Nikon has just now pulled the curtain back on the new Nikon Z6ii and Z7ii mirrorless cameras, which are obviously the direct successors (replacements?) to their first two full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z6 and Z7.

Here are the big, important details: Dual card slots, dual CPUs, better autofocus with improved eye detection, improved video performance, faster FPS with a larger buffer to go with it, and an improved viewfinder “experience”…

So, basically everything under the hood has been improved, while the physical bodies, outwardly, are essentially identical to their predecessors. Speaking of outward appearances, though, there’s a new fully functional battery grip for both cameras!

Nikon Z6 II Specifications

Z6II 24 70 4 front34l


  • SENSOR: Full-frame 24.5-MP CMOS sensor
  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z-mount (FX full-frame mirrorless)
  • STILL IMAGES: 24.5 megapixels, (6048 x 4024) .NEF raw, 14-bit, 12-bit, lossless, compressed
  • VIDEO: full-width 4K, 30p max, (60p coming in 2021 via firmware) 144 Mbps, 1080 120p, 144 Mbps
  • ISO: 100-51,200 (expandable up to ISO 204,800)
  • AUTOFOCUS: 273-point hybrid AF system, face/eye detection & tracking for both photo and video
  • SHOOTING SPEED: 14 FPS continuous shooting, 3.5x larger buffer than Z6
  • SHUTTER SPEEDS: 900 sec to 1/8000 sec mechanical & electronic shutter (yes, up to 900 seconds!)
  • VIEWFINDER: 3.69M dot EVF, 0.8x magnification
  • LCD: 3.2-inch, 2.1M-dot touchscreen
  • CONNECTIVITY: Wifi & Bluetooth (Both necessary for full functionality)
  • STORAGE: Dual card slots (one XQD/CFE, one SD UHS-II )
  • BATTERY & POWER: EN-EL15c rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 410-shot rating (can be charged in-camera, USB-PD direct camera power possible)
  • BODY CONSTRUCTION: Metal body, fully weather-sealed
  • SIZE: 134x101x70mm (5.28×3.98×2.76 in.)
  • WEIGHT:705 g (1.55 lb / 24.87 oz)
  • PRICE & AVAILABILITY: November 2020; $1,999.95, (body-only) $2,599.95 (w/ 24-70mm f/4 kit lens) – Adorama | B&H 

[Related: Nikon Z6 Review: Does Sony Have Serious Competition?]

Nikon Z7 II Specifications

Nikon Z7 II specifications nikkor 14 24mm f 2 8

  • SENSOR: Full-frame 45.7-MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • LENS MOUNT: Nikon Z-mount (FX full-frame mirrorless)
  • STILL IMAGES: 45megapixels, () .NEF raw, 14-bit, 12-bit, lossless, compressed
  • VIDEO: full-width 4K 30p @ ~DX crop, 1080 60p @ full-width, MP4, MOV, H.264
  • ISO: 64-25600 (expandable to 32-102,400)
  • AUTOFOCUS: 493-point hybrid AF, face & eye detection & tracking for both photo and video
  • SHOOTING SPEED: 10 FPS continuous shooting, 3.3x larger buffer than Z7
  • SHUTTER SPEEDS: 30 sec to 1/8000 sec mechanical & electronic shutter
  • VIEWFINDER: 3.69M dot EVF, 0.8x magnification
  • LCD: 3.2-inch, 2.1M-dot touchscreen
  • CONNECTIVITY: Wifi & Bluetooth (Both necessary for full functionality)
  • STORAGE: Dual card slots (one XQD/CFE, one SD UHS-II )
  • BATTERY & POWER: EN-EL15c rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 420-shot rating (can be charged in-camera, USB-PD direct camera power possible)
  • BODY CONSTRUCTION: Metal body, fully weather-sealed
  • SIZE: 134x101x70mm (5.28×3.98×2.76 in.)
  • WEIGHT:705 g (1.55 lb / 24.87 oz)
  • PRICE & AVAILABILITY: December 2020; $2,999.95, (body-only) $3,599.95 (w/ 24-70mm f/4 kit lens) – Adorama | B&H

Matthew’s Initial Reaction (Armchair Nikon Z6 II & Z7 II Review)

nikon z7II full frame mirrorless camera usb pd battery power

Two things stand out about these two new cameras. First, of course, the spec sheets are impressive, but with caveats. We’ll get to that in a minute. Second, and this is the thing that could stir up a heated discussion, the bodies themselves are physically identical to their predecessors.

Let’s discuss this second topic first and get it out of the way. Is it a good thing that Nikon is using a lot of the exact same parts in these new cameras? Well, it’s probably helping them keep the costs down, that’s for sure; externally they aren’t changing anything except the little badge that has a “II” on it now.

The truth is, Nikon made some pretty solid, high-quality cameras when they made the original Z6 and Z7. They’re both fully weather-sealed, in fact, according to LensRentals, which we’ve mentioned many times before, the Z7’s weather-sealing was/is the best of any full-frame mirrorless camera so far.

Yes, there were a couple of things that I would have liked to see changed on an update to the original Z’s. Mainly, I’m not a fan of how they moved the menu button to the lower right corner of the back of the camera and added a Drive Mode button down there too instead of a drive mode dial on the top-left of the camera, like the D780 or D850.

I was really hoping that the Z6 II and Z7 II would have added a drive mode dial under the main mode dial. Actually, since I don’t really use the top-panel LCD on the right very much, and have come to really enjoy having the main mode dial on the Z5, …I would have been even happier if Nikon had just left the main mode dial on the right, and put a D850 style dial on the top-left, with a drive mode dial built around three or four buttons dedicated to things like metering, bracketing, and white balance.

z6ii TO P Z WebCam USDD 01

[Related Reading: Nikon Z5 Review | The Best Value Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera?]

Last but not least, I’m curious to see how the new USB-PD direct camera power works out. I really like the power efficiency of the Nikon Z5, with USB-PD power, which is 9 volts at 3 amps; significantly more “juice” than 5V/2A from “normal” USB!

However, I’m sad that cameras have not yet progressed even further, and allow for the battery to actually be charged up while the camera is on. Seriously, we’ve had this functionality on mobile phones for years; how come it’s not possible on cameras yet, especially with the added power capability of USB-PD?

Nikon Z6 II & Z7 II Battery Grip!

Nikon MB N11 Battery Grip Z6II Z7II

I guess this is also a physical/ergonomics-related thing, but REJOICE! Those of you who were disappointed by the Nikon Z6/Z7’s battery grip that didn’t have any functionality whatsoever, the Nikon MB-N11 has a shutter release, command dials, and an AF-ON button.

Nikon Z6 II & Z7 II Ergonomics – Compared To The Competition

Here are some more reasons why I’m actually very okay with Nikon making zero outward changes to their mark 2 generation…

Compared to Sony’s first (and second) generation of full-frame mirrorless camera bodies, the original Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II were much more well-made, period. The grips of the Nikons feel perfect, the buttons are (mostly) laid out very intuitively, and of course, the menus and customizability are the same user-friendly interface that both first-time users and long-time Nikon users will appreciate.

What did Canon do, compared to Nikon’s first-gen bodies? To be blunt, they designed a mostly good, but also partly terrible, 1st-gen product. On both the EOS R and EOS RP, they left out a physical AF point selector, and instead, on the EOS R, they used a weird swipe-y dial thing. Plus, there are a few other ergonomic inconveniences, such as a frustrating mode button-plus-dial situation on the EOS R?

Just about the only thing I really appreciate about the Canon RF-mount bodies is, of course, the fully articulated LCD screen. Considering that Nikon’s mirrorless cameras have completely eliminated buttons from the left edge of the back of their cameras, I’m really puzzled as to why Nikon has not done the same thing. Having said that, the Nikon design does make it easier to quickly shoot high-angle or low-angle shots without having to flip the LCD screen all the way out.

At the end of the day, I’d take a Z6/7 over an EOS R, or even a Sony mk3-generation camera, any day. That is, in terms of ergonomics alone. We still have to talk about the key specifications…

Nikon Z6 II & Z7 II Photo & Video Specs – Compared To The Competition

Nikon putting the same sensors (apparently, at least megapixel-wise; the on-sensor AF is, in fact, different) …is just fine. 24 megapixels is perfect for almost everything, and 45 megapixels is still more than enough for high-resolution work such as landscape photography or commercial/editorial/fashion portraits.

The proof will be in the pudding; when we get our hands on these cameras and actually test the sensors to see how they perform. Stay tuned for our full reviews coming soon!

Honestly? The autofocus performance and video specs are going to be the more interesting things to discuss. Again, we can’t pass judgment on the autofocus performance until we actually test the cameras, however, it does sound like Nikon has made a significant improvement from the cameras’ predecessors, and that probably puts them roughly on par with the AF tracking capability (in terms of both photo and video?) as the competition.

The fact that the cameras can blaze away at 14 FPS and 10 FPS, and both have more than 3X buffer, is impressive.

As far as video goes, it’s great to see Nikon adding 4K 60p video to the Z7 II immediately, but it’s a bit unfortunate that the Z6 II won’t offer 4K 60p until later, via a firmware update. We already know that Nikon’s overall video image quality is always gorgeous, though, with plenty of fine detail and impressive dynamic range.

All in all, this is pretty much the update we had hoped for. We’re excited to review both cameras, and compare them against the competition!

Official Nikon Z6 II & Z7 II Press Release

z6ii TO P Z6II USDD 03

MELVILLE, NY (October 14, 2020) – Today, Nikon Inc. unveiled the next chapter of the Z series with the arrival of two new full-frame mirrorless cameras that significantly improve upon the previous generation by adding more power, more features, and more of what users want. The ultra-high-resolution Z 7II is for those with an eye for impeccable details, offering professionals and advanced photographers a powerful tool to capture immense resolution in every shot. For dynamic creators who need a device as versatile as they are, the Z 6II balances powerful performance and an expert-level multimedia feature set to bring any creative vision to life. Together, the Z 7II and Z 6II, along with new accessories, expand the Z series into a more robust mirrorless platform, incorporating many performance and design upgrades while maintaining the most popular features of their award-winning predecessors.

“As we evolve the Nikon Z series into the future, we continue to strengthen the platform, keeping the needs of our customers at the center of every new innovation and added feature,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “These are the cameras that many have been waiting for from Nikon. The new Z 7II and Z 6II demonstrate our commitment to listening to customer feedback, while also establishing the new standard for performance, quality and versatility for every type of creator, photographer or filmmaker.”

Nikon Z6ii and Z7ii Officially Announced SLR Lounge

The Nikon Z Mount – The Most Light Means the Best Images

The Nikon Z mount is larger than any other full-frame mount, letting in significantly more light for the best possible image quality. The wider mount also allows for radical new concepts in optical design, giving lens designers the flexibility to create NIKKOR Z lenses with more edge-to-edge sharpness than ever thought possible. These new cameras expand the possibilities of the superior Z mount with performance upgrades designed to improve the quality, workflow and shooting experience for Nikon Z series users.

New Features and Upgrades: Customer-Focused Innovation Drives Creativity

  • Dual EXPEED 6 Processors for Twice the Power: At the heart of the new Z 7II and Z 6II is the implementation of two EXPEED 6 image processors, turbocharging performance to improve processing speed and increasing burst capability for stills — all while increasing power efficiency.
  • Built for Confidence, Built for Creators: The cameras retain robust weather sealing, user-focused ergonomics and an intuitive interface– distinctions that Nikon users have come to rely on. The new models also offer improvements such as dual memory card slots, with one CFexpress (type B)/XQD slot and one SD card slot (UHS-II), for maximum versatility and peace of mind. Users will also benefit from more power and comfortable vertical shooting with the addition of the optional new MB-N11 battery pack with vertical grip.
  • Enhanced Focus System: With an updated, feature-rich autofocus system, the Z 7II and Z 6II quickly acquire focus and track subjects throughout the frame. For more precise autofocusing, Eye and Face-Detection AF is now available in the Wide-Area AF (L) mode, which works to avoid focusing on distracting elements by isolating selected portions of an image. Additionally, both models have an improved low-light AF detection range that is capable of acquiring subjects in challenging lighting.
  • Advanced Video Capabilities: Expanding the boundaries of 4K UHD video, the Z 7II and Z 6II enhance video output with an increased frame rate of 4K (UHD) 60p, plus Eye-Detection AF mode when recording video. While currently available in the Z 7II, the 4K 60p option is planned to be available in a free firmware upgrade for the Z 6II in February 2021. As a result of pro user feedback, the models also allow users to reverse the focus ring orientation on the fly, benefitting those who are used to manual focusing using traditional cine lenses on set. For added flexibility in post-production, 10-bit N-Log and HDR (HLG)1 output offers more detail, dynamic range and contrast in captured footage, while the optional 12-bit ProRes RAW upgrade2 delivers greater creative control for professionals and advanced videographers.

nikon z7II full frame mirrorless camera 10 fps shooting speed buffer

Nikon Z 7II: Absolute Immersive Masterpiece

The Z 7II promises high-resolution stills and video for discerning users who need ultimate performance to achieve exceptional image quality in every shot. A powerful upgrade to the Nikon Z 7, the Z 7II is the ideal camera for capturing highly detailed portraits, landscapes, weddings, events, and commercial photography when there is no compromise on image quality.

  • The Z 7II features a 45.7-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor to help capture intense detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and clarity that overwhelms. The exceptionally clean native ISO range from ISO 64 to 25,600 offers the functional freedom to shoot at wide apertures in bright light or in-studio with minimal noise.
  • With up to 10 fps maximum shooting speed at full resolution in Continuous H (extended)3, the Z 7II can handle fast burst rates with more than triple (3.3x)4 the buffer capacity of the Z 7 (in 12-bit lossless compressed RAW).
  • The Z 7II’s 493 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points cover 90 percent of the frame, quickly and accurately acquiring subjects, even at its far edges. The Z 7II is capable of acquiring focus in half the light (as low as -3 EV5), making it the reliable tool for low-light scenes such as weddings and indoor events.

Nikon Z6 II specifications video specs 4K 60p

Nikon Z 6II: True Multimedia Powerhouse

The Z 6II is the most versatile Z series camera yet, balancing speed, power, low-light ability, and advanced video features for dynamic creators who need pro-level performance and reliability.

  • Building on the vast pro-caliber video capabilities of the Z 6, the Z 6II is capable of recording 4K UHD video quality with full pixel readout, demonstrating the advantages of mirrorless technology. The camera is capable of a variety of frame rates, including 4K UHD 60p6 with full pixel readout, which is planned to be available in February 2021 via a firmware update. It is also capable of 4K 30p, as well as Full HD 120p for slow motion.
  • Built with videographers in mind, the Z 6II’s AF speed and tracking sensitivity is adjustable to meet creative needs, while the focus ring is also reversible. Useful indicators for focus peaking, zebra stripes and timecodes help capture the best possible footage in-camera and simplify workflow.
  • For both models, 10-bit output to an external recorder with N-Log is possible as well as the capture of new HDR (HLG) video and output in 12-bit ProRes RAW with the optional upgrade. For upgrade customers, additional support will also be included for Blackmagic RAW when using the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR recorder. This upgrade will also be provided for existing customers who have already purchased a ProRes RAW upgrade for the Nikon Z 6 or Z 77.
  • The Z 6II and Z 7II are the first Nikon cameras to support Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF with video recording, enabling continuous focus on the eyes of humans, dogs, and cats.
  • The Z 6II features a 24.5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for crisp stills and video capture with impressive detail, ultra-shallow depth of field and impressive low light performance. To confidently shoot in challenging light, the camera has an impressive ISO range from ISO 100–51,200, expandable up to ISO 204,800 equivalent.
  • Thanks to the addition of dual EXPEED 6 Processors, the Z 6II boasts a fast 14 fps3 continuous shooting speed, providing quick performance for capturing action, with more than 3.5x the buffer capacity of the Z 64.
  • The Z 6II’s enhanced AF system features 273 on-sensor phase-detect autofocus points for easy subject acquisition and tracking throughout the frame, including at the edges. Capable of focusing in half the light (down to -4.5 EV5), the Z 6II easily acquires focus in extreme low light scenarios, making it an ideal option for capturing nightscapes and events.

nikon z7 ii z6 ii dual card slots

The Nikon Experience: Reliability & Workflow

Both the Z 7II and Z 6II adopt the Z series’ durable Magnesium Alloy build and extensive weather-sealed design for all-around protection in rugged environments. Both models focus on improved workflow with intuitive features and controls that enhance the creative process.

  • The Z 6II and Z 7II enable convenient iMenu access for autofocus modes such as the new Wide-Area AF (L) mode for people or animals, with built-in Eye and Face-Detect autofocus, allowing users to quickly switch between controls while shooting.
  • USB power delivery can be enabled while the cameras are in use, drawing power from the USB source first, to preserve camera battery8 or charging while the camera is turned off (when using the EN-EL15b or EN-EL15c battery).
  • The Z 6II and Z 7II also include in-camera exposure choices for up to 900 seconds for capturing super slow-shutter nighttime cityscapes and astrophotography.
  • Both the Z 6II and Z 7II are compatible with the Nikon Webcam Utility software beta, ensuring seamless webcam functionality for all occasions. When using this function with a USB-C cable, power can be supplied to the camera to power it while using it as a webcam, making turnkey webcam functionality as easy as plugging in a USB-C cable.
  • In addition to its seamless file transfer and remote camera control, the Nikon SnapBridge app can be used to streamline the firmware update process by wirelessly sending the latest firmware file directly to the Z 7II or Z 6II for updating, no card reader or computer necessary.
  • Portions of the information display can be hidden with still-image shooting and video recording, allowing an unobstructed view of the scene.
  • In-camera vibration reduction (VR) provides camera-shake compensation equivalent to 5-stops9.

nikon z7II full frame mirrorless camera

A Rapidly Expanding Ecosystem

Nikon is committed to expanding the NIKKOR Z lens lineup to complement the exceptional power of these latest mirrorless cameras, with 16 NIKKOR Z lenses currently available, including the recently announced NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S and 14-24mm f/2.8 S. The lineup will expand to include a total of 24 innovative optics by the end of 2021, providing Z series users with the tools to achieve the highest level of optical excellence.

The ecosystem is also expanding with more accessories, including the addition of the new MB-N11 Power Battery Pack with vertical grip for the Z 6II and Z 7II. This new grip features convenient external controls for additional manual operation and customization, along with more comfortable portrait orientation shooting. While battery life is extended up to 1.9x10 (CIPA standard), the battery grip also includes a hot-swappable chamber, granting users the ability to remove or replace one battery while shooting for uninterrupted power – a true benefit for content creation. The vertical grip also adds a secondary USB-C port for standalone charging and simultaneous communication with other devices.

Additionally, Nikon has announced new wireless transceivers for remote triggering and radio-controlled lighting, the WR-R11a and WR-R11b. The new wireless transceiver units use radio frequencies to communicate and are designed for users who need minimal release lag when shooting wirelessly, or those that use one or more remote flashes (AWL). The user can control additional remote cameras simultaneously using the WR-T10 remote, or via a main camera equipped with the WR-R11a/b. The WR-R11a uses a 10-pin connector, while the WR-R11b connects through the accessory terminal that can be found on Z series mirrorless cameras and select DSLRs. The units can also trigger Nikon radio-controlled flash units, such as the popular SB-5000 Speedlight, without the need for an additional receiver unit. Engineered with a new hinged design, the WR-R11a increases durability when attached to a camera.

View the Official Nikon Z6ii & Z7ii Announcement & Details Video Below

[Related: Nikon Z7 Review: The Ultimate Landscape Photography Camera?]

Z6ii Sample Image Gallery

Z7ii Sample Image Gallery

Pre-Order Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II – Check Prices & Availability

The Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II will begin to ship in November and December, respectively:

  • Nikon Z6 II: November 2020; $1,999.95, (body-only) $2,599.95 (w/ 24-70mm f/4 kit lens)
    (B&H | Adorama | Amazon)
  • Nikon Z7 II: December 2020; $2,999.95, (body-only) $3,599.95 (w/ 24-70mm f/4 kit lens)
    (B&H | Adorama | Amazon)

Now, don’t forget that the Nikon Z5 is a mere $1,396, and also has loads of features that serious and professional photographers require. Also, the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 will likely be gradually dropping in price.