With mirrorless, compact and lighter bodies, big new mounts and super-bright lenses, the new Nikon Z series is a real eye-opener. At the system’s heart is the new, larger 55mm inner diameter lens mount which, at 55mm, is 17% bigger than the 46mm F mount, and the widest in the world for full frame cameras, enabling maximum apertures up to f/0.95.
As for the Z 7 and Z 6 cameras themselves – well, what can we say? We love them both, obviously, but you don’t have to take our word for how good they are. Amateur Photographer magazine says “the Nikon Z 7 is one of the best stills cameras ever made… on balance, the best camera on the market right now, either mirrorless or DSLR.”
Here’s the lowdown on what this ground-breaking new series offers:
The flagship Z 7 offers 45.7MP resolution, ISO 64-25,600 and 9fps – ideal for landscape and commercial photography. The Z 6 has 24.5MP, ISO 100-51,200 and 12fps, making it great for sports, action and general photography. Both are weather-sealed and built from tough magnesium alloy, and both inherit Nikon’s design DNA, so controls and menus are intuitively easy to use, guaranteeing a seamless transition from Nikon DSLR to mirrorless Z.
2. Lens choices:
There are currently three dedicated NIKKOR Z lenses – the 35mm f/1.8 S, the 50mm f/1.8 S and the kit lens 24-70mm f/4 S. In 2019 we’ll be releasing the 20mm f/1.8, 58mm f/0.95 S Noct, 85mm f/1.8, 14-30mm f/4, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8, and these will be joined in 2020 by the 12-24mm f/2.8, 24mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.2. Now here’s the bonus: with the F-mount FTZ mount adapter, you can also use some 360 NIKKOR F-mount lenses, including over 90 NIKKOR lenses with full AF/AE compatibility! So whatever you’ve currently got in your kitbag, you’ll be able to use with the confidence that you’re going to get the same autofocus performance and optical quality.
3. Hybrid autofocus system:
Speed and precision are guaranteed, thanks to the AF system employing phase detection plus contrast detection. It’s also remarkably fast and silent. Pinpoint AF mode enables you to home in on the tiniest of details, right down to the level of eyelashes in portraits. The Z 7 has 493 focus points, covering 90% of the image – essentially edge-to-edge – and the Z 6 has a generous 273. On both cameras, an Intelligent Face-Detection AF detects and holds faces in sharp focus, which is perfect for fast-moving situations.
4. Electronic viewfinder (EVF):
The 3685k-dot EVF operates just like an optical viewfinder, with reduced aberration and minimum eyestrain. It can display menu items including ISO, AF-area mode and Picture Controls, and it also boasts a truly accurate depth of field preview.
5. In-camera vibration reduction (image stabilisation):
Nikon’s first in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) system is equivalent to increasing the shutter sped by around five stops. The five-axis system compensates for pitch, yaw, left-right, up-down and rotation around the lens axis (vital for long exposures and hand-held video), and it can also be engaged with F-mount lenses attached with the FTZ mount adapter – essentially turning all your non-VR lenses into VR.
Both cameras offer 4k/UHD movies at 30p (and slow motion, full HD at up to 120). To capture exceptional detail, the Z 7 oversamples from 8k, and the Z 6 from 6k. More good news for videographers is that the autofocus speed and tracking sensitivity can be adjusted during recording, and it’s easy to capture stills while shooting movies. Furthermore, with 10-bit N log on both cameras, allowing you to retain 4x more information than would be possible with a standard 8-bit recording, providing maximum image quality for editing and grading. Both cameras also allow 4k timelapse photography, with a spectacular 8k option on the Z 7.
7. Silent shutter mode:
If you’re into wildlife or portrait photography, the Z series’ silent shutter mode means you can shoot unobtrusively, without disturbing your subject. It’s also great for discreet photography at weddings and other ceremonies.
8. Tilt LCD screen with touchscreen function:
Compose, operate autofocus and shutter release functions via the high-resolution, ultra-slim tilt LCD (90° up and 45° down) – perfect for capturing the image with the camera held overhead.
9. Built-in wi-fi:
Enables direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge, and direct image transfer to a computer.
Find out more about the Z range here.