First Look: Nikon Z6 II Review
- 24.5MP CMOS sensor
- Dual Expeed 6 processor
- 4K video capabilities at up to 60p (with crop) or 30p (with no crop) and Full HD video capabilities at up to 120p
- 3.69m-dot EVF
- 273 hybrid AF points
- ISO range of 100-51,200
- 3.2” tilting touchscreen with 2.1m-dots
- Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth
- 410-shot battery life
Nikon has been teasing the release of the Nikon Z6 II for what seems like a year, but has really only been a few months. The pandemic has really ruined everyone’s idea of time.
The Nikon Z6 II was originally supposed to be released in winter of 2020, but rumors have it that the Nikon Z6 II should be available for purchase within the next few weeks (depending upon Nikon’s availability to source all of the correct parts).
One of the reasons why the Nikon Z6 II has been so hyped up over the last couple of months is that its predecessor, the Nikon Z6, is much-loved amongst mirrorless camera users. Still, it’s been three years since the original Nikon Z6 was released and many photographers, myself included, are looking forward to some of the updated specs promised in the Nikon Z6 II.
However, as is the case with a lot of cameras that receive a lot of media attention before their release, and then have their release date repeatedly pushed back, the question becomes...is the wait worth it?
I’m going to attempt to answer this question in our full Nikon Z6 II review.
Nikon Z6 II Specs
The most important aspect of any first look are the specifications, and it seems as though most of the Nikon Z6 II specs are living up to the hype.
I’ll start with the best specs of the Nikon Z6 II before discussing some specs that are a little disappointing.
On the pros column, we have a greatly improved burst mode. The Nikon Z6 II can take up to 14fps in burst mode. This is an added feature for wildlife, sports, and action photographers.
Another huge change in the specs of the Nikon Z6 II is the fact that it now comes with two card slots: a dual XQD/CFexpress card slot and an SD card slot. This is likely due to the fact that many photographers were quite upset that the older edition only had one.
Speaking of card slots, with a camera like this, you want to use the best memory cards you can afford. For me, ProGrade is the cream of the crop when it comes to cards. Their cards are fast and reliable and they offer all sorts of card types, including CFexpress and SD cards. In fact, I use ProGrade cards in all of my cameras, and I can attest to their reliability. I wouldn't use anything else!
Back to the Z6 II...the autofocus system is also greatly improved. The AF system comes with 273 AF points and incredible tracking. This is yet another reason why the Nikon Z6 II is looking appealing for action or sports photographers.
Unfortunately, there are some disappointing aspects of the Nikon Z6 II. For instance, while the camera does shoot 4K at up to 60p, your videos will be cropped at this rate. Since other cameras in this price range offer uncropped 4K at 60p, this camera may not be the best option for videographers.
Other Nikon Z6 II Specifications Include:
Nikon Z6 II Build & Handling
The Nikon Z6 II build measures 5.28” x 3.98” x 2.76” and weighs 1.55 lbs. The moment you lay your eyes on this camera, you realize that it is incredibly high end in much the same way as you did with the Nikon Z6 before it.
Both of the cameras come with a large grip, are made of almost all magnesium alloy, and feel sturdy in your hand.
The Nikon Z6 II handling is also fun. Since the camera does weigh a bit more than most mirrorless cameras, you can put really large lenses on it and the camera is still comfortable to operate. So long as you are shooting without the OVF, you can also get 410 shots out of just one battery charge.
Nikon Z6 II Body & Design
The Nikon Z6 II features a very similar design to its predecessor. The camera’s menu is, unmistakably, a Nikon menu. You get to choose from a wide array of custom settings and, thanks to the menu’s color coding, it is pretty simple to use.
The camera comes with two customizable Fn buttons that are located by the lens mount. You also get a scrolling dial on both the front and the rear of the camera, as well as buttons for your ISO and exposure compensation.
Since the Nikon Z6 II is still pretty small, you will have a hard time if you are switching from a DSLR since there aren’t as many buttons on the camera. You will need to get used to navigating via the screen more often.
Nikon Z6 II Video Performance
Huge shout out to DSI Pictures for the Nikon Z6 II video performance test above.
As I already mentioned, the Nikon Z6 II is able to shoot 4K video at 60p with a 1.5x crop, although nobody has actually had the chance to shoot with this promised feature yet, so I will have to hold my judgment until I can.
However, it also shoots 4K video at 30p without a crop. You can either shoot an 8-bit video in camera or a 10-bit video via the HDMI. If you need to shoot 12-bit RAW video, you can do so, it will just cost you extra because you’ll need to get the ProRes RAW upgrade which costs an additional $200.
You cannot record 4K video for longer than 29 minutes and 59 seconds, but you shouldn’t have problems with your camera overheating until you’ve shot at least 2 full length video clips in 4K.
The camera comes with a headphone jack and a microphone jack so you can measure your audio levels while filming.
The camera also comes with in-body image stabilization. It isn’t necessarily the best IBIS I’ve seen, but it gets the job done for situations where you absolutely can’t shoot with a tripod.
Nikon Z6 II Price
As could be expected, the Nikon Z6 II price definitely isn’t cheap. If you only want the Nikon Z6 II body, you can expect to pay $2,000, but if you want the body with the kit lens, you can expect to pay $2,600.
Since it is the middle of a pandemic, I know very few of my own friends can afford a camera this expensive right now. However, you can help to offset the costs of a new camera by getting rid of some of your old gear and there is essentially no easier way to do this than to sell it on MPB.
MPB is a used camera retailer that purchases old equipment off of photographers from all over the world in order to clean them up and resell them.
You may be able to get a slightly higher price for your old gear if you sold it yourself, but having years of experience trying to sell my old cameras on eBay or Craigslist has taught me that I have no patience to deal with the general public.
Plus, MPB really does offer you a fair price for your old gear. It’s so easy. All you have to do is go to their quote page here. The website will ask you for your camera’s model and condition (don’t worry, it walks you through how to determine the condition) before giving you an estimated quote for what MPB is willing to pay. Then, so long as your camera is truly in the condition you said it was, you get paid.
You don’t have to worry about shipping because MPB pays for it.
I know that buying a brand new mirrorless camera is expensive, and so does MPB. Once the Nikon Z6 II drops, you can likely even trade in your old equipment with MPB to purchase a used Nikon Z6 II off of their website.