Thoughts on the Nikon Z + DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Zoom
Last week, the floodgates were opened on official news from both Nikon and DJI on their newest tech after what seemed to be months of leaks and rumors. Nikon offered up their new mirrorless camera line, the Z Series, a clear response to Sony's own mirrorless lineup and the shift that they have caused in the industry by rapidly delivering multiple iterations of cameras over the past few years.
The Nikon Z6 & Z7 come with features that have been long overdue to the system, such as a new video profile called N-Log (FINALLY). The Z6 can deliver full-frame 10-bit 4:2:2 video when output to an external recorder, such as an Atomos Ninja V. To put this in comparison, the Sony A7 III delivers 6K downsampled 4K 8-bit 4:2:2 video, while Panasonic's popular GH5 and GH5S can do video in 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 internally, but use a micro 4/3 sensor. Together with both full-frame and 10-bit 4:2:2, the Z6 has way more detail to play around with in post-processing.
For all the good these new cameras offer, there are a few downsides. One of the most vocally criticized (and for good reason) downsides to the new cameras are the use of a single XQD card. Understandably, professionals who rely on a second card slot for reliability if and when their card fails don't want to leave the security of their business up to chance. Secondly, Nikon is late to enter the market. Sony has had years to develop a strong foothold in the mirrorless market, with the a7 series and the R and S sub-series for high resolution photography and video, respectively. However, Sony's cameras haven't had as vast a lens selction as Nikon and by offering an adapter that promises compatibility with over 360 F-Mount lenses, when the Z Series launches, it will have a massive library of lenses to work with.
Nikon is having a few events around the country for people to come and check it out. I plan to attend one next week and form my own opinions on them based on my time using the Z Series.
In other news, DJI revealed the successors to the DJI Mavic, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. With two new drones, DJI offers different solutions for photographers and videographers aiming to get a different perspective for their work.
The Mavic 2 Pro utilizes a 1" Hasselblad sensor, which gives it improved low-light capabilities and more detail. The trade-off for that larger sensor is a fixed lens at 28mm, but offers DLOG-M, DJI's LOG profile for 10-bit color grading.
The Mavic 2 Zoom offers way more flexibility with a 2x optical zoom, and special flight modes like DollyZoom. It features a smaller 1/2.3 sensor and hybrid autofocus for sharper images while zooming.
Each one is going to have a different audience for use. I personally would take the image quality of the Pro over the Zoom. You can always get creative with shot blocking and angles, but you can't suddenly change the sensor in a camera if it isn't in there.