Old 10-17-2019, 08:49 PM   #1
ExNavyDoc
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Default Upgrade D300 to Z6?

Group,

Looking to upgrade my old D300 (which was rebuilt once by Nikon service) prior to some trips next year. Kids are long done with high school sports, so frame-rate is no longer a major issue.

Anyone using a Z6? Thoughts?

Mike H.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:10 PM   #2
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Kevin M may chime in on actual use. (there is an old thread on subject.)
Also I'd wait for Nikon rebates or specials if you do not have immediate need.
(if you are looking at doing video then then Z-6 is probably a plus)

Maybe only repeating what you already know but you are going to Mirrorless and from DX to FX so new lenses will also be in order. I'd look at what is available and prices for Z-6 lenses so you know what you are getting into. You can use standard FX lenses with adapter if you have them but buying them would be a little odd.??
So for Mirrorless I'd say you could look at other brands also.

From what I read there are some really good Nikon DX bodies at varying price points and you can then use old lens or avail yourself to some nice DX lenses now available.

I was pretty excited when heard about Z-6 but after reading about it I did not see any strong advantage for me over my now old D-750 FX which by the way is still a new offering at a good price when Nikon has their specials and for the price is pretty good for low light

Bob Jordan

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Old 10-18-2019, 12:42 AM   #3
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Well, the Z6 would be an excellent upgrade from a D300 as the latter is probably 10 years old now, unless you have the "S" version. But that said, there are some caveats that you will need to consider.

I have 4 Nikon FX cameras: A D750, a D850, a D4 and a Z6. I use them all. I recently purchased the Z6 primarily for use in the night portrait sessions that Pete Lerro often does. The camera is small, it's light and it has in-body stabilization, so every lens is stabilized, not just the ones with VR. Originally, I did not picture using the camera all that much, and I never intended to buy more than one 64 GB memory card. Well, after using the camera for about 4 months now, my approach has really changed. I am finding that I use the Z6 A LOT! Although I do own the native 24-70 f/4S lens, I primarily use the camera with the FTZ adapter and my regular FF glass. The 24-120 f/4G VR is on there most of the time. The AF covers the full frame (unlike a DSLR) and is better than I expected. It might miss once in a while in low light, but for 30 mph steam trains, it is very good. I have the latest firmware with eye AF, and that's also pretty good. Maybe not as good as Sony, but I never had eye AF with any of my DSLRs. The thing also shoots 12 fps, which is better than any camera I own.

Upsides:
  • This camera is small and light and very easy to carry virtually anywhere.
  • AF coverage covers the entire frame. That is just incredibly useful.
  • The EVF shows me the exposure I'm going to get. No need for test shots.
  • The EVF has a built-in level
  • The EVF has a histogram too
  • Because the EVF is adjusted for my eyesight, I can chimp photos without an eye loup
  • The XQD cards are so fast that I never notice a buffer issue
  • Build quality is excellent
  • Z6 has decent weather sealing
  • Low light performance is very good. As good or better than my D4. Better than my D750 and WAY better than a D850. The D850 is not a low-light camera.

Downsides:
  • Unlike a DSLR, the camera is not instantly ready to shoot when you turn the switch on. It takes a second or two.
  • The EVF is great, but not real-time. If you think you're going to single-finger "the moment", you will be disappointed. You need a DSLR for that.
  • Battery life is better than advertised, but if you shoot 1,000 frames a day like I do on a charter, better have a spare battery or two. Chimping also eats up battery life.
  • Nikon has a battery grip for the Z now, but it does not have vertical shooting controls.
  • If you put very heavy lenses on the FTZ adapter, you have to support the lens at all times or you can possibly damage the lens mount. That's true with any camera, however.
  • If you clean your own sensors like I do, it is unclear just yet whether or not you can do that with the Z because of the stablization on the sensor. I believe Nikon does "park" the sensor when the camera is turned off, but before I touch it, I want to see some more authoritative info on this.
  • The Z will not be useful if you have DX glass. It also won't AF with D-series lenses. I have G-series lenses with AF motors, and those all work fine.

Hope that helps. The Z6 is not quite ready to be my ONLY camera, but I find that I am indeed using it MOST of the time.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinM View Post
Well, the Z6 would be an excellent upgrade from a D300 as the latter is probably 10 years old now, unless you have the "S" version. But that said, there are some caveats that you will need to consider.

I have 4 Nikon FX cameras: A D750, a D850, a D4 and a Z6. I use them all. I recently purchased the Z6 primarily for use in the night portrait sessions that Pete Lerro often does. The camera is small, it's light and it has in-body stabilization, so every lens is stabilized, not just the ones with VR. Originally, I did not picture using the camera all that much, and I never intended to buy more than one 64 GB memory card. Well, after using the camera for about 4 months now, my approach has really changed. I am finding that I use the Z6 A LOT! Although I do own the native 24-70 f/4S lens, I primarily use the camera with the FTZ adapter and my regular FF glass. The 24-120 f/4G VR is on there most of the time. The AF covers the full frame (unlike a DSLR) and is better than I expected. It might miss once in a while in low light, but for 30 mph steam trains, it is very good. I have the latest firmware with eye AF, and that's also pretty good. Maybe not as good as Sony, but I never had eye AF with any of my DSLRs. The thing also shoots 12 fps, which is better than any camera I own.

Upsides:
  • This camera is small and light and very easy to carry virtually anywhere.
  • AF coverage covers the entire frame. That is just incredibly useful.
  • The EVF shows me the exposure I'm going to get. No need for test shots.
  • The EVF has a built-in level
  • The EVF has a histogram too
  • Because the EVF is adjusted for my eyesight, I can chimp photos without an eye loup
  • The XQD cards are so fast that I never notice a buffer issue
  • Build quality is excellent
  • Z6 has decent weather sealing
  • Low light performance is very good. As good or better than my D4. Better than my D750 and WAY better than a D850. The D850 is not a low-light camera.

Downsides:
  • Unlike a DSLR, the camera is not instantly ready to shoot when you turn the switch on. It takes a second or two.
  • The EVF is great, but not real-time. If you think you're going to single-finger "the moment", you will be disappointed. You need a DSLR for that.
  • Battery life is better than advertised, but if you shoot 1,000 frames a day like I do on a charter, better have a spare battery or two. Chimping also eats up battery life.
  • Nikon has a battery grip for the Z now, but it does not have vertical shooting controls.
  • If you put very heavy lenses on the FTZ adapter, you have to support the lens at all times or you can possibly damage the lens mount. That's true with any camera, however.
  • If you clean your own sensors like I do, it is unclear just yet whether or not you can do that with the Z because of the stablization on the sensor. I believe Nikon does "park" the sensor when the camera is turned off, but before I touch it, I want to see some more authoritative info on this.
  • The Z will not be useful if you have DX glass. It also won't AF with D-series lenses. I have G-series lenses with AF motors, and those all work fine.

Hope that helps. The Z6 is not quite ready to be my ONLY camera, but I find that I am indeed using it MOST of the time.
Hi Kevin,

Currently, I am mainly using the Nikkor 18-200mm (1:3.5-5.6 GII) lens with my D7000. What would be an equivalent lens (focal length and aperture range) when switching to the Z6? Do you know if I still would be able to use the Nikon Capture NX2 software with the Z6? I suppose that both the D7000 and the Z6 are shooting NEF files.

Many thanks in advance for your comments.
kind regards,
Daniel
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Old 10-18-2019, 05:53 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Daniel SIMON View Post
Hi Kevin,

Currently, I am mainly using the Nikkor 18-200mm (1:3.5-5.6 GII) lens with my D7000. What would be an equivalent lens (focal length and aperture range) when switching to the Z6? Do you know if I still would be able to use the Nikon Capture NX2 software with the Z6? I suppose that both the D7000 and the Z6 are shooting NEF files.

Many thanks in advance for your comments.
kind regards,
Daniel
Hi Daniel,

The Nikon 18-200mm "DX" lens that you have been using is what I refer to as a "do-all" lens. It covers a wide range of focal lengths from wide angle to medium telephoto. The advantage is that you carry ONE camera and ONE lens and you're not always changing lenses. There's a lot of merit in that. The downside is that optical performance on the "do-all" lenses is not typically as good as what you can find on the "pro" lenses, and they are not typically as fast. But if you are OK with the results you get with this type of arrangement, it sure beats lugging around a backpack full of expensive glass, or hanging two cameras on your body, like I do.

If you move to a Z6, you'll also be making a move to a Full Frame (FF) camera, so you'll have some decisions to make. You can either buy an existing Nikon FF lens, of which there is a large selection, or you can buy one of the new "native" "S" lenses that are designed specifically for the Z-cameras. Unfortunately, Nikon's "S" lens program is still a work in progress, and the number of "native" lenses available for the Z-cameras is still small.

If you want to buy a Z-camera today, and you want something with the FF equivalent of your 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S DX VR lens, you will want to purchase the Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens, which will set you back about $950. That lens has CLOSE to the same focal lengths as your existing lens, but it's not quite as wide on the wide end (it's 28mm vs. 24mm, which would be the equivalent of 18mm on a DX camera.). I don't personally like giving up that 4mm, because most of my money shots end up being shot fairly wide, but several, well-known rail photographers use that lens, including at least one magazine editor that I know.

Of course, if you opt for the above lens, you will need to get the FTZ Adapter with your Z-camera, because G lenses have a different mount than the native S lenses. Lately, Nikon has been offering deals in which they throw in the FTZ Adapter for free. I would wait for one of those deals.

Also, beware that Nikon's D-series lenses.....and older series of glass that Nikon still offers....DO NOT auto-focus with the Z-camera. The D lenses require a focusing motor in the camera, and the Z does not have one. If you are going to use regular DSLR glass with your Z, you need G-series or E-series lenses (that have an internal focusing motor).

Hope that helps!
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:20 PM   #6
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Kevin,

Thanks, that was very helpful info. While I do have a couple of DX lenses, the others are regular FF. (70-200 f/2.8 and 300 f/2.8 )

The lighter weight and low-light performance is a plus, as I was looking for that for a trip to Europe next year. I figure I might as well spring for the 24-70 f/2.8 S. In for a penny, in for a pound...
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:13 PM   #7
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Kevin,

The lighter weight and low-light performance is a plus, as I was looking for that for a trip to Europe next year. I figure I might as well spring for the 24-70 f/2.8 S. In for a penny, in for a pound...
As long as you are planning to go mirrorless from now on, that's an OK strategy. The key thing to keep in mind is that S lenses are completely useless on DSLRs, but G and E lenses will work on both DSLRs and mirrorless if you have the adapter. Since I am already heavily invested in DSLRs and lenses for same, I will probably continue my strategy. I purchased only the 24-70 f/4 S lens, just to have a native lens and make for a very compact, easy-to-carry camera.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:18 AM   #8
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When you note a lag when you depress the shutter, just how long is the lag. Hate to always rely on the motor to capture the exact spot, though 12 fps would be pretty forgiving. I keep pondering one for a travel camera (have D700, D810 both of which somewhat of a bother to travel with). My other worry is when a newer model will appear, thought one would this summer but it didnt.

Thanks.

Tim
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:17 AM   #9
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When you note a lag when you depress the shutter, just how long is the lag.
Tim
There is zero lag when you press the shutter release. It fires immediately. The problem is that the EVF is not quite real-time, so when you pull the shutter release, you're a fraction of a second too late. 12 fps is awesome, but it's almost too much. I am currently going through my stuff from Strasburg and I find that I have as many as 25 frames from a brief run-by. What to delete and what to keep? Best I can do is delete the rods-centered frames. Rods-centered just drives me nuts, because it just looks goofy.....yet I see folks posting such shots all the time.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:19 AM   #10
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When you note a lag when you depress the shutter, just how long is the lag.
Tim
There is zero lag when you press the shutter release. It fires immediately. The problem is that the EVF is not quite real-time, so when you pull the shutter release, you're a fraction of a second too late. 12 fps is awesome, but it's almost too much. I am currently going through my stuff from Strasburg and I find that I have as many as 25 frames from a brief burst. What to delete and what to keep? Best I can do is delete the rods-centered frames. Rods-centered just drives me nuts, because it just looks goofy.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:13 PM   #11
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I shoot D750 on slow continuous(z-6 has this also) which in reality can also be single shot with short shutter press. I just leave it on that, not requiring changing modes.

As a note I see the Z-6 has dropped the auto/manual focus flip switch (you set ups assignment but not same type of switch and menu is not a good option). Standard for me at night is to auto focus, usually at infinity but at desired focus and then switch to manual focus with the easy toggle switch. Shooting moving trains at night on auto focus can be unpredictable at least for me. Switch has been a standard item for Nikons I have owned, probably as cost saving move.

Anyway, shooting fast moving objects on auto focus, not sure you are going to see 12 fps?????

Bob

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Old 10-21-2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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I shoot D750 on slow continuous(z-6 has this also) which in reality can also be single shot with short shutter press. I just leave it on that, not requiring changing modes.

As a note I see the Z-6 has dropped the auto/manual focus flip switch (you set ups assignment but not same type of switch and menu is not a good option). Standard for me at night is to auto focus, usually at infinity but at desired focus and then switch to manual focus with the easy toggle switch. Shooting moving trains at night on auto focus can be unpredictable at least for me. Switch has been a standard item for Nikons I have owned, probably as cost saving move.

Anyway, shooting fast moving objects on auto focus, not sure you are going to see 12 fps?????

Bob
Hi Bob,

A couple of things....

WRT the AF switch that you are referring to, I think you are talking about the small toggle switch with a center button on it that is typically found on the left side of the camera below the lens mount.....correct? On all of the DSLRs that have an internal focusing motor, that switch is really there to turn that motor off. It was really put there for users of D-series lenses, which do not have a focusing motor. For those of us who use G and E-series lenses, which do have the motor, we can turn AF on and off either with that switch, or with the small "M-AM" switch on the left side of our lens. Since the Z-cameras do not have a focusing motor, and cannot AF with D-series lenses, the switch you refer to was no longer necessary. AF on Z-cameras is always controlled with the lens-mounted toggle. No need to go to a menu item.

With regard to whether or not the Z will achieve 12 fps, so far it seems to be filling up my XQD cards rather nicely. I have TOO many photos from the Strasburg event.
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Old 10-27-2019, 02:14 AM   #13
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Thanks for the information!
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:03 AM   #14
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Question Nikon D850 no low light?

Kevin,

Ever since you mentioned during 611 at Strasburg that the Nikon "D850 is not a low light camera," I have wanted to ask you to expound upon that.

In all the time that camera has been out, I have never seen that issue come up in the photo media and with my customers. Generally, the response to that camera was along the lines of it being one of Nikon's finest ever DSLR's.

Would it be that it has a higher MP do you think?
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:06 PM   #15
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Kevin,

Would it be that it has a higher MP do you think?
Hi Dennis,

In a word, yes. I donít like to shoot that camera above 1600 ISO, and will use my old D4 if I know I will need to be above 2500. The files are just not as clean at high ISO as either my D4, my Z6.....or my D750. Our favorite charter leader has both a D4s and a D850. Just watch and see which one he shoots on rainy days, or during night shoots.
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:35 AM   #16
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...Our favorite charter leader has both a D4s and a D850. Just watch and see which one he shoots on rainy days, or during night shoots.

Carl uses a Nikon D850???

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Old 10-30-2019, 02:55 AM   #17
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I use Canon 6D's. After using 40D's for years, being able to shoot 6400 ISO was astonishing!

I have been quite happy with the 20.2MP 6D for 5 years. (Gad, it has been that long?)

I did use a 26.2 MP 6D Mark II once. With its higher MP, the dynamic range was less but the image smoother. The 6D has a better dynamic range but is coarser.

With Canon 5Ds at 50MP's and Sony's a7R IV at 60MP, I wonder how these high MP's will work out for us low light shooters.
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