Z6 is a big step for Nikon in their imaging journey as this mirrorless camera optimally balances compactness with functionality.
Much has been said about the Nikon brand’s mirrorless camera models, especially its range of Z models. But the one that has marked has been the Z7, a camera with its pros and cons but, above all, at a higher price, and in a complicated position concerning the competition.
Nikon Z6 review
With the Z6, we face a professional camera that, if it does not become the same as the Z7, we can touch it because this camera is almost complete with the image quality and its high definition videos.
The sleek design and lightweight are delivered without comprising optics and speed. That is why we have titled it as an “all-rounder,” and Nikon Z6 has become our favorite!
That is why we now focus on its younger sister, the Z6. Although it may be similar to the Z7, it has its details and differences that make it stand out independently.
Adding the fact that its price is lower, making it the model that many were waiting to decide if Nikon has managed to hit the spot with the cameras without a mirror, or if necessary, wait for another generation of cameras.
Nikon Z6 Compact System Camera features are noteworthy, so let us look at them in detail to know what makes this camera so amazing!
The Nikon’s Z mount is introduced to deliver class-leading image optics and quality and that too, in a compact size. The Z mount, which this Z6 sport is no exception, has unsurpassed quality as it has a 17% larger inner diameter than the F mount.
The Z6 camera frame is composed of a magnesium alloy, which makes this camera ultra-shock resistant, thanks to its durability, which makes it have a great relationship of weight and resistance.
With the new Z mount, everything changes, as it happens with all manufacturers who have made such a decision. The diameter has grown almost 19 mm. This feature will be well received or not, depending on the user.
Apart from looking enormous in the new body, it will favor creating new lens designs thanks to this diameter and the proximity of the lens to the sensor. It is something they insist on a lot in advertising.
This enables the usage of more advanced optics and designs. For compactness, the camera’s size and lens have been reduced by featuring a 65% shorter flange distance.
If there is anything negative to highlight in the design, it is the Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 zoom locking system. It will be very safe, but the turn to unlock is hard and slow. And many would prefer the screen to be tiltable sideways and rotatable, but it’s a matter of taste.
The truth, many consider that it is safer for photography.
Nikon z6 sensor
Then this camera has an exceptional sensor. The 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor it is equipped with is perfect for all-around shooting and is impressive even in low-light quality. It also has fast readout speeds so that continuous shooting and time-lapse recording can be conducted.
Thanks to an AF algorithm optimized for the FX-format sensor, the Z6 automatically switches between focal length phase-detection AF and contrast-detection AF to focus precisely. Phase detection pixels for light protection are carefully positioned on the sensor to conserve light, ensuring accurate AF even in dim lighting, making this an excellent autofocus hybrid system.
Autofocus for eye detection is one of the most powerful tools for capturing portraits. They track and fix focus on the subject’s eye, not only with single AF mode but also with continuous AF mode, which is especially useful when changing his pose.
Eye Detection AF is also capable of intelligently recognizing the eyes of various people in the frame, giving you the freedom to choose which person and eye to focus on, and can even stay locked in eyes that are partially or temporarily obstructed.
The sensor also has a back-illuminated design that affords noticeably cleaner high-sensitivity output and reduces noise when shooting high ISO values and vivid and smooth quality at low ISO values.
From the first moment, since you look at the image on the Z6’s LCD screen, you can appreciate the detail and quality of the photograph to obtain. When you get a focused picture, you can see every aspect of the hair, the branches, or what you have photographed. And that with a zoom lens. I don’t even want to imagine what it will look like when you attach a premium lens to it.
Expeed image processor
Complementing the sensor is the apt EXPEED 6 image processor that provides the camera with a wealth of speed, giving it the ability to shoot continuously at 12 fps in raw.
The camera’s ISO offers a noise containment level, which is contained up to 12800 ISO. Even higher levels of noise reduction can be achieved by using software on the computer. The dynamic range, the representation of light and shadow, is perfect.
Moving on to shooting videos, this camera is good at it as well. It has 4K (3840 x 2160) UHD Video Recording, which perfectly utilizes sensor and processor attributes. This is what makes Z 6 a more-than-capable multimedia camera.
The Nikon Z6 delivers a full-format, 24-megapixel CMOS. Offering an excellent image in terms of color and detail, along with an outstanding performance in high sensitivities (up to 25,600 ISO without problem).
A dynamic range that is more than correct; in other words, it has various benefits. Without being the best on the market, this camera offers a very balanced performance.
Video recording is available using either the full-frame or a DX crop area in 30p, 25, or 24p frame rates. For slow-motion playback, full HD 1080p video recording is also provided at up to 120p.
The fact that the camera has a more than moderate resolution sensor since it only allows you to squeeze a little more sensitivity and offer faster bursts. Thus, the Z6 achieves a kind of record with its 12 frames per second, although it is a figure that must be put a few nuances.
Furthermore, these video files can be saved to both the in-camera memory cards and an optional external recorder. This camera also sports advanced video functionalities such as the N-Log gamma, which maximizes dynamic range when capturing flat-looking footage.
Regarding the buttons’ subject, how not configurable and customizable, the feeling is the same for those who had a Nikon equipment. This model does not take long to get the full potential, and this is something to be grateful for. Check if you want other opinions.
More additions include an Electronic VR function for smooth handheld shooting and output high-quality 10-bit data via HDMI. The video mode also has focus peaking, which can be used to enhance manual focus control.
With the Nikon Z6, you can shoot 4K UHD / 30p 16: 9 full-frame video at the full width and resolution of the camera’s backlight sensor. In addition to having a whole pixel, a sharper 4K recording with rich information equivalent to 6K to achieve this way.
It also has a Zebra Stripes option, which helps to detect over-exposed areas. The audio recording is done either using the built-in stereo microphone or via an optional external mic connected through the 3.5mm stereo jack.
Easy to control
The controls are where they need to be. There are some aesthetic adjustments, with a good mode wheel lock and a readable display. As for the buttons, we can find the classic AF-ON, and next to it is the Display button.
Below we have the button to delete files, increase in images, and there are also the directional arrows to move in the camera settings and the Ok button.
Furthermore, there is an array of 273 phase-detect autofocus points on the sensor, covering 90% of the image area.
This leads to accurate and quick focusing on both images and video and provides a wide coverage area.
It also has Hybrid AF for video, so that the camera automatically switches between phase- and contrast-detect systems and results in smooth focus throughout the shooting.
This camera lens is also optimized for silent operation, and the sensor has a shift Vibration Reduction mechanism for up to 5 stops.
The display is also on point as this camera has a large 3.2″ 2.1m-dot LCD screen, which results in bright and clear image playback and provides a vivid live view of the shooting.
The screen is designed in a tilting manner so that both high and low angles can be captured.
Moreover, it has a touchscreen interface that leads to more intuitive operation, control, and navigation. Then there is a 3.6m-dot electronic finder, which delivers comfortable eye-level viewing.
It comes with a 0.80x magnification and uses NIKKOR optics so that a sharp and clear image is guaranteed.
The finder is also covered with a Fluorine coat, making it easier to clean. The camera’s top panel is configured with a dot-matrix OLED, which requires low-energy and immediate access to vital camera settings.
Coming on to the construction, the body is robust as it is made from magnesium alloy. The chassis is dust-resistant as well as weather-resistant. This enables it to work correctly in harsh climates and enhances durability.
The grip and overall shape are ergonomically designed to benefit safe and comfortable handling for more extended periods.
Additionally, it is accentuated by anti-slip materials to securely hold and also sports a joystick for focus point selection and seamless settings.
It is also perfect for transfers and communication as it has Built-in SnapBridge connectivity, leading to seamless transfer of images and remote shooting capabilities.
The Bluetooth Low Energy, along with Wi-Fi, makes communication a lot easier as now the camera can be paired with a smart device that will make working from a distance possible.
It comes with an XQD memory card slot that is compatible with CFexpress to enable quicker saving of images and supporting future media.
Moreover, the battery life is also spectacular, and the EN-EL15b rechargeable lithium-ion battery that comes with it can provide approx—three hundred ten shots in one charge.
The best thing is that the in-camera charge is also supported. So this camera is an all-rounder, and it leaves nothing to be desired.
- 273-Point Phase-Detect AF System
- 4K UHD Video Recording
- Built-in SnapBridge connectivity
- Ergonomic grip
- Dust- and weather-resistant
- 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction mechanism
- Advanced video functionalities
In the Box:
- Nikon Z 6 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
- MH-25A Battery Charger for EN-EL15 Li-Ion Battery
- HDMI/USB Cable Clip
- UC-E24 USB Cable
- BS-1 Hot-Shoe Cover
- DK-29 Rubber Eyecup
- AN-DC19 Camera Strap
- BF-N1 Body Cap
- Limited 1-Year Warranty
For more details about Z6, here’s a YouTube video by Henry’s Camera:
Nikon Z6 Specifications:
- Lens Mount: Nikon Z
- Camera Format: Full-Frame
- Actual Pixels: 25.28 Megapixel
- Effective Pixels: 24.5 Megapixel
- Max Resolution: 6000 x 4000
- Aspect Ratio: 1:1, 3:2
- Sensor Size: 35.9 x 23.9 mm
- Sensor Type: CMOS
- Image File Format: JPEG, RAW
- Bit Depth: 14-Bit
- ISO Sensitivity Auto: 100 to 51200
- Extended ISO Sensitivity: 50 to 204800)
- Shutter Speed: 1/8000 to 30 Seconds
- Metering Method: Center-Weighted Average, Spot, Matrix, Highlight Weighted
- Metering Range: -4 to 17 EV
- Exposure Modes: Aperture Priority, Manual, Auto, Program, Shutter Priority
- Exposure Compensation: -5 to +5 EV (1/3, 1/2 EV Steps)
- Continuous Shooting: 24.5 MP at up to 12 fps
- Interval Recording: Yes
- Recording Modes: MOV/MP4/H.264
- Recording Limit: Max 29 Minutes and 59 Seconds
- Audio Recording: Built-In Microphone
- Focus Type: Auto and Manual Focus
- Phase Detection: 273
- Viewfinder Type: Electronic
- Viewfinder Resolution: 3,690,000 Dot
- Viewfinder Size: 0.5″
- Viewfinder Eye Point: 21 mm
- Viewfinder Magnification: Approx. 0.8x
- Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
- Diopter Adjustment: -4 to +2
- Monitor Resolution: 2,100,000 Dot
- Monitor Size: 3.2.”
- Monitor Type: Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- Built-in Flash: None
- Maximum Sync Speed: 1/200 Second
- Dedicated Flash System: iTTL
- Flash Compensation: -3 to +1 EV
- External Flash Connection: Hot Shoe
- Memory Card Slot: 1 x XQD
- Internal Memory: No
- GPS: No
- Temperature: 0 to 40°C / 32 to 104°F
- Operating Humidity: 0 to 85%
- Battery: 1 x EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
- Dimensions: 5.3 x 4 x 2.7″ / 134 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm (W x H x D)
- Weight Body Only: 1.29 lb. / 585 g
If you are looking for a camera with versatile features, this is surely the best one for you. Nikon has surpassed all other brands by creating this beautiful piece of equipment that has optimal characteristics. From design to performance, nothing will disappoint you.
Nikon Z6 is indeed a great camera. It is excellent if we consider that this is the first generation of a new mirrorless camera model.
At this point is where the question falls again, is it worth buying the Z6? And the answer is yes for those Nikon users interested in leaping into the world of mirrorless cameras.
So invest in this camera if you want the best value for your money in the compact range!