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The REAL Cost Of Upgrading To Nikon Z7 II For Pro Photographers

Nikon Z7 II

As as pro photographer, part of the job includes keeping pace as tech evolves around you. Let's face it-- electronic devices are on a never ending evolutionary path. They seem to get speedier-- or have more memory--- or get higher resolution, generation after generation. Cell phones in 2020 are a quite a leap forward from where they were in 2010. The same holds true for computers, as well as our topic today, digital cameras.

Over the past decade we've seen digital cameras, in general, consistently gain more and more resolving power, as well as other improvements such as increases in useable ISO range. Now with major manufacturers putting their R&D behind mirrorless, some would argue that mirrorless cameras are the future of pro photography.

Have you been looking to add a cutting edge mirrorless camera, such as the Nikon Z7ii, or other similar models to your photography arsenal? Like most other electronics, the models that push the edge of the technology curve come at a premium-- if you can even get your hands on one! Often, in the camera universe buyers line up and wait weeks and weeks to get their hands on new models after initial release.

One thing is for sure. This cutting edge technology always comes at a premium price. You may think your only cost in upgrading to the Z7 II is handing over your credit card, and paying your favorite camera dealer to buy one-- which as of March 2021 is approximately $3,000 USD. When "living on the edge," however, there may be other costs associated with your new purchase which you didn't initially anticipate. So, before you allocate all your available funds to solely your camera body, you may need a few of the items listed below to get the most from your new camera.

Let's take a look...

Lens Adapter: $250

Been a Nikon user for a while? Great! Guess what? As you probably are already aware, your great lenses you used with your trusty D850 won't work with the Z Series cameras. This is another one of those "as tech evolves" situations, where Nikon has increased the size of the lens mount rendering your old F Mount lenses unusable with the new body.

Not to fear. Nikon has your back. They make a handy FTZ Mount Adapter which will easily let you use older F Mount lenses with the Z system. It's simple to use, and works well (in my experience.)

Lenses: $600 - $???

Are new lenses necessary? No... but come on. Once you've upgraded your camera body, let's face it, all those new Nikon Z Mount lens start to look very enticing. Nikon lenses are optically amazing, and the new lens system has garnered rave reviews across the board. So, eventually, you will be getting some new Nikon glass to replace your F Mount favorites.

The catch here: Some lenses are tricky to find. Some incredibly popular lenses for pros are tough to find in early 2021. Including the 50mm f/1.8 S and the 85mm f/1.8 S, which seem to be hit or miss when it comes to availability.

Some specialty lenses are even trickier! I've personally been trying to get my hands on a 50mm f1/2 S since January 2021... with no luck. Whether this is all Covid related, demand related, or production related... I'm not sure.

Needless to say, you will be, at some point, upgrading your lenses to the new system. For lenses most likely to be used by pro photographers, this would probably start at $600 or so at the low end, and go up to $2400 or more based on what you use for your job.

Memory Cards: $200 - $1000

Although the Nikon Z7 II has an SD card slot, more than likely your primary memory card for this camera is going to be the CF Express card. The fast read/write speeds are designed to keep pace with the image and video files produced by the Z7 II.

The size of the RAW files on the Nikon Z7 II are large-- 50+ Megabytes per image. If you are a wedding shooter and take several hundred photos per event... that's a lot of Megabytes of data!!

What's the issue? Well, if your lifestyle has revolved around purchasing SD cards, you're in for a potentially shocking awakening. CFexpress Type-B cards are very expensive. A high quality 128GB CFexpress Card can easily cost over $200, and the price goes up as your card size increases.

If you're taking lots of photos, you may easily needs a few smaller cards to make it through your event. If you're a hybrid video shooter, you may even need to jump up to a 512B CFexpress, which can be well over $500. See what I'm driving at?