Z6ii or Z7ii for my needs?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Richard B99 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,210
Re: Z6ii or Z7ii for my needs?

aniltulsi wrote:

I am bit confused between Z6ii and Z7ii. Cost is not the consideration. I have Z6, and I like to photograph all sorts of things, like Birds, animals, people portraits, wedding (family), vacations, streets, landscapes, macro, astro.. basically everything. I am a hobbyist, not a professional. I moved from D800 to Z6, and I am happy with its performance, though I miss the higher resolution of D800, as it did feel sharper, though I like the noise performance and colours of Z6.

But I am not happy with the AF performance of Z6, so was planning to upgrade. Now a days, I am more into Birding, and get into low light situation quite often. Then the AF of Z6 starts hunting for some time, enough for me to miss the shot. Also, Sucess rate of BIF for small fast birds is quite low.

Now, the Z6ii has better low light performance, and has faster AF, so hopefully, the success rate of BIF should go up, though I don't expect it reaching D850/D500 levels.
On the other hand, Z7ii has high pixel count, giving excellent details, with good margin to crop for small birds. I love the crisp sharp feel of Z7ii. The AF speed is same as Z6ii, but the low light AF is slower than even Z6. The high-ISO noise performance is also worse than Z6/Z6ii.

This purchase may be my last purchase for many years, so I need to take the right decision for my needs.

In favour of Z6ii, as compared to my existing Z6 is:
- faster AF
- better low light AF

Not that you may find noticeable for BIF - read on...

In favour of Z7ii, as compared to my existing Z6 is:
- Better sharper details

Not necessarily in low light when noise issues mask absolute sharpness - read on...

- Cropping option without loosing much details
- larger print options
Negative of Z7ii is larger storage requirements.

I am not listing common features, and those not important to me (fps etc.).

For me, it comes down to low light AF vs detailed sharper pictures. My thought is that I normally share pictures on mobile, and rarely print large images. Also, I don't like to crop, as it reduces the quality. So Z7ii may not be the right choice for me. I might use the low light AF feature of Z6ii much more, so it may be a better choice for my need. Lower storage requirement is added benefit.

Am I missing anything? Will I regret not buying Z7ii, after couple of years, as I may not upgrade for next 4-5 years? (Don't suggest me to wait for Z8, as I need to buy a camera for my daughter now. So I either buy her Z50 and keep the Z6, or give her my Z6 and get a Zii.)

Check out Thom Hogan’s recently published Z6ii review.  From what you say you need in the next camera I very much doubt the ii is going to give you much extra on your original.  Thom doesn’t see any difference in IQ and the tweaks on AF are minor but useful but won’t help you at all for BIF.  It’s worth a read before you splash the cash.

For more info on low light quality, head over to Brad Hill’s blog at naturalart.com he has done some interesting testing on lowlight comparing Z’s with D6 and D500.  Turns out a 7ii has and D500 are on a par while the 6ii is about a stop better than both at extreme ISO.
I have a Z6 and D500 and use both extensively for wildlife and we do a lot of low light here.  The FX Z6 is an improvement on the DX D500 in edge low light (why I bought it) but the D500 is easily my go to for BIF and the bulk of long tele work (that’s not saying the Z6 is a slouch either).  Right now, I think your best bet is likely to keep the Z6 and get a D500 (used?). That’s still a bigger jump the gap than Z6 to Z6ii.  Use the difference to fund a Z50 for your daughter!  
Z7ii and crop? Well Ok, but a that’s more or less what you will get from a D500 uncropped. And it still won’t be quite as good as the D500 AF.  
Things will change in future. Right now, the very best low light and AF body is... still the D6.  If anything will help you solve your present issues, it is that.  At a price!

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