Considering a Z6

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I have a Nikon D610, D5600, and an Olympus O-MD E-M5. Each camera body has it's own lenses, so I own three camera systems. I have developed some problems with my back, that are not going to get any better. The D610 bag with it's lenses is so heavy that I can't safely carry it around any more. I bought the D5600 before we went on a trip last fall so that I would have a light weight option to carry around. The O-MD E-M5 is super light weight, but that camera is getting very old. I am considering trading in the Olympus on the trade in promotion for the Z cameras that Nikon is currently running and would try to sell my m4/3 lenses. I would also sell my D610. I'm just wondering what those of you who have bought a Z6 honestly think about the camera. Are you still using your DSLR as well, or do you like the Z6 enough that you are drawn to it over your DSLR? I don't have much invested in the D5600 kit, so I think I would keep that as my light weight camera. It's heavier than my Olympus, but not much with the lenses that I have for it. I'm just mulling my options. I would love some honest feedback from those who have used the Z6. I went to my local camera store today and played around with a Z7 for a while. (They didn't have a Z6.) They aren't very pro-mirrorless but are big Nikon fans. They weren't very encouraging. The Z6 was heavy but is lighter than the D610 by quite a bit. I would buy the 24-70 f4 with the camera so I would have one native lens to go with it. I would also get the FTZ adapter so I can use my other Nikon FX lenses although I'm not sure it would be much of a weight savings. I'm just not ready to give up photography yet and am trying to find a plan to make it work for me for the foreseeable future.
 
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I love the Z6.

I reviewed it here:
Nikon Z6 and 24-70/4S Z-Mount Lens – Impressions, Musings, Review

Since that review, I've used it at a 4 day sports festival...shot boxing with it and the 35mm f/1.8S. Had more keepers with it this year than I did with the D750 and 24-70/2.8 last year.

It takes some time to get used to the changes that Nikon made. If you already have AF-S lenses you use on the D610, they will work splendidly with the FTZ adapter.
Get your hands on one and check it out.
 
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I love the Z6.

I reviewed it here:
Nikon Z6 and 24-70/4S Z-Mount Lens – Impressions, Musings, Review

Since that review, I've used it at a 4 day sports festival...shot boxing with it and the 35mm f/1.8S. Had more keepers with it this year than I did with the D750 and 24-70/2.8 last year.

It takes some time to get used to the changes that Nikon made. If you already have AF-S lenses you use on the D610, they will work splendidly with the FTZ adapter.
Get your hands on one and check it out.
Thank you so much. Your review was most helpful as I have been using both Nikon DSLRs and Olympus mirrorless cameras. Like you, I enjoyed both systems.
 
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Hi Terri,

I think you'll feel right at home with the Z6 + 24-70mm f4 S lens. It's quite compact and much easier to handle versus a D610 + 24-85/120mm VR lens. Just think of the Z6 as a D610 and E-M5 combined. ;)
 
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Not to be negative, but even if you save a couple ounces on the Z body over the 610, you still have most of the weight in the FF lenses.

I have the Z7 which has so far proved to be a very good camera - and I'm sure you've read the reviews of the Z lenses. A number of folks have talked about the ideal travel kit as the 14-30 (out soon?), the 24-70 S f/4, and something like the 70-300E, maybe along with a faster prime which would result in a pretty compact and relatively light kit with top class IQ.

I've shot M43 for the past couple years (Pen-F, EM1.ii) and am in the process of selling off all (most) of the Oly equipment mostly because I'm tired of maintaining two systems - it's time to simplify things - and I just can't think of a situation where I'd prefer the Oly over the Z.
 
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Terri,

Like you, I also have the trio of a crop frame Nikon body, a FF Nikon body, and a micro 4/3 kit. For the past few weeks, I've been using the Z bodies and find them to have the key benefits of both the Nikon DSLR and Olympus mirrorless worlds.

I can echo @gryphon1911 in saying that the Z6 with the native 24-70 f/4 is a wonderful combination. And it is similar in overall size and weight to an EM-5 with the 12-40 f/2.8, (I think the Nikon body is heavier but the lens is lighter). You won't save any size or weight adapting F-mount glass, but you'll be happy with the performance; the FTZ serves as a nice solution while awaiting the introduction of the rest of the native lens lineup.
 
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You'll be pleasantly surprised with the Z6 and 24-70 S combo. So light, easy to hold and the images are very pleasing. I have the D850; D500; and Olympus EM1-Mark II in addition to my Z6 with a lot of Nikon F mount lenses, but chose to take the Z6 combo to shoot a local singing gig. So portable and easy on this 70 yr. old body.
 
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Terri, you haven't told us what lenses you typically use on the D610 that have caused the bag to be so heavy.

You can make the Z6 a light weight kit by using the 24-70 f/4 S and 14-30 f/4 S. You can also either buy the f/1.8 S primes as they come out, or you can adapted existing f/1.8 G lenses via the FTZ (this is what I'm doing, and I'm pleased with the F-mount glass' performance on the Z6). One area where there isn't a clear path forward is the telephoto end, but if you get an FTZ then an option could be 70-300 AF-P. Myself and @gryphon1911 have that lens, and have both been very impressed with its performance. It's light weight, gives good reach, is built well, and is sharp.

Another option for you could be a used E-M1 II. Prices have come down quite a bit, and it's a very good camera. Again, not too certain what lenses you have for m43, but it's possible to make a very small and light kit.
 
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Hi Terri,

I think you'll feel right at home with the Z6 + 24-70mm f4 S lens. It's quite compact and much easier to handle versus a D610 + 24-85/120mm VR lens. Just think of the Z6 as a D610 and E-M5 combined. ;)
Not to be negative, but even if you save a couple ounces on the Z body over the 610, you still have most of the weight in the FF lenses.

I have the Z7 which has so far proved to be a very good camera - and I'm sure you've read the reviews of the Z lenses. A number of folks have talked about the ideal travel kit as the 14-30 (out soon?), the 24-70 S f/4, and something like the 70-300E, maybe along with a faster prime which would result in a pretty compact and relatively light kit with top class IQ.

I've shot M43 for the past couple years (Pen-F, EM1.ii) and am in the process of selling off all (most) of the Oly equipment mostly because I'm tired of maintaining two systems - it's time to simplify things - and I just can't think of a situation where I'd prefer the Oly over the Z.
Terri,

Like you, I also have the trio of a crop frame Nikon body, a FF Nikon body, and a micro 4/3 kit. For the past few weeks, I've been using the Z bodies and find them to have the key benefits of both the Nikon DSLR and Olympus mirrorless worlds.

I can echo @gryphon1911 in saying that the Z6 with the native 24-70 f/4 is a wonderful combination. And it is similar in overall size and weight to an EM-5 with the 12-40 f/2.8, (I think the Nikon body is heavier but the lens is lighter). You won't save any size or weight adapting F-mount glass, but you'll be happy with the performance; the FTZ serves as a nice solution while awaiting the introduction of the rest of the native lens lineup.
You'll be pleasantly surprised with the Z6 and 24-70 S combo. So light, easy to hold and the images are very pleasing. I have the D850; D500; and Olympus EM1-Mark II in addition to my Z6 with a lot of Nikon F mount lenses, but chose to take the Z6 combo to shoot a local singing gig. So portable and easy on this 70 yr. old body.
Terri, you haven't told us what lenses you typically use on the D610 that have caused the bag to be so heavy.

You can make the Z6 a light weight kit by using the 24-70 f/4 S and 14-30 f/4 S. You can also either buy the f/1.8 S primes as they come out, or you can adapted existing f/1.8 G lenses via the FTZ (this is what I'm doing, and I'm pleased with the F-mount glass' performance on the Z6). One area where there isn't a clear path forward is the telephoto end, but if you get an FTZ then an option could be 70-300 AF-P. Myself and @gryphon1911 have that lens, and have both been very impressed with its performance. It's light weight, gives good reach, is built well, and is sharp.

Another option for you could be a used E-M1 II. Prices have come down quite a bit, and it's a very good camera. Again, not too certain what lenses you have for m43, but it's possible to make a very small and light kit.
Thank you so much to all of you who helped me out here. I really do want to downsize the amount of gear that I have. I love the feedback from those who have shot both Oly and Nikon. I like that you think the Z cameras are like a marriage of the two. I always thought my E-M5 was so much fun to shoot with, but the images just weren’t FX quality (although some of my favorite photos were shot with it.) Most of my lenses are getting old and it is time to upgrade some, although I don’t want so much gear any more. Typically I use the 24-120 f4 on my D610. I also have a Tokina 17-35 that I seldom use, but occasionally do when we are landscape shooting. They had one at the camera shop I was at yesterday and it worked on the z6 with the adaptor. I often put my 50 f1.8g on the D610 for family outings for a lighter weight setup. I have an old 85 f1.4 that doesn’t have a focusing motor that I would probably try to sell. I love that old cream machine and might see if manually focusing it is doable on the Z6. I also occasionally use my old 70-200 f2.8. It is the original model that I bought in 2005. It still works great and I hope it would work adapted. It works on my D5600. I have a Tamron 150-600 version 1. It’s too heavy for me and I usually hand it off to Greg if we see some wildlife. I have an old Tamron 90 di macro. As far as m4/3, I have the 24-40 f2.8, the Panasonic 20 f 1.7 pancake, 45 f1.8, and a 40-150 zoom. The way I’ve typically used my gear is when we are hiking I take the Oly, but now the D5600. At family outings, I’ve used either the D5600 with a 35 f1.8 or the D610 with the 50 1.8, for landscape shooting, all the gear is in the car and I pull out what I want to use. I do a little sports shooting of the grandkids....nothing too intense, although my grandson played 8th grade basketball this year and shows promise for possible high school ball. Sometimes we go out hunting for wildlife, but I’m not a serious wildlife shooter. Like I said, I have to hand the Tamron off to Greg now unless I have a tripod out. This is a very long post. I better stop.
 
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Thank you so much to all of you who helped me out here. I really do want to downsize the amount of gear that I have. I love the feedback from those who have shot both Oly and Nikon. I like that you think the Z cameras are like a marriage of the two. I always thought my E-M5 was so much fun to shoot with, but the images just weren’t FX quality (although some of my favorite photos were shot with it.) Most of my lenses are getting old and it is time to upgrade some, although I don’t want so much gear any more. Typically I use the 24-120 f4 on my D610. I also have a Tokina 17-35 that I seldom use, but occasionally do when we are landscape shooting. They had one at the camera shop I was at yesterday and it worked on the z6 with the adaptor. I often put my 50 f1.8g on the D610 for family outings for a lighter weight setup. I have an old 85 f1.4 that doesn’t have a focusing motor that I would probably try to sell. I love that old cream machine and might see if manually focusing it is doable on the Z6. I also occasionally use my old 70-200 f2.8. It is the original model that I bought in 2005. It still works great and I hope it would work adapted. It works on my D5600. I have a Tamron 150-600 version 1. It’s too heavy for me and I usually hand it off to Greg if we see some wildlife. I have an old Tamron 90 di macro. As far as m4/3, I have the 24-40 f2.8, the Panasonic 20 f 1.7 pancake, 45 f1.8, and a 40-150 zoom. The way I’ve typically used my gear is when we are hiking I take the Oly, but now the D5600. At family outings, I’ve used either the D5600 with a 35 f1.8 or the D610 with the 50 1.8, for landscape shooting, all the gear is in the car and I pull out what I want to use. I do a little sports shooting of the grandkids....nothing too intense, although my grandson played 8th grade basketball this year and shows promise for possible high school ball. Sometimes we go out hunting for wildlife, but I’m not a serious wildlife shooter. Like I said, I have to hand the Tamron off to Greg now unless I have a tripod out. This is a very long post. I better stop.
Terri, here are my thoughts on a potential kit option for you:

Z6:
  • Normal Zoom: 24-70 f/4 S (kit lens)
  • Wide Zoom: 14-30 f/4 S, OR Tamron 17-35 f/2.8-4 on an FTZ (I own this lens and it works well on the Z6 + FTZ)
  • Telephoto Zoom: 70-300 AF-P, OR 70-200 f4 (the 70-300 gives you a bit better reach outdoors, whereas the 70-200 f/4 will give you a bit better ISO performance when needed
  • Normal Prime: 50/1.8 S, OR 50/1.8 G (keep the one have you have, and put it on an FTZ)
  • Portrait Prime: 85/1.8 S, OR 85/1.8 G (if you want, you could get the f/1.4 G, but it's twice the weight of the f/1.8 G)
Micro 4/3:
  • Camera: Olympus E-M1 II (buy used, they're plentiful, in good condition, and fairly cheap)
  • Normal Zoom: 12-40 PRO (keep the one you have)
  • Telephoto Zoom: Panasonic Leica 50-200 f/2.8-4
  • Normal Prime: Either keep your 20/1.7, or sell it and pick up an Olympus 25mm f/1.8
  • Portrait Prime: Keep your 45mm f/1.8

There's no doubt about it that the m43 kit will be smaller and lighter than the Z6 kit. But, you give up some DoF control, the FF sensor (dynamic range, ISO performance, etc.). Only you can decide whether or not the weight savings are worth it. Having said that, the 20MP sensor in the E-M1 II will be a big step up over the 16MP sensor in the E-M5 you currently own.
 
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I appreciate what you're going through, Terri. I have also been seriously considering a Z6. What holds me back is the knowledge that a Z6 with FTZ adapter weighs essentially the same as my D750. A Z6 with the new 24-70 would be a very light and small full-frame combo but with quite limited focal length range. I would have to supplement it with the FTZ and at least the 70-300 AF-P (which I already have). So I'm not ready to jump yet though I think mirrorless is the future of photography.

But to add a tiny bit of encouragement, B&H is now offering the Z6 kit with the FTZ and a memory card and camera bag for $2596.95. You could trade in a camera toward that also.
 
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Hi Terry - I think you would be quite pleased with the smaller, lighter setup of the Z6, when the lenses cooperate with that whole smaller/lighter thing. As others have said, the weight gets pretty close when using adapted F mount lenses but the size is still a plus. The adapted Z7 swims in my gear bag where the D810 was edge to edge.

I sold/am selling most of my gear in favor of a Z7 kit. I’ve got one more lens to sell and I think I’ll stop - the 70-200 f/2.8 VR1. Yes, it works great with the FTZ adapter. I don’t really need the speed now so no reason to deal with the weight. I really wish Nikon had released something in f/4 Z mount to replace it and I’ll keep sticking pins in my Nikon doll with that hope.

I am very much enjoying the Z7 with the 24-70, although I do miss range of 70-120 sometimes. Like you, I used the 24-120 f/4 a lot with my DSLR. Maybe adding a 70-300 AF-P will suffice until Nikon gets something in that range for Z that is not as large as the f/2.8s they just released. For those wildlife moments, maybe look into the 300PF. It works great with the FTZ adapter and on the Z7 is very light and easy to hike with.
 
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Having said that, the 20MP sensor in the E-M1 II will be a big step up over the 16MP sensor in the E-M5 you currently own.
I was skeptical of that statement, so I went to Bill Claff's Photonstophotos.net page and compared the dynamic range of the EM5, EM1-II, and Z6. The result surprised me:

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The EM1-II does give about a half-stop DR improvement over the EM5. But most surprisingly, the DR of the Z6 and EM1-II are essentially the same from iso 250 up to iso 650. :eek:
 
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+1 to Ian's note above - all sensible choices.

The Em1.II is indeed a step up from the M5 both in IQ (DR, noise control, resolution) with a couple of features that the M5 doesn't provide. It's a much more responsive camera.

The 24-120, while a good lens, I thought was a beast to carry and pack. Though I miss the extra FL, I'd take the 24-70S over it any day both for size and performance. I wouldn't sell the manual 85 1.4 right away until you use it on the Z6 - manual focussing is one of mirrorless' strengths.
 
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I was skeptical of that statement, so I went to Bill Claff's Photonstophotos.net page and compared the dynamic range of the EM5, EM1-II, and Z6. The result surprised me:

View attachment 1634677

The EM1-II does give about a half-stop DR improvement over the EM5. But most surprisingly, the DR of the Z6 and EM1-II are essentially the same from iso 250 up to iso 650. :eek:
Yup. But (and I'm a number's guy), when i work with RAW files from FF it always seems to me that there is a discernible difference in pulling up shadows and noise in flat areas. Someone said that FF provides better tonal transitions than M43 - and while I'm not sure what that means in a quantitative sense, my impression (which is of course pretty biased) is that FF images look a hint more natural.
 
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Echoing others' comments, I enjoy the Z6 since doing a Nikon>Olympus>Nikon migration. The 24-70 f4 s is a pleasant surprise after Nikon's abysmal market introduction, and I am looking forward to seeing user comments about the the soon-to-be available 14-30 f4 s.
 
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