So I used Nikon’s new Z7 and Z6 past month. I had the Z7 for a week and Z6 as my purchase and have been trying all pros and cons of it lately in past two weeks.
Here in my Nikon Z6 Review are some straightforward points to consider before you plan on a purchase:
Overall I am quite happy with this upgrade, I am glad I upgraded from a DSLR to mirrorless and especially to Nikon Z. However here are some honest (and mixed) points to consider about the new Nikon Z series
In my opinion, the AF of the Z6 / Z7 is amazing yet not as fast and accurate perhaps as their high-end DSLRs. I only had a few cases where it catches the highlights and ends up focussing on the wrong spot, but again that was only 1 out of 10 times that it happened.
Very comfortable especially if you are a Nikon user, the controls are familiar and in the same position as other Nikon DSLRs however, the overall grip in hand is not AS comfortable as let’s say Nikon’s D5 or 850 and that’s probably because the D5 or 850 are bigger camera bodies which give more room for big hands. Again, overall grip on the Zs is amazing. But if I had to compare it (being very finicky) I say D5 has a more comfortable grip (but of course it’s much heavier too)
400 to 500 shots on average + video + WiFi connected to your phone is what one battery charge gives you. It can give you more time as well, depends on your usage. I personally prefer keeping my screen off as I use the viewfinder. And I switch the camera off when not in use and the battery lasts longer. What’s important to understanding in mirrorless cameras is that even when you’re not using your camera but its on, there are a lot of things (including electronic sensor) that are continuously working and consuming the battery. I personally have no problem with battery time but if you are someone who shoots hours in a stretch, consider buying an extra battery (you can also use the same that goes for D850). The battery in Z can also be charged using USB (so carrying a USB battery charging station will be handy)
On point! These new lens series in combination with Z sensor create really sharp images with true color. The color balance / white balance these cameras read by default is impressive.
Low light / High ISO performance
The lowlight performance in combination with In-body stabilization and High ISO noise reduction works amazing. It’s one of the USPs for the Z series in my opinion. I did a couple of hand-held low light shots and some with really high ISO and the results in comparison to a DSLR were impressive.
Shutter release response time and shutter sound
With 273 AF points the Z6 focusses pretty fast. I have a love-hate relationship with Nikon Shutter sound. I always loved the sound of Nikon’s mechanical shutter. Probably because I come from a film camera photography background. But at times you do need a quieter camera and the Z series does a brilliant job in that area. The shutter is so quiet, your subject will barely be able to hear the release.
Using other Nikon Lenses on Z mount
This one is important to talk about.
Nikon has been advertising that with an FTZ adapter on, you can use Nikon’s 360+ lenses on the new Z Mount. True, but can you autofocus on all those 360+ AF lenses? No.
This is important for you to know that not all AF Nikon Lenses will Autofocus on the Z system. If you are coming from a DX Nikon Camera, with DX lenses or third party (for example Sigma) lenses, there is a big chance that your lenses are autofocusing on your DX body but won’t on the Z mount.
It does support all FX lenses but for DX only AF-S Type G/D/E, AF-P type G/E, AF-I type D and AF-S support autofocusing (says on Nikon USA site). I used to use my 50mm 1.8 D on a DX body with perfectly working autofocus or my Sigma 10-20mm that doesn’t autofocus anymore when I use it on the Z mount with FTZ.
However, I tried other AF-S Lenses like 14-24mm, 70-200mm or a 58mm f1.4 that autofocussed perfectly but with a bit of a motor noise (while using 58mm). I still do not know why was that, the auto focussing worked smooth. So I prefer to use the S series lenses only.
Overall built quality of the camera body is great. The lenses are lightweight (which is the whole point of switching to mirrorless. But the lens hood seems like not too great quality plastic compared to other Nikon lens hoods. It’s a small detail but I could feel the difference right away after unpacking. [UPDATE] After a few months of usage, alot of users have started noticing that the rubber grip / skin starts pealing off. If you already own a Z camera ideally have a silicon (or rubber) casing on it as this has been one of the things reported by many many users. (photo below)
As you must have known by now from other blogs and reviews that the Z cameras only take XQD Cards. Which means if you dont own one and you’re an SD card user, there’s an expense of $129 for a 64 GB Sony XQD Card + a reader which might cost the same. There are rumors (that always turn out real) about Nikon about to release their own XQD cards, which will probably cost the same.
Overall verdict, in simple words, It’s worth an upgrade 🙂
But if you’re already a D850 (or same) user. May be give it more time and see what more Nikon has to release later in the year. [UPDATE] A Nikon Z9 is rumored to be on the way with 60+ MP sensor 🙂
I’ll be sharing alot of new photographs that i’ll be shooting on my Nikon Z series cameras, so please check out my Instagram page by clicking here and feel free to ask any questions.