After weeks of anticipation, Nikon has finally released not one, but two new Full Frame Mirrorless cameras! The Nikon Z series is Nikon’s direct attempt to get a piece of Sony’s pie and compete with their popular A7 series.
The two camera bodies released – Z 6 ($1995 USD) and Z 7 ($3400 USD), boast incredibly impressive specs, sharing many similarities with their flagship FF D850, only without that pesky mirror that makes us underwater photographers curse every time we pack for a trip.
Arguably one of the most exciting things about this release, is the new larger Z-mount, which opens up a whole new world of lenses, with ultra bright apertures and awesome Nikkor optics.
The Z6 and Z7 are physically identical but differ in specs due to 2 types of sensors – The Z 7 is 45.7 megapixels, with ISO range of 64-25600 (expandable to 32 and 102400). The Z 6 is 24.5 megapixels,with ISO range of 100-51200 (expandable to 50 and 204800).
Bottom line – Z 6 can be characterized as “high sensitivity” and the Z 7 as “high resolution”.
Highlights of the Z6 and Z7 include (taken from original press release):
- A new backside illumination Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels.
- A hybrid AF system with focus points covering approximately 90% of the imaging area
- The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine for sharp and clear imaging, and new functions that support creative imaging expression
- An electronic viewfinder that utilizes Nikon’s superior optical and image-processing technologies to offer a clear and natural view
- An ergonomic design unique to Nikon that enables intuitive operation
- Movie functions such as 10-bit N-Log that captures a wide dynamic range, and timecoding, responding to professional needs
- Nikon’s first in-camera vibration reduction with approx. 5.0-stop effectiveness
- Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip-resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body
- An 8-cm/3.2-in., approximately 2100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism
- Silent photography function eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release
- Peaking stack image function
- High-speed continuous shooting at approximately 9 fps (Z 7) and 12 fps (Z 6) captures fast motion
- Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z 7) time-lapse movie creation possible
What About Underwater Housings?
We expect to start seeing underwater housings for the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 within the next few weeks starting to emerge.
The race is on and we hope to see press releases soon from Nauticam, Ikelite, Aquatica, Nimar and Sea & Sea showcasing their innovative new housings for this spectacular camera. The new Z lenses released at this point are still not ideal for underwater, except for the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S which would probably perform well, so we hope the underwater manufacturers will support the original F-Mount lenses such as the 105mm, 10.5mm, 16-35mm etc, using the FTZ adapter.
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