Nikon D6 review

The Nikon D6 pro DSLR has Nikon's best ever stills AF and burst speed, but poor video and a lack of ambition lets it down

Nikon D6 review
(Image: © James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

If you want a camera purely for stills, and capturing fast action, the Nikon D6 is a powerhouse. The new AF system is fast and reliable, the ISO is unrivaled, and the cutting edge connectivity paired with clever software make this a powerful pro tool. However, its specs are uniformly outgunned by its two main rivals – and the continued reliance on contrast AF for Live View (and, hence, video) is a big sore point. For working professionals already in the Nikon ecosystem, it's a worthy upgrade; for those investing in their first pro body, there are superior options.


  • +

    Unfaltering stills AF

  • +

    Incredible ISO

  • +

    CFexpress support


  • -

    Live View contrast AF

  • -

    Poor video focusing

  • -

    Out-specced by rivals

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The Nikon D6 faces a difficult challenge. Its two rivals in the full-frame professional camera space are absolute monsters, with the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III being the most advanced camera we've ever used, and the Sony A9 II bringing all the benefits of mirrorless shooting into the pro sports sphere. 

And, while both of those cameras were greeted with excitement and enthusiasm from the industry (particularly the 1D X Mark III, with its overwhelming array of new technology) response to the Nikon D6 has been tepid, given its comparative lack of standout new features compared to the Nikon D5

Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8 (1/1600 sec, f/2.8, ISO320) (Image credit: James Artaius)
Nikon 120-300mm f/2.8 (1/140 sec, f/2.8, ISO100) (Image credit: James Artaius/Digital Camera World)

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.