Nikon Z7 II Disassembly & Teardown

By Alex Mirchuk

Z7II 007 copy Custom

The Z7II is the latest version of Nikon’s premier mirrorless camera. Nikon had been lagging a bit behind Sony and Canon in the full-frame mirrorless game for a while. After all, they didn’t release their first mirrorless camera until 2018, and some have said that things aren’t looking great for them. However, lately, they’ve been catching up and filling out their mirrorless lineup. In fact, as of this writing, they’ve released five new cameras in the last two years—including the Z7II—all of which have been mirrorless. 

It looks like they’re learning a lot from their competitors since they’ve built a fairly impressive one with the Z7II. This camera offers 46 mega-pixels, 4k 60fps (with a crop), and is now running off two Expeed 6 processors. 

Let’s take a look at what’s changed. 

Z7II 008 copy Custom 1

From the front view, the answer is not much. The designers looked at the Z7 and said, “Yeah, that works.” And it does indeed work pretty well. The handling on this camera is quite good and will be familiar for anyone coming from another Nikon camera. 

However, there’s one important update that would be easy to miss: the sensor frame was switched from plastic to metal. That means the Z7II is natively compatible with our magnetic clip-in filters for Z-mount; there’s no need for a mag mount. 

Z7II 012 copy Custom

It’s the same story with the top. We’ve got our standard lockable mode dial; the same LCD control panel displaying the settings; and the ISO, exposure compensation, and record buttons are in their usual spots. 

Z7II 015 copy Custom

Also unchanged is the port side, which holds the standard array of ports—featuring headphone, microphone, USB-C, and mini-HDMI ports and an accessory port for wired remotes. 

Z7II 010 copy Custom
Z7II 020 copy Custom

Even the back is the same. The EVF and LCD were kept from the previous model—offering 3.6 and 2.1 million dots resolution, respectively. 

Z7II 018 copy Custom
Z7II 019 copy Edit Custom

There is one new feature to note. It looks like Nikon has finally given us a second card slot! Not only that, but it’s an SD card slot. The decision to give the original Z7 only one card slot was surprising, particularly for a camera targeted toward professionals. Whether pro or hobbyist, we think most people would want two card slots for a $3,400 camera (release price). Having the redundancy of a second card slot is vital to most photographers. It means they don’t have to worry about one card being corrupted, and it allows them the option to automatically have a backup of all their files. 

Going with an SD card slot was also a good choice. While CF-express cards certainly have the advantage of being faster, many photographers still use SD cards, and SD card readers are far more common, both built-in and external. They’re also a lot more affordable and easy to find in stores. If there was one thing Nikon needed to upgrade—and apparently there was—it was that. 

Now let’s open it up and see if anything changed inside. 

Z7II 022 copy Custom
Z7II 024 copy Custom

First, we remove some screws and take off the bottom plate. 

Z7II 025 copy Custom

We also have to disarm any traps we find along the way, like this battery latch. Those springs will shoot out at you if you’re not careful. 

Z7II 027 copy Custom
Z7II 030 copy Custom

Then remove some screws around the ports and the card slots. 

Z7II 029 copy Edit Custom

And the screws around the EVF. 

Z7II 035 copy Custom
Z7II 032 Custom

Finally, some concealed screws beneath the leather of the handgrip and on the bottom. 

Z7II 038 copy Custom
Z7II 042 copy Custom

And just like that, the back panel comes off. 

Z7II 043 Edit Custom
Z7II 048 copy Custom
Z7II 049 copy Custom

Already, the interior looks a lot different from what we saw inside the Z7. The two things that stand out the most are the new SD card reader and the metal plate covering the board. That would account for the minor 30g weight difference between the two cameras, with the Z7 weighing in at 675g and the Z7II at 705g. 

The plate was likely added to act as a heatsink while adding additional protection to the board. 

Let’s take that off and see what’s going on underneath. 

Z7II 050 Custom
Z7II 051 copy Edit Custom

This also gives us a chance to look at the weather sealing lining the edges. 

Z7II 052 copy Edit Custom
Z7II 053 copy Custom

Now one of the most exciting upgrades: the new dual processor. 

The overall layout of the board hasn’t changed much, which is impressive considering the sizable additions of the card-reader and second processor. Yet, they managed to maintain the same system. 

There are a few subtler changes to the ribbons. Some are a bit broader and heartier, which makes them easier to handle and reduces the risk of them tearing while being disconnected. 

Z7II 057 copy Custom
Z7II 059 copy Edit Custom
Z7II 061 copy Edit Custom
Z7II 060 copy Custom
Z7II 063 copy Custom

Next, we’re going to take out the viewfinder. This model features the standard Nikon diopter mechanism, which allows you to lock and unlock it by popping it in and out of the prism. The diopter also features a cap that’s tricky to remove. It serves a dual purpose: indicating turn direction and covering up the screw to make disassembly more complicated.

Z7II 064 copy Custom

Beneath the viewfinder, we see a couple of screws that we’ll have to remove to take off the top, along with the many ribbons. 

Z7II 080 copy Edit Custom
Z7II 077 Edit Custom
Z7II 073 Custom

Another interesting thing to note about these ribbons is that some are BIG. We believe the only camera with larger ribbons may be the Z9. Apparently, Nikon likes to use thick flex cables. 

Z7II 086 Custom
Z7II 087 Custom

Once weve removed all the ribbons, next comes the board screws. 

Z7II 089 copy Custom
Z7II 141 copy Custom
Z7II 142 copy Custom

And out comes the motherboard. 

While we’re here, we’d also like to point out the white cable running across the bottom. This is the antenna cable for wireless connections. 

Z7II 091 copy Custom

It looks like the frame is blocking access to the sensor screws, so we will have to remove some more of the body before moving forward. 

Z7II 093 copy Custom

We are starting with the port/front side section, which features the iconic Z7II logo. 

We decided to set it on some foam to protect the back while removing the front components. 

Z7II 094 copy Custom

Well also have to remove the lens mount. 

Z7II 095 Custom
Z7II 096 Custom

Along with the handgrip, which is sneakily secured by a screw tucked away in the top of the battery compartment. 

Z7II 098 copy Custom
Z7II 100 copy Custom

With all that removed, we can reach the screws that hold down the top, allowing us to take that off as well. 

Z7II 099 copy Custom
Z7II 103 Custom
Z7II 104 copy Custom

Now were left with just the core of the camera. 

Z7II 110 Edit Custom
Z7II 113 Custom
Z7II 117 Custom

This camera uses springs to calibrate the position of the sensor. The height of the screws is measured in thousandths of an inch and needs to be adjusted with exact precision to keep the focus correct and even across the entire image. 

Z7II 119 copy Custom
Z7II 128 copy Custom
Z7II 120 copy Custom
Z7II 130 copy Custom

And with that, the sensor is out and ready to be converted to infrared. 

Z7II 131 Custom

This is a pretty chunky sensor with some solid-looking IBIS, but it’s nothing compared to the size of the Z9 sensor, as you’ll see for yourself in the Z9 teardown that’s coming soon. 

Z7II 127 copy Edit Custom

Thanks for coming to our teardown. Be sure to tip your technicians and remember to visit the gift shop on your way out. 

Now that we’ve seen how this camera is made, we will be looking at how well it performs as an infrared camera. We’ll also be doing a teardown of the Nikon flagship, the Z9, and comparing it with the Sony A1. 

Leave a Reply

Skip to content