Photography News Issue 71

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SPECS

WORDS AND IMAGES BY JEMMA DODD

›  Prices Z 6 body £1699, Z 6 with 24-70mm f/4 kit £2249, Z 6 with FTZ adapter kit £1839, Z 6 with 24-70mm f/4 and FTZ adapter kit £2389. Lenses 50mm f/1.8 S £529, 35mm f/1.8 S £749, 24-70mm f/4 £899, FTZ adapter £269 ›  Sensor 24.5-megapixels BSI CMOS sensor ›  Picture formats JPEG in Fine*, Fine, Normal*, Normal, Basic*, Basic, TIFF. Raw capture in 12-bit or 14-bit, uncompressed, compressed and lossless compressed. Medium (4528x3016pixels) and Small Raw (3024x2016 pixels) available with 12-bit, lossless compression ›  Sensor format 35mm full-frame 35.9x23.9mm, 6048x4024pixels ›  ISO range 100-51,200 (expandable to Lo1.0 ISO 50 and H1.0 102,400 H2.0 204,800 equivalent) ›  Shutter range 30secs to 1/8000sec plus B, flash sync at 1/200sec. Top speed 1/2000sec with electronic front curtain ›  Drive modes Up to 12 fps. Low-speed continuous: 1 to 5 fps. High-speed continuous: 5.5 fps. High-speed continuous (extended): 12fps (12-bit, AE locked, 9fps (14-bit Raw) ›  Metering system Matrix, centre-weighted, spot, highlight weighted ›  Exposure modes PASM ›  Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV ›  Monitor 2.1mdot tilting 3.2in touchscreen, 100% frame coverage ›  Viewfinder 3.6mdot EVF ›  In-body image stabiliser No ›  Electronic shutter 30secs to 1/4000sec ›  Focus points 273 phase detect points in single AF covering 90% of the image area. Pinpoint, single-point, and dynamic-area AF (pinpoint and dynamic-area AF available in photomode only); wide-area AF (S); wide-area AF (L); auto-area AF ›  Video 4K UHD 3840x2190 30p (progressive), 25p 24p. 1920x1080: 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p 24p ›  Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI-C, USB-C ›  Other key features Five-axis image sensor shift IS ›  Battery EN-EL15b (USB) rechargeable, EN-EL15a can be used but with lower capacity and no USB recharging ›  Storage media 1x XQD slot ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 134x100.5x67.5mm › Weight 675g body with battery and card Contact: nikon.co.uk

FESTIVAL FUN PN’s digital editor Jemma Dodd switched her Nikon DSLR for a weekend shooting with the Nikon Z 6... AS ANIKON user I’ve gone from the Nikon D70S (super oldie), to the D7000 and the D750, so when the Z series was announced I knew I’d have to get my hands on one to test at some point. The most attractive feature tome was the size – on first impressions the weight and feel of the camera is a relief. While my main, standard set-up of a D750 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens isn’t too heavy, the Z 6 is much lighter than you’d expect, and when you carry lots of gear around at big festivals, less gear and less weight is a dream. One of the features I found particularly useful was the EVF. While I have used cameras with EVFs before it’s not something I’mused to using, so it felt a bit weird at first. I usually check images on the back of my camera to see how the exposure is looking, but I found it really handy to be able to see the exposure both on portrait shoots and at festivals. Anyone who shoots music will know that the majority of the time you only get to shoot the first three songs of

a set, and you’re also shooting alongside several other photographers, so having the EVFmeant I could nail the exposure and concentrate on getting the right compositions, thus capturing the best moments of the performance in the limited time. When shooting with the Z 6 at Standon Calling Festival, I mainly used the 14-30mm f/4 lens, as I thought it would give me closer results to those I achieve withmy 24-70mm lens, in terms of the zoom range. I also used an Irix 11mm f/4 to allowme to shoot super-wide shots on the Z 6, alongside using the D750 with the 24-70mm. on the Nikon Z 6. The images above and on the right were taken with an Irix 11mm f/4 lens, while the image on the far right of Rag ’n’ Bone Man was shot with the Nikon 14-30mm f/4 IMAGES These shots were captured at Standon Calling festival in Hertfordshire

Verdict I’d love to have something smaller thanmy DSLR that I can take on holiday or on days out, and for me Nikon is a system I’mused to using. I also wouldn’t have to splash out on lenses as with the converter I can use those I already have. In terms of switching from the D750 to the Z series?We’ll, I’d need to see how it performs in low-lit gig venues before considering using it more often.

IMAGES Street shooting often means high ISOs are essential for sharp pictures, and that’s not a problemwith the Z 6’s full-frame sensor The same goes for having the on/ off collar around the shutter button: you can single-handedly bring the camera up to the eye and power it up at the same time, so you’re ready to shoot almost instantly. That’s such an important consideration with street work, where an instant’s delay will cost you a shot. Do I have any misgivings about the Z 6? Well, only one (albeit a big one) and that is its single XQD card slot. I like the physical robustness of XQD cards but not their price, and a future firmware update will make the Z 6 compatible with CFExpress cards, and all that is positive. I just don’t like having one slot, so an XQD slot with an SD slot would be ideal. I like the security of belt and braces, but I also appreciate two card slots would probably mean a deeper body.

Verdict I enjoyedmy time with the Nikon Z 6. It’s lovely to use and its overall handling I found very intuitive, and there was nothing that I found really annoying. For street shooting, I was happy with the Z 6. ItsAF locked on quickly even in grotty light and the shutter –mechanical and electronic – was quiet enough not to be a pain outdoors. For me, though, it was the Z 6's ISO performance that impressedmemost.

rather than patches of red and green. The camera’s ISO tops out at 51,200, so there is even more headroom if I get really desperate. Having the freedom to use such high ISO speeds is wonderful, and basically means even the poorest light will not stop play. Of course what a camera produces is paramount, but how it handles is so intrinsic to the process of making pictures that it can’t be underestimated – and here the Z 6

excels. I’m a big back focus button fan so the large AF ON button is perfect, and having the responsive focus lever below makes it quick to move the AF point. Or I can use the touch screen when my eye is not up to the eyepiece. The two input dials are great to use and don’t need any handgrip adjustment to get to them, and having the ISO and exposure compensation buttons right next to the shutter button is a big benefit.

Issue 71 | Photography News 43

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