In the photography world nothing stays constant for long, and choosing a camera is not quite what it used to be. After all, there’s always something newer and shinier around the corner. With Z cameras first making their debut in 2018, it seems that slowly but surely more and more photographers are looking to either make the change from their beloved DSLRs, or at least to add a Z body to their kit bag. So why would the Z 6 still be worthy of your attention when seeking an upgrade or a first foray into mirrorless?
A sweet spot in sensor technology
For all but a few photographers, the Z 6 is perhaps the ideal choice from the mirrorless line up. The full-frame sensor is 24mp – avoiding cumbersome RAW files whilst still having more than enough information to work with. It’s also back-side illuminated, meaning that the light-absorbing photons are above all the circuitry, and the combination of larger pixels and a higher-sensitivity of the sensor itself means that it works beautifully in challenging lighting.
All the better to see you (in the dark) with
One of the biggest swaying factors for the Z 6 over anything else is its fantastic low light performance. With a native ISO range of 100–51200 the Z 6 is hard to beat – in fact the high-ISO performance outranks most DSLRs (the D5 and D6 are the only ones to beat it). It provides excellent dynamic range and DXOMark scored the sensor at 95 points, with a high ranking 3299 ISO (close to one of the best 24mp sensors on the market). The Z 6II ranks only four points higher at 3304 as a comparison.
All of Nikon’s Z cameras are fully compatible with the FTZ adapter – allowing you to mount your collection of Nikon F mount lenses onto your Z body. There are some caveats: AF-S and AF-P lenses are fully compatible, but older AF lenses will not autofocus via the FTZ adapter. Aside from that, Nikon’s heritage pre-AI, AI and AIS manual focus lenses also gain the advantage of utilising the in-body image stabilisation and focus peaking, which opens up a world of possibilities for image making.
Features, features, features
Other features include full sensor readout 4K video for those who need it, picture controls for both stills and video, focus shift shooting, time lapse photography and more besides. I’m certain that there are features not even the most avid of photographers will have realised this modest camera. If you primarily shoot in the studio or capture landscapes and require the largest file size possible, then the Z 7 is worth consideration, but for portraits, travel, food, sports, wildlife, macro and most everything else, the Z 6 is an obvious candidate.