The first time I looked through the EVF, it seemed very much like an optical viewfinder. It was so good I almost didn't think about it.
There are a lot of photographers who will tell you they're on the job 24/7...or at least it feels like they are. We don't know if landscape and night-sky shooter Adam Woodworth says that, but he could without venturing into exaggeration territory. All seasons in all weather at all hours, Adam's out there pursuing pictures over rough terrain and long distances.
So he was eagerly anticipating the Z 7, Nikon's first full-frame mirrorless, for the smaller size and the weight-saving factors of a mirrorless body.
He got what he expected—and a lot more.
"For my daytime landscapes, I look at the LCD quite a bit in live view mode," he says, "but if it's bright and sunny, it's sometimes hard to see the composition. On my D850 I'd use the optical viewfinder, and it's the same with the Z 7. The EVF is basically like a hooded LCD. There's no sunlight hitting it, so I can put my eye up to it and see everything, but with more detail. I can see better, focus closer and change the brightness, and I can see all the menus and camera settings in the EVF as well."
The EVF is also a benefit for his night photography. Not in the taking of the pictures because in most of the places Adam shoots it's so dark he can't see anything through the camera. "I can barely see in front of my eyes," he says. "I have to take test shots of five or ten seconds, each at really high ISOs, to see what I've got for my composition, and then hopefully in the dark I can move the camera and recompose and try again." It's in playback mode that the Z 7's EVF will be a big help. "I can zoom in to check focus and get a brighter and more detailed view."
Adam also appreciated the ability to customize the Z 7 to the way he works, especially when he's shooting in low or no light.
"That was great," he says. "I was able to change the menu on the touchscreen to have the features I needed most. I put things like exposure delay mode and long exposure noise reduction on the screen for quick access."
A feature that he didn't use all that much initially, but knows he's going to appreciate is the Z 7's built-in VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization. "I tested it briefly and noticed the difference. I'm going to be using it for some wildlife photography."
He'll be able to explore everything about the Z 7 before too long—when we spoke he'd already ordered...well, everything. "The camera, the lens mount adapter and the three lenses. And I'm looking forward to the 14-30mm f/4 that Nikon has planned for next year."
Night images may be a specialty for Adam, but he's not in the dark about the future of his photography.