In the full-frame mirrorless camera market, Sony is the biggest name in town. With an aggressive launch schedule of feature-packed cameras over the last several years, the Sony Alpha 7 lineup has amassed customers. Nikon has decided that Sony’s reign has gone on long enough, and today it announced a pair of new full-frame mirrorless cameras that are direct competitor to Sony’s latest and greatest.
The new Z6 and Z7 cameras are hitting stores in near future, and they are packed with all the features and specs any photographer, new or old, could ask for. The top-level Z7 packs a massive 45.7 megapixel sensor into its new body, and throws 493 focus points on top of that to sweeten the deal. The ISO range starts as low as 64 and goes up to 25,600, with an extended range of 32-102,400.
The Z6 is a little less impressive with its 24.5 megapixel sensor and 273 focus points, but it comes at a much cheaper price. ISO range is also reduced slightly to a standard range of 100-51,200.
One the video side of things, Nikon is offering full 4K/30 UHD recording, with 1080p/120 on offer as well. Nikon’s own N-Log color profiling is provided, allowing for 10-bit color to be transferred out over HDMI. No, there is still no in-body recording of 10-bit video. But using that N-Log color profiling allows for a dynamic range of 12 stops, allowing for some very powerful color grading in the edit sweet.
Finally, to make sure all that video is as smooth and crisp as possible, Nikon has finally added five-axis stabilization. The company claims it’s good enough that it’s equivalent to five-stops of shutter speed.
From a cost perspective, you are looking at an MSRP of $3400 for the Z7 and $2000 for the Z6. When the cameras are launched, they will be offered in a bundle with a 24-70mm f/4 lens, bringing the cost up to $4,000 for the Z7 and $2,600 for the Z6.
You’ll probably need to buy that bundle as well, as these cameras come with an all-new Z lens mount. Thankfully, the new Z mount doesn’t render your current collection of Nikkor lenses obsolete. Nikon is offering a special FTZ adapter for F-mount lenses.
The first camera to launch will be the Z7 near the end of September with the Z6 coming in “late November.” Just in time for holiday shopping.
Obviously we won’t be able to say how good these cameras are until we can get some time with them, but considering Nikon’s legendary history of creating incredible sensors and optics, we can’t help but think the folks at Sony HQ are a little worried about how this might affect sales of their Alpha 7 lineup.