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New Gear: Nikon Z6

There’s no doubt about it, photography is a business that requires the latest equipment to stay ahead of the game. True, it’s not all down to the kit – the skill of the photographer has a lot to do with the output, too. But when image resolution, sensor capability and camera tech makes leaps and bounds in the time you’re enjoying your existing equipment, it can make your kit feel like a dinosaur.

I’ve been happily using my trusty Nikon D5200 since 2013. It’s a marvellous camera that’s been all over the world with me. I’ve photographed everything from weddings to Christenings… and lots of landscapes in between. Over the last year or so however, I’ve been limited by its performance in low light. It was time to consider a new camera.

I chose the Nikon Z6 because it’s widely considered to be one of the best cameras out there (at the time of writing – no doubt something faster, smaller, better etc etc will come along in a few months!) for photography and video. It’s also mirrorless, meaning it’s lighter and smaller than equivalent spec cameras, like the D850. I can push the ISO in low light up to the unimaginable limits – and even though it’s a full frame camera, I can use my existing DX glass thanks to the helpful FTZ adapter.

I won’t go too much into the detail about the Z6 camera, as there are already vast masses of reviews out there. Take a look at this blog by Michael Clark and this review on dpreview.

But needless to say, six months on from purchasing this, I’m delighted with it. Not only has this taken my photography to the next level, but it’s got some great features I love:

  • I can wirelessly transfer images from the camera to my phone, without having to wait until I get home to share. Great for holidays!
  • Silent mode – I never realised how annoying camera clicks are in those quiet, private places, until now. I can now snap away quite happily in a church or during a video production without the shutter noise interfering.
  • It’s amazing in low light. Noise doesn’t creep in until ISO 25,600, meaning I can retain sharpness at higher F-stops. Here’s a great article about it all.
  • The electronic viewfinder is amazing. I can now never go back to an optical viewfinder because the EVF produces a ‘what you see is what you get’ output, meaning I get better shots first time. Watch for yourself.
  • I don’t have to buy expensive new lenses. Even legacy lenses from 50 years ago (I don’t have any) can be used thanks to the FTZ adapter. My favourite lens and Z6 combo has to be paired with my Yongnuo 50mm F1.4 prime lens. Not only does this ‘nifty 50’ produce great images on my D5200, but it’s also an FX lens on the Z6. Triffic! Have a look at my vlog:

I purchased the Z6, lens and FTZ adapter from SRS Microsystems in Watford. I highly recommend them for their expertise and stock range. Also, they kindly price matched and offered a great deal on an XQD card… which was gratefully received!

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