First Impressions: New Nikon Z6 III.

Nikon has recently announced a major follow-up to its Z6 line of mirrorless cameras, and we had a first hands-on look at the brand-new Z6 III. 


Nikon has been on a roll lately, ever since the release of the Z9 in 2021. The camera manufacturer has been churning out products that have reinvigorated the brand.

First, there was the flagship Z9, then the versatile Z8, followed by the retro-inspired Zf. Listening to what their customers want, Nikon has delivered consistently, and this momentum was further boosted by their recent acquisition of cinema camera manufacturer RED, promising even more exciting developments ahead.

But let’s rewind a bit. Nikon’s entry into the mirrorless market started with the original Z6 and its higher-resolution twin, the Z7.

While these models were groundbreaking, they had their share of compromises, leading users to eagerly await a third generation that could leverage the advancements seen in the Z9. Well, Nikon has finally answered that call with the new Z6 III.

I was invited to a hands-on session with an early model, and all I can say is, those who have been holding out for Nikon’s third generation will likely feel it was worth the wait.

what’s new.

The Z6 III retains the full-frame 24.5 MP sensor but introduces a world-first “partially-stacked” sensor. This innovation lies between the fully stacked sensors of flagship models and regular sensors, allowing for significantly faster performance without the premium price tag.

This also means the Z6 III might be Nikon’s best low-light performer to date.

Nikon has incorporated its latest autofocus technology from the Z9 and Z8, promising a 20% increase in autofocus speed compared to the Z6 II. It can focus in lighting as low as -10 EV. 

My initial experience with the early model showed impressive autofocus capabilities, especially in grabbing faces and small details, reminiscent of the Z9.

For hybrid shooters and video creators, the Z6 III shoots 6K full-frame video and supports various formats including Nikon RAW, ProRes RAW, ProRes 422, H264, and H265, with options for shooting in N-Log or Rec709.

This makes it an excellent companion for those using the Z9 or Z8 as their main camera but needing a smaller, capable secondary unit.

Its compact size makes it ideal for gimbal work, and with its full-sized HDMI and fully articulating screen, it’s a formidable tool for filmmakers. 

The EXPEED 7 image processing engine gives the Z6 III a significant speed boost – approximately 3.5 times faster than previous models. It offers 20 fps in RAW, with the option for stills up to 120 fps with Pre-Release Capture.

This speed, combined with the semi-stacked sensor and advanced autofocus, makes the Z6 III a solid choice for fast-paced shooting environments. For wedding and event photographers, the 24.5 MP resolution strikes a balance between detail and file size, and the camera’s performance in low light and video makes it a versatile tool.

The ISO range is 100-64,000 (expandable to 204,800 for stills), with an impressive 8 stops of vibration reduction, ensuring clarity in various lighting conditions.

design.

In terms of size and ergonomics, the Z6 III is familiar, resembling its predecessors, but slightly smaller than the Z8 at 760 grams.

It boasts the brightest EVF in any mirrorless camera currently available and finally offers a fully articulating LCD screen, a long-awaited feature. With two card slots (one CFexpress/XQD and one SD) it caters to both professional and enthusiast needs.

price.

As of now, Nikon has not announced a new Z7 III. This leaves the Z6 III alone to bask in the spotlight.

The Z6 III is available for purchase now at major camera retailers, with a price of SGD$3,899 (body only)


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Sean Loo

Ignition Labs' resident editor loves all things retro, even though he was born in the late 90s. His main job encompasses tons of driving (and a massive carbon footprint), but he swears he turns off the lights each time he leaves his room.

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