Nikon has announced updates to its popular Z6 and Z7 cameras, keeping things simple by calling them the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II.
Listening to customer and reviewer feedback, Nikon has included some meaningful upgrades that keep these cameras competitive in an increasingly packed market. Let’s take a look at what’s new with each release.
What’s new for the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II?
The Nikon Z6 II uses the same 24.5-megapixel resolution BSI CMOS sensor, although a more recent generation. It also features the same resolution electronic viewfinder and tilting vari-angle screen. Body dimensions look to be about the same too, although we’ve yet to get hands on so we don’t know exactly what changes may have been made physically – if any.
Similarly to the Z6 II, Nikon has stuck with the same resolution featured in the predecessor to the Nikon Z7 II, holding fast at 45.7-megapixels. And again, no changes to the EVF or viewfinder, so users of the previous model will feel immediately at home with the updates.
So what’s new? The majority of the changes are internal and they should make a significant difference. For starters, both cameras are now powered by twin EXPEED 6 image processors. The previous generation only featured one. The boost in processing power enables both cameras to record up to 4K/60p video, although the Z6 II won’t be getting that capability until February 2021 via firmware update. This is because Nikon wants to take time to finish testing and implementing the feature efficiently (Canon, take notes).
Both cameras get a bump in continuous burst mode shooting capabilities too, with the Z6 II now capable of shooting up to 14fps and the Z7 II going up to 10fps. Both have improved buffers too. The Z6 II can capture up to 200 JPG and 112 RAW (12-bit uncompressed) before slowing and the Z7 II matches for JPGs but maxes out at around 50 RAW images before it needs a break. If you can’t nail the shot with that capacity, you’re aiming at the wrong subject.
AF performance is also said to be improved in this second generation with expansions to the cameras’ eye and animal detection functionality. Both are said to work in a wider range of AF scenarios, including improved AF actuation and accuracy in low light conditions, now down to as low as -6EV.
One of the major criticisms of gen1 was the decision to give them both a single card slot, this was particularly an issue for the Z7 as it only accepted the still niche (and expensive) XQD card type. This time around Nikon has had the good sense to include two slots on both cameras; one UHS-II SD and one XQD/CF Express. This gives photographers the option to overflow images, backup or save JPGs to slot 1 and video/raw to the slot 2, for example. Dual card slots are now a must for enthusiast/pro cameras in 2020, so we’re pleased to see this inclusion here.
New Nikon Z Battery Grip
An improved solution for Nikon’s Z battery grip has been implemented and will please a lot of event/location shooters. The new MBN-11 grip offers an additional control wheel and shutter button and houses dual N-EL16c batteries – new for the Z6 II and Z7 II. The grip has two doors, meaning the batteries can be relayed and they can also be charged via USB-C – Infinity power FTW.
Check out the video above for Nikon’s Z6 II and Z7 II highlights. What do you guys think of the updates? Tempted to switch or upgrade? Let us know in the comments or over on our socials twitter.com/Gadgetsboy.
Sample images below captured by Nikon Ambassadors.