My Z6 thread (+ D750 Comparison)

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beatboxa Senior Member • Posts: 5,899
My Z6 thread (+ D750 Comparison)
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I've been playing around with my Z6 this week, so thought I'd start a thread. Let's begin with what anyone would consider to initially be an unremarkable image.

It is a tree. Trees are inanimate objects.

But to me, this is a remarkable image because of how it was taken:

  • First attempt
  • No-edit OOC JPEG (custom Picture Control)
  • Handheld
  • Autofocus (AF-S, Pinpoint, center point)
  • (Low-light AF was set to off)
  • Dark scene. No external lighting.
  • 50mm focal length
  • F/1.4 (wide open)
  • 1/15 shutter speed
  • ISO 50k

The camera had no problem with this image, in any sense. No hunting--locked AF quickly and accurately. And did so consistently across multiple shots.

Here is how the scene looked to my naked eye naturally. It was dark.

As a test, I grabbed my D750, and I tried to take the best shot I could. Not even close. After numerous attempts, the D750 failed to autofocus, even on the branches vs. sky. So I tried (and failed) to manual focus because it was too dark to see. My best attempt:

This is not a comparison at the same settings. It is a comparison of the best shot I could take given the conditions. And I'd say that the Z6 did it easily, while I'd say this was beyond the capabilities of the D750.

This is not my first mirrorless camera, nor is it my first full frame SLR. I've been shooting for decades, with many brands--over 10 years with Nikon DSLRs. And the Z6 easily extends boundaries for me.

So yes, the Z6 can take images of trees at night.

But also consider this, which I took with my phone of the back LCD of the Z6. This was at a wedding, when they turned down the lights and opened up the dance floor. You can see how dark when I pan the phone around above the camera. Or look at one number: ISO 51200.

View "original size" to see the gif in action (low color to show the AF tracking, not the subject.)

So yes, the Z6 can also track inanimate objects being moved in the dark.

There are parts of the AF interface I hate, including how to enable tracking and the lack of a dedicated AF/MF button. And its decisions are definitely different and may not be as reliable in some scenarios.

But so far, I find that this camera is something special. More to come.

Feel free to ask for comparison tests or impressions.

Nikon D750 Nikon Z6
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