Nikon treats D6 DSLR to most powerful AF system in its history
Nikon gave the briefest of tasters for its new flagship DSLR camera back in September last year, and has now revealed all. Likely to end up in the hands of pro-shooters the world over, the D6 is said to include "the most powerful AF system in Nikon’s history."
"The D6 is purpose-built and inspired by the valuable feedback of professional users," said Nikon's Jay Vannatter. "The world relies on photojournalists and professionals to document every corner of the globe through impactful images; Nikon cameras are trusted to stand up to any job and help photographers capture the shot, time and time again."
The first spec to grab our attention in a new camera is usually the sensor, but Nikon has opted to retain the same 20.8-megapixel (35.9 x 23.9 mm) CMOS sensor as the retiring D5, though this will be married to a new Expeed 6 image processing engine. This means continuous AF/AE shooting via the mechanical shutter of up to 14 frames per second, and full-resolution silent shooting at 10.5 fps.
If you really want to grab as many stills as you can in the shortest possible time, you could opt to use movie Live View and sacrifice image quality for speed. As such, you could ramp up the sequential shooting speed to 30 fps for 8-MP photos or 60 fps for 2-MP images.
Light sensitivity ranges between ISO100 and 102,400, though that can be expanded up to a dizzying 3.28 million for the lowest of low light assignments. But the headline feature here is the autofocus system.
Nikon says that AF coverage in the D6 is about 1.6x more dense than in the D5 before it, despite using fewer focus points, thanks to the use of a triple-sensor arrangement for each of the 105-point cross-type focus sensors. All points are selectable and users can also take advantage of 17 custom Group Area AF arrangements.
If the subject is slightly outside of the focus point, an expanded focus detection range for single-point AF and dynamic-area AF should still make sharp focus possible. And the center focus point now works at a low-light-friendly -4.5 EV, with all others going down to -4 EV.
Elsewhere, there's 4K/30p (3,840 x 2,160) video recording, dual XQD/CFExpress card slots (no more CompactFlash), and a Focus Shift mode that snaps a series of images at different focus positions so that the whole of the final (software edited) composition is in sharp focus – useful for product close-ups.
Other highlights include a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body and illuminated control panels and buttons, a 3.2-inch, 2.36-million-dot LCD touch monitor, and long battery life of up to 3,580 stills per charge in single-frame release mode, or 8,670 in continuous release mode. Ethernet connectivity has been given a 15 percent speed boost, there's built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and GPS has also been included for tagging images with time, date and location information, wherever in the world you might find yourself.
The D6 is due to land in April for a body-only price of US$6,499.95. The video below has more.
Product page: Nikon D6