Nikon Z6 1st Impressions compared to the Canon EOS-R (Video)

Nikon Z6 1st Impressions compared to the Canon EOS-R (Video)

Hey guys! Just posted a video to my YouTube channel that talks about my 1st impressions (MY VERY FIRST) of the Nikon Z6 with 24-70 f/4. In this video I shoot some of it with the Canon, and some with the Nikon. I talk about what I like about the Nikon, and what I do not. You can also hear the difference between the Microphone pre amps in the Nikon and Canon, which is pretty shocking to me actually. I will have a proper first look and then review VERY soon, so know it is in hand and I will be using it with the 24-70 and 35 1.8 over the next 2 weeks!

Just to go over what I end up saying in the video:

  1. I prefer the ergonomics of the Canon. It feels better in the hand. I show why in the video.
  2. I prefer the articulating LCD of the Canon
  3. I like the IBIS in the Nikon
  4. I much prefer the audio coming out of the Canon (and I used the same mic on both)
  5. The XQD Card and reader was an additional $200 cost for the Nikon set (can not use SD cards)
  6. All modern day cameras are great. They differ mostly in color science and output.

A few OOC JPEGS from the Nikon Z6 and 24-70

This Nikon Z6 setup came from B&H Photo. 


  1. I dial in a bit late, but now I succeeded in watching your very helpful video completely. I was very interested because my wife is a longterm Nikon user (including “analogue” SLRs), and she starts to ask herself when she will get her first ML Nikon. Looks like the Z6 would be a decent package for her (she has small hands), but the XCD card slot only could be a deal breaker for a while. She has invested a lot of money in high performance CF and SD cards.

    I think there are a lot of Nikon users out there with exactly the same problem. I really don’t understand why Nikon created such a potential sales hurdle by not adding a second card slot for a more established card system (at least SD).

  2. Having shot with Nikon DSLRs for years and then a stint with the RX1 and RX1R II, then the A7R III..I finally found some homogeny with the Z6. The only things in favor for the Sony is the better battery life and better AF in certain conditions.

    The Nikon has clear advantages in
    – build quality
    – environmental sealing
    – ergonomics and haptics
    – touch screen capabilities and response (full generation ahead here)
    – evf and rear screen quality
    – general responsiveness in everyday shooting conditions.
    – auto white balance and RAW colour output
    – IBIS system implementation

    I can’t comment on the Eos R since I haven’t used one, but the Z6 (as an overall package) is a much more enjoyable photographic tool for what I shoot. I’ll also echo what others have said countless times, the Sony feels like a toy in comparison (albeit a feature stuffed one).

    Not sure about the US, but here in Australia every Z6/7 was bundled with a Sony G XQD card and reader… no need to work out for $200?

    • dont forget without Sony A7 there would be no Nikon Z6 ( or Eos-R)
      they waited 6 years to bring out the Z6 and Z7 finally…
      but still didnt get it 100% right and that is just amazing ( for ex. no 2. card slot even on the expensive Z7)
      I have changed to Sony from Nikon and Canon and wont look back as I have lots of fantastic Sony and Sigma lenses now
      And lets not forget Sony will bring new stuff all the times as well
      For me I will only change again if the picture quality of Nikon or Canon will be significantly better and that is definitly not the case yet

  3. Steve,
    Nice first look!! One comment and one question:
    1) Pinkie finger: The pinkie fits perfectly on the SL and E-M1 Mk II, so it appears the Z6 has a shorter height grip than even the E-M1 Mk II. I gave up on smaller cameras, such as the RX100, a long time ago because of how difficult it was to grip. Hopefully the Z6 is closer to the E-M1 than the RX100.
    2) Will you be trying out any manual focus lenses such as the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4?
    Thanks again 🙂

      • Steve,
        We appreciate everything you do!! Actually I have more M mount lenses (Leica and Voigtlander) than F mount lenses , so in the end your plan works even better 🙂

    • Note: my pinkie fits perfectly on the Z6 and it is strictly the same feel as the EM1 MkII I sold to make the change…

  4. I looked at the photo taken with the Nikon Z6. It feels not very clean. Unlike Steve’s previous photos. The color is still like the color of the Sony A7II I use. I don’t know if it is because of the use of Sony cmos.

  5. Hello Steve, I am indeed happy you open the door for the Z6 to join the party. I had mine on the very day it was released and I am soooo happy about my choice. I was lucky enough to get the XDQ for free in the process, even though I bought the camera with the 35mm 1.8. I insist in saying that I was first on Canon, then for 4 years on Olympus (using only 1.2 lenses). I am not a pro but still intending pro-level results for the big size prints I make for my exhibitions. And I DO NOT use video at all. So, Nikon for me has NOTHING to do with my personal identity or any camera “flagism”. Let’s summarize the main reasons of my choice: 1- Even though I hesitated several time for FF’s sake, I never ever could be convinced by Sony. First of all because it really does NOT feel good in my hand, but also because even though IQ is amazing, there IMO something missing in terms of “soul” in the rendering. 2- Then, moving from the EM1 Mark II body – per-fect feeling in my hand – to the Z6 has been a seamless transition. I am tempted to believe Nikon intentionally used the Olympus body as a basis for the Z-series. 3- I am an exclusively 35mm/85mm prime lens shooter. This means having only 2 lenses to buy (and sell) if I chose to change gear. AND, I am totally convinced by the new Z-lenses in terms of stunning IQ, pricing (compared to Oly PRO again) how they were proportionally designed to match the mirrorless body (technically sticking with a 1.8 line is very very clever and coherent for me and still an upgrade in term of DoF compared to Micro 4/3’s 1.2’s, the more as low light capacity is a spectacular upgrade from micro 4/3). Even though the Z LOOKS bulkier, the combo Z6-35mm 1.8 is overall only 10g (0.3 Oz) heavier than EM1-MkII 17mm 1.2. It feels EXACTLY the same in the hand (I am also pretty sure this is what Nikon intended) 4- All in all, FF is FF, period. So, I believe than for anyone who either already has Nikon lenses (obviously…) or, just like me, seeks a sensor upgrade from Olympus (great stuff but that now reached the technological limits which makes FF just as affordable and therefore much more attractive), or Fuji (cheaper price range though for the latter), the Z6 is an amazingly stunning perfectly balanced option. Versatility and size have been very important – and rightly so – on your website Steve, and what I found with the Z6 has it all. (PS: useless to say that the extra pixels of the Z7 are useful only for a tiny minority of photographers). Warm regards to you Steve and whomever reads this comment.

  6. Sonys are good, and market leaders in FF mirrorless, however, now that the two traditional companies are in the FF market, I predict that within three years half of Sony customers who had no choice before for a mirrorless FF will switch once Canikon realease their second gen cameras and add few more lenses to their native line up.

  7. Is it intentional to have you speaking over yourself at 8 mins onwards discussing XQD cards?

    Ergonomics is so important in cameras – they all take great images, you want one you feel comfortable using. I shall check out the Nikon and the Canon.

  8. Not sure about the Nikon colour Steve – looks a bit washed out and I agree about the audio, but the A7SIII review in a few weeks time, I do look forward to that! (Big guess LOL)

  9. I’ve bought and sold every Sony FF body built to date, I like the EOSR more.. I’m not a fan of that thumb stick, would have preferred another wheel and a joystick instead. And I’m not a fan of the two thumb buttons. But otherwise solid cam and great prime lenses (both the 35 and the 50).

  10. I just have to ask the question; what’s going on with this site?!? What’s this sudden infatuation with mediocrity?!? Used to be I could come here to find out what camera is the “Best of the Best”. Now I come here only to find that first generation FF MILC’s with numerous shortcomings are being touted as acceptable alternatives to mature and vastly superior systems…this borders on HERESY! The A7 III sets the bar for full frame mirrorless and the A7RIII puts that bar in the vicinity of Pluto for the canikon FF MILC’s which fell PAINFULLY short of it, with their one card entries into the category. If the EOS-R makes “Camera of the Year” here, I’m deleting my browser link permanently! 🙂 Of course my post is completely “Tongue and Cheek” 😉 and I’m actually glad that someone previously embedded in the Sony camp is giving these models some exposure. The Z’s and the EOS-R are very important cameras to us the consumer and will ensure Sony’s next iteration is even more exciting than the last. It certainly is a great time to be a gear junky.

    • Lol. I just say what I feel, and go about talking about gear differently than some others but will give any and all a chance and if they work for me, then I will go all in as I have with the Canon ; ) They’re all good! Thanks Charles!

    • There are no “best of the best”. They all have shortcomings and many are on a personal level. Subjective. I for one don’t like the LCD that is not aligned with the lens when when tilted, but understand that vloggers like them. Sony are great for many, but I never really liked them. The Nikon Z doesn’t have any pancakes (yet), but maybe I just should use another equally great camera when I want it smaller. Oh, and the eye relief is actually pretty good for all left eye users that don’t want our nose to get too close to the LCD. And I’m not sure I agree it is a great time to be a gear junky. Expensive time, though…

    • We are living through a time where we have more cameras crammed with more features than we could ever need in a lifetime. We are literally spoiled for choice. I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a bad camera. They all mean different things to different people anyway.

    • So no camera is good if it’s not Sony 🙂
      I have used A7R II, A9, A7RIII and now I have A7 III with 55mm f1.8 and 24-70mm GM. Great setup but the ergonomy and menu structure is quite bad. I mean, really bad. It is a pain to carry (read: not use) a7 iii and 24-70mm with one hand. When taking a photo my little finger always has to crawl under the body.
      I went to a local shop and tried EOS R and Z7. EOS R has the best holding ergonomy, for sure. EVF and LCD are also way better than A7 III. These are important to me. I’ll wait for discounts for EOS R and 24-105mm and probably switch to Canon.

    • I totally agree. It has become a constant rotation of touting brand X is the best – followed by some fishing for affiliate sales. There used to be more passion.

    • “…this borders on HERESY!” You hit it, Charles. Brands are for many people like a pseudo-religion nowadays. For me as a user it really was high time that more competition hits this tech market, before Sony achieves the about same power like the catholic church once had (caution: this is irony).

      I personally never will understand why people identify themselves with a brand. For me personally, a camera is just a tool, and a good camera does not interfere but supports shooting so much you can forget about it when you are in a flow. This is crucial for good results. Steve established this real world approach as a pioneer of photography sites, and this is why I love to visit his page since a decade now – despite I still use a lot of old school cameras with OVFs, including vintage analogue ones (my personal camera of the (past) year(s) is my old New Mamiya 6, loaded with a good roll if nice film 😉 ).

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