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Andrew Reid

Nikon Z6 features 4K N-LOG, 10bit HDMI output and 120fps 1080p

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Just a few hours ahead of the launch, we now know the first video specs for one of the new mirrorless cameras from Nikon.

The Z6 and Z7 will both feature 4K video. N-LOG has been confirmed for the Z6 and of course should be in the higher-end Z7 as well. Hopefully the traditional Flat profile will be maintained as well, for those looking for something easier to grade. A very positive development is that the camera is confirmed to have a 10bit 4:2:2 HDMI output, a significant step up from the Nikon D850.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
7 minutes ago, MdB said:

I really fail to see where the drastically improved ergonomics are in these cameras. Someone care to actually point them out rather than just repeat the mantra 'and much better ergonomics' as an assumed throw away comment?

Most people don't like Sony's ergonomics and prefer the traditional DSLR form factor. It really shouldn't be hard to understand. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

Most people don't like Sony's ergonomics and prefer the traditional DSLR form factor. It really shouldn't be hard to understand. 

Obviously it is, given they both have nearly identical form factors. Is that really so hard to understand? So instead of being patronising, how about point out specific examples? That shouldn't be too hard given how well understood the advantages are by everyone. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

Most people don't like Sony's ergonomics and prefer the traditional DSLR form factor. It really shouldn't be hard to understand. 

Right - how about answering the question instead of giving snide replies.

 @BTM_Pix has already pointed out several areas in which the Z cameras deviate from the traditional DSLR that concern him.

 

Question: In what ways are Z cameras ergonomically drastically improved? (a perfectly legitimate question, as the ergonomics of the camera will be the very first thing reviewers discuss when they get their hands on one).

Answer: Because Sony sucks. Is that so difficult to comprehend? (thinly veiled condescension)

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I mean, none of us will actually know until we hold it, but from pictures:

The button layout looks preferable, particularly for those of us with big hands. The A7iii's buttons, for example, felt crowded when I used it. 

The location of the dials look to be unobtrusive while still easily accessible. 

Overall it looks like a more thoughtfully designed camera. 

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25 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I mean, none of us will actually know until we hold it, but from pictures:

Agreed. And this is important to me. But I can't help but feel that there is a sentiment that it will automatically be better because Sony = Sucks and Nikon = Ace! BUT the thing is people have been comparing the ergonomics of much larger cameras. It is difficult to make space or volume while also making things small. 

27 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

The button layout looks preferable, particularly for those of us with big hands.

What about them in particular look better? Or better for bigger hands. They don't look any less cramped to me. They don't look any bigger to me. In fact I feel the buttons are more cramped (such as at the rear right hand bottom of the camera four buttons crammed right next to each other - Probably the worst place for thumbs to try and reach). 

29 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

The A7iii's buttons, for example, felt crowded when I used it. 

That's fine and each person is different. Not saying the A7 III's controls are a shining beacon of amazingness (they aren't) but that the Nikon's don't look any better (but seemingly are assumed to be). 

30 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

The location of the dials look to be unobtrusive while still easily accessible.

Do you mean the front and rear control dials? Aren't they essentially in exactly the same place as the Sony's? What about them is an improvement? 

31 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

Overall it looks like a more thoughtfully designed camera.

There are some nice touches, but it looks for the most part to being close enough to offer no real improvement. 

One of the major ergonomic differences that I see is that the Z6/7 are missing two control dials that the Sony's have. Instead they have two buttons on the top plate (the best access other than the rear top) to access the features that are on dials. However this means those buttons have to be used for that purpose, where the Sony's have two additional buttons. Then the Nikon has the two on the front plate next to the mount as a result. 

TL;DR - The Sony has ore dials, the Nikon more buttons. 

Some other observations:

- The grip area is essentially identical

- Overall the main controls are essentially the same

- The Nikon does have a bit wider gap between grip and mount, which does look like a small improvement

- The Nikon dials are different front and back, the rear coming from the D5500. I would prefer that they were the same (and see no advantage in their difference). 

- I presume the 4-way navigator on the Nikon is programmable like the Sony, but is unclear at this point. 

- The A9 has an additional 2 dials on it for more direct access again.

- LCD screen is nice to see make an appearance. Nikon have always kept them for their enthusiast models. However is probably a little redundant these days.  

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Checking the specs, on the Z6 & Z7:

  • Battery: 330  shots (CIPA), Movies:  Approx. 10-15 min of movie recording (WTF??!)
  • N-Log with View Assist (HDMI output only)
  • Movie HDMI Output: Yes, up to 10bit, Start/Stop supported

But in this sponsored review...
"Just to re-iterate; I was using a pre production model. The battery usage wasn't fully optimised at that point, and I was told it would be improved when released. Having said that, I was getting around 800-1000 images per battery. Update: I've just finished presenting and shooting at the Nikon UK launch event in London. The official rating is around 330 shots per battery. I have no idea how they ended up at that figure as I had shot a shade under 500 images at the event and only 1/5th of the battery was used. All good there!"

And DPR "The Z 7's CIPA rating is a middling 330 shots per charge, but as usual this is likely to prove extremely conservative in normal use. On a recent video shoot, we managed more than 1600 images and several 4K video clips on the Z 7 with a single EN-EL15b before the battery started blinking red, so it'll depend to a large extent on how you shoot"

Let's wait for the first independent reviews.

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1 minute ago, OliKMIA said:

Checking the specs, on the Z6 & Z7:

  • Battery: 330  shots (CIPA), Movies:  Approx. 10-15 min of movie recording (WTF??!)
  • N-Log with View Assist (HDMI output only)
  • Movie HDMI Output: Yes, up to 10bit, Start/Stop supported

 

10 min record time? What is this? 2014?

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Z7

"Full-width 4K video is possible at up to 30p, and in the DX crop mode (roughly equivalent to Super 35mm in filmmaking terms) full-pixel readout should offer optimal 4K quality. The 'FX' mode footage is produced by line-skipping, so will have a resolution and noise cost.

Unlike the D850, the Z 7 can offer focus peaking in 4K mode; we're hopeful that this can be used at the same time as highlight warnings, but we were unable to test this on our pre-production loaner. As well as 4K, HD video capture is also an option, at up to 120fps.

In video mode, the Z 7's in-body VR system is augmented by electronic VR, to help further smooth out vibration in hand-held footage.

Perhaps the biggest news for committed videographers is the camera's 10-bit 4:2:2 'N-Log' output over HDMI. This higher bit depth greatly increases the processing flexibility of Log footage and is a feature matched only by Panasonic's GH5 models. This and the addition of timecode suggests Nikon is taking video pretty seriously."

Z6

"The lower resolution sensor allows the Z 6 to capture oversampled 4K video, something that the Z 7 can only do in Super 35/DX-crop mode. If you can survive on 24 Megapixels for stills, the Z 6 could prove to be the better of the two cameras in terms of video quality."

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