Nikon Z 6 evaluation

May 30, 2019 By Lisa

Nikon Z 6 evaluation

The Nikon Z 7 was actually the star of the present when Nikon launched the Z sequence with out mirror, however there was one other digital camera sitting subsequent to the projector: the Z 6. Just a little brother of the Z 7, the total sensor pack Z 6 body in much less megapixel (24.5 versus 45.7), however the capturing velocity and ISO sensitivity are elevated. In fact, the Z 7 has attracted all the eye as a result of it was the primary to be marketed, however the Z 6, which is in any other case an identical in virtually each respect, is definitely probably the most accessible and probably the most versatile of the 2.

Mix this sooner velocity and the upper ISO vary with a $ 2,000 worth (physique solely) and plenty of photographers will discover the Z6 to be your best option. Whereas the Z 7 continues to be recent in our minds, Nikon has invited us to spend many of the week catching all the things from birds with trendy portraits to the Z6 in Orlando, Florida. (Editor's Be aware: Digital Tendencies was a part of a Nikon-invited media group to check Z6, however our opinion stays ours.)

The Z 7 will not be the one digital camera with which the Z 6 has to share the identical projector: the Nikon identify on the entrance and the pink swoosh on the deal with are primarily based on many years of excellent digital SLRs. However in several methods, the Z 6 simply removes digital SLRs at comparable firm costs. The superb physique picture stabilization has by no means been seen as a Nikon DSLR, and the quick burst fee of 12 frames per second has positioned it on the territory of the mighty D5 (and far more costly), effectively above the Z 7. 9 frames per second. And all this in a lightweight and waterproof physique.

However in different respects, the younger Z 6 nonetheless has lots to do. The autofocus system, though higher than anticipated, couldn’t fairly match our trusty digital SLR in probably the most difficult low gentle situations. The battery life will not be as sturdy and the one XQD reminiscence card slot might be a ache level for some photographers. However, the Z 6 provides extra options in a smaller bundle and is a wonderful digital camera for a lot of totally different makes use of. For the reason that launch, Nikon has solved these issues with new firmware, together with firmware, which provides auto focus with auto focus detection and will increase the sensitivity of autofocus in low gentle.

Design and manipulation: a quasi-clone of Z 7

Resuming the Z 6 shortly after dealing with the Z 7 resulted in a severe case of déjà vu. The design of the 2 cameras is nearly an identical, with the identical dimension and the identical management scheme. Just like the Z 7, the Z 6 doesn’t have as a lot area for bodily drives as a DSLR, however typically, the digital camera gives a straightforward transition for current Nikon customers.

Just like the Nikon full body DSLRs and the high-end APS-C choices, the highest of the Z 6 has a secondary show with important capturing info. Though its show will not be as large as that of a DSLR, it nonetheless shows the publicity settings, the battery life, the remaining area on the XQD card and d & # 39; Different essential info. (Photographers touring from a Nikon SLR could discover the absence of a lightweight meter in addition to the lacking measurement mode icon.)

Close to this secondary show, on the prime of the deal with, is a command board acquainted to anybody who makes use of a Nikon digital SLR – two command dials and a shutter button surrounded by the on / off change. There’s a recording button devoted to the video close to the shutter, in addition to an ISO button. On the different finish of the digital camera is a mode change, which can sound a bit of misplaced for these accustomed to Nikon professional-level digital SLRs, however it is usually discovered on the Z7.

Extra feedback Nikon

Though the digital camera has devoted controls in comparison with a digital SLR, it provides two customizable buttons on the entrance between the lens mount and the grip. We used them to set the white stability and autofocus mode, however different choices may be higher for you. The buttons work with each management knobs. For instance, when set to manage autofocus, the entrance command dial adjusts the main target space mode, whereas the rear command dial switches from single to steady auto focus. .

The again of the digital camera is basically occupied by the tilting contact display screen. Though there’s a respectable quantity of bodily management for the smallest dimension, the contact display screen has nonetheless been helpful for setting the main target level, scrolling photos, and selecting fast menu choices. . A sequence of buttons, for primary settings and navigation capabilities, are positioned on the prime proper of the display screen. Just like the D850 and the Z7, the Z6 has a joystick to maneuver the AF level, which additionally serves as an automated publicity lock button.

The digital camera menu might be acquainted to any Nikon DSLR shooter. The "i" menu may also be custom-made to retailer probably the most used choices based on your capturing fashion. As with Nikon DSLRs, there are additionally consumer setting places on the mode dial and a customized menu.

Hillary Grigonis / Digital Tendencies

The three.69 million dot viewfinder is among the finest elements of the Z 6. Though EVF filters have drawbacks in comparison with optical viewfinders, comparable to the extra depletion of the battery, there may be sufficient benefits to cancel them. Not like an OVF format, the digital viewfinder shows an correct preview of the picture, together with publicity and white stability, which is a superb software for novices, but in addition for knowledgeable shooters.

When publicity preview is on, the EVF will show an correct picture as much as about +/- Three EV in all auto publicity modes. Past that, the show was not indicated exactly. Nonetheless, in guide publicity, the viewfinder continued to show correct publicity, even when the picture was absolutely hidden or fully black.

We discovered that the efficiency of the Nikon Z 6 was no less than 90% similar to that of a high-end digital SLR.

The thinnest a part of the digital camera is lower than an inch deep, however its grip is similar to that of a digital SLR and the protrusion of the EVF viewfinder makes the physique a bit of bit extra nice than what you possibly can anticipate for a mirrorless digital camera. However, it is going to take up much less area in a digital camera bag than an all-in-one entry-level SLR, just like the D610, however not dramatically.

The Z 6, just like the Z 7, is definitely thinner than most tripod fast launch plates. This poses an issue when utilizing the FTZ lens adapter, because the plate could stop the adapter from being mounted on the digital camera. Photograph. (The FTZ Lens Adapter means that you can use Nikon F-mount DSLRs on Z-series cameras). Luckily, the adapter itself is mounted on a tripod, but it surely might be a bit tedious for those who change between native and tailored lenses throughout a capturing, which might require you to always transfer the short launch plate.

The smaller dimension conceals the load. There may be solely a distinction of about 6 ounces in comparison with a full body DSLR just like the D610. However the digital camera was straightforward to hold and, with a Z-mount lens, straightforward to shoot for lengthy intervals. A weight distinction of 6 ounces could not appear important on paper, but it surely makes a distinction in apply. Taking pictures with a Z 7 was similar to capturing with an APS-C digital SLR.

Hillary Grigonis / Digital Tendencies

Nikon signifies that the Z 6 has the identical degree of tightness because the Z 7, that’s to say, it is extremely good. We shot within the rain with the Z 7 with none drawback and shot with the Z 6 within the thick snow with none drawback.

Nikon evaluates the battery Z 6 to 300 pictures, however as typically, it’s a flagrant underestimate. We took 1,000 photos earlier than having to show off the battery. In fact, a lot of them had been in burst mode – you’ll not get as a lot for those who evaluation the photographs incessantly or for those who immerse your self within the menu between the photographs. Battery efficiency varies relying on the settings and the way you utilize the digital camera. Relying on the digital viewfinder will mop it up sooner than for those who solely use the LCD display screen.

Though the design of the Z 6 is stable, we’d have regretted that Nikon may combine an extra reminiscence card slot. Tilting the tripod fast mount plate from the underside of the digital camera to the adapter when switching to a conventional lens was additionally a bit of annoying. Nonetheless, except for these small points, the design is superb for a primary technology product and ergonomics is among the many finest we've ever used with a mirrorless digital camera.

Stabilized sensor

To say that we had been impressed by the stabilization of the 5-axis sensor change is a euphemism. Don’t forget that earlier than the Z sequence, Nikon had by no means made a built-in physique stabilization, however the Z 6's system is nearly as good as every other Sony Alpha digital camera, with as much as 20% of the time. At 5 stops from shake discount. We took sharp images at a shutter velocity as gradual as 1/Eight of a second by inserting our elbows on a railing and at 1/20 of a second, with none help.

Shot at 1/20 with a lens of 85 mm Hillary Grigonis / Digital Tendencies

Nonetheless, the advantages of inner physique stabilization transcend easy handheld pictures and work with native Z lenses and F-mount lenses. With the heavy Nikkor 105mm f / 1.Four lens, an unstabilized lens, we extra typically fought directional blur when capturing on a Nikon SLR at 1/100 of a second. Nonetheless, on the stabilized Z 6 it was straightforward to get correct outcomes even at 1/60 of a second. Stabilization can be an excellent assist when capturing video.

Brilliant efficiency

Mirrorless cameras have been competing in DSLR picture high quality since Sony launched the primary Full Body A7 in 2013, however many DSLR purists are usually reluctant to modify programs on account of disparate efficiency. . Based mostly on our real-world assessments to this point, we discovered that Z 6's efficiency was no less than 90% similar to a DSLR.

The Z 6's autofocus will not be good, but it surely reveals a transparent enchancment over autofocus with Reside View on Nikon DSLRs.

The digital camera is quick. The burst velocity of 12 frames per second is supplied with a fantastic print – dwell viewing is off – however, impressively, steady auto focus is on the market. If you happen to want dwell view, you’ll need to decrease it to five.5 fps – however take an image with out the dwell view, the place you see the body shortly after it’s shot, as long as the motion is predictable .

Alternatively, the buffer fills after solely 15 pictures (in RAW) at this most burst fee, however the quick XQD card helps clear the buffer shortly so you can begin a brand new burst quickly after. At decrease steady speeds, you’ll rise up to 40 photos in a single sequence.

Hillary Grigonis / Digital Tendencies

Along with the capturing velocity, autofocus is a noticeable distinction between the Z 6 and the Z 7. The Z 6 makes use of a 273-point autofocus system in comparison with 493 for the Z 7. Much less factors Focusing could imply much less accuracy, however in most eventualities, the Z6 locks shortly to transferring and nonetheless topics and performs very effectively. From portraits to birds in flight, he behaved precisely as one would anticipate a Nikon DSLR to carry out.

Despite the fact that the autofocus system is nice, it's not nice. He does effectively more often than not, however can battle in probably the most troublesome eventualities. In low gentle, low-contrast topics turn into troublesome. On a backlit dance ground, the main target of the Z 6 was longer than that of a cheaper Nikon digital SLR.

Nikon DSLRs are famend for his or her low-light autofocus efficiency. So it's a bit of disappointing to see that the Z sequence is less than this normal. Firmware has improved low-level autofocus detection for Z6 to -Three.5 EV fashions, or -6 EV in particular low-light mode. It's undoubtedly higher than the Z 7 -2 EV.

Though this enhancement is good to see, the replace doesn’t appear to have an effect on autofocus in low gentle. The Z 6 now focuses on the place it couldn’t earlier than, but it surely nonetheless takes a little bit of time to lock the topic. And for those who're capturing transferring topics, this slower efficiency generally is a drawback. Compared, the Nikon D850 can deal with -Four EV and locks quick sufficient to the motion, particularly dancing in a dimly lit reception room, as we present in our assessments. For many photographers, the Z 6 autofocus is completely fantastic, however for a few of the most demanding eventualities with restricted gentle, we nonetheless choose a digital SLR.

Video instance displaying Z6 autofocus capabilities.

Sadly, the Z sequence additionally doesn’t help the autofocus beam on Nikon flashes, which is one other blow to autofocus efficiency in low gentle in comparison with to a digital SLR. Even when the flash will not be required or desired, photographers at all times use one for this help beam, however right here it is not going to allow you to.

The firmware additionally added the auto focus of the attention detection, which follows an analogous theme: good, however not nice. Auto focus makes it straightforward to lock nonetheless topics, but it surely doesn’t observe the transferring topic in actual time. Auto deal with the eyes is activated within the auto focus auto focus mode, which focuses on the topic closest to the digital camera. In scenes with a busy foreground, we discovered that the Z 6 nonetheless typically remained centered on the closest object, reasonably than on the eyes of our topic a bit of additional away.

When the topic's eyes are smaller than an autofocus level, comparable to for complete physique portraits, the autofocus switches to face detection.

Customary steady auto focus works fairly effectively, however the 3D monitoring autofocus – which has lengthy been a core competency for Nikon DSLRs – is lower than sensible. The monitoring is a bit of gradual to observe the topic, and if the topic leaves and returns to the body, the digital camera doesn’t take it. That is good for some topics, but it surely doesn’t appear to supply dependable efficiency, one other essential distinction in comparison with Nikon DSLRs.

For video, the Z sequence provides a steady autofocus choice. Though Nikon DSLRs have AF (AF-F) completely from the D7000, the AF-C choice helps you to select when to focus – the digital camera will solely focusing solely when the shutter button is pressed midway. This lets you observe a transferring topic, however to lock the main target when the topic will not be transferring.

Picture high quality

The Z 7 might be the digital camera for max element, however the Z 6 is the digital camera for low gentle. Fewer megapixels on the sensor imply bigger pixels, which might seize extra gentle and generate much less noise at excessive ISOs. The Z 6 has a few of the finest ISO high-sensitivity photos ever seen by Nikon. The photographs of the nightlife and the fireworks present a stable distinction and a restricted noise.

The Z 6 has a local ISO vary higher than Z 7, reaching 51,200 (the native Z 7 vary exceeds 25,600). On JPEG photos, even at a 100% harvest, it’s troublesome to detect noise at 800 ISO. Noise may be very low at 1600 ISO and ISO 3200 and 6400 are greater than usable. With out processing the digital camera, RAW recordsdata have a bit of extra noise however the grain is definitely processed put up, acquiring glorious outcomes at ISO 6400. Actually, ISO 12 800 has some noise, however we managed to convey the RAW file again to acceptable ranges with picture enhancing software program with out making a horribly toned look. The decrease ISO photos had been actually higher, however ISO 12 800 Z6 is among the finest we've seen.

Examples of images taken on the Nikon Z 6. Hillary Grigonis / Digital Tendencies

The Z 6 additionally provides spectacular colours, trustworthy to the scene, with good pores and skin tones. JPEG recordsdata show glorious shade even when utilizing the default shade profile. RAW recordsdata provide the flexibility we anticipated from a full body digital camera.

Nikon explains that the shorter flange distance of the brand new Z mount makes it simpler to design sharper lenses, and we have now not seen something prefer it. The Z 6 doesn’t have the identical degree of element because the one provided by the Z 7, however the images are nonetheless glorious contemplating its worth and specs. 24 megapixels is sufficient for most individuals and for many topics. The unique Z-mount lenses appear to supply elevated sharpness, whereas the DSLR lenses mounted utilizing an adapter don’t appear to undergo any high quality loss – and typically profit from a great enhance due to the stabilization built-in into the physique.

Video high quality

One of the vital shocking introductions of the Z sequence is the improved video mode, which is extra highly effective than what we have now already seen with Nikon DSLRs. For the primary time, Nikon has included a logarithmic tonal curve (aptly named N-Log to tell apart it from Canon's C-Log and Sony's S-Log) and 10-bit video. The warning is that these high-end options are solely obtainable when recording externally through the HDMI output; internally, the digital camera is proscribed to Eight-bit video and the common assortment of regular shade profiles.

For inner recording, the Sony A7 III – the closest competitor to the Z6 – can be restricted to Eight-bit, however provides S-Log and Hybrid Log Gamma choices and plenty of different choices that may be custom-made. Nonetheless, with an exterior recorder, the Nikon produces higher outcomes as a result of the Sony cannot do 10-bit video, externally or in any other case. We’re actually impressed by the seriousness with which Nikon takes the video along with his mirrorless cameras, particularly with a first-generation mannequin. Sure, Nikon is now making a digital camera that even severe videographers needs to be fairly glad with.

Guarantee info

Nikon provides a one – yr guarantee on all new digital camera circumstances.

Our take

With higher gentle sensitivity, sooner efficiency and cheaper price, the Z6 is totally different from its greater decision counterpart. The picture high quality is superb, the design is strong and comfy, and the built-in stabilization offers Nikon's F-mount lenses a brand new enhance with the FTZ adapter. Autofocus will not be fairly nearly as good as high-end DSLRs within the hardest eventualities, but it surely has carried out higher than anticipated for a primary technology mirrorless digital camera – particularly since Nikon had not even achieved autofocus with part detection on the entrance sensor now.

As a less expensive choice, the Z 6 may simply be an excellent digital camera for each fanatics and professionals who favor velocity and low-light efficiency over decision. The autofocus works a bit of higher in low gentle, whereas the decrease decision helps cut back noise and broaden the native ISO vary.

Is there a greater various?

In only a few months, the frameless full-frame mirror class has grow to be cluttered. The Nikon Z 6, nonetheless, has an built-in stabilization and a sooner body fee in comparison with the entry of Canon within the class, the EOS R. The A7 III at comparable worth of Sony provides some extra options, comparable to dual-card slots, longer battery life, and a greater autofocus system. As a extra typical system, it additionally has extra native lenses, but it surely doesn’t help current DSLR lenses, nor the Z 6. We additionally choose ergonomics, menus and viewfinder Z 6, which has greater than 1,000,000 extra pixels than the Sony one.

Must you purchase it?

Like all digital camera, the very best for one photographer will not be higher for one more. If you happen to're in search of a mirrorless digital camera for journey, portraits, avenue or panorama and have already got a great assortment of Nikkor lenses, purchase the Nikon Z 6. If you happen to want vivid AF efficiency on a darkish stage and little distinction like a dance ground, a Nikon DSLR continues to be your finest guess (for now).

The Z 6 is priced at $ 2,000 for the field solely, $ 2,600 with the 24-70 f / Four or $ 2,840 lens with the 50mm f / 1.Eight lens and an FTX adapter. The FTZ adapter prices round $ 250 if bought individually.

Replace: firmware added autofocus to the eyes and improved focus sensitivity in dimly lit scenes. Our new firmware check expertise has been added to the efficiency part of this advisory.


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