Nikon Z6 Review

By now the Nikon Z6 has been out for almost two months so I’m sure you’ve seen the specs and overviews and all that. My review will be a bit different. I’m talking about a real world review. I’ve used it exclusively at a couple of weddings and I have some thoughts.

It’s a great camera – fun and easy to use.

Dynamic range is great so you can underexpose a bit without worry.

Tilt screen is a must these days!

EVF is great!

Focus is spot on. Almost too good – once it gets focus it doesn’t let go until you reset the point.

It’s build is solid and it’s slightly bigger than the Sony a7 line – thank god because those cameras are tiny. The Z6 is just right in terms of comfort unless you have massive hands, but then you’re screwed either way.

Focus is lighting fast – I’ve even tested it in extremely low light and 90% of the time the Z6 is spot on.

The Z6 does not allow speedlights to project their red laser focus assist beam – Why is this a big deal? It’s a big deal because using the AF assist beam from the sb-910 or sb-5000 you can aim with the laser so you never have to look through your viewfinder during the reception dancing. It makes shooting receptions super easy.

I come from a world where I use Nikon’s 3D focusing 90% of the time at weddings and engagements. In the old 3D AF-C mode, you’d grab focus, the camera would track, I’d snap a few photos and when I released the shutter button the focus point would snap back to the middle of the frame ready to grab focus again starting in the middle – that’s where I’d always have my focus point. With the Z6 I’m using AF-C with Auto-area AF. This is as close to 3D focusing as I can get the camera to go – there is a slight problem where I need to manually reset the focus point every time after taking some shots using the OK button. This is due to the fact that the camera is mirrorless and will track focus continuously until turned off. Kind of a pain if you ask me because I like to reset my focus point every few shots.

I love LOVE love the multiple exposure preview which stays on screen while you’re shooting a multiple exposure – before you had to guess. Now, it’s easy as pie! Also cool that Nikon added a few different blending modes! Yey!

Ok let’s talk about the dreaded single slot. Yes, because it’s a XQD card it’s much more resilient than a CF or SD card but the idea of having an entire wedding on one card is extremely risky to me. And I know cinematic wedding video people using the A7 Sony line, shooting video only have one card slot but that’s why we bring multiple cameras and run them at the same time.

The FTZ adapter is really great. I’ve used the A7 line with Metabones adapters for other lenses and those things never work well. I’ve seen zero issues with the FTZ adapter – I leave it on all the time so I can use my line of lenses – and bam. It’s fine. I’ll be using my lenses until the 1.4 Z-mount prime lenses come out.

It’s a bit noisier at higher ISO’s than I’d like but coming from a D5, every camera will be noisier at high ISO’s.

Lightroom (adobe) currently has an issue with the Z6 color balance. Adobe has a fix, which is to update your camera profiles until they bake them into a later version of LR. The fix is here

I think this is a perfect engagement session camera where you want to travel light – I only bring one camera and 3 lenses to engagement sessions.  I think it’s a perfect backup body to a wedding but I’m not sure if this is a lead wedding camera – I’m not sure it’s designed to be either. For now I’ll keep leading with my D850 or D5 and using the Z6 as a backup and family/home camera!

Here’s some sample images:

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