Nikon Z6 hands on review

    Whereas the Nikon Z7 may be grabbing all of the headlines, Nikon’s different new full-frame mirrorless digital camera, the Z6, is probably going to have the broader attraction, particularly amongst fanatic photographers.

    Nikon is adopting a two-pronged technique much like that employed by Sony when it launched the unique Alpha A7R and A7. The Nikon Z6 and Z7 share the identical design and a pretty-much an identical spec sheet, with three notable variations – decision, autofocus and burst capturing pace – and with the Z6 marketed as extra of an all-round digital camera in comparison with the high-resolution Z7. 

    We obtained our fingers on a pre-launch mannequin to see if all of the fuss has been value it. 

    Nikon Z6: options

    • 24.5MP full-frame CMOS sensor
    • All-new lens mount
    • 5-axis in-body picture stabilization

    Whereas the 45.7MP Z7 is Nikon’s high-resolution mirrorless providing, the Z6 encompasses a back-illuminated 24.5MP full-frame sensor with a local ISO vary operating from ISO100 to 51,200.

    Just like the Z7 the Z6 options Nikon’s new Z mount, with Nikon having dropped its long-established F mount for its new full-frame mirrorless cameras. The mount opening is 11mm wider than the F mount at 55mm, whereas the flange focal distance (the gap between the rear lens factor and the sensor) is 16mm.

    Nikon believes the bigger design and quick flange distance will allow its lens engineers to design optics that surpass present F mount designs and take advantage of the full-frame sensor, permitting mild to simply attain all the way in which to the corners of the body. 

    Launching with the Z6 and Z7 are the primary three lenses in Nikon’s new S-Line vary: a 24-70mm f/four normal zoom, a 35mm f/1.eight wide-angle prime and a 50mm f/1.eight normal prime. The brand new mount diameter additionally permits for lenses with most apertures as quick as f/Zero.95, with a high-end handbook focus 58mm f/Zero.95 prime on Nikon’s roadmap. 

    For present Nikon customers who need to make the swap to the brand new mirrorless cameras, or who wish to shoot with one alongside their Nikon DSLR package, there is a new FTZ Mount Adapter that will likely be appropriate with roughly 360 Nikon lenses, and can help the Z6’s full AF pace with over 90 lenses.

    Nikon Z6 specs

    Sensor: 24.5MP full-frame back-illuminated CMOS

    Lens mount: Nikon Z mount

    Display: three.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots

    Burst capturing: 12fps

    Autofocus: 273-point AF

    Video: 4K

    Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

    Battery life:  310 photographs

    Weight: 675g with battery and reminiscence card

    The Nikon Z6 encompasses a Zero.5-inch three.6-million dot Quad-VGA digital viewfinder (EVF) with a formidable magnification of Zero.80x, which edges out the Sony Alpha A7 III’s 2.36-million dot and Zero.78x show. The Z6 additionally makes use of Nikon’s personal optics, that are alleged to ship even larger readability, whereas the EVF has a quick show charge of as much as 60p. 

    Supplementing it is a giant three.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen with a 2,100,000-dot decision, whereas the Z6 additionally advantages from a compact prime plate LCD displaying key capturing data.

    Whereas Nikon’s DSLRs use a lens-based picture stabilization system (which Nikon calls Vibration Discount), for its new mirrorless cameras it is opted for an in-camera system, with the Z6 that includes a 5-axis system that gives as much as 5 stops of compensation. For these wanting to make use of their F-mount VR lenses on the Z6 through the mount MTZ adapter, the digital camera’s built-in VR system will modify itself to help the lens-based system. 

    There’s additionally an digital Vibration Discount system (often known as E-VR) designed to cut back the affect of digital camera shake when capturing motion pictures handheld; talking of which, the Nikon Z6 can shoot 4K UHD video as much as 30p, whereas there’s additionally the choice to shoot Full HD video in 60p and 120p slow-motion footage in HD format. 

    Disappointingly Nikon solely quotes a 310-shot battery life, 400 photographs down on the Alpha A7 III’s 710 shot

    Like a number of different current Nikon cameras, the Z6 options the corporate’s pretty clunky SnapBridge picture switch system. This makes use of a low-energy Bluetooth connection between the digital camera and your sensible gadget (through the free app), with photographs downscaled to 2MP and transferred from digital camera to gadget as you shoot. In the event you’d relatively get your fingers on the high-res photographs, you’ll be able to individually choose them in-camera, with a Wi-Fi connection established in case you go for this methodology. Alternatively, the Z6 will provide an open Wi-Fi connection if you wish to sidestep SnapBridge. 

    Whilst you would possibly anticipate finding a few SD card slots on the Z6, Nikon has opted for a single XQD slot. That is fairly a courageous transfer contemplating the restricted availability of XQD playing cards, with simply Sony variations presently obtainable (though now that Lexar is again as much as full manufacturing we may see its vary of playing cards make a comeback). The efficiency benefits are clear although, and Nikon’s hope is that when CFExpress playing cards (primarily an replace to the XQD reminiscence card, and with extra producer help) grow to be extra extensively obtainable, this would be the extra future-proof answer. 

    The Nikon Z6 will get a brand new rechargeable Li-ion battery, the EN-EL15b, however the digital camera can be appropriate with the EN-EL15a battery used within the likes of the D850; nevertheless in contrast to the older unit the EN-EL15b helps USB charging. Disappointingly Nikon solely quotes a 310-shot battery life, 400 photographs down on the Alpha A7 III‘s 710 photographs; apparently in real-world use you are extra more likely to get round 600 photographs, however we’ll need to put that to the take a look at ourselves.

    Nikon Z6: construct and dealing with

    • Similar stage of climate sealing because the D850
    • Giant and cozy handgrip
    • Acquainted management structure

    Whereas some standout Nikon DSLRs, just like the D4 and D800, have been penned by design company Italdesign, the Z6 does not fairly hit these heights, sporting a extra practical look. 

    It isn’t about how the digital camera appears to be like although, and the design means it suits properly within the hand while you decide it up because of the massive and cozy handgrip. For these considering of swapping from their Nikon DSLRs, the transition to the Z6 ought to be seamless because of the acquainted controls and button placement, whereas Nikon claims the Z6 has the identical stage of climate sealing because the D850.

    The identical goes for the Z6’s person interface, which gives a design and navigation that will likely be acquainted to customers of Nikon’s present vary of DSLRs, with the assorted sub-menus operating alongside the left-hand aspect of the show.

    Nikon Z6: autofocus

    • 273-point AF system
    • 90% picture protection
    • Hybrid AF system

    The autofocus system is without doubt one of the key areas the place the Z6 and Z7 half firm. Whereas the Z7 encompasses a 493-point phase-detect hybrid autofocus system, the Z6 encompasses a barely extra modest (however nonetheless spectacular) 273-point phase-detect hybrid system. 

    Protection is throughout 90% of the body, which considered in isolation appears to be like to be very complete, but it surely’s barely missing in contrast with the Sony Alpha A7 III’s 693-point AF system, which gives 93% protection. 

    The Z6’s Single AF mode encompasses a alternative of Auto-area, Broad-Space (with both small or giant focusing areas) and Single-point modes, or Pin-point if you wish to be actually exact along with your focusing. 

    Swap over to Steady AF mode on the Z6 and there is now an extra Dynamic AF focusing mode. Primarily used for focus monitoring, you’ll be able to tailor what number of extra factors help the lively AF level, whereas you too can modify the monitoring sensitivity and different focusing parameters. 

    Nikon Z6: efficiency

    • 11fps burst capturing pace
    • EVF is giant and shiny
    • Touchscreen works effectively

    Together with decision and focusing, the opposite key distinction between the Z7 and Z6 is the burst capturing pace. Whereas the Z7 is able to 9fps, the Z6 is that bit faster at 11fps – that is additionally a contact faster than the Alpha A7 III’s 10fps. That is thanks partially to the digital camera’s diminished pixel depend in comparison with its high-res sibling.

    Need to shoot silently? No downside: the Z6 has a quiet capturing mode that sees an digital shutter take over from the Z6’s mechanical shutter for silent stills seize. 

    In the event you’re making your first foray into utilizing an digital viewfinder (EVF), shifting from an optical unit on a DSLR, any considerations you may need will likely be rapidly dispelled. The EVF is giant and shiny and delivers an extremely crisp show, whereas the quick refresh charge of 60p means the picture is sweet and easy.   

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    The Z6’s three.2-inch tilt-angle show is a contact greater than the A7’s three.Zero-inch show, whereas the upper decision supplied by the Z6’s display (2.1m versus 920Ok dots), means the readability and sharpness are that bit higher. 

    Nikon has additionally built-in a a lot wider diploma of touchscreen management on the Z6 in comparison with Sony’s A7 III. Whereas on the A7 III contact management is proscribed to focus choice, triggering the shutter (by tapping the display) and reviewing photographs, the Z6 additionally gives management over navigation of the menu and settings.  

    Nikon Z6: early verdict

    Our preliminary impressions of the Nikon Z6 are very constructive. The adoption of a brand new lens mount is a giant transfer for Nikon, but it surely ought to pay dividends when it comes to improved optical efficiency, whereas the non-obligatory FTZ mount adapter ensures that you simply’re not essentially ranging from scratch in case you’ve already invested in a variety of Nikon glass. 

    As we felt with the Z7, the largest situation we are able to see with this digital camera is the one XQD card slot; in any other case the Z6 is a feature-packed, and, primarily based on our quick time with it, refined digital camera that delivers very sturdy efficiency. 

    With some powerful competitors from Sony’s Alpha A7 III, the Nikon Z6 must ship the products, and primarily based on our time with the digital camera it appears to be like like Sony is not going to have all of it its personal approach within the high-end mirrorless marketplace for for much longer.


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    Sony Alpha A7 III

    In the identical approach that the Nikon Z7’s chief rival is more likely to be the Alpha A7R III, maybe the digital camera the Nikon Z6 will likely be in comparison with essentially the most is the Alpha A7 III. Sony’s sensible full-frame all-rounder encompasses a wonderful 24.2MP sensor, a complicated 693-point AF system and 10fps burst capturing.

    Learn our in-depth Sony Alpha A7 III

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    Canon EOS 6D Mark II

    Canon’s enthusiast-focused full-frame DSLR is a strong performer, however it will possibly’t sustain with the Z6 or Alpha A7 III within the efficiency stakes, with a modest 6.5fps burst capturing pace and conservative 45-point AF system. 

    Learn our in-depth Canon EOS 6D Mark II

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