Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview

We have a look at the brand-new Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras - which Nikon say will bring a whole new level of image quality to the market.

| Nikon Z6 in Mirrorless Cameras

Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z7 (10)

The new Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 are Nikon's brand-new full-frame mirrorless cameras, with a large electronic viewfinder, a 3.2-inch tilting touch-screen, and the option of a 24mp or 45.7mp full-frame BSI CMOS sensor. The Z 6 and Z 7 use a completely new Z lens mount that is larger than the mount used in Nikon DSLRs, Nikon says this is so that they can develop lenses with the highest image quality possible, setting new optical standards for the future.


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Features

Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z7 (5)


Let's take a look at what they offer, first by seeing what the two cameras have in common. The cameras share the same weather-sealed, magnesium alloy body as each other, with the following key features:

  • 3.2inch 2100K dot tilting touch-screen
  • 3.69m dot EVF, 0.80x magnification, 100% view, with dioptre correction and eye-detection
  • Top LCD display - showing shutter speed, aperture, ISO, battery, drive mode and remaining shots
  • Z-Mount, with 16mm flange distance, and 55mm diameter
  • Locking mode dial, with 3 custom user (U) modes
  • Two front function buttons, Fn1, and Fn2
  • 4K UHD video recording, FullHD 120fps video
  • 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation
  • Dual-axis electronic level
  • XQD memory card slot (side access)
  • Headphone, microphone, USB-C, HDMI and remote ports
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Compatible with Nikon flashguns
  • EN-EL15 battery compatibility, EN-EL15B needed for USB charging


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z6 Z7 In Hand (4)


Here's how the Z 6 and Z 7 differ from each other: 

Nikon Z 6 Nikon Z 7
24.5mp BSI CMOS sensor 45.7mp BSI CMOS sensor
273 PDAF points 493 PDAF points
ISO100-51200 ISO64-25600
ISO50-204800 (Extended) ISO32-102400 (Extended)
12fps continuous shooting 9fps continuous shooting


Both cameras offer focusing down to -4 EV, and face-detection focus. The cameras use the EXPEED 6 image processor, which includes a new "Mid-range sharpness" setting, on top of the other sharpness settings. 

Nikon say that the Nikon Z 7 will give better image quality than the Nikon D850.

The 5-axis sensor-based image stabilisation system works with Z mount lenses when they are used, but also works when you use a Nikon F lens with VR, with the FTZ adapter, so that you can benefit from both image stabilisation systems. The system is said to give up to 5-stops of image stabilisation.

The focus stacking feature, first seen in the Nikon D850, has been improved so that there is now a mono preview available so that you can preview what it is going to look like. Flicker reduction is included to help when shooting under fluorescent lighting. There's also an electronic shutter option, for silent shooting.

The cameras use the Nikon Z mount, and initially, there will be three lenses available, with more to follow:

  • 24-70mm f/4, which is a premium kit lens, that is collapsible, meaning you need to extend the lens to 24mm before you can start using it. It extends as you zoom to 70mm. 
  • 35mm f/1.8
  • 50mm f/1.8

The new Z-mount lens range offers a customisable lens ring so that you can choose whether to use it to set the focus, aperture, or another setting. The FTZ adapter will work with up to 93 Nikon F mount lenses. 


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z6 With Adapter (1)
Nikon Z6 With FTZ Adapter 


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Handling

Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z6 Z7 (7)


There's a large SLR-style grip for your hand, with a front and rear command dial. There is a soft rubberised texture surrounding the grip, and this also extends round to the back of the camera, as well as the left-hand-side of the camera. The rear grip for your thumb is large and provides a solid point of contact. The top shutter release button, and surrounding on/off switch will look familiar to anyone who's used other Nikon DSLRs, and the layout of buttons around this is also the same, giving quick access to exposure compensation, ISO and video recording. 

There is a back AF-ON button, so you can setup back-focus focusing. There's a joystick underneath this, as well as the Nikon i button. The labelling of buttons used should be very familiar to Nikon DSLR users, as these are very similar to other Nikon DSLRs, although the layout is slightly less spread out. The locking mode dial features an Auto mode, as well as P, S, A, and M, plus three customisable user modes, U1, U2, and U3.


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z7 Z6 Screens Menus (2)


The electronic viewfinder (EVF) offers a large, and high-resolution view of the scene, with 3.6m dots, and 0.80x magnification. With dioptre adjustment, it's easy to adjust it to your own personal view. When we used it, we were impressed by the resolution and clarity of the display. 

Nikon say that the "EVF view rivals any Nikon DSLR."

The 3.2-inch tilting touch-screen is large and clear, with a high-resolution of 2100K dots. The screen tilts up so that you can use it as a waist-level viewfinder, and the screen will also tilt down. You can use it to change settings, scroll through the menus, as well as set the focus point. Pressing the i button will bring up a number of on-screen controls (shown below), and you can use the touch-screen to change these as well or simply use the 4-way controller if you're not a fan of touch screens.


Nikon Z 6 Z 7 Hands-On Preview: Nikon Z6 Z7 In Hand Menus


The menus follow the same layout and design as other recent Nikon DSLRs, and each section is colour coded, to help you more quickly find your way around the options. The MyMenu section can be customised, so that you can add your favourite settings, giving you quicker access.

There's side access to the single XQD memory card slot. Underneath the camera is where you'll find the tripod socket, as well as the battery compartment. The camera will take the same EN-EL15 battery as previous Nikon DSLRs, however, if you want to use the USB charging feature, then you'll need to use the EN-EL15B battery provided with the camera. Battery life is rated at 310 shots for the  Z6, and 330 shots for the Z 7, according to CIPA testing standards. Nikon is working on a battery grip for the camera, which will extend the battery life.


Nikon Z 6 Hands-On Photos of Equipment


Nikon Z 7 Hands-On Photos of Equipment


We haven't been able to examine photos taken with the Z 6 and Z 7 yet, but when we do, we will make sure to update this article.


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Photographs taken using the Nikon Z6

Baldongan ChurchThe BoysFinal BlueFirst of the lastBlue 2BlueNice Day for a dipNo, you're not getting any....Beach Hat sellerThats AmoreThe DealDisembarking the party busThe AudienceDance like no one is looking...Medellin Street Photography

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JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 7:28AM
That looks amazing, love the new mount and how lenses can be smaller and apertures larger. A light weight camera with smaller lenses sounds perfect for street photography.
In body stabilization too.
Looking forward to seeing some new images with the shallow focus feature.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 8:36AM
It will be interesting to know if aftermarket lens manufacturers such as Sigma, Tamron & Tokina etc.are licenced to make lenses with the Z mount?
Or will users have to use old and new F mount leses with the adapter?
peterjones Avatar
peterjones 21 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 9:16AM
One of the reasons I enjoy using my existing mirrorless system is that the exposure triangle: shutter, aperture and ISO is exactly where I can see them and are easily attainable, this kind of ease of interface seems to have been lost on the new cameras but I will wait to see if I am proved wrong.
LenShepherd Avatar
LenShepherd 15 4.7k United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 9:25AM
Will you be adding more information after the "official" Nikon presentation - I hope so Grin
Is the converter going to be available from Day 1?
Will there be a grip?
The "higher resolution" seems to be courtesy of 32 ISO.

Len Shepherd
douglasR Avatar
23 Aug 2018 9:30AM
Why oh why has it only one card slot, seems a glaring omission! they also mentioned that they would be giving the adapter with the camera which would make sense for all the DSLR users they could potentially pick up.
JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
23 Aug 2018 10:25AM

Quote:Why oh why has it only one card slot,

Quite a lot of similar comments on other websites / You Tube reviews.

Quote: giving the adapter with the camera

Alas no.

However a discounted price if you buy it with the body.
SteveCharles Avatar
SteveCharles 20 2.3k 18 England
23 Aug 2018 11:03AM
Been waiting for this before deciding whether to go this route or D850. It looks great. My first thought was also 'only one card slot'. £600 for a 50mm 1.8 is a bit rich as well.
ChrisV Avatar
ChrisV 16 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 12:03PM
It does look like it will be a lot of the things I was hoping for. Prices are higher than those leaked yesterday, but more in line with my expectations - apart from the lenses, which do seem to be on the high side - but that does seem to be the way the industry in general is regrettably, going.

Two surprising disappointments - the single card slot and the woeful battery life. It's a big unit - why is it only in line with the sort of performance mirrorless cameras typically get out of the smaller cells. The bigger batteries are usually rated at over double the life of these.

I wonder if Nikon has work to do on optimising their electronic systems? I would have thought the top plate LCD [with the rear kept off] would help to extend shooting time - it's something I've argued for for a number of years and was pleased to see starting to be implemented.
oriwo Avatar
oriwo 5
23 Aug 2018 4:54PM
... face- and eye AF detection AF. dpreview say no. What's right?
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2018 7:56PM
Some commnet on above.
Elsewhere i've read the grip is still in development.
Prices i've seen on kit pre-orders show the adapter costing £100 - not exactly giving it away as was led to assume.
I'm assuming the battery life issue common with other mirrorless cameras is due to also powering the EVF and the rear display.
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2018 8:11AM

Quote:Is the converter going to be available from Day 1?
Will there be a grip?
The "higher resolution" seems to be courtesy of 32 ISO.

Len Shepherd

Yes - it the FTZ adapter will be available with the Z7 from release day.
Yes - they are working on a battery grip - no news on the price of the grip though
See news: (under "Development of the MB-N10 Battery Pack")
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2018 8:12AM

Quote:... face- and eye AF detection AF. dpreview say no. What's right?

I used the camera and face and eye-detection AF worked very well.
ChrisV Avatar
ChrisV 16 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2018 1:21PM
I think DPR is saying face detect, but not eye detect. Which is correct?
JackAllTog Avatar
JackAllTog Plus
14 6.4k 58 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2018 1:36PM
The US and the UK Nikon websites talk of face detection, but i was sure somewhere before i'd seen eye detection mentioned.
joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2018 9:24AM
My mistake - when I was using the camera it must have just been a coincidence that it picked the eye as the area it focused on Smile

I'll update / correct this shortly.
NarenAB Avatar
29 Aug 2018 7:59AM
Finally Nikon launched its first full frame mirrorless cameras. But, why Nikon christened these new cameras as Z6 and Z7 rather than something like Z1(24MP) and Z2/Z1H(45MP) ? Is Nikon going to discontinue DSLR in near future, therefore moving on from D5 to Z6 (and Z7) instead of D6 ? Is FTZ mount adapter an another sign of Nikon switching over to mirrorless in coming years ? Also, will Nikon make APS-C format mirrorless cameras with C-line Z mount lenses in the future ? We will have to wait and watch.

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