23 Aug 2018

Nikon changes everything with two new barnstorming mirrorless cameras: Z7 and Z6

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New Nikon Z7 and Z6 mirrorless cameras New Nikon Z7 and Z6 mirrorless cameras Nikon

Two new Full Frame Backside Illuminated Sensor cameras from Nikon burst on to the scene today. For videomakers, there's seemingly everything they would want from the new system. 

Nikon has been working quietly (or not so quietly, judging by the number of leaks and teasers) to create a new mirrorless camera system. The high end and the cheaper both have Full Frame sensors ("FX" in Nikon's terminology) and have resolutions of 45.7 and 24.5 MP respectively. 

Going further into the specifications reveals that the ISO ranges for the cameras are 64 - 25,600 for the and 100 - 51,200 for the . This should be a pretty good low-light system. If low light video recording is your thing, then the Z6 will be your weapon of choice, along with its slightly faster stills shooting rate of 12fps vs the Z7's 9fps. Both cameras are fully weather sealed for durability, and record stills and video to XQD cards.

Both cameras feature 5-axis in body image stabilisation, which will mean that users will gain the advantage of stabilised footage and photos even when using vintage non-IS lenses.

Nikon Z7 front.jpg

Nikon Z7 rear.jpg


Both cameras sport 4K output with 10 bit N-log. This is the first Full Frame Mirrorless camera to support 10 bit HDMI output.

Apparently external recording is significantly better than internal. HDMI output supports "trigger' and Atomos protocol (which will automatically record N Log if that's what's being output). Industry sources we've spoken to this morning say that pictures are "amazing". 

We're told the camera fells good in the hand. A bit bigger than Sony A series but smaller than BMD pocket Cinema Camera 4K. The OLED viewfinder is "incredible"

There's a mic input, headphone output, and the HDMI connector is of the "mini" variant. 

Correct us if we're wrong but this looks like the first full frame mirrorless camera to ouput 10 bit though HDMI. 

It does look like you will have to use an external recorder to extract the full quality potential from the new cameras howwever. Full support will be included when the Atomos Ninja 5" ships. Support for other Atomos products (Shogun, Sumo, etc) will be released in due course. 

We've just spoken to Atomos CEO Jeromy Young who said "This is like a rebirth for Nikon. It's been incredible working with them and the results are fantastic".  He went on to say "we're going back to the original vision of videomakers having access to superb images though photography devices. At last, there are no dealbreakers with the new Nikon cameras: Output is 10-bit and 4K. It's an amazing combination". 


The cameras also herald the introduction of the company's new Z-mount system. This has a a 55mm width and a 16mm flange distance, paving the way for an incredibly diverse set of lens designs, including an incredibly fast 58mm f/0.95 model. Nikon has a roadmap for lenses that includes f/1.8 primes as well as fast zooms including a 70-200mm f/2.8, and a wide angle 14-30mm f/4.

Specs and prices

The will retail for $1995.95 while the will list for $3399.95.

Full specifications for the Z6

Full specifications for the Z7

David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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