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Andrew Reid

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

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A quick follow-up on my previous first impressions, + issues found on the web :

- As mentioned everywhere, the AF starts to really struggles as the available light decreases. Absolutely not a deal-breaker for my type of stills shooting (maybe with wildlife though), but surely for sport shooters.

- Ibis during video recording with the adapted 50 1.8G impresses me.

- Ibis with the native 24-70 s is really good at the wide and normal focals, but clearly less effective near 70mm. I've tried to shoot handheld in DX mode, so at around 105mm ; it was cold, windy and, despite trying my best to stay steady and avoid shakiness, the result is just OK. At full screen on my monitor, you clearly see the micro-jitters. I've repeated the same test, but with my gorilla pod as a stabilizer, and it's working a lot better. I will try with a Tamron 150-600 and other lenses, to understand what work better, between ibis, lense VR etc. I also think that it's related to me and my previous video experience : shooting APSC fuji with the stabilized 50-140 f2.8 was really great (even more with the 50-230 OIS), while full-frame is a lot less forgiving with long focal lengths.

- The 24-70 is a lot more silent than my 50 1.8G. I've read somewhere that they have design the new motorisation with this goal in mind

- Did not try the audio pre-amps, but the first reviews show that they really suck. I will use my zoom H5 or the Ninja V.

- Image quality straight out of the camera with the tweaked standard profile (noise reduc disabled, sharpness dialled down etc.) is lovely ; I've shoot a  cloudy sunset until dusk, so not an extreme dynamic range, and this profile was sufficient. Next time I will use the flat one.

- I'm really happy to work again with Nikon's colours (and the Jpgs SOOC are great)

- I want to buy some Samyang lenses (135 f2, 24 f1.4...), and it seems that there is an issue with the Nikon version : they include an electronic chip, and it appears to "bug" with FTZ. A guy successfully "masked" with tape the involved contact of a similar manual lens (Voigtlander if I remember), and it worked. I think I will try the VDSLR versions of those lenses, as it seems they are not equipped with electronic.

Sorry, I'm limited in my tests latitude, but it's already night when I come back home... Can't wait for the week-end.

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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
On 12/1/2018 at 1:18 PM, Aussie Ash said:

Jordan's conclusion sure is feeble as audio can be directly recorded to a Ninja V or use a preamp

like the  US $100 Saramonic Smartrig+ .

Yeah, I'm really unhappy with how I delivered that conclusion. The point I was trying to make is that if you only want to carry the camera, the GH5 and X-T3 are much more full featured. If you add an external recorder, however the Z6 and to a lesser extent the Z7 become extremely compelling. The audio issues can certainly be worked around as well, but I remember shooting with Canon DSLRs and occasionally being forced to use an underpowered mic. 

I do think the main purchasers for video will almost exclusively be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass.

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2 hours ago, Jordan Drake said:

Yeah, I'm really unhappy with how I delivered that conclusion. The point I was trying to make is that if you only want to carry the camera, the GH5 and X-T3 are much more full featured. If you add an external recorder, however the Z6 and to a lesser extent the Z7 become extremely compelling. The audio issues can certainly be worked around as well, but I remember shooting with Canon DSLRs and occasionally being forced to use an underpowered mic. 

I do think the main purchasers for video will almost exclusively be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass. 

Yes, and I know some photographers that are asked by clients to dive into video, so the Z line might be attractive, instead of switching to Sony. It also could sparks an interest among a larger audience ; I'm reading more and more comments on forums (video oriented, or photo specialized with a dedicated video section), from video shooters that are really intrigued by 10bit/FF/ibis/robust construction.

Personally, despite having no Nikkor lenses, I've chosen the z6 over the a7iii, primarily for build quality and handling. Better evf, lcd and touchscreen, great ibis, desirable Nikkor G line-up and lovely colors are a plus. I will also attach a lot of non AF lenses, as I would've done with Sony. Won't be a problem to share it later with a bmpcc4k or a gh5s. But, if it had not been for the Z line, I would not be back to Nikon today (or only for stills).

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20 hours ago, Jordan Drake said:

I do think the main purchasers for video will almost exclusively be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass.

I reckon the Nikon Z6 will still appeal to shooters who really really want to shoot FF 10bit 4K (which is the only way to do it! Short of stumping up the money for a Kinefinity MAVO LF, or even more for a C700 FF etc)

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

I reckon the Nikon Z6 will still appeal to shooters who really really want to shoot FF 10bit 4K (which is the only way to do it! Short of stumping up the money for a Kinefinity MAVO LF, or even more for a C700 FF etc)

Somehow I can't visualize too many Nikon shooters having an External recorder hanging off one to be honest. 🙂

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14 minutes ago, Emanuel said:

Don, I agree with David, I would surely do it along 4K 60p if/when available... : -)

Oh I am sure a lot of us would, but the average person buying one, nah. Just like the PK4, how many will ever shoot Raw, even the BRaw if it ever comes out. I don't see why a person on here would even bother buying one of they didn't want to take advantage of the 10bit a reasonable amount of time. No need for everything to be shot in it for sure..

But we represent a damn small percentage of people that will ever buy one. A heck of a lot of people will never even shoot video on one, just photos..

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P4K is a cinema camera, Nikon Z series, a hybrid one.

I find it rather useful to deliver high demanding bit rate to output as finest codec acquisition as possible.

Mediocrity is a plague.

 

Let alone any politics discussion like the one this picture may pop up in our heads:

68eed63832d564612a581ebf0da30237.jpg

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

Somehow I can't visualize too many Nikon shooters having an External recorder hanging off one to be honest. 🙂

I'm one of those that does. But that said,  the 8 bit is not bad.  It's nice to have options, especially when you are traveling light. 

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9 hours ago, DBounce said:

I'm one of those that does. But that said,  the 8 bit is not bad.  It's nice to have options, especially when you are traveling light. 

That's one of the attractions of the Swiss Army Knife approach of the Nikon. You can stick the same camera in small bag for spontaneous moments at unprecedented quality, but the same body can also be used in the studio for shooting 10 bit log for green screen, with a recorder and audio extras.

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2 hours ago, hansel said:

@Geoff_L it would be great to see or hear about g lenses with VR in combo with ibis. Or on top of that plus electronic VR. What works best where, e.g. For still, panning, etc....

Cheers

Yes, you're totally right. As I'm debating between the old 300 f4 and the 300 VR PF, I want to know what works (and don't) by combining ibis + ftz + vr lenses. I even got a tamron 150-600 to try out :D But, I do not have a lot of vr/G lenses anymore, so I'm gonna see what I can do (maybe borrow from friends).

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On 12/5/2018 at 10:33 AM, Jordan Drake said:

I do think the main purchasers for video will almost exclusively be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass

I don't understand the logic of this conclusion at all. I mean why should... "almost exclusively" be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass chose the z6.  It is nothing outrageous to say that the z6 is the best video MILC for now and only behind the XT3 if you really want 4k 60 fps and don't care about IBIS. So why should only Nikon users be interested in the top 2 best video MILC. As illustrated by the video below, the guy finding himself so much liking the z6 that he doesn't know what to choose between it and the A73 which he already has.

What some will point out is the native lens selection. If someone starts from zero for sure the Sony has more lens but Nikon has already put out a roadmap. By this time next year we will have most of the pro quality lens to cater for 80% of use, and in two years 90% of what most people use. We already have FTZ adapter which caters for everything. The only grippe with the Ftz is video, because of motor noise. But as seen by most account the F mount lens work very well with the z6 ftz adapter combo. But if you are serious about video you will never use the internal microphone but get an external one. Another thing with the FTZ adapter, waiting for native lens, I could buy new or even better used, a bunch of quality Fmount lens for the price of one new Sony lens.

The other thing about the Z lens mount is, do you buy into Sony system (which is already very costly) or buy into a new system that is planed to be future proof. With that bigger mount we can already see with Nikon and Canon that it opens new possibilities with higher quality fast lens and completely new formula as F2 zoom. Other innovation like third ring that can be programmed for smooth aperture or Iso change. So my conclusion of this conclusion, why should the z6 "almost exclusively" be people with a large selection of Nikkor AF glass, when ultimately it is at least as good and potentially much better than the competition. 

 

 

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@Danyyyel I owned no Fuji lenses or Nikon lenses. I like what the Nikon puts out video wise. I did buy it primarily for stills as I wanted something small and light weight. I have all the new Z lenses except for the 50mm f1.8... which I have on pre-order. So far I am enjoying this camera hugely. Not quite as much as the Fuji X-T3... I really liked the built in styles of the Fuji... and I miss the battery grip for portrait mode... and the portrait tilt. That was a great feature. But I think the Nikon is the better video camera. I don’t use internal audio for anything other than scratch or timecode. That said I might have to hook a mic up to the Z6 to see how the internal preamps sound with decent signal.

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9 hours ago, DBounce said:

@Danyyyel I owned no Fuji lenses or Nikon lenses. I like what the Nikon puts out video wise. I did buy it primarily for stills as I wanted something small and light weight. I have all the new Z lenses except for the 50mm f1.8... which I have on pre-order. So far I am enjoying this camera hugely. Not quite as much as the Fuji X-T3... I really liked the built in styles of the Fuji... and I miss the battery grip for portrait mode... and the portrait tilt. That was a great feature. But I think the Nikon is the better video camera. I don’t use internal audio for anything other than scratch or timecode. That said I might have to hook a mic up to the Z6 to see how the internal preamps sound with decent signal.

Because of reliability or image quality? 

We are coming so close to the holy grail of video though. Once 10 bit 4k60p comes to full frame mirrorless its gonna be the nail in the coffin. 
 

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36 minutes ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Because of reliability or image quality? 

We are coming so close to the holy grail of video though. Once 10 bit 4k60p comes to full frame mirrorless its gonna be the nail in the coffin. 
 

I’m speaking of image quality, but that also includes color. And we cannot discount the Nikon’s superior low light. Combined with the larger sensor you can get away with smaller and lighter f4 glass while still getting ample DOF. 

Keeping size/weight down is not only important for travel, but equally important when rigging in unusual location... like the interior of a car.

As for build... well even without my prior experience with the Fuji’s, I believe the Nikon feels sturdier. Not that the Fuji feels flimsy... because it does not. But the Nikon is a definite step up in terms of build quality. I also believe XQD cards feel less prone to breaking than their SD counterparts. Granted, they are priced like jewelry. IIRC, I paid $460 for a single Sony 256GB XQD card. So there is that. But still no worse than the CFast cards the C200 devours🤔

One last word on reliability. I had several crashes, and a couple of failures to recognize media during my time with the Fuji’s. I also had an issue with a brand new lens not being picked up when connected. Once my cameras died it was a final non-responsive kind of issue. They did not merely lose some functionality. Worst still is that neither body was subjected to any hash conditions or mistreatment.

The Nikon feels like my Canons in that way. I have no anxiety about taking the Nikon whilst leaving the 1DXMK2 at home. I know it will just work... and honestly that’s how it should be. It’s one of the things that keeps me away from Blackmagic. When I purchased the Fuji’s I had heard a lot of great things about them. So initially I had little worries about flying solo with the Fuji’s. The subsequent failures have altered my initial opinion. It’s a shame, because I genuinely enjoyed shooting with them. I doubt I would buy another one.

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4 hours ago, DBounce said:

I’m speaking of image quality, but that also includes color. And we cannot discount the Nikon’s superior low light. Combined with the larger sensor you can get away with smaller and lighter f4 glass while still getting ample DOF. 

Keeping size/weight down is not only important for travel, but equally important when rigging in unusual location... like the interior of a car.

As for build... well even without my prior experience with the Fuji’s, I believe the Nikon feels sturdier. Not that the Fuji feels flimsy... because it does not. But the Nikon is a definite step up in terms of build quality. I also believe XQD cards feel less prone to breaking than their SD counterparts. Granted, they are priced like jewelry. IIRC, I paid $460 for a single Sony 256GB XQD card. So there is that. But still no worse than the CFast cards the C200 devours🤔

One last word on reliability. I had several crashes, and a couple of failures to recognize media during my time with the Fuji’s. I also had an issue with a brand new lens not being picked up when connected. Once my cameras died it was a final non-responsive kind of issue. They did not merely lose some functionality. Worst still is that neither body was subjected to any hash conditions or mistreatment.

The Nikon feels like my Canons in that way. I have no anxiety about taking the Nikon whilst leaving the 1DXMK2 at home. I know it will just work... and honestly that’s how it should be. It’s one of the things that keeps me away from Blackmagic. When I purchased the Fuji’s I had heard a lot of great things about them. So initially I had little worries about flying solo with the Fuji’s. The subsequent failures have altered my initial opinion. It’s a shame, because I genuinely enjoyed shooting with them. I doubt I would buy another one.

I had no idea they didn't use SD cards, kind of a bummer. Though the XQD cards are studier. 

Low light performance and IBIS are definitely huge benefits. 

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