If current excitement levels mean anything, the newly announced Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera looks like it will be a huge hit for Nikon. Indeed, it almost appears to be a “mirrorless successor” to the Nikon D750, released four years ago to glowing reviews. That’s partly due to the shared 24 MP resolution and somewhat similar ergonomics (a PASM dial with user-configurable modes). However, considering that Nikon launched the D750 at $2,300 MSRP and the Z6 at just $1,999, it is clear that Nikon is decreasing its price point for this level camera in order to be competitive with the Sony A7 III. Let’s take a look at the Nikon Z 6 and D750 in detail and see how the two cameras compare in terms of features and specifications.
Nikon Z6 and D750 Specifications Comparison
As you can see by the specifications, the Nikon Z6 has some major advantages over the older D750:
|Camera Feature||Nikon Z6||Nikon D750|
|Sensor Resolution||24.5 MP||24.3 MP|
|Sensor Type||BSI CMOS||CMOS|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9mm||35.9 x 24.0mm|
|Sensor Pixel Size||5.9µ||5.9µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||Yes|
|In-Body Image Stabilization||Yes||No|
|Dust Reduction / Sensor Cleaning||Yes||Yes|
|Image Size||6,048 x 4,024||6,016 x 4,016|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-51,200||ISO 100-12,800|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-204,800||ISO 50, ISO 25,600-51,200|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||EXPEED 4|
|sRAW File Support||No||No|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic / EVF||Pentaprism|
|Viewfinder Coverage||100%, 0.8x||100%, 0.70x|
|Viewfinder Eyepoint||21 mm (-1.0 m¯¹)||21 mm (-1.0 m¯¹)|
|Built-in Flash||No||Yes, with flash commander mode|
|Storage Media||1x XQD||2x SD|
|Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter||Yes||No|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||12 FPS||6.5 FPS|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000-30 sec, Bulb, Time||1/4000 to 30 sec, Bulb, Time|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/200||1/200|
|Shutter Durability||200,000||150,000 cycles|
|Exposure Metering Sensor||TTL exposure metering using main image sensor||91,000-pixel RGB sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering III|
|Highlight Weighted Metering||Yes||Yes|
|Full aperture metering during Live View for stills||Yes||Yes|
|Number of AF Points||273 Hybrid Detect AF points||51 Phase Detection AF points, 15 cross-type|
|Detection Range||-2 to +19||-3 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)|
|Video Output||AVCHD / MP4 Compression with 4:2:0 sampling, 10-bit via HDMI with 4:2:2 sampling||AVCHD / MP4 Compression with 4:2:0 sampling, 8-bit via HDMI with 4:2:2 sampling|
|Video Maximum Resolution||3840 x 2160 (4K) up to 30p, 1920×1080 up to 120p||1920 x 1080 (FHD) up to 60p|
|Audio Recording||Built-in stereo microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
|Built-in stereo microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
|Highlight Display (Zebra Stripes) in Live View||Yes||Yes|
|LCD Size and Type||3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD Tilting||3.2″ diagonal TFT-LCD Tilting|
|LCD Resolution||2,100,000 dots||1,229,000 dots|
|Battery||EN-EL15b Lithium-ion Battery||EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery|
|Battery Life||330 shots (CIPA)||1,230 shots (CIPA)|
|Weather Sealed Body||Yes||Yes|
|Weight (Body Only)||585 g (20.6 oz)||750g (26.5 oz.)|
|Dimensions||134 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7″)||140.5 x 113 x 78mm (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1″)|
|MSRP Price||$1997 as introduced (check price and pre-order status)||$2,299 as introduced, $1697 today (check current price)|
As you can see, there are a number of differences in the specifications above. Many of them – but not all – favor the Nikon Z6.
The takeaway here is that the Z6 and D750 differ in more ways than just mirrorless vs DSLR. Sure, we do see the changes you would expect in a mirrorless camera – light weight, lower battery life, and an electronic viewfinder – but Nikon’s changes extend deeper than just the surface.
First, from a video perspective, the Z6 blows the D750 out of the water. I know that not all our readers care about video in a stills camera, but it’s hard to ignore the 4K and 10-bit 4:2:2 output via HDMI. We also have focus peaking on the Z6, as well as 120 FPS 1080p video. At Photography Life, we’ve filmed most of our video courses so far with the D750, and I think it’s likely that we will switch to the Z6 (or Z7) going forward.
In terms of still photos, the Z6 also has some major upgrades compared to the D750. One number that jumps out to me is the Z6’s crazy 12 FPS frame rate for still photos, compared to 6.5 FPS with the D750. That’s a huge difference, especially for fast-moving sports and wildlife photography. Considering the similar launch prices, I find it especially impressive.
However, the D750 clearly wins out in terms of battery life, where it shoots 1230 shots to the Z6’s meager 310 (though we want to test these numbers to see if they are truly accurate since some early comparisons show the Nikon Z6 and Z7 to have much better battery life than the specs suggest). The D750 is also ahead of the Z6 in terms of card slots, where it has two SD cards versus the Nikon’s one XQD slot. Although XQD is a faster media, arguably the storage type of the future, it would have been great to see two XQD – or even one XQD and one SD – card slots on the Z6.
Although we have no way of knowing for sure exactly how good the Z6’s hybrid-detect autofocus system will be, it’s clear that with 273 points, Nikon is pushing hard to make this camera appealing for action photographers. If they managed to get the Z6’s performance up to the same standard as the D750’s 51-point phase-detect system, or better, this camera will be a force to be reckoned with in wildlife and sports photography. Perhaps it is the “miniature D5 full-frame camera” we have wanted ever since the D700 filled that role ten years ago.
It is also worth pointing out that the Z6 has a different layout than the D750, and you may or may not prefer its new design. Some of the ergonomic elements, like the joystick and dedicated AF-On button, definitely are improvements over the D750 – but other changes might be more polarizing. Personally, I like the look of the right-hand dominant controls, although I’ll wait until I use a Z6 in person before saying anything more definitive than that.
To top it all off, some rumors are saying that Nikon’s new sensors in the Z6 and Z7 will be more advanced than their DSLR counterparts. Although that would be quite a feat – the 24 MP sensor on the D750 is already remarkable – it’s certainly something that we are excited to test at Photography Life.
Which Camera Should You Get?
Despite all the excitement surrounding these Z6 features, the Nikon D750 remains one of the best cameras on the market (easily making our list of the top 10 DSLRs today). Sure, it’s been out for almost four years now – but if you can’t get good photos with the D750, the Z6 won’t save the day.
Along with that, some photographers simply prefer DSLR cameras in general, and they may find the D750 better for their needs than the Z6. There is something to be said for the classic controls, large form factor, crisp optical viewfinder, and large battery life of the D750. Hard-core DSLR enthusiasts will – at a minimum – not see much of a reason to jump to the Z6 instead.
And last is price. If you’re thinking about getting your first full-frame camera, you may be better off spending money on lenses than cameras. Perhaps, for you, the choice is between the D750 with a great set of primes or the Z6 with its kit lens. In that case, the calculation is much narrower, and the DSLR very likely could win out depending upon your needs.
In short, the D750 was an excellent camera when it arrived on the market, and it’s still an excellent camera. Yes, Nikon topped it in almost every way with the Z6, but that speaks more to the mirrorless camera’s amazing technology than to any faults of the D750. Even though the Z6 is the winner in this comparison, there is no doubt that you will be well-served with either of these cameras today.
One thing left out of the comparison is how well the Z6 and D750 work with older Nikon glass. I have a number of old primes and newer zooms, but almost none of my glass work fully works with the required FTZ adapter. The FTZ adapter provides complete functionality only with AF-S, AF-P, and AF-I lenses. AF-D lenses essentially become a manual focus with the FTZ adapter. And the FTZ doesn’t link to the Ai and AiS lenses so aperture settings become completely manual and the diaphragm doesn’t open/close automatically for each shot.
If you have lots of older glass, then the D750 is a much better option as it works with most if not all of Nikon’s older lenses. Z6 is the superior body, but that functionality only is an advantage if you have newer lenses or are planning on buying all new glass (which makes the switching platforms a viable option too)
I really like reading your page. Thank you for your efforts guys for making this site available for photographers who are seeking for advice. More power to you all.
I own a D750 and just purchased a Z6. Been a practicing pro for 40 years, started with two FE/MD12’s and proceeded thru the F2AS (blah blah blah…). All sorts of assignments under all conditions. D750, a wonderful all round camera which is a best choice. But somehow, the Z6 seems better. Handles quicker. Focuses quicker in low light with the 24-70/4S than my D750 does with a 24-70/2.8 Tamron G2. Either one is a great choice. Get the D750 used with low clicks, and a couple F mount lenses if you are just jumping in. Z6 if you are already FX there, the FTZ is very nice but sadly lacking an AF motor. Guess that forces me to think about getting AF-S 50/1.8 and dumping my 50/1.8AF. But now my lightweight, excellent 18-35G Nikkor has three axis VR with the Z6. Always trade-offs, that is why I enjoy both depending upon assignment. No second slot for SD, a minus … but all those legacy EL-15’s I own are nice extras for Z6. Get what you want, argue and pixel peep away. I am happy with both, so is repeat clientele.
Does anyone know if the smaller IR remote is usable with the Z6 versus the larger attached remote trigger?
Bye the way, Nikon Z6 in-camera stabilization is a big highlight Mr. Spencer. Sorry to interrupt you guys for pulling on each other for being Nikon or else, carry on please.
Amazon just dropped the price of the D750 yesterday from $1696 to $1396. Boom. I am so excited. This article confirms my decision.
To me all listed weaknesses are not that important. I don’t have to make a living with the camera, so it is just an expensive toy I use for my hobby. If Nikon can fix or improve the autofocus that was reported by a couple of preproduction reviewers, I will be more than happy to buy the Z6.
so if we already have a D750 but want a lightweight SMALL travel camera for those times we don’t want to lug the big one around – what do you recommend?
Hi Sonia, I also have a D750 and am using D7100 as second camera. I will get Z6 to replace my D7100 so have I two full frame cameras to use and be able to share lenses. I probably will use Z6 for traveling and night shots and use D750 for wildlife.
Thank you for this interesting article. I am currently a DX shooter (D500, and D7200 are my primary cameras) and would label myself an enthusiast/prosumer. I have an assortment of DX and FX Nikon lenses and am looking to make the jump into FX. The D750 looks very attractive but I am debating the D750 or the Z6. From what I can tell, Nikon is still committed to DSLR, at least for now, so purchasing a D750, especially if the price drops, may be my best move. That being said, the specs of the Z6 look pretty good, especially 12 FPS (I enjoy shooting birds and would love to do more wildlife), and the high ISO, so the Z6 looks attractive as well. I am not too concerned about the one card slot, and the weight/size difference, once you add the adapter to the Z6, will be a non factor. I guess this is a good problem to have, and going with the latest technology (Z6) might ultimately make more sense for me, especially if the reviews are positive.
Thanks for an informative and balanced article, Spencer. However, according to the Nikon press release, the Z6 including batteries weighs 675gm (not 585), vs the D750’s 750gm. Add in the weight of the FTZ mount, and there will be precious little difference in the weight of the cameras – which indicates just how light the D750 is for a full frame DSLR.
If you look at native lenses, the D750 + 50mm f/1.8 G is 69 grams less than Z6 + 50mm f/1.8 S. I’ve been sitting on fence to jump to FF and still not sure which to go with, if price of D750 goes down I’d lean towards the DSLR over mirrorless.
Hi Ken, the 585 g number is for body only (no cards or battery) on the Nikon Z6, while the 750 g number is the same (body only) on the D750. So, they’re comparable figures. With cards and battery, the Z6 and D750 are 675 g and 840 g respectively. Adding in the adapter, which weighs 135 g, the Z6 combo weighs 810 grams – only slightly lighter than the D750 (which, granted, is quite light for a full-frame DSLR).
In fact, Matthew is right that the D750 and 50mm f/1.8 G combo is lighter than the Nikon Z6 equivalent. With native lenses (and including cards + battery), the Z6 and 50mm f/1.8 S weigh a total of 1090 g. The D750 and lens is 1025 g. Pretty crazy!