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2020.02.12

The new action flagship Nikon DSLR announced in last September is making its official debut today. Unsurprisingly, the Nikon D6 offers a number of improvements and refinements over its predecessor, the already superb D5 reviewed here. The ultra-rugged and highly ergonomic design is kept with mostly internal improvements.

Nikon D6

The Nikon D6 is built around a 20 megapixels High-Speed Full-Frame CMOS sensor paired with a new EXPEED 6 processor. This sensor has an incredible standard ISO 100-102400 sensitivity range which expands further to ISO 50-3,280,000 which allows the D6 to capture images in complete darkness. A new extremely sensitive AF module makes this even more useful by providing 105 Cross-Type Points sensitive to -4 EV in 3 directions, plus an extra-sensitive center-point that can focus down to -4.5 EV! This autofocus system promises great speed and accuracy that will surpass even the D5 which delivered the best AF performance yet.

As a DSLR designed for high-speed action photography, the mechanical shutter in the D6 can continuous capture up to 200 full-resolution JPEG images. When noise is an issue, the new silent drive of this DSLR can manage an impressive 10.5 FPS. Scaled down continuous rates up to 60 FPS are available at 2 MP for when resolution is not important. The shutter of the D6 is rated at 400,000 cycles to make this camera last.

Everything from the D5 has been carried over or improved. The mechanical shutter covers a 1/8000s to 15m range, plus allows Bulb exposures. There are  extensive bracketing features for exposure, focus, white-balance and even an external flash unit, since there is no built-in flash on the D6. It does have both an industry-standard hot-shoe and sync-port to add external lighting.  Several new components made it in the D6: A built-in WiFi transmitter, builtin Bluetooth 4.2 LE, faster Gigabit Ethernet port, USB-C port and a built-in GPS that records position and elevation.

Although looking nearly identical, the body sports a number of improvements. The rear LCD panel now has a class-leading 2.4 MP of resolution. Instead of having one version of this camera per type of memory-card, the Nikon D6 sports dual memory-card slots that support XQD and CFExpress. The rugged body of this flagship DSLR offers dual grips, each with dual control-dials, illuminated buttons and is fully weatherproof. On a single charge, the D6 can capture over 3580 frames, longer on continuous drive mode.

Nikon will ship the D6 at the end of April for around $6500 USD or $9000 CAD, giving photographers several months of testing and practice before the summer Olympics. Both Adorama and B&H Photo are accepting pre-orders. Credit-cards do not get charged until the units ship, while ensuring to be among the first to receive this new DSLR.

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