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Nikon Z6 Comparison Review

The Nikon Z6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in August 2018 and is equipped with a full frame sensor. It offers a resolution of 24.3 megapixel.

camera

Is the Nikon Z6 a good camera? The Z6 has a Camera Elo of 3281. This very strong rating puts it among the elite group of camera grand masters. The Z6 ranks among the top 10 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (full frame cameras), the Z6 also ranks among the top 10 percent.

Headline Specifications
Nikon Z6
Mirrorless system camera
Nikon Z mount lenses
24.3 MP, Full Frame Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-204800)
Electronic viewfinder (3690k dots)
3.2" LCD, 2100k dots
Tilting touchscreen
12 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
310 shots per battery charge
134 x 101 x 67 mm, 675 g


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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

The physical dimensions of the Nikon Z6 relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon Z6 vs credit card front
Z6 versus credit card top view
Z6 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon Z6 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.

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
 
Nikon Z6 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-H1« » 5.5 in 3.8 in 3.4 in 23.7 oz 310 Y Feb 2018 1,899 i i Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 330 Y Aug 2018 3,399 i i Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D750« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 26.5 oz 1230 Y Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Panasonic S1R« » 5.9 in 4.3 in 3.8 in 35.8 oz 380 Y Feb 2019 3,699 i i Panasonic S1R
 
Panasonic G9« » 5.4 in 3.8 in 3.6 in 23.2 oz 400 Y Nov 2017 1,699 i i Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 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.

Nikon Z6:
Check Amazon price

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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

The Nikon Z6 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 among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.

Nikon Z6 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995Nikon Z6
 
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285Canon 6D Mark II
 
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 D750« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/60p24.814.5295693Nikon D750
 
Panasonic S1R« » Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/60p26.414.13525100Panasonic S1R
 
Panasonic G9« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p----Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The Z6 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the Z6 can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the Z6 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 following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon Z6 and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.5 n n Canon 6D Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-H1« »3690 Y 3.0 1040 full-flex Y 1/8000s 14.0 n Y Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y Nikon Z7
 
Nikon D750« »optical Y 3.2 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D750
 
Panasonic S1R« »5760 Y 3.2 2100 full-flex Y 1/8000s 9.0 n Y Panasonic S1R
 
Panasonic G9« »3680 Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Panasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II

One useful feature of the Z6 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.

 

Connection 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 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
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 6D Mark II
 
Fujifilm X-H1« »YstereomonoY-micro3.0Y--Fujifilm X-H1
 
Nikon Z7« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z7
 
Nikon D750« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Nikon D750
 
Panasonic S1R« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic S1R
 
Panasonic G9« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y-YPanasonic G9
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II

It is notable that the Z6 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.

 

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Z6. 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).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon Z6--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Canon 6D Mark II« »+80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i Canon 6D Mark II
 
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 D750« »+ +90/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 2,299 i i Nikon D750
 
Panasonic S1R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Feb 2019 3,699 i i Panasonic S1R
 
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
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A9« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the Z6.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the Z6?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

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 with the EXPEED 6 image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the Z6?

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?

Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 200 000 actuations for the Z6. 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 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 200 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon Z6?

Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your Z6 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Nikon Z6 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?

The Z6 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 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's flash sync speed is 1/200 sec.

Which battery does the Z6 use?

The camera gets its power from the EN-EL15b (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Is there a vertical grip available for the Z6?

Yes, Nikon offers the MB-N10 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.

Where can I find the best deals for the Z6?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Nikon.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 Summary
    Camera Model Nikon Z6
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon Z mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2018
    Launch Price USD 1999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24.3 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6048 x 4024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 2.84 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-204800 ISO
    Image Processor 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
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.80x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3690k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 2100k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 12 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium XQD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 3.1
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL15b power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)310 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 134 x 101 x 67 mm
    (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
    Camera Weight 675 g (23.8 oz)

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