A Year With the Nikon Z 6: How Does Nikon's Mirrorless Camera Fare in the Long Run?

The Nikon Z 6, along with the Z 7, were the first cameras to use the company's new Z mount and their first foray into the rapidly developing professional mirrorless market. It has now been about a year since the Z 6's release, giving photographers and videographers time to really get to know the camera and see how well it works in professional settings. This excellent video review discusses how the camera has performed over that year. 

Coming to you from Dan Watson, this video review takes a look at the Nikon Z 6 from both a stills and video standpoint. Nikon's two mirrorless cameras were released to mixed feelings, with a lot of people expressing displeasure over the single card slots, while others marveled at the potential of the massive Z mount combined with strong sensors. Altogether, Watson seems quite pleased with the camera as both a photo and video camera. He certainly has some quibbles about it and some minor changes he would make, but overall, it seems like it has been a solid performer that has handled a variety of situations effectively. As Nikon continues to expand the lens lineup for the Z mount, it will be interesting to see what their next mirrorless body will have in store and how it will expand the system's capabilities. Check out the video above for Watson's full thoughts. 

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Stuart Carver's picture

If i was moving away from Fuji id 100% get a Z7, im not bothered about the card slots and they are just excellent cameras.

Rob Mitchell's picture

I did. Outed the Fuji.
Had the Z7 from since before day 1. I was let lose with a pre-production camera. Nothing else gets a look in now, it's my main camera.

Stuart Carver's picture

I’m only a casual Rob so don’t really have need to upgrade right now but 100% have nothing against your decision, the Z series is shaping up to be an awesome setup. My other camera is a Nikon DSLR and I still have a soft spot for it.

Rob Mitchell's picture

It is an awesome setup, not shaping up to be one :)
I hear you though, if you're just shooting casually, no point dumping what you have, all cameras make good images.

Stuart Carver's picture

Yes fully agree:) and the ‘shaping up’ bit was only cos they haven’t released the 70-200 yet, it does have a stellar lens lineup already.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Samyang do with the manual focus primes, the 12mm is one of my favourite lenses on the Fuji.

Rob Mitchell's picture

Honestly, no client and nobody will even notice that I've used my 70-200 F mount on the Z.

Stuart Carver's picture

Oh yeah definitely not, but as someone who would be new to the system (at least from and FX perspective) I’d be aiming for native glass ideally. The f mount 70-200 is a legendary lens though

Zac Henderson's picture

I was an early adopter of the Z6 and have absolutely loved it. I've never had a camera feel so good in my hand. Interface makes sense, button placement is excellent (love the two front custom buttons), and image quality is great. Video specs are somewhat wanting without internal log, but the Z log from EOSHD makes up for it, and considering both the Z6 and Z7are able to record RAW with an Atomos external recorder, there's a lot to like. Very pleased. I expect to add a next gen Z as my main stills camera and keep the Z6 as a primary video camera.

Absolutely love my Z 6 and Z 7.

Like the rest of the commenters, I too love my Z6. It's a little unbelievable how much hate it got from all the reviewers last year. It's such an incredibly fun camera to use with amazing performance.

Ziggy Stardust's picture

If Nikon had brought out a Z version of the D500 and produced enough 500mm PFs for all who wanted one, I would've stayed with the brand. But for action shooting there's little advantage in a Z with an adaptor and a bulky FX lens.

Alec Kinnear's picture

Ziggy, great to see you back from the dead. Don't know why you wouldn't keep the D500 and buy a Z6? Horses for courses. I bought a Z6, some good Nikon F mount glass, a D4, added a second Z6 and now a D850. May sell on the second Z6 with two good F mount bodies. The D4 and the D850 are for sport shooting as it turns out I prefer shooting sport with an optical viewfinder (I was able to shoot plenty of sharp images with the Z6 but didn't like the mirrorless disconnect with the action, it was harder to follow the game and time shots just right).

My excellent Canon gear is slowly being sold off to pay for the Nikon lenses. Sony and Fuji all sold off already. Love the Canon glass but haven't loved a Canon camera since the 5D (the 5D III was a reasonable value at the time). The Z6 is a ground breaking camera like that first 5D. Perfect ergonomics, fantastic image quality, incredibly versatile. You can shoot pro level video, manual lenses, portrait, landscape – everything except really fast action on AF-C which even isn't all that bad with AF-S 10fps H+ mode.

What's great about being a Nikon shooter these days is that all the glass is cross-compatible and none of the bodies (apart from the D750 with its tiny buffer) are crippled like Canon's body. Nikon lately really does try harder. Sony just doesn't have a clue at how to build a comfortable, sturdy camera or doesn't want to. Canon just won't build a full feature set into a single body below $6000. And who wants to lug around a 1DX Mark II everywhere to enjoy that full feature set?

The Z6 is delightfully compact yet never awkward like the A7 III (I shot some excellent images with the A7 III but it was always painful with pinched fingers and bruised eye sockets, I'm a left eye shooter). None of those issues with a Z6. The feeling with a Z6 is akin to when I used to carry around a Pentax K1000 and felt totally comfortable with the viewfinder and the ergonomics for decades.

Ziggy Stardust's picture

Well, if the Z6 were a mirrorless D500 it'd be a great choice. But it isn't.

Probably would have gotten a Z6 if it used SD cards.
Ended up with a Sony A7III... Which has terrible weather dealing.
Every mirrorless seems to have pros/cons 😔

Alec Kinnear's picture

The XQD cards held me back for awhile as well, I admit. I didn't like the extra €150 price tag per camera for even a single card. I finally bit the bullet on the cards and now like them. XQD are sturdier than SD cards, fast as all get out and never the stress of the fragile CF pins. The old single row SD cards are reliable enough but the new double level UHS-II cards are an awful lot of fragile contact points and interface in a tiny highly exposed host.

As the XQD cards are best value in 64GB and 120GB models, I keep basically just one per camera, unlike SD cards where I always had a wallet full. It means taking a bit more care when offloading files and with initial backups as a card goes straight back into service (and is hence erased). Eventually XQD cards will get cheaper.

As soon as the 5DSR is gone, all my cameras (Z6, D4, D850) will accept XQD cards. It will be nice to only need a single reader format on cards which are is reliable, sturdy, ultrafast and not too easy to lose thanks to being just the right size.