is typically a Mode button company, went with a dial on the Z 6 and Z 7. I would have preferred a dial, but it’s something that comes down to pure personal preference.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-30.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-5.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-5.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Menu button is on the rear, at the top left corner in the space above the LCD and to the left of the eyecup. To the right of the EVF you’ll find the M-Fn bar. It’s something new from Canon, and to cameras in general. The narrow touch-sensitive strip responds to taps and swipes, and can be used to adjust various sundry settings. I opted to use it to adjust the focus area, but it can also be set to change other settings, including ISO, white balance, and microphone sensitivity, among others.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s all well and good that M-Fn is so configurable. But I’m not sure if it’s that useful. It has two operating modes&mdash;one where you have to touch it for a split-second before it becomes active, and a second where it’s always active. Each has its own problems&mdash;if you go with the delay, you’ll find the touch controls a little frustrating to use. If you go with no delay, you’re going to change settings by accident. It will happen, and it will happen at the worst possible time. Also, since the bar uses the same type of technology as a touch screen, you need to have skin-to-skin contact for it to work. If you wear gloves, make sure they’re compatible with touch screens or fingerless.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-31.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-6.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-6.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-6.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-6.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Other rear controls are more traditional. The AF-ON button is part of the thumb rest, and easy to locate by touch. To its right are the * (AE Lock) and focus adjustment buttons. Info, Play, and Delete are lower on the body, surrounding the four-way directional pad. At the pad’s center is Q/Set, which launches an on-screen control menu.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s no focus adjustment joystick, which is included in the EOS R’s two closest competitors, the Nikon Z 6 and Sony a7 III. It’s a shame&mdash;adjusting focus points with the rear directional pad is a slow chore, and while the LCD supports touch-and-drag focus area adjustment when you’re framing shots with the EVF, it’s difficult to use if you’re left-eye dominant&mdash;too much of your face covers the control that you should be using to move the focus point.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-32.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-7.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-7.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-7.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">In addition to on-body controls, native lenses for the EOS R include an on-lens control ring. It’s programmable and includes detents. I like it more than the similar rings on the Nikkor Z lenses Nikon has introduced with its Z mirrorless system. The detents allow you to lock into adjustments with confidence&mdash;if you want to adjust the aperture or EV compensation by a third of a stop, you can do so easily with a one-click turn. The lens ring system is not perfect, though. I found it worked quite well, but confirmed a bug that others have reported when using it as an ISO control adjustment&mdash;the EOS R can sometimes slip in or out of automatic ISO control, seemingly at random, when setting ISO using the lens ring. Hopefully Canon will address this via a firmware update.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The rear LCD is a vari-angle design, which means it can swing out to the side, face all the way forward, up, or down, and the screen can also reverse and tuck in against the body so it will be protected for storage or transport. It’s the only full-frame mirrorelss camera we’ve seen with a screen of this type&mdash;rivals around this price point, the Sony a7 III and and Nikon Z 6, feature screens that tilt up and down, but don’t swing out to the side or face forward. We expect Panasonic’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, scheduled to ship next year, to have a screen design similar to the Canon.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-33.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-8.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-8.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-8.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-8.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R’s 3.2-inch display is sharp, 2.1 million dots deliver plenty of detail and allow you to magnify the frame to confirm critical focus. It’s also sensitive to touch. You can navigate menus, swipe through images during review, and tap to set a focus point. As mentioned above, it also acts as a focus point control surface when using the EVF to frame shots.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The viewfinder is very good, although not the best we’ve seen around this price point&mdash;I give some preference to the Nikon Z 6 there. The EOS R is slightly smaller, with a 0.71x magnification rating, versus the 0.8x you get with the Nikon Z 6 and 0.78x offered by the Sony a7 III.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-34.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-9.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-9.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-9.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-9.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">My complaint isn’t with the viewfinder&mdash;it’s not class-leading, but it’s not substandard by any means. It’s the eye sensor I have problems with. It does its job&mdash;switching from the LCD to the EVF&mdash;a little too eagerly. There were several occasions when I was greeted with a blank LCD because the camera was close enough to my body to trigger the eye sensor. We saw a similar issue with the last-generation <a href="/reviews/sony-alpha-7-ii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="11231">Sony a7 II</a>, but it was fixed in the a7 III model. I’ve seen other cameras address this issue by disabling the sensor when the LCD is tilted or swung out from the body, or simply reducing the proximity that activates the eye sensor.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Connectivity and Power</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R includes built-in wireless connectivity&mdash;an expected feature in today’s world. It works with the Canon Camera Connect app, a free download for Android and iOS. The app has a step-by-step connection guide, but you can also use a QR code, shown on the EOS R’s LCD, to speed up the initial setup.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-35.v_1569469942.png’, ‘Canon EOS R : App’, ‘Canon EOS R : App’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : App’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 415’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-10.fit_lim.size_740x415.v_1569469942.png"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-10.png’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : App’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-10.fit_lim.size_740x415.v_1569469942.png’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-10.png’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Once paired you can transfer images and videos to your phone and also control the camera remotely. You have full access to manual exposure settings, as well as autofocus settings and video mode, when using your phone as a remote.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R isn’t positioned as a pro model, so it doesn’t have the PC Sync socket we expect from higher-end bodies. This is only a concern if you’re still using a wired connection to off-camera strobes, at a time when the industry has largely moved to wireless external flash control.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">You do get 3.5mm headphone and microphone ports, mini HDMI, remote control, and USB-C ports, all located on the left side. The memory card slot is on the right. The EOS R supports a single UHS-II SD/SDHC/SDXC card. If your workflow requires the redundancy delivered by dual card slots&mdash;a failed memory card is not something a wedding photographer would ever want to deal with&mdash;wait for Canon to release a model for pros, or opt for the Sony a7 III, which does have dual slots.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-36.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-11.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-11.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-11.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-11.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Canon has opted to use the same battery that its current SLRs utilize, the LP-E6N. It is rated for about 370 images using the LCD or 350 shots with the EVF. That’s similar to the Nikon Z 6 (400 shots LCD, 330 shots EVF), but lags behind the Sony a7 III (710 shots per charge).</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">RF Lens System</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R introduces a new lens mount, RF. It’s not compatible with the EF-M mount used by Canon’s APS-C mirrorless camera line, dubbed EOS M. But you can use SLR lenses, both EF and EF-S, via an adapter. Canon sells a few different adapters, the basic <a href="/reviews/canon-mount-adapter-ef-eos-r" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6401">Mount Adapter EF-EOS R</a> for $99.99, an upgraded version that adds a control ring for $199.99, and the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter. The first two are available now, with the Drop-In adapter scheduled to ship in March 2019 with your choice of a circular polarizer ($299.99) or variable power neutral density ($399.99).</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The adapters are important&mdash;they allow you to use Canon’s extensive line of lenses with the EOS R, with absolutely no detriment to optical quality or autofocus speed. All of the EF lenses I used with the EOS R, which included not just Canon optics, but also third-party lenses from Sigma and Tamron, worked without any issue. The quality and pricing of the adapters make the RF system very appealing to photographers who have a large investment in Canon glass. You can also use Canon EF lenses via an adapter with the Sony mirrorless system, but you don’t always get the same level of autofocus performance as with native lenses, even with a good adapter like the <a href="/reviews/sigma-mount-converter-mc-11" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6836">Sigma MC-11</a>.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-37.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-12.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-12.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-12.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-12.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The native lenses are also a reason to look at the RF system&mdash;even if the EOS R isn’t the most earth-shattering debut. The standard zoom, the <a href="/reviews/canon-rf-24-105mm-f4-l-is-usm" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="2411">RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM</a>, is of high quality, and has a longer reach than the 24-70mm F4 Nikon has made the default lens for its Z system. But it’s expensive, selling for $1,099, even when purchased in a kit.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s joined by two prime lenses, the $499 <a href="/reviews/canon-rf-35mm-f18-macro-is-stm" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="2364">RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM</a> and the premium <a href="/reviews/canon-rf-50mm-f12-l-usm" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="2964">RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM</a> ($2,299). The most unique and ambitious RF lens, the 28-70mm F2 L, is huge, heavy, and priced just shy of $3,000.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The only other full-frame, f/2 zoom we’ve seen to date is from Sigma, the relatively short <a href="/reviews/sigma-24-35mm-f2-dg-hsm-art" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="6348">24-35mm F2 DG HSM Art</a>, which can be used with the EOS R using one of the EF adapters. Canon’s take isn’t quite as wide, but zooms in closer. It’s also the only RF lens I’ve not yet had a chance to try, so I can’t speak to its quality as of yet. But given how good the other three lenses are, and the price, I expect it to be a favorite for event photographers.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-38.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 1500 1000’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-13.fit_lim.size_1500x1000.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-13.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’1500′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-13.fit_lim.size_1500x1000.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-13.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">On one hand, I’m happy to see Canon making a statement with its RF lens line. But I can’t help but wonder if potential EOS R customers will be scared by the lens prices. An affordable 24-70mm or 28-70mm zoom would go a long way to get folks started. As it stands, budget shoppers should think about EF glass and the basic $100 adapter to use it.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Dual Pixel AF Sets EOS R Apart</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R uses the same Dual Pixel AF system found in recent Canon SLRs. Instead of using a series of masked pixels, as is the case with most mirrorless cameras with on-sensor phase detection, Dual Pixel AF splits each pixel in half, so each can act as a phase detection sensor due to the very slight offset between the two. This means that any of the camera’s 30 million or so pixels can check focus, although not all are active&mdash;it’d be overkill and the too much for the camera’s processor to handle. Instead Canon has opted to make 5,666 pixels active for focus, with coverage almost all the way to the edges of the sensor.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-39.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-14.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-14.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-14.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-14.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">In addition to autofocus, the EOS R’s Dual Pixel AF supports Canon’s Dual Pixel Raw file format. It’s something we looked at closely when it was introduced with the EOS 5D Mark IV <span data-commerce-link="01T6XzMOmSdI0h8HmBx6ZLt"></span> . In short, it’s not a very useful feature&mdash;it gives you some ability to adjust the focus point, but not by much, and comes at the cost of greatly increased file sizes and slower operation. I’m happy to see that Canon hasn’t dropped it, because some photographers may find it of use, but it’s not a selling point.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">In terms of speed, Dual Pixel AF is quite fast. It locks on to targets in an average of 0.1-second, although I did notice a little inconsistency with the EOS R. It would often lock on to our focus speed test target in almost no time, but could also slip to about a 0.2-second lag on occasion. In dim light the EOS R is a little slower, hitting focus in about 0.4-second.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-40.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-15.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-15.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-15.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-15.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are a number of focus area modes available. By default the EOS R uses a wide area, with face detection. It does an okay job detecting faces&mdash;definitely not as good as the Sony a7 III. I found that a subject turning their head fooled the EOS R easily, and there were other times when the camera didn’t find a face at all, even when it was looking toward the lens. Eye detection is also available, although it too lags behind the Sony a7 III in functionality and performance. The a7 III has no problem keeping the focus point on a human eye, even in AF-C, while the EOS R doesn’t support eye detection when tracking subjects in its AI Servo mode.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><img alt=’Related Story’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 35 26’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-16.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-16.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Related Story’ width=’35’ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-16.fit_lim.size_35x26.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="left" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-16.jpg’></noscript></span> <a href="/about/how-we-test-digital-cameras" data-link-type="article" data-link-id="9396"><strong>See How We Test Digital Cameras</strong></a></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The other focus area options are pretty standard. You can use a flexible spot, with two additional levels of expanded flexible spot available as well. This is the mode where you need to set the focus point position manually, either via the touch screen or rear directional pad. Finally, you get two narrow strips of focus, one running horizontally and the other vertically through the frame.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Speed and Continuous Drive</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">In terms of speed, the EOS R powers on, focuses, and captures an image in about 1.4 seconds. It’s a pretty typical mark for a mirrorless camera, alleviating any unfounded fears that the EOS R’s shutter design would slow down the startup process. Most mirrorless cameras leave their sensors uncovered when powered down, which gives them a very slight advantage in power-up speed. The EOS R closes its mechanical shutter when turned off, covering the sensor. Time will tell if this reduces the incidence of dust getting on the camera’s sensor. I’m not convinced it will make a huge difference&mdash;I’ve seen dust on sensors of all types, from SLRs to rangefinders to mirrorless designs.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-41.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-17.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-17.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-17.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-17.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R is able to shoot at up to 8fps with focus locked. Its buffer is ample, but the number of shots you can take before the camera slows down changes based on the file format. We tested Compressed Raw and JPG (60 shots), Uncompressed Raw and JPG (45 shots), Compressed Raw (99 shots), Uncompressed Raw (52 shots), and JPG (99 shots). If you’re shooting in Raw+JPG or JPG, expect about 12 seconds between filling the buffer and writing everything to a fast memory card, or about 10 seconds if you’re shooting in Raw format.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Enabling AI Servo, which tracks subjects as they move, slows down the burst rate. The EOS R manages 5.3fps in this mode, with very good accuracy, even when the target is moving toward or away from the lens. But when you consider that the Sony a7 III does the same thing at 10fps, for less money, it makes the EOS R seem less capable than the competition.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p1"><span class="s1">A Proven Image Sensor</span></h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R uses a very similar image sensor to one found in the company’s popular 5D Mark IV. The resolution and size are the same, although this implementation has a newer image processor, the Digic 8. The processor supports a higher top native sensitivity (ISO 40000), and powers the EOS R’s faster Dual Pixel focus and burst rate.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-42.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-18.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-18.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-18.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-18.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you’re shooting in JPG format you’ll enjoy images without too much noise (1.4 percent) through ISO 12800, but there is a loss of image quality when pushing the camera that far. You’ll get the absolute best shots at the lowest setting, ISO 100, and you can push as high as ISO 1600 without noticing any real detriment to clarity.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There’s a slight softening at ISO 3200, though it’s not bad. Details are noticeably less sharp starting at ISO 6400 and maintain a very similar level of quality through ISO 25600. Pushing the sensitivity to the top standard ISO 40000 setting introduces more significant blur, which carries on through ISO 51200, which is available as an extended setting. The blur is noticeably worse at ISO 102400, the furthest you can push the EOS R’s sensor.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-43.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 494’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-19.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-19.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-19.fit_lim.size_740x494.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-19.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Shooting in Raw format eliminates the in-camera noise reduction that blurs the high ISO JPG output, but it also captures images with more visible grain at higher settings, and requires you to process images with software before sharing or printing. We use <a href="/reviews/adobe-lightroom-classic" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="7216">Adobe Lightroom Classic CC</a> as our standard Raw converter.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Raw quality mirrors JPG, with the best results at ISO 1600 or lower. But instead of losing a bit of detail at ISO 3200, we just see a little bit more grain. The output at ISO 6400 and 12800 is rougher, but shows much more detail than corresponding JPGs. Detail remains strong at ISO 25600, and while grain is heavy, it’s not overwhelming.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-44.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-20.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-20.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-20.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">At ISO 40000 the grain is more troublesome, and large and rough enough to remove some fine detail from images. The rough look only intensifies as you push further, with results at ISO 51200 that are noticeably grainier, and very little detail is visible at ISO 102400.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Against the competition, the Sony a7 III shows just a little bit less grain at top Raw settings, but also has fewer pixels than the EOS R. It’s a wash in my book&mdash;both image sensors are extremely capable, although you’ll enjoy a bit more latitude pushing shadows with the Sony.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">One of the aspects we don’t hit too heavily with most camera reviews is metering&mdash;for the simple reason that it’s typically not a problem. I noticed some serious inconsistency with the EOS R’s metering when using the default Evaluative setting. Typically a camera’s standard metering pattern reads the entirety of a scene and figures out the exposure, and does so consistently assuming the lighting doesn’t change.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-45.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-21.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-21.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-21.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-21.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R weighs its metering to the active focus point or points, which can lead to wildly different reads of the scene in shots with areas of highlight and shadow. There are some cameras that let you turn on this behavior as an option&mdash;it’s long been a feature in Pentax SLRs&mdash;but with the EOS R you don’t have the choice to turn it on or off. You can only narrow the metering pattern to Partial or Spot, which only look at a tighter, more central area of the frame, and don’t lend themselves to as advanced, intelligent metering as the camera is capable of in its Evaluative mode.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">Cropped 4K Video</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">While I have very little bad to say about the EOS R’s image quality, I can’t be as kind when it comes to video. First, let’s talk about the good&mdash;the 4K video is very crisp and shows excellent colors out of camera, and the 1080p video is also quite good, given its resolution limitations&mdash;each frame of 1080p is 2MP, versus about 8MP for 4K. Video autofocus is very strong, and the EOS R does a very good job keeping focus on moving subjects. There are different options for frame rates, including 24 and 30fps at 4K, and up to 60fps at 1080p.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0dZyLhcCi44" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">But the camera applies a very, very heavy 1.6x crop to 4K video, which effectively turns its full-frame sensor into an APS-C or Super 35 chip. With no native APS-C lenses, you’ll have to adapt EF-S lenses, or perhaps invest in Canon’s massive <a href="/reviews/canon-ef-11-24mm-f4l-usm" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="5971">EF 11-24mm f/4L</a> lens if you want to capture 4K at the widest angles. Even with the crop, I saw some evidence of wobble in footage, caused by the rolling shutter effect. Typically a cropped sensor area is meant to reduce this effect.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The EOS R also omits in-camera stabilization, which means you’ll get shaky video if your lens doesn’t have stabilization. Stabilized lenses are better, although from my experience a combination of lens and sensor stabilization nets the best look for handheld video. The EOS R does offer additional digital stabilization, but turning it increases the crop and softens details&mdash;I’d only consider using it if working handheld with a lens that omits stabilization.</p>rnrn<p><iframe width="740" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/udedUwHZT1M" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>rnrn<p class="p2">If you opt to use the highest video quality, file sizes are huge, about 3GB per minute for 4K and about 2GB per minute for 1080p, so make sure to invest in a big memory card if you plan on using the EOS R for video capture. There are heavier compression levels available to keep file size down, but they come at the cost of quality.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The camera does offer some features that pros will employ, including a microphone input. I noticed a clicking sound in some footage recorded with the RF 50mm F1.2 L USM&mdash;the focus motor is to blame. It’s something you can sidestep by using an external microphone. If you go with a lens with a quieter STM type motor, it’s less likely to be an issue.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-46.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-22.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-22.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-22.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-22.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Once you put everything together, the conclusion is clear: The EOS R should not be on your shopping list if you’re at all serious about video. The Sony a7 III is our favorite camera for video in this price range&mdash;it shoots 4K without a crop, offers Log and HDR capture, includes proxy recording, and most importantly, in-body stabilization. The Nikon Z 6 has a similar feature set, and while we’ve not yet tested it, early reports show that it’s on the same level as the a7 III for video.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">An Underwhelming Debut</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">Canon stumbled with its very first mirrorless camera, the long-discontinued <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-m" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="211">EOS M</a>. Like the EOS R, it wasn’t as capable of a camera as those from competitors&mdash;all of whom had a head start in the space. But its engineers went back to the drawing board, developed Dual Pixel AF, and implemented it in the <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-m5" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="2696">EOS M5</a>.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">It makes some similar mistakes here with the EOS R. They are not with the focus system&mdash;it may not be on the level of the Sony a7 III, but the a7 III shattered expectations of what autofocus in an affordable full-frame camera could be. Instead, I see the omission of in-body stabilization to be a big misstep, and there’s simply no excuse for such heavily cropped 4K video in today’s world.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-47.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 1110’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-23.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-23.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-23.fit_lim.size_740x1110.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-23.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">We’ve come to expect Canon to be a bit slower moving than some of its competitors. It was the last major player to release a mirrorless camera, after all. It’s also a little slow to realize that the Sony a7 III, which was released earlier this year, dramatically changed what customers can expect from a full-frame camera at this price. Instead of holding back features in order to push customers to buy a more expensive camera, Sony put most of the functionality from its pricier a7R III and a9 models into the a7 III. Nikon is taking a similar approach with its Z 6, which shares the same body design and build quality as the pricier, high-resolution Z 7.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There is little doubt in my mind that an RF-mount body with more professional specifications will come in the future, at a higher asking price. Just look at the prices of the initial batch of RF lenses&mdash;the customers who will spend $3,000 on a huge f/2 zoom are likely working professionals who will pair it with a body that can be used for weddings, sporting events, and other demanding situations.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-48.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-24.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-24.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-24.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-24.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">It’s this bit of identity crisis with the RF system, coupled with my issues with the EOS R&mdash;ergonomics and its video system chiefly among them&mdash;that lead me to caution potential customers. If you’re in the market for an affordable full-frame camera, the EOS R’s body fits the bill, but the 24-105mm is a big additional cost, with no discounted bundle available. I’m sure Canon will release a more affordable zoom eventually, but we may see another camera body or two before that happens.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are certainly some customers for whom the EOS R makes sense. If you’re already invested in Canon lenses and are thinking about buying a 6D Mark II, you may find the 4K video and the EOS R’s better image sensor are worth the cost. But you can also use Canon lenses with the a7 III using a similar adapter to the one Canon sells for the EOS R.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-49.v_1569469942.jpg’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ‘Canon EOS R : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-25.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-25.jpg’><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Canon EOS R : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-25.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469942.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-25.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Canon needs to do better. As it stands, the EOS R is no threat to the Sony a7 III, which is one of the most capable full-frame mirrorless cameras you can buy at any price. That it’s $2,000 makes it a staggering value, and our Editors’ Choice. We haven’t yet tested the Nikon Z 6, but have wrapped up work with the Z 7 and the cameras share quite a bit of tech, so we also expect it to be competitive with the a7 III.</p>","body_content_blocks":null,"images":{"autoincrement":86,"images":[{"index":null,"path":"reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-1.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":493,"hash":"bcea9b0a7ca0a19de8fa81b7b2fd6ce6","timestamp":1569469942,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Canon EOS R : Sample Image","caption":"","alt_text":"Canon EOS R : Sample Image","legacy_id":"608593","thumbnail":false,"description":"","legacy_size":"small","photo_credit":null,"hero_position":null,"load_image_bits":false,"legacy_updated_at":"2018-12-04 14:04:18.470"}},{"index":null,"path":"reviews/07Hx2mmDmIbi4IkyxYWYLbG-2.jpg","extension":"jpg","animated":false,"width":740,"height":493,"hash":"a960c2ecdf2388cc68a4ba103f50187d","timestamp":1569469942,"metadata":{"hero":false,"logo":false,"title":"Canon EOS R : 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effectively.nUncomfortable rear dial.nOmits focus joystick.nNo in-body stabilization system.nInconsistent metering.nSingle memory card slot.nNo PC sync socket.n4K video is heavily cropped.","bottom_line":"Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS R, offers strong image quality and autofocus, but is held back by its ergonomics and video system.","best_for":"Best for Enthusiasts","first_published_at":"2018-12-06T13:22:00.000000Z","published_at":"2018-12-06T13:22:00.000000Z","last_published_at":"2018-12-06T14:08:51.000000Z","scheduled_at":null,"created_at":"2018-12-04T16:38:12.000000Z","updated_at":"2018-12-06T19:08:50.000000Z","pivot":{"review_id":13002,"related_review_id":4253,"rank":7,"created_at":"2020-06-18T20:15:15.000000Z","updated_at":"2020-07-08T18:21:39.000000Z"}},{"id":3667,"legacy_id":363273,"luna_user_id":null,"uuid":"06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z","status":"Published","product_uuid":"05ReRBRO0Nbc4caTNf1icN3","spec_sheet_uuid":null,"title":"Nikon Z 6","slug":"nikon-z-6","deck":null,"is_editors_choice":false,"is_preview":false,"show_specs":false,"show_toc":true,"score":"4.0","people_involved":null,"hours_spent":null,"hours_researched":null,"word_count":2954,"body":"<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Nikon is tipping its full-frame <a href="/picks/the-best-dslr-and-mirrorless-cameras" data-link-type="roundup" data-link-id="12">mirrorless</a> camera system with two bodies and a trio of lenses. The Z 6 ($1,999.95) is the 24MP option, with 12fps burst shooting speed and a noticeably lower price tag separating it from its twin, the $3,399.95, 45.7MP <a href="/reviews/nikon-z-7" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="996">Z 7</a>. Its mirrorless design puts focus right on the sensor, so it offers a significantly wider area of focus coverage than an SLR, and while native lenses are a little scarce, an adapter adds compatibility with Nikkor SLR lenses. The Z 6 is a strong option for any photographer shopping for a full-frame camera, though we give preference to our Editors’ Choice, the <a href="/reviews/sony-a7-iii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="9494">Sony a7 III</a>, a third-generation design that’s a bit more refined and has a larger lens library backing it.<br /><br /></span><em>Editors’ Note: This review has been updated to reflect changes made in the <a href="https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/download/fw/353.html" target="_blank">Firmware 3.0</a> update.</em></p>rnrn<h2 class="p1">Twin Bodies, Different Capabilities</h2>rnrn<p class="p1">Nikon opted to use identical body designs for the Z 6 and Z 7&mdash;the same approach Sony uses with its similar pair of cameras, the 24MP a7 III and 42MP <a href="/reviews/sony-a7r-iii" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="5221">a7R III</a>. It’s a plus for photographers who may utilize both a Z 6 and a Z 7&mdash;all of the buttons, controls, and the like will be in the same place, regardless of which you pick up.</p>rnrn<p class="p1"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-19.v_1569469939.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-1.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-1.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-1.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p1"></p>rnrn<p class="p1">The body measures 4.0 by 5.3 by 2.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.3 pounds loaded with a battery and XQD memory card. It is protected from dust and splashes, features a five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system, and, perhaps most importantly, looks and feels like a Nikon, down to the narrow red stripe that accents the grip. From the outside, the only difference between it and the Z 7<span data-commerce-link="04NeSeKwlZFVMttB76xkaXR"></span> is the model badge.</p>rnrn<p class="p1">Nikon states that the Z 6 is built to the same standard as the Z 7, and it certainly feels like that’s the case. Roger Cicalia at <a href="http://www.lensrentals.com" target="_blank">Lensrentals</a> took a <a href="https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2018/10/teardown-of-the-nikon-z7-mirrorless-camera/" target="_blank">Z 7 apart</a> and found it to be one of the best-sealed cameras he’s seen, and he takes a lot of cameras apart for repair as part of his rental business. Lensrentals hasn’t yet taken a Z 6 apart to confirm that its internals are as robust.<strong></strong></p>rnrn<p class="p1"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-20.v_1569469939.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-2.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-2.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-2.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-2.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<h2 class="p1">Interface and Controls</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The Z 6 is a little bit smaller and lighter than your typical SLR, and while its controls stray a bit from what Nikon has done in the past, handling is excellent. The handgrip is deeper than many mirrorless cameras, which gives it better fit in the hand, especially important when using longer, heavier telephoto glass.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Two programmable buttons are accessible on the front, positioned between the grip and lens mount. I like to use one to adjust focus settings&mdash;it works in conjunction with control dials to change between single and continuous tracking modes, or to change the active focus area. There are many functions to choose from&mdash;including esoteric but useful options like Highlight Weighted Metering, which prevents highlights from being blown out, handy when working in mixed lighting.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-21.v_1569469939.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-3.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-3.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-3.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-3.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">The Mode dial is up top, to the left of the raised hump that houses the EVF. The dial locks in place; you have to hold down the center post while turning it. I personally prefer post locks that can be toggled with a press, but I’d rather have a lock than no lock at all.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The hot shoe is where you’d expect it, centered behind the lens mount, on top of the raised EVF. The Z 6 works with all of the same Speedlight flashes used by its SLR family, but the camera doesn’t have a built-in flash. It does have an OLED information panel, just to the right of the EVF; it shows exposure settings, battery life, and memory card capacity in cool blue type.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-22.v_1569469939.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 493’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-4.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-4.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’493′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-4.fit_lim.size_740x493.v_1569469939.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-4.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">There are two control dials&mdash;one flat at the rear of the top plate, the other integrated into the handgrip, just below the shutter release. The On/Off switch surrounds the shutter release and is flanked by Record, ISO, and EV buttons.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Play and Delete are on the rear, to the left of the eyecup. To the right there’s the toggle switch to change between still and video modes; the Display button is at its center. AF-ON rounds out the top row, and is joined below it (in a column) by the eight-way focus joystick, and the <em>i</em> button, which launches an on-screen menu of control options. We’ve seen similar menus on other cameras&mdash;Sony has one that’s just like it&mdash;and as with others, Nikon’s take is completely customizable, with 12 slots available for different functions.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">Menus can be navigated via the touch LCD or using the four-way directional pad, which sits just below the <em>i</em> button. It has OK at its center, which is used to confirm settings and to toggle subject tracking (more on that later). A cluster of four buttons, below the d-pad, round out the rear controls&mdash;Plus and Minus for zooming in and out during image review, Menu, and the Drive/Self-Timer control.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" onclick="return popImage(‘/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-23.v_1569469939.jpg’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ‘Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’, ”);"><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ src="data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’ viewBox=’0 0 740 416’%3E%3Crect fill=’%23f7f7f7′ /%3E%3C/svg%3E" v-image-loader='{ imageSrc: "/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-5.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469939.jpg"}’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-5.jpg’ width=’740′ height=’416′><noscript inline-template><img alt=’Nikon Z 6 : Sample Image’ width=’740′ src=’/imagery/reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-5.fit_lim.size_740x416.v_1569469939.jpg’ align="center" data-image-path=’reviews/06DcVb4sCa9Hs7GabPWh29Z-5.jpg’></noscript></a></span></p>rnrn<p class="p2">Nikkor Z lenses include a control ring function. It’s set via the body, and in concept is a great idea&mdash;you can set it for aperture or EV control. But sensitivity is an issue. It is very difficult to make small adjustments, and too easy to make inadvertent ones. I’d like to see Nikon address this, as they are just too sensitive to be useful right now.</p>rnrn<h2 class="p2">LCD and EVF</h2>rnrn<p class="p2">The 3.2-inch LCD is almost perfect. It’s bright, crisp (2.1 million dots), and offers excellent off-axis viewing. It’s quick to respond to touch, whether it be menu navigation, tapping to set a focus point, or swiping through photos during playback.</p>rnrn<p class="p2">The display is mounted on a hinge, so it can tilt to face up or down, but doesn’t offer any sort of side-to-side articulation. Sony uses a similar design with its a7 III, but rival Canon offers a fully articulating, swing-out screen with its <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-rp" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="8841">EOS RP</a> and <a href="/reviews/canon-eos-r" data-link-type="review" data-link-id="4253">EOS R</a>.</p>rnrn<p class="p2"><span><a href="#" class="no-underline" oncli