At long last, Nikon has released details of its newest flagship DSLR, the D6. As a camera that will find its way into the hands of sports and action photographers around the globe, it needs to live up to the speed, durability and quality of its predecessors – and though it doesn't appear to break significant new ground, we expect the D6 will continue to serve the needs of demanding photographers very well indeed.

At the heart of the D6 is a 20.8MP sensor, offering the same resolution as the D5, but it's now coupled with a new Expeed 6 processor and offers up to 14fps burst shooting with 'E-type' lenses (those with electromagnetically controlled diaphragms). Switch into live view, and the D6 will shoot silently at up to 10.5fps at full resolution – users can also opt for 30fps for 8MP files and 60fps for 2MP files if needed. The native ISO range covers values of 100 to 102,400, with an expansion range up to 3.2 million.

The result is AF coverage that is 1.6x denser than that of the D5, and each point uses a 'triple-sensor arrangement'

Perhaps the biggest change for end users, though, is an all-new autofocus system. Though the total number of points has gone down from 153 to 105, now all of those points are selectable and cross-type, and each uses a 'triple-sensor arrangement,' which we'll be asking for more details about. The result is AF coverage that is '1.6x denser than that of the D5.' Fifteen of the central points are F8 compatible, and the center point can focus down to -4.5EV. All other points are good down to -4EV. Nikon is also promising that the detection area for single points and groups is expanded, so focus can still be achieved even if the subject moves slightly outside the zone in use.

In terms of video, the D6 continues to offer 4K/30p recording, but now comes with focus peaking and an option for MP4 recording.

The D6 is Nikon's first professional DSLR not to offer support for Compact Flash media. Unlike the D5, the D6 will ship with dual XQD / CFExpress card slots. There have been some other tweaks as well, including a maximum exposure time of 30 minutes, the option to shoot different quality or sizes of JPEGs to different cards (basically a JPEG + JPEG shooting option), and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth as well as GPS capability are now built-in. The D6 has gigabit ethernet like the D5, but Nikon is promising 15% faster transfer speeds. Weight has gone up just slightly, from 1405g to 1440g including battery and memory cards.

Expect to see quite a few of these at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games! The Nikon D6 will be available April of 2020 with a suggested retail price of $6499.95 USD. Let us know what you think of Nikon's newest DSLR in the comments.

Press release:

DECISIVE POWER. FASTER WORKFLOW. ABSOLUTE RELIABILITY: THE NEW NIKON D6 GIVES PROFESSIONALS THE EDGE WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

The New Nikon D6 Offers the Most Powerful AF System in Nikon’s History, and Continues the Brand Legacy of Professional Cameras That Deliver Connectivity, Dependability and Streamlined Workflow

MELVILLE, NY (February 11, 2020) – Today, Nikon Inc. has unveiled the D6, a new professional-grade DSLR built for those in need of extreme reliability and ultimate performance. The D6 addresses the needs of professionals and press agencies and is faster and more powerful than ever before. Offering the most powerful AF system in Nikon’s history, this flagship DSLR camera delivers crucial improvements to modern workflow while also accelerating file transfer capabilities. Promising unparalleled low-light performance, powerful agility, advanced 4K UHD multimedia capabilities and a mechanical shutter frame rate boosted to a staggering 14fps, the D6 will redefine the way pros work.

“The D6 is purpose-built and inspired by the valuable feedback of professional users,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President of Nikon Inc. “The world relies on photojournalists and professionals to document every corner of the globe through impactful images; Nikon cameras are trusted to stand up to any job and help photographers capture the shot, time and time again.”

The Most Powerful AF in Nikon’s History: The D6 leaves nothing to chance. To maximize hit rate, it is equipped with a newly developed, densely packed 105-point AF system in which all the focus points utilize cross-type sensors and all points are selectable. Through the new focus point layout and the use of a triple-sensor arrangement for each focus point, the D6 achieves AF coverage that is approximately 1.6x denser than that of the D5. The D6 also sports an expanded focus detection range which increases the detection area for single point AF and dynamic area AF, making it easier to achieve focus on a subject even when slightly outside the focus point.

Improving upon Nikon’s popular Group AF mode, this function has evolved with support for 17 custom arrangements from which users can choose according to the scene or subject movement. The D6 also demonstrates superior low-light AF performance. The center focus point works down to -4.5 EV1 and the others to -4 EV, making autofocus possible even in dark situations or with low-contrast subjects.

Unparalleled Performance: The new EXPEED 6 engine's superior image-processing capabilities combined with the vast amount of information provided by the new dedicated AF engine drives high-level performance in any situation. To help capture the decisive moment consistently, the D6 boasts a 14fps2 mechanical shutter with full AF and AE. The D6 can also shoot completely silent for sensitive situations, capturing full resolution at 10.5 fps. For faster frame rates, the Nikon D6 is able to take 2-megapixel images at approx. 60 fps and 8-megapixel images at 30 fps in Live View mode.

The D6 leverages a 20.8-megapixel FX-Format CMOS sensor, creating images that pop with stunning detail and true colors and exhibit incredible dynamic range. The ISO ranges from 100 to 102,400, which helps to preserve sharpness and subtle details in even the most challenging light. Additionally, ISO is expandable up to 3.2 million, giving photographers the ability to truly conquer the dark.

Concentration on Workflow: Building on Nikon’s history of serving professionals, the D6 is the most customizable Nikon DSLR yet, designed to speed up the workflow of any user during and after capture.

  • Recall shooting functions create combinations of settings that can be assigned to a specific button to get the perfect shot in a pinch
  • The D6 excels in connectivity and supports the same 1000BASE-T Ethernet standard as the D5, with an approximate 15% increase in transmission speed. The camera also supports a number of options for wireless networking, offering built-in 2.4- and 5-GHz*3 Wi-Fi®4 or traditional wireless transfer using the WT-6 Wireless Transmitter (optional)
  • Includes 14 customizable buttons, assignable to any of 46 unique function choices and a new intuitive menu system
  • Priority Image Transfer gives the ability to move an important image to the front of the queue when speed is of paramount priority, which can easily be done by swiping the touch LCD during playback
  • Security Lock compatibility supports connection of anti-theft cables to provide maximum security for remote applications or when the camera is unattended
  • Built in GPS5 gives accurate time, date and location information for just about anywhere on the planet
  • Dual CFexpress6 slots offer blazing fast read/write times and have the ability to overflow, copy or separate file types
  • JPEG functions allow for the simultaneous recording of two JPEG images with different image size and quality settings, which is convenient for separating images that will be transmitted from those that will be edited
  • Creativity options for multimedia creators including a new interval timer mode to retain the best resolution and enable in-camera time-lapse movie file recording providing professionals the ability to create exceptionally sharp 16:9 4K Ultra HD video

Absolute Reliability: Nikon’s flagship cameras remain trusted in the industry and have been proven on the sidelines, in the studio and even in outer space. With a magnesium alloy camera body and extensively weather-sealed design, the D6 is as tough as the professionals who use it, ready to take on the harshest shooting conditions. The camera offers long-lasting battery life, delivering the safety net and energy-saving performance that pros need on daylong outings. The D6 also employs a USB-Type C connector for faster direct-to-PC file transfer rates than previously possible with the D5.

Endless Lens Choices: By pairing the D6 with Nikon’s extremely diverse selection of F-Mount NIKKOR telephoto lenses, professionals have the most advanced imaging solution in Nikon’s history. No matter the job, the client or the location, there’s a NIKKOR lens, from the ultra-wide to the super-telephoto. The D6 is also compatible with Nikon’s line of creative Speedlights, offering extra creative freedom to enhance natural light and add artistry and drama to any scene.

Pricing and Availability

The new Nikon D6 will be available in April 2020 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $6,499.95* for the body only configuration. For more information on the latest Nikon products, please visit www.nikonusa.com.

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1. At ISO 100, 20°C/68°F.
2. With continuous-servo AF (AF-C), manual (M) or shutter-priority auto exposure (S), a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, and other settings at default values are trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Nikon Corporation and its Affiliates is under license.
3. Available in station mode; not available in some countries or regions.
4. Wi-Fi® and the Wi-Fi® logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.
5. GPS function is not available in some countries or regions.
6. CFexpress is a trademark of the CompactFlash Association in the United States and other countries.
*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
All Nikon products include Nikon Inc. limited warranty. Images are for illustrative purposes only. All Nikon trademarks are trademarks of Nikon Corporation. Nikon Authorized Dealers set their own selling prices, which may vary. Nikon is not responsible for typographical errors.
All other trade names mentioned in this document are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

Nikon D6 specifications

Price
MSRP$6499
Body type
Body typeLarge SLR
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution5568 x 3712
Other resolutions3648 x 2432 (DX format)
Image ratio w:h1:1, 5:4, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels21 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 6
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISOAuto, 100-102400 (expands to 50-3280000)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)3280000
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
File format
  • JPEG
  • Raw (NEF, 12 or 14 bit)
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points105
Number of cross-type focus points105
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier1×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2
Screen dots2,359,000
Touch screenYes
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.72×
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed900 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes (via hot shoe or flash sync socket)
Flash modesNormal, redeye reduction, slow sync, slow sync w/redeye reduction, rear-curtain sync, off
Flash X sync speed1/250 sec
Drive modes
  • Single frame
  • Self-timer
  • Quiet shutter
  • Mirror-up
  • Continuous high
  • Continuous low
Continuous drive14.0 fps
Self-timerYes
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Highlight-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 3840 x 2160 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesDual XQD/CFexpress slots
Connectivity
USB USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
HDMIYes (mini HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11ac + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (Wired or smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL18c lithium-ion battery & charager
Battery Life (CIPA)3580
Weight (inc. batteries)1270 g (2.80 lb / 44.80 oz)
Dimensions160 x 163 x 92 mm (6.3 x 6.42 x 3.62)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSBuilt-in