The Differences Between the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6

Nikon recently introduced their first full frame mirrorless cameras – the highly anticipated Z 7 and Z 6 – to much fan fair. Aside from the nameplates and price tags, there's no obvious difference between the cameras when you pick them up and hold them in your hand. In fact, they share many highlight features, such as:

  • New (mirrorless) Z mount
  • Full frame sensor with 5-axis stabilization
  • EXPEED 6 image processor
  • 0.5" (1.27cm) approx. 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED viewfinder
  • Full width 4K recording at 30p
  • 3.2" (8cm) 2100K-dot tilting touchscreen LCD
  • Shutter Speed Range: 1/8000 to 30 sec, x-sync 1/200 sec
  • Size: 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7" (134.0 x 100.5 x 67.5mm)
  • Weight: 20.7 oz (585 g)

The list above represents only a small portion of the features these two cameras have in common; they are much more similar than different. So many may be wondering, "What are the differences between the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6?" The table below provides the answers.

 Nikon Z 7Nikon Z 6
Sensor Resolution45.7MP24.5MP
AF Points493273
AF Working Range-2 – +19 EV-4 – +19 EV
Max Continuous Burst Rate
(12 bit / 14 bit)
9 / 812 / 9
Metering Range-3 – +17 EV-4 – +17 EV
Native ISO Range64-25600100-51200
Expanded ISO Range32-10240050-204800
4K full-frame samplingline skippingoversampling
4K N-Log Recording Area100%90%
High Frame Rate and Slow-Motion
Full-HD Recording Area
DX (APS-C crop)FX (Full Frame)
Max Wi-Fi Output Power
(2.4 GHz / 5 GHz, dBm)
7 / 12.17.4 / 12.2
Max Bluetooth Output Power
(Reg. / Low Energy, dBm)
1.5 / 01.9 /0.4

The Nikon Z 7's higher price tag is largely the result of its significantly higher resolution sensor as well its more advanced AF system. The difference between 45.7MP and 24.5MP is significant, with the higher resolution sensor allowing for significantly more cropping headroom while maintaining sufficient resolution for many output needs. And if a lower resolution photo is acceptable for the desired output, a higher resolution image which is downsampled often produces better image quality than a lower resolution captured image.

The Z 7's more advanced AF system could prove beneficial in certain situations, but even the Z 6's 273 points should prove more than sufficient, especially if coming from a DSLR with significantly less AF points / AF point frame coverage. The Z 6's faster burst rate will especially be appreciated by sports and wedding photographers.

That said, the Z 7's higher resolution sensor – and Nikon's method for sampling the Z 7's 4K footage (line skipping) – means that the Z 6 may be the better choice for those prioritizing 4K capture over stills, as the Z 6 should produce sharper, cleaner footage compared to its higher priced sibling. However, note that Z 6 footage is slightly cropped when outputting 4K 10-bit N-Log to an external device.

Another video capture difference that may prove significant for filmmakers is that you're limited to a DX (APS-C) crop when filming at 120/100p or with the camera set to Slow-Motion recording with the Z 7, whereas the Z 6 is limited to FX (full frame) recording under the same circumstances. Those filming weddings or events will likely prefer the wider field of view afforded by the Z 6 if high frame rate/slow motion video recording is desired.

So, we have two simultaneously-introduced cameras that are, in most aspects, the same. However, their few differences can be quite significant, depending on one's needs. Most will find the resolution, video performance and price being the differentiating factors for purchase.

Authorized Retailers

Nikon Z7 Mirrorless Camera - B&H | Adorama | Amazon | Wex | Henry's
Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Camera - B&H | Adorama | Amazon | Wex | Henry's

Posted: 12/18/2018 10:49:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Posted to: Nikon News    
Share on Facebook! Share on Twitter! Share on Pinterest! Email this page to a friend!
comments powered by Disqus
Help  |  TOU  |  © 2022 Rectangular Media, LLC  |  Bryan CarnathanPowered by Christ!