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  • Writer's pictureDon Toothaker

Nikon Z is Now...

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Time changes everything. Technology does too. Today, after years of working with a variety of great equipment from Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Fuji, I proudly use only the Nikon Z mirrorless camera system. What does that really mean since cameras and lenses are nothing more than tools? It means that I am embracing current technology and evolving with it. Massive resolution, sharper images than ever before, stunning video capabilities, superb build construction, and access to ongoing firmware improvements in a more portable camera system is wicked exciting. I love being a photographer with today's technology despite being very challenged by technology right down to my Iphone. For me, the Nikon Z is the right camera right now.

In 1986, while stationed overseas at RAF Alconbury, I bought my first 35mm film camera. I grew to love that Canon AE-1 Program for its rugged dependability and comforting presence. I used that, and a Canon A1 film camera that I added a year later, until 1991 when, in preparation for a trip to Yosemite National Park, I bought my first Nikon 35mm film camera that featured the relatively new technology of autofocus. I held that Nikon 8008s camera body and, like no other camera at the time, it simply fit. I became a Nikon photographer.

Evolution continues and so must we. While using 35mm film for many years my imagery was raw and basic, but, very importantly, my hunger for knowledge was intensely fueled. I worked hard at learning and dreamed, every day, about becoming a photographer. Never in my wildest dreams could I envision then the journey that that first camera would set me on today. In the digital age my creative voice has become more refined, but my thirst for learning is greater than ever. So is my need for sharing. As a photographer, and instructor, I do what I love with great hopes of passing that passion, appreciation, and inspiration on to others. We are the creative force with the power to change our own personal world, or the world, with imagery. Cameras are nothing more than tools and they must enhance our vision creatively as well as aesthetically. You buy what fits.

My photographic life involves a lot of travel, locally, nationally, and internationally, as well as a variety of often cumbersome equipment. Prior to a recent trip to Italy, knowing the growing difficulties of traveling with a lot of gear and a desire to use only one camera system, I chose to become strictly a Nikon mirrorless photographer. Gone are my superb Nikon DSLR’s and big, heavy lenses. Gone is the ensuing backpack weighing upwards of 45 pounds. Gone is my Fuji mirrorless camera system that, despite being brilliant, required a whole separate set of batteries, chargers, memory cards, filters, and, well, everything. Today, my much lighter backpack features the new Nikon Z7 and Z6 camera bodies and lighter S series lenses. Being a photographer using current Nikon mirrorless technology means utilizing equipment that is easier on my body, easier to travel with, and, most importantly, packed with more creative power than ever before.

The best is yet to come for photography, for Nikon, and for myself. Travel light and create fast.

A few images taken with the Z7 and various lenses.

Photograph What You Feel

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