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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: This camera has a magnification focus assistant, but we experienced noticeable lag and sluggishness with the EVF and LCD monitor while using it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: Card slot 1 supports XQD cards as well as CFexpress cards.
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.
The Nikon Z 6II and the Sony α7 IV are both excellent full-frame cameras, although the α7 IV has a bit more to offer when it comes to autofocus performance and video features. Unlike the Nikon, the α7 IV can record 10-bit 4:2:2 video internally, meaning it can capture more color information and give you more leeway when editing and grading your footage. When it comes to photography, both take sharp, high-quality photos with a wide dynamic range and excellent noise handling. The Sony is a great option for landscapes thanks to its 33-megapixel sensor, giving you a bit more room to crop in without losing quality. However, the Nikon is better suited to sports and wildlife photography since it can shoot uncompressed RAW photos at 10 fps, whereas the Sony is limited to 6 fps.
The Nikon Z 6II and the Nikon D780 are both premium full-frame cameras, but they use different technologies, each with advantages and disadvantages. The Z 6II is a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder that lets you preview your exposure settings directly through the viewfinder. It's more portable than the D780, which is a DSLR and has an optical viewfinder that gives you an unfiltered, lag-free view through the lens. The Z 6II has in-body image stabilization, and it can shoot at a faster burst rate. It also has a slot for faster CFexpress cards in addition to an SD card slot. The D780 has a hybrid autofocus system that combines the AF system from the Z 6 when shooting in Live View with a more typical DSLR AF system when shooting through the viewfinder, giving it a bit of added versatility.