My first review of the Z6 coming from the X-T3

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vegetaleb
vegetaleb Senior Member • Posts: 1,681
My first review of the Z6 coming from the X-T3
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After years with the X-T10, X-T20 and X-T3, several lenses XC 16-50, XF 23 F2 and the Mighty 16 F1.4, and I even made a blog about X-Trans cameras....I switched to the Z6 and the 24-70 F4.

I can say I was a huge Fujifilm fan

I am not a Pro in the meaning that I never took courses of photography and I don't live from selling photos, so it's a pure passion based thing to take photos for the past 15 years.

Note that the X-T4 has the same sensor so many stuff here will also matter if you are looking for an X-T4.

Here my short review after some weeks of usage.

I could use this new setup at a day at ski (a week before confinement) in a foggy and sunny weather, astrophotography lately thanks to the decrease of light pollution, low light in my house, bokeh...

Physical:

It is heavier than the x-t3 and 16mm f1.4 by a total of 70ish grm, it should be more but because I used a hand strap all the time on the x-t3 the total weight was 1100grm vs 1170grm for the Z6 +24-70, no need for a hand strap with the Z6 thanks to the bigger and better grip. So if I get later a lighter lens like the 35mm f1.8s it will be lighter by 130grm and even lighter than my ex-X-T3 setup!

Design wise, yes the x-T3 (X-t4,X-t2...) is sexier with its retro style BUT as with some sexy funky cars, you get tired of the same design after a while, and after owning the x-t10 and x-t20 before yes it lost a lot of its sexiness after all these years including a whole year with the X-T3. The Z6 design is more ''classic'' with its black and simple lines nothing to love nor hate about it.

Menu:

I used to have a Nikon D90 before all the Fujis, so it was kinda easy to use the menu of the Z6, the asdvantages over the Fujifilm one are that you can quickly jump from playback to photo or movie menu by going to the left icons, also a big advantage over Fujifilm X-T3 touchscreen is that the whole menu of the Z6 can be used with the touchscreen which makes things faster, you also have a Time lapse mode that will not only take several photos but will build a time lapse movie in the camera itself which can be fun for people traveling without a laptop, another nice option is HDR which will process like on a smartphone a quick jpg using bracketing in the camera, you also have an option to save the RAW used for the HDR so if you are not happy with the HDR result you can always try your own bracketing at home later.

Now nothing is perfect in this world, nor nikon nor Fuji cameras, what the Z6 doesn't have is a fuller menu for retouching in-camera like the Fuji does, meaning no exposure,highlight,shadow or saturation correction. Personally I tried them on Fuji cameras but never really used them, I prefer to edit my Raw on PC.

User feeling:

The Z6 has a cool digital virtual level in 3d so you can not only see if your camera will take straight photos toward the horizon but also its vertical angle is taken in consideration.

The shutter sound is very pleasant on the Z6, it somehow pushes you to take more photos just to hear it!

The X-t3 has the retro knobs that let you reach for ISO, SS and other stuff very quickly , but the Z6 also has a top lcd monitor useful in some situation like tripod or if you just want to see the F opening of your lens. You also have many useful customisable Function buttons. The 24-70 f4 has a customisable ring, for now I am using it for aperture for example

One of the thing that seduced me on the Z6 is the focus peaking mode for manual focus, it's very useful for setting the perfect focus on stars for example for astrophotography. It was a pain on the x-t3 with manual focus for that matter.

Image quality:

Yeah it's the main reason why I switched, the x-t3 is no slouch for IQ but after several generation of Fuji cameras I didn't feel the IQ was evolving specially for DR and low light noise at high ISO.

The Z6 gave me surprising results at ISO 6400, plenty usable, even at 12800 you can get some good results while the X-t3 was too noisy beyond 3200, I could get some rare usable shots at ISO 4000 but that's the max I could accept unless you intentionally want a grainy effect. Also bare in mind Fuji is using a darker ISO value, so ISO 6400 on the Z6 is like ISO 8000 on the X-T3 for light.

ISO 1600 and 2000 are VERY clean on the Z6, you will hardly notice noise, I can't say the same for the X-T3

As for Dynamic Range, the Z6 has much more shadow recovery (and with quality), as for highlights the difference is there but it's not big, so it's better to under-expose a bit when facing the sun because you can way more easily recover shadows than highlights.

With the X-T3 shadows recovery was good for an APSC sensor, but when pushed to the max at ISO above 400 you will get noise and lose details, and of course we are far from the levels of shadows you can get with the Z6.

As for details and sharpness, well I am surprised to see so much more details and sharpness by using the Z6 + 24-70 f4 vs the X-T3 + 16 f1.4 , landscapes have more details and more pop 3D effect, skins have more details, stars never looked so sharp and pin point in astrophotography shots. As for lens specific results, CA is low, bokeh is pleasant at 50 and 70mm and overall IQ is crazy nice with good contrast and colors.

IBIS helps a lot for this F4 lens besides the clean high ISOs, you can get 90% of good results handheld if at 1/13'' , 50% of success at 1/8'' , I could even get good results at 1/3'' but it's like 1 over 3 shots..

Conclusion:

I loved Fujifilm cameras, they brought me back the passion for photography, it was fun and taught me a lot I didn't know about photography, but I felt in the end that I was limited by the apsc format and the increasing size, weight and price of the X-T line and lately the X-T4, convinced me to switch to a solid FF mirrorless camera and it was the Z6

I don't regret at all, everything is better in terms of image quality, even the kit lens surprised me with its better sharpness and micro-contrast while I had one of the best lens from Fuji. The only thing I missed is the Classic Chrome film simulation but I found an ICC for Capture One that is close enough as well as DXO film pack that can help just in case I need film simulations.

The Z6 is way underrated by some websites, it doesn't have the great lenses choice the Sony have but the actual Z lenses are all incredible and give very good results, better than any Fuji lenses I had. They have the same IQ as the Sony G Master lenses but at a more compact size,weight and price.

The Z6 is a huge winner in my book and I recommend it for anyone from landscape, to street to portrait fans, as well as long term APSC users who want to get the extra DR,better high ISO and details an FF sensor can give

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For lenses reviews and tutorials about Fuji Raf editing https://fujiandstuff.wordpress.com/
My shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/jeffmerheb
My Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/147690104@N02/

 vegetaleb's gear list:vegetaleb's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-T4 Nikon D90 Nikon Z6
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