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Canon R vs Nikon Z6

The Canon EOS R and the Nikon Z6 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2018 and August 2018. Both the Canon R and the Z6 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 30.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24.3 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon R   Nikon Z6
Canon R Nikon Z6
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Canon RF mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
30.1 MP, Full Frame Sensor 24.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-40000 (50-102400) ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)
Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots) Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)
3.2" LCD, 2100k dots 3.2" LCD, 2100k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
8 shutter flaps per second 12 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
370 shots per battery charge310 shots per battery charge
136 x 98 x 84 mm, 660 g 134 x 101 x 67 mm, 675 g

Body comparison: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon R and the Nikon Z6. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon R and Nikon Z6
Compare Canon R versus Z6 top
Compare Canon R or Z6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Z6 is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Canon R. Moreover, the Z6 is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the Canon R. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the Canon R gets 370 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the Z6 can take 310 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15b power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon R» 136 mm 98 mm 84 mm 660 g 370 Y Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
 
Nikon Z6« 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Canon RP« » 133 mm 85 mm 70 mm 485 g 250 n Feb 2019 1,299 i i Canon RP
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« » 115 mm 78 mm 51 mm 399 g 200 Y Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 6D« » 145 mm 111 mm 71 mm 770 g 1090 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Fujifilm X-H1« » 140 mm 97 mm 86 mm 673 g 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« » 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D7500« » 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Panasonic GH5s« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 660 g 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G9« » 137 mm 97 mm 92 mm 658 g 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » 139 mm 98 mm 87 mm 725 g 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-1 II« » 137 mm 110 mm 86 mm 1010 g 670 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A7 III« » 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The Z6 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 13 percent) than the Canon R, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a full frame sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the Z6 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon R and Nikon Z6 sensor measures

With 30.1MP, the Canon R offers a higher resolution than the Z6 (24.3MP), but the Canon R has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.36μm versus 5.94μm for the Z6). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.

The Canon EOS R has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 40000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Z6 are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800..

Canon R versus Z6 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon R» Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p----Canon R
 
Nikon Z6« Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995Nikon Z6
 
Canon RP« » Full Frame 26.2 6240 41604K/30p----Canon RP
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 6D« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36481080/30p23.812.1234082Canon 6D
 
Fujifilm X-H1« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.6266899Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D7500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386Nikon D7500
 
Panasonic GH5s« » Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p----Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-1 II« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60i----Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).

 

Feature comparison: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Canon R and the Z6 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 3690k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon R and Nikon Z6 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon R»3690 Y 3.2 2100 swivel Y 8000 8.0 n n Canon R
 
Nikon Z6«3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
 
Canon RP« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 n n Canon RP
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« »2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 2000 9.0 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 6D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 4.5 n n Canon 6D
 
Fujifilm X-H1« »3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 8000 14.0 n Y Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n Y Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D7500« »optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 8000 8.0 Y n Nikon D7500
 
Panasonic GH5s« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 8000 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 8000 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-1 II« »optical Y 3.2 1037 full-flex n 8000 4.4 n Y Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III

One feature that differentiates the Z6 and the Canon R is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The Z6 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the Canon R has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The Canon R has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the Z6 does not have a selfie-screen.

The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the Canon R features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).

The Canon R writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the Z6 uses XQD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS R and Nikon Z6 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon R»YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-YCanon R
 
Nikon Z6«YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
 
Canon RP« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y-YCanon RP
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 6D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 6D
 
Fujifilm X-H1« »YstereomonoY-micro3.0Y--Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z7
 
Nikon D7500« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-YNikon D7500
 
Panasonic GH5s« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y--Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III

Both the Canon R and the Z6 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. Neither of the two has a direct predecessor, so perhaps they will constitute the origins of new camera lines for Canon and Nikon.


Review summary: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon R better than the Nikon Z6 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS R:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (30.1 vs 24.3MP) with a 11% higher linear resolution.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (370 versus 310) on a single battery charge.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Z6:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.80x vs 0.76x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (13 percent cheaper at launch).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Canon R comes out slightly ahead of the Z6 (5 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

Canon R 05:04 Z6

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Canon R or the Z6. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon R»o79/1004.5/54/54/5 Sep 2018 2,299 i i Canon R
 
Nikon Z6«--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Canon RP« »----4/5 Feb 2019 1,299 i i Canon RP
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »+80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Canon G1 X Mark III« »+79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »++87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 6D« »++83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Canon 6D
 
Fujifilm X-H1« »+86/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« »+89/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D7500« »++86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i i Nikon D7500
 
Panasonic GH5s« »-84/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 i i Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G9« »++85/1005/55/55/5 Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »++85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Pentax K-1 II« »-79/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Pentax K-1 II
 
Sony A7 III« »++89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon R:
Check Amazon price
Nikon Z6:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon R vs Nikon Z6

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon R Nikon Z6
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Canon RF mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2018 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 2299 USD 1999
    Sensor Specs Canon R Nikon Z6
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 24.0 mm 35.9 x 24.0 mm
    Sensor Area 864 mm2 858.01 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.3 mm 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 30.1 Megapixels 24.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6720 x 4480 pixels 6048 x 4024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.36 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 3.48 MP/cm2 2.84 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-40000 ISO 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-102400 ISO 50-204800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 EXPEED 6
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 95
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 25.3
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 14.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 3299
    Screen Specs Canon R Nikon Z6
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.76x 0.80x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3690k dots 3690k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 2100k dots 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon R Nikon Z6
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 12 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutterno E-Shutter
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards XQD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon R Nikon Z6
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.1 USB 3.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon R Nikon Z6
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type LP-E6N power pack EN-EL15b power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge310 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 136 x 98 x 84 mm
    (5.4 x 3.9 x 3.3 in)
    134 x 101 x 67 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 660 g (23.3 oz) 675 g (23.8 oz)

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