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 6II Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Jul 13, 2021 at 09:42 am
Nikon Z 6II Picture
7.5
Travel Photography
8.0
Landscape Photography
8.3
Sport & Wildlife Photography
5.8
Vlogging
8.1
Studio Video
5.8
Action Video
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
Full Frame
Tested Lens
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S

The Nikon Z 6II succeeds the Nikon Z 6 and offers similar performance and features, with a few minor upgrades. It improves upon its predecessor in a few ways, like adding a second memory card slot for SD cards and implementing dual EXPEED 6 processors. Otherwise, like its predecessor, it's a versatile full-frame mirrorless camera that delivers excellent image quality, with photos that look sharp and detailed even at higher ISO levels. It also has a good autofocus system for both photo and video and an excellent shooting speed, so you can easily capture moving subjects and keep them in focus. Its menu system is intuitive and easy to use, with a guide mode to walk new users through its settings and features. The camera also feels very comfortable to use, but it's heavy, so it's not the most convenient to take on the go. Its video quality is okay overall, and its in-body video stabilization feature does a good job of smoothing out camera shake.

Our Verdict

7.5 Travel Photography

The Nikon Z 6II is good for travel photography. It delivers excellent image quality, and it has a good autofocus system that does a good job keeping moving objects in focus. It feels very well-built and comfortable to use, and while we don't currently test for this, it's also weather-sealed to withstand elements like rain. It has a good battery life, but this can vary depending on settings and usage. The dual memory card slots are also great for those taking lots of photos who prefer having a backup memory card. That said, it's not the most compact or convenient to take on the go.

Pros
  • Good autofocus system.
  • Excellent overall image quality.
  • Well-built and comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
8.0 Landscape Photography

The Nikon Z 6II is great for landscape photography. Its image quality is excellent, delivering an impressive dynamic range so you can capture a wide range of detail in landscape shots. It also feels well-built and very comfortable to use. It's weather-sealed too, which is nice, though we don't currently test that capability. However, it's not the most portable, so it's not convenient to take to remote shooting locations.

Pros
  • Good autofocus system.
  • Great dynamic range.
  • Excellent overall image quality.
  • Well-built and comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
8.3 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Nikon Z 6II is an impressive camera for sport and wildlife photography. It has an excellent shooting speed that makes it well-suited to capturing fast-moving people or wildlife, and its virtually instant buffer empty time should let you fire off extended bursts without slowing you down. While its autofocus system does a great job of tracking moving objects, it struggles with tracking faces. That said, it has excellent image quality, with photos that stay sharp and detailed even at higher ISO levels. Its in-body stabilization feature does a good job of reducing camera shake, which is great for those who prefer to shoot without a tripod.

Pros
  • Good autofocus system.
  • Excellent continuous shooting speed.
  • Excellent overall image quality.
  • Well-built and comfortable to use.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
  • Disappointing face tracking for photos.
5.8 Vlogging

The Nikon Z 6II is a sub-par vlogging camera. It only has a tilting screen, so you can't use it to monitor yourself while recording. It's also quite heavy, making it harder to carry around for long periods. That said, video quality is good overall, and its autofocus system does a fantastic job of tracking moving subjects. It also includes in-body video stabilization that does a decent job of smoothing out camera shake.

Pros
  • Impressive video autofocus.
  • Good overall video quality.
Cons
  • Quite heavy.
  • Screen isn't fully articulated.
8.1 Studio Video

The Nikon Z 6II is great for studio video. Video quality is very good overall, especially in controlled lighting conditions. It supports the N-Log shooting profile for extended dynamic range and in-depth color grading in post-production, and it can output video with 10-bit color depth over HDMI. It has a wide array of inputs and outputs, including a microphone jack, headphone jack, and a mini HDMI port that supports clean HDMI output if you want to connect an external recorder without any overlays. Also, while we don't currently test for this, you can connect the camera to an external power supply to maximize shooting time.

Pros
  • Impressive video autofocus.
  • Plenty of inputs and outputs.
  • Good overall video quality.
Cons
  • May overheat with extensive use.
5.8 Action Video

The Nikon Z 6II isn't for action video. It's not designed for mounting on a helmet or other action cam accessory, and it isn't waterproof. That said, it's weather-sealed, so it can withstand some wind and rain, although we don't currently test for that. It can also shoot at up to 60 fps in 4k and 120 fps in FHD for capturing fast action or generating slow-motion footage. It also has in-body video stabilization, which does a good job overall of reducing camera shake.

Pros
  • Good overall video quality.
Cons
  • Not designed for action cam mounting.
  • Not waterproof.
  • 7.5 Travel Photography
  • 8.0 Landscape Photography
  • 8.3 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 5.8 Vlogging
  • 8.1 Studio Video
  • 5.8 Action Video
  1. Updated Jul 13, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Jul 07, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
2.1
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
1.58 lbs (0.72 kg)
Weight With Lens
2.65 lbs (1.20 kg)
8.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Looks and feels almost identical to the Nikon Z 6
  • Magnesium alloy body, mix of rubberized and hard plastic exterior feel solid
  • Dials and buttons are sturdy and offer good tactile feedback
  • Battery and memory 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 6II camera body
  • User manual
  • AC battery charger
  • Nikon EN-EL15C battery
  • Sensor cap
  • Shoulder strap
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • Cable management accessories, including 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

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

9.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Nikon SnapBridge

  • Menu system is easy to navigate using the touchscreen
  • Menu remembers the last option highlighted, making it easy to jump back in and adjust settings on the go
  • Includes shortcut/quick settings menu to 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
3.69 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.8

Note: This camera has a magnification focus assistant, but we experienced noticeable lag and sluggishness with the EVF and LCD monitor while using it.

7.7
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Tilting
Screen Max Brightness
750 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
2.1 million dots
Size
3.1" (8.0 cm)
Touchscreen
Yes

Note: This camera has an additional OLED display on top next to the viewfinder that shows basic info like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and battery life for those who prefer not to use the back monitor and want a more 'back to basics' shooting experience.

Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
24.5 MP
Processor
Dual EXPEED 6
Extended ISO Minimum
50
ISO Minimum
100
ISO Maximum
51,200
Tested Firmware
1.20
7.9
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Nikon EN-EL15C
USB Charging
Yes
Use When Charging
Yes
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
340 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
112 min

Note: The camera and/or memory card may overheat when recording for long sessions. The Nikon Z 6II can be used while charging when connected to a PC and using Nikon's Webcam Utility app. Without the app, the camera will still charge but won't let you record or take photos. If you're on the go, you can also use an external power bank, specifically the Anker Powercore+ 26800 mAh, but we don't currently test this capability.

6.9
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
84%
Light Falloff
46.2%
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

Note: This camera has many additional features, including 'Multiple Exposure', which lets you combine up to ten exposures into one image, an extended 900s shutter speed option for long exposure shots, 'Focus Shift' shooting, which takes a series of photos with different focus points and combines them to create an extended focus range, and 'Creative Picture Controls' that let you preview different filters in real-time. However, we don't currently test these features.

8.9
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
1 fps
High Speed Continuous
13 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
12 fps
Raw Buffer Size
10,000 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
0 s

Note: When selecting the 'Low Speed Continuous' drive mode, you can press down on the D-pad to choose a low-speed continuous shooting speed from between 1 and 5 fps.

Note also that we weren't able to fill the buffer in either RAW or JPEG when using the CFexpress memory card slot, but when using the UHS-II SD card slot, the RAW buffer size drops to 110 photos.

7.7
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
273
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
157" (400 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
42.1%
Object Tracking Success Rate
86.2%
7.8
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
Yes
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/13 s
8.7
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
8.85 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.61
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
36.92 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.159 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
36.14 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.213 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
36.32 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
1.309 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

9.1
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 41.06 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 40.19 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 38.84 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 37.18 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 34.57 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 32 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 29.13 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 26.59 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 23.96 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 20.47 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
9.1
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.41 x

Note: The Nikon Z 6II can shoot in 4k at 60 fps or 50 fps with a crop after updating the firmware to version 1.10.

8.2
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
9.2
Object Tracking In 4k
6.5

Note: When recording 4k video, the camera locks itself to a 1/125 shutter speed by default, and we couldn't find a way to adjust it. Because we used different settings for this test, the results may not be fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

Also, we achieved significantly better AF tracking results when using 'Auto-Area AF' instead of the touch tracking feature that lets you manually select an autofocus subject by tapping the touchscreen.

7.1
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
Yes
Walking Test In 4k
12.29 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
30.34 pixels/frames
Crop
1.1 x

Note: This camera's digital stabilization feature, called 'Digital Vibration Reduction', isn't available when shooting at 60 fps in 4k, meaning you can only choose between 'Normal' and 'Sport' VR at 60 fps, but neither of these incurs a crop the way digital stabilization does.

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
Yes
8.3
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
8.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
9.0
4k Rolling Shutter
4.25°
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
8.4
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
9.2
Object Tracking In FHD
7.0

Note: We got significantly better AF tracking results when using 'Auto-Area AF' instead of the touch tracking feature that lets you manually select an autofocus subject by tapping the touchscreen.

7.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
Yes
Walking Test In FHD
6.62 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
14.54 pixels/frames
Crop
1.1

Note: This camera's digital stabilization feature, called 'Digital Vibration Reduction', isn't available when shooting at 120 fps in FHD, meaning you can only choose between 'Normal' and 'Sport' VR at 120 fps, but neither of these incurs a crop the way digital stabilization does.

7.8
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
125 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
12 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit 30 min
7.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
7.5
Test Scene Extract In FHD
8.0
FHD Rolling Shutter
2.68°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
CFexpress
Card 2 Slot
SD Card UHS-II

Note: Card slot 1 supports XQD cards as well as CFexpress cards.

9.5
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
USB-C
HDMI
Mini (Type C)
Headphones
Yes
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Note: This camera supports wireless photo transfer to a Mac or PC over Wi-Fi, but it requires Nikon's Wireless Transmitter Utility software.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Nikon Z 6II only comes in one color variant: 'Black', and you can see our unit's label here. We tested it with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens. It's also compatible with other Nikkor Z lenses, and you can purchase it without a lens. However, we haven't tested its performance in any other configuration.

If you come across another variant or your Nikon Z 6II doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review.

Discussions