Digital Cameras

Not one, but two: Nikon pushes out Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras

Not one, but two: Nikon pushes...
The Nikon Z 7 full-frame mirrorless camera will go on sale at the end of September, with the Z 6 following in November
The Nikon Z 7 full-frame mirrorless camera will go on sale at the end of September, with the Z 6 following in November
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The Nikon Z 7 full-frame mirrorless camera will go on sale at the end of September, with the Z 6 following in November
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The Nikon Z 7 full-frame mirrorless camera will go on sale at the end of September, with the Z 6 following in November
The Nikon Z 6 looks pretty much identical to it Z 7 sibling, but its sensor has less megapixels and there aren't as many focus points on offer
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The Nikon Z 6 looks pretty much identical to it Z 7 sibling, but its sensor has less megapixels and there aren't as many focus points on offer
The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR
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The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR
The Z 6 features a brand new lens mount, which means a fresh lens range to buy into
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The Z 6 features a brand new lens mount, which means a fresh lens range to buy into
The Z 6 full-frame mirrorless camera costs $1,995.95 for the body only, or $2,599.95 with a kit lens
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The Z 6 full-frame mirrorless camera costs $1,995.95 for the body only, or $2,599.95 with a kit lens
The Z 6 allows photographers to get low down while framing a shot, thanks to the tilting touchscreen display panel
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The Z 6 allows photographers to get low down while framing a shot, thanks to the tilting touchscreen display panel
The Z 6 offers fewer megapixels than the Z 7, but has better light sensitivity and faster continuous shooting
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The Z 6 offers fewer megapixels than the Z 7, but has better light sensitivity and faster continuous shooting
The Z 6 has a 3.69 million dot OLED viewfinder around back and a 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen panel
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The Z 6 has a 3.69 million dot OLED viewfinder around back and a 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen panel
Legacy F mount lenses can be attached to the Z 6 via an adapter
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Legacy F mount lenses can be attached to the Z 6 via an adapter
The Z 6 is built around a brand new BSI FX format CMOS sensor
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The Z 6 is built around a brand new BSI FX format CMOS sensor
The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 and Z 7 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR
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The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 and Z 7 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR
The Z 7 sports a new FX format large diameter lens mount
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The Z 7 sports a new FX format large diameter lens mount
The Z 7 can be had with a Nikkor Z 24-70 F4 S kit lens
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The Z 7 can be had with a Nikkor Z 24-70 F4 S kit lens
The Z 7's magnesium alloy body measures 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 in and offers the same level of splash- and dust-resistance as the mighty D850 DSLR
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The Z 7's magnesium alloy body measures 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 in and offers the same level of splash- and dust-resistance as the mighty D850 DSLR
Autofocus, exposure compensation and ISO selection are situated within easy reach of the Z 7's grip
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Autofocus, exposure compensation and ISO selection are situated within easy reach of the Z 7's grip
Shake and noise are given marching orders when the Z 7 is in silent shooting mode
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Shake and noise are given marching orders when the Z 7 is in silent shooting mode
The Z 7 has a 3.69 million dot OLED viewfinder around back and a 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen panel
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The Z 7 has a 3.69 million dot OLED viewfinder around back and a 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen panel
The Z 7 features a settings overview display panel up top
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The Z 7 features a settings overview display panel up top
Nikon has given the Z 7 493 focus points to play with
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Nikon has given the Z 7 493 focus points to play with
The Z 7 can record full-frame 4K (3,840 x 2,160) video at 30 fps with full pixel readout
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The Z 7 can record full-frame 4K (3,840 x 2,160) video at 30 fps with full pixel readout
The Z 7 comes with BSI FX format CMOS sensor with  45.7 effective megapixels
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The Z 7 comes with BSI FX format CMOS sensor with  45.7 effective megapixels
A lens mount adapter allows photographers to attach F mount glass to the Z 7
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A lens mount adapter allows photographers to attach F mount glass to the Z 7
The Z 7 has body dimensions of 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches
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The Z 7 has body dimensions of 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches

It began with some chatter about a new full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon, followed by a few shadowy glimpses and then confirmation that the company intended to release not one, but two models. Now Nikon has confirmed a September release for the Z 7, followed by the Z 6 in November.

The Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras are built around a brand new BSI FX format CMOS sensor, with integrated focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels, and Nikon's Expeed 6 image processor.

This translates to 45.7 effective megapixels for the Z 7, a standard ISO64 - 25,600 range that can be expanded down to ISO34 and up to ISO102,400, and 9 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting. The cheaper Z 6 manages 24.5 effective megapixels but has been treated to improved low light performance with an ISO range from 100 to 51,200, which can go down to ISO50 and up to ISP204,800, and 12 fps continuous shooting.

The Z 7 comes with BSI FX format CMOS sensor with  45.7 effective megapixels
The Z 7 comes with BSI FX format CMOS sensor with  45.7 effective megapixels

Both cameras also sport a new FX format large diameter lens mount, which means a bunch of new Z mount lenses to buy into, including what's said to be the fastest lens in Nikon's history at F0.951. F mount owners will be able to use existing glass though, courtesy of an adapter.

Nikon has given the Z 7 493 focus points to play with, while the Z 6 gets 273. The hybrid AF system makes use of an algorithm specifically developed for the new FX sensor, auto switching between phase-detection AF and contrast-detect AF for the promise of fast, quiet and accurate autofocus when combined with the new Nikkor Z lenses. In-camera vibration reduction technology is present for five stop shake reduction along five axes.

Both the Z 6 and Z 7 can record full-frame 4K (3,840 x 2,160) video at 30 fps with full pixel readout, or 120 fps in Full HD mode, and can output 10-bit N-Log video over HDMI for "extensive color depth and twelve-stop, 1,300 percent dynamic range to record a wealth of tone information from highlights and shadows for more effective color grading." The Z 7 is also reported capable of capturing 8K time-lapse movies.

The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 and Z 7 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR
The magnesium alloy body of the Z 6 and Z 7 is reported to have the same weather-proofing level as Nikon's D850 DSLR

One of the advantages of mirrorless cameras over their DSLR siblings is a relatively compact body, and the new Z cameras are no exception. The magnesium alloy body measures 5.3 x 4 x 2.7 in (134 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm) and offers the same level of splash- and dust-resistance as the mighty D850 DSLR.

Autofocus, exposure compensation and ISO controls are situated within easy reach of the grip, and there's a display panel to the top for quickly reviewing camera settings. The cameras have a 3.69 million dot OLED viewfinder around back, with full frame coverage and 0.8x magnification, and a 3.2-inch, 2.1 million dot tilting touchscreen panel.

Silent shooting nixes shake and noise caused by the shutter release, useful for those times when the photographer should neither be seen or heard (such as weddings and interviews), and there's Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi cooked in for wireless content sharing and remote operation.

The Z 6 allows photographers to get low down while framing a shot, thanks to the tilting touchscreen display panel
The Z 6 allows photographers to get low down while framing a shot, thanks to the tilting touchscreen display panel

The Nikon Z 7 is due for release on September 27 for a suggested body only price of US$3,399.85, or $3,999.95 with a Nikkor Z 24-70 F4 S lens in the box too. The Z 6 will follow in late November and will cost $1,995.95 for the body only or $2,599.95 with the same kit lens as the Z 7.

The new Z cameras certainly look pretty darn good on paper, and are sure to occupy commanding positions in the mirrorless market upon release. But the rumor mill is already suggesting that Canon will soon be outing a full-frame mirrorless camera of its own, which should make things very interesting indeed.

Product pages: Nikon Z 6, Nikon Z 7

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