Source: www.fotosidan.se

Nikon is already show­ing teasers of its upcom­ing Z6 and Z7 Mark II cam­eras, but so far we do not know their tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics and how fun­da­men­tal the dif­fer­ences from past mod­els will be. Below you’ll find a wish list pre­pared by col­leagues at dpreview.com, as well as a few of our own thoughts on what’s miss­ing from the Japan­ese man­u­fac­tur­er’s full-frame mir­ror­less cam­eras. We note in advance that this is not an attempt to pre­dict what exact­ly Nikon will add, but rather what we would like to see in new mod­els.

Solving old problems

On the hard­ware side, there are a cou­ple of obvi­ous changes that would imme­di­ate­ly jus­ti­fy the upcom­ing update: fix­ing the most crit­i­cized omis­sions in the orig­i­nal mod­els.

The most obvi­ous will be the pres­ence of two slots for mem­o­ry cards. Many pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers rely on this fea­ture, which means that the Z7 could miss out on a num­ber of buy­ers from this tar­get audi­ence. The Z6 had the same prob­lem, although it’s not as crit­i­cal for the younger mod­el (on the oth­er hand, Nikon has pre­vi­ous­ly added two slots even to its ini­tial full-frame mod­els).

Either way, adding two slots could be an easy win for Nikon. Using small­er CFex­press Type A cards might have made things eas­i­er with­out increas­ing the size of the cam­era body, but in doing so, the com­pa­ny risks incur­ring the wrath of cur­rent users who have already start­ed using Nikon’s XQD and CFex­press Type B cards.

The XQD and CFex­press B cards are unde­ni­ably very fast, but hav­ing a sin­gle slot on the Mark II mod­els can be a real dis­ap­point­ment. Espe­cial­ly giv­en the dual slot in the Z5. Source: Nikon/techradar.com

Anoth­er fea­ture miss­ing from the first gen­er­a­tion cam­eras is a con­nec­tion port that allows you to use a bat­tery pack with dupli­cate con­trols to shoot in por­trait ori­en­ta­tion. This would be anoth­er rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple way to expand the capa­bil­i­ties of new cam­eras.

As for the num­ber of shots on a sin­gle charge, a big­ger bat­tery would def­i­nite­ly help if Nikon is going to be redesign­ing cam­era bod­ies. Of course, many will say that in this regard they have not had any prob­lems with cur­rent mod­els. How­ev­er, both pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­phers shoot­ing with the Z7 II and video­g­ra­phers using the Z6 II may have one less thing to wor­ry about as bat­tery capac­i­ty increas­es.

Final­ly, many users com­plained about the rel­a­tive­ly small buffer, which did not always cope with con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing at max­i­mum qual­i­ty.

At max­i­mum set­tings (12-bit RAW and Fine JPEG), Nikon Z7 main­tains a max­i­mum speed of 8 fps only for 10–12 frames. Nikon Z6 looks a lit­tle bet­ter in this regard with 35 RAW files at 12 fps, how­ev­er, this per­for­mance is seri­ous­ly los­ing to com­peti­tors.

Most like­ly, the new gen­er­a­tion of both cam­eras will receive an increased buffer size, as rumors cir­cu­lat­ing on the net­work speak in favor of. It would also be use­ful to increase the max­i­mum burst speed (now it is 12 fps for the Nikon Z6 and 9 fps for the Nikon Z7), which could make the mod­els more inter­est­ing for those who shoot a lot of action scenes with fast move­ment (although Nikon is unlike­ly to focus on sports pho­tog­ra­phers in these mod­els).

Iron improvements

Beyond that, it will be inter­est­ing to see if Nikon has been able to get their hands on new sen­sors for their cam­eras. We haven’t yet seen any­thing that clear­ly out­per­forms the Z6’s 24MP sen­sor (also used by oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing the lat­est mod­els such as the Sony a7C and Lumix S5), so even if the Z6 II retains the old sen­sor, no prob­lem, in gen­er­al- then it won’t. How­ev­er, the upgrad­ed sen­sor with faster read­out can help with both aut­o­fo­cus and video, so it could be a nice upgrade.

The 24-megapix­el sen­sor in the Z6 is still com­pet­i­tive, but a new sen­sor with a faster read­out could help with both aut­o­fo­cus and video. Source: amateurphotographer.co.uk

As for the Z7 II, upgrad­ing from a 46-megapix­el sen­sor to some­thing close to the 60-megapix­el Sony a7 IV would­n’t hurt at all: both in terms of being com­pet­i­tive with Sony, and in terms of an addi­tion­al rea­son for cur­rent users to upgrade Z7.

It looks like the Z7 II, or even both new mod­els, will get high­er res­o­lu­tion viewfind­ers. The 3.68M dot viewfind­ers in the first gen­er­a­tion were a great option at the time of release, but 5.76M and 9.44M dot units are now avail­able, so it’s high­ly like­ly we’ll see this upgrade.

As for the rear dis­play, many users real­ly liked the two-way tilt mech­a­nism, like in the Fuji­film X‑T3 and Pana­son­ic S1/S1R. Of course, the appear­ance of such a design in new prod­ucts is unlike­ly. How­ev­er, a sim­i­lar mech­a­nism could be suit­able for the Z7 II. And in the Z6 II, it might even be worth using a ful­ly rotat­able dis­play, assum­ing Nikon con­tin­ues to work towards a cam­era that’s equal­ly suit­ed to stills and video.

Yes, we know that some pho­tog­ra­phers will not be hap­py with such an offer, and we sus­pect that Nikon will not want to upset them.


We can assume that the cam­eras will have some new video shoot­ing fea­tures — it is strange if the com­pa­ny relax­es after the progress made in the Z6. The addi­tion of 10-bit inter­nal footage will cer­tain­ly increase the appeal of the cam­era, mak­ing the Log mate­r­i­al more flex­i­ble for edit­ing and enabling HDRTV com­pat­i­ble high dynam­ic range con­tent to be cap­tured.

Along with this, it would be nice to see the addi­tion of an oscil­lo­scope (wave­forms) to the screen to make it eas­i­er to assess expo­sure. This would be a big step for Nikon. And giv­en that the com­pa­ny seems to be lis­ten­ing to the needs of video­g­ra­phers, this is a very real­is­tic upgrade.

The addi­tion of 10-bit inter­nal record­ing will cer­tain­ly increase the Z6’s appeal among video­g­ra­phers. Source: Chris Her­sh­man

Sim­i­lar­ly, the Z6 II would be nice to add a shut­ter angle dis­play: this upgrade will be espe­cial­ly use­ful if the cam­era is shoot­ing at 60p, as it will allow you to main­tain a shut­ter angle of 180 degrees (mean­ing a shut­ter speed of twice the frame rate) when you switch between shoot­ing modes at dif­fer­ent frame rates.

Beyond that, it’s hard to imag­ine what else Nikon could add to a cam­era that does­n’t try to focus sole­ly on film­ing. The 6K RAW out­put would have avoid­ed some of the arti­facts we saw in the Z6’s RAW video feed, but it would have result­ed in a seri­ous increase in file sizes. At the very least, it would be nice if the cam­era trans­mit­ted more meta­da­ta. Then Ato­m­os recorders could cre­ate ProRes Raw files that allow for a wider range of set­tings in Final Cut Pro than is cur­rent­ly pos­si­ble.

Software and interface

Final­ly, there are a few things about the inter­face and soft­ware that could also be improved.

Updat­ing a cam­era from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion is usu­al­ly accom­pa­nied by an improve­ment in aut­o­fo­cus track­ing (object track­ing) algo­rithms. It should be not­ed that Nikon has been con­stant­ly improv­ing the aut­o­fo­cus qual­i­ty and inter­face in the Z6 and Z7 through soft­ware updates, so we expect a rel­a­tive­ly small update, but in both cas­es there is still room for such improve­ments.

The track­ing sys­tem in Nikon’s mir­ror­less cam­eras is con­stant­ly improv­ing, but it’s still not as grip­py as the lat­est mod­els from Sony and Canon. The dif­fer­ence is not too big, but it would be nice to see fur­ther improve­ment, espe­cial­ly in video mode.

In addi­tion to per­for­mance, Nikon also improved the user inter­face: you could choose in advance where you want to start track­ing the sub­ject, as well as start and stop track­ing by press­ing or releas­ing the shut­ter but­ton. How­ev­er, the Track­ing mode and the Face/Eye detec­tion mode remained two sep­a­rate modes on top of the Auto AF area selec­tion. I would like to see one sep­a­rate mode, some­thing like “3D sub­ject track­ing”, which tracks the sub­ject under the focus point and uses face and eye detec­tion for peo­ple and ani­mals. The sim­plic­i­ty and effi­cien­cy of such an inte­grat­ed sys­tem can be seen in the lat­est Canon and Sony cam­eras.

Final­ly, it would be nice to see the return of the abil­i­ty to for­mat the card or reboot the cam­era by hold­ing down a cou­ple of but­tons: this was a fea­ture unique to Nikon DSLRs that many fans of the brand are used to.

High definition mode

Users of cam­eras such as the Sony A7R IV and Olym­pus OM‑D E‑M1X have been able to appre­ci­ate the high res­o­lu­tion modes (Pix­el Shift in Sony and High Res Shot Mode in Olym­pus) that use sen­sor-shift shoot­ing. In this mode, the cam­era takes a series of shots, shift­ing the matrix by 1 pix­el between each frame, then four shots are com­bined to get one pic­ture with four times the nor­mal res­o­lu­tion. This mode is great for land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy.

So in the A7R IV, you get 240-megapix­el images with amaz­ing detail. This would be a very nice upgrade for the Z7 as well, which would increase the mod­el’s pop­u­lar­i­ty among land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers. In the Z6 II, this mode is not too nec­es­sary, although it could make the cam­era even more ver­sa­tile.

How to improve already good cameras?

Source: Nikon/techradar.com

In gen­er­al, if you go over this list of pro­pos­als (and notice that there real­ly aren’t very many of them), you can appre­ci­ate how good the Z6 and Z7 actu­al­ly become. Already at the start of sales, both mod­els were quite com­bat-ready, but Nikon did not stop there and con­tin­ued to grad­u­al­ly improve them. There­fore, it will be espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing to know what the com­pa­ny is going to do to make the new gen­er­a­tion even more attrac­tive to users.

* the arti­cle was pre­pared using mate­ri­als from dpreview.com (Richard But­ler), techradar.com and onfoto.ru.