Keeping up with their promise made last month, Nikon has announced the launch of their second generation models of already well established Z6 and Z7. While Z6 and Z7 were doing great, there were many inputs from the users and it’s great to see Nikon took a note of those inputs and released the upgraded models making these the new flagship mirrorless cameras in the Nikon Mirrorless Camera lineup. What is even more interesting to note is that it is the first time ever in the history of Nikon that they have used the words Mark II.
The Z6 II and Z7 II retain the soul of their predecessors Z6 and; both have the same 24.5MP and 45.7MP CMOS sensors respectively. The camera body remains the same. Nikon has also retained the same EVF and same vari-angle LCD screen.
They are so similar from outside that if you do not pay attention to the model number, you will not make out a single difference.
Let’s go through the changes one by one.
Dual Card Slots
While the Z6 and Z7 had only one card slot, the new Mark II they get UHS-II SD card slot in addition to XQD/CF-express. In terms of their functionality you get options primary or backup storage and even separate storage of JPEG and RAW file formats. You can copy images between the cards. However, there is no option to record stills and videos in different cards.
While the Z6 and Z7 had vertical grips but they were just to accommodate extra battery. They did not give control buttons; the Mark II versions of both cameras have the vertical grip (MB-N11) with control buttons enabling the shoot in portrait orientation.
This grip is not a part of the package and needs to be purchased at extra cost. When you fix this grip, it displaces the in-body battery but provides option of 2nd battery within the grip itself. The outer battery of the two is hot-swappable making it possible for you to change the battery without stopping the video recording. The grip also has an additional USB C-type socket to help you power up the camera.
Dual Processor for faster shooting
This probably is one of the most important and relevant change that Nikon incorporated. They have introduced Expeed 6 processors, practically doubling the processing power of cameras. The shooting rate gets expanded to 14fps in Z6 II and 10fps in Z7 II respectively.
One big disappointment in the older cameras was the absence of USB C-Port which has been introduced in their Mark II versions. This helps you charges your camera using USB and also operate the camera while charging using this port.
Video – Internal and External
One significant change in using internal settings is the capability to shoot 4K at 60p. The Z7 II can capture higher frame rate video using 93% of the width of sensor. The Z6 II will use the native 3840 x 2160 crop from center of the sensor. As per Nikon, the 60p capability should come as a part of free firmware upgrade around Feb 2021.
As for the videographers using an external device to record videos, there are some significant improvements. In addition to already existing N-Log output, Nikon has introduced Hybrid Log Gamma footage which is a ready to view footage on HDR TV sets supporting this file format. Right now the cameras are limited to 4K30p output.
Very soon Nikon will release a paid upgrade to get output of RAW video streams.
Both the cameras are expected to roll out by this year end, The expected price of them is:
Nikon Z6 II: ₹1,65,995 – ₹2,09,995
Nikon Z7 II: ₹2,49,995 – ₹2,94,995
Well both camera appear solid and improved on features and overall capability. This upgrade to Mark II does have the shortcomings from the original versions being addressed. These certainly make Nikon’s Z mount cameras appear more competitive and user friendly.
So if you are a Nikon fanboy or are someone who is planning to switch to mirrorless, you now have great options to choose from. These two cameras do offer range of features that should attract the buyer. It will be interesting to see how the market responds to these two cameras in real time sales. Also will be interesting to see if people are really opting these over the original versions