Nikon Z6 II vs Nikon D780

The Nikon Z6 II and Nikon D780 don’t look similar side by side. The Z6 II is really a slim mirrorless camera, as well as the D780 – though not a huge for a DSLR – is still a DSLR. But beneath the surface, the two cameras have a lot in common.

In this article, I’m going to compare the Nikon Z6 II against the D780. We’ve tested these two cameras extensively here at Photography Life, both in the lab and in area. So , if you’re considering possibly of them cameras, this article should help you figure out which one to obtain.

As you can see in the scale image below, the particular Z6 II (on the particular left) is smaller compared to D780 (on the right):

Nikon Z6 II vs Nikon D780

It is also lighter at 705 grams (1. 55 lbs) compared to 840 grams (1. 85 lbs). These differences aren’t as extreme as some mirrorless/DSLR comparisons, like the Nikon Z7 II and the Nikon D850 . But if you’re looking for a vacation camera, the Z6 II starts off on the right feet.

Still, I am getting ahead of myself. Prior to diving into the pros and cons of every camera, let’s first take a look at their specifications.

Nikon Z6 II plus D780 Specifications

Digital camera Feature Nikon Z6 II Nikon D780
Announced October 14, 2020 January 6, 2020
Camera Type Z-Mount Mirrorless F-Mount DSLR
Sensor Resolution 24. 5 MP 24. five MP
Low-Pass Filter Yes Yes
Sensor Type BSI CMOS BSI CMOS
In-Body Image Stabilization Yes, 5-axis No
Sensor Size 35. 9 × 23. 9 mm 35. 9 × 23. 9 mm
Image Size 6048 × 4024 6048 × 4024
-pixel Pitch 5. 94 µm 5. 94 µm
Native ISO Sensitivity ISO 100-51, 200 ISO 100-51, two hundred
Image Processor Double EXPEED 6 EXPEED 6
Viewfinder Kind Electronic; 3. 69 million dots Optical; ∞ dots
Viewfinder Coverage 100% completely
Viewfinder Magnification 0. 80× 0. 70×
Built-in Display No No
Flash Sync Speed 1/200 1/200
Storage space Media 1× CFexpress / 1× SD UHS-II 2× SD UHS-II
Max Continuous Shooting Speed 14 FPS seven FPS mechanical shutter, 12 FPS electronic shutter within live view
Camera Buffer (12-bit Lossless Raw) 124 images 100 images
Shutter Speed Range 1/8000 to 900 seconds 1/8000 in order to 900 seconds
Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter Yes Yes
Exposure Metering Sensor TTL metering using camera image sensor 180, 000-pixel RGB sensor
Autofocus System 273 hybrid AF factors Viewfinder: 51 Phase Detection AF points, 15 cross-type

Reside view: 273 hybrid AF points

Autofocus Recognition Range  (f/2 Lens, INTERNATIONALE ORGANISATION FÜR STANDARDISIERUNG 100) -4. 5 to +19 EV (-6 to +19 with low-light AF) -3 to +19 EV along with viewfinder (-6 to +17 EV in live see with low-light AF)
Inner Video Modes 4: 2: 0 8-Bit 4: two: 0 8-Bit
Video Optimum Resolution 4K UHD @ up to 60p, 1080p @ up to 120p 4K UHD @ up to 30p, 1080 pixels @ up to 120p
4K Video Crop Factor 1 . 0× (24p and 30p), 1 . 5× (60p) one 0× (24p and 30p)
HDMI Out / SIGN 4: two: 2 10-bit HDMI Result / Yes 4: 2: 2 10-bit HDMI Output / Yes
Articulating LCD Yes, tilt only Yes, tilt just
Touchscreen Indeed Yes
Rear LCD Size 3. 2″ Diagonal FLAT SCREEN 3. 2″ Diagonal LCD
Rear LCD Resolution 2, 100, 000 dots 2, 359, 1000 dots
Built-in GPS No No
Wi-Fi / Wireless bluetooth Yes or Yes Yes / Yes
Battery Life (CIPA) 340 shots 2260 shots
Weather Sealed Body Yes Yes
Weight with Battery and Card 705 g (1. 55 lbs) 840 g (1. 85 lbs)
Dimensions (L×H×D); Depth Excludes Protruding Viewfinder 134 × 101 × 70 mm (5. three or more ×  4. 0 ×  2 . 8 inches) 143. 5 × 115. 5 × 76. 0 mm (5. six ×  4. 5 × 3. 0 inches)
MSRP $2000 ( check price ) $2000 ( check price )

Crucial Similarities and Differences

What strikes me the most will be how similar these specs are. Most of the differences would be the usual pros and cons of mirrorless versus DSLR: weight, battery life, in-body image stabilization, viewfinder type, and so on.   It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the Nikon Z6 II is a “mirrorless D780, ” and the D780 is a “DSLR Z6 II. ”

While the Z6 II has a few more factors in its column than the D780, that’s not always a sign from the better camera. For example , if you prioritize the D780’s lengthy battery life or optical viewfinder, the advantage can start to shift toward the DSLR rather. Given how close most of these specifications are, the choice is definitely a dilemma.

Sadly, even if you ignore all the features above and just pay attention to picture quality, the choice doesn’t obtain any easier. Both of these cameras use the same sensor and have indistinguishable image quality. Additionally they cost the same (at least at the time I’m publishing this article), so you can’t simply pick whichever is less expensive.

As I see it, there are two major benefits to the Nikon Z6 II and two for the Nikon D780. These are the differences which i would suggest basing your decision upon:

  1. The Nikon Z6 II has access to Nikon’s excellent lineup of native Z-Series lenses , while the Nikon D780 does not. Both cameras have access to Nikon’s huge lineup of F-mount lenses, although the Z6 II can only use them by having an adapter (and doesn’t always have full suitability ).
  2. The Nikon Z6 II is smaller sized, lighter, and more portable than the D780. The D780 isn’t a huge camera, especially for the full-frame DSLR, but the difference isn’t subtle if you’re getting along your camera all day.
  3. The Nikon D780’s 51-point viewfinder autofocus system is a much better tracking system for fast action like sports and wildlife photography compared to the Z6 II’s hybrid PDAF program. The Nikon Z system gets more flack on-line than it should, and it is certainly still possible to photograph action with the Z6 II, but the implementation is definitely smoother on the D780. That said, the Z6 II really does a great job autofocusing on people thanks to its great eye-tracking AF.
  4. The Nikon D780 has a much longer battery life (at least when using the optic viewfinder) for all-day shooting.

I’m not saying the other variations don’t matter, but for the majority of photographers, those are the four things I would think about the majority of.

Nikon Z6 II Image Sample #16
NIKON Z6 II + AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5. 6E PF ED VR @ 500mm, ISO 140, 1/1000, f/5. 6
Tamron-17-35mm-f2-8-4-21
NIKON D780 + 17-35mm f/2. 8-4E @ 25mm, ISO 100, 1/400, f/9. 0

Which Camera Should You Obtain?

For wildlife and event photographers, I recommend the Nikon D780 because of the autofocus system and lengthy battery life. For travel plus landscape photographers, the Z6 II is the way to go due to Z-Series lenses and the more portable form factor. Even meant for portrait photography, I low fat toward the Nikon Z6 II; its eye-tracking autofocus system is amazing for photos of people, and you get the additional mirrorless benefits like weight and in-body image stabilization along the way. (The D780 also offers eye-tracking AF, but it is only in live see and not through the viewfinder. )

If you’re the long-time Nikon shooter with a large lineup of native F-mount glass, I’d tell stick with DSLRs for a bit lengthier. The Nikon Z6 II works reasonably well with the FTZ adapter for changing F-mount glass, but not in addition to a DSLR like the D780. (Just to name one example, the FTZ adapter can’t be connected or removed when your digital camera is on a typical tripod head. ) You may eventually decide to switch to mirrorless, in case you have a great F-mount selection already, there’s no need to rush.

On the other hand, new Nikon photographers who are not sure should go with the Z6 II. Nikon – like the majority of other camera companies – is clearly putting more effort into mirrorless compared to DSLRs these days. I have mixed feelings about that myself, but it’s hard to deny that is the direction they’re heading. I therefore recommend beginning your Nikon journey with all the camera system that Nikon is prioritizing rather than phasing out , all else equal.

Naturally, the Z6 II and D780 are both awesome cameras, and you can’t make a mistake either way. I know that I say something like that every time I actually write one of these comparison content articles, but it’s true. Practically every modern DSLR plus mirrorless camera is incredible, and they’re usually priced where they should be, too. That is doubly true in the case of the Nikon Z6 II and Nikon D780, which are since similar as a mirrorless and DSLR can be. You’ll be able to take equally amazing photos with either camera, so pick whichever one pieces your heart aflutter plus don’t look back.

Nikon Z6 II Image Sample #6
NIKON Z6 II + NIKKOR Z 14-30mm f/4 S @ 14mm, ISO 100, 1/10, f/11. 0
Tamron-17-35mm-f2-8-4-26
NIKON D780 + 17-35mm f/2. 8-4E @ 17mm, ISO 100, 1/640, f/16. 0

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