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Nikon Z6 II vs Z7 II

The Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public in October 2020. Both the Z6 II and the Z7 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a full frame sensor. The Z6 II has a resolution of 24.3 megapixels, whereas the Z7 II provides 45.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z6 II versus Nikon Z7 II
Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Nikon Z mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
24.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor 45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/60p Video 4K/60p Video
ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800) ISO 64-25,600 (32 - 102,400)
Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots) Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)
3.2 LCD, 2100k dots 3.2 LCD, 2100k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
14 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
410 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g 134 x 101 x 70 mm, 705 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon Z6 II vs Nikon Z7 II
Compare Z6 II versus Z7 II top
Comparison Z6 II or Z7 II rear

In this particular case, the Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. Moreover, the two cameras also share the same weight. 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.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z6 II 134 mm 101 mm 70 mm 705 g 410 Y Oct 2020 1,999 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II 134 mm 101 mm 70 mm 705 g 420 Y Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon R6 138 mm 98 mm 88 mm 680 g 360 Y Jul 2020 2,499 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T4 135 mm 93 mm 64 mm 607 g 500 Y Feb 2020 1,699 i
5.
 
Nikon D780 144 mm 116 mm 76 mm 840 g 2260 Y Jan 2020 2,299 i
6.
 
Nikon Z5 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 470 Y Jul 2020 1,399 i
7.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999i
8.
 
Nikon Z7 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399i
9.
 
Olympus E-M1 III 134 mm 91 mm 69 mm 580 g 420 Y Feb 2020 1,799 i
10.
 
Panasonic S5 133 mm 98 mm 82 mm 714 g 440 Y Sep 2020 1,999 i
11.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
12.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
13.
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199i
14.
 
Sony A99 II 143 mm 104 mm 76 mm 849 g 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The Z6 II was launched at a markedly lower price (by 33 percent) than the Z7 II, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the Z7 II offers a higher resolution of 45.4 megapixels, compared with 24.3 MP of the Z6 II. This megapixels advantage translates into a 37 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the Z7 II has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 5.94μm for the Z6 II). 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Z7 II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon Z7 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Z7 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 27.5 inches or 104.9 x 69.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 22 inches or 83.9 x 55.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 18.3 inches or 69.9 x 46.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon Z6 II are 30.2 x 20.1 inches or 76.8 x 51.1 cm for good quality, 24.2 x 16.1 inches or 61.4 x 40.9 cm for very good quality, and 20.2 x 13.4 inches or 51.2 x 34.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Z6 II has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Z7 II are ISO 64 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 32-102400.

Z6 II versus Z7 II MP

For many 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon Z6 II Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/60p........
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/60p........
3.
 
Canon R6 Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484k/60p24.214.3339490
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T4 APS-C 26.0 6240 41604K/60p........
5.
 
Nikon D780 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p........
6.
 
Nikon Z5 Full Frame 24.2 6016 40164K/30p........
7.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
8.
 
Nikon Z7 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.314.6266899
9.
 
Olympus E-M1 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
10.
 
Panasonic S5 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/60p........
11.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
12.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
13.
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
14.
 
Sony A99 II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/60p).

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Z6 II and the Z7 II 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon Z6 II, the Nikon Z7 II, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon Z6 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 14.0 n Y
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
3.
 
Canon R65760 n 3.0 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T43690 n 3.0 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 15.0 n Y
5.
 
Nikon D780optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n
6.
 
Nikon Z53690 n 3.2 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 4.5 n Y
7.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
8.
 
Nikon Z73690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-M1 III2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
10.
 
Panasonic S52360 n 3.0 1840 full-flex Y 1/8000s 7.0 n Y
11.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
12.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
13.
 
Sony A7R III3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
14.
 
Sony A99 II2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y

The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature 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 Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Z6 II and the Z7 II write their files to CFexpress or SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. Both cameras support UHS-II cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s.

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Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon Z7 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon Z6 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
2.
 
Nikon Z7 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
3.
 
Canon R6YmonomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T4YstereomonoY-micro3.1Y-Y
5.
 
Nikon D780YstereomonoYYmini3.1Y-Y
6.
 
Nikon Z5YstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
7.
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
8.
 
Nikon Z7YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
9.
 
Olympus E-M1 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
10.
 
Panasonic S5YstereomonoYYmicro3.2Y-Y
11.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
12.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
13.
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
14.
 
Sony A99 IIYstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYY

Both the Z6 II and the Z7 II are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The Z6 II replaced the earlier Nikon Z6, while the Z7 II followed on from the Nikon Z7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Nikon Z6 II better than the Nikon Z7 II or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon Z6 II:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (33 percent cheaper at launch).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon Z7 II:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (45.4 vs 24.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 37%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the Z6 II comes out slightly ahead of the Z7 II (3 : 2 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. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

Z6 II 03:02 Z7 II

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z7 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the Z6 II or the Z7 II perform in practice. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon Z6 II4.5/5..89/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2020 1,999 i
2.
 
Nikon Z7 II4.5/5....4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2020 2,999 i
3.
 
Canon R65/5+ +90/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2020 2,499 i
4.
 
Fujifilm X-T45/5+ +..5/55/5 Feb 2020 1,699 i
5.
 
Nikon D7805/5..87/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2020 2,299 i
6.
 
Nikon Z54/5..89/1004.5/54/5 Jul 2020 1,399 i
7.
 
Nikon Z65/5....4.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999i
8.
 
Nikon Z75/5+89/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2018 3,399i
9.
 
Olympus E-M1 III5/5..83/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2020 1,799 i
10.
 
Panasonic S54.5/5+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2020 1,999 i
11.
 
Sony A9 II....90/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
12.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +89/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
13.
 
Sony A7R III..+ +90/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199i
14.
 
Sony A99 II....85/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i
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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon Z6 II:
Check Amazon price
Nikon Z7 II:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon Z6 II vs Nikon Z7 II

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon Z mount lenses Nikon Z mount lenses
    Launch Date October 2020 October 2020
    Launch Price USD 1,999 USD 2,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 858.01 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.3 Megapixels 45.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6048 x 4024 pixels 8256 x 5504 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm 4.35 μm
    Pixel Density 2.84 MP/cm2 5.30 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/60p Video 4K/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 51,200 ISO 64 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50 - 204,800 ISO 32 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor DUAL EXPEED 6 DUAL EXPEED 6
    Screen Specs Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.80x 0.80x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3690k dots 3690k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2inch 3.2inch
    LCD Resolution 2100k dots 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 14 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/8000sup to 1/8000s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CFexpress or SDXC cards CFexpress or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.2 USB 3.2
    HDMI Port micro 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 Nikon Z6 II Nikon Z7 II
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15c EN-EL15c
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 101 x 70 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)
    134 x 101 x 70 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 705 g (24.9 oz) 705 g (24.9 oz)

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