That’s right, it’s the long awaited return of everybody’s favourite sporadic camera equipment review series. We’ve already covered a bunch of lenses on this before, but today in the firing line is a camera. Not just any camera, mind you, but my new camera. How exciting.
I’ve gone mirrorless. Like everyone else. There were a number of reasons for this switch, mostly because I wanted something a bit more future proof, and I think that the DSLR has pretty much peaked. Maybe more on that later, if I can be bothered. Now, I can hear you ask ‘Why not buy a Sony?’, and that’s a good question, dear reader. I was tempted by the A7iii, which is lovely, but who has the time or money to sell all their lenses and buy them again? Not me, that’s for sure. I know, I know, there is an adapter to use the F-mount lenses on the Sony E mount, but here’s the thing, it sucks. The metabones is horrid, and the Sigma MC-11, which is not horrid, doesn’t come in Nikon version. Poor form. Also, the Sony menu system is a pile of shit, and nothing can convince me otherwise.
Right, let’s crack on with this review. Here is a couple of gratuitous photos of the Z6, which I think we can all agree looks lovely.
Here we go then. Strap the fuck in.
The Good Stuff.
Image Quality - Pretty obvious really, but this camera takes very nice photos. Don’t really know what else to say here to be honest. Real camera reviewers would talk about bit-depth and other things like that but I don’t understand what that means, nor do I think that anyone who isn’t weird gives a shit.
Auto Focus - It works really well. This is a nice thing to have working well, especially as someone who isn’t good at manual focussing. AF is fast and accurate, and consistent too. It works well in all lighting conditions, including at metal shows where the lighting almost always sucks ass.
Viewfinder - The viewfinder took me a bit of getting used to, because it isn’t a viewfinder at all, it’s a screen. Once you get your brain around it though, it’s actually a very good screen, definitely better than the EVF on any of the Sony mirrorless’ that I’ve tried out.
Screen - See previous really. It’s really bright and the colours are ace. It pulls out too, so you can do really obnoxious framing from the ground, or hold the camera over your head at gigs LIKE A FUCKING IDIOT.
Speed - Not just a great movie. The z6 pings along nicely, it has a high frame rate and the buffer seems to be solid too. Not a lot to say really.
Build Quality - Feels premium ya know? The grip is excellent as always with Nikon stuff, and the wheels have a satisfying click to them. The same goes for the FTZ adapter (more on this later). The rubber glue hasn’t even melted yet, which is groundbreaking for a Nikon camera also. 11/10.
Menus - Not Sony menus so this is a win right here. The same menu system I’ve been using for 9 years so that’s nice. I really just wanted another excuse to say how shit the menu systems are on the Sony cameras.
Size - Small, but not too small. I’ve got pretty big hands and this fits just right. It balances nicely with my Sigma Art lenses IE THE BEST LENSES AROUND. My back is thankful for the weight saving over my old D4.
Looks - Like a little spaceship alien camera of the future. I think it looks cool.
FTZ - This is a lens adapter that means you can use your F mount lenses on the Z mount Z6. F to Z. Get it? Clever right? Unlike the Metabones, it’s not a wobbly piece of shit. It’s solid, and the lenses I’ve used autofocus just as fast as if it wasn’t there. PLUS it was free with the camera which is sick as fuck.
Weight - Already mentioned this, but it’s lighter than my D4 but it doesn’t feel too light like the iPod nano used to. Remember the iPod nano? Man, those were pretty cool.
Video - It does video. I’ll admit, I’ve only used it once to film some oat milk being poured into coffee at 120fps but that was fun and it looked great. I’ll film some more stuff at some point, but it seems to be broadly similar to the Sony A7iii for video quality. If you’re a video geek and want to tell me I’m wrong that’s fine.
Firmware Updates - They added eye focus to this camera and improved the low light AF with a firmware update. That’s cool, and not even very difficult to do, even for an idiot like me.
The Less Good Stuff.
Battery Life - Honestly, not brilliant. Not terrible, probably, but I’m not used to having to change batteries in the middle of a wedding. They last maybe 600-700 shots, which is actually not dreadful, but could be better for sure.
XQD Cards - What the fuck were you thinking Nikon? I know, let’s use a memory card type THAT ONLY SONY MAKES in our camera. Sure, will they be expensive? NOT FUCKING HALF. Jesus wept. I got an XQD card and wanted to bloody cry. What was wrong with Compact Flash? Or SD cards? I don’t know, but I do know that, while they’re fast, XQD cards are stupid.
The Stuff I Don’t Give A Shit About.
One Memory Card Slot - Yawn. People on the internet who take shit photos of birds keep going on about how this is unacceptable and honestly who cares. Well, probably loads of people, but I don’t. That probably says a lot about me but there we go.
Further Gratuitous Examples
Is it any good? Yes.
Should I buy one? Probably.
Where can I get one? Camera retailers, both on the high street and online.
Any tips? Get one before Brexit destroys the UK economy and your money is worth fuck all.
Hi, we’re Nikon can we send you free stuff? Of course you can Nikon.