Nikon Z6 Review
As far as Nikon cameras go, the Nikon Z6 made its way to the top quite smoothly, giving its predecessor- the Nikon Z7 – a run for its money. Quite literally, since the price has been one of its biggest plus points, considering it has the finesse of Nikon 27 at a lower rate.
It helps that the camera somehow gets better after the purchase due to firmware updates that enhance its initial abilities.
From the description alone though, Nikon Z6 appears to be a steal. It’s a mirrorless camera with two full frames and a 24 MP sensor (which is where it differs from Nikon 27. Let’s take a look at whether Nikon Z6 is worth what it’s advertised.
Features To Look Out For On Nikon Z6
1. 24.5 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
The Nikon Z6 works on a 24.5 MP Full-frame CMOS sensor, which you can use to take pictures in low light. You can generally expect the readout speed to be fast to allow shooting and recording continuously without delay.
As the sensor is backlighted, even at a high ISO, the noise is mostly muted, which is a key feature of the camera.
2. Z Mount
In general, the Z6 comes with pretty stellar autofocus. However, once you use the Z mount lens to go with it, the autofocus simply becomes the best. At this point, the fast quickness of it means, if not for the beep of the autofocus, you wouldn’t even realize the shot has been taken.
Well, it is expected of the Z mount to perform well, if Nikon’s promises are something to go by, and it certainly delivers.
The clear difference between the Z mount from the F mount is the inner diameter, which is about 17 percent larger. This allows for the use of better optics and even the f/0.95 choice. The flange size is shorter to make for less space for the camera and the lens, which lends to the slimness of the body.
3. Full Frame 4K Video
The sensor and processor don’t only make up for good photography but are also the perfect segway to trying your videography skills. The Ultra High Definition 4k video recording with 3840 X 2160 dimensions allows you to capture a moment in full-frame.
You can also record a full 1080p HD video at 120fps without any lag. You can either save the video files in the memory cards inserted in the camera, or you can directly upload it to an external recorder in its uncompressed form through the HDMI port.
The Z6 comes with pretty cool functionalities that were previously missing. There’s the N-Log gamma, which is useful for footage that appears flat in appearance that makes use of the dynamic range to its full potential.
The vibration reduction option is particularly useful in this case, so one can do handheld shoots without ending up with shaky footage. The Zebra stripes option allows you to point out the overexposed parts of the frame. The manual focus is also enhanced with the help of a focus peaking option.
For audio recording, you could either make use of the clean built-in microphone or use a 3.5 mm stereo jack to add an extra mic to get better sound quality. The headphone jack allows for live monitoring.
4. 273 Point Phase Autofocus System
About 90 percent of the image space, both from horizontal and vertical view, is covered by 273 phase-detection autofocus points. This is right on the sensor.
This means that the sensor would have an easier time detecting subjects, hurriedly, regardless of whether you are using still images or video mode, and can continue to do so even at the edges of the screen.
What’s Good About Nikon Z6
1. Lightweight And Easy Grip
Compared to most full-frame Nikon DSLRs, the Nikon Z6 is certainly a slimmer, smaller version. Especially if you are using large lenses on the DSLR, you will find it easier to grip than other Nikon cameras of similar features or other brand competitors.
2. Vibration Reduction
A 5 axis sensor is built into the body of the camera, so what we get is 5 stabilization stops regardless of what kind of lens you are using currently. This vibration reduction mechanism works even if you are using an adapted lens that goes with the FTZ adapter. In this case, though, 3-axis stabilization is at work.
3. Burst Mode
The burst shooting rate is amazing on this one. For both raw and Jpeg files, you get 2 fps speed. However, in raw mode, you have to limit yourself to a 12-bit file. If you would rather work with a 14-bit file, the speed would deter to 9fps, which is still pretty fast.
What Can Be Improved On Nikon Z6
1. The Battery Life
A EN-EL15b lithium-ion battery is provided with the Nikon Z6. You can get about 310 shots per charge. Now, while the battery is rechargeable and even in-camera charging is doable, the camera could certainly stand to have better battery life than the current limit.
Additionally, the EN-EL15 and EN-EL15a batteries, though compatible with this camera, have the problem of not being chargeable while the camera is on. Other than that, no third party battery is compatible with Nikon Z6.
2. Autofocus Detection
Customers have complained about the autofocus. Since the autofocus is continuously tracking, the camera seems to have a hard time focusing on the actual main subject in a shot. On video mode though, the autofocus seems to be much better at detecting the subject.
This is a feature that could certainly stand to be improved, as first-time photographers might not be that good with manual mode and are likely to fall back on autofocus.
The viewfinder, while certainly good, could stand to get some improvements. Right now, the lag-free clarity that a viewfinder on an optical DSLR should have is missing.
When you’re going through the shots, the details can appear with too much contrast and sharpening, but once you compare the images on the computer with the playback mode of the viewfinder, there doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.
However, the lack of lag would certainly be appreciated. There’s also the fact in the extremely low light situation, the viewfinder gives up on you and all you get is a dark screen.
4. Some Other Important Tidbits
If you use f/2 or faster lenses, the exposure can be metered down to -4EV on the Z6. The touchscreen is particularly smooth on this one and you can actually control some camera functions through it. Along with the shutter mode and focus available through touch, at the very top, there’s a status screen imitating a DSLR’s.
Some other unexpected bonus of Z6 is the LCD screen that allows for bright and vivid playback of images and videos. There’s fluorine coating on the finder, which makes it easy to clean. The SnapBridge connectivity that’s built-in allows you to shoot remotely as well as transfer files, even the ones with really low resolution, without a hitch.
The Nikon Z6 is always going to be compared with Nikon Z7 with its obvious higher resolution and the same features. Yet, the Nikon Z6 is a clear winner when it comes to price, due to its sheer affordability and versatility. It might appear basic at first but when it comes to performance and image quality, it really lives up to its promises.
Of course, the firmware updates from the manufacturer since the camera was first released have certainly led to better features and performances, justifying the price of the camera to the point that it appears to loot from the purchaser’s perspective.
Sony A7III Review
The Sony A7 III might have been dubbed a basic camera initially, but a closer look at it will tell you that as far as full-frame mirrorless cameras from Sony are concerned, this is certainly one of the better models. It’s also one of the top competitors when it comes to full-frame mirrorless counterparts from other brands.
The megapixel count might not be that impressive, nor is the burst shooting mode the best, but the overall speed, price, and feature counter more than makes up for it. Let’s take a closer look to see if it is the mirrorless full-frame camera for you.
Features To Look Out For On Sony A7III
1. 24.2 MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
Accompanied by back-illumination, the 24.2 MP full-frame Exmor R CMOS image sensor is combined with the LSI on the front end. As a result, the readout speed is faster.
The BIONZ X has been updated from the previous Sony A7 II, leading to a processing speed that’s way faster and boosted with the new processing engine.
This means the sensitivity is higher while the noise is on the down low. The dynamic range is about 15 stops. At full resolution, about 10fps continuous shooting can be done, with 177 frames consecutively. In live view mode, the fps has to be dimmed to 10.
2. Silent 5
The image processing system of A7 III allows for the capture of a 24.2 MP image in its full glory at 10fps continuously while the autofocus and auto exposure does its job. 177 consecutive JPEG images are possible this way, as are 89 compressed raw images and about 40 uncompressed raw images.
An electronic shutter or a mechanical shutter works with the 10fps mode so that the silent 5 shooting is possible.
This Silent 5 shooting is a 5 axis stabilization system that accounts for about 5 kinds of shakes that can occur with handheld cameras and eliminates all noises. This means you can use any lens you like, even the adopted ones, and won’t end up with blurred shots or footages. These 5 axes are at work continuously, regardless of what kind of lens you opt for.
3. Fast Autofocus System
For full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Sony A7 III has one of the best-developed autofocus systems. The sensor has about 693 phase-detection points, which means about 93 percent of the frame is covered.
That’s not all, there’s also the 425 contrast detection. This means autofocus is quicker and subject tracking is more accurate with the contrast-detection points quickly eliminating all light points to focus on the actual subject.
The low light focus has been improved with the hybrid autofocus system. The detection system also allows you to use A-mount lens if you want, which goes well with LA-EA3 mount adapters.
The focusing functions are particularly refined with the best being the lock-on option. This means the autofocus keeps its focus on the subject even as the subject moves and wanders towards the edge of the frame.
There’s the Expand flexible option, which further accentuates the lock-on option so that even when the autofocus loses the subject, the sensor would still be able to keep its focus on the moving object.
What’s Good About on Sony A7III
1. Eye Autofocus
The autofocus truly lives up to its promises on this one. Rarely do you come across an autofocus system that’s so good at tracking the subject?
If you have a model, the Eye autofocus is an instantaneous blessing. The continuous focus system ensures your model’s eyes come out sharp and clear. In good light, it is particularly accurate.
You don’t need to adjust the focus point as you are shooting. Even as the model is moving, the Eye AF would keep the focus on the model’s eyes, with a mini green box indicating the exact area.
2. The Size
One of the reasons mirrorless cameras have become so popular is due to its slim body. This one in particular is a durable and solid one yet continues to remain lightweight.
The chassis is Magnesium alloy and the lens mount is made so it is capable of supporting all kinds of lenses. The grip is also more flexible, allowing for more movement when handheld.
3. Anti Flicker
This system is enabled so that it can track when the shutter time automatically. This way, the flicker effect is lessened and what you get is really consistent imagery.
4. Image Stabilization
The 5 axis stabilization system is as good as it is promised to be. Whether you use a regular fast prime lens or attach a lens with an adapter, the stabilization would work at maximum effect. This way, even at lower shutter speed, you get sharp images, just as you get good video footage even if you are shooting handheld.
5. Dual Memory Slot
As Sony A7 III comes with two memory slots, you can organize your files and images much better. Maybe you can use one side for JPEG images and the other for raw images, or maybe you can use one side for video footage while the other is used for stills.
The NP-FZ100 allows for 710 shots on every full charge. This is quite a bit of run time, especially for full-frame mirrorless cameras. In fact, this almost rivals that of a DSLR. This is also better than most of its counterparts.
What Can Be Improved On Sony A7III
1. Lag At Start-Up
This is an odd problem for Sony A7 III. Basically, once the camera falls asleep, it takes quite a few seconds before it’s ready to take a picture again. For event photographers, this simple delay can lead to missed opportunities.
2. The Memory Slot
As good as the dual memory option is, if you are using the two cards simultaneously if one of the cards is filled or stops working, the camera stops shooting too.
The point of dual memory is to make sure the images would carry over to the other card if one card isn’t working. The camera shouldn’t lock up in this case.
3. The Menu
This isn’t as much of a problem with Sony A7 III as it is a problem with almost all Sony cameras.
The menu system still hasn’t been upgraded to its full potential and as a result, you have to deal with a disorganized system. For people who work in fields where they rely on the fast output of images, this can get annoying.
4. The Flash
Or lack of it. That’s right, this camera model doesn’t come with a built-in flash. This is something that certainly needs a redressal. Of course, you can use external flash systems. However, it only adds to one more thing you have to carry around with you while shooting with the Sony A7 III.
5. Other Things You Should Know
The 4K UHD recording certainly speaks in favor of the camera. You can shoot short films at 30fps. It has been improved and perfected to allow for shooting with the entirety of the width of the sensor. 1080p recording is also possible, the frame rate being 120fps in this case.
The color and gamma control can be customized to newer levels. It gives you absolute control over the entire color scheme of the scene.
Then there’s the tidbit about the weather sealing employed on it to ensure that even under harsh conditions, no harm comes to your camera, and you can continue shooting without worry.
If you pit Sony A7 III against its predecessor, you will notice there isn’t an area that it hasn’t been upgraded on. If you compare it to other full frameless cameras, in many ways, it is certainly above its counterparts.
If your photography area is limited to the general market, say wedding or events, this is the perfect camera. Even for sports and wildlife, it’s a pretty good choice- though you can certainly find better cameras for that specific use.
While it’s certainly an efficient upgrade, as has been the case with most Sony mirrorless full-frame outputs, there are areas that can still stand to be perfected.
Nikon Z6 VS Sony A7III
When it comes to full-frame cameras, the Sony A7 III had been the darling of the market for quite some time. However, it recently faced some tough competition from Nikon Z6- the second attempt from Nikon at mirrorless cameras.
Both models have a 24 MP quality and a similar price range when compared. However, they both come with their set of similarities and dissimilarities. The question is, which one is better?
Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7 III: Feature Wise Comparison
The Battery Life
- Sony A7 III: NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery with 710 frames on each full charge
- Nikon Z6: EN-EL15b lithium-ion battery with 310 frames on each full charge
In general, we don’t really expect mirrorless cameras to have the same battery life as that of a DSLR. In that regard, the 310 frame per charge capacity of Nikon Z6 is pretty normal.
This only serves to make the Sony A7 III more impressive with its 710 frames. While the 710 frames are by using the LCD, even if one were to use the EVF of Sony, still 610 shots are possible.
EN-EL15a and EN-EL15a batteries are compatible with Nikon. However, that doesn’t help much, since these batteries mete out even less shots. As far as battery life is concerned, Sony A7 III wins by a mile.
Viewfinder And Touchscreen
- Sony A7 III: 100 percent coverage of the frame and 2,359,296 dots on the electronic viewfinder
- Nikon Z6: 100 percent coverage of the frame and 3,690,000 dots
The electronic viewfinder is employed in both cases instead of the optical one. In this case, Nikon seems to have an edge with the resolution EVF being higher.
Even the LCD backplate is larger, with 3.2 inches in the of Nikon and 3 inches in case of Sony. The resolution for LCD is higher for Nikon, with 2,100K dots while Sony has 921,600K dots.
The LCD touchscreen on Nikon is useful for honing in on the subject by focusing, and even the shutter can be activated with the touchscreen. The Electric viewfinder is also so sharp that it is very easy to forget that you aren’t actually using an optical one.
The only time it becomes obvious you are taking shots with an electronic viewfinder is when the camera is moved too quickly. Then, the slightest blur is possible.
The viewfinder is a clear priority for Nikon. Compared to that, Sony is certainly lacking in resolution on both viewfinder and touchscreen.
However, the A7 III does have 0.78x magnification, which makes the images clearer when zoomed in. Also, the LCD is on the back as opposed to just extending from the body with Nikon.
However, the Sony A7 III does allow you to tap on to the focus. You can even drag the focus around to settle on the particular spot.
Still, Nikon wins this one based on pure resolution quality alone.
- Sony A7 III: 693 point phase detection, 425 point contrast detection
- Nikon z6: 273 point phase detection
The 273 point phase detection autofocus system is impressive in and on itself, with 90 percent coverage of the frame horizontally and vertically for the Nikon Z6. For its price, the AF system is fast, and every bit responsive as you would expect. The silence system also helps when shooting a video.
Still, Sony A7 III clearly takes the autofocus one step further. In fact, the autofocus might be the most obviously perfect system on this Sony model.
The AF technology is borrowed from its Sony A9 model. Along with 93 percent coverage, the point phase-detection system is at an impressive 693. That’s more than double of what Nikon is offering.
Then, we have 425 point contrast detection. If you combine both the mechanisms, this might be one of the best autofocus systems currently available in the market, let alone compared to Nikon Z6.
The Sony A7 is particularly useful for people who work with models or have people as the main subject of their photography. The Eye AF mode works regardless of whether you are on a single-shot or continuous mode.
So, even as the model is moving, the Eye AF system is focused on the eyes. This certainly eliminates lots of post-editing for clear, bright eyes, due to the Eye AF mode.
Of course, this isn’t to say Nikon Z6 is a bad idea competitively. It still has a plethora of lens technology it can rely on.
However, the autofocus system is clearly superior in the case of Sony A7 III. It’s almost perfected, so it feels cruel to even compare it.
- Sony A7 III: 10 fps
- Nikon Z6: 12 fps
When it comes to burst shooting, both cameras are neck-to-neck with each other. For Nikon, 12 fps is offered, which is an impressive range. The buffer capacity is limited though. In one 12fps burst, it can get 37 raw images.
For JPEG files, it’s 44 images if it’s at maximum resolution. So, it’s actually better to switch to a lower frame rate if you want to shoot for more than 3 to 4 seconds.
In contrast, Sony has 10 fps, which certainly appears weaker in number. However, managing 10 fps is amazing in itself. The buffer capacity is also better with Sony. It’s capable of 89 compressed raw files, 40 uncompressed ones, and 177 JPEG images.
So, if your goal is sports or wildlife photography, Nikon Z6 wins. If you particularly work with still JPEGs, Sony A7 III seems to be the better alternative.
FAQs on Nikon Z6 VS Sony A7III
Q1. Which One Should I Buy? Nikon Z6 Or Sony A7 III?
As far as full-frame mirrorless cameras are concerned, Nikon Z6 and Sony A7 III are both solid, reliable cameras. The cameras win over the other in some regards and have an even race in case of other features. Ultimately, it might be wholly dependent on the photographer, based on what suits them the best.
Those used to Nikon might find it better to stick to it or might want to switch it up with Sony or vice versa. Some might prioritize burst shooting while others may have more use for the autofocus.
Both the cameras have their appealing points while being in the same price range, and ultimately, it’s better left to the purchaser.
Q2. Is There A Difference Between The 24 MP Sensors?
Yes, there is a clear difference between the sensors, though the sensor size is still close. Sony offers 24.2 MP with Exmor R CMOS Sensor while Nikon Z6 offers 24.5 MP with CMOS Sensor.
Other than both being full-frame sensors, the resolutions on both are almost identical. However, on paper, Nikon has a slight edge with the .5.
Of course, these all cancel each other when other features are compared. So, worrying about the difference in sensors isn’t too helpful in this case.
Q3. What About The Processors?
The Nikon Z6 uses the Expeed 6 processor, the latest of the latest. As for Sony, it is a Bionz X processor, which is equally amazing.
Q4. What About Video Recording Capability?
Again, the video recording ability is almost distressingly similar. On Nikon Z6, 4k is shot at 29.97 fps. On Sony A7 III, the 4k recording speed is 30fps. In both cases, 1080p HD is captured at 120p.
So, it is pretty much-spitting hairs in this case. That said, it has been noted that the colors are more vibrant on Sony, while Nikon Z6 allows for better live shooting options.