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Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II full-frame mirrorless cameras

Nikon unveils their 2nd generation flagship full-frame mirrorless cameras

Nikon z6 ii z7 mark ii
Images by Nikon

Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II full-frame mirrorless cameras are now official with expanded 4K video features and dual card slots. As teased a couple of weeks ago, Nikon has finally unveiled their Z 6II and Z 7II full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Many expected ground-breaking updates, however it appears that the 2nd gen top-end Nikon Z mirrorless cameras get some features that should have otherwise been on the original Z7 and Z6. 

However, the new cameras get updates such as dual images processors, dual card slots and an improved AF system. In addition, 4K/60p recording is finally available in-camera on the Nikon Z 7II, while the Z 6II users will be getting a free firmware update for it in February 2021.

Dual EXPEED 6 Image Processors

Starting off with the Z6 II, the camera features a 24.5MP back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor and dual EXPEED 6 image processors. Thus, it is capable of 14fps (in stills) with single-point AF or 12 fps shooting in other focusing modes. 

On the other hand, the Z 7II features a 45.7-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor without an anti-aliasing filter for exceptional sharpness and detail. And with up to 10 fps maximum shooting speed at full resolution, the Z 7II can handle fast burst rates with more than triple the buffer capacity of the Z 7 in 12-bit lossless compressed RAW.

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Images by Nikon

4K/60p Internal Recording

The Z 6II is capable of 4K/30 internally with full-pixel readout, however a 4K/60p will be available via an upcoming firmware update. Moreover, Full HD/120fps is also included in the Z6 Mark II.

And while the new Z 7II can record 4K/60p internally at launch, both cameras are still limited to an 8bit 4:2:0 H.264 internal codec and subject to a 29 mins recording limit.

In addition, Nikon say they built the the Z 6II with videographers in mind and as such have included focus peaking and zebras. Also, AF speed and tracking sensitivity is adjustable, while the focus ring can also be reversed. 

10bit N-Log, ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW

However, 10-bit support and N-Log is available only externally via HDMI.

Hybrid Log Gamma or HLG and 12-bit ProRes RAW via HDMI are also planned with a (paid) optional upgrade.

Furthermore, those who purchase the ProRes RAW upgrade will also get Blackmagic RAW when using the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR recorder.

And the same applies to existing Z6 and Z7 users who already purchased the ProRes RAW upgrade.

nikon z 7ii full-frame back lcd
Image by Nikon

Updated Autofocus System with Eye and Face Detection AF

With an updated, autofocus system, the Z 7II and Z 6II quickly acquire focus and track subjects throughout the frame. 

For more precise autofocusing, Eye and Face-Detection AF is now available in the Wide-Area AF (L) mode, which works to avoid focusing on distracting elements by isolating selected portions of an image. Low-light focus is also said to have been improved. 

Furthermore, the Nikon Z 6II’s enhanced AF system features 273 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points for easy subject acquisition and tracking throughout the frame, including at the edges. Capable of focusing in half the light, the Z 6II easily acquires focus in super-low light situations, making it a good option for events.

In addition, the Z 7II’s larger megapixel sensor allows for 493 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points. Nevertheless, these cover 90 percent of the frame, and allow you to quickly and accurately capture subjects in low-light situations as low as -3 EV. 

Firmware Updates via SnapBridge App

Both the Z 6II and Z 7II are compatible with the Nikon Webcam Utility software beta. And when using this function with a USB-C cable, power can be supplied to the camera to power it while using it as a webcam. 

In addition, both new cameras support seamless file transfer and remote camera control via the Nikon SnapBridge app.

With this app, users can send the firmware update files wirelessly directly to the Z 7II or Z 6II for updating, without the need to connect the camera to a computer. 

This is a really cool feature that I wish other manufacturers like Sony implement.  

nikon z 6ii dual card slots
Image by Nikon

Dual Card Slots: CFexpress/XQD and SD UHS-II

The new Z6 II and Z7 II retain their robust weather sealing and also add the much-needed 2nd card slot. 

Now, with dual card slots, both cameras have one CFexpress (type B)/XQD slot and one SD card slot (UHS-II). This way you can instantly backup your footage in camera.

Furthermore, photographers who need more power and comfortable vertical shooting can get the new MB-N11 battery pack with vertical grip.

B&H have already posted their hands-on first look of the new Z6 and Z7 mark II cameras, which you can check out below:

Pricing and Availability

Finally, the Nikon Z 6II is due to ship next month in November and MSRP is as follows:

Pre-order links to B&H Photo/Video:

And also, the Nikon Z 7II is expected to ship in December in two configurations:

Head over to Nikon to explore the new cameras in more detail.

What do you think?

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