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First Look at Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Camera



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The Nikon Z6 is the company’s second release into full frame 35mm mirrorless. Just like Z7, it;’s exactly what you’d expect from a Nikon. Handling is awesome. Wide grip, thumb rest and dials for easy one-handed control. The big story here is the BSI 24MP imaging sensor. That gives you the perfect balance of resolution and speed and lowlight sensitivity for both photo and video.

One of the coolest things about the camera it’s the new Z mount. I’m making this picture of Brittany–I’m shooting with the lens completely open. I’m shooting at f/1.8. The Z mount moves the rear element of the lens closer to the sensor. That takes care of all the chromatic aberration. The focusing system is a combination of phase detection and contrasted detection sensors. Which means I can shoot open like this but I’m getting incredibly accurate autofocus. Speed is part of it. But these large aperture lenses you really want the accuracy. This is kind of a nice mix of the 2. Looking good folks! The Nikon Z to F adapter is amazing.

There’s no play between your glass, the lens, and the body. And I’m using a heavier lens right now 70-200mm VR. And it’s just bang-on straight. I mean, the advantage of an adapter is if you’re already a Nikon shooter, all of your lenses all the legacy F lenses come along for the ride. What are the most pleasurable things for me and using the camera, is the viewfinder. It’s an OLED viewfinder. A lot of great viewfinders on the market now in the mirrorless space. But, the glass, the optics that are in front of that screen. They are designed in-house by Nikon. There’s just a different type of clarity. A different type of way of seeing your subject. No matter what you’re shooting. That really just jumps out. At launch, the Z system is pretty awesome.

There’s a 35 mm f1/8, 50mm f/and a 24-70mm f/4. All these benefit from the built-in vibration reduction camera body. Which is awesome. What’s so cool about the lens design is you’re moving that rear element closer to the imaging sensor. Takes care of a lot of physical problems that exist with DSLRs. Things like chromatic aberration. You don’t use computational photography to fix that. Glass just being that much closer to the sensor corrects for it. All these lenses seem really balanced in terms of their color. Everything is nice. not overly saturated it looks so good. One really strong one right here! That’s great Brittany! That’s awesome! Going for 105mm with the adapter. This is one of my favorite portrait lenses; any system period. It’s amazing! Alright, you ready buddy? Let’s see what we got here.

Little smirk Jake. Accessible!! A kind smile! There he is! Look at this man. You look great! Look at this. That’s the most accessible I’ve ever looked. Whoa!! Oh man. That’s pretty heroic. I make the 105mm look good. I mean, you do your part too. Jake’s Bumble is about to go bananas. So, the lights starting to fade, I’m going to start raising the ISO up.

See what we got here. This is so moody. Will tell you this, even like a mix light situation around now autofocus is fast. Alright, I’m at ISO 1000 I’m going to raise that up to a little higher. See what we got. Jake, raise your gaze up this way. Nice. It looks so good yeah there it is. This is beautiful. Like I’m pushing now like ISO 2500. It looks just as clean as a lower ISOs. Okay, so we’re going to test us some subject tracking.

Lights kind of fading down. Crank this to ISO 2000, stopping the lens down to f/4. See if it’ll follow Britney and Jake as they walk towards us here. Alright looking pretty good. The Nikon Z6 also has customizable menus. If you hit the I button here, you can change any number of things. From your frame rates to your sensor size this is really cool. It’s almost like having a built-in teleconverter going from FX to DX. You can change your picture style, if you wanted to shoot something in say black and white or if you wanted to go for more saturated color. Maybe you’re looking for something more neutral tone. You can do all of this with just a tap. I’m in video mode right now I can customize this for whatever my core video functions are.

For me, a big one is framerate. Let’s say I want to do some slow motion. Just tap right in here. Come over to slo-mo—5X 24fps that’s great. I’m shooting slow motion, So, so, fast. Let’s talk video. On paper the Z6 is one of the most capable full-frame video cameras on the market and in use, is absolutely killer. One of the nicest features of the sensor is a full pixel readout. There’s no binning. There’s no weird squishy stuff.

It’s getting a nice clean signal. The video team members Bobby and Jake (Dave too) love the 5-axis in-body vibration reduction. When you get that 5-axis reduction when using Z Mount lenses. If you’re using the adapter with an F-mount lens, you get 3-axis stabilization. Still pretty fantastic. The autofocus, that’s something that I almost never employed a video shoot. Is very, very, good. But the star feature of the video show is the way that the camera handles low light. During our production today, we were able to embrace the available light in the space for our moving images. That really helps express the character of a location. We had to use higher ISOs to get us up to 120fps for slow motion. We took it up to about ISO 5000-images were incredibly clean. And instills this translates too. You know I was shooting at ISO 6400, ISO 8000 and I could still see detail in the shadows. That’s pretty cool. Autofocus tracking is incredibly good on the camera. It’s hard to rack focus when you’re using long glass. Made this shot of Jake and Britney walking towards us at 200mm f/2.8.

I think it looks really, really great. The color inside of the Z6 is actually very, very good. But, If you need maximum flexibility in post, you can go out over HDMI and record in N-LOG. More flexibility in your post-production workflow. Let’s get this out of the way, there’s a single XQD card slot. If you’re the type of photographer that needs a dual card system for backup, check out the D850. We made a video about that. So, if you’re racking focus you can prescribe the speed at which you’re moving from one point to another. We’ve been using touch to focus. Just go into the menu and you can prescribe this is as fast or as slow to your taste. How clean is the slow-motion at 5000 ISO? Let us know in the comments below. Nikon’s entrance into a full-frame mirrorless market is well beyond what you typically find in a product. Photo and video features are highly advanced. Incredibly capable and easy to use. Very, very familiar. If you’re coming from a Nikon camera, I think you feel right at home with the Z6.

Whether you are an enthusiast, an advanced amateur or professional. The Nikon Z6 delivers in resolution, speed, and light sensitivity.

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