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What’s the difference between the Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II? The Photography Show Q&A

Nikon Z6 II vs Z7 II
(Image credit: Nikon)

The Photography Show viewers were treated to an in-depth Q&A on Nikon’s latest roster of cameras and kit at The Photography Show: Spring Shoots. The hour-long live stream was hosted by Nikon School’s Neil Freeman and Ricci Chera. Highlights included a breakdown of the difference between the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II, Neil and Ricci’s thoughts on memory card formats and tips on where to find the best Nikon deals during the show. If you missed the session, join Neil and Ricci again on Sunday 7 at 12:00 for a similar session.

Of course, there's far more going on than what's on offer here. Register FREE for The Photography Show and check out the full programme of talks, demonstrations, conferences and the star-studded Super Stage speakers headlined by Rankin and Joel Meyerowitz! 

• Read more: Watch LIVE demos from The Photography Show right here

There's still plenty more to look forward to from Nikon School this weekend. Here's what to lookout for... 

Saturday 6 March

Nikon After Hours: Ask the Pros
Saturday 17:00 - 18:05

Sunday 7 March

Nikon Clinic: Cameras, lenses and speedlights - with Neil Freeman and Ricci Chera
Sunday 12:00 - 12:55

The latest Nikon cameras and lenses - with Neil Freeman and Ricci Chera
Sunday 13:05 - 13:35

Nikon After Hours: Ask the Pros
Sunday 17:00 - 18:05

Nikon School Q&A highlights

(Image credit: Nikon)

Q) Other than the different megapixel count, what’s the benefit of selecting the Nikon Z7 II over the Z6 II?

Neil Freeman: Other than the 24 to 45-Mp jump, you’ve got a better dynamic range on the Z7 II as well, a little bit more detail but there’s not much in it. Both cameras are excellent. It will really come down to the type of photography you do. Landscape, portraits, still life, macro, those are the genres where you’re going to err towards the Z7 II. If you’re shooting more generic photos, you’re out and about traveling, or into low-light photography and video, that’s where the Z6 II starts to excel. The lower megapixel count means the camera goes to higher ISOs and is cleaner at those higher ISOs. That said, the Z7 II is still good, but the Z6 II is better. It also has a faster frame rate as well. 

Ricci Chera: How important video is to you is the clear distinction. The Z7 II is good, but the Z6 II is a bit better when it comes to the resolution and quality of footage you get, especially in 4K. From a stills perspective I tend to recommend the Z7 II because of its higher pixel count. The Z7 II’s ability to shoot at ISO64 is also an important point if you’re into landscape and longer exposures as you shoot at longer shutter speeds than using ISO100 on the Z6 II for instance. 

Q) What Nikon offers can I expect to find at The Photography Show?

Neil: We don’t have any control over the offers ourselves. London Camera Exchange, CameraWorld and Wex Photo Video are the three key retailers doing show offers.

Q) Do you have any suggestions on which brand of memory card to use with the Z6?

Neil: We’ve been using the Sony G Series XQD cards, we haven’t had a problem with those. We are now shooting the Z series IIs and moving towards SanDisk CFexpress cards, they’re faster and cheaper. I’ve been using SanDisk forever, SanDisk has been my go-to brand, I find them very, very reliable.

Ricci: I’m still using XQD. If you’re shooting landscapes and architecture it doesn’t really matter. But you can use whatever card you want, it’s a case of which brand and price point works for you.

Q) I’ve got a D7100, but when I go mirrorless I know Nikon doesn’t endorse owner’s cleaning their sensors…

Ricci: One thing I will say. I don’t really find the need to clean my mirrorless cameras more than my DLSRs. I’ll clean my Z7 maybe once every six or 12 months, if that. I’ve not noticed any more or less dust on my [DSLR and mirrorless] sensors.

Neil: I’m old enough to come from a generation before self-cleaning sensors were developed. Yes, I have used VisibleDust, one of many good systems out there. I clean my cameras probably after every shoot now. I use sensor swabs, with a cleaning solution as well. I get no more dust on my mirrorless than on my DSLRs. While you can do it yourself, you do have to be very careful if you are doing it, our recommendation is to send it into Nikon to have it cleaned professionally.

Q) I shoot landscape and street photography on my D3300, but want to upgrade this year. I also print my images, so sharpness is a consideration. I have a £1500 budget…

Neil: If you mainly shoot landscapes that’s a D850 or Z7 II, the detail you can get off of those higher megapixel sensors is incredible. Those cameras might be out of your budget and a Z6 will still give you very, very good results as long as you pair it with good lenses. It’s not just about the sensor, it’s about the glass too.

Ricci: Because you mainly shoot landscape and street, I’d see if you can find a Z7 – if it fits into your budget. You’ll have the benefit of ISO64 and an equivalent picture quality that you’d get from the D850, and the Z-mount lenses will be sharper too. The D850 will still be great, but use the right F-mount lenses to get the best out of it. The Z6 will still give you good results, but it does have an optical low-pass filter, which will mean the images are less sharp than a camera without it.

Want to help realise your Nikon camera's full potential? Discover the Nikon School UK calendar here 

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Mike Harris

Mike is technique editor for N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, and spends most of his time shooting skills articles and begging for more external storage. He's worked for a variety of publications over the years and was formerly the production editor for Wex Photo Video’s content marketing team. An avid motorsport photographer, you’re likely to find him (and his trusty Nikon D800) at racing events across the country.