The expected media storm has arrived, and Nikon’s latest flagship camera, the D6, has been announced. Some reviewers have actually gotten to shoot the camera, but no photos are being allowed online since these are preproduction models. So far we have seen some sample images and great videos from Nikon on photographers using this camera. Here are the main points for still photographers:
-20.8 MP sensor
-14 FPS shooting
-new Expeed 6 processor (faster)
-new autofocus system; more sensitive/selectable points
-CF express card compatible (I’m guessing virtually no waiting on buffer using these cards; I’ve never waited on my D5 using slower XQD cards)
-new autofocus patterns
-shutter speeds to 15 minutes
Of course you get the legendary build and weather sealing, and in my opinion, the best camera ergonomics of any camera on the market. And while the D6 is heavy, it is lighter than the D5. If you are an existing D5 owner, you will have to decide if these new features will prompt you to upgrade (D6 $6499.00). If you are a sports shooter or journalist, just the connectivity improvements will get you putting in an order. If you shoot wildlife and are not on a time crunch, then maybe you will think about it more.
At this point no one has been able to shoot side by side images comparing the D5 and D6. But better autofocus, faster processor and faster FPS are a good thing, and I’m seriously thinking about getting a D6. Obviously, this is a pro camera aimed at a small target audience, and not something many photographers may need. But there is a reason, despite all the focus on mirrorless, that Nikon and Canon are still releasing top DSLR cameras. Journalists, sports photographers and wildlife photographers want cameras with no start up times, fast mechanical shutters (no flicker issues as with electronic shutters, more flash options) and stunning low light performance using a 20MP sensor. And these flagship cameras balance beautifully using long telephotos.
We have been using mirrorless cameras for over a year now, and we love them. The new optics are stunning and often sharper than their DSLR counterparts. Small, lightweight, the Z6/7 comes with us on every shoot. But when it comes to fast action sports and wildlife, we grab our D5 or D850 for the job. And maybe by April, we will have the D6…