Comparison Guides, Camera Buying Guides

Nikon Z6 III vs Z6 II

Nikon Z6III vs Nikon Z6II

When Nikon introduced the Z6II in 2020, it was a significant step up from the original Z6, offering improved autofocus, faster continuous shooting, and enhanced video capabilities. Now, with the release of the Z6III, Nikon has taken things to a whole new level. The Z6III builds upon the strengths of its predecessor while incorporating advanced features from Nikon’s flagship Z8 and Z9 models.

Throughout this in-depth comparison, we’ll explore the key upgrades and enhancements that set the Nikon Z6III apart from its predecessor, the Z6II. By examining the advancements in sensor technology, autofocus performance, video capabilities, and other crucial aspects, we aim to provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision when choosing between these two highly capable mirrorless cameras.

Key Specifications Comparison

FeatureNikon Z6IIINikon Z6II
Sensor Resolution24.5MP (partially stacked CMOS)24.5MP (BSI CMOS)
Image ProcessorEXPEED 7EXPEED 6
Autofocus Points273273
Max Video Resolution6K/60p (RAW)4K/60p
Slow Motion Video1080p/240p1080p/120p
Image Stabilization5-axis IBIS (up to 8 stops)5-axis IBIS (up to 5 stops)
Max Continuous Shooting Speed20 fps (RAW), 120 fps (11MP JPEG)14 fps
Viewfinder5760k-dot OLED, DCI-P3 color gamut3690k-dot OLED
Rear LCD3.2″ vari-angle touchscreen3.2″ tilting touchscreen
Wi-Fi / BluetoothWi-Fi + BluetoothWi-Fi + Bluetooth
Weight (with battery & card)670g705g
Dimensions (W x H x D)138.5 x 101.5 x 74mm134 x 100.5 x 69.5mm

Sensor and Image Quality

When it comes to the heart of any camera, the sensor plays a crucial role in determining image quality. The Nikon Z6III features a newly developed 24.5-megapixel partially stacked CMOS sensor, representing a significant advancement over the backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor found in the Z6II. This innovative sensor technology allows faster readout speeds, reduced rolling shutter effects, and improved low-light performance.

The Z6III’s sensor also benefits from the powerful EXPEED 7 image processor, which delivers superior noise reduction and colour reproduction compared to the EXPEED 6 processor in the Z6II. As a result, the Z6III produces images with greater detail, dynamic range, and cleaner high-ISO performance, giving photographers more flexibility in challenging lighting conditions.

Autofocus Performance

When comparing the autofocus performance of the Nikon Z6III and Z6II, both cameras boast an impressive 273-point hybrid autofocus system that combines phase-detection and contrast-detection AF. However, the Z6III takes things a step further by integrating advanced autofocus algorithms and improved subject detection capabilities inherited from Nikon’s flagship Z8 and Z9 models. This means that the Z6III offers faster, more accurate, and more reliable autofocus performance, particularly when tracking moving subjects.

The camera’s enhanced Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF also ensure sharp focus on the eyes of human subjects and pets, respectively, even in challenging situations. With these advancements in autofocus technology, the Z6III provides photographers with a more confident and efficient shooting experience, allowing them to capture decisive moments with ease.

Video Capabilities

One of the most significant upgrades in the Nikon Z6III is its video capabilities, which have been greatly expanded compared to the Z6II. The Z6III boasts the ability to record internal 6K/60p RAW video, providing videographers and filmmakers with unprecedented flexibility and quality. This means that you can capture incredibly detailed footage with a wide colour gamut and ample room for post-production grading and editing.

The camera also offers oversampled 4K/60p video, resulting in sharper and more detailed Ultra HD footage compared to the Z6II’s native 4K recording. Additionally, the Z6III features 1080p/240p slow-motion video, allowing for stunning slow-motion sequences that were not possible with the Z6II’s 1080p/120p limit.

These advanced video features, combined with the camera’s improved autofocus performance and 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, make the Z6III an excellent choice for videographers and content creators who demand the highest level of quality and versatility.

Image Stabilisation and Handling

When it comes to image stabilization and handling, the Nikon Z6III brings some notable improvements over the Z6II. Both cameras feature 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which compensates for camera shake and allows for sharper handheld shots at slower shutter speeds. However, the Z6III’s IBIS system has been refined to provide up to 8 stops of stabilization, compared to the 5 stops offered by the Z6II. This enhanced stabilization performance is particularly beneficial for low-light photography and videography, where slower shutter speeds are often necessary.

In terms of handling, the Z6III maintains the ergonomic design and comfortable grip that made the Z6II popular among photographers. The camera features a durable magnesium alloy body with extensive weather sealing, ensuring reliable performance in various shooting conditions. The Z6III also introduces a new vari-angle touchscreen LCD, which offers greater flexibility in composing shots from high or low angles compared to the Z6II’s tilting screen. Additionally, the Z6III’s electronic viewfinder (EVF) has been upgraded to a higher-resolution 5760k-dot panel with a DCI-P3 colour gamut, providing a more accurate and immersive viewing experience compared to the Z6II’s 3690k-dot EVF.

These improvements in image stabilisation and handling make the Z6III a more capable and user-friendly camera, allowing photographers and videographers to work confidently in a wider range of scenarios and capture stable, professional-quality results.

Continuous Shooting and Buffer

When it comes to continuous shooting speed and buffer capacity, the Nikon Z6III takes a significant leap forward compared to the Z6II. The Z6III boasts an impressive maximum continuous shooting speed of 20 frames per second (fps) when shooting RAW images, thanks to its faster sensor readout and powerful EXPEED 7 image processor. This is a notable improvement over the Z6II’s 14 fps maximum shooting speed, making the Z6III better suited for capturing fast-paced action, such as sports or wildlife photography.

Moreover, the Z6III introduces a new High-Speed Frame Capture+ mode, which allows for even faster shooting speeds when using the electronic shutter, capturing up to 120 fps at 11 megapixels in JPEG format. The camera’s larger buffer also allows for more continuous shots before filling up, giving photographers more room to capture extended action sequences without interruption.

Connectivity and Battery Life

The Nikon Z6III and Z6II both offer a range of connectivity options to cater to the needs of modern photographers and videographers. Both cameras feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for easy wireless image transfer and remote control via smartphones or tablets. However, the Z6III takes connectivity a step further by introducing the new Nikon Imaging Cloud service, which enables seamless backup, storage, and sharing of images directly from the camera to the cloud. This feature provides photographers with a more streamlined and secure workflow, especially when working remotely or collaborating with clients.

In terms of battery life, the Z6III uses the same EN-EL15c battery as the Z6II, which offers improved capacity compared to the original EN-EL15 battery used in the first-generation Z6. Both cameras provide a respectable battery life, allowing for hundreds of shots on a single charge, depending on the shooting mode and settings used. However, the Z6III’s more efficient processing and power management, thanks to the EXPEED 7 image processor, may result in slightly better battery performance compared to the Z6II in real-world use.

Price and Value

When considering the price and value of the Nikon Z6III (£2,699) and Z6II (£2,078), it’s essential to weigh the features and performance improvements against the cost difference. The Z6III’s advancements, such as the partially stacked sensor, 6K RAW video, improved autofocus, and faster continuous shooting speeds, may justify the price premium for professionals and serious enthusiasts who demand the latest technology. However, the Z6II remains an excellent value proposition, providing outstanding image quality, reliable autofocus, 4K video, and robust connectivity options at a more affordable price point.

Final Thoughts

The Nikon Z6III represents a significant step forward from its predecessor, the Z6II, offering a range of advanced features and performance improvements that cater to the needs of professional photographers and videographers. With its cutting-edge partially stacked sensor, enhanced autofocus capabilities, expanded video features, and improved connectivity, the Z6III is a powerful tool for those who demand the best in image quality, speed, and versatility.

However, the Z6II remains a highly capable and cost-effective option for photographers and videographers who may not require the latest advancements or have more limited budgets.

Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on individual needs, priorities, and financial considerations. By carefully evaluating the differences and weighing the benefits against the costs, photographers and videographers can make an informed decision and select the camera that best empowers their creative vision and supports their professional goals.

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About Owen Howell

Is the third generation and the current owner who was born into the business, learning all about the new and used camera trade from his father Barry and grandfather Tom. He now has a highly qualified team who themselves are practising photographers with a combined experience of over 100 years. You can catch Owen and his team using either the live chat on the website or by emailing [email protected] or telephone 01223 368087.

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