Today Nikon releases their new full-frame FX-format Nikon mirrorless cameras – the Z7 and Z6. The company also releases three new NIKKOR Z lenses with a new, larger-diameter Z mount and adapter for older NIKKOR F lenses.
Nikon Z7 and Z6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras
Both new cameras are equipped with a new backside illuminated Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels and the EXPEED 6 image-processing engine. They are also equipped with an electronic OLED viewfinder: approximately 3690k-dots, frame coverage of 100%, magnification of 0.8x and 37.0° diagonal viewing angle. The tilting LCD monitor is 8cm/3.2″ with an approximately 2100k-dot touchscreen.
Both, the Z7 and the Z6 can record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps and Full HD (1920×1080) at up to 120fps. 4K UHD movies support full pixel readout. Additionally, both cameras support focus peaking, timecode, and Active D-Lighting. Nikon also offers a new flat gamma curve color profile called N-Log which can be used with 10-bit HDMI output. With N-Log, Nikon claims, the cameras can achieve 12-stops of dynamic range.
Unfortunately, the below video sample published by Nikon is underwhelming and shows blown highlights everywhere!
Both Nikon mirrorless cameras are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction, which provides compensation for movement along five axes. Both, the Z7 and the Z6 offer the same level of durability, dust- and drip-resistance as the Nikon D850. For photographers, high-speed continuous shooting is supported at approximately 9 fps (Z7) and 12 fps (Z6). There is built-in Wi-Fi in order to provide the possibility of directly connecting to a smart device using SnapBridge or transferring images and movies to a computer.
The Nikon Z7 is the more expensive one of the two new bodies and has 45.7 effective megapixels. It supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64-25600 (can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 102400) and its hybrid AF system has 493 focus points. The Z6 is a cheaper all-purpose FX-format camera with 24.5 effective megapixels and therefore supports a slightly higher sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200 (can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 204800). It has the hybrid AF system with 273 focus points.
New NIKKOR Z Lenses and Adapter
Nikon is also releasing three new lenses compatible with the Nikon Z mount system, as well as the Mount Adapter for older NIKKOR F mount lenses. The Z Mount system features a bigger inner diameter of 55 mm and a short flange focal distance of 16 mm. The three new lenses are:
- Standard zoom NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S
- Wide-angle prime NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S
- Standard prime NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
All new lenses have Nano crystal coating to suppress ghost and flare and they are sealed, so the whole combo is dust- and drip-resistant. The 24-70mm zoom lens features a minimum focus distance of 0.3 m across the zoom range and it provides additional portability with a retracting mechanism which reduces the total length of the lens for transportation.
The FTZ Mount Adapter allows shooting with AE or AF/AE with approximately 360 selected NIKKOR F lenses from AI type onwards. In-camera VR (Vibration Reduction) is also available when attaching a NIKKOR F lens without built-in VR. That applies for both, stills and movie recording. Various sections of the adapter are effectively sealed to ensure dust- and drip-resistance.
Furthermore, Nikon has announced the development of the NIKKOR Z 58mm f/0.95 manual-focus lens. It is supposed to be the fastest lens in Nikon’s history (within interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses). It has inherited the design concept behind the original AI Noct-Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 – a standard prime lens released in 1977. The lens should be released in 2019.
Price, Availability and Thoughts
Both new Nikon mirrorless cameras, the three NIKKOR lenses and the NIKKOR F adapter are available for preorder now. The expected shipping date is October 3rd. The Nikon Z6 body starts at almost US$2,000.00 and the Nikon Z7 at almost US$3,400.00. The prices of the lenses and sets can be found under our article.
By releasing these new full frame mirrorless cameras, Nikon really tries to catch up with its competition – especially Sony. (We hope Canon is watching and listening). It is now to be seen, if these new Nikon mirrorless cameras hold up in the field of video as well. The official press release didn’t reveal too many video-oriented features yet. 10-bit HDMI output in 4K with N-Log sounds nice, but it needs to be tested to see the real world results and image quality.
One advantage that Nikon definitely has on its side is a significant community of photographers with high-end NIKKOR lenses. These people may not have to switch to competition, if they decide to take advantage of a compact full-frame mirrorless body.
If these new Nikon mirrorless cameras really prove to be a threat for Sony’s a7 line of cameras – especially in the field of video – it will be interesting to see how Sony reacts. We hope that 10 bit recording, higher internal 4K frame rate and maybe a price drops on the a7 line will be the outcome.
What do you think of these new cameras and lenses? Can Nikon finally attract filmmakers too? Let us know in the comments below.