Nikon Z6

Over One Year - Long Term Review

"It is not detailed brochure"

“ Nikon Z6 is a robust and excellent overall camera, especially for the first generation mirrorless.”

Caveat: This is not a technical review, more importantly it is more about experience based review over the span of over one year of using this camera.

Let me begin with some background about my work. I shoot all genres of photography and without a single doubt weddings are a major part of the income when we consider photography. So this whole review is going to be mainly based on wedding and portraits genre because I have used my Z6 for the same purpose only.


As many of you know that I am a Nikon Expertive by Nikon India but that doesn’t mean I am under any restriction or pressure to write certain things. On top of it, Nikon didn’t ask me to write a review nor asked me to say/write only nice things about their product, in contrast they’ve been nothing but supportive, helpful and professional.

So it is very straight and honest review/experience write up. (meaning it will have negative things too, so Nikon fan boys, please look elsewhere)

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So on 18th January 2019 I bought my very first Z6 and by the 28th I had already shot two whole Indian weddings (4 days & 3 days respectively). At that point I already had Nikon D4, D750, D600 and Fujifilm X-E3 with 23mm in my bag.

I was very much confused at that time whether I should continue with Nikon with their new Z and use all existing lenses I have collected over 23 years or shift to Fuji APS-C system completely, which in my opinion are pretty good cameras and lenses as well. (I am very happy I did not switch)

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First Impressions

By the time I finished those two weddings I mentioned above I already fell in love with the ergonomics of Z6 (btw Z7 has the exact same body). It was beyond perfect to hold and felt right at home like it carried genes from Nikon’s Giorgetto Giugiaro Design era (yes Nikon hires or at least used to hire design industry’s best, of course Italian designers, for their cameras). If you’ve not heard of Giugiaro’s name then just google away.

Buttons had a right push to them, dials had right resistance click to them, viewfinder eyecup is super comfortable with good distance (so that eyelashes won’t grease up your finder screen), ISO button is placed right at index finger so that you have all three important controls taken care by your thumb (command dial), index finger (subcommand dial) and middle finger. While you have two ways you can control your focus points and the joystick is super fast and fun.

I also liked the standard placement of playback and delete but so that you can quickly review the image in your viewfinder (which is another joyful experience in itself) and can delete it right away if need without chimping. Only thing I didn’t really enjoy is f1 and f2 buttons are quite difficult to reach, that needs to be worked on. Other than that the whole camera feels solid and a bliss to hold and shoot.


The Viewfinder is the best one I’ve seen so far, including some of the latest release in this month, that OLED finder has crazy response time (virtually no lag) and wide dynamic range with color accuracy which is important if you’re a JPEG only shooter.

Also I make my couple review photographs in this finder while gong through couple sessions and they always loved it (boosts their confidence). Nikon’s legendary menu system continues with Z series with improvements like precise capacitive touch screen and menu is super intuitive to work with unlike other manufacturers (cough…Sony…cough).

Being great at touch, the screen is also bright in the sun and holds wide color gamut. Moreover all the function button distribution is very handy.

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Now this is where things started to go little mediocre, especially before the firmware update arrived in late April. Pre firmware update, autofocus of Z6 was nowhere in the competition but right after firmware update (thanks Nikon) it started shining out, not only it has eye autofocus now but also you can now select which eye of a person or which person in the group (fistpump!) which is huge if you’re planning to use this facility, especially in Indian weddings.

Now I must admit it is not the fastest in competition of eye autofocus, definitely when you’re adapting lenses. I use my beloved 105mm f1.4 a lot on this body and it focuses decently fast enough. (and no it doesn’t focus on eyelashes but on eyes if you’re capable photographer to work f1.4 on such focal length, which sometimes I am not. Problem here is human reflexes and ridicules shallow DOF at higher focal length).

Biggest drawback I can see here for me is I miss AF-C 3D. By adding on-sensor phase detect pixels this camera is relatively quick. Using AutoFocus-Single Servo mode is as expected, good enough. So my verdict would be, it’s pretty good, not great and many improvements to come, hopefully.

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I absolutely love the focus peaking in this camera, when I have to use any art lenses such as lomography’s Petzval or some of my classic Nikkor glass such as 135mm f2 DC, focus peaking is absolute bliss and very precise even when shooting shallow as f2 on 135mm.

Use of focus peaking Lomography Petzval 85

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It handles all the brights and darks beautifully especially if you are shooting uncompressed RAW files, just expose for highlights (expose for right) and you’re golden. Software support with Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw (photoshop) and Capture One is just sublime. You can even get beautifully rendered Straight Out Of the Camera JPEGs with various built in picture control with excellent color rendition.

Talking about color rendition, skin tones are just astonishingly eye pleasing in both ways, RAW or JPEGs. Here is the thing with color rendition, camera sensor and lenses, they both produce very specific color palette depending on the transmission of each wavelength of light through lens as well as how your sensor-ADC-Processor channel interpret received light from lens.

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As you can see the dynamic range is handled beautifully

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Just like most of previous Nikon cameras, Z series cameras continue the tradition of extremely comfortable grip with nicely balanced body, it feels right at home using Z mount S series lenses. Engaging the flip screen is also very comfortable.


5-stop internal vibration reduction, meaning it will work with lenses without VR and with VR both alongside, so put your worry aside as stabilization with this camera will help you in all situations of photos and videos.

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Extreme shadow pull using Lightroom

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- Lenses are great to use, of course with excellent image quality and premium feel to it.

- Now single card slot is kind of bummer when I first read/heard about it but then I just realized that I have been using my Nikon D4 on overflow since I got it 7 years ago. So it is surely good to have to slots but it is not end of the world, I mean ex-kyu-dee (XQD) are super reliable. In case you are not aware that XQD cards are based on PCI-Express, meaning it is an incredibly stable and optimized architecture and it is way way better than SD card technology.

- If you have lot or some old Nikkor F mount lenses then FTZ works just perfect, there are no lags, miscalculations and performance is top notch.

- Image overlay with double exposure, that’s interesting.

- All Nikon flashes as well as Nikon compatible flashes works as they should on any other Nikon DSLRs.

- Most impressive and convenient thing I found was video and photo modes are saved individually, meaning your photo settings will not carry forward to video mode as you shift, it will be set to your previously set video settings only, huge advantage in terms of usability. Thank you Nikon!

- Heavy on the wallet ??? Not at all, right now it is ₹ 208,950.00*(with 24-70mm Lens + Mount Adapter FTZ), ₹ 167,450.00*(with Mount Adapter FTZ) ₹ 197,950.00*(with 24-70mm Lens) and ₹ 156,450.00* (Body only) considering all the things packed in this camera by Nikon it is definitely a bargain.

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So let’s talk about future of Nikon, very clearly Nikon as a company is playing catch up as of right now but it is growing at very well pace. Delivering product like this at the first go is nothing less than super impressive with neat lenses which can compete Zeiss standards, sensor which is nothing less than revolutionary and an overall beautiful as well as performing camera which hits above its weight class. And the experience is getting better and better as new firmwares are arriving while Nikon’s engineers and scientist are working hard behind the curtain. All in all after over year of use in numerous weddings and lots of commercial assignments, this camera performed quite impressively and hey, no rubbers came off!

Of course there are few things I would like to see in upcoming version such as Dual Card Slots wouldn’t hurt, more f1.4 prime lenses for Z mount and please please add N Log in camera for video.


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As I mentioned earlier, Nikon Z cameras are way beyond good for first attempt at mirrorless technology though it took about 6-7 years for them to come out with one.

Both Z series cameras feels quite right in hand: light and compact with beautiful ergonomics, well weight distributed, beautiful OLED finder with zero lag, properly working in-body image stabilization, effective weather sealing and robust build, very competitive and class leading high ISO performance and dynamic range while delivery very realistic and eye pleasing color science, and while we are at verdict or summary, video has pretty much all the things you need.

So overall it’s a perfect overall camera and you’ll not feel that you’re using a computer. Moreover, I am definitely buying one more Z6 for my arsenal.

Now here are some photographs I made with Nikon Z6, Thanks for tolerating my words.

Photographs shot using Nikon Z6

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