Nikon Z 6 Vs. Nikon D780 | Digital Trends

    While some have been calling for the loss of life of the DSLR for years, it’s nonetheless right here. The D780 is the newest proof of Nikon’s dedication to permit the D-series to coexist with its mirrorless Z-series. It is, basically, a Z 6 in new garments, full of the identical 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, Expeed 6 processor, and most of the identical options. It is Nikon’s first DSLR to have  mirrorless tech, like on-chip phase-detection autofocus.
    But the 2 cameras are additionally utterly completely different, and every will be higher for particular sorts of pictures. So which is healthier? That is dependent upon how it’s good to use it.
    Key variations
    Nikon Z 6
    Full-frame mirrorless, Z mount
    Electronic viewfinder, 3.69-million-dot decision
    Single XQD/CFexpress reminiscence card slot
    310-shot battery life
    Nikon D780
    Full-frame DSLR, F mount
    Optical viewfinder
    Dual SD reminiscence card slots
    2,260-shot battery life (utilizing viewfinder)

    Shot on the Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis / Digital Trends

    Shot on the Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    Images from the Nikon Z 6 and D780 will probably be just about equivalent as a result of they each share a 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor. While there will probably be some variations due to lenses and picture stabilization (extra on each of these items later), photos from each cameras are glorious. High ISO efficiency is especially spectacular, providing low noise ranges in low gentle conditions.

    Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    Without a mirror to carry, the Z 6 simply outpaces the D780 by way of burst pace — type of. The mirrorless digicam boasts a 12-fps burst pace with steady autofocus, however don’t neglect the nice print. If you want stay view, that tempo drops all the way down to 5.5 fps.
    At full decision, the Nikon D780 tops out at 7 fps when utilizing the optical viewfinder. While slower than the Z 6’s high pace, the optical viewfinder has no drawback maintaining in actual time, not like the Z 6’s digital viewfinder. Also, the D780’s pace will be elevated to 12 fps when in stay view and utilizing the digital shutter, however when you’re taking pictures RAW, you’ll should make do with 12-bit as an alternative of 14-bit high quality.
    The DSLR additionally has a bigger buffer, in a position to retailer 68 RAW pictures in comparison with the Z 6’s 15-shot buffer primarily based on our real-world testing. The Z 6 ought to clear pictures rapidly, although, due to its sooner XQD or CFexpress reminiscence card.

    Shot on Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Shot on Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    The Z 6 makes use of a 273-point hybrid contrast- and phase-detection autofocus system. It locked on rapidly in most scenes, and we had no drawback utilizing the Z 6 to {photograph} motion, like birds in flight.
    But, we did have an issue focusing rapidly in low gentle scenes — and that’s the place the DSLR remains to be king, no less than for Nikon. On paper, the Z 6’s AF is delicate all the way down to -3.5 EV, the D780 solely to -3. Both cameras can go even dimmer in a particular low gentle mode, the Z 6 to -6 EV and the D780 to -5.5 (which needs to be utilized in stay view).
    In our real-world testing, nevertheless, the D780’s 51-point viewfinder AF system carried out higher in darker scenes. We have been additionally in a position to get an help from the AF grid projected by a Nikon flash, one thing not suitable with mirrorless focusing programs. It additionally did a wonderful job in 3D Tracking mode of staying locked on to a transferring topic, one thing the mirrorless Z 6 has a bit extra bother with.
    However, that viewfinder AF system doesn’t provide practically as a lot protection because the Z 6’s AF, with all of its factors clustered comparatively near the middle of the body. But, because it makes use of the identical sensor, the D780 additionally has the Z 6’s autofocus system, full with 273 factors and eye-detection. However, it is just accessible in stay view and subsequently not via the optical viewfinder.
    The D780, then, behaves like two completely different cameras relying on whether or not you body your shot on the optical viewfinder or the LCD display. The Z 6, nevertheless, performs precisely the identical wither means. That’s a bit complicated, particularly for novice photographers, but it surely does imply the D780 will get each the most effective of the mirrorless world and the low gentle and monitoring advantages of a DSLR’s devoted AF module.

    Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    The Z 6 was Nikon’s first digicam to include in-body picture stabilization, with a 5-axis gimbal that does an incredible job of decreasing blur from shaky arms. While Nikon has many optically stabilized lenses for its DSLRs, sensor-based stabilization means even non-stabilized lenses are, basically, stabilized — even DSLR lenses tailored to mirrorless. This is especially nice for hard-t0-hold lenses just like the beast that’s the Nikkor 105mm f/1.4.
    This is an enormous benefit over the D780, which relies upon solely on lens-based stabilization. It doesn’t simply enable for slower shutter speeds with out blur, but in addition makes taking pictures easy video a lot simpler. Aside from measurement, the Z 6’s stabilized sensor might be the most important motive to go for the mirrorless digicam over the D780.

    Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    The Z 6 was arguably Nikon’s first digicam to completely embrace a hybrid nonetheless/video position. Nikon made a critical step ahead with video capabilities by including a logarithmic coloration profile known as N-Log (which is helpful for preserving extra dynamic vary in video, however requires coloration correction in publish) and 10-bit output utilizing an exterior recorder. It shoots 4K video from the full-width of the sensor, the place many different cameras on the time shot 4K from a crop.
    But, thanks once more to utilizing identical sensor and processor, the D780 brings all of these video options to a DSLR. It’s among the best DSLRs for video — actually the most effective from Nikon.
    However, DSLRs don’t make a variety of sense for video if that’s your most important objective. The Z 6’s digital viewfinder and sensor-shift stabilization give it an enormous edge, whereas the D780’s optical viewfinder is ineffective for video. The Z 6 additionally has an non-compulsory firmware improve to unlock RAW video, one thing that solely a small variety of professional clients will probably benefit from, but it surely’s an fascinating function nonetheless.

    Nikon Z 6 Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Nikon D780 Daven Mathies/Digital Trends

    As a mirrorless digicam, the Z 6 is significantly smaller and lighter, making it simpler to hold with you. The physique nonetheless feels each bit a Nikon, with the identical high-quality construct and an honest quantity of bodily controls — though not as many as you’ll discover on a DSLR.
    The key distinction between a DSLR and a mirrorless digicam is the viewfinder. The Z 6’s digital viewfinder (EVF) is superb, providing 100% body protection and 3.69-million-pixel decision. As a DSLR, the D780 makes use of an optical viewfinder (OVF). An OVF, which reveals you a mirrored picture straight from the lens, is lag-free. An EVF, by displaying a picture from the sensor, can present an publicity preview so you’ll be able to see what a picture will appear to be earlier than you shoot it, and in addition permits for instruments like focus peaking and eye AF.
    While some great benefits of an EVF are many, many photographers nonetheless favor an OVF. It additionally has one key benefit. Because it attracts just about no energy, battery life is many instances higher on a DSLR than a mirrorless digicam. The Z 6 and D780 use the identical battery, however mirrorless digicam is rated for simply 310 exposures per cost in comparison with 2,260 for the DSLR.
    Nikon made the fascinating selection to make use of newer XQD or CFexpress reminiscence playing cards on the Z 6, whereas the D780 makes use of the longtime customary SD playing cards — however it will possibly maintain two of them, whereas the Z 6 has a single card slot.
    On a smaller be aware, the D780 sadly lacks an AF joystick, one thing on the Z 6 that makes choosing a spotlight level really feel extra speedy and ergonomic.

    Nikon Z-mount lens

    Nikon F-mount lens Hillary Grigonis/Digital Trends

    Nikon has been making F-mount lenses for its DSLRs for many years. When native lenses, there are actually extra for the D780 than the Z 6, and throughout a greater variety of costs, too.
    But, the  Z 6 can use F-mount lenses with an adapter, no less than the fashionable AF-S selection, so that you’re solely lacking out on entry to older F-mount glass. And whereas there aren’t as many native Z-mount lenses (but), those which can be accessible are superb. Thanks partially to the broader mount and shorter flange distance, Z lenses are extremely sharp (and apertures as large as f/0.95 are supported, not that you can afford it).
    While bigger, costlier lenses can be found, for essentially the most half Nikon’s Z lens technique has been about discovering a steadiness in high quality and measurement. It provides quite a lot of f/1.8 primes and f/4 zooms that make sense for a compact mirrorless physique whereas nonetheless providing glorious optical efficiency. Every Z lens we’ve examined (which is sort of all of them) has been exceptionally sharp, even when shot large open.
    Which is best for you?
    The mirrorless age has arrived. These compact digicam programs provide extra options in smaller our bodies, and solely miss out on a handful of options present in DSLRs. The Nikon Z 6 has stabilization, spectacular pace, glorious design, and sharp lenses. The D780 could win out in fewer classes, however in some main options with higher low gentle autofocus and longer battery life.
    The Nikon Z 6 is the most suitable choice for many photographers (particularly contemplating its lower cost). The Z 6 is the digicam that we’d choose up for journey, portraits, road pictures, or video.
    The Nikon D780 is the digicam that we’d select for weddings and occasions, or any state of affairs with low gentle, quick motion, or which requires all-day battery life. And as uncommon as card failures are, that second SD card provides some peace of thoughts for these most essential recollections.
    Bottom line
    Buy the Nikon D780 when you shoot a variety of sports activities or stay occasions. Buy the Nikon Z 6 for absolutely anything else, however particularly for portraiture or video the place its digital viewfinder makes an enormous distinction.

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