As promised last month, Nikon unveiled the next chapter of the Z series with the arrival of two new full-frame mirrorless cameras that significantly improve upon the previous generation by adding more power, more features, and more of what photographers want.
“As we evolve the Nikon Z series into the future, we continue to strengthen the platform, keeping the needs of our customers at the center of every new innovation and added feature,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “These are the cameras that many have been waiting for from Nikon. The new Z 7II and Z 6II demonstrate our commitment to listening to customer feedback, while also establishing the new standard for performance, quality, and versatility for every type of creator, photographer, or filmmaker.”
New Features and Upgrades: Customer-Focused Innovation Drives Creativity
- Dual EXPEED 6 Processors for Twice the Power: At the heart of the new Z 7II and Z 6II is the implementation of two EXPEED 6 image processors, turbocharging performance to improve processing speed and increasing burst capability for stills — all while increasing power efficiency.
- Built for Confidence, Built for Creators: The cameras retain robust weather sealing, user-focused ergonomics and an intuitive interface– distinctions that Nikon users have come to rely on. The new models also offer improvements such as dual memory card slots, with one CFexpress (type B)/XQD slot and one SD card slot (UHS-II), for maximum versatility and peace of mind. Users will also benefit from more power and comfortable vertical shooting with the addition of the optional new MB-N11 battery pack with vertical grip.
- Enhanced Focus System: With an updated, feature-rich autofocus system, the Z 7II and Z 6II quickly acquire focus and track subjects throughout the frame. For more precise autofocusing, Eye and Face-Detection AF is now available in the Wide-Area AF (L) mode, which works to avoid focusing on distracting elements by isolating selected portions of an image. Additionally, both models have an improved low-light AF detection range that is capable of acquiring subjects in challenging lighting.
- Advanced Video Capabilities: Expanding the boundaries of 4K UHD video, the Z 7II and Z 6II enhance video output with an increased frame rate of 4K (UHD) 60p, plus Eye-Detection AF mode when recording video. While currently available in the Z 7II, the 4K 60p option is planned to be available in a free firmware upgrade for the Z 6II in February 2021. As a result of pro user feedback, the models also allow users to reverse the focus ring orientation on the fly, benefitting those who are used to manual focusing using traditional cine lenses on set. For added flexibility in post-production, 10-bit N-Log and HDR (HLG)1 output offers more detail, dynamic range and contrast in captured footage, while the optional 12-bit ProRes RAW upgrade delivers greater creative control for professionals and advanced videographers.
The Z 7II promises high-resolution stills and video for discerning users who need ultimate performance to achieve exceptional image quality in every shot. A powerful upgrade to the Nikon Z 7, the Z 7II is the ideal camera for capturing highly detailed portraits, landscapes, weddings, events, and commercial photography when there is no compromise on image quality.
- The Z 7II features a 45.7-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor to help capture intense detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and clarity that overwhelms. The exceptionally clean native ISO range from ISO 64 to 25,600 offers the functional freedom to shoot at wide apertures in bright light or in-studio with minimal noise.
- With up to 10 fps maximum shooting speed at full resolution in Continuous H (extended), the Z 7II can handle fast burst rates with more than triple (3.3x) the buffer capacity of the Z 7 (in 12-bit lossless compressed RAW).
- The Z 7II’s 493 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points cover 90 percent of the frame, quickly and accurately acquiring subjects, even at its far edges. The Z 7II is capable of acquiring focus in half the light (as low as -3 EV), making it a reliable tool for low-light scenes such as weddings and indoor events.
The Z 6II is the most versatile Z series camera yet, balancing speed, power, low-light ability, and advanced video features for dynamic creators who need pro-level performance and reliability.
- Building on the vast pro-caliber video capabilities of the Z 6, the Z 6II is capable of recording 4K UHD video quality with full pixel readout, demonstrating the advantages of mirrorless technology. The camera is capable of a variety of frame rates, including 4K UHD 60p6 with full pixel readout, which is planned to be available in February 2021 via a firmware update. It is also capable of 4K 30p, as well as Full HD 120p for slow motion.
o Built with videographers in mind, the Z 6II’s AF speed and tracking sensitivity is adjustable to meet creative needs, while the focus ring is also reversible. Useful indicators for focus peaking, zebra stripes and timecodes help capture the best possible footage in-camera and simplify workflow.
o For both models, 10-bit output to an external recorder with N-Log is possible as well as the capture of new HDR (HLG) video and output in 12-bit ProRes RAW with the optional upgrade. For upgrade customers, additional support will also be included for Blackmagic RAW when using the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR recorder. This upgrade will also be provided for existing customers who have already purchased a ProRes RAW upgrade for the Nikon Z 6 or Z 7.
o The Z 6II and Z 7II are the first Nikon cameras to support Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF with video recording, enabling continuous focus on the eyes of humans, dogs, and cats.
- The Z 6II features a 24.5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for crisp stills and video capture with impressive detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and impressive low light performance. To confidently shoot in challenging light, the camera has an impressive ISO range from ISO 100–51,200, expandable up to ISO 204,800 equivalent.
- Thanks to the addition of dual EXPEED 6 Processors, the Z 6II boasts a fast 14 fps continuous shooting speed, providing quick performance for capturing action, with more than 3.5x the buffer capacity of the Z 6.
- The Z 6II’s enhanced AF system features 273 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points for easy subject acquisition and tracking throughout the frame, including at the edges. Capable of focusing in half the light (down to -4.5 EV), the Z 6II easily acquires focus in extreme low light scenarios, making it an ideal option for capturing nightscapes and events.
A new MB-N11 vertical battery grip offers controls for shooting in portrait orientation, with a battery chamber that allows for hot-swapping. Both cameras can also be powered as well as charged via USB-C.
The Nikon Z 6II and Z 7II will ship in November and December 2020, respectively. The Z 7II will sell for $3000 body-only or $3600 kit with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4. The Z 6II will be priced at $2000 body-only or $2600 with Z 24-70mm F4. The MB-N11 battery pack will go on sale in November 2020 for $400.
More info on Nikon’s website.