Nikon recently released their first full frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and Z7, and it seems all of the professional and “professional” photographers on the internets are having a meltdown because it doesn’t have, amongst other things, dual card slots. Well, news flash, Nikon didn’t design these cameras for you. I know, weird, isn’t it?
The fact is that Nikon aimed these cameras squarely at the “enthusiast” market, aka “prosumer,” which is the most profitable segment currently in the interchangeable lens camera market. You’ll find things like environmental sealing and magnesium body that you’d find in a professional level camera, like the Nikon D5, but you’ll also get less than professional touches like a single card slot. Why? Because enthusiasts like me don’t really care about dual card slots. I’m not a pro, so my income is not dependent on ensuring every shot I took during a wedding is safe. Plus, I’m not slapping my memory card in and out during adverse weather conditions so there’s less chance of card failure. Sure, it’s a beneficial feature but it’s not one so important to enthusiasts that the body dimensions be radically adjusted to accommodate.
For YouTubers like Jared “The Fro” Polin and Tony and Chelsea Northrup, you’re not Nikon’s target market with this camera, so get over yourselves. This camera could serve as a second body for a pro who is interested in mirrorless and wants to dip a toe in the water, but primarily it’s aimed at the type of person who is currently buying a Sony α7III or α7RIII; the person doing at least 50/50 video and photo and the person who wants the resolution of a Nikon D850 but in a smaller, lighter package for foot travel. Neither Nikon Z is aimed at the Nikon D5, or even Sony α9, buyer.
If the Z mount represents the future of Nikon, I’m sure we’ll eventually see dual card slots and faster frame rates in later versions or even later models. If this is purely a secondary platform to remain alongside Nikon’s DSLRs, that wait may be longer. Mind you, the lens roadmap makes certain that Nikon views these Z mounts bodies as the next version to supersede their current D-series lineup of DSLRs, with Z mount versions of professional oriented focal lengths, like 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 and 70-200mm ƒ/2.8, on the horizon. Considering F mount versions already exist, are excellent, work well with the FTZ adapter and won’t benefit much from a larger or shorter flange, I think the writing on the wall is obvious as to the future for F mount in general.
This is Nikon’s beta test. If consumers respond well, expect more iterations to come faster. If not, it’ll be slower. Nikon needs to know if buyers prefer a smaller body versus higher-end features that could push the price even higher. Their pricing should have made this pretty obvious. They can’t rely on Sony’s sales data because they were the only full frame mirrorless camera, prices for average consumers (not Leica), on the market. Their own sales data from the Nikon 1-Series doesn’t reflect the middle to high-end enthusiast ILC market. These are factors that contribute to Nikon’s decision to aim closer to the middle with their product designs.
Eventually professionals will have their needs addressed with a true top-end solution and the Z6 and Z7 will evolve to include more pro-like features like dual card slots, should pros make that choice. But make no mistake, this is an enthusiast camera because the professional segment of the market just isn’t nearly as profitable as the enthusiast segment. However, just because they aren’t targeted at professionals doesn’t justify the likes of Jared Polin or Tony and Chelsea Northrup poo-pooing the Nikon Z6 and Z7 after 10 minutes of hands-on time with them. Dislike it if you want, but don’t pretend your needs reflects even 5% of the camera buying market or hyperbolically declare it a failure because it doesn’t have every feature you saw in a wet dream.
On a not-so-side note regarding the Northrups, their ability to take photographs aside, neither has the technical intelligence to make comments, positive, negative or speculative regarding the technical features and design of any camera beyond UX, as judged by watching any of their whine-fests over new cameras and especially their “history of” segments. Their ability to spew fallacies, false facts and incorrect info with such ease is matched only by that of our current president. (For instance, Tony claims ISO isn’t an acronym for International Organization for Standardization, but instead refers to an Egyptian god, and if you don’t believe him to look it up. WTF, over?)