Sooner or later, we're going to get a Nikon Z6 III. That much seems for sure, but a lot has changed since the original Z6 launched back in 2018.
So where will the Nikon Z6 III fit in the Big N's current lineup of mirrorless cameras? As one of the two inaugural Z-system bodies, the original Nikon Z6 had a much clearer niche. Even when the Nikon Z6 II was released just a couple of years later, in 2020, the landscape was much clearer.
Today, though, the Nikon Z6 III will have a much tougher time carving out an identity among the manufacturer's other mirrorless cameras, with the likes of the Nikon Z30 at one end of the scale and the Nikon Z9 at the other.
This is what we think the Nikon Z6 III is probably going to look like…
Nikon Z6 III: release date
Rumors started swirling in the middle of the year that we might see the Nikon Z6 III or the Nikon Z8 announced in August. Then it became August to October. Then it became, actually it's just the Z8 that's going to be announced. And now the rumor mill has gone quiet again.
Still, the mere fact that the Nikon Z6 III is being whispered about suggests that it is far enough along in development to be on the radar. And indeed, given that the Z6 was released in 2018 and the Z6 II in 2020, it certainly makes sense that the Z6 III would have been set for a 2022 launch to maintain a two-year release cycle (were it not for the ongoing component crisis).
As it stands, then, we could well see Nikon drop the trifecta in 2023.
Nikon Z6 III: specs
The upgrades over the original Z6 were obvious ones – and, arguably, necessary ones, given that the Z6 II and Z7 II were both the only choice for professional photographers until the Z9 launched.
The Nikon Z6 III upgrades, though, may be a bit more incremental. It seems logical to replace the twin Expeed 6 processors with a single Expeed 7, for instance, though that's hardly going to entice consumers to buy a new camera.
It's possible that we might see a slight bump to the sensor, in order to further distinguish the camera from the Nikon Z5 – which, as a full frame camera with a 24.3MP sensor and two memory cards, treads treacherously close to the Z6 II's specs and USPs.
So perhaps we'll see a slightly higher resolution or stacked sensor introduced to the Z6 III, to make it either a richer-pixel proposition or to double down on the current 14fps shooting speed.
The most obvious – and necessary – upgrade we foresee is the addition of a fully articulating screen. Given that Nikon has been repeatedly reticent to depart from tilt screens – even on the flagship Z9 – having the Nikon Z6 III as the only full frame mirrorless camera with an articulating screen would give it a much-coveted selling point, especially for video shooters.
Video is another area where serious in-roads could be made, which would enable Nikon to make this the video-oriented model in the full frame Z ecosystem. The addition of 4K 60p is a no-brainer, and if it can at least achieve parity with the Canon EOS R6, it would make the Z6 III a compelling alternative.