Science

Nikon Z6 II review

The Nikon Z6, released in late 2018, was one of two mirrorless cameras released by Nikon to get closer to the serious end of the mirrorless camera market.

Key Features

Sensor: BSI-CMOS 24.5 MP

Lens mount: Z-mount

ISO range: 100 – 51200

Video: 4K 60p

Weight: 1.5 lbs / 675 g

Memory card slots: 1x CFexpress/XQD, 1x UHS-II SD

Famed by many in the photographic community, he was in the right place when it came to introducing serious amateur and semi-professional photographers to the mirrorless world, at a price that wasn’t prohibitive for people who wanted to step up, but expensive. enough to show the level of quality we’ve come to expect from high-end Nikon DSLRs from the previous era.

  • Nikon Z 6II (black) at Best Buy for $1999.99. (will open in a new tab)

This review will look at the main differences between the Z6 and Z6 II, however minor they may be, and put the camera in the context of the wider world of full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Nikon Z6 II Review: Design

  • Good weather sealing
  • Steady feeling
  • Comfortable handle

Photo Nikon Z6 II back

The Nikon Z6 II features a 3.2-inch rear LCD. (Image credit: Jacob Little)

In terms of design, the Z6 is virtually identical to the second incarnation. It uses the same body parts, grip and weather-resistant body with a solid and durable feel that, while feeling a bit heavier than its immediate counterparts, gives a confident feel in the hand.

The body itself is relatively small, but there is enough room for a large screen on the top displaying important information and an impressive tilting LCD touch screen on the back, like other cameras of this kind.

The control dials are well made and the ergonomic design of the camera makes it a pleasure to use. The weight and size specs are slightly higher than the original Z6, but Nikon made it work well and ensured that the Z6 II looks a bit more refined.

Photo Nikon Z6 II in the photographer's hand

The ergonomics of the camera is almost the same as the original Nikon Z6. (Image credit: Jacob Little)

Other, more practical design changes are welcome. The Z6 II added a second card slot that was not present in the original version. It is compatible with CF Express, so when combined with a standard SD, serious capacity and speed improvements can be found in this area. Users familiar with Nikon’s overall mirrorless ecosystem and the layout of controls will be confident that all buttons are in the right place, especially the AF-On switch, which allows the photographer to quickly and easily navigate the camera’s over 270 focus points.

Nikon Z6 II Review: Performance

  • Improved Image Processor
  • Shutter speed settings have been expanded and improved.
  • Video now supports 4K at 60fps.

Photography Nikon Z6 II

If you need to take more than 410 shots on a single charge, you can connect the camera to the USB-C connector. (Image credit: Jacob Little)

The performance and quality of the original Z6 couldn’t be faulted, offering a great mirrorless experience. The Z6 II has some subtle but impressive performance improvements that, if you dig deep enough, will noticeably improve its overall usage.

The first is the introduction of a dual image processor, which provides most of the improvements, offering the ability to increase the camera’s burst speed from 12 fps to 14 fps. It’s not as much as the Canon R6’s direct camera competitor, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. There are also general improvements to autofocus speed. It has the same number of autofocus points as the Z6, but is slightly faster and faster. There is also a better shutter speed range that astrophotographers will be keen to explore further.

The original Z6 was always video-efficient, but now its appeal has increased with the advent of 60fps at 4K resolution. It’s a dynamic and enjoyable video that is perhaps only slightly behind the increased weight of the Z6 II. If you’re serious about shooting from a fixed base rather than handheld, the improvements brought about by the dual processor should also be music to your ears and mean the camera is a formidable director’s companion.

The photo shows the buttons in the upper right corner of the Nikon Z6 ii.

The Z6 II has a large, comfortable grip with conveniently located controls. (Image credit: Jacob Little)

Nikon Z6 II Review: Functionality

  • He walks a fine line between the ideal amateur and professional setup.
  • Functionality is consistent and impressive
  • Critics may argue that big improvements can be found elsewhere.

The Z6 II takes amazingly detailed shots, which can be seen in the fine details of this daisy. (Image credit: Jacob Little)

Statistically stable is where the Z6 II excels, and it can also be significantly more affordable than its direct competitor, the Canon R6. As a direct comparison, if Nikon had added a few more notable upgrades to the Z6 II, it would have been a class leader, but as it stands, it’s a well-balanced camera that suits both professional and average users.

Functionality is identical to the original Z6, which will delight Nikon purists, and it must be argued that its menu system, layout, and overall functionality outperforms Canon’s mirrorless cameras in several areas. We like the layout, especially the aforementioned autofocus button. However, we also feel that some compromises must be made due to the size of the case, and one or two additional user function buttons that the user can program to their liking might not hurt. A slight quirk is that the information in the viewfinder can only be hidden by programming one of these much-in-demand custom buttons to “turn off the display of live information”, which seems a little counter-intuitive when it could be programmed to the DISP button. At least unlike the original Z6, there is an option to hide all this information for a clutter-free display.

Should I buy Nikon Z6 II?

If you already have a Z6, then there is a simple answer: no.

This upgrade isn’t enough to justify a brand new purchase, but in a way, criticizing this area is missing the point. The Z6 II is the ideal camera for semi-professionals or advanced hobbyists who want to take their first step towards mirrorless cameras. Being cheaper than the Canon EOS R6, it’s arguably more accessible and allows first-time users to really notice an upgrade over the brand’s DSLRs. For professionals, it can also work well as a second camera as a backup to a tried and trusted DSLR. Add an adapter and you can use the same lenses.

If the Nikon Z6 II is not for you

Sure, the Z6 II won’t be for everyone, but the advantage of this camera is that it can handle many tasks well. If you’re looking for a more traditional option and want to stick with the power of a DSLR, then the Nikon D850 will still lose out. The Canon EOS R6 is Canon’s obvious direct competitor in the mirrorless market, which we recommend if you want to stay with Canon, but of course with the caveat that it’s a bit more expensive. If you have a little more money to spend then there is the Sony A9 II. (will open in a new tab)which, if you’re committed to Sony, is a more professional and smarter camera in every way.

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