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Nikon Z6 Nature Photography

Nikon Z6 Nature Photography


400mm f/2.8 ED FL



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For a more comprehensive review of the Nikon Z6, please visit the link below. This article relates to suitability as a nature camera.

Nature Photography: includes a wide range of photography devoted to the natural aspects of the outdoors, including Landscapes, Wildlife, Plants, close-ups, and scenes that depict texture, harmony, and mood that is visually appealing when the photograph is taken with the right combination of lens and perspective. Nature Photographers use a wide range of lenses and techniques to capture all the abovementioned aspects.

Bottom Line up Front (BLUF): I have no hesitation recommending the Nikon Z6 to anyone looking for a well-rounded camera for non-action Nature Photography. I spend a lot of my time outdoors doing nature photography, so I understand some of the demands cameras face in difficult lighting, extreme weather, or when the photographic situation rapidly changes. The Nikon Z6 is a fully capable weatherproof outdoor camera, and when you need to adjust your camera settings to meet your photographic challenges, the Nikon Z6 makes that task quick and painless. 

Concerning the focus performance of the Z6 with telephoto-adapted lenses. In certain situations, the Z6 misses the focus. This occurs more often when faced with faster-moving wildlife with a busy background. See the Photographers Notes - Nikon Z7 Review - the same applies to the Z6.

Being able to make quick adjustments to the Nikon Z6 in the field: Easy, With the Nikon Z6 you have almost instant access to a lot of options that are customizable and quickly accessible without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. The Nikon Z6 allows you to set up 3 custom still profiles, save them to the U1-U3 positions, and rotate the dial to access them. Or use the I menu to access your frequently used features, which is also customizable.

The image quality of the Nikon Z6 is exceptional - offering high-resolution good color rendering of images with the 24.5mp Backlighted Full Frame Sensor. Excellent images even at higher ISO. I rate the image quality of the Nikon Z6 as superior to almost all other cameras in the 24-megapixel range.  Along with a high dynamic range, you will almost always have images you can use from your day of shooting nature.  We have all made those underexposed shots when I inadvertently made a poor underexposure. I know the images from the Z6 can still pull up the shadows quite well.  The Mallard photos show how many details were pulled up from the shadows using this fully cropped image.

How does the Nikon Z6 perform out in the wilds of Nature? Let us be truthful - If you are expecting to mount a Z6 with a 200-500 or 400/600mm telephoto and have it meet the performance of a D500 or D850, that is not going to happen. Regarding fast, reliable focus using long telephoto FTZ-adapted lenses, the Nikon Z6 is not a Nikon D500 or D850. As long as you go into the marriage knowing the focus will not be perfect, you will otherwise love the Nikon Z6 - I love mine.  One other mentionable - if you plan on using long adapted glass on a tripod, it may be cumbersome to balance the camera/lens combo due to the lightness of the Z6. Mounted on my 400mm without a TC attached the combo remains front heavy, adding a 1.4 TC to the mix and it is just a tad front heavy, mounted on a Nikkor 600 and things are way out of balance - you will need to add weight to the bottom of the Z.  

- For all other aspects of Nature photography, the Nikon Z6 is very capable.

- The Nikon Z6 is built to the highest Nikon standards, no need to worry how it handles the elements that is for sure, this camera is top of the line in build quality and weather sealing and can go anyplace you go.  For my outdoor nature photography, I find the Nikon Z6 to be a very compelling camera for all of my needs. I particularly appreciate the compact size and STELLAR images produced, especially with the Native Z mount lens lineup.   Moving from a DSLR to a Nikon Z6 mirrorless, or any mirrorless, takes some time to get accustomed to looking through the EVF.  After months of use the Z6 feels right at home in my camera bag, I especially like the layout of the camera controls. Now that I have used this camera for several months - when I pick up my DSLR, it seems more dated than the Z6.

Summary: If you have room in your camera bag and budget, I would recommend a Nikon Z6 Mirrorless for your natural photographic needs! If Nikon addresses the focus issues in a firmware update for both the Z6 and Z7, these cameras would be unmatched. Focus is, in my opinion, the only thing holding back the Z line. Do not get me wrong, for 90% of your photography needs, the Nikon Z knocks it out of the park.


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