My Nikon Z6 Experience and Review
By Steve Huff
First my video on the Z6, well worth the watch!
The Nikon Z collection. There are gobs of evaluations out for this digital camera already and many have praised it, few have critiqued it however that’s only a signal of the occasions. First, all digital camera at present at this degree are nice for picture high quality. Every model has their very own taste, their very own type and mojo.
Sony has had an enormous head begin on Nikon on the subject of the mirrorless digital camera realm. For years Canon and Nikon didn’t take it significantly, and thought mirrorless was one thing that may go away. As Sony pushed on and developed critical cameras that have been smaller, had full body sensors and carried out within the picture high quality world of the large DSLR’s, nicely, Nikon and Canon have been creating cameras just like the EOS-M and V collection. Not cameras that have been as much as what Sony have been doing.
As Sony grew in reputation Nikon and Canon each began to see that mirrorless full body cameras have been outselling DSLR’s, as they actually have been. Sony was on a roll, and an enormous surge of recognition. I noticed all of it first hand as I liked these Sony cameras and began reviewing them and utilizing them from their very 1st entry into mirrorless with the NEX-Three and 5. I additionally loved seeing what they might provide you with subsequent as with every full body A7 and A9 launch they have been placing one other nail in that DSLR coffin.
The Z6 in motion…
Say what you’ll, however for years I’ve stated the DSLR is dying and that mirrorless would take over in gross sales and reputation on the subject of digital imaging. Properly, that point is now and Nikon cam out swinging (lastly) with the Z6 and Z7. At launch, many have been upset concerning the cameras not having twin card slots. I even fell into a number of the drama with these cameras (EOS-R and Z collection)! The thrill was excessive as have been the hopes. Some felt let down by the specs however what we have been all responsible of doing was evaluating these paper specs to the Sony cameras and Sony had an enormous 5 yr head begin over Nikon and Canon! Additionally, one ought to by no means decide a digital camera on paper specs, however moderately by USING IT.
For first makes an attempt, the Canon and Nikon are FANTASTIC and beat out Sony’s first makes an attempt with out query. Between the decrease decision and inexpensive Z6 and the upper decision and extra expensive Z7 I used to be occupied with making an attempt out the Z6. I felt that the specs suited me higher and it had some nice bang for the buck, which is all the time good. Who doesn’t need extra for his or her cash?
Not proudly owning any Nikon glass and being 100% proud of my new EOS-R I nonetheless needed to offer the Nikon a shot as it’s what I do! For eleven years I’ve been making an attempt and capturing each digital digital camera underneath the solar. I admit, recently I’ve not been testing ALL of them as once more, all are fantastic. All are incredible. Every simply provides a unique taste. I’m not one to emphasize out or freak out over paper specs although. For instance, I don’t want IBIS. I don’t want two card slots. I don’t want ALOT of what these new cameras supply as I see it from a unique strategy.
I’d somewhat have a easy digital camera. Sure, much less is extra for me in terms of taking pictures. However the best way advertising works today, extra is best and annually new fashions are launched with MORE, and that advertising tells us we NEED it so individuals purchase the brand new cameras. With hundreds of digital camera reviewers on the market right now pushing all the newest tech for affiliate gross sales (even when the gear sucks) we live in an enormous age of purchase, promote, purchase, promote, lose cash, purchase, promote, repeat. As I’ve stated for years, I solely assessment digital camera gear that I discover is actually good, or nice. If a digital camera is awful, or I don’t prefer it then I don’t waste my time reviewing it. So once you see me evaluation one thing it means I prefer it quite a bit or it’s worthy of a purchase order and shouldn’t be a disappointment to anybody if it meets there wants.
The Nikon Z6 Specs
- 24.5MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor – This to me is the right decision for a full body sensor. I really feel it provides us one of the best stability of decision, ISO efficiency and even AF velocity.
- EXPEED 6 Picture Processing Engine
- UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out – Nice video specs right here and video seems nice.
- 273-Level Part-Detect AF System – Level schmoint. I exploit middle body this present day as whenever you use one among these factors the digital camera, regardless of the model, appears to by no means give attention to what I would like.
- Constructed-In 5-Axis Vibration Discount – Nice to have, works nice for video. Not a necessity in any method for me.
- zero.80x Three.6m-Dot EVF with NIKKOR Optics – EVF is fantastic. Similar to the Canon EOS-R and bests the Sony A7III.
- Three.2″ 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD – Good LCD!
- 12 fps Capturing; ISO 100-51200 – The velocity demons will like 12FPS. ; )
- Prime-Panel Dot-Matrix OLED; XQD Card Slot – I really like the highest panel because it’s good to verify your settings on the fly. The XQD card I’ve combined emotions on. Value me $200 for a card and a reader. So anticipate this value. You can’t use SD playing cards!
On this “Experience” report I can’t be displaying you a slew of pixel peeping checks, or speaking deeply about specs. I can’t be speaking about issues that don’t have anything to do with precise images (pixel peeping doesn’t have something in any respect to do with the artwork of images) however fairly how I favored utilizing the digital camera for… get this…taking pictures ; )
To me, what’s most necessary is the auto focus, the dealing with, the colour and general IQ and ISO efficiency. What a file appears like at 100% view shouldn’t be actually my factor as all cameras at this time ship the products. There isn’t a have to stress over little issues, actually. There isn’t.
If a digital camera feels good, has nice controls, has a pleasant file and presents up nice AF and efficiency then making the selection to purchase comes right down to your choice for the model and what it gives.
I’ll say up entrance. When you personal Nikon glass, the Nikon Z6 or Z7 are nice cameras and in all probability one I might bounce on (If I owned Nikon glass). When you personal Canon or Sony glass, stick to these manufacturers. I LOVE my Canon EOS-R for photographs and video and it has carried out for me with no hitch because the day I purchased it (and I solely use EF lenses with it)! I’ve a choice for a few of the nice Canon glass (50 1.2, 24 1.four, 85 1.2, and so forth).
Click on for higher and bigger variations. Nikon Z6 and 24-70 f4
USING THE Z6
So the Z6 arrived for me to check out for a couple of weeks courtesy of B&H Photo and it arrived with the 24-70 and 35 1.eight (which is a implausible lens). I admit, earlier than I noticed the Z within the flesh I judged the lenses based mostly on look and shouldn’t have. They’re constructed to a excessive normal and really feel superb within the hand. They’re additionally a lot smaller than the Canon EOS-R native lens choices! Canon went for velocity and IS within the lens, Nikon went for small and IBIS within the physique. Nikon in all probability made one of the best transfer right here however these Canon lenses are GORGEOUS. Giant, however beautiful in construct and IQ and perform.
Thus far so good. The Nikon physique felt fantastic. Beefy but small, strong but not tank like, and controls have been all in the fitting place. My 1st impression on holding it was “this feels great” however inferior to my EOS-R. The Canon matches my hand higher and has a greater grip, and I’m not alone on this thought. Each beat the Sony in really feel and ergonomics (Sony wants a redesign IMO).
Once I realized and remembered that I cannot use an SD card with this digital camera I purchased a XQD and Sony Reader from Amazon, value me $200! Although I used to be simply evaluating this digital camera I spent $200 to check it, lol. Properly, at the very least now I’ll have a card and reader…until one in every of you guys need to purchase them for half worth? In that case, 64GB XQD and a Sony Card Reader – $100 plus $15 delivery. E-mail me HERE.
So the battery is charged, XQD card arrives, and I lastly get to exit and shoot the Nikon Z6!
Capturing on the tremendous low mild venue, “The Lost Leaf”
I took it with me at some point when Debby was getting a brand new tattoo, her 1st of three periods for it. I needed to study the controls as they have been so totally different from Sony and Canon however after an hour or so I had all of it arrange and felt it was pure and ergonomically implausible.
I used to be noticing the Auto Focus was quick however less than the EOS-R efficiency. Actually, for me, wasn’t even shut for video use or C-AF. The Canon EOS-R is INSTANT and that isn’t hype, I assumed it was damaged once I first shot the Canon however nope, the AF was simply that quick, even in low mild. (extra on this later).
However don’t get me improper, the Nikon Z6 AF continues to be nice. It’s simply not the “best” on the market. I really feel Canon wins 1st place right here, Sony 2nd and Nikon third. Keep in mind, I’ve shot with all of them extensively, so these are my trustworthy opinions. Being in third doesn’t imply it’s dangerous, it’s higher than one thing like a Sony A7II for positive. It’s FAST simply not INSTANT. In low mild although, it’s a unique story.
I used to be capturing the Nikon right here and there, testing video, testing pictures. I then realized one thing. It wasn’t inspiring me to make use of it. It was good, however the shade signature and means the information have been being put out have been to not my choice (although it might be to yours). Out of digital camera JPEGS have been flat, regardless of the colour profile I set. RAW information have been a lot better as they need to be so these Nikon information do want tweaks to actually shine. I might not advocate this as a JPEG digital camera until you want subdued flatter information.
I don’t know…the digital camera feels nice, appears nice, has an exquisite EVF and LCD, and has IBIS. It simply was not getting me excited, so I set it down for every week or so and by no means gravitated towards it. As an alternative I used my Canon, and realized that for me, the EOS-R is MY most popular digital camera. However I used to be not evaluating the Nikon for ME, I used to be evaluating it to allow you to guys know what I give it some thought!
So I grabbed it as soon as once more and shot some extra with it.
THE QUALITY IS STUNNING
I’ll say that the RAW information are beautiful. These are a number of the crispiest photographs I’ve seen from any mirrorless. They create that good stability of sharp and clean and look like they’ve extra element than what I see from Canon or Sony. If element is your factor? You’ll most probably love this digital camera. The information whereas subdued out of digital camera are NOT subdued in sharpness or element.
So in actuality the Nikon Z6 is providing a greater EVF over the Sony A7III. Higher ergonomics. Higher construct. A extra filmic presentation in decrease mild photographs (noise) and even has higher IBIS efficiency over Sony. On the similar worth because the Sony A7III I began to assume..WAIT! I do favor this to the Sony A7III however not over my Canon EOS-R.
The Sony A7III has been the mega hit of 2018 on the planet of mirrorless. The Nikon does beat it in these areas BUT NOT in AF, excessive ISO in low mild, or battery life. So decide what’s necessary to you in case you are looking for a brand new digital mirrorless digital camera.
All shot with the Nikon Z6 – Exif information is embedded in every
MY VIDEO EXPLAINS ALL OF MY THOUGHTS AND SAMPLES
My video under (a should see for those who skipped it on the prime) shares my ideas, pictures, video and photographs from the Sony and Canon as I speak about what I consider the Nikon and others. In case you are within the Z6, test it out:
I’ll say that once I shot the Z6 for stay live performance exhibits in small golf equipment and bars I used to be let down by the Auto Focus. Being spoiled by the Sony’s and Canon EOS-R in these situations I felt the Nikon was the worst of the bunch right here. The AF was searching and lacking with the 24-70 and 35 1.eight, each native lenses. This was for a stay present with spotlights and stage lighting! Not good for what I shoot as I shoot these type of exhibits each week or two.
100% crop, ISO 3200 – Click on it for full measurement and to see some scorching pixels.. 2nd picture, ISO 18,000
For me the perfect performers for IQ, usability and ISO noise in these circumstances have been the Canon EOS-R (as a consequence of it’s prompt AF) and even the Leica M10-D (only a lovely expertise and higher excessive ISO over the Z6).
There’s so many execs and cons to all of those cameras although. I’ll attempt to break it down, as all are nice however none are good:
- The Nikon Z6 Cons: Low mild AF just isn’t good. Interval. Excessive ISO in low mild will deliver extra noise than a Sony and even Leica M10. One card slot. Should purchase an costly XQD card.
- The Canon EOS-R Cons: Worst low mild excessive ISO between Sony and Nikon. Nikon and Canon are shut right here however I really feel when the going will get robust, the Canon brings probably the most noise. Sony wins right here simply between all of them. Foolish contact bar is ineffective. One card slot. No actual usable 4K video.
- Sony Cons: Worst ergonomics of the bunch, decrease res EVF and LCD within the A7III, IBIS inferior to Nikons. Menu system is probably the most complicated. Colours are probably the most digital of all of those cameras. Nikon is most filmic. Canon has their regular pastel like colours, which I really like.
- Leica M10 cons: Worth and in the event you love which bang gimmicky options, or auto focus you’d hate a Leica. Me, I really feel much less I extra however the fee makes it painful.
These are simply the issues that stick out to me, prime of my head. All have execs and all have cons. Every have a special colour signature (which I present within the above video) and every really feel totally different. There are not any dangerous decisions right here in case you are on the lookout for a brand new mirrorless. Once more, go together with your coronary heart, and go together with what you’re drawn to.
However I’ll say it once more, for those who personal Canon lenses? Go for the EOS-R as it’s really unbelievable. I really like mine and haven’t any regrets. It has by no means let me down.
For those who personal Sony glass, the Sony A7 collection is incredible. Can’t lose.
When you personal Nikon glass, the Z6 or Z7 is with out query what you need.
ALL ARE AMAZING in their very own methods and they every provide the functionality to shoot skilled degree pictures. In case you are shopping for new, and don’t personal any lenses…then once more go together with the one you’re most drawn to. I might select by shade in case you are having a tough time. Me, I a lot choose the Canon and Leica shade science above all others. All the time have. Nikon has had the identical colour signature perpetually, and you both like it otherwise you don’t.
The place to Purchase?
I like to recommend shopping for the Z6 from B&H Photo. Hyperlinks under in case you are on this digital camera!
Purchase the Nikon Z6
Purchase the 35 1.eight
Purchase the 24-70
See my Canon EOS-R Review HERE
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