When Canon releases its EOS R6, some of our readers wondered how this mirrorless camera compares to its rival, the Nikon Z6. Although the Nikon is the more budget-friendly option when compared to the EOS R5, Canon still put quite a bit of impressive technology into the EOS R6 to make it a versatile, general-purpose camera. Let’s take a look at the two cameras in more detail and compare them side-by-side. First, we will start with the ergonomics, then we will discuss technical specifications.
(Before we begin, if you intended to visit a comparison between the EOS R6 and the newer Nikon Z6 II, we have one of those as well. See Canon EOS R6 vs Nikon Z6 II.)
Canon EOS R6 vs Nikon Z6 Ergonomics Comparison
Here is how the two cameras compare in their front view:
While both cameras have their slight differences in terms of buttons and camera model marking placements, I personally prefer the overall aesthetics of the Canon EOS R6, which looks sleeker than the Nikon Z6. The Nikon Z6 has a slight functional advantage here, thanks to its additional function button to the left of the lens mount.
Next, here is how the two cameras appear from the top:
Although both cameras have their brand differences, the Canon EOS R6 does not feature a top LCD screen, which the Nikon Z6 does. In my view, this is an advantage for the Z6, because the top LCD can be useful when shooting, as it displays lots of helpful information. It also does not force the photographer to constantly look at the rear LCD screen. Other than this, the two cameras are very similar ergonomically, with deep grips covered with rubber for comfortable hand-holding.
Lastly, let’s take a look at the backs of the cameras:
The main differences here have to do with different ergonomics specific to each brand. Canon uses a large rotary dial on the back of the camera and a top button-heavy layout, whereas Nikon uses a multi-selector button with an “OK” button in the middle while pushing more buttons to the bottom of the camera. Other than this, you will notice that the Canon EOS R6 has a fully articulating flip-out LCD screen that is slightly smaller in size – 3″ vs 3.2″ on the Nikon Z6. It also has less resolution in comparison.
Overall, both cameras are equally superb in terms of their ergonomics – I cannot say that one has any serious advantages over the other. If you are a Canon shooter, you will feel right at home with the EOS R6, whereas Nikon shooters will likely prefer the ergonomics of the Z6.
Canon EOS R6 vs Nikon Z6 Specifications Comparison
Let’s now take a look at how these two cameras compare in terms of their technical specifications:
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS R6||Nikon Z6|
|Sensor Resolution||20.1 MP||24.5 MP|
|Sensor Type||CMOS||BSI CMOS|
|In-Body Image Stabilization||Yes, 5-axis||Yes, 5-axis|
|Sensor Size||36.0 x 24.0mm||35.9 x 24.0mm|
|Image Size||5472 x 3648||6048 x 4024|
|Image Processor||DIGIC X||EXPEED 6|
|Viewfinder||Electronic / EVF||Electronic / EVF|
|Viewfinder Type / Resolution||OLED / 3.69 Million Dots||OLED / 3.69 Million Dots|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/200||1/200|
|Storage Media||2x SD UHS II||1x XQD / CFexpress|
|Continuous Shooting Speed M / E||12 FPS / 20 FPS||12 FPS / 12 FPS|
|Buffer Capacity (RAW, 14-bit Lossless Compressed)||240||43|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000||1/8000|
|Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter||Yes||Yes|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||384-Zone Metering||TTL metering using camera image sensor|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-51,200||ISO 100-51,200|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Low-Light Sensitivity||-6.5 to 20 EV||-3.5 to 19 EV|
|Video Maximum Resolution||4K @ up to 60p, 1080p @ up to 120p||4K @ up to 30p, 1080p @ up to 120p|
|Video Crop||1.07x Crop||Full sensor width|
|HDMI Out / LOG||4:2:2 10-bit HDMI Output / Yes||4:2:2 10-bit HDMI Output / Yes|
|Articulating LCD||Yes, Full||Yes, Tilting|
|LCD Size||3.0″ Diagonal LCD||3.2″ Diagonal LCD|
|LCD Resolution||1,620,000 dots||2,100,000 dots|
|Wi-Fi / Band||802.11b/g/n / 2.4 GHz||802.11a/ac/b/g/n / 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz|
|Bluetooth||Yes, 4.2||Yes, 4.2|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots||380 shots|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||Yes|
|USB Version||Type-C 3.1||Type-C 3.1|
|Weight (Camera Body Only)||598g||585g|
|Dimensions||138 x 97.5 x 88.0mm||134 x 100.5 x 67.5mm|
|MSRP||$2,499 (check current price)||$1,999 (check current price)|
Right off the bat, we can see that the Nikon Z6 has slightly more resolution, thanks to its 24.5 MP sensor vs 20.1 MP on the EOS R6. On the flip side, the Canon EOS R6 is potentially going to have better low-light performance, thanks to having bigger pixels. Those differences could be minimal though, due to the fact that Nikon uses a BSI CMOS sensor, while Canon uses a regular CMOS sensor on the EOS R6.
The big selling points for the EOS R6 are in the dual memory card slots, better low-light sensitivity, and a huge camera buffer. Unfortunately, Nikon decided to go with a single XQD / CFexpress memory card slot, which is not ideal for professional photographers who want to be able to shoot to two different cards for backup purposes. Although I personally find XQD / CFexpress cards to be a lot more reliable than SD cards and I don’t mind a single card slot, it turns out that it is not enough for other photographers. So if that’s important to you, the EOS R6 is clearly a better choice. For shooting action, the EOS R6 is also more preferable than the Nikon Z6, thanks to better low-light sensitivity and a very large buffer that can accommodate 240 images – that’s 20 seconds of continuous shooting! In comparison, the Nikon Z6 can only fit 43 images in its buffer, which slows down the camera in just 3.6 seconds.
Another difference for those who like shooting video content is the ability to shoot 4K content at 60 FPS, which the EOS R6 can do, while the Nikon Z6 is limited to 30 FPS. However, at this time, it is hard to say how big of an advantage this really is, because the EOS R6 might have overheating issues when shooting 4K continuously, which the Nikon Z6 has no problems with.
Other than these, the last remaining difference is the price, which is obviously in favor of the older Nikon Z6. Although the MSRP of the Nikon Z6 is $2K, the camera often goes for sale for $1800 or less, and comes with free accessories like the FTZ adapter. That’s a difference of $700 we are talking about, and even more if you buy the Z6 used. If you are already invested in Canon RF lenses, then this price difference won’t matter to you, but if you are trying to choose a brand new system to invest in and you are considering both systems, you might want to think about it.
Speaking of lenses, that’s another factor worth pointing out. As of today, Canon has already released 17 different Canon RF lenses (including some super-telephoto options), many of which are high-end professional-grade lenses. Nikon, on the other hand, decided to concentrate its efforts on smaller and lighter lenses, and currently has a total of 13 Nikon Z full-frame lenses available, none of which are super-telephoto. Keep in mind that lenses are more important than cameras in the long run, so choose your camera system accordingly. I personally like Nikon’s approach with smaller and lighter f/1.8 primes and I don’t mind waiting, but others might want faster glass now and might not be as patient.