Today Nikon unveiled second versions of the two mirrorless cameras that originally launched the Z-platform. Two years ago, Nikon announced their second mirrorless platform. After the short-lived 1-system failed to gain traction due to its small sensor-size, Nikon decided to attack the high-end by announcing a completely new electronic lens mount with a wide diameter and short flange distance to open possibilities for ultra-bright optics with full-frame coverage. That launch saw the release of the flagship Nikon Z7 reviewed here and the exceptional Z6 reviewed here.
The second version of the original two Z-system cameras launched today refresh the system with twice the processing power and more memory for longer continuous shooting. The new Nikon Z7 II offers the same feature-set as the original with improved performance in multiple areas and an additional SDXC memory-card slot to complement the XQD one.
Specification wise, the Z7 II is built around a 46 megapixels Full-Frame CMOS sensor mounted on a 5-axis built-in image-stabilization system with 5-stops of efficiency. This high-resolution sensor covers an ISO 64-25600 standard sensitivity range which expands to 32-102400. An improved processor increases shooting speed by 10% and buffer-depth 3.5X for up to 82 JPEG images or 60 RAW files at 10 FPS. Video is now possible at 60 FPS in 4K Ultra-HD too.
Again looking identical to its sibling, the Nikon Z6 II sports a 24 megapixels CMOS sensor, also mounted on a 5-axis image-stabilization system which corrects up to 5-stops of shake, yet with larger pixels. This gives the new Z6 II a standard ISO 100-51200 sensitivity range which expands to 50-204800. Given fewer pixels to move, the Z6 II is faster than the Z7 II, and even faster than the original Z6. Its new processor can handle 14 FPS can sustain this high-speed for 147 JPEG images or 84 12-bit RAW files. When capturing full 14-bit RAW files, the Z6 II reaches 12 FPS instead.
Both these models, like their predecessors, are clearly high-end mirrorless cameras with a huge array of features and weatherproof bodies. As expected by this level of camera, there are dual control-dials on each camera and a built-in EVF. The 0.5″ units used by Nikon are extremely sharp at 3.7 megapixels and offer an extra-large 0.8X magnification that provides a wide comfortable view. An essential Eye-Start Sensor automatically switches between the EVF and the rear 2.1 MP 3.2″ LCD screen. A small status display at the top provides an overview of basic camera settings.
The Z6 II and Z7 II have plenty of creative features such as 4K Time-Lapse Capture, an Interval Timer, Focus Bracketing among several bracketing options and Multiple Exposures. The shutter can now be manually set for up to 15 mins of photography in extremely low-light. A new battery adds more power to extend the battery-life of these digital cameras.
Both new models are expected this year. The Z6 II is scheduled to hit the shelves in November, while the Z7 II arrives in December. Here are retail prices and pre-ordering links from our reputable affiliates:
Given that the sensors and ergonomics of these cameras are already proven and that the introduce dual memory-card slots, the biggest criticism faced by the original Z7 and Z6, both are expected to be extremely popular. Preordering ensures to be among the first to receive the new gear but your credit-card will not get charged until cameras are shipped out to you.