Which Nikon Z Camera Should I Buy?
- Nikon Z Camera Comparison
- Nikon Z7 II Overview
- Nikon Z6 II Overview
- Nikon Z5 Overview
- Final Thoughts on Nikon Z Cameras
- Nikon Nikkor Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3
- Nikon Nikkor Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
- Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.8 S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200m f/2.8 VR S
Photo by Olga_Gavrilova via iStock
Nikon is the second-largest camera manufacturer worldwide and produces some of the most popular cameras on the planet. And while they are typically more well known for their DSLR cameras, in recent years, they have unveiled some spectacular mirrorless cameras, too!
In total, there are nine Nikon mirrorless cameras, and together, they make up what is called the Nikon Z Series. Z series cameras range from vlogger-friendly options like the Nikon Z fc to professional cameras like the Nikon Z9. Today, we will break down three of the most sold models–the Z7 II, Z6 II, and Z5. First, we make a head-to-head comparison of their key features and specs. Afterward, we dig a little deeper into what makes each camera great!
One fantastic resource with loads of used Nikon Z mirrorless cameras in stock and a place I have bought and sold countless camera gear throughout the years is MPB. They are a trustworthy and reliable online platform that sells used photo and video kit at unbeatable prices.
Moreover, all of their cameras are carefully hand-inspected by expert product specialists and backed by warranties, allowing you to make your purchases confidently and worry-free. Another awesome feature of MPB is its online marketplace, where you can trade and sell your old gear to help offset the cost of new-to-you photography and videography gear you want and need.
Now, with that said, let’s dive in and learn which Nikon Z camera will help take your photo and video skills to the next level!
Table of Contents
Nikon Z Camera Comparison
Nikon Z7 II Overview
The Nikon Z7 II is a high-end professional camera that launched in November 2020. It replaced the Nikon Z7, and at the time of its release, it was the company's flagship mirrorless camera (a title that now belongs to the Nikon Z9). A high-resolution 45.7-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and two Expeed 6 image processing engines are at its core.
The sensor and dual image processors combine to make it one of the fastest and most powerful mirrorless cameras currently on the market, regardless of brand. Its photo and video quality are off-the-charts, and the high dynamic range provides ample room for editing and adjusting your content in post-production.
While everyone will see amazing results from this camera, I particularly recommend it if you are a videographer or filmmaker. It can capture stunning 4K movies at 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60 frames per second and slow-motion footage at 1080p/120p. Also, the dual memory card slots provide more storage and a way to back up your video files instantly.
Nikon Z6 II Overview
The Nikon Z6 II is an advanced mirrorless camera ideal for intermediate and semi-professional photographers. It was released in November 2020 and is the successor of the award-winning Nikon Z6. Internally, it houses a 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor and dual Expeed 6 image processors.
One of the first things that stands out with this camera is its impressive autofocus performance. The AF system does equally well in photo and video modes, and the low-light autofocus has significantly improved compared to its predecessor. Furthermore, the face/eye-detection technology works with people and animals, and the subject tracking is superb.
Another outstanding feature of the Nikon Z6 II is its exceptionally fast burst shooting drive. It has a max continuous shooting speed of 14 frames per second, or 12 fps with an AF point selected. This makes it a great choice for action, adventure, sports, and wildlife photographers. Event and wedding photographers also love this camera!
Nikon Z5 Overview
The Nikon Z5 is an enthusiast-level camera that was announced in July 2020 and is perfect for beginner photographers. Thanks to its compact, lightweight body and easy-to-use controls, it’s a fantastic everyday camera for taking with you wherever you go. Whether you are at a family event or on the trip of your dreams, this camera will do the job!
It shoots JPEG and RAW photos, and the image quality of both is terrific. With that said, the out-of-the-camera colors typically look more vivid in JPEGs. Therefore, I only suggest working with RAW files if you plan to edit them later in a program like Adobe Lightroom.
As a video camera, the Nikon Z5 is also quite impressive. It has 4K and Full HD video capabilities, and in-body image stabilization helps reduce camera shake when filming handheld clips. Also, it has microphone and headphone ports to better monitor and control audio levels. One important thing to note is that, unfortunately, a 1.7x crop factor is applied to 4K videos.
Final Thoughts on Nikon Z Cameras
Photo by ewg3D via iStock
As you can see, Nikon has some excellent mirrorless cameras in their Z series. And while all three of the cameras covered above share some key similarities, they also have unique strengths. So, let’s quickly review who each camera is best for.
The Nikon Z7 II is ideal for videographers, filmmakers, and YouTubers because of its professional video features. On the other hand, thanks to its lighting-fast continuous shooting, the Nikon Z6 II is great for sports, action, adventure, and wildlife photographers. Lastly, the attractive price and easy-to-use controls of the Nikon Z5 make it a solid beginner camera. If you are on a tight budget and want an even more affordable camera, consider the Nikon Z50.
And as a bonus, here’s a list of my favorite used Nikon Z Mount lenses currently available at MPB: