The Nikon Z6
When Nikon announced in August 2018 that they were going to release their new Z6 and Z7, we were ecstatic. Both cameras were to mark the company’s entry into full-frame mirrorless cameras, and we didn’t know how it will level with other camera companies such as Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, and Fuji – who are already extremely experienced and popular in mirrorless technology.
To say that we were excited was an understatement. We have been anxiously anticipating when and how well (or bad) Nikon’s mirrorless cameras can perform. And, because of the launch of many new cameras from known brands – for example, sony’s stunning Alpha A7 III, which is great – we got thinking whether or not Nikon arrived at the party too late. But, upon picking up the new Nikon Z6, all our worries were gone.
Getting the chance to shoot with Nikon’s newest offering, it is apparent that the company didn’t hold anything back. Certainly, with the Z6, the long wait proved to be worth it.
Why Choose the Nikon Z6?
It is significantly less expensive than its “brother” the Z7 which costs $3,400. But other than its price, the Nikon Z6 also offers many features that make it such a compelling option.
The Z6 is more of your all-around camera. It has the largest inner diameter (55 mm) and the closest flange distance (16 mm) compared to any full-frame camera you can today. Thus, providing Nikon’s optical experts more flexibility to design lens that can achieve max optical quality. And, more importantly, making it possible for you to mount more adapted lenses from different companies on your Z6. What does this mean, exactly?
Well, unlike the first mirrorless camera from Nikon, the Z6 can actually use Nikkor lenses. So, if you are one of the loyal audiences of F-mount DSLR users and looking to make the switch to new mirrorless cameras, your expensive and favorite Nikon F mount lens can be mounted on the Z6! And, you can do this with a Nikon FTZ adapter (F mount to Z mount). This adapter is compatible with over 360 Nikon lenses where 90 of them can support the full AF speed of the Z6.
This is great news because Nikon initially only has three Z mount lenses which are:
- 24-70mm; f/4
- 35mm; f/1.8
- 50mm; f/1.8
After a while, there were two more lenses that were added: 24-70mm f/2.8 and 14-30mm f/4. While these are among the sharpest lenses Nikon has ever made, you might feel a little limited when the options are only these much. At least with the FTZ, you won’t have to worry about using some of your existing DSLR lenses.
Nikon Z6 Specifications
The Nikon Z6 features a 24.5MP full-frame sensor. While it is not as powerful as its Z7 sibling which is equipped with a 45.7MP sensor, the Z6 already delivers a pixel count that can satisfy most users. Aside from that, below are some of its most important features:
- FX Format
- Screen Type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen (2,100,000 dots)
- Maximum Continuous Shooting Speed: 12 fps
- 100-51,200 ISO (Can be expanded to 204,800)
- 5-axis system (roll, pitch, yaw, and X and Y shift)
- Movies: 4K
Moreover, Nikon did deliver on their promises of having the best EVF on any camera. The Z6 has a 3.69m dot half-inch LCD with an impressive 0.8x magnification through a 21mm eyepoint. And, overall, once you experience the Z6 yourself, you’ll also agree that Nikon did outdo themselves with the most natural-looking EVF you’ll see.
In addition, the Nikon Z6 has a new rechargeable battery which is the EN-EL 15b. However, it is also compatible with the EN-EL 15a battery from other Nikon cameras such as the D850. To charge in camera, however, while the Z7 comes with an EH-7P charger and cable the Z6 does not. So, you have to buy those separately.
Disadvantages of Nikon Z6
As mentioned, while Z6’s can be charged in camera, you can’t use the camera this way even if you have an AC power source plugged in to charge the battery (with the EH-7P). If you plan to operate your camera through this power source, you will need to use an obvious suspect – an EP-5 driven dummy battery which is powered by an optional EH-5 and cables through a tiny rubber door in the grip.
Also, the Z6 only gets a single XQD slot. And because it has an XQD card format, it has limited support. There are only a few cards that are currently available, making it one of Z6’s disadvantaged. BUT, we also believe that an XQD card is the best and most appropriate card for a camera that promises top-of-the-line performance. With such a card, you can limit the buffer and shoot continuously at around 3 fps! This also makes the camera more versatile than using SD cards, especially for those of you who prefer to shoot raw files at 12 fps max. To date, XQD cards are the most reliable and they perform better than any of the SD cards we have ever used.