Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Trying Out the New Camera

April 25, 2021

Six forty-five is not early enough to catch the sun before it gets up in northeast Ohio. I didn’t make it to Island Pond until the sun pretty much stopped illuminating the clouds with pink light. And Old Sol didn’t stick around very long after that. I was hoping that the new camera would be inspiration enough to overtake the gloom of the day. Eh. It didn’t work out that way. But here are four images taken with my new mirrorless Nikon Z7ii. Many controls and settings are similar to those on my DSLR Nikon D600, but there’s still a lot to learn (like better focusing) and mistakes to correct. (I thought I had the camera set to take RAW images, but I guess not; they turned out to be JPEGs. Now the camera is set for RAW.)

1 The sun itself was looking a little pink as it was reflected in Island Pond, and some of the clouds were almost pink.

2 The baby water lilies were pink.

3 It had been a long time since I’d had the use of a long lens. My new one stretches to 200 mm, long enough for someone who doesn’t like being tethered to a tripod. These are wild-cherry blossoms.

4 The new lens even let me catch this watchful robin at the top of a small tree.

41 responses

  1. Why had it been a long time since you had the use of a long lens? I assume your mirrorless camera has an electronic viewfinder; if so, how do you like it compared to the optical viewfinder in a DSLR?

    Liked by 1 person

    April 25, 2021 at 10:18 PM

    • I don’t like to admit this, Steve, but at first I thought I just needed to learn how to make the telephoto lens that worked with my D70 and D200 (both DX format) work on the D600 (FX). It was supposed to work on both systems. By the time I decided it just wouldn’t work on the D600, I’d begun thinking about moving to a mirrorless camera and didn’t want to invest in a lens that wouldn’t fit the new camera. Dithering about buying a mirrorless camera lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. I was only out with the Z7ii for a few hours, and didn’t notice any difference with the viewfinder, but I’ll pay more attention the next time I take it out.


      April 26, 2021 at 9:29 PM

  2. Congratz Linda! Nice new camera; make it your own with the things you need and forget the rest.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    April 26, 2021 at 2:24 AM

    • Thanks, Harrie. That’s good advice, I think. It’s what I’ve done with my previous cameras. I like to think that I will explore more of the possibilities with the Z7ii—there are so many of them, compared to the D600.


      April 26, 2021 at 9:30 PM

  3. Have fun with your new tool! 😌

    Liked by 1 person

    April 26, 2021 at 2:32 AM

  4. Ah you’ve got a Z 7ii – wonderful! I use a Z 6 – and two things to mention. First, when using telephotos, do make use of the DX format option, which magnifies focal length by 1.5, and which with all the Z 7’s many pixels will be especially effective. It works very well on my Z 6 – I use the movie record button and the main command dial to very quickly toggle between FX and DX format.

    Second, I find mirrorless cameras so much better than DSLRs because its so helpful to be able to see exactly what the final image will look like in the viewfinder, I can’t express just how great a leap forward this is – along with the Z 6, I have Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2. These days (ie before lockdown …) I use the Z 6 with a 70-300 zoom, to give me range of 70-450 in DX format; and a 15-36 (equivalent) zoom on the X-T2. Enjoy your new (and fantastic) camera! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    April 26, 2021 at 4:00 AM

    • I never would have thought of switching to DX to increase the reach of the telephoto lens, Adrian. Thanks for the suggestion. Nice to know you have the Z6; I may have some questions for you later. 🙂


      April 26, 2021 at 9:31 PM

      • Very glad to be of help, Linda. Please do ask any questions that you may have. I can only say that you’ve got a first rate camera. One thing to be careful of is that since it has a high number of megapixels, it will tend to show up any faults in your photographic technique – I found this with the D800 years ago. In particular, try to keep shutter speeds on the higher side to prevent blurred detail, although the Z6ii/7ii both have good in-body image stabilisation, which will also work in tandem with image-stabilised lenses. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        April 27, 2021 at 3:32 AM

        • I just checked my lens; it has VR, too. And I have increased my shutter speed over what I used to keep it when I was younger. I’m now shooting at 1/125 of a second. Until a few weeks ago I was shooting at 1/40 and noticing a lot of motion blur. I switched to 1/125 at the written advice of Scott Kelby in his The Digital Photography Book.


          April 27, 2021 at 12:48 PM

      • The other thing is, the Z6 came with a thick Z6/7 paper instruction booklet >>> DEVOUR IT for the bits you need – I’ve done this, and scrawled on it in red biro to highlight the bits important to me. NB you may not need to know how absolutely everything on the camera works, (I certainly don’t) just the bits you’re going to use. And also, yes, do fire questions at me! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        April 27, 2021 at 3:38 AM

        • The Z7ii came with a thin manual and a link to the larger online manual. Wish it were on paper, but I am working my way through it. Thanks, Adrian.


          April 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM

          • Sorry to hear re the thin manual: probably worth printing out any things important to you from the net, for easy reference.
            Is your lens a DX lens??? Or FX?
            ALSO: you have the choice of focusing via the shutter button or the AF-ON button. I use the AF-ON so that all focusing taken away from the shutter button. V handy for focusing on something in an image and then recomposing the image. Keeping your thumb on the AF-ON button also v useful for tracking moving things, and then pressing the shutter whenever a photo is needed. Please fire away with any questions. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            April 28, 2021 at 5:06 AM

            • It’s a Z lens. I will take your advice about using the AF-ON button. This shutter button is more sensitive than the one on my D600, and I often was shooting when I didn’t mean to.


              April 29, 2021 at 5:33 PM

              • That’s good to hear, AF-ON really is the way to, I’ve been using it for years and pros do too. And NB, you can focus on anything in the picture you want to, then take your thumb off AF-ON, compose the picture and shoot, and focus will stay exactly where you positioned it – this can be extremely useful. 🙂

                Liked by 2 people

                April 30, 2021 at 4:31 AM

                • As it has been for me, modified for Olympus cameras. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  May 10, 2021 at 12:41 PM

                • I used the AF-ON button when I went out the next time, Adrian. I liked it much better than pressing the shutter half-way down. Thank you!


                  May 10, 2021 at 1:41 PM

    • I’m confused. Why would you switch to DX to crop in camera and throw away the extra pixels of the FX format right away? Is there an advantage to that, on mirrorless? Does the EVF automatically magnify the image in DX mode?

      Personally, I’d rather do the cropping later, on the computer, and have more control over the framing too. In Lightroom for example, when the crop tool is active, you can press “X” twice (switch from horizontal to vertical & back, or vice versa), and will end up with pretty much an exact “DX” crop.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 30, 2021 at 11:24 AM

      • Yes, the EVF does magnify the image in DX mode. This might be useful when you know that you aren’t going to want a wide view of what you’re shooting—a bird at some distance, for example. But the DX setting doesn’t really “extend the reach” of the lens. As you say, you could just as well crop the full-frame image. Adrian photographs birds a lot, I think, so DX might work well for him. Not so sure I’ll be using it much. Here’s a discussion about using DX on the Z7:

        Alex, I’m sorry that I’m replying so late. Somehow WordPress thought I needed to approve your comment before it would post, and I just found out about your comment today.


        May 11, 2021 at 8:55 PM

        • No worries, Linda. 😊 That’s interesting (and useful!) that the EVF automatically magnifies the image in DX mode. Definitely nice for birds and wildlife!


          May 11, 2021 at 10:11 PM

      • Oh yes, you can replicate the DX effect by cropping the FX image, its up to personal choice >>> but yes, the EVF DOES show the true DX image and I find that very useful. And because the Z 6 has 25MP I can still get DX images with plenty of pixels, certainly enough for blogging, and photobooks too. Since the Z 7 45MP you have plenty of pixels to make DX images. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        May 12, 2021 at 5:27 AM

  5. Joseph Smith

    A new tool and beautiful scenery to capture. I’ve had Nikon gear, well forever it seems. Over the last 3 years I’ve been using more and more Fuji mirrorless and at some point I’l switch over completely. The pond reflection in image 1 is my favorite of the bunch and deserves a nice print. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    April 26, 2021 at 11:51 AM

    • Glad to know you like #1, Joe. Thanks. I waited all winter for the sun to come up earlier, and now it’s coming up too much earlier. Ah well. I’ll just wait for fall to get those really early morning shots. I almost cancelled my Z7ii order after I came across more reviews favoring the comparable Canon camera. I keep telling myself that my eye is more important than the camera, though, and keep hoping that’s true. What is it about Fuji that you prefer to Nikon?


      April 26, 2021 at 9:32 PM

  6. Each one a real beauty, Linda, I’m really excited about this! Did you see this?

    “That’s all. In what can be a very cerebral and often technical craft, I want to remind you not to lose the love of the image itself—not to forget the simple joy of seeing light fade into shadow or colours blend into some harmony or feeling you might not be able to describe in words, least of all in the effort to critique or evaluate the image. I want to remind you that not every image needs to be an epic, a spectacle, or really anything more than a subtle singular pleasure that calls to mind a memory or an experience. Don’t forget just to enjoy it, to let it awaken you, and seduce you into paying a little more attention, not only to the photograph, but to life.”

    David DuChemin, talking about the pleasure of seeing photographs as poetry. I think his words apply here.
    My favorites are all of them.

    Liked by 2 people

    April 26, 2021 at 12:48 PM

    • Oooooo, that’s a nice David DuChemin quote. Thanks, Lynn, and for naming your favorites. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      April 26, 2021 at 9:38 PM

  7. p.s. Yes, it’s about the gear, and that’s what nudged this post into being but in the end, it’s about the images, isn’t it? So the images are what I was talking about above, rather than the camera. Do I see a smile on the face taking these photos? I think I do.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 26, 2021 at 12:54 PM

  8. I take this as a sign that you and your camera will become the best of friends! I am not a photographer myself, so all the camera lingo is lost on me (I looked through the comments and it’s like Greek to me…). I’m happy with the convenience and the photo quality of my Samsung smartphone, and accept that I’ll never be able to get to this level here. Ah, the details of the robin!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 27, 2021 at 4:27 PM

    • I’m sorry Gunilla! I promise not to turn this blog into a home for camera lingo. It’s just that I got this new camera . . . Smartphones take amazingly good photos, and I hope Lynn’s quotation from David DuChemin speaks to you. I don’t consider myself a bird photographer by any means, but sometimes birds just beg to be photographed, and I give in.


      April 27, 2021 at 8:38 PM

  9. Grover Zinn

    I’m a bit late to the thread, Linda. I love all the images, but especially the first!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 29, 2021 at 4:05 PM

    • Thanks, Grover. I’ve found a lot of goodies at Island Pond. There’s no deadline here; come to the thread whenever you like.


      April 29, 2021 at 5:35 PM

  10. Congratulations on the new camera and a change in how you will be photographing. It’ll be a challenge but a pleasant one as you get used to the new system and it becomes habit. And I do see a little pink in that reflection. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    May 7, 2021 at 7:02 PM

    • Thanks, Steve. Now if I could just make time to go out and use the new camera. At least the rain is supposed to stop tomorrow for four days, so I’ll have weather on my side. Sorry not to have replied sooner; my blog was unavailable to me. I’m transferring my domain name from an old website to this blog, and the URL goes to the blog only intermittently. Hope it holds for as long as it takes me to post this comment. The problem may be that the DNS thingies haven’t finished updating. Or it may be a problem with my wi-fi. . . . Yes, a little pink was left. I guess early light is a good reason for me to look forward to the fall, when it comes later in the morning. Not that I really want to look forward to the fall.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 9, 2021 at 4:19 PM

      • Time. There is never enough. I hope you get that problem solved and yes, sometimes updating does take a while to take hold. Maybe patience is the only tool needed so you can get going again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        May 10, 2021 at 4:06 AM

  11. Congratulations!
    Great to step into the world of mirrorless cameras. Nice that you have stuck with the familiarity of Nikon too.
    Many years ago I had a Nikon DSLR and then bought a little Olympus mirrorless camera to use occasionally. It turned out to be a fatal blow for my Nikon! I found myself increasingly using the Olympus and since then I have used not only Olympus but also Panasonic and Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. My DSLR kit went a long time ago. Had Nikon produced mirrorless back then I would have like yourself likely stayed with them.
    I found nothing but benefits after switching to mirrorless and I actually found myself enjoying photography more! It was a bit like rediscovering photography and things felt a bit more intuative for me. I hope the enjoyment you get from your new camera elevates the pleasure you get from photography. I imagine there will be a bit of a learning curve and from reading above, Adrian can point you in the right direction if you get stuck! 🙂
    I have no brand loyalty and use cameras that I enjoy. I know some people swear by the manufacturer they use whereas I am open to whatever works for me and each to their own choice. I can remember I had one of the first Sony DSLRs and people advising me how much better Nikon were. They failed to realise that at that time Sony actually made the sensors that Nikon were using in their cameras (and maybe still do?). I didn’t get into any of that stuff. Ultimately if you look at four images all of the same scene, taken with four different brands of camera it would be difficult for anyone to say which was taken with which camera. It all comes down to user experience, personal preference and what works for the photographer. Things like weight and ergonomics are things that will influence each of us differently. Photography is about image making but it is also about being out their and enjoying and experiencing the world around us. Any camera that gets in the way less of the latter can help us make good photographs.
    I’ve read wonderful things about Nikon mirrorless and your new Nikon Z7ii will I’m sure bring you a lot of happiness and provide you with many years of flawless service. Enjoy your new camera and the joy of mirrorless… As always I will look forward to seeing your photographs.
    Best wishes, Mr C

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2021 at 4:30 AM

    • Thank you, Mr. C. When my Z7 ii was on backorder for months, I considered cancelling the order and getting the comparable Canon instead. In the end I stayed with the Nikon mostly for weight and familiarity. I expect to be pretty happy with my choice, and I think you’re probably right: there’s little difference in the resulting photographs.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 10, 2021 at 1:02 PM

      • Before no time at your Z7ii will feel familiar and discovering it’s hidden powers will bring you joy📸😀
        Have fun and keep up the great work…👍

        Liked by 1 person

        May 10, 2021 at 1:37 PM

  12. Are you still loving the z7ii? I shoot with a Nikon d500 and I’m looking for a second camera. Can’t decide between z6ii and z7ii


    October 29, 2021 at 7:24 PM

    • Yes, I am still loving it and still having to learn a lot more about how to make it perform best for me. My other camera is a D200, but I really don’t use it anymore. Maybe the biggest reason is that with the Z7ii’s 45 megapixels and my 24–200 mm lens, I can achieve the effect of a much longer lens through cropping. I hate to change lenses in the field, so my 24-200 lens is perfect for me on this camera. I wish the camera came with a paper version of a manual. I find reading the online manual tedious and can’t wait until Darrell Young’s Mastering the Nikon Z6 II / Z7 II book is released (and shipped!).

      Liked by 1 person

      October 30, 2021 at 11:09 AM

      • Thanks for taking time to respond. I’m still learning and always on the look out for some tips and recommendations. I will keep an eye out for that book to come out. I think I’m leaning towards the Z7ii or z6ii.


        October 30, 2021 at 12:38 PM

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