Nikon Z6 II Camera is Out: Full Specifications and New Features

The Nikon Z6 II is the follow-up to the corporate’s first full-frame mirrorless digicam, the Z6. Now over two years previous, the Nikon Z6 has developed into considered one of our favorite mirrorless cameras. However there’s nonetheless room for enchancment, and with the Z6 II, Nikon has opted to retain the core spec and design of the Z6 whereas addressing its weaknesses. To that finish, just about all the principle options of the Z6 II are inherited from the Z6. This contains the superb full-frame 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor, which delivers photographs with wonderful ranges of elements, loads of dynamic vary, and excellent high-ISO noise performance.

In comparison with one of many Z6 II’s closest rivals, the 20.1MP Canon EOS R6, the additional pixels right here offer you that bit extra flexibility in the case of framing and cropping, whereas the EOS R6 has a slight edge at larger sensitivities. Evaluating the Z6 II to its different shut rival, the Sony Alpha A7 III, there’s actually not a lot between them in the case of outcomes.

Whereas the sensor stays identical, Nikon has outfitted the Z6 II with a second EXPEED 6 picture processor. This brings various efficiency enhancements, most notably a rise in burst capturing velocity, from a most of 12fps to 14fps. That’s sooner than the Alpha A7 III, and a match for the EOS R6 (though the R6 can shoot at 20fps utilizing its digital shutter).

The additional processor has additionally allowed Nikon to enhance the 273-point AF system that’s within the Z6. In addition to normal efficiency enhancements and the flexibility to focus in darker situations, human and animal eye/face detection are actually obtainable in Extensive-area AF mode. It’s a stable system that’s nice for normal pictures, though if you happen to’re going to be capturing numerous motion (or portraits), then the focusing programs in each the EOS R6 and A7 III have the sting right here.

The Z6 had a powerful set of video specs, together with the flexibility to shoot oversampled 4K for footage with loads of elements. For the Z6 II, Nikon has tweaked the video capabilities to allow 4K seize as much as 60p, though this received’t be obtainable till round February 2021 through a firmware replace. The Z6 II additionally features various output choices that embody the seize of 10-bit HLG HDR footage to an exterior recorder.

With the Z6 II utilizing the identical design because of the Z6, there are few surprises in the case of constructing high quality and dealing with. The magnesium alloy physique components, climate sealing, and comfortable grip make the Z6 II really feel extra sturdy than rivals, whereas Nikon has managed to squeeze in a UHS-II SD card slot alongside the XQD/CFexpress card slot, resolving one of many key weaknesses of the Z6.

There’s no getting around the truth that the updates discovered within the Z6 II are modest at greatest; nonetheless, whereas present Z6 homeowners shouldn’t be tempted to improve, if you happen to’re searching for a top-quality full-frame mirrorless digicam you’re not going to go far fallacious with the Nikon Z6 II. Whereas rivals would possibly outclass it in some areas, the Z6 II has consistency on its facet, performing strongly throughout the board. In case you can reside without the upgrades although, do try the Z6 – it’s nonetheless on sale for now, and the cash you’ll save over a Z6 II will go a good distance in the direction of a brand new lens.

Just like the Z6, the Z6 II could be bought with the superb Nikon 24-70mm f/Four S normal zoom for $2,600 / £2,549 / AU$4,399. In case you’re trying to improve or spend money on a second physique you should purchase the Z6 II body-only for $2,000 / £1,999 / AU$3,399, whereas these trying to pair the Z6 II with their F-mount DSLR lenses can add the FTZ lens adapter for around $150 / £150 / AU$250.

The Nikon Z6 II will naturally be in comparison with Sony’s Alpha A7 III, whereas the arrival of the Canon EOS R6 means many will even see that digicam as a key rival. The A7 III is nearly three years previous now, however, it nonetheless packs a severe punch and can price you within the area of $2,880 / £2,650 / AU$4,640 with Sony’s 24-105mm f/Four G, which is a bit more versatile than Nikon’s equipment lens. The EOS R6 can be priced a bit larger than the Z6 II at $2,799.99 / £2,849 / AU$4,799, though this comes bundled with the comparatively gradual and variable-aperture 24-105mm f/4-7.1 lens, which isn’t fairly a match for the lenses paired with the Z6 II or A7 III.

The Nikon Z6 II arrives simply over two years because the Z6 launched, and Nikon has opted to maintain the brand new digicam’s design nearly similar to that of its predecessor. Whereas this may appear unimaginative on Nikon’s half (and in addition a method to avoid wasting R&D prices), the choice to make use of the identical physique is not any dangerous factor – the Z6 is, without doubt, one of the best-handling mirrorless cameras on the market, with controls falling simply handy and key settings fast to entry. The joystick (formally often known as the sub-selector) can be weighted properly, whereas all that is complemented by a big and comfortable handgrip and well-defined thumb relaxation.

Sticking with the identical design does, nonetheless, imply the Z6 II makes use of the identical tilt-angle show because of the Z6. This shouldn’t be an excessive amount of difficulty if you happen to’re predominantly capturing stills, however, these capturing video (and self-shooters particularly) is likely to be disenchanted to not see a totally articulating vari-angle show labored into the design of the Z6 II. That gripe apart, the Z6 II feels actually sturdy, with magnesium alloy high, back and front covers, and the identical wonderful stage of climate sealing as Nikon’s pro-spec DSLR, the D850.

Not everything has stayed identical although. One factor that compromised the Z6 was its single XQD card slot. Whereas this can be a media format that may be extremely dependable, XQD playing cards are considerably costlier than even one of the best SD playing cards. The addition of the SD slot makes the digicam extra accessible to extra customers, whereas these upgrading from the Z6, or who already use the XQD format, will be capable of using their present playing cards. There are advantages in the case of capturing too, with the additional slot offering choices for simultaneous backup, overflow storage or recording JPEGs whereas the XQD/CFexpress slot takes care of uncooked recordsdata.

For the Z6 II, Nikon has opted to stay with the identical full-frame 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor that’s within the Nikon Z6. This permits a local ISO to vary that runs from ISO100 to 51,200, and which could be expanded to ISO50-204,800. Whereas the Z6 II retains the identical sensor, Nikon has managed to squeeze in a second EXPEED 6 processor. This delivers various enhancements, probably the most notable of which is a rise in burst capturing velocity to a formidable 14fps, up from an already fast 12fps on the Z6.

The Z6 II additionally makes use of the identical 273-point AF system because the Z6, although there have been some enhancements right here too. Total efficiency has been improved, whereas human or animal eye/face detection is now obtainable within the ExtensiveSpace AF modes, fairly than simply the Auto-Space mode. Focusing in low gentle must also be higher because the Z6 II can focus in gentle ranges as little as -4.5EV (bettering on -3.5EV of the Z6), whereas a low-light AF mode sees the Z6 II capable of obtaining focus at an unimaginable -6EV.

The Z6 already had some spectacular video credentials, and the Z6 II improves on these additional. In addition to utilizing the total width of the sensor to seize 4K footage at as much as 30p, the Z6 II can be capable of shoot 4K60p. A bit of caveat right here although: there shall be a 1.5x crop when capturing at this price, and the improvement received’t be obtainable till round February 2021 through a firmware replace. The Z6 II will even be capable of proceeding capturing when related through USB-C for recharging, which wasn’t doable with the unique Z6. Different key options stay identical although, together with the superb 3.69 million-dot digital viewfinder (EVF) and 5-stop in-body picture stabilization (IBIS) system.

Whereas the Nikon Z6 II can shoot at 14fps, the small print is within the small print – at this most price, you’re restricted to 12-bit uncooked records data and a single AF-point. In order for you, a bit of extra dynamic vary in your recordsdata, and wish to make the most of the Z6 II’s monitoring AF, this drops to a nonetheless superb 12fps – that’s sooner than the Alpha A7 III’s 10fps, and a match for the EOS R6’s 12fps (although the R6 can shoot at as much as 20fps utilizing its digital shutter). The buffer ought to be greater than sufficient for many eventualities as nicely, with the Z6 II capable of deal with 124 12-bit uncooked records data or 200 JPEGs at its highest body price.

The Z6 II’s 273-point AF system has 90% protection throughout the body, which is nice in isolation, though it’s left trailing the 693-point system within the Alpha A7 III and the class-leading 6,072-point AF system within the EOS R6. These predominantly capturing folks (or pets) would possibly favor the programs within the Z6 II’s rivals, as they’re a bit extra refined in the case of eye and face monitoring, however, the Z6 II nonetheless does an excellent job right here, locking rapidly and precisely on to the topics we examined it on. It’s an analogous story if you happen to monitor topics – use the Z6 II in isolation and also you’ll be very impressed with the velocity of acquisition, however, it’s not fairly a match for the EOS R6 (which makes use of just about the identical AF system because of the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III).

The built-in 5-stop picture stabilization system within the Z6 II is a constant performer. Once more, it’s not fairly as spectacular because of the EOS R6’s 8-stop system (which is lens-dependent), however, you may, fortunately, shoot at super-slow shutter speeds and are available away with sharp, shake-free photographs. One other key space Nikon has addressed with the Z6 II is the battery. The Z6 might solely obtain an official determination of 310 pictures (although it performs higher in real-world eventualities), and the Z6 II will get an improved EN-EL15c battery that’s rated for 410 pictures utilizing the LCD and 340 with the viewfinder. It is a welcome enhancement, though right here once more the Z6 II nonetheless lags behind rivals just like the EOS R6 and Alpha A7 III.

As we’ve talked about, the Z6 II makes use of precisely the identical sensor because the Z6 – and that’s excellent news, as outcomes from the Z6 have been just about class-leading. The total-frame 24.5MP BSI sensor within the Z6 II delivers wonderful ranges of elements. If it’s good to repeatedly print above A3 you are likely to be swayed by the 45.7MP sensor within the Z7 II (or the D850), however, the decision on supply right here ought to fulfill most shooters.

Thanks partially to the back-illuminated expertise within the Z6 II’s sensor (which is lacking from the lower-priced Z5), it performs nicely throughout the sensitivity vary, delivering nice outcomes at larger ISOs, though if you happen to’re capturing JPEGs it’s value taking into consideration that the default noise discount is usually a bit heavy at larger ISOs, which can lead to the pointless lack of element.

Dynamic vary can be superb if you happen to capture in uncooked, with loads of flexibility in publish to recuperate element within the shadows and pull again highlights. A fast be aware on lenses to conclude – the 24-70mm f/Four is a stable selection that performs very nicely, however since its launch greater than two years in the past Nikon’s S-series lens vary has expanded considerably and contains some wonderful f/1.Eight primes and f/2.Eight zooms.

Jason Kale