The Nikon Z6 II is a full-frame mirrorless camera launched in late 2020 as the successor to the original Z6. It’s designed to offer high-end features and performance in a compact and lightweight form factor, making it a good choice for professional photographers who need a versatile, reliable camera.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Nikon Z6 II and its features to help you decide if a professional camera is right for you.
Overview of the Nikon Z6 II
The Nikon Z6 II features a 24.5-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and an advanced EXPEED 6 image processor, which deliver excellent image quality, improved low-light performance, and fast processing speeds. The camera also features a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, a tilting touchscreen, and a robust magnesium alloy body that’s weather-sealed to protect against dust and moisture.
One of the most significant upgrades in the Z6 II is its improved autofocus system. It now includes various AF points and modes, including eye-detection and animal-detection AF. The camera also has dual memory card slots, which can be used for backup or overflow, and a faster continuous shooting speed of up to 14 frames per second.
The Z6 II’s 24.5-megapixel full-frame sensor delivers excellent image quality, sharp details, accurate colors, and dynamic range. In addition, the camera has a native ISO range of 100-51,200, which can be expanded to 50-204,800, making it suitable for low-light photography.
The camera’s EXPEED 6 processor provides fast image processing speeds, which allows for quick and efficient handling of large image files. In addition, the camera’s noise reduction algorithms are also improved, which helps to reduce noise and retain details in high-ISO images.
The Z6 II’s autofocus system significantly improved over the original Z6. It features 273 AF points, covering approximately 90% of the frame, which helps ensure that subjects are in focus no matter where they are.
The camera also includes eye-detection AF and animal-detection AF, which can help to ensure that portraits and wildlife photos are correctly focused. The AF system is also fast and accurate, making it suitable for action photography.
The Z6 II is a capable video camera, offering 4K video recording at up to 60 frames per second and 1080p video recording at up to 120 frames per second. The camera also supports 10-bit N-Log and HLG HDR recording, which can help to capture a broader range of colors and tones in high-contrast scenes.
The camera’s autofocus system also works well in video mode, with smooth and accurate tracking of subjects. The camera also includes video-specific features like focus peaking, zebra patterns, and timecode support.
Handling and Controls
The Z6 II is designed to be easy to use, with a well-designed interface that makes it easy to access all of the camera’s features and settings. In addition, the camera’s electronic viewfinder is high-resolution and bright, making it easy to compose shots in any lighting condition.
The camera also has a tilting touchscreen, which can adjust settings, review images, and select focus points. In addition, the camera’s menu system is well-organized and easy to navigate, making it easy to find your desired locations.
The Z6 II’s battery life is rated at approximately 340 shots per charge, which is good but not exceptional. In addition, the camera’s battery can be charged in-camera using a USB-C connection, making recharge easy.
AF and Tracking
The autofocus system on the Z6 II is excellent, with 273 phase-detection AF points that cover approximately 90% of the frame. The AF is snappy and accurate; you can trust it to lock onto your subject quickly and easily. Additionally, the camera features Eye-Detection AF, which is particularly useful for portrait photography, and Animal-Detection AF, which is helpful for wildlife and pet photography.
Thanks to its advanced algorithms and powerful processor, the camera’s tracking performance is impressive. The camera can track subjects even if they move erratically, and it does an excellent job of maintaining focus on the subject’s eyes when using Eye-Detection AF.
Like the Z7 II, the Z6 II is also an excellent video camera, able to shoot 4K UHD video at up to 60p and full HD video at up to 120p. In addition, the camera can output 10-bit N-Log and HLG HDR footage over HDMI, making it an excellent choice for videographers.
Ergonomics and Build Quality
The Z6 II’s ergonomics and build quality are excellent and feel great. The camera is well-balanced, and the controls are well-placed and easy to use. The camera body is made of magnesium alloy and is weather-sealed to protect against dust and moisture.
The Z6 II features a new EN-EL15C battery, which has a higher capacity than the EN-EL15b battery used in the Z6. With the new battery, you can expect around 340 shots per charge or up to 690 images if you use the power-saving mode. While this is not as impressive as the battery life of some DSLRs, it is still good enough for most users.
In summary, the Nikon Z6 II is an excellent camera with a wide range of features and capabilities, making it a solid choice for professional photographers and videographers. Its AF and tracking performance, video capabilities, and build quality are all impressive, and the camera’s ergonomics are comfortable and intuitive.
While the battery life is not as good as some DSLRs, it is still good enough for most users, and the camera’s other features and capabilities more than makeup for it. So if you are in the market for a professional-grade mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z6 II is worth considering.