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Z6 - full frame budget hybrid king?


lebigmac
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It's great to have a lively discussion here now and I would like to narrow it a bit down to the original purpose of this thread. This was, basically: Is the Z6 a good contender for making videos (in a 50% hybrid* usage scheme) considering the second hand price around 1000€ (in average 300€ below a used A7iii) ?
I got virtually no feedback on video work experiences with the Z6 from the EOHD crowd, that's likely because - I assume - that very few of the professionals and enthusiasts on this forum have considered it at all. 
I bought it anyway, for a 1000€, and I'll continue to share my experiences here. Until this point, my impression is that this camera was not designed with videographers in mind, and it seems to be more of a marketing decision to promote it otherwise. But I'll see. I'd be happy to read more from others who owned it/could compare it.
Moreover, it is worth discussing alternatives. Focus on budget, from what was mentiones here, I'd say:
- S1 (1500 €) - very capable, but slightly out of price range and maybe too heavy for a 'carry around' hybrid?
- A7sII (1000€) -  wouldn't a A7III for € 1300 preferable, what about the orig. A7s (~500€)?)

*8bit would be enough if the camera is portable, delivers natural colours out of the box in a standard profile, offers nevertheless sufficient DR flexibility for contrasty scenes with a flat profile, and is useable up until 6400. Think of, what a small agency does (not a commercial ad production company), i.e. interviews, presentation of locations and physical products + reportage (covering public events, gatherings, demonstrations, hand held).

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I thought quite a few folks here liked the images from the Z6 but maybe the timing wasn't right for people to actually get one.  Certainly, the colour from Fuji on their latest cameras is very nice, and the eterna colour profile is very nice indeed.

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If the II model had been launched as the original, it would have been a lot more popular, but then the same could be said for a lot of kit, but for many, the original Z6 just underwhelmed (compared with certain other options).

Had something like the II been launched a couple of years back, I probably would have  gone with it but it was only the lack of 4K 60 and twin card slots that put me off. The lack of 10 bit also, but that would have been my compromise.

Well it’s still 8 bit, internal anyway and folks are waiting on the 4K 60, so still losing customers I suspect.

Anyway, original Z6 at what are now much lower than launch prices...I like the look of the thing, the size, the weight, the lenses. Tried one briefly, but preferred the XT3 in every way except the lack of IBIS and the XT4 fixed that.

So it’s not for me personally, but that shouldn’t put anyone else off and if you like it, great, go create with it!

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I thought quite a few folks here liked the images from the Z6 but maybe the timing wasn't right for people to actually get one.  Certainly, the colour from Fuji on their latest cameras is very nice, and the eterna colour profile is very nice indeed.

It's kinda odd indeed. The Z6II is a pretty solid camera. However, the Z6II is the camera Nikon should have released from day one. 8-bit internal only is not a deal breaker since Nikon has great color, imho. Also, the whole ProRes fiasco felt half-baked and l'm sure left a sour taste in many peoples mouths waiting for it.

 

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4 hours ago, MrSMW said:

If the II model had been launched as the original, it would have been a lot more popular, but then the same could be said for a lot of kit, but for many, the original Z6 just underwhelmed (compared with certain other options).

Well, apart from the 4k60p option, my understanding is that there's not a big difference in video capabilities between mark I and II. Raw option is line skipped on both devices, I think.

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It is impossible to take Nikon seriously for video.  Its an extra, nothing more.  I give them credit for allowing external BRAW recording; something other manufacturers should seriously look into.  Yet Nikon have not given video the full attention that other manufacturers like Fuji, Panasonic and even Canon have done.  That's their choice and for better or for worse, its one they will have to live with.

Oddly, its Nikon that got me into Mirrorless video with their first DSLR that shot video.  It was poor quality 720p, but it got me hooked.

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On 12/27/2020 at 12:26 PM, lebigmac said:

Maybe, the Z6 is not everyones priority here, but I'll leave my evolving observations here to whom it may concern:

- Surprisingly bulky and quite heavy, the weight is distributed towards the left side, which makes it outspokenly unbalanced and difficult to hold it with one hand over an extended period of time. Moreso with manual lenses & adapter.
- The hand grip is not not thought out designed. It's not 'high' enough for a normal sized hand. That is why you'll find a lot of used models where the coating is damaged next to the grip. It's because you find yourself clawing your fingernails into it.

Grip and weight distribution is MUCH better on the A7 or the NX1.

- Focus peaking works very well, esp. in the great EVF. However, there is no way to toggle it on and off with the press of a button. You are entitled to assign the focus peaking menu to a function button, but you'll have got through this menu every time then, which results in about four clicks to put it on or off. This is quite annoying.
- You can't use zebras while focus peaking is on.
- The on screen spirit level is placed in the center on the screen, with a huge fat black ring around it. You literally don't see anything else of the picture, when it's on.

There is a dedicated video mode on that camera, however:
- Exposure lock only works in stills mode, but not in video mode! There is - however - another way to lock exposure, which also works in video mode, by pressing and holding the jog dial (or a function) button. This might be convenient for stills, but not while filming
- The only way to set the shutter speed in video mode is "M", in all others, the camera choses 'something' that can't be altered.
- There is 24p but no 1/48

 

After a little more into the menu, one correction and more observations:
- You can actually lock exposure properly, other than stated above. This one is set in the video tab of the menu (not in the general function buttons setting) - in the video tab you'll find a separate menu with the option to assign a few functions to some buttons.
- In stills mode, there a several options for auto exposure: matrix (whole area),  center weighted, spot and highlight weighted. In video mode, however, you are limited to: matrix, center weighted and highlight weighted, means, that there is no way to measure an specific area other than than the center.
- You can attach an usb-cable to the camera and to the computer, and it is possible to drag files from the camera with it. The camera is not a proper USB drive on Nikon cameras, which means you can't put files on the camera card directly. This means, you'll definitely need an (cfexpress) card reader (which costs around another 60€) in order to update the camera with a new firmware.
- You can charge the battery while it's inside the camera with the help of the usb-cable. But you'll need a really powerful usb charger for that (5V, 15W). My Ipad charger didnt work, for instance.
 

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