We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Nikon Z 6 Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Feb 19, 2021 at 09:02 am
Nikon Z 6 Picture
7.7
Travel Photography
8.0
Landscape Photography
8.4
Sport & Wildlife Photography
6.2
Vlogging
7.8
Studio Video
5.5
Action Video
This camera was replaced by the Nikon Z 6II
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
Full Frame
Tested Lens
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S

The Nikon Z 6 is a full-frame mirrorless camera with a premium, well-built design. It has excellent image quality, so your photos appear sharp and detailed. Also, its outstanding photo autofocus feature helps keep moving subjects in focus in your pictures. This camera also has decent video quality in 4k and FHD, but your videos aren't as sharp as those recorded with some of the other cameras we've tested. Also, its bulky build may not make it ideal to bring with you on-the-go.

Our Verdict

7.7 Travel Photography

The Nikon Z6 is good for travel photography. It has excellent image quality, so your photos are sharp and detailed, and its superb autofocus feature helps keep moving subjects in focus. This camera is well-built and easy-to-use, but it's a bit heavy.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Amazing image quality.
  • Superb photo autofocus performance.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
8.0 Landscape Photography

The Nikon Z6 is great for landscape photography. This well-built camera is easy-to-use, and its screen is readable even if you're shooting in bright sunlight. It also has amazing image quality, so your photos are detailed and sharp. Unfortunately, this camera is a bit heavy, so it isn't the most portable.

Pros
  • Well-built design.
  • Amazing image quality.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
8.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Nikon Z6 is impressive for sport and wildlife photography. Thanks to its high continuous shooting speed, you can take bursts of pictures that help you get a clear shot of fast-moving subjects. Also, it does an incredible job tracking fast-moving subjects thanks to its superb autofocus system. It has amazing image quality and handles noise superbly well, too.

Pros
  • Amazing image quality.
  • Superb photo autofocus performance.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
6.2 Vlogging

The Nikon Z6 is mediocre for vlogging. It isn't very portable, and its tilting screen can't be flipped to point forward so you can see yourself while you record. It has good video quality in 4K and FHD, but but the camera does exhibit a noticeable rolling shutter effect when panning side to side. Fortunately, its video stabilization helps provide stable footage even if you're walking while filming.

Pros
  • Very good video stabilization performance.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
7.8 Studio Video

The Nikon Z6 is good for studio video. It has good video quality in both 4k and FHD. Also, it has lots of inputs for commonly used accessories like a microphone and headphones. Thanks to its face detection feature, its autofocus does an incredible job focusing on the faces of moving people in both 4k and FHD, but it struggles a little more to stay focused on moving objects.

Pros
  • Face detection feature.
  • Lots of inputs for headphones and other accessories.
Cons
  • Video autofocus can struggle to keep focus on moving objects.
5.5 Action Video

The Nikon Z6 is inadequate for action video. This large, bulky camera isn't very portable, and it isn't meant to be mounted on a helmet. It isn't waterproof, either. On the upside, it has good 4k and FHD video quality, and it can provide stable footage even if you're moving a lot while filming.

Pros
  • Very good video stabilization performance.
Cons
  • Not very portable.
  • No water resistance.
  • 7.7 Travel Photography
  • 8.0 Landscape Photography
  • 8.4 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 6.2 Vlogging
  • 7.8 Studio Video
  • 5.5 Action Video
  1. Updated Jul 07, 2021: Corrected depth measurement in 'Portability' box.
  2. Updated May 06, 2021: Retested 'Test Scene Extract' tests in 4k and FHD, updated '4k Video Quality' and 'FHD Video Quality' scores.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
2.2
Design
Portability
Height 4.0" (10.2 cm)
Width 5.6" (14.1 cm)
Depth 3.3" (8.5 cm)
Volume
74.6 in³ (1,222.5 cm³)
Weight
1.50 lbs (0.68 kg)
Weight With Lens
2.58 lbs (1.17 kg)

Update 07/07/2021: Camera depth incorrectly showed 3.7" (9.4 cm). This camera is actually 3.3" (8.5 cm) deep. We've adjusted the score accordingly.

8.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Magnesium alloy body, mix of rubberized and hard plastic exterior feel solid
  • Dials and buttons are sturdy and offer good physical feedback
  • Battery and SD card compartments covered by hinged doors
  • Additional mini OLED display beside the thumb command dial
  • Input and output compartments are covered by rubber flaps

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
Z Mount
Built-In Flash
No
Design
In The Box

  • Nikon Z 6 camera body
  • Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens
  • User manual
  • AC battery charger
  • Nikon EN-EL15b battery
  • Sensor cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • Lens cap, lens fabric wrap, lens hood, and lens mount cover
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Cable management adapter

9.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • Lots of room between body and lens; thumb can rest out of the way of the screen without accidentally pressing any buttons
  • Viewfinder cover made of comfortable rubber
  • Textured hand grip is comfortable and grippy
  • Camera is a bit heavy

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Nikon SnapBridge

  • Menu system easy to navigate using the touchscreen
  • Using the shortcut/quick settings menu lets you access frequently used features and functions
  • Nikon SnapBridge app can be used to operate some of the camera's functions through your phone
  • Guide mode helps explain settings and features
  • A few functions are hard to find, like video assistants and focus assist

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
3.6 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.8
7.7
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Tilting
Screen Max Brightness
770 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
2.1 million dots
Size
3.2" (8.1 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.5 MP
Processor
EXPEED 6
Extended ISO Minimum
50
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
51,200
Tested Firmware
3.20
7.4
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Nikon EN-EL15b
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
310 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
98 min
6.6
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
4.0
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/4.0
Minimum Focal Length
24 mm
Maximum Focal Length
70 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
70 mm
Luminance
80.9%
Light Falloff
40.5%
Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
NEF
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
8.3
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
1 fps
High Speed Continuous
11 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
12 fps
Raw Buffer Size
57 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
68 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
0 s
9.2
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
273
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
165" (420 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
74.4%
Object Tracking Success Rate
96.2%
8.3
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
Yes
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/8 s
8.6
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
8.44 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.12
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
37.6 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.182 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
37.03 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.239 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
36.59 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
1.312 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 100 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo
ISO 25600 Photo
ISO 51200 Photo

9.2
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 41.13 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 40.18 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 38.95 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 37.12 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 34.7 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 32.21 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 29.38 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 26.65 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 23.95 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 20.46 dB
Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
10 bits
Log Picture Profile
Yes
Recording Light
No
General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
Yes
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
8.5
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
6.9
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
No
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
9.2
Object Tracking In 4k
5.3
7.8
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
Yes
Walking Test In 4k
8.98 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
29.37 pixels/frames
Crop
1.1 x
7.4
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
120 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
120 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit 30 min
Overheat Recording Interruption
No
7.7
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.0
4k Rolling Shutter
8.78°

Update 05/06/2021: The test scene extract shots have been retaken, as the original shots were out of focus. The camera's score in this category has been updated.

Full HD Video
9.5
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
7.3
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
No
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
9.1
Object Tracking In FHD
6.3
8.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
Yes
Walking Test In FHD
4.62 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
15.14 pixels/frames
Crop
1.08
7.8
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
124 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
24 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit 30 min
7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.5
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.0
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.88°

Update 05/06/2021: The test scene extract shots have been retaken, as the original shots were out of focus. The camera's score in this section has been updated.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
CFexpress
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
9.5
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Mini (Type C)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Nikon Z6 comes in 'Black'. We tested this camera with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

This camera is also compatible with other Nikkor Z lenses, and you can also purchase it without a lens at all. However, we haven't tested its performance in any other configuration.

If you come across another version, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Discussions