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Nikon unveils full-frame mirrorless Z7 and Z6 cameras

After a couple of weeks of teasers, Nikon has finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market with the Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras.

This is a huge step for Nikon – it announced its first new mount since 1958, the Nikon Z mount, and a new line of lenses. The Z mount is the largest full-frame mirrorless mount on the market with a diameter of 55mm. It has a 17% larger diameter than the Nikon F DSLR mount and a 65% smaller flange distance.

Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless cameras are the Nikon Z7 and Nikon Z6 and they are largely based on the Nikon D850 and Nikon D750 DSLRs.

The Nikon Z7 has a 45.7MP full-frame sensor with a native ISO range of 64-25,600 and a hybrid phase detect autofocus with 493 points covering 90% of the frame. The Nikon Z7 can snap 9 frames per second, which is 2fps faster than the Nikon D850.

The Nikon Z6 has a 24.5MP sensor with a native ISO range of 100-51,200 and a hybrid PDAF with 273 points covering 90% of the sensor area. The Nikon Z6 can do 12fps continuous shooting.

Both the Nikon Z7 and Z6 offer in-body image stabilization that claims up to 5 stops efficiency with native Nikon Z lenses and 3 stops with adapted Nikon F lenses. Both the Nikon Z7 and Z6 can capture 10-bit 4:2:2 3840x2160px 4K video at 24, 25 and 30 fps.

Both mirrorless cameras have electronic viewfinders with 3.6M dot resolutions, 1 XQD card slot, an EN-EL15b battery that’s rated for 310 shots on the Z6 and 330 shots on the Z7, and both cameras weigh 675 grams.

The Nikkor Z line that launches alongside the Z7 and Z7 cameras has three lenses available at launch – the Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8, Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 and a Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4.

Nikon has developed the all-important FTZ adapter, which adapts existing Nikon F AF-S DSLR lenses to the new mirrorless mount. It will cost you $250.

Here’s a roadmap of the lenses for the system coming in the years until 2020. The most anticipated ones will come in 2019 – the 85mm f/1.8, the 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Nikon has also announced it’s developing its brightest ever lens for 2019 – the 58mm f/0.95 Noct manual lens.

The Nikon Z7 will be available on September 27 for $3400 body-only or $4000 with the 24-70mm f/4 lens. The Nikon Z6 will become available in November at a starting price of $2000 for the body only or $2600 with the 24-70mm f/4.

At these prices Nikon will directly compete with Sony’s hegemony on the mirrorless full-frame market. Sony’s current flagship high-resolution A7r III sells for $3200 body only while the A7 III, the direct competitor to the Nikon Z6, is exactly $2000.

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