Nikon Z 6II Review: Only for Professional

Nikon Z 6II Review: Only for Professional

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Nikon Z 6II Review: Only for Professional

The Nikon Z 6II convinced in all disciplines in the test center. Ergonomics and housing are first-class, and as with the previous model, the sharp sharpness of the images is pleasing, and even at high magnification there is hardly any noise.

Nikon Z 6II Review

The result is a professional system camera that confidently moves into the upper echelons of the full-format class, and at an attractive price.

Technical data test for Nikon Z 6II Specification:

Product: Nikon Z 6II
Others: 0
Maximum resolution: 6,048 x 4,042 pixels
Effective pixels: 24.4 megapixels
Sensor size: 35.9 x 23.9 millimeters
Camera class: DSLM
ISO minimum: 50
ISO maximum: 204,800
Video: Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
Lens mount: Nikon Z
Dimensions: 134 x 101 x 70 mm
Weight: 705 grams
Exposure metering: TTL exposure metering
Sensor cleaning: Yes
Image stabilizer in the body: Yes
Minimum shutter speed: 1 / 8,000 s
Maximum shutter speed: 900 s
Viewfinder: electronically
Viewfinder field of view: 100 percent
Viewfinder magnification: 0.80 times
Display: Size: 3.2 in
Display resolution: 2,100,000 subpixels
Display: Touchscreen: Yes
Display: Touchscreen Video: Yes
Swiveling display: Swiveling
Display: Selfie possible: No
Second display: Yes
Spirit level: Yes
Shortest flash synchronization: 1/200 s
Lightning: No
Flash control: No
White balance: Presets: 6 presets
White balance: Kelvin values adjustable: Yes
Storage media: CFexpress / XQD (UHS II) ⧸SDXC
Remote release: No
Connection for external microphone: yes, 3.5mm
Pictures with flash:
Pictures without flash: 580 photos
Live view: Images without flash: 700 photos
Live view: Pictures with flash:
Battery life: Video recording: 141 min
Housing material: Magnesium alloy
Housing: Protection against dust and splash water: Yes
Resolution at ISO min: 2,004 line pairs
Resolution at ISO 400: 1,985 line pairs
Resolution at ISO 800: 1,914 line pairs
Resolution at ISO 1600: 1,916 line pairs
Resolution at ISO 3200: 1,844 line pairs
Resolution at ISO 6400: 1,767 line pairs
Level of detail at ISO min: 82.4 percent
Attention to detail at ISO 400: 82.8 percent
Attention to detail at ISO 800: 81.1 percent
Attention to detail at ISO 1600: 82.0 percent
Attention to detail with ISO 3200: 78.0 percent
Attention to detail with ISO 6400: 79.0 percent
Noise (visual noise) at ISO min: 0.66 VN (0.7 VN1, 0.3 VN3)
Noise (visual noise) at ISO 400: 0.76 VN (0.8 VN1, 0.4 VN3)
Noise (visual noise) at ISO 800: 0.85 VN (0.9 VN1, 0.4 VN3)
Noise (visual noise) at ISO 1600: 0.85 VN (0.9 VN1, 0.4 VN3)
Noise (visual noise) at ISO 3200: 0.95 VN (1 VN1, 0.5 VN3)
Noise (visual noise) at ISO 6400: 1.05 VN (1.1 VN1, 0.6 VN3)
Expert assessment: noise and attention to detail at ISO min: very good
Expert assessment: noise and attention to detail with ISO 400: very good
Expert assessment: noise and attention to detail with ISO 3200: very good
Expert assessment: noise and attention to detail with ISO 6400: Well
Test lens image quality: Nikon Z 1.8 / 35
Switch-on time: 0.8 s
Release delay with manual focus: 0.10 s
Continuous frame rate RAW: 10.0 fps
Series picture sequence RAW: 106 images in a row
Continuous frame rate JPEG: 14.1 frames / s
Series picture sequence JPEG: 430 images in a row
Release delay with autofocus in daylight:
Shutter lag with auto focus in low light:
Release delay live view with autofocus in daylight: 0.40 s
Test lens speed: Nikon Z 2.8 / 24-70
Battery pack: EN-EL15c
Test date: 11/17/2020

Nikon Z6 II Review: the better twin

The Nikon Z 6II is more than just the successor to its twin model Nikon Z6 of the first generation. The new top model from the traditional Japanese manufacturer is intended to complement the sister DSLMs and expand the manufacturer’s mirrorless full-format line-up. And yet the Z 6II overtakes its namesake, if only because of its more powerful key data.

Those who continue to toying with the older version can look forward to falling prices. So it finally has to be clarified where exactly the Nikon Z 6II fits between its siblings. A case for our extensive test in the laboratory and in practice.

If we look at the data sheet of the Nikon Z6 II, we first notice a lot of parallels to the previous Nikon Z6. It starts with the large full-format sensor, which is manufactured using what is known as BSI technology.

Compared to conventional sensors, a changed architecture ensures an increased light yield, which is usually noticeable in the noise behavior.

As usual with most cameras for ambitious and semi-professional photographers, the image chip has a resolution of around 24 megapixels; sufficient for many shooting situations. If you need more pixels, you have to calculate the surcharge for the high-resolution Z7 or, from December, its new twin sister Z7 II with 45 megapixels.

Nikon Z 6II: Let there be (weak) light

As far as the image quality is concerned, we notice a slight increase in direct comparison with the Z 6. When measuring the resolution, the Z 6II is on average 20 line pairs per image height above the values of the Z 6; not visible to the naked eye.

When determining the fine details in the so-called deadleaves measurement, the tide turns in favor of the older model. Here the new edition has less to do with an average of 50 to 80 line pairs. Another difference that can only be determined with sensitive measuring methods.

The sensitivity or the signal amplification can be adjusted as standard between ISO 100 and ISO 51,200; that is completely sufficient for the most common applications. ISO 50, and especially ISO 204.800 at the higher end of the spectrum, should only be used in extreme emergencies.

Otherwise, the Z 6II shines in the laboratory with a barely visible occurrence of annoying interfering pixels: below ISO 3,200, brightness noise is not noticeable on the monitor, let alone in A3 printing.

Even ISO 12,800 looks great on paper; In the 100 percent enlargement on the screen, interfering pixels can be seen, albeit pleasantly inconspicuous. A performance that attests the Nikon Z 6II’s unrestricted suitability for photography in low light conditions.

The Nikon Z 6II internal image stabilizer is helpful in efforts to keep the values low despite the excellent noise behavior: The flexible mounting of the sensor compensates for wobble and reliably delivers four to five f-stops of tolerance in the test. This leeway can be invested in longer shutter speeds, a smaller aperture or even lower ISO numbers, as required.


Nikon Z 6II for professionals

From the outside, the Nikon Z6 II hardly differs from its twin model of the first generation. The Nikon Z 6II dimensions of 134 x 101 x 70 mm are only subject to minimal changes, but the weight has increased by almost 20 grams to a total of 705 grams.

The same grip as on the Z 6 ensures that the DSLM lies securely in the hand, even with larger lenses. The clear touch menus have also earned a lot of praise. All setting wheels and buttons are placed very ergonomically and therefore easily accessible. There are two freely assignable buttons on the front. Mini-HDMI is used as the video connection.

Very practical: You can also charge the camera during operation via the USB-C port. Speaking of the battery: the camera has a really great runtime. She holds out a brave 141 minutes during the video recording.

A 3.5 mm jack socket for connecting an external microphone and headphones are now standard in this class of cameras. From now on you can not only save on the fast XQD or CFexpress cards, but also on a UHS-II card if necessary.

The 3.2-inch touchscreen can be folded up and down, but cannot be swiveled and that’s rather disappointing. The practical shoulder display with the most important recording information can be found on the top as a professional feature.

As an alternative to the display, you can use the high-resolution electronic viewfinder. This guarantees a reliable preview image and comes with a magnification factor of 0.80.


Nikon Z 6II Test: The power of two hearts

The first noticeable differences to the previous model Nikon Z6 can be found in the series image speed: thanks to the new double Expeed 6 processor, the image rate increases to a strong 14 photos per second and thus two images more than with the Z 6, including adjustment of sharpness and Exposure of course.

And when it comes to stamina, too, we note a big plus: Instead of the previous 37 RAWs, the DLSM now supports almost three times as much; more precisely: 106 pictures in series.

If you take photos in JPEG, the DSLM can even hold out the sprint for just over 400 photos, very impressive. In addition to the double image processor, an enlarged buffer memory is responsible.

From now on, data is no longer only saved on the fast XQD or CFexpress cards, but also on a UHS-II card if required. This means that photographers no longer have to worry about the security of their data. Here, too, Nikon reacted to the criticism of the Z 6.

Finally, we also find noticeable improvements in autofocus: Not only has Nikon increased the light sensitivity by one f-stop to 4.5 f-stops or 6 f-stops when using a lens with at least f / 2; the speed of response has also improved. From a purely subjective point of view, the Z 6II now reacts a little more quickly to rapidly changing movements, even under low-light conditions.

In addition, the switch-on time was almost halved. In our test, it takes less than a second from turning the main switch to the first picture; a great value. We still have nothing to complain about in terms of the precision of the system, on the contrary: the tracking of motifs now works noticeably better.


Nikon Z 6II – A real hybrid DSLM

Another new feature is that the aforementioned eye autofocus including tracking is now also available when filming. Nikon quickly doubled the frame rate when shooting UHD videos to 60 fps, at least if you read these lines after February 2021. Then this feature should be activated later via firmware update.

Buyers of the Z 6II currently have to be content with 30 fps; unlike filmmakers who go out with the Z 7II. In Full HD, on the other hand, there are no changes compared to the Z 6; So it stays with 1080p videos with up to 120 fps. Some competition has already reached 240p here.

A trim is not recognizable at any time; that speaks for a full pixel readout on the entire sensor surface and delivers a lot of details in practice; very good. Finally, Hybrid-Log-Gamma ensures realistic color reproduction; via HDMI on an external recorder, the color depth of the recordings also increases to ten bits. If you want to go even deeper, use a compatible recorder from Atomos and record in ProRes RAW format.

Finally, a nice gimmick is the automatic time-lapse, which combines individual images inside the camera into a video that is well worth seeing. A 3.5 mm jack socket for connecting an external microphone and headphones are standard in this camera class, as is the case with its sister models.

Nikon Z 6II Advantages:

  • Long running time
  • Very low noise behavior
  • Fast series of images

Nikon Z 6II Disadvantage:

  • No selfie display

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