Nikon Z6 II Comparison Review
The Nikon Z6 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in October 2020 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24.3 megapixel.
Is the Nikon Z6 II a good camera? The Z6 II has a Camera Elo of 3204. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The Z6 II ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the Z6 II also ranks among the top 10 percent.
|Nikon Z6 II|
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Nikon Z mount lenses|
|24.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 51 200 (50 - 204 800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)|
|3.2 LCD, 2100k dots|
|14 shutter flaps per second|
|410 shots per battery charge|
|134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon Z6 II vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Z6 II alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Nikon Z6 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||410||Y||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Canon R6||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||680 g||360||Y||Jul 2020||2,499|
|Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|Nikon D780||144 mm||116 mm||76 mm||840 g||2260||Y||Jan 2020||2,299|
|Nikon Z5||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||470||Y||Jul 2020||1,399|
|Nikon Z7 II||134 mm||101 mm||70 mm||705 g||420||Y||Oct 2020||2,999|
|Nikon Z6||134 mm||101 mm||67 mm||675 g||310||Y||Aug 2018||1,999|
|Olympus E-M1 III||134 mm||91 mm||69 mm||580 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,799|
|Panasonic S5||133 mm||98 mm||82 mm||714 g||440||Y||Sep 2020||1,999|
|Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon Z6 II was launched in the US market at a price of $1,999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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 with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon Z6 II features a full frame sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon Z6 II among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|Nikon Z6 II||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon R6||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4k/60p||24.2||14.3||3394||90|
|Nikon D780||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z5||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z7 II||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon Z6||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||25.3||14.3||3299||95|
|Olympus E-M1 III||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic S5||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Z6 II indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Z6 II can use is 4K/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z6 II has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 3690k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.80x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon Z6 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon Z6 II||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||14.0||n||Y|
|Nikon Z7 II||3690||Y||3.2||2100||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Olympus E-M1 III||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||18.0||n||Y|
|Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One useful feature of the Z6 II is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
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 Nikon Z6 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|Nikon Z6 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Nikon Z7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|Olympus E-M1 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
It is notable that the Z6 II has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the Z6 II in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon Z6 II||..||89/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Oct 2020||1,999|
|Canon R6||+ +||90/100||4.5/5||..||5/5||Jul 2020||2,499|
|Fujifilm X-T4||+ +||..||5/5||..||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|Nikon D780||..||87/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2020||2,299|
|Nikon Z5||..||89/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jul 2020||1,399|
|Nikon Z7 II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Oct 2020||2,999|
|Nikon Z6||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2018||1,999|
|Olympus E-M1 III||..||83/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Feb 2020||1,799|
|Panasonic S5||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2020||1,999|
|Sony A9 II||..||90/100||5/5||..||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|Sony A7 III||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Nikon Z6 II FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Z6 II.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the Z6 II based on?
The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Nikon equipped the Z6 II with the DUAL EXPEED 6 image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Z6 II?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon Z6 II?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the Z6 II. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the Z6 II over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.
Is completely silent shooting possible with the Nikon Z6 II?
The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Nikon Z6 II has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Nikon Z6 II?
The Z6 II offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Nikon Z6 II feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The Z6 II's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.
Does the Nikon Z6 II support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).
Which battery does the Z6 II use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL15c, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the Z6 II?
Yes, Nikon offers the MB-N11 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
|Camera Model||Nikon Z6 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon Z mount lenses|
|Launch Date||October 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 1 999|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||858 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.3 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6 048 x 4 024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.84 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 51 200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 204 800 ISO|
|Image Processor||DUAL EXPEED 6|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||2100k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||200 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFexpress or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-II|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||EN-EL15c power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
134 x 101 x 70 mm
(5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||705 g (24.9 oz)|
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