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Megadap ETZ21 Pro review: A super-thin Sony-to-Nikon mirrorless lens adapter with impressive autofocus performance

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Megadap ETZ21 Pro review: A super-thin Sony-to-Nikon mirrorless lens adapter with impressive autofocus performance


Photo: Dan Bracaglia

It’s okay to be curious – the Megadap ETZ21 Pro is an affordable and surprisingly compact AF-capable accessory for adapting Sony E-mount glass to Nikon Z-mount bodies, including both full-frame and cropped lenses/cameras.

Priced at $250, the ETZ21 Pro supports electronic communication for full autofocus, autoexposure, image stabilization and aperture control. EXIF data is also transferred from lens to camera body. But how does it perform? Read on.

Key features

  • Adapts Sony E-mount lenses to Nikon Z-mount camera bodies
  • Compatible with full-frame and crop lenses/bodies
  • Electronic contacts for full AF, AE, IS and aperture control
  • EXIF data transfers between lens and camera
  • Thin, stainless construction
  • $250

The Megadap ETZ21 Pro Sony E- to Nikon Z-mount is available now for $250.


Buy now:


Competition

The ETZ21 Pro is seriously thin.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

There are a number of similarly-priced and spec’d adapters out there promising full AF/AE compatibility, including options from FotodioX and Techart. The former looks like it could have shipped out of the same factory as the Megadap. The latter looks a whole lot like Megadap’s prior generation Sony-to-Nikon accessory and which you can read more about in our review.

The discontinued Megadap ETZ11 is the predecessor to the current ETZ21. It offers similar function, but less speedy performance overall and a less robust build quality. Given the option, go for the newer version.

There are also, of course,

Design

This diminutive piece of tech is delightfully powerful.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

The Megadap ETZ21 Pro is a remarkably diminutive accessory. It adds only 2mm to the length of a lens, but that’s not an arbitrary amount. This positions your adapted E-mount lenses at the 18mm mount-to-sensor distance they were designed for instead of the 16mm distance a Z-mount camera provides.

Built from stainless steel, it feels reassuringly solid and well-made in hand. However, the fit can be worryingly tight with certain lenses and camera bodies. It continues to take some considerable effort to dismount the Megadap from my Nikon Z50.

The metal tab on the adapter acts as a lens lock. Beyond that, there’s not much to discuss design-wise besides the electronic contacts and mounting marks. Ultimately, it’s a refreshingly straightforward piece of tech.

Performance

Face and eye detection work great.

Nikon Z8 + Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM II. Out of camera JPEG. ISO 450 | 1/250 sec | F/2.8 | 70mm

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

I tried out the Megadap ETZ21 Pro using two different setups: a Nikon Z8 with Sony’s latest 24-70mm F/2.8 GM II and a Nikon Z50 with an ancient E 16-50mm f/3.6-5.6 kit lens attached.

AF speeds and precision impressed me in decent lighting conditions and with the latest-gen Nikon camera and Sony lens. Nikon’s subject detection and focus tracking work almost as if a native lens is attached. AF speeds slow down a little in lower light but are still very good. In general, I was able to use Face and Eye detection on the Z8 with great success, despite having a Sony lens attached.

Nikon Z8 + Sony 24-70mm F/2.8 GM II. Out of camera JPEG. ISO 64 | 1/250 sec | F/3.2 | 24mm

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

The Z50 and Sony 16-50mm combo performed modestly in decent light. Keeping in mind this lens is so long in the tooth, it might as well be a stalactite, I was again impressed with the performance. In low light, however, I ran into plenty of hunting and mis-focused shots, which is exactly what I expected. That said, I don’t doubt that more recent, faster-aperture Sony primes, like the Sony E 15mm f/1.4 G, will perform admirably via the Megadap on my Z50.

It’s also worth mentioning that not all third-party Sony E-mount glass is currently supported by this adapter. Some folks report AF issues with especially long telephoto lenses. The takeaway? If you’re considering the Megadap ETZ21 Pro, try to take it for a spin with your current setup before committing to buy or put it through its paces during the return window.

I was able to use Sony’s 16-50mm kit zoom on the Nikon Z50, but not without a little (well, a lot) of vignetting.

Out of camera JPEG. ISO 12,800 | 1/320 sec | F/3.5 | 16mm

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

Making lens corrections

My Z8 photos look ridiculously sharp, despite the unusual pairing of gear but not every lens will fare as well. Because your Nikon camera can’t recognize your adapted E-mount lenses, geometric distortion and vignetting corrections can’t be applied to the camera’s JPEG output. This presents a challenge for any lens that was designed with the expectation these corrections be taken care off automatically.

Processing the Raws gives a little more flexibility, but these files left Adobe Camera Raw somewhat stumped on how to approach lens corrections. For the Z8 combo, ACR automatically defaulted to the Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 when I selected Auto Lens Correction. For the Z50, ACR didn’t even bother to provide a lens profile when I clicked the auto option. Capture One provided similar results. It’s worth checking if your preferred software will let you apply corrections for lens combinations its creators hadn’t anticipated.

Conclusion

The Megadap ETZ21 is a solid product built for a rather specific crowd.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

The Megadap ETZ21 Sony E-mount to Nikon Z-mount adapter is a reliable method for attaching Sony mirrorless lenses to Nikon Z-mont mirrorless bodies without sacrificing autofocus, autoexposure or lens stabilization capabilities. Performance is impressive but it’s no magician.

You’ll still have better overall AF performance and precision sticking to native-mount lenses, sans adapter. And older Sony lenses tend to struggle when adapted in all but the best lighting conditions. Additionally, it may not always be possible to apply the lens correction that is an essential element of some lens designs.

However, as far as what’s currently available for Sony shooters wishing to dabble in the Nikon realm, there is no better option on the market than the Megadap ETZ21 Sony E-mount to Nikon Z-mount lens adapter.

The Megadap ETZ21 is truly a barely-there lens adapter.

Photo: Dan Bracaglia

What we like What we don’t
  • AF speeds are impressively fast
  • Works with Eye and Face AF
  • Exif data captured
  • Firmware can be updated via attached camera body
  • All-metal design
  • 2mm thick when mounted
  • Best performing adapter in its class
  • Tight fight with some camera bodies and lenses
  • Not compatible with all third-party E-mount lenses
  • AF may be finicky with long telephoto lenses
  • Lens corrections may not be available when processing

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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless

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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless


We’d never before seen so much silicon wrapped up in such a small package

Photo: Samuel Spencer

The Hasselblad X1D beat Fujifilm to the market by three months in 2016 to become the first mirrorless medium format camera. It wasn’t the first “affordable” (or, at least, sub-$10,000) medium format option: that credit goes to Pentax and its 645D and Z, but it was the first larger-than-full-frame digital camera to be designed as a self-contained ILC with no mirror.

It was built around the same 50MP CMOS sensor as the 645Z, which also underpinned the Fujifilm GFX 50 models, producing some excellent image quality. Hasselblad’s modern minimalist design was eye-catching, and the operability improved significantly through a series of firmware updates (though it never offered the mass-market slickness of the GFX models).

One of the factors that allowed the Hasselblad to be so small was the decision to build leaf shutters into all the XCD lenses, rather than having a physical shutter in the camera body. This resulted in a camera that could sync with flashes all the way up to each lens’s maximum shutter speed. Though this came at the cost both of higher lens prices and of polygonal bokeh, as the shutter/aperture mechanisms had relatively few blades. This second issue was somewhat resolved by an update that allowed the aperture to be opened a fraction beyond the widest listed value, so that the blades don’t intrude on the image.

Click here to see the nearly 200 photos we’ve published from the X1D

Alongside the X1D came the first series of medium format lenses designed specifically for 44x33mm digital, giving some excellent results (to the point that moiré is a significant risk even when stopped-down to F5.6, given the lack of low-pass filter on the X1D’s sensor). It also led to the only instance we’ve seen of a manufacturer referring to equivalent f-numbers. It’s probably no surprise that it would be one of the only companies to solely produce larger than full-frame systems.

We were in the fortunate position to borrow a Hasselblad, Pentax 645Z and Fujifilm GFX 50S at the same time and use them alongside one another, and looked at their comparative strengths and weaknesses. We hope to do something similar with the more refined 100MP cameras from Hasselblad and Fujifilm in the coming months.



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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless

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On this day: Hasselblad launches first medium format mirrorless


We’d never before seen so much silicon wrapped up in such a small package

Photo: Samuel Spencer

The Hasselblad X1D beat Fujifilm to the market by three months in 2016 to become the first mirrorless medium format camera. It wasn’t the first “affordable” (or, at least, sub-$10,000) medium format option: that credit goes to Pentax and its 645D and Z, but it was the first larger-than-full-frame digital camera to be designed as a self-contained ILC with no mirror.

It was built around the same 50MP CMOS sensor as the 645Z, which also underpinned the Fujifilm GFX 50 models, producing some excellent image quality. Hasselblad’s modern minimalist design was eye-catching, and the operability improved significantly through a series of firmware updates (though it never offered the mass-market slickness of the GFX models).

One of the factors that allowed the Hasselblad to be so small was the decision to build leaf shutters into all the XCD lenses, rather than having a physical shutter in the camera body. This resulted in a camera that could sync with flashes all the way up to each lens’s maximum shutter speed. Though this came at the cost both of higher lens prices and of polygonal bokeh, as the shutter/aperture mechanisms had relatively few blades. This second issue was somewhat resolved by an update that allowed the aperture to be opened a fraction beyond the widest listed value, so that the blades don’t intrude on the image.

Click here to see the nearly 200 photos we’ve published from the X1D

Alongside the X1D came the first series of medium format lenses designed specifically for 44x33mm digital, giving some excellent results (to the point that moiré is a significant risk even when stopped-down to F5.6, given the lack of low-pass filter on the X1D’s sensor). It also led to the only instance we’ve seen of a manufacturer referring to equivalent f-numbers. It’s probably no surprise that it would be one of the only companies to solely produce larger than full-frame systems.

We were in the fortunate position to borrow a Hasselblad, Pentax 645Z and Fujifilm GFX 50S at the same time and use them alongside one another, and looked at their comparative strengths and weaknesses. We hope to do something similar with the more refined 100MP cameras from Hasselblad and Fujifilm in the coming months.



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Our favorite ‘natural worlds’ pictures: DPReview Editors’ Challenge results

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Our favorite ‘natural worlds’ pictures: DPReview Editors’ Challenge results


June includes multiple days devoted to celebrating nature, including World Environment Day (June 5), World Oceans Day (June 8) and World Rainforest Day (June 22). In that spirit, we chose ‘Natural Worlds’ as the theme for our most recent Editors’ Choice photo challenge, with over 100 readers submitting entries.

We love seeing your work! Thanks to everyone who submitted. We couldn’t call out every image we liked, so we restrained ourselves to a baker’s dozen (in no particular order).

If you don’t see your work here today, don’t despair. We’ll soon announce a new Editors’ Choice challenge.

Also, a quick reminder to keep comments constructive and civil. These are images submitted by your fellow readers who took the time to share their work. Rule #1: Be nice. That’s it, there is no rule #2.



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