Nikon mirrorless targets filmmakers
Nikon has released two full-frame mirrorless cameras that have lots of spec to tempt filmmakers away from Sony – the only other full-frame mirrorless manufacturer. Nikon’s new cameras are the high-resolution 45.7-megapixel Z7 and low-res 24.5-megapixel Z6 which use Nikon’s all-new Z lens mount. An adapter to use existing Nikon F-mount lenses will also be available at launch, along with 24-70mm f/4, 35mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/1.8.
The big news for filmmakers is that the Z series can output a 10-bit signal to external recorders, have phase detect autofocus, in-body image stabilization, can shoot Log, 4K up to 30p and HD up to 120p, have focus peaking at all settings, zebra exposure guide and a timecode out.
And on the Z6 there’s full pixel readout when shooting 4K.
The Z7 costs £3399 and is on sale in September, Z6 is £2099 on sale in November, 24-70mm lens is £999, 35mm lens is £899, 50mm £599 and F-mount adapter £269.
The full press info says:
Nikon is pleased to announce the release of the full-frame, Nikon FX format mirrorless cameras, the Z 7 and Z 6, as well as NIKKOR Z lenses, featuring a new, larger-diameter mount.
Mirrorless Reinvented through the Nikon Z mount system
The Z mount system is comprised of mirrorless cameras featuring a new, larger-diameter mount, as well as compatible NIKKOR lenses and accessories. This system has been realised through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance. It has inherited Nikon’s tradition of quality, superior imaging technology, great operability, and high reliability, all innovated from its digital SLR cameras.
At the heart of the new Z mount system is the new, larger-diameter mount, which unlocks further possibilities of lens design, increasing greater capabilities in optical performance The Z mount system will offer a variety of high-performance lenses*, including the fastest lens in Nikon history with f/0.95. Additionally, the new mount adapter will enable compatibility with NIKKOR F mount lenses, offering photographers more choice.
The letter “Z” represents the bridge to a new chapter. The Nikon Z is about Nikon’s relentless pursuit of ultimate performance. It is about redefining possibilities and providing photographers with tools to realise greater creativity.
Nikon will expand the value of mirrorless cameras through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance and by upholding Nikon’s tradition of quality while responding to the evolution of imaging technology. By providing photographers with stimulating new products, Nikon will continue to lead imaging culture. *Within interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Advanced Cameras with Interchangeable Lens
Z 7 and Z 6 product overview
The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with a new backside illumination full-frame, Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF and the latest image-processing engine, EXPEED 6.
The Z 7 has 45.7 effective megapixels, and supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64–25600. In combination with NIKKOR Z lenses, the camera achieves an outstanding level of sharpness and detail, all the way to the edges of the image.
The Z 6 is an all-purpose FX-format camera with an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports the wide range of ISO 100–51200 standard sensitivities. With superior performance at high sensitivities and full-frame 4K UHD movie recording with full pixel readout, the Z 6 responds to a variety of needs, such as shooting in dimly lit environments, and movie recording.
Primary features of the Z 7 and Z 6
- Equipped with a new backside illumination Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF
A backside illumination CMOS sensor, with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF points, has been adopted for both the Z 7 and the Z 6. The Z 7 has an effective pixel count of 45.7 megapixels, and supports ISO 64–25600 range of standard sensitivities (reduction to the equivalent of ISO 32 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 102400 is also possible). The Z 6has an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports a broad range of standard sensitivities, from ISO 100–51200 (additional reduction to the equivalent of ISO 50 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 204800).
- A hybrid AF system with focus points covering approximately 90% of the imaging area
The Z 7 has 493 focus points* and the Z 6 has 273, enabling broad coverage of approximately 90% of the imaging area both horizontally and vertically. This hybrid AF system uses an algorithm optimised for the FX-format sensor, to automatically switch between focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detect AF with focusing. The use of NIKKOR Z lenses further maximises AF accuracy with both still images and movies.
*With FX (36×24) image area and single-point AF enabled.
- The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine for sharp and clear imaging and new functions that support creative expression
The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with the new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine. Employing the superior resolving power of NIKKOR Z and NIKKOR F mount lenses, subjects are rendered more sharply than ever before. Noise is also effectively reduced.
Additionally, a mid-range sharpening option has been added to Picture Control sharpness parameters. This option, along with existing sharpening and clarity parameters, allows users to make various textures within the screen sharper or softer, for both still images and movies*. The cameras also offer 20 options of Creative Picture Control, supporting creative expression. The effect level is adjustable from 0 to 100.
*Mid-range sharpness adjustment is only possible at “High quality” movie setting.
- An electronic viewfinder that utilises Nikon’s superior optical and image-processing technologies to offer a clear and natural view
The electronic viewfinder adopted for the Z 7 and Z 6 is comfortable and easy to use, comparable to optical viewfinders. Both cameras are equipped with an electronic viewfinder for which an approximately 3,690k-dot OLED panel has been adopted. The electronic viewfinder has, respectively, frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8×, as well as an approximately 37.0° diagonal viewing angle. It draws on Nikon’s superior optical technologies and image-processing technologies, ensuring a clear and comfortable view comparable to that of optical viewfinders, with reduced aberration and minimum eyestrain, even during extended shoots. Furthermore, a fluorine coat that effectively repels dirt has been applied to the eyepiece protection window. In addition, the <i> menu can be displayed in the electronic viewfinder, allowing users to quickly view and adjust a variety of shooting settings, including ISO sensitivity, AF-area mode, and Picture Control, all while looking through the viewfinder.
- An ergonomic design unique to Nikon that enables intuitive operation
The Z 7 and Z 6 have inherited the superior operability that Nikon has cultivated over the years through its development of cameras. The bodies are compact, while boasting a firm grip that is easy to hold, and buttons such as that for the subselector, AF-ON, ISO, and exposure compensation are all placed so that they can be operated swiftly and easily. Additionally, a display panel has been placed on the top part of the camera, where information about settings can be displayed, same as with high-end digital SLR camera models.
- Movie functions such as 10-bit N-Log that enables wide dynamic range, and timecoding that respond to professional needs
The Z 7 and Z 6 support recording of not only full-frame 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/30p movies using the FX-based movie format, but also full-HD/120p movies. Sharper 4K UHD movies are made possible, using the full-pixel readout.*1 Additionally, Active D-Lighting, electronic vibration reduction, and focus peaking can be used with 4K UHD and full-HD movie recording. Nikon’s original N-Log can also be used with 10-bit*2 HDMI output. The cameras utilise extensive colour depth and twelve-stop, 1,300% dynamic range to record*3 a wealth of tone information from highlights and shadows for more effective colour grading. Timecode support makes synchronising video and sound to footage recorded across multiple devices easier. Additionally, the control ring built into NIKKOR Z lenses can be used to quietly and smoothly adjust settings such as aperture and exposure compensation.
*1 Excluding FX base movie format for the Z 7
*2 Simultaneous recording of 4K UHD movies with 10-bit output to the camera’s memory card is not possible.
*3Not available when shooting slow-motion movies. .
- Nikon’s first*1 in-camera vibration reduction with approx. 5.0-stop*2 effectiveness
The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR). The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately 5.0 stops*1. This function can also be used effectively with NIKKOR F lenses, including those not equipped with a VR function, with the FTZ mount adapter (sold separately)*3.
*1 Among interchangeable-lens cameras
*2 Measured in accordance with CIPA standards (using the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S at the telephoto zoom position).
*3 The level of compensation achieved when a NIKKOR F mount lens is used is not as high as when a NIKKOR Z lens is used.
- Other features
- Operation system that is inherited from Nikon digital SLR cameras enables intuitive operation of buttons and switches
- Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body
- An 8.0-cm 3.2-in., approximately 2,100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism
- Silent photography eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release. A new peaking stack image function*1 allows the user to confirm the correct settings after focus shift shooting. A simulated monochrome image using focus peaking technology emulates how the depth of field will look after all images are combined to a focus stack in editing software*2
- High-speed continuous shooting (extended)*3 at approximately 9 fps (Z 7) and 12 fps (Z 6) captures fast motion
- Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z 7) time-lapse movie creation*2 possible
- An extended low-light metering range*4 allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using auto exposure
- Built-in Wi-Fi® for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge
- Built-in Wi-Fi® makes the transfer of images and movies to a computer possible
- Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the WT-7 wireless transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible
*1 Can only be confirmed using the camera with which focus shift was performed.
*2 Third-party software is required.
*3 Continuous H (extended) in 12-bit RAW, JPEG, or TIFF format
*4 With interval timer shooting or time-lapse movie recording with silent photography and exposure smoothing enabled.
Development of the MB-N10 Battery Pack
The MB-N10 battery pack that is currently in development will hold two EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion batteries, effectively increasing the number of shots possible and/or movie recording time by approximately 1.8×. It will provide the same level of dust and drip resistance as the Z 7 and Z 6, and will support USB charging using the EH-7P charging AC adapter.
Information regarding the release of this product will be announced at a later date.
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