The Nikon Z series is proving to be a game-changer for the company. The Z-mount makes a splendid combination with these cameras. The Nikon Z7 is already considered to be the best mirrorless camera ever made. In such a situation, making comparisons with its predecessor is quite natural. Therefore, in this article, we shall provide a comprehensive Nikon Z6 vs Z7 comparison. We will analyze all features of these cameras so that you can decide which mirrorless camera is best suited for your requirements.
The Mirrorless Vs DSLR Debate
Mirrorless technology has several benefits over DSLR cameras. They are compact cameras that are great for silent shooting (shooting without shutter noises) and have decent video recording features as well. Using them alongside a good DSLR will be the best strategy for a professional photographer.
However, being a new technology, the transition to mirrorless cameras has not been easy for many photographers. In such a situation, the Nikon Z series cameras have to be praised for providing a smooth transition for anyone who has only used DSLRs till now. The Nikon Z series cameras are the most suitable for migrating to the mirrorless technology. They are among the best mirrorless cameras ever made.
Nikon Z6 Vs Z7: Specifications
1. For Nikon Z6
The Nikon Z6 has several attractive features. Having special mirrorless sensors, the camera has a 24.5MP full-frame back-illuminated CMOS. The frame measurements of the sensor are 35.9 x 23.9mm. The image processor and the core of this camera are faster than some of the Highland Nikon DSLRs like the D750, which was once a flagship model.
The Nikon Z6 has an EXPEED 6 processor. The autofocus feature has a 273-point phase detection. It provides up to 90% vertical and horizontal frame coverage. Just like the advanced DSLRs, the Nikon Z6 has a wide range of ISO parameter options. 100 to 51,200 are the ISO speed options available.
An image quality with 6,048 x 4,024px is available in this camera. The images are sharp and they are great for post-processing as well. Being a mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z6 does not have some of the cardinal features of a DSLR. One of these is that the Nikon Z6 does not have any metering modes available.
Regarding the viewfinder, mirrorless cameras by Nikon have an electronic viewfinder only. The electronic viewfinder of the Nikon Z6 has 3,690k dots and an OLED display. The display provides up to 0.8x magnification and 100% coverage.
The camera has an XQD memory card compatibility and Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity too. It does not have a high-quality video camera that provides 3,840 x 2,160 pixel quality in almost all settings. The Nikon Z6 has a 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen having 2,100k dots. The burst mode in the camera works well. In the first frame focus, a maximum burst of 12fps can be used.
2. For Nikon Z7
The most exciting feature of the Nikon Z7 camera is its CMOS sensor. It is the closest that any mirrorless camera’s sensor has come to a DSLR’s CMOS sensor. The Nikon Z7 sensor is very similar to that of the Nikon D850. However, minor differences still exist. Z7 has a 45.7MP sensor that is much more advanced than the Z6’s 24.5MP CMOS.
It is a full-frame CMOS with frame measurements of 35.9 x 23.9mm. Just like the Nikon Z6, the processor of the Nikon Z7 camera is the EXPEED 6. The autofocus feature is also more evolved and dynamic. It utilizes a 493-point system for the hybrid or the contrast phase.
The ISO range of the Nikon Z7 is a little lesser than the Nikon Z6. The camera only has a range of 64 to 25,600 ISO shutter speeds. However, just like the Nikon Z6, no information on the metering modes has been given by the manufacturer for the Z7 mirrorless camera. The video camera of the Nikon Z7 offers excellent video quality. You can record 4K videos in the camera at parameters of 30p, 25p, and 24p, respectively.
It also has an electronic viewfinder that provides 100% coverage. The viewfinder display has 3,690k dots. The camera has two memory card slots that are compatible with the XQD type of SD cards. The LCD screen of the camera has a touch mode and a tilting mechanism as well. The size of the screen is 3.2-inches and it has 2,100K dots.
The image quality of the Nikon Z7 is quite decent. Moreover, the maximum image size is 8,256 x 5,504px. The burst mode works with a maximum 9fps burst rate. Just like any other camera in this price bracket, the Nikon Z7 has good Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Nikon Z6 Vs Z7: Design And Handling
1. Nikon Z6
When you think of buying a camera, always assess its build and handling very carefully. If the camera offers excellent controls and features, but it is not easy to operate, it will eventually become useless for you. The Nikon Z6 camera is said to be a mirrorless version of the Nikon D750.
The Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera is smaller than the full-frame cameras manufactured by Nikon. Moreover, the camera is smaller than the Sony A7 Mirrorless camera series too. Some photographers feel that a camera with a small body is always difficult to handle. It is because getting a strong grip on a smaller body is tough.
However, the small body of the Nikon Z6 camera is not as disadvantageous as you might expect. The grip is much better than that of the Sony A7 cameras. When you use larger lenses, there is no problem in handling the camera at all. Though, it is still not as comfortable as the Nikon MB-N10 grip, especially when you are going to use the camera primarily with telephoto lenses. These are lenses whose physical length is considerably smaller than the large focal length. They are used to capture distant objects.
The smaller body of the Nikon Z6 camera implies that certain features of a regular DSLR will not be present in it. These features include AF mode control, external drive mode dial, thumbstick for changing the location of the focus points in the frame, etc. All the crucial controls and settings like the white balance and ISO parameters can be controlled with an interactive screen.
Although there are no separate buttons for these features, the touchscreen is useful in adjusting the controls during a photoshoot. Unlike the DSLR cameras available in the same range, the touch screen of the Nikon Z6 camera works very smoothly. So, not having extra buttons for the above-mentioned controls is not a big problem.
The rear screen of the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera works very well. If you have the experience of using the low-quality rear screen of a DSLR, you will surely like this LCD screen. However, the only shortcoming of the rear LCD screen of the Nikon Z6 is that it only has a vertical tilt mechanism. While competitors have full vari-angle screen features and side tilt mechanisms as well. Keeping the rear screen limited to a vertical tilt is not working well for the Z6.
The viewfinder of the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera comes very near to the quality of a DSLR camera’s viewfinder. The details are always sharp in the viewfinder, and it almost always provides a lag-free optical quality. The best part is that there is no color difference between the final image and the picture visible on the viewfinder initially.
Generally, the image visible on the viewfinder is a bit more coarse than what we finally see on a computer screen. As stated before, the electronic viewfinder of the Z6 only comes close to that of a DSLR. It still does not have the naked-eye viewing clarity like that of a DSLR.
2. Nikon Z7
The build and handling of the Nikon Z7 are much similar to that of the Z6. The size of this mirrorless camera is smaller than DSLRs like the Nikon D850, although it shares several features with it. Moreover, the small size of the Nikon Z7 does not compete well enough with that of the Sony A7 cameras, unlike the Z6.
While both Z6 and Z7 are easier to handle as compared to the A7 series cameras by Sony, the Nikon Z7 is only marginally better in this regard. The small size of the Nikon Z7 is its selling point as well. The camera is lightweight and easy to carry.. However, just like the Z6, many larger lenses do not fit adequately with the body of the camera.
The design of the Z7 has some additional features. The camera has a more compact Z-mount than the Z6. The measurements and specifications of the Z-mount are 24-70mm f/4. The fitting of the mount in the body of the Nikon Z7 is perfect and feels like it is exclusively made for this model.
When some of the bulkier lenses are attached, the Z7 becomes difficult to manage as the camera starts losing its balance. A special battery grip, available in DSLRs is much needed for cameras like the Nikon Z7. It will complement the control layout of the camera very well.
The control layout is nowhere similar to that of pro DSLR cameras and some things are the entire opposite in Z7’s layout. For instance, if you need to switch on the drive control, you simply need to press a button as the regular control dial is not available. Similarly, there is no mode button available.
A simple mode dial is present on the top surface to change the metering modes. All this is primarily because of the small body of the Nikon Z7. The limited space is already occupied by buttons for autofocus and a focus point lever. Despite the limited availability of space, a small four-way navigation pad is present that works very efficiently.
The electronic viewfinder and the viewer system are slightly better than the Nikon Z6. If you are new to using electronic viewfinders, the Nikon Z7 will be the ideal camera to learn how to do so. There are only a few features that are different from the traditional optical viewfinder.
Nevertheless, an amazing 3.69 million dots resolution makes the electronic viewfinder much better than the optical viewfinders of some of the popular DSLRs.
The view on the screen is not heavy or grainy, and on moving the camera there is auto-blurring of the background and even some other objects in the frame. Lag is a big problem with digital viewfinders. It exists in the Nikon Z7 camera as well. However, the smearing of the image and the lag are not as prominent as one would expect with electronic viewfinders.
Nikon Z6 Vs Z7: Performance
1. Nikon Z6 Performance
The performance of all the cameras in the Z series of mirrorless cameras is sublime. The use of the Z-mount lenses in the Nikon Z6 makes the autofocus feature very smooth. While clicking pictures, you will not feel like you are using any special feature until you hear the autofocus ‘beep’.
Not just the static autofocus mode, but the continuous autofocus mode is quick and smooth as well. The sharpness of the image clicked with the continuous autofocus mode is commendable. It captures the details of objects moving quickly in the frame, with a lot of precision. It is possible because of the wide focus available in the continuous mode.
The burst mode works just fine. With a decent buffer capacity, the user can click pictures in burst mode with good spacing between each shot. At the 12-bit NEF setting, you get a maximum burst speed of 12fps. All these features make the Nikon Z6 a good camera for sports photography. However, the burst mode does not work as well as the ones in some DSLR cameras like the Nikon D500.
Having said that, the price of the Nikon D500 is twice as much as the Nikon Z6 and the APS-C sensor is much smaller than that of Z6. It is often noticeable in DSLR cameras that when the burst mode is switched on, a blackout of the viewfinder screen occurs.
You will not face this problem while using the burst mode in the Nikon Z6. However, like most cameras, there will be some lag while using the viewfinder with the burst mode. Sometimes the display tends to jump, especially when there is a fast-moving object in the frame. But this lagging issue is a setback in most mirrorless cameras today. It is only the DSLRs that perform better in this regard.
The video quality of the Nikon Z6 is better than many of the high-end DSLRs manufactured by Nikon. It is primarily because along with the 4K video quality, the camera also has a live view autofocus feature.
The live view autofocus feature works silently while the video recording is very smooth. Moreover, you can select an option for obtaining a 10-bit N-Log output from the video recorder. This format provides video output with professional-level grading and extra quality.
A separate small handle is provided to make the handheld video recording easier. This in-body stabilization helps in capturing static shorts with a lot of accuracies. However, it is tedious to use it when you need to shift frames or capture jerky movements.
While the camera does not have separate metering modes, the default Matrix exposure is best suited for professional photographers. It is because the exposure Matrix helps in capturing highlights more than any other type of shot. Sometimes, even with elaborate metering modes, only the shadows get the right exposure while highlights are captured vaguely.
The Z6 however, captures images where highlights have better exposure, and shadows are dealt with high-contrast lighting. It does not mean that shadows do not have the right amount of grading and detailing in the images. The camera sensor clicks pictures that are good enough that you can adjust their dark shadow details appropriately in post-processing.
The low-light shooting mode of the Nikon Z6 is it’s a most attractive feature. It works silently and captures every detail perfectly. You might not be able to see the object clearly with the naked eye, but the image will have amazing sharpness and detail. The Nikon Z6 is a great option in locations with low lighting, like theatres and museums. The low-light shooting mode of the Z6 is much better than that of the Z7.
2. Nikon Z7 Performance
Ever since the specifications of the Nikon Z7 mirrorless camera were made public, it was clear that the 45.7-megapixel sensor would be its biggest selling point. It is much ahead of the 24.5 MP camera of its predecessor. The performance of the CMOS sensor is as expected, and does not disappoint at all.
With the specialized Z mount for this mirrorless series, it is a treat to use the camera. As stated before, the sensor of the Nikon Z7 camera is closely related to that of the D850 DSLR. However, after using the camera several times we have concluded that there were some subtle changes in Z7’s CMOS sensor, making its performance even better.
It is the highest resolution that you can get in any full-frame mirrorless camera offered by Nikon today. Moreover, it is guaranteed that you will get an image quality of at least 40-megapixel resolution for all ISO speeds up to 3200.
The silent burst mode feature is absent in the Nikon Z7. The camera makes a lot of noise when clicking pictures. However, it is worth noting that the noise produced by the camera is still less than some high-end DSLR cameras including the Nikon D850. Experts suggest that the new EXPEED 6 processor could be responsible for these noises. However, it is only because of this processor that the camera has a much higher dynamic range.
The default exposure Matrix system has also improved a lot from the Nikon Z6. In the Z7, apart from capturing the highlights in high-resolution, the camera takes care of shadow contrasts as well. So, you no longer need to depend on just post-processing for adjusting shadows in an image.
The camera also has one of the most flexible and fast autofocus modes. The coverage area of the autofocus mode is large. The number of focus points is also considerably higher than that of the Z6 autofocus. The reason behind this spectacular autofocus mode is that the Nikon Z7 comes with some additional advanced lenses. These lenses are smooth and highly efficient. It makes them most suitable for photography as well as video recordings.
As far as performance is concerned, you cannot find a mirrorless camera better than the Nikon Z7. The Nikon Z7 was among the first full-frame mirrorless cameras manufactured by Nikon. However, on using it you feel as if it is the company’s flagship model that has been around for years.
For most mirrorless cameras, the detailing of the image decreases drastically as the ISO speed is increased. However, using the Nikon Z7 with parameters as high as 6,400 or 12,800 is a unique experience in itself. Excellent picture quality and light images can be obtained with almost all programs and settings in this camera.
Nikon’s Z series mirrorless cameras have been at the forefront, bringing about a revolution in low-light photography. While there is no doubt that Nikon Z6 is the best camera for shooting under dim light, the Z7 is not far behind. High-ISO performance makes the Z7 stand out in this aspect. Managing these features even with a 45.7-megapixel sensor and improved sensitivity to light is a remarkable thing.
All in all, you get a camera that offers a high megapixel sensor and completely justifies the specification by providing sharp images with subtle coloration. Those who have used expensive DSLR cameras know that this satisfactory balance between specifications and performance is seldom achieved by manufacturers.
Being part of the Z series, the Z7’s images are free of chromatic aberrations and distortions. RAW and JPEG files retain their quality even after being transferred to another device. The Z7’s specifications are worthy of grabbing headlines. However, it is the performance that will make users fall in love with this camera. The overall image quality and the dynamic range of any other mirrorless camera is nowhere near that of the Z7. By any standard, the Nikon Z7 offers stellar performance.
FAQs on Nikon z6 vs z7
Q1. Which Camera Is More Popular, Z7 Or Z6?
The whole Nikon Z7 vs Z6 comparison becomes more interesting when you learn that both these cameras have an entirely different market. While the Z6 competes in the mirrorless camera category alone, the Nikon Z7 is managing to give even the high-end DSLR cameras a tough fight. Therefore, our vote is for the Z7.
Q2. What Is Your Verdict On Nikon Z6?
What works for the Nikon Z6 camera is the finesse in its performance. On paper, the camera might seem to offer very little. The specifications might be similar or even less appealing than those of the competitor models. However, there are very few mirrorless cameras in the market today that can match the performance of the Nikon Z6.
The Nikon Z6 is a complete winner in the domain of practical low-light shooting photography. A High-ISO performance with sharp image production is the highlight of this camera. In a span of several years, seldom do we see a camera with so many weaknesses on paper, but managing to squash them out completely with its performance.
Q3. Why Buy Nikon Z6 If Its Specifications Are So Poor In Comparison To Z7?
Many people rejected the Nikon Z6 based on the comparison of its specifications with the Nikon Z7. It is because of this trend, that Nikon slashed the market price of the Z6. Due to this, the camera is attracting more buyers than ever before. Getting a camera with such great efficiency and performance at a cheap price is all that a photographer wants. Not just the Nikon Z7, but even the Canon EOS R is a tough competitor for the Nikon Z6. However, superior 4K video quality and lesser market price are the things that make the Nikon Z6 a suitable option for the majority of photographers.
Q4. What Is Your Verdict On Nikon Z7?
The Nikon Z7 is already a classic. The camera pulls its weight in almost all departments. It has eradicated all competition for itself amongst mirrorless cameras and is competing with the likes of the Nikon D850. Some users suggest that the Nikon Z7 has the best digital user interface. People usually have a lot of trouble shifting from optical to electronic viewfinders. However, those who have used the electronic viewfinder in the Nikon Z7 think that it has the best viewer display.
Q5. What Are The Best Features Of The Nikon Z7?
As stated before, the Nikon Z7 performs extremely well in all departments. The autofocus feature works smoothly and efficiently. Particularly the eye-detection autofocus gives the camera a major boost. The image quality under any ISO setting is excellent. If you are considering purchasing a mirrorless camera, you should go for the Nikon Z7. It has the world’s best technical ability and image quality, which is not matched by any mirrorless camera to date.
Both the Nikon Z6 and Z7 are creating a lot of buzz in the market today. We have analyzed all the major features of both the cameras comprehensively in our Nikon Z6 vs Z7 comparison. The essence of our analysis is that both of these cameras deserve the praise coming their way.
Moreover, Nikon has benefited tremendously by investing in these two models of mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless cameras are gaining a lot of popularity, and people are now preferring them over DSLRs as well. In such a situation, buying either a Nikon Z6 or a Z7 will be a great choice.