Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
1

I bought a new Z6 to upgrade from my D300. I bought the camera after reading reviews and lurking around and it seemed to be an all around solid camera. Also, unlike my D300 which I can get great photos from my wife and family should also be able to pick it up over the holidays and take some decent shots also without me setting it all up and tripod and all. I wanted a camera my wife could point and shoot with for the most part and that if I wanted to really do it up I had the opportunity to really hone in on some photos.

I have a very active 2 year old so catching the moments is important and I took some photos yesterday and this morning and the quality is just not there compared to my D300. I am considering returning the camera, but I feel like I might just have one thing wrong or something. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

The main issue is there is almost no crispness to the images. Below are some images with the D300 vs. Z6.

Z6

Z6

Z6

Z6

Z6

D300

D300

D300

D300

D300

Nikon D300 Nikon Z6
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Whois Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
23

Considering the incredibly high ISO settings that you are using these photos are not bad at all.

danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
27

I'll start by saying there are some unusual exposure settings chosen on the Z6:

1/8000 f5 16000ISO

1/8000 f5.3 45600ISO

and so on - generally very high ISO, medium aperture and very fast shutter speed. This isn't going to get the best available quality from the photos. By comparison the photos taken with your D300 are much more what I would consider "normal".

I'm not sure what your experience level is with photography and specifically using manual settings for exposure, but without wishing to be patronising in any way, would suggest you familiarise yourself with normal ranges for this or perhaps use some automatic / program mode settings at the outset while you "test" the camera.

High ISO settings represent ramping up the sensitivity of the sensor and will degrade image quality, in the photos you have shown, you could for example, reduce this down to a more normal level and decrease the shutter speed.

Additionally, in your D300 photos, there appears to be considerable better available light which will again assist in comparison.

I think with some familiarisation, you are likely to be delighted with the Z6.

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Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

 danmitch's gear list:danmitch's gear list
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Raymond L
Raymond L Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
3

When comparing the two sets of photos Z6 vs D300. I have noted that you are shooting with quite a high iso on the Z6 ? That doesn’t help.. also some of the photos where you put your AF point doesn’t help...

Can you try shooting outside with a lower ISO ? (As a starter)

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20thCentury Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
20

You are comparing images shot at ISO 320 to 640 (D300) to images shot at 15,000 to 54,000 ISO (Z6) and are wondering what the issue is?

I truly am not trying to be a jerk, but if you don't understand the basic issues with that comparison, and why the Z6 images are lacking, you should just put the camera on program...you will be much happier with the results.

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OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
8

I did consider this as the problem, but thought maybe I was unknowledgeable in how this newer camera worked and why in Auto Mode not changing anything it tries to constantly run up to this high ISO. I know posting I seem like an idiot, but would rather be told that and what the problem is than just be ignorant. I appreciate the comments. I just went in and turned off the auto ISO and will snap a few pics a lunch to test with.

Thank you for the reply

OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

Whois wrote:

Considering the incredibly high ISO settings that you are using these photos are not bad at all.

I appreciate the comment. Should I just turn the auto ISO off completely or just set a max? I thought that was the issue, but I don't understand why that high of ISO is defaulted as auto? Is that pretty much the issue period you think?

Thank you again for the reply.

OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

I am a novice for sure and as I replied to a few others I thought maybe I just lacked an understanding of this camera and why it was defaulting to such high ISO settings.

The higher shutter speed was my doing because my son moves so much and then I would usually do the proper aperture/ISO adjustments on my old camera to compensate for loss of light. With a new camera I think I must just have felt messing with it would produce worse results and I was trying to trust it knew better than me. I'd rather post and be and be patronized. I appreciate the responses from everyone and I am going out at lunch to get some more photos to test.

Thank you again

j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,193
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
16

You need to be more mindful of your exposure settings. For the first three images the very high shutter speed is the problem. Since these are static scenes, you could easily reduce your shutter speed to 1/200 sec, or even significantly lower depending on your hand holding ability and reliance on the camera's vibration reduction. For the fourth image, use a larger aperture, such as f/4.

Some here will be a little harsh. But we were all beginners once upon a time. You are adapting to a new camera. Keep learning. You will get there. Good luck.

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mrbr Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
7

whatamIdoingwrong wrote:

I did consider this as the problem, but thought maybe I was unknowledgeable in how this newer camera worked and why in Auto Mode not changing anything it tries to constantly run up to this high ISO. I know posting I seem like an idiot, but would rather be told that and what the problem is than just be ignorant. I appreciate the comments. I just went in and turned off the auto ISO and will snap a few pics a lunch to test with.

Thank you for the reply

Hi,

Maybe also check your auto iso settings to try to understand what was going on ?

Auto iso set correctly gives good results in my experience , see ISO Sensitivity Settings (nikonimglib.com)

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Greetings,
Marc

 mrbr's gear list:mrbr's gear list
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YetAnotherUnsername Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
8

Turning off auto ISO or setting a limit should help with your immediate problem here.

However, you definitely want to spend some time familiarising yourself with ISO, arpeture and shutter speeds - both individually and their relationship.

Try searching for the "exposure triangle" online but put some time and effort into understanding beyond the basic explanations.

Taking pictures of a moving child and a static desk require very different settings but your Z6 is capable of doing both and more.

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danmitch
danmitch Contributing Member • Posts: 682
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
3

whatamIdoingwrong wrote:

I am a novice for sure and as I replied to a few others I thought maybe I just lacked an understanding of this camera and why it was defaulting to such high ISO settings.

The higher shutter speed was my doing because my son moves so much and then I would usually do the proper aperture/ISO adjustments on my old camera to compensate for loss of light. With a new camera I think I must just have felt messing with it would produce worse results and I was trying to trust it knew better than me. I'd rather post and be and be patronized. I appreciate the responses from everyone and I am going out at lunch to get some more photos to test.

Thank you again

Happy to help!

The Z6 is a terrific camera. I would suggest you might want to start with ISO set to automatic - you should see ISO-A in the display.

You can then set the mode dial to P and the camera will manage the settings for you. As you become more familiar you can experiment.

You are absolutely right to set a faster shutter speed with kids running around, 1/1000 is probably sufficient but the beauty of digital is that you can experiment. If you select "S" mode on the dial that allows you to choose shutter speed and the camera will choose the aperture.

In lower light, it's always going to be a compromise between stopping motion with a high shutter speed and compromising image quality with too high of an ISO speed - fortunately the Z6 has among the best high ISO performance of any camera but in normal use I would still draw the line at around 6400, though I know others will go significantly higher.

To complete the exposure options, the aperture is the lens opening - the higher the number, the smaller the opening (because in fact it is a fraction). At smaller apertures you get greater depth of field - meaning more range of distances will be in focus.

Hope this helps for starters, generally people are really helpful on this forum so go ahead and post questions and photos, you will get answers specific to the camera, there's also a great Beginners Forum at Beginners Questions .

As posted above, we not only were all novices at some point, we are also all learning still.

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Best - Daniel
A few photos and thoughts at https://www.danmitch.photography
Latest photos on https://www.instagram.com/dangramit/

 danmitch's gear list:danmitch's gear list
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OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
4

I just went out and did just this. It is overcast and dim, but the quality is obviously there. I appreciate all the replies and I think I just got a bit worried after spending money on a camera and taking the leap and then not producing the results I've seen from others.

Whois Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
14

Even with this picture: there is absolutely no need to go to f/16 which will produce diffraction. Drop the ISO to 100, drop to f/8 and see the improvement

OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

I do know what the A/S/P modes are and I know how to adjust with my old camera and have read about them all a fair amount. I just really was trusting the camera. Mostly because as I mentioned in the start of this whole thing I want my wife to be able to pick it up and use it and she doesn't know what all the settings are/mean/ nor does she want to learn. So that's the hinge pin here. If it was just a matter of fine tuning every photo I would have just stuck with my old D300 that I love, but she doesn't like because she can't use it reliably.

I am going to take a lot more photos tonight and next couple days and hopefully hone in on some basic setting that will allow her to pick it up and run. Hopefully that all makes sense and I once again appreciate the comments here.

Whois Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
2

YetAnotherUnsername wrote:

However, you definitely want to spend some time familiarising yourself with ISO, arpeture and shutter speeds - both individually and their relationship.

Try searching for the "exposure triangle" online but put some time and effort into understanding beyond the basic explanations.

There is a fantastic book about this:  https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Fourth-Photographs-Camera/dp/1607748509

OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

Awesome, Thank you for the advice. Now that I am signed up here I'll lurk more and I guess try to post/reply weekly.

Whois Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
4

whatamIdoingwrong wrote:

I want my wife to be able to pick it up and use it and she doesn't know what all the settings are/mean/ nor does she want to learn.

Look into the  use of U1, U2, U3 settings and create a 'wife setting'.

Take your time, read the manual, read it again...you'll get there but there is quite a learning curve to using a Z6 or z7 to its full potential

OP whatamIdoingwrong New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.
15

Also one more of the triangles from earlier. The difference is night and day. Thank you Thank you everyone. I know at least from here I can start to learn the camera and get better from here.

mrbr Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: Bought a new Z6 and I am struggling. Please Help.

whatamIdoingwrong wrote:

I do know what the A/S/P modes are and I know how to adjust with my old camera and have read about them all a fair amount. I just really was trusting the camera. Mostly because as I mentioned in the start of this whole thing I want my wife to be able to pick it up and use it and she doesn't know what all the settings are/mean/ nor does she want to learn. So that's the hinge pin here. If it was just a matter of fine tuning every photo I would have just stuck with my old D300 that I love, but she doesn't like because she can't use it reliably.

I know that problem !

This can help : Taking Photographs (AUTO Mode) (nikonimglib.com)

I am going to take a lot more photos tonight and next couple days and hopefully hone in on some basic setting that will allow her to pick it up and run. Hopefully that all makes sense and I once again appreciate the comments here.

-- hide signature --

Greetings,
Marc

 mrbr's gear list:mrbr's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon Z6 Nikon 10-20mm F4.5-5.6 VR Nikon AP-F 70-300mm F4.5-5.6E Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 +8 more
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